Millions of Americans opt to travel by motorcycle because it is economical, fun, and enticing. But it is not without its risks. Staying safe takes a good amount of practice and strict adherence to traffic laws, but even when motorcyclists ride cautiously, accidents can still happen. An estimated 92,000 motorcyclists were injured and over 4,500 were killed in U.S. motorcycle accidents in 2014, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Given that there is no frame to protect the rider nor seatbelt to hold the rider in place in the case of a collision, the injuries tend to be exceptionally severe.
If you or your loved one was recently injured in a motorcycle wreck, contact an injury attorney to discuss your legal options. You may qualify for compensation for your damages. For a free, one-on-one consultation with a motorcycle accident attorney, call Levy Law Offices at 513-651-CASH.
What are some common causes of motorcycle accidents?
The attorneys at Levy Law Offices handle various types of motorcycle accident cases. Below are some of the most common causes and contributing factors:
- Driver inattention
- Drivers not looking before changing lanes or turning
- Operating a vehicle under the influence (OVI)
- Not using proper signals
- Dangerous maneuvers, e.g., taking corners too fast
Can I recover damages after a motorcycle accident?
Ohio is a fault based state, which means you can file an insurance claim or lawsuit against the other party if he caused (or primarily contributed to) the accident and recover compensation for your losses. The other party’s liability insurance should cover your damages up to the policyholder’s limit. However, in order to have a viable case against the other party and obtain a settlement, you will need to prove that his negligence caused your injuries.
Negligence can come in many forms, such as driving under the influence or speeding. The same goes for other dangerous or careless driving behaviors such as texting while driving or changing lanes without carefully checking blind spots. Sometimes, it is not a driver who is at fault, but rather a motorcycle parts manufacturer, such as in the case of defective tires or brakes. We will review your accident, determine liability, and help you file a claim with the right insurer.
What if I am partly at fault for my accident?
If you were partially at fault for the accident, you may still be able to recover a portion of your damages. Ohio follows a modified comparative negligence rule, which provides that accident victims can still recover so long as they were less than 51 percent at fault. The caveat is that your degree of fault will reduce your settlement.
So, let us say that you were speeding down the highway and a driver changed lanes right into yours just as you were passing by. If an investigation found you 25 percent at fault for the accident, you will only be entitled to recover 75 percent of your damages. If the insurance company is trying to blame you for the wreck or is refuting your claim altogether, enlist in the help of an attorney to help you minimize your liability.
Common accidents our motor cycle accident attorneys see?
It is important to consider all the ways in which your injury has and will affect you when filing a claim so you can request appropriate damages and focus on getting well.
First, there are the medical needs to consider. Motorcycle accidents tend to cause severe injuries such as shattered bones, internal injuries, and spinal cord injuries. Even road rash injuries can be serious and cause significant disfigurement and scarring. You want to make sure you have accounted for all of your current and future medical needs on your claim.
In addition to the physical aspects of a wreck, there are a lot of financial implications, as well. Some victims might have to deal with lost work time, long-term disability, and even permanent loss of functional capacity, losses you have to account for on top of your medical bills. Lastly, there are the emotional ramifications of the accident to think about. The damaging effect the accident has had on your relationships, your family, and your mental well-being are compensable as well.
We can help you calculate the total value of your claim, but in general, there are three types of damages you can recover in a motorcycle accident claim or lawsuit:
- Special damages: These are the monetary losses you can quantify with things like bills and receipts. They include items such as medical expenses, lost wages, medical devices, and the cost of mental health treatments.
- General damages: These are the intangible losses or emotional damages you experience, such as pain and suffering and mental anguish.
- Punitive damages: Only applicable in some cases, juries award punitive damages to victims when the other party’s actions were grossly negligent, such as in drunk driving cases.
How do I maximize my motorcycle accident settlement?
Have an attorney assist you with your claim, help you gather the evidence you need to substantiate your claim, and negotiate with insurers to pursue the maximum settlement possible. A knowledgeable motorcycle accident attorney can help you reduce your liability and effectively prove the extent of your damages to the insurer. And, if you cannot reach a fair settlement, we can take the case to court and continue to fight for your best interests.
For help from qualified attorney with a background in successful motorcycle accident cases, contact Levy Law Offices in Cincinnati today: 513-651-CASH.