SKILLED IN MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT CASES
MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENTS CAN OCCUR ANYWHERE AND WHEN THEY DO THE DAMAGES CAN BE SEVERE.
Nothing beats the feeling of freedom that comes from riding a motorcycle. While having the wind in your hair and the sun on your back is exhilarating, motorcyclists have little to protect them in the event of an accident. Crashes and collisions can result in serious and potentially life threatening injuries, while the effects of your accident may have long term health and financial impacts for you as well as those you love. At Groth & Associates,
our experienced Toledo personal injury lawyers provide aggressive legal representation for people injured in these types of accidents. Whether through representing your interests with an insurance company or by filing a personal injury lawsuit against an at-fault driver, our goal, as your legal team, is to help protect your rights and interests, while assisting you in getting the compensation you need to recover.
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COMMON CAUSES OF MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENTS?
RideApart is a program that offers information on motorcycle safety as well as buying guides for those in the motorcycle and motorsports industry. While factors such as weather, road conditions, rider inexperience, and rider error can all lead to an increase in motorcycle accidents and injuries, RideApart advises bikers to be especially careful when sharing the road with cars and other drivers. In addition to reckless driving behaviors such as drunk driving, distracted driving, aggressive driving, and speeding, other contributing factors common in motorcycle accidents include the following:
- Vehicle collisions caused by cars pulling in front of motorcyclist when making left turns at intersections;
- Crashes caused by cars swerving and making sudden lane changes in attempts to pass motorcyclists;
- Vehicle collisions with stopped motorcyclists;
- Drivers or passengers in automobiles suddenly opening a car door.
OTHER PRACTICE AREA CASES
COMMON TYPES OF MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT INJURIES
WHILE PERSONAL INJURIES ARE OFTEN REFERRED TO AS ACCIDENTS, THEY ARE OFTEN THE RESULT OF ANOTHER PERSON’S RECKLESS OR NEGLIGENT CONDUCT.
Motorcyclists are at a real disadvantage when it comes to being involved in accidents with automobile drivers, and their injuries tend to be more severe and potentially life threatening. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), as many as 5,000 motorcyclists are killed in these accidents each year in the United States, while roughly 90,000 others suffer serious and often debilitating injuries. NHTSA statistics indicate that motorcyclists are as much as 26 times more likely to suffer fatalities as the result of injuries sustained in accident, and among the common types of serious injuries that occur are the following:
- Broken bones and multiple fractures to the hips, legs, and ribs;
- Muscle and tendon sprain, strains, and tears;
- Dislocated shoulders and collarbones;
- Crushing injuries resulting in damage to internal organs;
- Severe burns, cuts, and abrasions;
- Head injuries, including concussion and traumatic brain injury;
- Back and spinal cord injuries, resulting in partial or complete paralysis.
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TOLEDO MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT LIABILITY
In Ohio, motorcycle accident liability in based on the standard of negligence. The state defines negligence as the failure to take adequate care when performing an activity. In other words, if your accident was the fault of another party, you can hold the negligent party responsible for your damages. Though, applying the negligence standard to real world situations is often challenging. In order to establish liability, your attorney will need to prove each of the following four things:
- The defendant had a legal duty to look out for your safety;
- The defendant breached that duty in some manner;
- There was a causal connection between their breach and your injuries; and
- You suffered real harm as a result of the accident.
COMPENSATION AVAILABLE TO ACCIDENT VICTIMS
At Groth & Associates, our lawyers have helped many motorcycle riders recover the full and fair compensation that they deserve. In Ohio, you are entitled to recover compensation for the full extent of your damages. This includes both noneconomic losses as well as likely future losses. More specifically, our attorneys can help you obtain compensation for:
- Emergency room bills, including ambulance fees;
- All other medical bills;
- Any anticipated future medical expenses;
- Rehabilitation expenses;
- Lost current and future wages:
- Diminished earning capacity;
- Long-term disability;
- Pain and suffering;
- Emotional distress;
- Loss of limb; and
- Loss of life enjoyment.
Unfortunately, motorcyclists often take the brunt of most vehicle collisions. Bikers are inherently exposed and when an accident does occur there is the potential that the injuries will be catastrophic. It is critical that injured Toledo motorcyclists are able to recover compensation that accounts for the full extent of their injuries. This includes all future and noneconomic damages. Recovering for these can be challenging as these damages are difficult to quantify. Our attorneys will do everything we can to help you get every dime that you rightfully deserve.
THREE TIPS FOR DEALING WITH THE INSURANCE COMPANY
Motorcycle accident victims are typically forced to deal with an insurance company. Victims must recognize that all insurance companies will not be looking out for their best interests. Above all else, insurers are out for their own bottom line. When handling insurance companies, please consider the following three tips:
- Speak carefully: Insurance representatives are trained to come off as friendly and accommodating on the phone. Still, you need to keep your guard up at all times. Anything you say to an insurance adjuster can be used against you. You should speak carefully and as little as possible. Ultimately, it is best to let your attorney handle the insurance company.
