Personal Injury

Bicycle Accident Attorney, Columbus Ohio

When a bicycle accident happens, it is essential to call a bicycle accident lawyer because they will help the victim get the compensation they deserve. The victim may be entitled to compensation that a bicycle accident lawyer can only retrieve through a bicycle accident claim.

In Ohio, there were more than 1,000 bicycle accidents in 2020, and most of them involved a motorist. The victim must have the right team behind them when it does happen.

A Bicyclist's Vulnerability

There are many bicycle lanes in Columbus, Ohio, and they are beneficial for cyclists to get around the city. However, these bike paths leave cyclists to share the road with drivers. This can result in an accident if the motorist is not paying attention to the road, putting the biker in harm's way. There are many vulnerabilities a cyclist faces when they are biking:

  1. A cyclist shares the road with motor vehicles. They do not have anything to help protect them from impact other than a helmet. This means they could be seriously injured if they fall from their bike.

  2. Cyclists are much lower than motorists, making them hard to see. This is problematic for cyclists because some motorists may not notice a cyclist when trying to overtake another vehicle on the road.

  3. When in an accident with a motor vehicle, the cyclist will most likely receive the worst injuries out of the accident. This is because of the lack of protection and that the motor vehicle's weight and size are much greater than the cyclist's.

 

However, no matter how hard it is for any motorist to see a cyclist on the road, it is their responsibility to make sure that they can see the biker. All drivers must proceed with caution when driving because they are more likely to injure a cyclist due to their careless driving.

Bike Accidents - Statistics

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has shared statistics on bike accidents, and many of them are very sobering for those who do not take bicycle accidents seriously:

  • 854 bike accident fatalities happened in 2018. This is a seven percent increase from 2017.

  • Since 2010, fatal bike accidents have continuously increased and have now surpassed an additional 38 percent.

  • Cyclists who are either 20 or older have been in more bike accidents since 1975. To be precise, bike accidents that have involved people 20 and older have increased 300 percent since 1975.

  • Nearly two percent of fatal traffic accidents have been caused by bike accidents.

  • Head injuries are the most common serious injury sustained during a bike accident.

 

Remember always to wear the appropriate equipment when biking. This is because no one wants to see their loved one get hurt while cycling to their destination. Also, it is crucial that all bikers are cautious around motor vehicles because sometimes, the driver cannot see the cyclist.

Instead, take time out to double-check surroundings because it is better that the cyclist ensures they are safe instead of relying on the drivers on the road.

Reasons Why a Bicycle Accident Happens

Everyone can see lanes dedicated to cyclists on the road; however, accidents are still happening. There are many reasons why bicycle accidents are still happening in Columbus, Ohio:

  • Sidewalk or Road Problems: Bike lanes are for bicyclists to ride on. However, potholes, uneven paths, or other defects in the road or sidewalks can make it more dangerous for the cyclist.

  • Distracted Driving: Drivers that are distracted can lead to many serious injuries. That is why drivers are told not to text or eat while operating a motor vehicle. When they are distracted, they can cause an accident.

  • Intoxication: When someone is intoxicated, it can be a big problem for everyone on the road. They are endangering the lives of everyone on the road and in their vehicle. However, it may not be the driver that is intoxicated, it may be the cyclist who is. When this happens, the cyclist is putting themself in significant danger.

  • Bicycle Malfunction: Unfortunately, some bicycles malfunction when there is a defect. When the bike malfunctions, bicycle accidents happen.

  • Poor Weather: Bicycles do not come with lights, so all riders should place reflective lights or anything that could make their bike more visible in poor weather. This is because it can be challenging to see a cyclist when there is poor visibility on the road.

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Common Situations with a Bicycle Accident

There are many reasons why a bicycle accident may happen, but it does not always mean that it has occurred between a motor vehicle and a cyclist. An accident can have many different parties involved.

