The average car, truck or SUV driver is now fortunate enough to have any number of safety devices protecting them when they are out on the road. Seat restraint systems, airbags, and automatic communication with an emergency operator come as standard features for several makes and models of cars. Passenger cars are tested vigorously with teams of engineers and crash test dummies before they are even allowed to be put on the assembly line. For auto manufacturers and drivers, there has never been a safer time to drive a car.
On the other hand, motorcycle riders don’t have nearly that many options. We don’t have seat belts or anything to keep us on our bikes in the event of an accident. Because of this lack of built-in safety devices, motorcycle riders place a much higher premium on safety than people that drive cars. The great majority of bikers do all the right things; they obey the helmet laws and wear protective clothing, and they are constantly alert to their surroundings and other drivers. They maintain smart and safe intervals between their bikes and other cars. They stay within the speed limit and make sure that their paths are clear before switching lanes. Many of them even keep their headlight on in broad daylight. Unfortunately, others don’t exercise the same caution, and as a result, Ohio is a pretty dangerous place for motorcycle accidents. With that said, if you have been involved in a motorcycle accident it is important you consult with a Toledo motorcycle accident lawyer in order to recover damages and hold the negligent party responsible. An experienced injury attorney can assist in preparing you for what to expect and ensure that your rights are protected.
In 2004, there were 4,267 motorcycle crashes in Ohio, which resulted in 133 fatalities and 3,543 injuries. There are plenty of cases where distracted drivers have crashed into a motorcyclist that was doing everything right. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 51% of all motorcycles involved in fatal crashes collided with another vehicle in motion. There are many statistics and data on motorcycle accident injuries.
Despite all these alarming statistics, it’s safe to say that motorcycle use isn’t going to decline. With gas prices going up on an almost weekly basis, more and more drivers are switching to motorcycles to simply save money on gas and maintenance. With more motorcyclists on the road, the odds of getting a serious and life-changing accident increase exponentially.
Every motorist in Toledo assumes a duty of care for the wellbeing of other people on the road. This extends to motorcycle riders as well. If a defendant is at fault for an accident that resulted in the biker’s injuries, the defendant could be liable to provide compensation.
However, the injured biker always bears the burden of proving the defendant’s fault. Ohio Revised Code §2315.33 outlines that civil courts must use the concept called modified comparative negligence when evaluating claims for damages. This means that the judge or jury evaluates the actions of all involved parties to assign blame. If this results in the court deciding the motorcyclist’s share of the blame is greater than 50 percent, the court must dismiss the claim. A Toledo motorcycle crash attorney could help to prove that the defendant was the sole liable party for the incident.
Insurance companies know all about the inherent dangers of riding a motorcycle. This is why your premiums are so high, even if you have a flawless record of safe riding. While the insurers have no issues with accepting monthly premiums, their equanimity has a tendency to decline when its time for the money to flow the other way. Considering that most motorcycle accidents involve medical treatment, it’s important to have someone on your side that is familiar with insurance company stalling tactics so you can get your medical bills paid quickly if you sustained serious brain injuries and completely. You’ll also need counsel on your side in the form of a Toledo motorcycle accident lawyer when it comes to recovering lost wages or getting your bike repaired.
If the accident resulted in a brain, spinal cord, or other serious debilitating injury, you can bet that the insurance companies will do all they can to avoid accepting responsibility, even if you clearly weren’t at fault. Tactics such as digging into your background, offering lowball settlements after long delays, and painting you as a careless and thrill-seeking biker are just some of the methods that insurers use to keep from fulfilling their obligations.
The first step towards getting your expenses paid and your life back on track is to take prompt action. If you or a loved one has been involved in a motorcycle accident due to the carelessness or recklessness of another driver, obtaining the services of an experienced Toledo motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible can be the difference between waiting years for inadequate compensation and waiting months for a settlement that is reasonable and fair.
The purpose of a motorcycle accident claim is to compensate the injured rider for their losses. This requires examining how the accident has affected every aspect of their life. While the resulting physical injuries may be the most visible aspect of their damage, other losses are no less consequential.
Bikers could demand reasonable payment to cover the costs of necessary medical care. However, comprehensive claims could also demand payment for lost quality of life. Many riders cannot get back on their bikes again or may suffer from flashbacks or nightmares. Liable defendants must provide payments for these losses. Finally, if the biker loses income due to their injuries, a defendant is also responsible for reimbursing the missed wages. A Toledo motorcycle accident attorney could help to measure the value of a case and demand proper payments.
No matter how serious a biker’s losses may be following a collision, they only have a limited time to demand payment. Under O.R.C. §2305.10, courts will only entertain a claim for personal injuries if a plaintiff files a complaint in court within two years of the date of injury. A failure to meet this time limit could see a court dismiss the case.
Our Toledo motorcycle accident lawyer has years of experience in helping motorcyclists get through the legal system, as well as getting them back on their feet again. There are critical steps that you should take after being in a motorcycle accident. Contact our offices for a free legal consultation and speak to a skilled personal injury attorney, our Lucas County, Putnam, Seneca County, Williams County
Charles E. Boyk Law Offices, LLC