Bicycles provide an efficient way to get around. People can avoid paying high gas bills while getting a great workout. Unfortunately, many drivers do not give bicyclists the respect that they deserve while on the road. Contrary to many peoples’ beliefs, bike riders are due the same protection on the road as all other people.
When bicyclists are injured due to other peoples’ negligence, they can sue for compensation to pay medical bills, recover lost wages, and provide solace for mental trauma. Fostoria bicycle accident lawyers can help defend the rights of bike riders in their claims against drivers’ insurance companies. Contact a dedicated injury attorney today to begin your claim.
Bikes and the Law
People riding their bikes have the same rights and responsibilities as all other people on the road. They are required to follow all traffic signals, yield when appropriate, and give proper notice before making a turn. Even though bicyclists are in an exposed position, with little more than a helmet to protect them, they are also protected under the law in case of a collision.
Most collisions between bicycles and cars are accidents. Even if the driver of the other car has great disdain for people riding on roads, it can hardly be said that all collisions are intentional. Ohio law still allows for people injured in accidents to hold the responsible party civilly liable, despite the accidental nature of the collision. This is usually done using the legal theory known as negligence.
When Do Negligence Laws Apply?
Negligence applies when a person has a legal responsibility to look out for the welfare of others. In bicycle accident cases, this responsibility, or duty, is always present. This is because all drivers assume a duty whenever they are behind the wheel to protect all other people on the road. Naturally, this applies to bike riders.
Fostoria bicycle accident lawyers have seen injured people hope to be compensated only when they can prove that the at-fault party to the accident breached their duty of care. Many times, this can be proven by a police report stating that the defendant violated a traffic law. Other times, the plaintiff must argue that the defendant was driving in a careless, but not necessarily unlawful, way and that this careless driving was the cause of the accident.
Meeting the Statute of Limitations
The plaintiff must be able to connect their injuries to the accident. This may seem elementary, but some insurance companies will contest injuries stating that they preexisted the accident. But even in claims where the defendant is clearly negligent, the plaintiff may encounter trouble. There is a time limit within which a plaintiff must file a claim.
Commonly known to Fostoria bicycle accident lawyers as the statute of limitations, Ohio Revised Code 2305.10 gives plaintiffs two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. Insurance companies are aware of this law, and may attempt to delay or drag out negotiations in an attempt to hit this target.
Help from a Fostoria Bicycle Accident Attorney
Bicycle injury cases may seem like a simple proposition. Bike riders may feel that an accident cannot possibly be their fault and that the driver of the other vehicle will always be liable. Ohio law states that bicyclists have the same duties on the road as all other travelers. Insurance companies will use this to their advantage to deny claims that are not properly presented within the law.
Fostoria bicycle accident lawyers work to present cases to demonstrate the fault of the defendant. Attorneys can also place an emphasis on someone’s injuries and how they affect their day-to-day lives.