Bicyclist vs. Motorist

This happens when a cyclist is in an accident with a motor vehicle. Even though there are many areas where bicycles are restricted, like bike lanes or sidewalks, accidents with motor vehicles can still happen.

There are many reasons why this can happen, the motorist may drive onto the sidewalk or into the bicycle lane, the cyclist may be trying to cross the street, or the cyclist could swerve out of their lane and into oncoming traffic.

Bicyclist vs. Bicyclist

This is an accident that happens between two cyclists. Typically, this kind of accident results in only minor injuries because of the bikes' speed and weight. These accidents can occur when a cyclist tries to avoid hitting a pedestrian or is distracted while cycling.

Bicyclist vs. the Government

If a bike accident occurs because of a pothole, the cyclist could go after the local government. This is because when roads are not maintained to a high standard, it is because of the local government. Any injuries sustained after this kind of accident mean that the Columbus bicycle accident lawyers can help the victim sue the city for damages.

Bicyclist vs. the Manufacturer

Bicycle manufacturers need to make sure that their product is safe for people to ride before it leaves the warehouse. However, if a biker purchases a bike that is defective without knowing it, and the cyclist gets into a bicycle accident because of the defect, the manufacturer may be liable for damages.

This is something to speak to a Columbus bicycle accident attorney about. That is why many people trust The Keating Firm LTD to help with bicycle accident claims in Columbus, Ohio. Otherwise, they can be difficult for people to navigate on their own.

Bicyclist vs. Solid Objects

Cyclists can fall and trip over many different objects that get in their way. These bicycle accidents tend to go unreported because the injuries are minor, usually, it is the cyclist's fault. However, there are times when someone else could be liable.

Suppose the cyclist passes by a restaurant and the owner has placed their menu sign in the middle of the sidewalk. In that case, they can be held liable for any injuries because of the bicycle accident.

What Needs to Happen After a Bike Accident

When someone is in a bike accident, they must follow the following steps for their safety. Also, they are more likely to receive the outcome they want if they gather evidence that will help their case when speaking to bicycle accident attorneys.

Call 911

It is important to be cautious after an accident because an injury can be very serious. Many people hesitate to contact the authorities because they do not know if the incident is severe enough to warrant a police report and intervention. However, it is essential to contact the authorities because they will help when an accident occurs.

Additionally, the police can determine how severe the accident is. When speaking to the dispatcher on the phone, they may call in an ambulance. A bicycle accident can result in serious bicycle accident injuries like spinal cord injuries. That is why the victim needs to get checked out as soon as possible.

Also, after calling the police, they will be able to write up a report, and the victim will have access to it once everything is all done. This is important because they will need to give it to their Columbus bicycle accident lawyer, like those at The Keating Firm LTD.

Call the Insurance Company

Bicycle riders do not have car insurance for their bike, but they can contact their respective insurance company because they may be able to utilize their other insurance. Another form of insurance may offset any medical bills while the accident attorney handles the accident claim.

Begin to Gather Evidence

Depending on the victim's injuries, they may be able to begin taking photographic evidence of what has happened right away. If they can do this, it is important that the victim also remembers taking pictures of their injuries. Also, if the victim ends up going to the hospital, it is good to get the hospital report on top of everything else. That way, they have confirmation from a medical professional that they have been injured.

Additionally, victims may get in contact with the police so that the police report can be obtained. All of this evidence is needed when making a bicycle accident claim.

Get Treatment

Sometimes, an ambulance can be sent to the scene. This is because it is essential that all injured parties are looked after. The team will be able to treat small injuries on-site, but if there are any serious injuries sustained, they will take them to a hospital to receive the correct help they need. Additionally, if a head injury has occurred, it is vital to check it out right away. This is because many head injuries can lead to brain injury, but the signs may not show up right away.

Remember, when it comes to a person’s well-being, it is essential that they are looked after before worrying about making a claim.

