Motorcycle Accident Attorneys in Ohio
Ohio Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
As a motorcyclist, you ride for the enjoyment and sheer exhilaration that your bike provides. You ride safely, you recognize the risk of accidents and serious injuries every single time you are on the road.
Unfortunately, motorcycle accidents can happen. A motorcycle accident can leave a rider with catastrophic, life-altering injuries. When a rider’s accident is caused by another negligent or reckless motorist, the injured rider may be entitled to compensation from that driver. The compensation pays for the rider’s injuries and other damages.
At Amourgis & Associates, Attorneys at Law, our dedicated motorcycle accident attorneys in Ohio fight to get our clients the financial recovery they need and deserve. If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident through no fault of your own, we can help you hold the negligent or reckless driver responsible. We know the difficulties that injured riders face when seeking compensation. We are prepared to do what it takes to help our clients get the best possible outcome for their claim.
Contact our firm to schedule a free initial case review with one of our Ohio motorcycle accident lawyers. We can discuss your case in detail. You will learn about your legal options for pursuing financial compensation for your injuries and damages. Call us today or contact us online.
Why Are Motorcycle Accident Claims More Complicated?
You may think that a motorcycle accident claim is no different from any other kind of motor vehicle accident claim. However, that is often not the case. Motorcycle accident cases can prove to be more complicated than other types of auto accidents. Here’s why:
- Recovery from motorcycle accident injuries can take a long time. Resolving motorcycle accident claims can be made more difficult because riders often suffer serious injuries that require extensive treatment. When a rider is still undergoing treatment when the claim reaches settlement negotiations or trial, it can complicate the calculation of damages. The injured rider will continue to incur costs after their claim is resolved by settlement or trial. Any compensation should include those future costs. The parties may hotly contest what those future costs will be.
- Riders often suffer extensive damages. When riders need extensive treatment for
recovery, their damages can easily exceed the insurance coverage that the at-fault
driver has. This makes it more difficult to get full compensation for an injured rider. The rider may have to look to other sources of compensation, including the at-fault driver’s personal finances or the uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage of the rider’s own insurance policy.
- Drivers frequently try to shift blame onto riders. Unfortunately, some at-fault drivers rely on biases and stereotypes of motorcycle riders as lawless or reckless motorists. Using that strategy, the at-fault driver can claim that the rider bears some or all the fault for the accident. If a driver contests liability for the accident, the injured rider will need to collect more evidence and build a persuasive case that shows the driver’s fault.
How Our Ohio Motorcycle Accident Attorney Can Help
Have you or a loved one been involved in a motorcycle accident? The Ohio motorcycle accident attorneys at Amourgis & Associates, Attorneys at Law, can help you pursue compensation for your injuries and damages by:
- Thoroughly investigating your accident to recover evidence that shows how your accident occurred and who was at fault
- Identifying at-fault parties and sources of compensation
- Working with expert witnesses to build a persuasive legal argument on liability and damages
- Aggressively negotiating with the insurance companies to pursue the maximum compensation that is available
- Preparing your case for trial if it cannot be resolved through settlement and litigation becomes the best avenue to get you the results you deserve
Compensation After a Motorcycle Accident
If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident in Ohio, you may be entitled to compensation for the damages caused by the crash. Compensation can include:
- Medical expenses, such as surgeries and other medical procedures, hospital stays,
doctor’s office visits, prescription medication, medical equipment, or home
- Lost wages and income for the time you miss from work as you recover
- Lost earning capacity, if your injuries disable you from returning to work
- Loss of enjoyment or quality of life because of disabilities or disfigurement, or the inability to participate in activities you once enjoyed
- Pain and suffering, or the physical and emotional distress caused by your injuries
You may also be entitled to compensation for the repair costs for your motorcycle or the fair value of your motorcycle if it was totaled in the accident.
What You Can Do to Protect Your Rights After a Motorcycle Accident
Following your accident, take these steps to help protect your legal rights. You will put yourself in a good position to pursue compensation for the injuries and damages you suffered in the accident:
- Contact 911 or the local police department/state police. If you have been injured, have someone call 911 for emergency medical services. Otherwise, contact the local law enforcement. The officer who comes to the scene of the accident will prepare a police accident report. Remember to get a copy of this report from the police department.
- Get the contact and insurance information for the other motorists. In addition, if any
bystanders witnessed the accident get their contact information as you may later need to take their statement.
