Motorcycle Accident Attorneys Serving Cincinnati & All of Ohio
The Cincinnati motorcycle accident lawyers at Burg Simpson can help you seek the maximum compensation you deserve after a crash caused by someone else. After a serious motorcycle wreck, you may be facing high medical bills, pain, disability, and time away from work you cannot afford. Our accomplished attorneys can help you recover the damages to which you are entitled under the law.
With more than $2 billion in combined verdicts and settlements, Burg Simpson has a proven record of success in helping individuals and families affected by negligence in Ohio. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a motorcycle crash, contact our office right away.
Call 513-852-5600 today for a FREE and confidential case evaluation. Our motorcycle accident lawyers serve clients in Cincinnati and all of Ohio.
How a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Can Help You
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, it is important to hold the at-fault party responsible for their actions. This can involve seeking compensation for medical bills, repair or replacement costs for your motorcycle, lost wages, and other damages such as pain and suffering. Obtaining this compensation can help with your recovery and ensure that you are not left with unexpected financial burdens due to someone else’s negligence.
Seeking compensation without the assistance of an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer puts you at risk of not recovering the full value of your past, present, and future economic and non-economic losses. When facing the legal process, it is in your best interest to speak with a seasoned attorney as quickly as possible.
A motorcycle accident lawyer can help you in numerous ways. When representing you, an attorney will:
Explain Your Rights and Legal Options
A motorcycle accident lawyer can explain the legal process to you and help you understand your rights and options. An attorney will also ensure necessary paperwork is filed correctly and on time. For example, the statute of limitations for motorcycle accident injuries is generally two years in the State of Ohio. If you fail to file a lawsuit by this deadline, you will likely miss your opportunity to pursue the justice and compensation you deserve.
Investigate Your Accident and Gather Evidence
After a wreck, it is important to gather and compile strong evidence in order to support your claim. This may include the police report, video footage, eyewitness testimony, photographs of the scene, and medical records. A motorcycle accident lawyer can help you gather this evidence and can also consult with expert witnesses and reconstruct the accident to strengthen your case against the responsible party and their insurance provider. While you may be able to gather some of this evidence on your own, an attorney has the knowledge and resources to ensure that all relevant information is obtained and presented effectively.
Calculate the Full Value of Your Losses
There are several types of compensation that you may be entitled to receive in a motorcycle accident claim. Economic damages cover the actual costs of medical care, lost wages, and other expenses resulting from the accident. Non-economic damages refer to the psychological and emotional impact of a serious crash, including pain and suffering.
It is important to have a motorcycle accident lawyer help you calculate these damages. In addition to the losses you have already experienced, your settlement should include an estimate of the losses you will sustain in the future. For example, if you have suffered a permanent disability or a loss of job ability due to the wreck, an attorney can help you seek compensation for the loss of current and future income.
Communicate with Insurance Companies on Your Behalf
Ohio’s comparative negligence law allows individuals to recover damages for personal injuries as long as their percentage of fault is not greater than the total percentage of fault of all defendants (see Ohio Revised Code 2315.33). This means that you can still seek compensation for a personal injury if your own fault is 50% or less. However, the amount of damages awarded will be reduced by your percentage of fault. For example, if your fault is determined to be 30% and you are awarded $100,000 in damages, your award will be reduced to $70,000.
Accident victims often harm their claims by discussing the details of the crash with insurance adjusters. Insurance companies may offer settlement amounts that do not fully compensate victims for their losses or take into account the long-term impact of their injuries. It is important to speak with an attorney before communicating with the other driver’s insurance company. An experienced motorcycle accident lawyer will protect your best interests and communicate with the insurer on your behalf.
Negotiate a Fair Settlement
One of the main advantages of working with a motorcycle accident lawyer is the ability to secure a fair settlement that fully accounts for all of the ways in which the accident has impacted your life and finances. Insurance companies may try to pressure injured victims to accept low settlement offers quickly. However, when a lawyer is involved, these companies may be more likely to offer larger settlements that adequately cover a victim’s medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages such as pain and suffering. Without legal representation, you may be at risk of having to pay for future medical costs or other expenses out of pocket. A motorcycle accident lawyer can help you negotiate a settlement that meets your needs and protects your rights.
Take Your Case to Court, If Necessary
If the insurance company does not offer a fair settlement, your attorney can file a lawsuit on your behalf. The trial process can take several months or more, but settlements can still be reached at any point before the trial begins. During the trial, a judge or jury will determine whether the defendant is at fault for the accident and how much compensation is owed for damages. An experienced motorcycle accident lawyer can effectively present the facts of your case and advocate for full and fair compensation for your injuries and losses.
