In many cases, you do not have to go to court for a motorcycle accident. Lawsuits are frequently settled out of court, and the plaintiff receives a pretrial settlement from the liable party’s insurance company.
If you hire a lawyer, then you can stay out of the courtroom, even if your case does go to trial. Your attorney can go to court on your behalf.
Motorcycle Accidents Can Be Devastating
Of the nearly 3,925 motorcycle accidents that happened in Ohio in 2020, nearly 300 of them occurred in Franklin County, where Columbus is located. This is according to records kept by the Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP).
Motorcycle accidents can happen for various reasons and affect your life in numerous, irreparable ways.
You may have been left with devastating injuries that will take a long time to heal or will never heal at all. Maybe you had to pay for expensive medical treatments or repairs to your motorcycle or pay people to come to your house and take care of chores you used to handle on your own. In the worst-case scenario, your loved one passed away due to their accident injuries.
As discussed in the next section, you might be able to receive compensation for any or all of the above-mentioned types of damages.
Economic vs. Non-Economic Damages
Below is a brief description of the two types of damages you will have to consider during your suit, as well as some examples. If you do not see a particular type of injury listed here, that does not mean you cannot receive compensation for it. You can consult a lawyer for complete information on this and other legal topics.
You can recoup your financial losses by seeking economic damages. Common examples of economic damages include:
- Loss of earning capacity: Your injuries prevent you from earning as much as you used to, e.g., you have reduced working hours or accepted a lower-paying position.
- Loss of employment: Your injuries prevent you from working in your chosen field or at all.
- Medical expenses: You needed to see a doctor or other medical professional to treat your injuries.
- Repair bills: The accident damaged or destroyed your motorcycle, compelling you to pay for repairs or buy a new one.
While money cannot truly make up for the injuries you suffered, your physical and psychological suffering may entitle you to non-economic damages. Common examples of non-economic damages include:
- Scarring: Because your injuries will never fully heal, you are left with noticeable, even disfiguring scars.
- Disability: You will never regain the full range of physical and/or intellectual abilities you had before the accident.
- Pain and suffering: You experienced physical and/or psychological distress because of your accident injuries.
- Reduced quality of life: You have had to give up activities you love or hire/ask for help with everyday tasks.
Take Advantage of Your Right to Sue
While you do have the right to seek compensation after an accident, this right only lasts for two years. This is the statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits in Ohio as codified at Ohio Revised Code § 2305.10. In other words, if you want any chance of recovering damages, you must start your lawsuit within two years.
Because you are working under a deadline, it is a good idea to consult a law firm about your case as soon as you can. They will let you know if filing a lawsuit is a viable option and explain how they can help with things like:
- Making legal decisions: You have the ultimate say in all legal decisions, but your lawyer can advise you and provide important information as necessary.
- Notifying liable parties: A lawyer can identify the parties you should sue and let them know you are seeking damages.
- Collecting documentary evidence: Your case will be stronger if you back it up with medical records, witness statements, repair bills, and so on.
- Meeting for negotiations: The liable party’s insurance company may not offer you a fair settlement immediately. Your lawyer can try to persuade them to do so.
- Scheduling a trial: You do not have to give up if the insurance company refuses to negotiate. Instead, let your lawyer take your case to court on your behalf.
With an attorney from the Fitch Law Firm LLC in your corner, you do not have to go to court for a motorcycle accident. Your lawyer will take care of everything, allowing you additional time to recover physically and emotionally from your accident.
Call us at (614) 545-3930 to get started.