Motorcycles are unique among motor vehicles. Unlike cars and trucks, motorcycles lack a protective metal chassis, leaving their drivers and passengers exposed to the open air. Although many motorcyclists choose to ride specifically because of this feature, it also puts them at a greater risk of being injured in an accident than drivers of other types of vehicle.
If you have been involved in a motorcycle collision, whether you were the motorcyclist or the driver of another vehicle and you collided with the motorcycle, you could be entitled to receive monetary compensation for your damages through a motorcycle accident claim. Speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as you can after you have received medical attention for your injuries sustained in the accident to determine how to proceed with your claim.
Injuries Sustained in Motorcycle Accidents
Injuries can occur when a motorcyclist’s body is thrown to the ground or crushed between the motorcycle and another object, such as another vehicle or a stationary object like a highway divider.
Examples of injuries that can be sustained in a motorcycle accident include:
- Broken bones;
- Traumatic brain injury;
- Organ, muscle, or tissue damage; and
Depending on the severity of your accident and your overall fitness level, an injury sustained in a motorcycle accident can be fairly minor or it can be substantial, requiring surgery or other significant medical procedure to correct. Sometimes, injuries sustained in motorcycle accidents cause victims to be permanently disabled. They can also cause the victim’s death.
Preventing a Motorcycle Accident
If you are a motorcyclist, there are certain precautions you should take while riding to reduce your chance of being injured in a motorcycle accident. Your motorcycle has a different center of gravity from cars and other types of vehicle and you need to adjust your driving style accordingly. A few safety precautions to take include:
- Take turns slowly and widely. Taking a turn too sharply can cause you to fall from your motorcycle and suffer an injury;
- When riding on uneven pavement, wet or icy pavement, or pavement that is covered in sand or another substance, slow down and take caution. Hazards in the roadway that pose no threat to cars can sometimes pose significant threats to motorcycles;
- When braking, apply both brakes evenly and slowly; and
- Make yourself visible. It can be difficult for drivers to see motorcycles, especially at night. Wear light colored clothing with reflective strips on your body and your helmet. Equip your motorcycle with sufficiently bright lights to ensure you are always seen in the darkness.
Other ways motorcyclists and other drivers can reduce their chance of being involved in a collision are to simply obey the rules of the road. Driving at or below the speed limit, obeying posted traffic signals and established right-of-way rules, and not using a cell phone while driving are all safety practices that can save lives.
Reducing your Chance of Injury
Although you cannot completely prevent motorcycle accidents, you can take steps to protect your body from injury in the event you are involved in one. Always wear a helmet when you are riding a motorcycle. In Ohio, only riders age 17 and younger are required to wear helmets, but regardless of your age, you should have one on your head every time you ride. A helmet cushions your skull from impact and can make the difference between suffering a traumatic brain injury or not.
In addition to your helmet, you should wear appropriate clothing while riding your motorcycle. This includes long pants and sleeves and shoes or boots that completely cover your feet and ankles.
If you are Involved in a Motorcycle Accident
If you are involved in a motorcycle accident, the first thing you need to do is pull off the road to a safer area. However, do this only if it is safe to do so. If you cannot pull off the road, remain where you are. Then, determine if anybody involved in the accident needs immediate medical attention. If so, call 911 to have emergency medical personnel dispatched to the scene.
After taking these steps, call the police to have an officer sent to document the accident and file an official police report. Although you might be tempted to skip this step and exchange money with the other party privately, it is critical to any personal injury claim you later decide to file that you have a copy of the official police report.
Document the accident as well as you can by taking photographs and exchanging contact information with any witnesses to the accident. Before you leave the scene, have a copy of the official police report, the other involved party’s insurance information, and contact information for the officer at the scene.
Then, seek medical attention for yourself as soon as you can. Your doctor will determine the extent of your injury and an appropriate treatment plan for it.
After you have received medical care, speak with a personal injury lawyer about pursuing a personal injury claim to seek compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and any other expenses associated with the injury. It is important that you do this in a timely manner. In Ohio, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is two years from the date of the accident.
Work with an Experienced Ohio Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident in Ohio, the first thing you need to do is seek medical attention for your injury. Prompt medical care will ensure that you receive an accurate diagnosis and appropriate care. After you have received the medical care you need, speak with an experienced Ohio personal injury lawyer about filing a personal injury claim to seek monetary compensation for your damages. Contact our team of Toledo lawyers at Groth & Associates today to set up your initial consultation with a member of our team.