Motorcycles are not as sturdy as four-wheel passenger vehicles and are less likely to be noticed by motorists, pedestrians, and other road users. They also do not have the shock-absorbing protective components of other vehicles to minimize impact and lessen bodily harm during an accident. In 2018, 4,985 motorcyclists were killed in accidents according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and motorcyclists account for 14 percent of all traffic-related fatalities. Those that avoid death likely do not walk away unscathed and may suffer debilitating injuries or disabilities.
If you live in Columbus, Ohio, and were the victim of a motorcycle accident, a Columbus motorcycle accident lawyer can help you start the process of fighting for the compensation you may be entitled to receive. Call the team from the Fitch Law Firm at (614) 545-3930 to receive a free consultation for your case.
What Causes Motorcycle Accidents?
There are many natural conditions or negligent actions and inactions that may lead to motorcycle accidents, including:
- Distracted drivers: inattentiveness by motorists is a leading cause of motorcycle accidents. A distracted driver who is focused on the radio or a phone call instead of the road may not see a motorcyclist, leading to an accident. There are more than 1,000 crashes and about nine deaths every day in the United States due to distracted driving, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
- Head-on collisions: if one vehicle strikes a motorcycle from the front, this can be fatal. Head-on collisions may occur if a motorist turns in the path of a motorcycle, or if the driver runs a red light and fails to yield the right of way.
- Road conditions: since motorcycles only have two wheels, they are less stable than other vehicles and more likely to succumb to roadway defects and hazardous conditions. Poor road conditions such as ice, rain, loose gravel or debris, potholes, road construction, and poorly-maintained roads may cause a motorcyclist to lose control and crash.
- Drunk drivers: the actions of a drunk driver may be characterized by recklessness, swerving, erratic driving, and breaking rules of the road. A driver who is under the influence of drugs or alcohol may fail to see a motorcyclist or have a delayed response to an impending disaster. One person dies in a DUI-related accident every 50 minutes, leading to more than 10,000 deaths every year according to the NHTSA.
- Left turns at an intersection: if a motorist turns left at an intersection and fails to register an oncoming motorcycle, an accident may occur. Turning left at an intersection is a common cause of motorcycle wrecks since motorcycles are smaller and often less visible than passenger vehicles.
- Defective equipment: a motorcycle accident lawsuit could be a product liability case if a defective part, such as a damaged tire or unresponsive brakes, contributed to the accident.
Pursuing Legal Action
The team from the Fitch Law Firm believes motorcycle accident victims should not bear the financial burden of injuries that came from no fault of their own. Contact us at (614) 545-3930 to receive a free consultation and find out how we can help you start the process to receive the compensation you may be entitled to.
A Columbus motorcycle accident lawyer can investigate the accident to verify your claims and collect evidence that may help bring about a favorable outcome. By the time you reach the Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI), defined by the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) as the point at which your condition has stabilized and further improvement is unlikely, a lawyer can have an estimated idea of what your case is worth and proceed to file a claim against the liable parties.
Who is Responsible for Your Injuries?
Depending on the details of your case, more than one party may be responsible for your injuries. Some common parties who may be liable include:
- The motorist: in most motorcycle accident lawsuits, the driver of the vehicle that collided into your motorcycle or caused the accident in some other way can be held responsible for your injuries.
- The motorcycle driver: your actions or inactions on the road may have contributed to the accident. Violating traffic laws, riding under the influence, riding tired, riding recklessly, or riding while distracted may lead to an accident.
- Municipality: some motorcycle accidents occur due to poorly-maintained roads or poor road conditions. In this case, the party responsible for keeping the roads in good condition may be liable for your injuries and property damage.
- The motorcycle manufacturer: if your accident was caused by a defective part, the manufacturer may be held liable. Under some circumstances, the case could become a class action lawsuit if the manufacturer has faced similar lawsuits from other riders.
- The mechanic: the mechanic or company entrusted with maintaining your bike may be held liable for your injuries and property damage if they provided negligent service.
What Damages Can I Recover Following a Motorcycle Accident?
If you are a motorcycle accident victim, you may be entitled to recover compensation for a variety of economic and non-economic expenses, including:
- Loss of quality of life
- Permanent disability
- Pain and suffering, and other emotional distress
- Lost income and loss of future earnings in light of a disability
- Property damage, including motorcycle replacement or repairs
- Past and future medical bills, including rehabilitative therapy, reconstructive surgery, medical consultation, prescription drugs, and mobility equipment
Let Our Team Help You Fight for Compensation
If you were injured in a motorcycle accident, it may be in your best interest to consider hiring a Columbus motorcycle accident lawyer. Call the team from the Fitch Law Firm at (614) 545-3930 to discuss your case and receive legal advice on the best way to move forward.