Motorcycle Laws in Ohio
Motorcycle riders must adhere to the rules of the road. In Ohio, motorcyclists are subject to the following laws:
- A helmet must be worn the first year of endorsement, or if under age 18. (see R.C. 4511.53)
- Riders are required to have a valid Temporary Instruction Permit Identification Card (TIPIC) or a motorcycle endorsement on the driver license (see R.C. 4510.12)
- Motorcycles must be registered and have a valid license plate ( see R.C. 4503.11)
- Motorcyclists must have and carry proof of insurance liability coverage for property damage and/or injury (see R.C. 4509.101)
- Riders must wear eye protection, such as a face shield on a helmet, goggles, or eyeglasses (see R.C. 4511.53)
- If riding with a temporary motorcycle permit, motorcyclists must comply with all permit restrictions, including:
- A permit is valid one year from the date of issue
- Helmet and eye protection required
- Cannot operate a motorcycle on interstate highways or congested roads
- Daylight hours only
- No passengers
- If under age 18, riders must comply with certain safety requirements, including:
- Taking an approved motorcycle basic rider training program (see R.C. 4507.21(G))
- Wearing approved protective headgear (helmet)
To legally operate a motorcycle in the state, motorcyclists must carry at least the following coverages.
- $25,000 for injury/death of one person
- $50,000 for injury/death of two or more people
- $25,000 for property damage in an accident
What Is the Helmet Law in Ohio?
In Ohio, helmets are required for motorcyclists under 18 or riders who hold a motorcycle operator’s endorsement or license bearing a “novice” designation. Passengers are also required to wear a helmet when the operator is required to wear one.
While adult riders with a standard license are not required to wear a helmet, it is strongly recommended that they do so. Wearing a properly fitting and comfortable helmet can help protect you while riding. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that wearing a helmet reduces the risk of dying in a motorcycle crash by 37%.
Additionally, in light of the state’s comparative negligence rule, a motorcyclist may be barred from recovering compensation if they are found to be more than 50% at fault for their injuries. The decision not to wear a motorcycle helmet could be considered contributory negligence (especially in the event of a head injury). Wearing a helmet while riding a motorcycle can help keep you safe and ensure that you can seek the maximum compensation possible in the event of an accident. It is in your best interest to wear a helmet to protect yourself and your rights.
Lane Sharing is Legal in Ohio
There are certain rules and regulations that pertain specifically to motorcycles on Ohio highways (see R.C. 4511.55). These rules outline the right to ride side by side in the same lane. However, it is important to note that while motorcyclists are allowed to ride two abreast, no more than two bikes can do so at the same time. While motorcyclists are not required to ride side by side, even in large groups, they do have the legal right to do so.
Lane Splitting is Illegal in Ohio
Ohio law prohibits the practice of lane splitting, which is defined as riding a motorcycle in the middle lane, between lanes of stopped or slow-moving traffic. This is considered an unsafe and unacceptable practice in Ohio and is strictly prohibited. While some states, such as California, do allow lane splitting, it is important for out-of-state motorcyclists visiting Ohio to be aware of and adhere to the local laws and regulations regarding this issue.
Who Is Responsible for Motorcycle Accidents?
Studies have found that in most fatal and severe motorcycle crashes that involve multiple vehicles, the drivers of passenger vehicles are most often at fault.
The motorcycle accident lawyers at Burg Simpson thoroughly investigate each case to identify the at-fault parties and hold them accountable. Common causes of collisions between motorcycles and other vehicles include:
- Impaired driving
- Distracted driving
- Ignoring red lights and stop signs
- Errors when making left turns
- Failure to check blind spots
- Failure to yield
- Aggressive driving
In some cases, liability for a wreck may fall on a party other than the rider or another driver. For example, a faulty motorcycle part may be responsible for the crash.
The experienced motorcycle attorneys at Burg Simpson will examine every fact in your case to determine the party or parties who contributed to your accident and injuries. If your crash was the result of another driver’s negligence, a defective vehicle part, dangerous road conditions, or other factors, we will fight diligently to hold the wrongdoers responsible and recover the justice and compensation you deserve.
Common Injuries in Motorcycle Accidents
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the most common injuries sustained in motorcycle accidents involve damage to the lower extremities, such as bone fractures in the legs. However, head and chest injuries are also frequently reported. These types of catastrophic injuries can have long-term consequences. The NHTSA notes that while injuries to the legs are more common, injuries to the head and chest are often more severe.
Common injuries sustained by motorcyclists in accidents include:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Spinal cord injuries
- Burn injuries
- Facial disfigurement
- Organ damage
- Internal bleeding
- Amputation injuries
- Road rash
Motorcycle wrecks can be fatal in some cases. If you lost a loved one in a motorcycle crash, you may be able to recover damages for medical bills, funeral costs, loss of companionship, and more in a wrongful death claim.
The Cincinnati motorcycle accident lawyers at Burg Simpson understand the hardships faced by accident victims and their families. We are dedicated to seeking justice for those whose lives have been negatively impacted by negligent drivers. If you suffered because of someone’s negligent actions, we will pursue the maximum compensation you deserve.
