Bicycle Accident Lawyer Near Me
Bicyclists have the same rights and obligations as motorists when using most Ohio roads. However, the risks to these riders in an accident are much higher. If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a bicycle versus motor vehicle accident in Columbus or the surrounding area, you need the knowledgeable attorneys at Bressman Law on your side.
We understand how the laws apply to cyclists and motorists alike and can help you hold the at-fault driver responsible for your injuries. Call us today at 877-538-1116 to set up a complimentary consultation with our bicycle accident lawyers in Columbus.
Did a negligent driver cause my bicycle accident?
Bicycles can use most Columbus roads alongside vehicle traffic, but that does not mean all motorists keep a careful eye out for cyclists or understand how to safely share space. Often, bicycle versus car accidents occur because the driver:
- Was looking away from the road;
- Was otherwise distracted;
- Forgot to check blind spots;
- Did not look for cyclists before opening a car door;
- Did not look for cyclists before pulling out or turning;
- Failed to look behind the vehicle when backing up; or
- Did not leave enough space to safely pass.
When a motorist violates traffic laws and it causes your accident and injuries, this is negligence. When negligence causes a crash, we can file a third-party liability claim against the at-fault driver’s auto insurance policy to collect the compensation you need to pay your medical bills and cover other losses.
Using Negligence to Prove Fault in a Personal Injury Case
To claim compensation through an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit, we must have the evidence to prove the motorist acted negligently and caused your crash. Unless we can definitively show the driver or another party acted carelessly, we cannot collect compensation for your losses.
What are the four steps in proving negligence?
- The driver had a legal obligation to take certain actions or avoid others in order to keep you safe;
- The driver failed to uphold this obligation;
- He or she caused a collision because of this failure; and
- You suffered physical, emotional, and financial harm because of it.
We need strong evidence to prove your claim. Two of the most important pieces of evidence are often the police report and eyewitness testimony. The police report describes what responding officers found during their on-scene investigation. It may include a citation for the motorist or the cyclist for fault in the accident. This can offer major support for our case, especially if the driver received citations for violating traffic laws.
Eyewitness accounts of the crash also play a significant role if there is no video of the accident available. Only those who actually saw it happen can explain exactly how and why the collision occurred. We identify and interview all potential witnesses to ensure we have all the information available to us when we file a claim.
In some cases, we may call in accident reconstruction specialists or other experts to help us understand how the accident happened. We have the resources and experience to collect this testimony when necessary.
What if I also played a role in causing my bike crash?
Often, the insurance company insists the cyclist shares the blame for their own injuries. You may have even made a mistake that caused your injuries or made them worse. If, for example, a driver failed to check for cyclists in the bike lane before pulling out of a parking lot and caused your crash, but you were speeding downhill in a 25-mile-per-hour zone, you may share some of the fault for the crash.
If the motorist and their lawyers can produce eyewitness accounts or other proof you were partially at fault, you may share the liability for your injuries. Under Ohio’s contributory negligence law, you can still recover compensation even if you are partially at-fault for your accident.
As long as the other party is 50 percent or more liable, you can claim damages. However, your compensation goes down based on your contribution to the crash. If the court determines you contributed 30 percent to your injuries by speeding, you can only collect up to 70 percent of the value of your damages.
If the insurance company attempts to falsely blame some or all of the accident on you, we can collect evidence to counter this claim and aggressively fight for the full amount of compensation due. Even if you did play a role in causing your crash, we can often minimize your contribution and maximize your payout.
What types of damages can I recover?
When a car or truck hits a cyclist, the cyclist often suffers severe injuries. The nature of these accidents may mean permanent injuries and ongoing nursing care for victims. If you or your loved one suffered this type of injury, it is paramount you discuss your case with our lawyers before agreeing to a settlement with the insurance company or at-fault driver.
Only an experienced attorney familiar with these accidents and their aftermath has the knowledge and resources to put an accurate value on your claim. We can ensure you receive the money necessary to pay for future and ongoing care related to your injuries.
We can gather evidence to prove your damages and determine a proper range for a settlement that covers:
- Medical bills;
- Rehabilitation and physical therapy costs;
- Future care and ongoing needs;
- Lost wages;
- Future lost income;
- Lost benefits if you cannot return to work;
- Pain and suffering; and
- Other accident-related expenses.
Only once we put an approximate value on your case do we begin negotiating a settlement with the insurance company. If you try to negotiate a payout on your own without understanding the costs associated with your injuries, you could end up paying for your future care out of your own pocket.
How can I talk to a bicycle accident lawyer near me for free?
At Bressman Law, we evaluate bicycle accident cases for free. We can help you understand what caused your crash and we know how to hold the at-fault driver liable for your physical, emotional, and financial damages. Call us today at 877-538-1116 to talk to an Ohio bike accident lawyer.