Whether commuting to work or savoring a weekend ride, bicyclists in Sandusky reap the physical, mental, and emotional rewards that come with riding in the fresh air. In most cases, cycling is a healthy and climate-friendly mode of transportation.
However, bicycles and motor vehicles still must share the roads, and when accidents happen, it is usually the cyclists who are more vulnerable to traumatic injury or death. In 2017, close to 1,500 bicycle accidents occurred in Ohio, resulting in 169 serious injuries and 18 deaths.
If you sustained injuries in a bicycle crash, an experienced Sandusky bicycle accident lawyer could help you understand your rights and consider a possible course of action for seeking relief on your behalf. When pursuing civil recovery after a wreck, a qualified personal injury attorney could be your strongest and most valuable ally.
Bicycles are considered vehicles in the State of Ohio, so riding on sidewalks or against traffic is prohibited. Instead, cyclists must ride with motorized traffic, as well as obey traffic lights and heed all roadway signage.
Given that they must ride in such close proximity to motorcycles, cars, trucks, vans, and buses, bicyclists—whose protective gear might include a helmet and padded clothing at most, neither of which is required for bikers—are particularly prone to injuries. Fortunately, any kind of physical injury—from minor cuts and bruises to catastrophic damage—can justify a lawsuit for compensation.
Common bicycle crash injuries that may serve as grounds for a civil case include:
Bicycle crashes resulting in more serious injuries are typically caused by either negligence or recklessness on the part of a motorist and/or a cyclist. Examples of potentially negligent behavior include:
Determining which parties bear fault, as well as how much fault each bears, is an important factor for a Sandusky bicycle accident attorney to focus on when assessing the viability of a case.
Ohio follows a modified comparative negligence rule that dictates how much injured plaintiffs may recover from defendants in Sandusky bike accident cases—or if they may recover anything at all. For plaintiffs deemed to be 25 percent at fault, for example, the court would reduce recoverable damages by 25 percent. Similarly, plaintiffs found to be 50 percent at fault may be awarded half of their proven damages at most.
Plaintiffs who are 51 percent or more at fault, however, would be barred from recovering any monetary relief whatsoever, pursuant to Ohio Rev. Code § 2315.33. Given this rigid rule, seeking the counsel of an experienced bicycle accident lawyer in Sandusky could potentially mean the difference between winning compensation or receiving nothing.
Lawsuits seeking compensation for injuries sustained in a bike crash must be filed within two years of the date of the accident, or within two years of the date of death if the action involves a wrongful death claim. It is very important to ensure a timely filing, as courts almost always grant a defendant’s motion to dismiss for failure to meet the two-year statute of limitations set forth in Ohio Rev. Code §2305.10. Under such circumstances, it is very unlikely that the case would ever be permitted to proceed.
When a bicycle crash has left you with a pile of medical bills, weeks or months of lost wages, physical pain and suffering, and/or mental anguish, a compassionate personal injury attorney may be able to help you recover compensation. To learn more about your options and a possible legal course of action, connect with a Sandusky bicycle accident lawyer today.
Charles E. Boyk Law Offices, LLC