If you ride through Lima, Ohio, you’ll notice that few streets have dedicated bicycle lanes. The few that do, such as N West Street and N Elizabeth Street, don’t have protected lanes. This lack of safe bicycle lanes makes riding through our city dangerous. Cars and trucks sometimes fail to share the road, resulting in accidents and injuries.
You need a Lima, Ohio bicycle accident lawyer if you’ve been in an accident. Our experienced attorneys understand the hazards our city’s roads create. We have helped many cyclists get compensation after an accident. Bensinger Legal Services will fight for our clients and will do our best to hold all those at fault accountable.
Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents
The majority of bicycle accidents in Ohio occur along straight roadways. Some accidents are unavoidable, but many are due to failure to follow the rules of the road or other negligent acts. Below are some of the common causes of accidents, according to our Lima bicycle accident lawyers.
Distractions are among the leading causes of bicycle accidents. Drivers might look away from the road to send a text, change the radio station, or look at a passenger. Distractions like these pose a significant risk to cyclists because they are impossible to anticipate. A cyclist can’t tell which motorists are not focused on their surroundings.
Failure to Yield
Many car and truck drivers fail to yield the right of way to cyclists at intersections or crosswalks. Sometimes drivers are negligent or don’t understand traffic rules. In any event, failure to yield can result in powerful collisions with devastating consequences.
Unsafe Road Conditions
Poor road conditions can significantly contribute to bicycle accidents. Potholes, uneven surfaces, and debris on the road can cause cyclists to lose control and crash. In some cases, inadequate maintenance or design flaws in the roadways may lead to accidents.
Drunk or Impaired Driving
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is dangerous and endangers all road users, including cyclists. Impaired drivers have reduced reaction times and impaired judgment. This impairment makes them more likely to collide with cyclists sharing the road.
Inadequate Signage and Lighting
Proper signage and lighting are essential for road safety, especially for cyclists. Insufficient signage and poor lighting can make it challenging for drivers and cyclists to anticipate each other’s movements. This problem worsens in low-visibility conditions like rain and slow.
What to Do After an Ohio Bike Accident
Anyone who cycles long enough is likely to be in an accident. Your response to the accident can determine how well you recover and whether you can receive compensation. Follow these steps to preserve your well-being and best position yourself for a lawsuit.
After a bicycle accident, your first concern should be ensuring your safety and well-being. If you can, move to a safe location away from traffic to prevent further harm. However, avoid unnecessary movements if you suspect serious injuries.
Contact Law Enforcement
It’s essential to involve law enforcement after a bicycle accident. Call the local police or 911 to report the incident. When officers arrive, provide them with accurate information about the accident and your injuries. They will create an official accident report, which can be vital for any potential legal claims. Remember to get the officers’ names and badge numbers for reference.
Gather Crucial Evidence
Gathering evidence is a critical step to protect your legal rights. Take photos of the accident scene, including vehicle positions, road conditions, and any road signs or signals. Capture images of your bicycle’s condition and any visible injuries. Collect contact information from witnesses who may have observed the accident. Your bicycle accident attorney in Ohio can use these to help determine liability.
Seek Prompt Medical Treatment
Regardless of the perceived severity of your injuries, it’s crucial to seek prompt medical treatment. Injuries sustained during bicycle accidents can be hard to spot. Early medical intervention ensures you receive the care you need. Also, medical records will document the extent of your injuries and treatment, which can be crucial in legal proceedings.
Recoverable Compensation After a Bike Accident
If another driver is at fault for the accident, you might receive compensation to pay for your damages.
Common damages that Ohio bicycle accident attorneys can recover include:
- Medical expenses,
- Lost wages and future earning capacity,
- Pain and suffering, and
- Property damage.
If someone dies as a result of a bicycle accident, their loved ones may have a claim for wrongful death.
Keep in mind that Ohio has a comparative negligence statute that can limit your recovery. If you share in the fault for the accident, then that percentage of fault is subtracted from your recoverable damages. If you were more than 50% at fault for the accident, you will not be able to recover compensation at all.
For example, imagine the court finds that you are 20% at fault for the accident, and your damages add up to $100,000. A court would then subtract $20,000 (20% of $100,000) and award you $80,000.
How a Lawyer Can Help
Having the support and expertise of a skilled bike injury lawyer in Ohio can make a significant difference in your recovery.
An attorney brings in-depth knowledge of Ohio’s bicycle accident laws. They can investigate the circumstances surrounding the accident, gather evidence, and determine liability. After this, your attorney can build a strong case on your behalf.
Your attorney can also handle negotiations with insurance companies. They will advocate for your right to fair compensation. If a settlement cannot be reached, an attorney can file a lawsuit and represent you in court, helping to ensure your interests are protected at every step.
Their expertise simplifies the legal process and allows you to focus on your recovery. You can have peace of mind knowing that you have an advocate fighting for your rights.
Speak with a Lima, Ohio Bicycle Accident Lawyer
You need an attorney representing you as soon as possible after an accident. Insurance companies make it difficult to receive compensation, especially if they know you don’t have a lawyer. They might refuse to pay for your damages or make lowball offers that leave you unsatisfied.
The attorneys at Bensinger Legal Services have spent years fighting against insurance companies. Our trial victories prove our success in fighting for injured clients. Moreover, Aaron Bensinger has earned the title of “Rising Star” from Super Lawyers multiple times for his excellent legal work.