- Do sign anything with attorney approval: If you are asked to sign a release for your medical records or to sign any other documents, please get attorney approval first. You may be signing away your right without realizing it.
Be patient: You deserve a fair settlement offer. Getting this offer can take some time. The insurance company’s first offer is unlikely to be their best offer. If an insurer is trying to push you into a quick settlement, be skeptical.
How We Can Help You Recover
Our Toledo motorcycle accident lawyers understand the serious impact a motorcycle accident can have on nearly every aspect of your life. If you or someone you love has been injured in a motorcycle accident, contact Groth & Associates today. We provide the aggressive legal representation you need to assist you in getting the compensation you are entitled to. We can advise you on how to hold responsible parties accountable, as well as advising you on the types of damages you may be able to claim, either through an insurance company claim or through a personal injury lawsuit. Serving Toledo, Bowling Green, Fremont and the surrounding areas, our office is prepared to help; call or contact us online today to schedule your free consultation.
Motorcycle Accident FAQs
Is lane splitting legal in Ohio?
No. Lane splitting is still illegal in our state. Lane splitting refers to riding in between lanes. Some motorcyclists prefer to lane spit because it gets them to their destination faster. Others lane split at intersections so that they are protected from a motorist coming up from behind. Unfortunately, if you lane split and get into a crash, then your own negligence can reduce your compensation. in some cases, you might be unable to receive any compensation at all.
Can I receive compensation for road rash?
Yes. If someone caused your accident, then you should seek damages for road rash. This is an abrasion injury many bikers suffer when exposed skin drags along asphalt or dirt. Road rash often becomes infected, and you could suffer repercussions if your infection remains untreated. Many victims also need skin grafts and suffer from unsightly scars for the remainder of their lives. You deserve fair compensation for your medical care, income loss, and pain and suffering, including disfigurement.
Am I required to wear a helmet?
Ohio law only requires that those under 18 wear a helmet. Studies have shown that helmets reduce the risk of head injuries and save lives. However, even if you choose not to wear a helmet, you can still seek money damages for an accident if someone else is at fault. The fact that you chose not to wear a helmet should not let them off the hook.
What are examples of comparative negligence?
Motorcyclists who drive without due care are considered negligent. Common examples of negligence include lane splitting, passing illegally, tailgating, riding on the sidewalk, and failing to yield. If you take unnecessary risks on your bike, you could be partially at fault for any collision.
Ohio’s comparative negligence law can severely limit your ability to receive compensation following an accident. If you are more than 50% responsible, you will receive nothing. That’s the law. Even someone who is less than 50% at fault in a motorcycle accident will get their compensation reduced proportionally. So if you were 35% responsible, you will receive only 65% of your damages at most.
Can I receive money for a single-vehicle accident?
Yes. Some motorcyclists are forced off the road because a car is driving straight at them or passes much too closely. These are “near miss” motorcycle crashes which nonetheless force you to take immediate defensive measures to protect yourself. Consequently, many motorcyclists slide off the road and hit a tree, fire hydrant, or mailbox.
If the driver almost hit you, then you might sue them for negligence. We can argue your wreck was the direct consequence of their poor driving.
How can I reduce the odds of a motorcycle accident in Toledo?
The best way to improve safety is to follow the rules of the road. Remember to use turn signals and avoid speeding. You can’t expect other people to drive safely if you refuse to.
You can also take steps to make yourself more visible in traffic. Some motorists crash into bikers simply because you are harder to see. Drivers are looking for other cars on the road, not motorcycles. You can stand out by choosing a bright color for your bike or, if you don’t want to do that, then wearing a bright jacket or helmet.
Do I really need to hire a Toledo motorcycle accident lawyer?
Yes. Anyone who tries to negotiate their own settlement will quickly realize their mistake. Some insurance adjusters are biased against bikers. They believe you probably caused your own accident because you failed to ride safely, and they might refuse to offer fair compensation. Our motorcycle accident attorneys can sweep in and gather helpful evidence to show that the other driver bears most of the blame. We will then professionally negotiate for a fair settlement.
Can I receive compensation for a hit and run?
Some drivers will flee the scene of a motorcycle crash, which is irresponsible. The law requires that they stop. You can certainly seek compensation if we find the driver. Call the police and report the color of their car, the direction they fled, and other details. If the police find the hit-and-run motorists, we can sue for compensatory and punitive damages.
However, even if the driver isn’t found, you might seek money from your own insurance. Call our Toledo motorcycle accident lawyer for more information.
Can I seek compensation if a road defect caused my bike to flip?
Possibly. We want to see the defect. If there is a big pothole which the government refused to fix, we might sue for that failure. Bringing any sort of claim against the government is difficult, but Groth Law can help.