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Injured in a bicycle accident? You May need to call an attorney!

bicycle accident lawyer in Ohio

Riding a bicycle in traffic—even light traffic—is never without risks. Because a bicycle affords little protection for its rider, the bike rider is far more likely to suffer severe injuries in a collision with a car or truck than the vehicle’s occupants.

According to the Ohio Department of Public Safety, 860 bicyclists were killed or injured in Ohio in 2017. Another 414 suffered “possible” injuries. The greatest number of deaths (4 out of 19 Ohioans from age zero to 76 and up, or 21%) and incapacitating injuries (28 out of 169, or 17%) were suffered by children between the ages of eleven and fifteen. This is the age when children begin testing the limits of their independence—and because they’re still too young to drive, a bicycle is key to establishing that independence and experiencing the exuberance of their newfound freedom.

If you or your child has been injured in a car vs. bicycle accident, you may be entitled to compensation from the car’s owner or driver:

  • Medical treatment, including current bills and future costs;
  • Disfigurement;
  • Pain and suffering;
  • Lost wages;
  • Loss of future earning ability; and
  • Loss of companionship and personal relationship with a close family member.

At Slater & Zurz LLP, we’ve been handling personal injury cases for over 30 years and have established a long track record of success in obtaining favorable results for car and bicycle accident victims. There’s no fee if we don’t achieve a favorable verdict or settlement. Call or email us for a free consultation to determine what your rights are. We’ll evaluate your claim and devise a strategy to maximize the compensation you’re entitled to receive.

Teach your child the rules of the road for bicyclists.

Because children are especially vulnerable to serious injuries when riding their bikes, it’s important for them to know the rules they must follow in Ohio—and what to look out for.

Because children are especially vulnerable to serious injuries when riding their bikes, it’s important for them to know the rules they must follow in Ohio—and what to look out for.

  1. Bicyclists must ride as near the right side of the road as possible when it’s safe to do so.
  2. Bicyclists may not ride more than two abreast.
  3. Unless directed by a police officer or riding in a marked bicycle lane set apart from vehicular traffic, bicyclists are not permitted on freeways.
    • Bicyclists must ride astride the bike, on a permanent, regular seat, and may not carry any other person on the bike except on a firmly attached regular seat.
    • Bicyclists may not carry anything that prevents them from keeping at least one hand on the handlebars.
    • To turn right, either extend the left hand and arm upward or extend the right hand and arm horizontally to the right.
    • If stopping or slowing down, extend the left hand and arm downward.
  4. Every bike operated between sunset and sunrise must have a white light in front, visible from at least 500 feet; a red reflector in the rear, visible from 100 to 600 feet; and a flashing or steady red light in the rear. If the red light meets the requirements of a reflector, no separate reflector is necessary.

Bicycle accidents are usually caused by carelessness.

Both bicyclists and motor vehicle drivers are required to use “ordinary care” to protect themselves and others on the road. A bicycle has as much right to the roadway as a motor vehicle. Because the bicyclist faces much more serious injuries from what would be a minor “fender bender” between two cars, every bicyclist should be aware of the most common types of car vs. bike accidents:

Hitting the door of a parked car as it is being opened. The driver has a duty to look before opening the car door into a roadway, but may not look or may not see your bike. In most instances, the driver is at fault.

Hitting or being hit by a car or truck turning right. The driver may not see a bicycle approaching on the right from behind. A driver focused on vehicular traffic may not think to look before turning right, into a bicyclist’s path, or directly into the bicyclist. Whether the turning vehicle blocks your path or drives into you, the driver is usually at fault.

Being sideswiped or brushed by a passing motor vehicle. Even light contact can tip your bicycle over, throwing you onto the road. A car or truck must wait until there is enough room and it is safe to pass you. A mirror to the left on your handlebars may alert you to a car that’s approaching from behind and coming too close. If you did not move left into the car’s path, its driver will probably be blamed for failing to wait until the vehicle could pass you safely.

Hitting a car turning left in front of you at an intersection (or into a driveway). A bicycle going straight has the right of way in an intersection. An oncoming vehicle has a duty to signal before turning left and should wait for you to pass before turning. Just as drivers may fail to see oncoming motorcycles before turning left, a driver may not see an oncoming bicyclist before beginning the turn.

Although Ohio doesn’t require helmets, helmets help!

State law doesn’t require bicyclists to wear helmets. However, many communities—Akron, Cincinnati, Columbus, and Dayton, to name a few—have passed local ordinances requiring helmets. Helmets prevent or lessen the severity of head injuries, and often save lives. We recommend helmets for every bicyclist and urge parents to insist that their children wear helmets at all times.

At Slater & Zurz, we’ve handled too many cases in which someone suffered a head injury that was much more severe than it could have been. We know how to prove the full extent of a victim’s damages after an accident, and have the resources to hire the experts who can make or break a case: accident reconstructionists, medical experts, life care planners, and vocational experts. Call or email us to schedule a free consultation. We’ll assess the potential compensation for your claim and let you know the most effective way to proceed.

If you’re hit by a car, report it to the police, seek medical attention, and contact a bicycle accident lawyer.

  • Call law enforcement immediately after the accident or as soon as possible. Officers can examine the scene for evidence to determine exactly what happened.
  • See a doctor as soon as possible. The doctor can treat and make a record of your injuries and advise you concerning what to expect.
  • Don’t admit that the accident was your fault. It probably wasn’t. Be polite and exchange information (name, address, etc.) with the car’s driver and law enforcement officers.
  • Don’t rush into a quick settlement with the car’s driver or any insurance company. Your injuries may become more painful or debilitating over time. Once you’ve entered a settlement, you can’t ask for more money later—even if your medical costs vastly exceed the amount of the settlement.
  • Contact a bicycle accident lawyer. An accident lawyer can gather all available, necessary evidence, advise you concerning your case against the driver, negotiate with insurance companies, and protect your interests to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.

If you’re injured in a bike accident, trust us to handle your claim.

At Slater & Zurz, we take your family’s health and recovery seriously. We have a proven record of success in handling personal injury cases and holding those responsible for our client’s injuries accountable. We know how to root out the facts necessary to establish our client’s damages and will insist on fair compensation for all sustained losses. When negligent drivers and their insurance companies refuse to be fair, we won’t be afraid to take your personal injury case to trial. We know how to win!

If you or your child was injured in a bicycle accident, call or email us for a free consultation to determine whether a settlement offer is fair, and how much your claim is really worth. If we take your case, you have no obligation to pay us anything unless and until we negotiate a favorable settlement or win your case at trial. Let us work for you!