After a serious road accident which results in injuries, there can be several medical and legal questions that need answering. Consulting healthcare and legal professionals is important to get the best care possible, and to identify how to recover medical expenses, damages and to pay for lost wages in the aftermath of a serious accident.
There may be several factors and potential defendants involved in a motorcycle crash. Sometimes there is more than one negligent party, and claims may be filed against other motorists, motorcycle manufacturers, mechanics, bike dealerships, or even a municipal entity if an accident is the result of poor road conditions that are preventable.
Roads are legally required to be safely maintained to protect drivers and passengers on America’s roadways.
An attorney can assist anybody involved in motorcycle accidents whether they are involved in a life-threatening collision or a minor crash. Injuries in accidents are not always immediately apparent, and you should see a physician after any level of accident. Professional legal counsel can help you assess the damages, and the channels in which you may seek compensation.
A claim against negligent dealerships or motorcycle manufacturers may result in larger settlements than against another driver due to insurance limits. It is critical to evaluate product liability claims in every case.
Following a motorcycle accident, victims should contact an experienced Cincinnati motorcycle accident lawyer to investigate. Joe Lyon is a highly-rated Ohio personal injury attorney, well-versed in the science and economic impact such an injury or death has on the victim’s life and family.
Motorcycle Accident Lawsuits
The chances of dying or being seriously injured on the road dramatically increase for motorcyclists each time they drive. Motorcyclists are around 27 times more likely than passenger car occupants to die in a crash per vehicle mile traveled.
In 2013, there were 4,668 motorcyclists killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes, and an estimated 88,000 motorcyclists injured. In the same year, motorcyclists accounted for 14 percent of all traffic fatalities—94 percent were riders and six percent were passengers.
Over 50 percent of the motorcycles involved in fatal crashes saw a collision with a motor vehicle, most of which were head-on collisions. Motorcycles, however, are just as frequently involved in fatal collisions with fixed objects on or near roads.
With that said, research conducted by the National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that in Cincinnati motorcycle accidents occurring between motorcyclists and cars, the motorcyclist was either not at fault or less at fault than the other driver 80 percent of the time. An investigation following an accident will determine the strength of your motorcycle accident case.
- It is critical to contact a motorcycle accident attorney and start the proceedings as soon as possible
- You should cooperate with police and your insurance agents and preserve any evidence;
- Your attorney may talk to potential witnesses but you should leave this to your counsel
- Important Photographic Evidence to Preserve:
- Motorcycle scraps or debris
- Photos of any debris
- Photos of license plates of involved vehicles
- Photos of damage to all vehicles involved
- Photos of skid marks
- Photos of road hazards
Causes of Cincinnati Motorcycle Accidents
Reckless Driving—driving errors may cause a significant number of accidents on the road. Poor driving behavior may include unsafe lane changes, lane splitting, speeding, sudden stops, or right of way misjudgments. Small driving errors become more dangerous when involving a motorcycle simply because motorcycles are far more vulnerable.
Drunk Driving—unfortunately, a large percentage of fatal motorcycle accidents involve alcohol abuse each year. Those driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs may face both civil and criminal penalties.
Poor Road Conditions—broken pavement, potholes, debris, and road hazards like a lack of necessary signals and signs can increase the risk of an accident.
Motorcycle Defects—manufacturers and dealerships who sell poorly designed or manufactured motorcycle parts may be held liable if the products are responsible for any injuries or deaths.
Negligent Driving—a leading cause of motorcycle crashes is the negligent driving of drivers of other motorists. Findings from some safety studies show that the majority of motorcycle accidents are caused by the negligence of automobile drivers, which may be as simple as not properly paying attention.
Speeding—in 2015, about one-third of all motorcyclists involved in fatal crashes were speeding, according to NHTSA. Considering many bikes are not equipped with anti-lock brakes, and have a small margin for error, speeding can be a deadly mistake. The higher the speed, the more severe the consequences of an accident.
Unlicensed Drivers—Twenty-seven percent of motorcyclists involved in fatal crashes in 2015 did not have a valid license. It is critical to be licensed and trained to know the risks and rules of the road.
