Cincinnati has recently become a popular place for biking and walking. More and more people are using environmentally-friendly and health-conscious travel options to get around in downtown Cincinnati and the surrounding communities. Fountain Square and the intersections around Central Parkway are regularly crowded with both pedestrians and bicyclists. Even people who don’t own a bike are converting to non-automotive travel. In downtown Cincinnati, you can rent a “Red Bike” at one of the dozens of racks across town.
Unfortunately, with so many bicyclists and pedestrians in the city, accidents can—and do—happen. If you are injured in a bicycle or pedestrian accident, you may be eligible to recover compensation for your injuries. Contact the attorneys at Levy Law Offices today for help getting started.
Ohio Bicycle and Pedestrian Laws
To file a successful lawsuit, you must prove fault. In many cases, this involves proving a driver’s negligence or violation of traffic laws, as well as defending against allegations of comparative negligence on the part of the bicyclist or pedestrian. Levy Law Offices works diligently to establish the driver’s negligence and will refute any suggestions of your comparative fault. This is important because your comparative fault will proportionately reduce your settlement amount.
Below are some common bicycle or pedestrian laws that may be relevant after an accident.
Helmets: Ohio does not require bicyclists to wear helmets. However, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), wearing a properly fitted helmet reduces the risk of head injury by as much as 85 percent and reduces the risk of brain injury by as much as 88 percent. If you failed to wear one, an insurance adjuster may argue that you are partially responsible for your injuries, especially if you suffered head or neck injuries.
Lights & Reflectors: Ohio requires bicyclists to use both front and rear mounted lights while biking at night (after sunset and before sunrise). Drivers might argue that a cyclist’s failure to use a light or reflector made it harder to see the bicycle, contributing to the accident.
Riding on the Road: Under Ohio biking rules, when riding a bicycle on the road, you must ride as close to the right side of the roadway as is safely possible. Typically, this means riding about 3 feet from the curb or 3 to 4 feet from the door of a parallel-parked car. Of course, if the rightmost area of the road is cluttered with surface hazards like loose gravel or potholes, it is legal to ride further from the curb. Drivers might argue that you were riding too far into the roadway, putting yourself at risk and impeding the flow of traffic.
Crosswalk Laws: Pedestrians must obey all traffic control signals and should use crosswalks—marked or unmarked—when they are available. A driver may suggest that a pedestrian was negligent in leaving the sidewalk in the middle of the roadway, contributing to the wreck.
Sidewalk Use: Ohio requires pedestrians use sidewalks when they are available. When they are not available, they should walk facing traffic and as far to the side of the road as possible. Walking in the middle of the road may increase a pedestrian’s comparative fault for the accident.
Common Types of Bicycle & Pedestrian Accidents
In the event of an accident between an automobile and a pedestrian or bicyclists, the injuries can be severe. Broken bones, dislocations, road rash, facial and dental injuries, concussions, and even death can occur. The most common types of bicycle and pedestrian accidents are caused by:
- Passing too closely: Collisions caused by cars in the same lane passing a bicyclist riding on the right side of the road.
- Dooring: Collisions caused by a motorist opening their car door into traffic.
- Turning Vehicles: Collisions caused by a turning motorist when a bicyclist or pedestrian is going straight.
- Violations of Right of Way: Collisions caused by drivers who do not wait for pedestrians to leave a crosswalk or who fail to stop for pedestrians trying to enter the crosswalk.
Both bicycle and pedestrian accidents can occur simply because you were in the wrong place at the wrong time. If you were injured in a bicycle or pedestrian accident, you may be entitled to compensation to cover your short- and long-term expenses and losses. Let Levy Law Offices help you prove that a driver is to blame for your wreck and minimize your comparative negligence.
What Should I Do if I am Injured in an Accident with an Automobile While Riding a Bike or Walking?
If you are injured in a bicycle or pedestrian accident, the first thing you should do is seek medical attention. Even if you think your injury is minor, set up an appointment with your doctor. Your injury might be worse than you think.
After seeing to your immediate medical needs, contact the police and file an accident report. While waiting for the police to arrive, collect the driver’s name, contact information, and insurance information. It is also a good idea to collect contact information from witnesses to the accident.
Write down how the crash happened while it is fresh in your memory and take pictures of the area and damage done.
Find an Attorney Who Will Fight for You
If you’ve been in an accident, you need financial help, and fast. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries from the party at fault or even from your own insurance company depending on your coverage. The accident attorneys at Levy Law Offices can assist you with recovering damages after your bike or pedestrian accident. We work directly with you to reach a fair and favorable settlement from the insurance company or by filing a lawsuit and litigating in court.
Contact us today for help.