In 2014, there were 3,651 motorcycle crashes. One hundred forty people died and thousands more suffered injuries, according to the Ohio Department of Public Safety. Motorcycle injuries can be devastating and leave victims needing compensation. Under Ohio law, you can file a claim for compensation from the liable party if you suffered injuries even if you were partially at fault in a motorcycle accident.
How do adjusters determine fault after a motorcycle accident?
When a driver files a claim with the insurance company after a motorcycle accident in Ohio, part of the adjuster’s job is to determine the degree of fault for each involved party. They do this by considering:
- The circumstances of the accident
- The police report
- Who received citations after the crash, if anyone
- Witness testimony
- Testimony from the involved drivers
If a victim files a lawsuit to collect damages after an accident, the judge or jury will examine the evidence again, and determine your level of fault using the same process. It is important to note, however, that some of this process is objective and the court’s decision may differ from the insurance adjuster’s findings.
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What does Ohio law say about partial fault?
Ohio law allows bikers who are partially at fault in a motorcycle accident to recover damages from any other party who is ruled more at-fault than they are. The amount they are able to recover, however, decreases. If the adjuster finds you to be 20 percent at fault and the other driver is 80 percent at fault, you are eligible to collect 80 percent of the full value of your claim.
Ohio’s modified comparative negligence law allows drivers who are up to 50 percent at-fault to make a claim against other involved parties. At 51 percent at-fault, you would no longer be eligible to recover compensation from other involved drivers.
What can I do if I disagree about the degree of fault assigned to me?
You have a number of actions you can take if you do not believe the insurance adjuster was fair in his or her assessment of fault in your accident. This includes:
- Disputing: If you disagree with the insurance adjuster’s determination about your role in causing the accident, you can dispute the finding.
- Appealing: If the determination of fault caused the insurance company to deny your claim, you can appeal with the insurance company.
- Refusing: You can refuse any settlement offer made if it will not be enough to pay for your medical bills and property damage.
Cases where these actions are necessary can quickly become too much for a person without extensive legal knowledge to handle, and a lawsuit may become necessary. If you are considering any of these options, it is important that you seek the advice of a knowledgeable motorcycle accident attorney.
How can attorney David Bressman help?
Attorney David Bressman has helped many clients pursue injury claims after Ohio motorcycle accidents. Even if you were partially at-fault, you may still be eligible to seek damages to cover the expenses and other economic losses that resulted from the crash. Contact us today at 877-538-1116 to schedule a no-obligation consultation at one of our three Ohio offices.