Despite their comparatively slow speeds, bicyclists can find themselves in tremendous disaster when they collide with motor vehicles. According to the Federal Highway Safety Administration, approximately 108,000 bicycle accidents out of 600,000 total accidents involving motor vehicle collisions each year result in serious injuries to the bicyclist(s) involved.
Because these injuries are often caused by a reckless or careless driver, injured bicyclists often have a legal recourse for recouping their damages. A Tiffin bicycle accident lawyer may be able to help you understand your legal options. Speak to a knowledgeable personal injury attorney that could answer questions you may have about how local and state laws applies to your specific case.
As a Tiffin bicycle accident lawyer could explain, there are many ways a bicycle accident can occur. Some of the most common types of bicycle accidents are right crosses, right hooks, and being doored.
A bicycle accident can commonly occur when a car, preparing to make a left or right turn onto the street, inches forward into the street to improve their line-of-sight before taking the turn. If a bicyclist is hugging the shoulder of the road, they may collide with the car as it inches forward. A vehicle merging or turning into a bicyclist’s path accounts for 12.2 percent of all bicycle accidents.
On some roads, there is a protected bike line between a right turning lane and the sidewalk. A driver focusing on the traffic light may forget to check for bicyclists and make a right turn directly into someone riding in the protected bike lane. According to the FHSA, this type of accident accounts for 21.7 percent of all bicycle accidents in the country.
Causing some of the most serious injuries for Tiffin bicyclists, a bicyclist is doored when someone opens their car door opens in the direct path of a bicyclist who, unable to stop, collides with the open door.
Under the laws applicable to Tiffin bicycle accidents, a driver could be held legally responsible for the damages in a bicycle accident if they caused the accident by their negligent behavior. Whenever a driver gets behind the wheel in Tiffin, the law holds them to the standard of a reasonably prudent person.
While this definition partly defines whether an action leading to a bicycle accident in Tiffin was negligent or not, it is a somewhat flexible standard that can change based on the circumstances surrounding the accident. For example, a driver who causes a bicycle accident because they exceeded the speed limit or otherwise violated the traffic code could likely be found negligent, and therefore responsible for any injuries suffered by the bicyclist they hit.
A driver does not need to break the law to be negligent, though. In the event of an ice storm in Tiffin or other weather conditions that could impact visibility and braking distance, a driver going the speed limit may still be acting in a manner below the standard of a reasonably prudent person.
Under Ohio Revised Code §2305.10, a claim for injuries in a bicycle accident must be filed within two years of the date of the accident. Perhaps more importantly, the evidence from a bicycle accident can deteriorate, or become harder to locate over time.
For these reasons, if you have sustained injuries in a bicycle accident, it may be important for you to get legal help as soon as possible. Call a Tiffin bicycle accident lawyer today to schedule a consultation and get started on your case.
Charles E. Boyk Law Offices, LLC