Dangerous Types of Motorcycles—a 2007 report from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) concluded that super-sport motorcycles kill nearly four times more drivers than other types of motorcycles.
Motorcycle Accident Prevention
Knowing how dangerous it can be to drive a motorcycle on the road makes it crucial to maximize one’s safety and to take every preventative measure to reduce the risks of serious traffic accidents.
Road safety is of utmost importance, and is worth the time preparing for all the possibilities of Ohio road hazards. Some common motorcycle safety tips for bikers, including the following, may save lives or prevent severe injuries :
- Only drive a motorcycle you are familiar and comfortable with. Know your limitations in riding ability, and do not extend yourself on a bike that may be too powerful for your experience level. If you’re buying your first sport bike, for example, start small and get an entry-level motorcycle.
- Be aware of Motorcycle Defects and Recalls.
- Drive Smart. Keep a safe distance and do not tailgate cars or other vehicles. Use smart riding technique at all times, even at traffic lights. Do not split lanes at any time.
- Assume drivers of larger vehicles cannot see you. The bigger a vehicle, the bigger the blind spots. There is a good chance a driver of a car or truck does not see motorcycles near them on the roads. Use headlights at all times.
- Do not drive in poor weather conditions. The chances of an accident increase greatly in wet, windy or foggy weather. If you are on the road and the weather turns bad, pull over to the side of the road and wait until it is safe to resume driving.
- Always wear a helmet. The majority of states do not have universal helmet laws, but do not be swayed by the law. Helmets are proven to save lives. Motorcyclists without helmets are 40 percent more likely to be killed in an accident than those who are.
- Wear other protective gear, in addition to a crash-tested helmet. Eye protection, gloves, boots, long pants and jackets can help lessen injuries such as road rash.
- Do not carry a passenger or cargo if your bike isn’t designed to carry extra weight. Make sure there is designated space for a passenger, and a helmet for the passenger.
- Enroll in a training course and get the proper driving license. This licensing process makes certain you are informed on motorcycle roadway safety, know how to operate a bike, and understand all road rules.
- Maintain your motorcycle. Always make sure your bike is safe for driving. Before a drive, check the brakes, tire pressure, fluid levels, and tire treads. Schedule regular professional maintenance to help prevent a serious accident.
- Watch your speed. With a fast vehicle like a motorcycle it can be tempting to push the bike to its capabilities, but remember that about 30 percent of all motorcyclists involved in fatal accidents are driving faster than the speed limit.
- Stay alert. Distracted drivers cause the majority of multiple-vehicle accidents. Keep your eyes open and drive defensively.
- Ride in a group. Motorcycles can be difficult to see for other motorists and riding with a group of other motorcycles increases your visibility to other vehicles on the road.
- Do not drink and drive. Almost half of all fatal motorcycle accidents are caused in part by driver intoxication. If you have alcohol in your system, find another way home.
Unfortunately, even if you follow all of the above motorcycle safety tips, the fact still remains that motorcyclists are still at great risk of being involved in an accident.
Some accidents are preventable, but many others caused by other negligent motorists are unavoidable. In these situations, whether an accident is major or minor, contacting an experienced Cincinnati motorcycle safety attorney may be in your best interest.
Ohio Motorcycle Lawsuits
Motorcycle accidents are often the result of more than one factor and all contributing causes should be investigated.
Most insurance policies will not fully compensate someone injured in a serious accident so it is advisable to contact and hire an experienced Cincinnati motorcycle accident lawyer to properly advise you on all the available claims. Some causes of accidents may include:
Cincinnati Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Motorcyclists are about 25 times more likely to lose their lives on the road than drivers of passenger vehicles. Motorcycle injuries can be life changing and may require many years of medical treatment that can cost tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars.
If you have been involved in a motorcycle crash, no matter whether it was caused by a road defect or the negligence of a passenger vehicle, you may be eligible for compensation.
Cruiser Bike Risks
Despite having a less reckless reputation on the road, many more drivers of cruiser bikes are killed each year, compared to drivers of other kinds of motorcycles. These grim statistics are mainly due to the fact that more cruiser bikes like Harleys and similar models are sold in the United States.
