With the warm temperatures, long trails, and sunny weather, summer is the perfect season for bicycle riding in Ohio. Many cyclists ride for recreational purposes, while others ride their bicycles to and from their places of work.
Most bicycle accidents occur as a result of a motor vehicle driver’s carelessness or negligence. If you or someone you love has been injured in a bicycle accident, you may be entitled to monetary recovery under Ohio law.
An experienced Ohio bicycle accident lawyer can meet with you and may be able to help you obtain monetary compensation for your injuries and damages. Contact a skilled accident attorney right away.
Ohio Bicycle Laws
A bicyclist is the equivalent of a ‘motorist’ under Ohio law. In other words, a bicyclist is normally subject to the same rules of the road as all other drivers on Ohio roadways, including the following:
- Obeying all traffic signs, such as stop signs and yield signs
- Obeying all traffic signals and traffic control devices, such as traffic lights and railroad crossing signals
- Obeying all lane markings
- Obeying all posted speed limit signs
- Obeying the same rules of the road as motor vehicles regarding right-of-way
Unless there is some obstacle or other hazardous condition in the way, bicyclists should take care to ride their bicycles in a designated bike lane, if one is available.
Reasons Why Ohio Bicycle Accidents Occur
Ohio bicycle accidents are oftentimes very tragic occurrences. Some of the most common causes of Ohio bicycle accidents include the following:
- Negligent, distracted, or inattentive driving
- Failing to obey a stop sign or traffic control device
- Failing to yield the right-of-way to a cyclist at an intersection
- Defective bicycle parts (such as brakes, seats, or handlebars)
- ‘Dooring’ accidents (i.e. when the driver or passenger of a parked car suddenly opens the car door in the pathway of an oncoming cyclist, causing the cyclist injuries)
In order for an injured cyclist to recover for injuries and damages sustained in an accident caused by a motor vehicle driver, the injured cyclist must ordinarily prove negligence on the part of the driver. Specifically, the injured cyclist must prove that 1) the driver failed to act as an ordinary, reasonable, and prudent driver under the circumstances; and 2) that this breach factually and legally resulted in the cyclist’s injuries and damages.
Some of the most common types of injuries sustained in Ohio bicycle accidents include fractures and broken bones, concussions, traumatic brain injuries (TBI’s), soft tissue injuries, permanent scarring (especially facial scarring), spinal cord injuries, and death.
Upon proving negligence on the part of a motor vehicle driver, an injured cyclist may be able to recover damages for related medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of earning capacity, and loss of spousal companionship.
Products Liability Causes of Action
In cases of defective bicycle handlebars, seats, or brakes, an injured bicyclist may have a cause of action against the bicycle manufacturer or distributor for products liability. The damages available to injured plaintiffs in products liability cases are similar to those available in negligence cases.
How an Ohio Bicycle Accident Attorney Can Help
Bicycle accidents can result in serious and devastating consequences. Nevertheless, insurance companies oftentimes try to deny liability in these cases, alleging that the injured cyclist somehow caused or contributed to the accident.
An Ohio bicycle accident lawyer may be able to take on the insurance company in a disputed liability case and represent you in settlement negotiations or in court. You should feel free to contact an experienced Ohio bicycle accident lawyer at any time by phone or online.