What to Do After a Motorcycle Accident
If you have been involved in an accident, your first priority should be to seek medical attention, even if you do not think you are seriously injured. Some types of injuries, like traumatic brain injury and whiplash, may not show symptoms right away and can be difficult to identify without a proper medical examination. It is important to get checked out by a doctor as soon as possible after a crash to ensure that any injuries are promptly diagnosed and addressed. If left untreated, some types of injuries can lead to long-term disability or even death.
After a car crash, it is important to try to remain calm and assess the situation. If you are able, you should:
- Check yourself and others for injuries. Give yourself a visual exam and use caution before trying to move. If possible, check on the drivers and occupants of any other vehicles involved in the wreck.
- Call 911 or the police. After an accident, it is important to report the incident at the scene, even if you are unsure about the extent of any injuries or the dollar value of damage to the vehicles. By promptly reporting the accident, you can ensure that a record of the incident is documented. This can protect your rights and interests in the event of any insurance or legal claims that may result.
- Seek medical attention. Wait for emergency responders to evaluate your injuries when they arrive at the scene. Depending on the extent of your injuries, you may need to be taken to the hospital right away.
- Exchange information. Obtain the names, contact information, driver’s license numbers, and insurance information for all of the drivers involved in the crash.
- Photograph the accident. Using your phone, photograph the motorcycle and the other vehicles involved. Take pictures of vehicle damage, the roadway, or the intersection where the crash happened. Capture images of your injuries and other details that may be relevant to your case.
- Talk to witnesses. If anyone saw the crash, ask them to share what they witnessed. Obtain their names and contact information.
- Provide a statement to the police. If police officers respond to the scene, provide an honest account of what occurred. Ask for the name, badge number, and precinct of the responding officer so you can later request a copy of the accident report.
- Report the accident to your insurance company: Even if you were not at fault for the crash, you will need to report the incident to your insurance company promptly. Check your insurance policy to confirm how much time you have to report the wreck.
- Create a file of the accident: Staying organized after a motorcycle accident is crucial. Keep medical bills and other documents related to your accident and injuries in a binder or folder so you can keep track of expenses and communications easily.
- Do not speak with the other driver’s insurance company: The insurer of the at-fault driver will attempt to contact you after the accident. The job of the insurance adjuster is to limit the compensation you receive. Do not provide any statements to the other driver’s insurance company until you have spoken with an attorney
- Contact a motorcycle accident lawyer: After a serious motorcycle accident, it is almost always in your best interest to seek the counsel of an experienced attorney. An attorney at Burg Simpson will communicate with the insurance company on your behalf and work to negotiate a fair settlement. If a fair settlement cannot be reached through negotiations, your lawyer may recommend taking your case to court.
How Long Do I Have to Sue After a Motorcycle Accident?
Personal injury claims in Ohio – including motorcycle accidents – are subject to a time limit known as the statute of limitations. You have a maximum of 2 years after a wreck to seek compensation for a motorcycle accident injury (see Ohio Revised Code § 2305.10).
In the majority of cases, the statute of limitations begins on the date the injury occurs. Because of this, it is crucial to speak to an Ohio motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible. Two years might seem like a lot of time to resolve your motorcycle accident claim. However, evidence can fade, witnesses may move, and delayed action could send a message that your injury is not a priority in your life.
Our motorcycle accident lawyers begin working immediately to gather evidence, communicate with the at-fault driver’s insurance company and, if necessary, file a lawsuit before the statute of limitations expires. If a fair settlement cannot be reached, we can take your case to court and fight for the maximum compensation you deserve.
Potential Compensation in a Motorcycle Accident Claim
A severe motorcycle accident can impact nearly every aspect of your life, as well as the lives of your family. You may suffer numerous long-term physical, emotional and financial losses due to the crash and subsequent injuries.
In Ohio, motorcyclists may be entitled to compensation such as:
- Past and future medical bills
- Lost wages
- Loss of income
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent disability
If you have lost a loved one in a motorcycle accident, you may be able to recover damages for the pain and suffering caused by the loss, as well as for the loss of household income. If the deceased was a spouse, child, or parent, you may also be able to receive compensation for the loss of companionship, guidance, and support. While it is difficult to assign a monetary value to the death of a family member, these damages can help with funeral expenses and financial struggles during the grieving process.
Contact a Cincinnati Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Today
If you were hurt or lost a loved one in a motorcycle crash, the Cincinnati motorcycle accident lawyers at Burg Simpson can help. Since 1976, we have recovered more than $2 billion in verdicts and settlements on behalf of our clients. We are committed to fighting aggressively on your behalf and getting the maximum compensation you need to move forward with your life.
Call Burg Simpson at 513-852-5600 today for a FREE and confidential case evaluation. Our motorcycle accident lawyers serve clients in Cincinnati and other areas of Ohio.