Compared to car drivers, motorcyclists are less protected from collisions because they aren’t enclosed in a vehicle. As a result, they are more vulnerable to injury in the event of a car accident. If another party is to blame for the accident, they may be able to recover compensation.
If you recently got injured in a motorcycle crash here in Whitehall, here is how our motorcycle accident lawyer serving Whitehall can work with you to seek compensation from the other driver or party.
How Liability Works in a Motorcycle Accident
Like other Franklin County auto accidents, you typically must establish that the other driver’s negligence caused the motorcycle crash. For example, the driver might have been on their phone and thus failed to yield the right of way to you in an intersection. They would then be negligent for being distracted while driving.
However, some accidents are not caused by other motorists. For example, a local road paving company failed to place sufficient warning signages on their roadworks. As a result, you did not see the hazard on time and crashed your motorcycle. In this case, the business would be at fault for any damage you suffer.
Your motorcycle accident lawyer can help gather evidence to determine who to hold liable for the collision. This includes collecting police reports, videos, and witness testimonies. You should also compile your medical records to prove your injuries.
For a free legal consultation with a motorcycle accident attorney in Whitehall, call (614) 538-1116
Settlement Options After Your Whitehall Motorcycle Accident
Before considering other options, Whitehall motorcycle accident victims typically file liability insurance claims. This is because all Ohio vehicle owners are required to carry auto liability coverage to legally operate their vehicles on the road. If the driver is at fault for an accident, the coverage will assist the victims with medical and property damage expenses. Your motorcycle accident lawyer serving Whitehall can assist you in negotiating a fair settlement with the insurer.
However, if a business or a pedestrian is found to be at fault for the motorcycle accident, you may file a claim with their commercial or homeowners’ insurance provider. Their insurance policies may also include liability coverage.
Keep in mind that insurance companies generally do not cover clients if they caused the motorcycle accident on purpose. So, if you are dealing with an intentional tort matter, you would likely have to search for other options.
When Should You File a Lawsuit Instead?
Your motorcycle accident lawyer serving Whitehall may advise you to file an accident lawsuit if certain situations apply to you, such as:
- The other party intentionally caused the accident, which insurance companies usually do not accept claims for.
- Their liability coverage limits are not enough to cover all your expenses.
- They do not carry liability coverage.
- You cannot agree with the insurance provider’s offers at all.
In a motorcycle accident lawsuit, you will have your statements and evidence reviewed by the civil court, not an insurance claim adjuster. Note that it can take several proceedings before the judge reaches a verdict. However, your lawyer can represent you in all of them until the case settles.
It is also possible that your case may never reach court. The liable driver or party may not want to deal with the lawsuit and may propose to settle privately with you instead. If this happens, the accident lawyer can still speak on your behalf when reaching an agreement with the other side.
Whitehall Motorcycle Accident Attorney (614) 538-1116
Shared Fault Will Reduce Your Settlement
If your settlement is successful, you can recover from accident-related costs like medical bills, lost wages, and motorcycle repairs. The insurance provider or the liable party themselves would also have to pay you for the pain and suffering your injuries caused. Therefore, it is vital to compile as many records of your expenses as possible to assess your claim or case’s value accurately.
However, due to the comparative fault laws in Ohio Revised Code 2315.33, you might not receive your full compensatory amount. Motorcyclists must follow Whitehall and the state’s traffic regulations, including those specifically made for motorcycles. If the insurance company or civil court finds that you were also negligent, they can reduce your recoverable damages.
To illustrate, let us say that your damages total $250,000. The at-fault driver is 70 percent liable for committing a DUI, but you are 30 percent liable for going over the speed limit. That means you would only recover $175,000 or 70 percent. If you share over 50 percent liability, you cannot recover any settlement amount.
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Filing Deadlines for Whitehall Motorcycle Accident Cases
Part of your motorcycle accident lawyer‘s duty is to help you comply with your filing requirements. One of these is the case’s statute of limitations, which is your filing deadline. Under Ohio Revised Code 2305.10, you typically have up to two years from the accident date to bring the case to court. The time limit is the same regardless of whether you file for injury or property damages.
However, if tolling exceptions apply to your case, your deadline can get extended. For example, suppose that your child was injured in the motorcycle accident. If you file a case for them, Ohio Revised Code 2305.16 states that the statute clock will only begin counting when they turn 18 years old.
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Our Lawyers Can Provide Legal Support
Bressman Law is ready to help you and your loved ones take legal action if you suffered a motorcycle accident here in Whitehall. With over 60 years of combined experience in Ohio personal injury law, our lawyers can guide you through the statutes and procedures involved in your accident and provide legal representation. In addition, we operate on a contingency basis, so you do not pay anything until you win the settlement.
For your free consultation with a team member, call today. You can also speak with our 24/7 live chat support if you have other legal concerns or inquiries about our attorney services. Check out our client testimonials to get an idea of what partnering with us is like.