Motorcyclists are at greater risk of injury than are motorists who choose to travel in traditional passenger cars. When an injury is sustained, the motorcyclist has recovery options through civil court with the help of a motorcycle accident attorney or through an insurance claim.
Motorcycle Accidents are Costly for the Injured Motorcyclist
A motorcyclist who’s involved in a motorcycle accident often suffers more than just damage to the motorcycle alone. Damages are often much more serious, and injuries may be tragic. In addition to the cost of repairs for a bike, a motorcyclist may face the cost of medical expenses — and the cost of an impaired lifestyle — for injuries such as burn and road rash injuries, head and brain injuries, spine and back injuries, limb injuries, broken and dislocated bone injuries, internal injuries, and emotional injuries. These injuries may require immediate medical care, surgery, post-surgical treatment, and rehabilitation and therapy. What’s more, the injuries may be so severe that the motorcyclist is forever prevented from returning to work or obtaining gainful employment; therefore, he or she may be unable to generate income.
How do motorcycle accidents happen?
Some motorcycle accidents happen for reasons that can’t be blamed on either party involved, the motorist or the motorcyclist. Most motorcycle accidents happen as a result of negligent driving or motorcycle operation. Speeding, taking a turn too fast, failing to check blind spots, performing illegal lane changes, drinking while driving, using electronic devices or operating a motor vehicle aggressively are all common causes of motorcycle accidents. In fact, in Franklin County, Ohio, there were 18 motorcycle crashes in 2013 that involved alcohol, the Ohio Department of Public Safety reported.
Compensation for Motorcycle Riders
Ohio’s at-fault car insurance laws require all drivers (motorcyclists included) to carry bodily injury liability coverage in an amount of at least $25,000 per person injured in an accident and $50,000 per accident. As such, if another driver causes a motorcyclist’s accident and injuries, the other driver’s insurance should pay for medical expenses of up to $25,000. The specific laws for insurance requirements and how the at-fault system works can be found on the Ohio Department of Insurance’s website.
Unfortunately, the cost of a motorcyclist’s injuries — and the injuries’ long-term complications — is often much greater than $25,000. Motorists don’t always carry insurance, despite that the law requires them to do so. As such, a motorcyclist injured in an accident whose injuries result in more expenses than are provided by a policy limit or who’s injured in an accident by someone who doesn’t have car insurance has the option of filing a civil claim for damages against the at-fault driver. (All motorists in Ohio have the option of filing a claim in civil court rather than filing a claim with an insurance company if they choose to do so).
A claim in civil court can help the motorcyclist recoup all expenses for medical damages in an amount that is not capped by Ohio law. The motorcyclist also can recover damages for other forms of financial losses, such as lost wages, as well as non-financial losses, like damages for pain and suffering.
How to File a Claim for Damages
Whether you decide to file a claim with an insurance company or if you file a lawsuit in civil court, you need to act in a timely manner to make sure that your claim is considered. Insurance companies usually set their own time limits for when a claim must be filed by, but Ohio Laws and Rules Section 2305.10 requires that claims for personal injury be filed within two years after the date that the motorcycle accident occurs.
The Benefits of Hiring a Worthington Motorcycle Accident Attorney
An insurance agent may tell you that you don’t need an attorney when filing a claim, but the truth is, an attorney can be extremely valuable in ensuring that you get a fair settlement amount from an insurance company, or that your civil action is heard and that your claim is victorious. To learn more about the benefits of hiring a Worthington motorcycle accident attorney today, call Bressman Law now at 1-877-538-1116.