Each year, thousands of motorcyclists are injured or killed. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the number of motorcycle accidents in 2012 increased 15 percent from the year prior.
- Each day, an average of about 255 people suffered injuries in a motorcycle accident in 2012.
- Each day, approximately 13 riders lost their lives in a motorcycle wreck.
- The risk of injury and death in a motorcycle wreck is astronomical when compared to a passenger car. The fatality rate for motorcyclists was six times that of passenger vehicle occupants.
If you were among these accident victims and wish to recover damages, you’ll have to prove fault, establish liability, and prove the extent of your damages.
Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
There are numerous factors that can contribute to a motorcycle accident, many of which are preventable. Fault in motorcycle wrecks can be attributed to the rider, one or more drivers, other road users such a pedestrian, a manufacturer of a part on the bike, or a combination of parties.
Below are some of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents.
- Driving or riding under the influence
- Reckless driving
- Drivers not seeing motorcyclists
- Poor maneuvering skills from lack of training
- Driver or rider inattention
- Road hazards such as potholes, uneven pavement, debris, etc.
Who’s responsible for paying the damages?
The party at fault in a motorcycle accident will be responsible for paying for the damages. Ohio follows comparative negligence law. This law provides that you can share the cost of the damages in an accident with other party(ies) in proportion to your share of the fault.
For example, if the insurer or courts find you 25 percent at fault for an accident and the driver 75 percent at fault, the driver (or his insurance company) will be responsible for paying your damages. However, your settlement will be reduced by your degree of fault. In this example, if your damages total $10,000, your final settlement award would be $7,500.
You can only be compensated for your losses from another party if you are 50 percent or less at fault. In order to determine who is at fault and how to best go about collecting restitution, contact a local motorcycle accident attorney. For a well-established firm in Ohio, contact Bressman Law. Feel free to check out our credentials, read what our clients have to say, and see the verdicts and outcomes of some of our cases.
What to Do after a Motorcycle Accident
If you or your loved one were in a serious motorcycle accident, there are few things you’ll want to do right of the bat.
- Address your medical needs.
- Avoid giving a recorded statement to the insurer or signing any settlement offers without first discussing your case with a lawyer.
- Take photos and video if at all possible of the accident scene, the bike, the injuries, etc.
- Collect eyewitness information.
- Keep all pertinent paperwork, including medical bills, the police report, and doctors’ notes.
- Set up a consultation with a local motorcycle accident attorney to review your case and determine your next steps.
- Create an injury journal (or grief journal if your loved one died in the accident) to document the details surrounding the injury/accident that might be helpful in substantiating your case.
Free Legal Consult in Westerville with David Bressman
If you were injured in a motorcycle accident in Westerville, or if your loved one was seriously or fatally injured in one, David Bressman will provide you with an initial legal consultation, free of charge. Contact the office today at 877-538-1116 to schedule a meeting.