Columbus Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
The Columbus, Ohio motorcycle lawyers at GBM Law include counsel who have driven motorcycles for over 30 years. We understand the dangers that motorcyclists face while sharing the road with carless motorists driving cars and trucks. Our understanding and experience has enabled us to successfully prosecute the most difficult motorcycle cases, recovering millions for our clients. It is important for injured riders and their families to work with an attorney who has years of experience handling these cases.
Even the most skilled and experienced motorcyclists may be involved in a collision, simply because many drivers fail to see motorcyclists on the road. On average, there are eight motorcycle accidents per day in Ohio resulting in injury (3,100 per year), and three accidents per week resulting in death (150 per year). Motorcycles make up about 2% of registered vehicles in the United States, yet motorcyclists make up 5% of all vehicle collision fatalities.
Do You Have a Personal Injury Case?
You have a case if you were injured while driving a motorcycle because another motorist failed to abide by the rules of the road. The court may look at whether you exercised reasonable care under the circumstances, but in many cases, responsibility for an accident and liability will be agreed upon in a settlement, without going to trial. The police report, witness recollection and the physical damage to the vehicles can all establish the sequence of events that happened and which party or parties were at fault for an accident.
Get Help From An Experienced Lawyer After Motorcycle Accident
Our experienced attorney will track down all of the important evidence including 911 Calls, witness statements, photos and videos of the scene and the vehicles. We will contact the first responders including the law enforcement to compare our evidence with the evidence collected by the investigating authorities. We will work with experts in the field of Accident Reconstruction and your doctors to properly prove your case. There is no shortcut to receiving full justice and you need an experienced legal team protecting your rights.
What Compensation Can Be Recovered?
Our lawyers handle the negotiations with the insurance company so that you are fully compensated for all of your losses including:
- Property damage to your motorcycle including any accessories
- Medical bills for past and future medical bills
- Lost income and future lost income due to your injuries.
- Physical pain and emotional suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- The inability to enjoy your hobbies and other decreases in your quality of life
- The inability to engage in the activities of daily life
The Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP) provides information and statistics about motorcycle crashes reported in Ohio:
- 2014: 140 motorcycle fatalities
- 2015: 163 motorcycle fatalities
- 2016: 200 motorcycle fatalities
- 2017: 157 motorcycle fatalities
- 2018: 144 motorcycle fatalities.
The leading cause of death in motorcycle accident is a traumatic brain injury. Along with the 140-200 deaths each year in motorcycle accidents, there are about 3,100 non-fatal injuries resulting from collisions. Some of the most common injuries in motorcycle accidents include:
- Head and brain injuries
- Bone fractures to the legs and arms
- Spinal cord injuries
- Road rash
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
The most common causes of motorcycle accidents include:
- Speeding, or driving too slowly
- Distracted driving
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Failing to signal while turning
- Disregarding weather or traffic conditions
- Disobeying traffic signs or signals
- Failing to drive on the right side of the road
- Intentional or reckless conduct
To learn more about your legal rights following an Ohio motorcycle accident, contact GBM Law for a free consultation. Getting fully compensated for your personal injury claim requires an experienced lawyer who understands you and your case.
For more information feel free to call us at (614) 222-4444 or fill out a case evaluation form.
Do I need a lawyer to handle my motorcycle accident case?
The laws in Ohio are complicated, and there are many traps for motorcyclists who are injured due to another person’s negligence. A motorcyclist and/or their family should consult with an attorney immediately after the accident to discuss the following:
- How to handle the property damage claim;
- Collecting evidence necessary to prove who caused the accident;
- Dealing with the medical bills;
- Confirming all insurance benefits including disability benefits, income replacement and medical benefits;
- What forms and releases to sign and what forms and releases that should not be signed, and;
- Whether it is ever appropriate to give a recorded statement to the auto insurance company.
Abraham Lincoln once said that “he who represents himself has a fool for a client,” which means that anyone with a legal matter should protect their rights by taking the time to consult with a qualified attorney.
What compensation am I entitled to receive after a motorcycle accident?
Although motorcyclists enjoy the freedom of riding on the open road, they are far more vulnerable to injuries caused by careless motorists. Motorcycle accidents often result in injuries that are life-changing and require prompt action to address medical bills, lost income, disability, long term disability and other benefits.
Under Ohio law, a motorist who causes injuries to a motorcyclist is obligated to pay the following:
- Past medical bills;
- Future medical bills;
- Compensation for past and future lost income;
- Compensation for past and future non-economic loss for pain, suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and;
- Compensation to the extent that an injury is permanent.
Under Ohio law, a motorcyclist must prove all of those damages by a greater weight of the evidence.
Can a motorcyclist be at fault for not wearing a helmet?
Ohio law requires a motorcyclist to wear a helmet if they are under the age of 18 or if they are designated a novice on the operator’s endorsement. Likewise, motorcyclists are not required to wear a helmet if they are over the age of 18, have a motorcycle endorsement on their license, and are not designated as a novice on their license.
However, a motorcyclist may be found to be comparatively negligent in a civil lawsuit seeking compensation if the court finds that the motorcyclist’s injuries were caused by or made worse because the motorcyclist was not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident. The Ohio helmet law is Ohio Revised Code 4511.53 (C).
Can a motorcyclist be at fault for not having an endorsement to operate a motorcycle?
A motorcyclist may be given a traffic citation for failing to have a legal endorsement to operate a motorcycle.
However, in a civil lawsuit seeking compensation, the judge may exclude evidence that the motorcyclist did not have a valid endorsement to operate a motorcycle if that evidence had nothing to do with why the motorcycle accident occurred. For example, it would be irrelevant that a motorcyclist did not have an endorsement to operate a motorcycle if the motorcyclist was rear-ended while waiting for a red traffic signal to turn green.