People love the sense of freedom that comes from riding a motorcycle. If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident, let our Personal Injury Attorneys get your freedom back.
Why Ride a Motorcycle?
For some people, riding a motorcycle is a hobby. They set out on the open road with friends to enjoy fresh air, sunshine, and good company. However, for other motorcycle enthusiasts, choosing two wheels rather than four is a matter of practicality.
It costs less to fuel a motorcycle than a car, and a bike can fit into much smaller parking spaces. Winding your way through traffic can be much easier as well.
What Are the Risks of Riding a Motorcycle?
While it may be practical and fun, riding a motorcycle carries some risks that you should consider before you saddle up. An accident can affect your physical health, your financial life, and your ability to work and care for yourself and your family. Riding a motorcycle naturally carries some dangers that are less prevalent with other forms of transportation.
• The National Institute of Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NIHTSA) reports that 5,172 people died in motorcycle accidents in 2017.
• Because the driver is exposed to the road and mostly unprotected, motorcycle accidents are more likely to be fatal than car accidents. In fact, when cars and motorcycles are compared mile for mile, approximately 35 times as many people die in motorcycle accidents each year.
• Head-on collisions are more often fatal for motorcycle riders than for those in cars. In 78% of crashes involving cars and motorcycles, the car hits the motorcycle from the front. This is the most fatal scenario for the motorcyclist.
What Are Some Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents?
Like car accidents, motorcycle accidents happen for some common reasons. Understanding those causes can help you avoid them.
• New drivers: Driving a motorcycle requires specialized skills and training. Like most other skills, the ability to safely manage a motorcycle improves over time with practice. Many accidents happen when a new driver’s skills are still developing.
• Visibility: Motorcycles are less visible than cars and more likely to be obscured by large objects. Many bike accidents happen when a car pulls out in front of a motorcycle simply because the car’s driver did not see the cycle. In fact, almost 70% of motorcycle accidents involving cars happen at intersections.
• Road conditions: Potholes, road debris, and animals on the road can spell disaster for motorcycles. Even if the driver on the bike manages to avoid the hazard, he or she can easily lose control of the machine trying to miss the obstacle. The bike may end up on its side or crashed into a ditch.
• Speed: Just as with cars, speeding is a problem with motorcycles. High velocity can cause a bike to wobble out of control, especially if the front tire is misaligned.
• Lane splitting: Splitting lanes happens when a motorcycle drives between two lanes of cars that are stopped or moving slowly, such as in a traffic jam. The practice is dangerous for many reasons. For one, cars are very close to the bike. Second, the motorcycle has very little room to maneuver. Finally, drivers in cars are caught off-guard by the motorcycles flying by in stopped traffic.
What Kind of Damages Might I Recover if I Am in a Motorcycle Accident?
If you are in a motorcycle accident, you may consider a lawsuit to recover your harms and losses. It’s difficult to make a blanket statement about how much a suit might be worth because every case is different.
However, a few common factors are usually involved. An experienced motorcycle accident lawyer in Ohio can help you assemble all the data related to damages.
Negligence is a legal term that means a person contributed to the accident by doing something they shouldn’t have, or by failing to do something they should have.
For example, if someone is driving drunk, they are behaving negligently. In a motorcycle accident, if one party is found to be negligent, they may be held liable for damages to the other. If both parties bear some responsibility, it may be a question of comparative negligence. This legal term means that each party is responsible for a percentage of the accident and any reward received is reduced by the percentage of liability.
Negligence involves four elements that the plaintiff must prove. All of the elements must be present for the plaintiff to prevail.
1. The defendant must be required by law to take reasonable care. This is easily proven in motorcycle cases since everyone operating a vehicle of any kind must use reasonable care.
2. The plaintiff must prove that the defendant did not take reasonable care as compared to the conduct of a reasonable person.
3. In order to win the case, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant’s behavior caused the harms and losses.
4. The plaintiff must show that he or she had injuries and losses.
Product liability comes up more often with motorcycles than with cars. If some problem with the bike’s design caused the accident, the manufacturer might be held responsible for the damages.
Damages are losses that can be physical or emotional as well as financial. Damages fall into two categories: compensatory and punitive.
Compensatory damages can be calculated with precision by adding up medical bills, lost wages for missed time at work, the expense of repairing damaged property, and other concrete numbers. Punitive damages are not measurable in the same way. Some examples of punitive damages are pain and suffering, and emotional distress.
Do I Have to Ride a Helmet When I Ride a Motorcycle?
While the federal government does not mandate that you wear a helmet while riding your motorcycle, the District of Columbia and 19 states require that riders of all ages wear a helmet.
Twenty-eight states require helmets for riders under a specific age, usually 18 years. Specific to Ohio, motorists under the age of 18 must wear a helmet as well as anyone with a beginner license known as a Temporary
Instruction Permit Identification Card (TIPIC). If the driver of the bike is required to wear a helmet, then any passengers must wear a helmet as well. Also, the helmet must be approved by the Department of Transportation (DOT).
Even if a helmet is not required by law, experts agree that these devices save lives. NIHTSA estimates that helmets saved 1,870 lives in 2017, and another 750 riders might have survived their accidents if they had been wearing a helmet. For your own welfare, you should wear a helmet when you ride or drive.
Beyond the likelihood of physical injuries, if you aren’t wearing a helmet, your claim for damages may be affected. If you were legally required to wear the helmet, failure to do so might be considered negligence. Insurance companies may also raise the helmet issue in negotiations.
What Should I Do if I Am in a Motorcycle Accident in Ohio?
You should contact a qualified professional as soon as possible after the accident, regardless of whether you feel you might be at fault or not. You should not have any discussion with attorneys or insurance companies until you’ve consulted with a lawyer.
You could inadvertently do or say something that hurts your chances of getting a fair settlement. If you’re in need of a motorcycle accident attorney in Ohio, The Law Offices of Kevin Kurgis can help you evaluate all of your options. Call us today for your free consultation.
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident or if someone you love suffered a wrongful death as a result of a motorcycle accident, please contact us today. We offer a free evaluation and consultation. You will pay no attorney fees until we receive financial compensation for you or your loved one as The Law Offices of Kevin F. Kurgis represents motorcycle accident victims on a contingency basis.
Motorcycle accidents can cause many different injuries like: severe head injury, multiple broken bones, spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, and organ damage. Even states with a strict helmet law continue to experience numerous motorcycle accident fatalities and injuries.
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Remember to contact The Law Offices of Kevin F. Kurgis, Co., LPA today because you deserve an experienced attorney with more than 20 years of experience. Our office will help you receive the full amount of financial compensation you deserve.
And remember, “I don’t get paid, unless you get paid.”
The personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Kevin Kurgis serve serious injury and wrongful death cases in Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Toledo, Akron, Dayton, Parma, Canton, Youngstown, Lorain, Hamilton, Springfield, Kettering, Elyria, Lakewood, Cuyahoga Falls, Euclid, Middletown, Mansfield, Newark, Findlay, Urbana, Chillicothe and Zanesville OH areas.
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