- Document the accident scene. If possible, use your mobile phone to take photos or video of the scene. Capture details such as damage to the vehicles, vehicle debris and skid marks on the roadway. Photograph traffic controls at the scene as well as the weather, lighting, traffic and road conditions. Any visible injuries you have should also be photographed.
- Get examined by a health care provider. A thorough physical examination by a doctor may reveal injuries that are not causing you pain or other symptoms. Promptly identifying and diagnosing your injuries will help ensure that you are compensated for those injuries in your motorcycle accident claim.
- Speak to a motorcycle accident attorney. A lawyer can help you understand your rights and options following your accident. A lawyer can also walk you through the next steps of your case and help you pursue your compensation claim for injuries and damages.
Tips for Dealing with Insurance Companies After a Motorcycle Crash
If you are contacted by an insurance adjuster after being injured in a motorcycle crash, keep these points in mind:
- Do not apologize for the accident or try to blame someone. It may seem natural to offer an apology following an accident. However, an apology can lead the insurance company to assume you bear some or all the fault for the accident. When you speak to an insurance adjuster, do not try to argue that the other driver caused the accident. Let the attorneys and insurance companies determine fault. If you give any statement, stick to the facts of the accident as you remember them.
- You do not have to accept the first offer of compensation. The insurance company’s first offer of compensation rarely represents the full amount you need or deserve. Nor does that offer represent the maximum amount the insurance company may be willing to pay. It’s better to wait until your injuries are diagnosed, and you begin treatment. That will give you a better sense of your damages. You can always negotiate for a larger settlement based on those damages.
- Have an attorney review anything the insurance company asks you to sign. If the insurance company gives you paperwork to “process your claim,” have an experienced attorney review the documents. You may be giving away important rights or compensation when signing documents presented to you by the insurance company.
Remember that the insurance company is trying to get you to accept the minimum amount of compensation for your claim. However, with a strong legal argument, you and your attorney can negotiate with the insurance company for the full and fair compensation you deserve.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in Ohio
At Amourgis & Associates, Attorneys at Law, we frequently see these causes of motorcycle accidents:
- Unsafe lane changes – Drivers of other vehicles may execute an unsafe lane change. They may fail to signal before changing lanes or fail to check mirrors and blind spots. Motorcycles can easily be missed in a quick glance at the mirror.
- Speeding – Drivers who speed may leave themselves unable to react quickly or respond to a sudden emergency on the road.
- Driving under the influence –Drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs suffer from impaired reflexes and judgment, making them unsafe drivers.
- Failure to share the road – Drivers may attempt to pass a motorcycle while remaining partially in the same lane as the motorcycle. That increases the risk of a collision. To legally pass a motorcycle, a driver must completely move over to the adjacent left lane.
- Failure to yield on left turns – Drivers can misjudge the distance or speed of an oncoming motorcycle and fail to yield when making a left turn.
- Following too closely – Motorcycles can stop more quickly than other kinds of vehicles. A driver who follows a motorcycle too closely runs the risk of causing a rear-end collision.
- Opening car doors into traffic – Drivers and other vehicle passengers parked on the street may fail to check for oncoming traffic. They can open a car door directly in front of an approaching motorcycle.
- Inexperienced drivers – New drivers may not know how to operate their vehicles
around motorcycles. Those drivers may not be aware of how quickly motorcycles can
speed up or stop. Inexperienced drivers turning or changing lanes may not see an
FAQs on Motorcycle Laws in Ohio
Following are answers to commonly asked questions we receive about motorcycle accidents in Ohio. Your attorney can answer specific questions about your accident.
Ohio’s motorcycle helmet law requires all motorcycle operators under the age of 18, or those who hold a “novice” motorcycle license, to wear a helmet. The law also requires helmets for motorcycle passengers under the age of 18 as well as for all passengers, regardless of age, riding on a motorcycle operated by an individual with a “novice” license.
An individual aged 18 or older seeking a motorcycle license or a motorcycle endorsement to their driver’s license must first obtain a Temporary Instruction Permit Identification Card. A TIPIC is issued to individuals 15 years and six months of age or older who have passed the state’s motorcycle knowledge test and taken the required vision test. Any time after obtaining a TIPIC, a rider may take the skills test for a motorcycle license.
Individuals under 18 must:
- Complete the probationary driver’s license requirements.
- Hold a TIPIC for at least six months.
- Complete driver education with at least 24 hours of classroom or online instruction and eight hours of driving time.
- Complete 50 hours of driving with at least 10 hours of nighttime driving.
- Complete a motorcycle education safety course.