Each style of bike, however, has its own safety issues, and each represents a sizable risk to drivers. Astonishingly, there is a 6 percent chance of experiencing a bike accident each time a motorcyclist hits the road in Ohio.
Per vehicle mile traveled, motorcyclists’ risk of a fatal crash is 35 times greater than a passenger car, and around 80 percent of reported motorcycle crashes result in injury or death.
According the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), deaths caused by motorcycle accidents have increased almost every year since 2000, and roughly 4,700 motorcycle-related deaths occurred in 2015. Cruiser bike deaths far outnumber any other type of motorcycle death rate.
Over half of new motorcycle sales in the country are cruisers, due to the huge influence that Harley-Davidson has on the American motorcycle market. Therefore, cruisers dominant motorcycle crashes, injuries, and fatalities. Forty-one percent of motorcyclist deaths in 2015 occurred in single-vehicle crashes, and the remainder occurred in multiple-vehicle crashes.
Road safety experts are critical of certain bike manufacturers like Harley-Davidson, Victory and Indian for encouraging a sort of style and bike culture associated with “macho” and “outlaw” driving behavior that is sure to increase the risks for drivers and others on the road.
While safe driving should be of utmost importance for anyone driving a motorcycle, critics say looking the part and engaging in reckless driving acts are sometimes placed before safe road awareness. Some common factors involved in road injuries and deaths in Ohio include failure to wear helmets and other protective gear, driving intoxicated, speeding, and reckless group driving.
Sport Bike Accidents
Super-sport motorcycles are bikes built for racing platforms but are modified for normal roadways and sold to consumers. Sport bikes are popular with younger riders, typically under 30 years of age.
Super-sport motorcycles are light weight with powerful engines, and typically have more horsepower per pound than other bikes. They are built primarily for speed with little regard for road safety of any kind.
Sport bikes are nimble and quick, but also deadly. These motorcycles make up less than 10 percent of registered motorcycles but account for around one in four of rider deaths.
Data provided by the Institute and Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) shows that super-sport motorcycles have the highest death rates of any style bike on the road. Drivers of sport bikes have a fatality rate nearly four times higher than rates for motorcyclists for all other types of bikes.
Motorcyclist fatalities have more than doubled in the last 15 years, and account for more than 10 percent of total highway fatalities, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Motorcycle deaths accounted for only 5 percent of all U.S. motor vehicle deaths in 1997, but represented 14 percent of all motor vehicle deaths in 2013.
The concerning fatality rate, far exceeding the number of deaths recorded during the 1990s, continues to rise at the same time automobile traffic deaths have dropped. While car and truck safety features have improved, safety measures for motorcycles have lagged, endangering all sport riders as well as other motorcyclists. Helmet laws remain relaxed in many states. Only 19 of the 50 states have universal helmet laws, and as a result helmet use is typically below 50 percent.
Also, several models of motorcycles are not equipped with anti-lock brake systems. The rate of fatal crashes is more than 30 percent lower for motorcycles equipped with ABS.
Cincinnati Motorcycle Lawyer
For many reasons, motorcyclists are more vulnerable to the external environment, the weather, poor road conditions, and objects on the road. The size of a bike generally is not a factor in injury sustained as the lack of a protective cab presents the same risks.
Around half of Cincinnati motorcycle accidents involve a collision with other types of motor vehicles, and the others involve hitting road fixtures. In the end, both impacts can easily cause severe injury and death.
Contact a Cincinnati Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
An experienced auto negligence attorney and motorcycle accident lawyer can investigate the cause or causes of an incident and determine the negligent parties, whether they are other drivers, bike manufacturers, dealerships, or those responsible for maintaining city roads.
If a negligent motorist causes an accident and injures another individual, the negligent party is responsible for the damage and cost of injuries and lost wages that result from the accident. An attorney may be able to recover significant compensation for the following:
- Property Damage
- Medical Expenses
- Lost Wages
- Pain & Emotional Suffering