Call a Columbus Bicycle Accident Lawyer

After gathering all of the evidence that the victim can think of at that moment and getting checked out by a medical professional, it is time to call a Columbus bicycle accident attorney. Many may think that this is unnecessary, but it can be beneficial for those with any bicycle accident injuries. Also, hiring a professional will take all the stress out of filing a claim against the negligent party.

Additionally, if the victim cannot gather the correct evidence for their case, then the bicycle accident lawyer will be able to on their behalf. They can also negotiate with insurance companies that are involved, so the claim process is smoother and less disruptive to the victim while they are receiving care.

Compensation

Cyclists are not looked after by Ohio car insurance, but they may receive compensation if the at-fault party does own a motor vehicle and it was in the accident.

All motorists must have car insurance in Ohio, so all drivers have car insurance when they get into an accident. If the cyclist has gotten into an accident with a motor vehicle, then the driver's insurance coverage conditions could range from:

  • Injury or the death of one person can result in $25,000

  • If multiple people have been injured or have died, then compensation could reach $50,000

  • Property damage could be a maximum of $25,000

The following are the non-economic and economic damages a cyclist could be rewarded if they are the victim of a bicycle accident:

Medical Bills

The at-fault party may have to compensate the victim for any medical expenses due to the bike accident. This can include the ride in the ambulance to any prescription medication the victim will need to help them with their recovery.

Also, any future appointments accident-related can be charged to the at-fault party. This can include any doctor fees, long-term treatments, and mobility assistance.

Income Loss

Depending on how long the victim is in the hospital, they may not work. If this happens, the at-fault party may need to compensate the victim for any loss to their income that they cannot make due to their injury. Additionally, the victim may be entitled to disability benefits if they cannot work for an extended period, but this is something to speak about with a professional.

Moreover, some disabilities can be permanent. Even if someone is checked by a medical professional for an extended period, they may have a permanent disability. If this happens, then the disability payments may continue.

Repairs for Bicycles

In many accidents, bicycles can be damaged or totaled. If this happens, the victim can ask for the money to buy a new bike. Their current bicycle will need to be appraised, so the at-fault party will know how much they need to compensate.

That also means that the victim cannot receive a newer and more expensive bike because they have gotten into a bicycle accident. The compensation will be decided depending on the worth of the bicycle before the accident.

Expenses for a Funeral

In the unfortunate situation of a cyclist dying due to an accident, the at-fault party may need to compensate for the bereavement and funeral costs. This money is given to the remaining family, so they can have the funeral that they want for their loved one who has passed away.

Wrongful Death Claim

On top of funeral expenses, the remaining family can start a lawsuit if the cyclist passes because of an accident. The family must hire a Columbus bicycle accident lawyer to have the proper representation during this matter. Otherwise, this process can be very taxing and troublesome during the grieving process.

Pain & Suffering

If the accident victim is experiencing emotional trauma because of the accident, they may be entitled to compensation. However, this is harder to prove in court, so it is usually accompanied by physical injuries. To help the personal injury law firm with this case, the victim will need to provide medical records documenting the emotional distress they are under from the accident.

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Conclusion

Bicycle accidents can happen to anyone, so it is essential to know what to do if it does happen. All parties involved in an accident should call the authorities, so there is a police report written, and any trained medical staff can look after everyone involved. Medical professionals must check everyone over because a person's health should be taken seriously. Many serious injuries may not present themselves right away, so getting properly assessed can help reduce the chance of severe problems arising.

Additionally, it is crucial to call the professionals when an accident occurs. Calling a professional from The Keating Firm LTD may be the right call because all the available lawyers are knowledgeable and experienced in bicycles accidents. They will be able to gather the appropriate evidence, speak with insurance companies on the victim's behalf, and take the overall stress off of dealing with a bicycle accident claim. Every victim will speak with a team member who is compassionate about the situation and who is ready to deal with the matter with care.

Every case matters to the people at The Keating Firm LTD, so bicycle drivers must make sure to call the right people when an accident happens.