Once those requirements are met, the rider will be permitted to complete the skills test for a motorcycle license or endorsement.
Lane splitting is prohibited in Ohio. Lane splitting includes riding along lane-dividing lines or alongside other vehicles in the same lane during stopped or slow-moving traffic. A motorcycle cannot ride beside another motor vehicle in the same lane of traffic, except that two motorcycles may ride side-by-side in the same lane (this is sometimes called lane sharing).
This is where we can really help you. There are a lot of tools available to you to pay your medical bills, your health insurance, your automobile insurance, medical payment benefits, letters of protection. No one case has one solution. There’s a lot of different solutions for a lot of different injury cases and we can help you out in getting those medical bills addressed by using the best tools that you have to do it.
When you sign a release, that’s it. Adios. So long… Farewell! You’ve given up your rights to pursue the other party for anything they did wrong in the event of an accident. Beware, sometimes insurance companies will send you a check that acts as a release. Don’t sign it, don’t cash it, call us and we’ll talk you through it.
Well, what if I’m partially responsible for the accident? Does that eliminate my opportunity to recover? The answer is no. As long as you’re not more than 51% responsible for the accident in the state of Ohio, you’re not subject to what they call comparative negligence. If you’re more than 51% negligent, then you get no recovery.
I get asked; “If I had a pre-existing condition to my back and I’m in an accident and I hurt my back. Does that eliminate any chance of recovery?” The answer is no. The best way to explain it as this is if you were a 5 out of 10 in pain before the accident, and after the accident, you’re an 8 out of 10. The other party is responsible for the 5-8, so you are entitled to recover. It’s our job to figure out what your injuries were at before and to find out what level you are now after the accident.
There are two main types of damages in automobile accidents. There’s property damage, that’s the damage that’s done to the vehicle. And then there’s bodily injury damage. That’s the damage that’s done to you. What that means is you’re entitled to recover for your injuries, as well as your pain and suffering. Those are called economic and non-economic damages, which we can get into deeper, but that’s how they break down. You’re entitled to your medical bills, as well as your pain and suffering.
You also may be entitled to things like lost wages for when you couldn’t go to work, or if you had to hire someone at your house to do jobs that you normally had to do like mow the lawn or get the leaves out of the gutters. There’s a lot of things that you’re entitled to recover for that the insurance company is never going to tell you about.
When an adjuster calls, the most important thing to do is listen, get their name, get their telephone number, get the claim number and the policy number. Remember, the insurance adjuster works for the insurance company. They’re in business for the insurance company. They’re not in business to help you get the information you need from them, then relay that when you speak to your personal injury attorney.
Generally in Ohio, you have two years to file a lawsuit after an automobile accident. Now, there are plenty of exceptions to that rule. If you have a minor involved or if there’s an intentional action, there’s a variety of things. So not every case is to yours. So please contact us and we’ll talk through it and let you know what it is.
A lot of times people will call us soon after the accident, and they’ll tell us they’re not feeling any pain. Well, it’ll take 24 to 48 hours sometimes after an accident to really feel those injuries. So, if you’re injured in the accident, please give us a call. Another time people worried that they’re not injured in the accident if they had a pre-existing condition. You have to remember that, you can get a recovery for aggravation of that pre-existing condition. That’s different than what you had before the accident.
That’s the biggest question we have. And that’s what we’re here for to answer that question. In order to have a case you need three things, you need an accident, you need an injury, and you need insurance coverage. When you contact us, we’ll go through all of those things to make sure all those boxes are checked and to take care of you.
Everybody wants to know; “what do I do after an accident”? The first thing you need to do if you’re injured is; go to the emergency room and get treatment. After that, we can worry about other things like who’s responsible for the accident, and what the police report says. Once we get those, we’ll be able to evaluate the claim and contact the necessary parties in order to help you out and get your case started.
The value of your claim is based on two things, the nature of your injuries and the extent of your treatment. If you’re injured and you don’t get the appropriate treatment for your injuries, you’re not going to get the appropriate outcome for your injuries either.
Talk to an Ohio Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Now
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident caused by someone else, schedule a free, no-obligation initial consultation with Amourgis & Associates, Attorneys at Law, today. You can talk to our Ohio motorcycle accident lawyer about your case and learn more about your legal rights.
Our motorcycle accident law firm can help you seek financial recovery for your injuries and damages. We have six convenient office locations throughout Ohio – Akron, Cincinnati, Independence (Cleveland), Columbus, Beavercreek and Canfield.