Attorney Bruce Boerst Jr. is a proud motorcycle enthusiast and knows the unique circumstances and dangers regarding motorcycles and motorcycle litigation.
There is nothing more exhilarating than being on the open road on a motorcycle. Ohio personal injury attorney, Bruce W. Boerst Jr. has owned and ridden motorcycles. He knows full well both the pleasure and the danger of riding a motorcycle. Motorcyclists are especially vulnerable to injury because there is so very little protecting them from the harsh surface of the road and other vehicles.
Motorcyclists are sometimes stereotyped as ones who do not obey the rules of the road. Actually, statistics show that most motorcycle versus car accidents are the fault of the driver of the car. We know how to effectively address issues such as bias against cyclists.
According to hospitals in Ohio, motorcycle accident victims usually present to the emergency room with the following injuries:
Road rash – In cases of minor injuries, the motorcycle rider may be lucky enough to get out of the accident with only minor scratches known as road rash. This type of injury is caused by friction between the skin and a rough surface, such as asphalt or concrete.
Broken bones – Motorcycles offer its rider less protection compared to a typical vehicle, so it’s common to see riders getting thrown off their motorcycles during an accident. The fall may cause the bones to fracture or break.
Traumatic brain injury – Some falls are more serious than others which can lead to a traumatic brain injury. If the rider falls headfirst against a solid surface, they may suffer from internal brain bleeding, which can have long-term effects on the victim.
Spinal cord injuries – Injuries in the neck and spinal cord can happen if the motorcyclist’s neck or back are hit upon collision, or if they hit these body parts against a solid surface when they fall. Serious neck and spinal cord injuries can result in paralysis.
According to the data gathered by the OSHP from motorcycle crash reports throughout the years, here are the most common causes of motorcycle crashes:
Negligent drivers – Negligent drivers are simply drivers who do not care about their fellow motorists. They do not intentionally wish harm on you, but are also not considerate. Motorcycle riders are at a higher risk of being ignored and disrespected on the road by negligent drivers simply because they are the smaller vehicle.
Distracted driving – A distracted driver can get into accidents because they are too busy chatting on their phones, talking to their passengers or their minds are simply elsewhere so they can’t focus on driving.
Drunk driving – drivers who are under the influence of alcohol usually have impaired judgment. They aren’t focused and their vision is somewhat blurry. Drunk drivers are prone to risky driving behaviors such as speeding, making sudden turns, hard braking and abrupt lane changes.
Speeding – The faster a vehicle is going, the more difficult it is to control the vehicle, especially when something unexpected happens. If a vehicle is traveling at high speeds and suddenly, a motorcycle appears out of nowhere, the vehicle driver doesn’t have enough time to slow down to avoid hitting the motorcycle, even if they slam on the brakes.
Rough road conditions – While road defects such as potholes and cracks do not pose any serious threats to larger vehicles, motorcyclists can lose control over their bikes and injure themselves.
Harsh weather conditions – Riding your motorcycle in the rain, snow and fog can increase your chances of getting into an accident. A lot of accidents happen due to a lack of visibility or slippery roads.
If you are the victim of a motorcycle accident, it’s important to know the laws relevant to motorcycle accidents if you are planning on submitting a personal injury claim. These laws may affect the outcome of your claim and how much compensation you will get in the end.
Ohio is a fault state, meaning the state will legally obligate the person at fault for the accident to pay for damages. If you are the victim of a motorcycle-related accident, you can sue for damages even if are partly responsible for the accident. The law dictates that as long as your contribution to the accident is less than the other parties involved, you can seek compensation. However, if the court finds that you are largely responsible for the accident, your claim will be dismissed.
In Ohio, all motorcycle drivers under the age of 18 must wear helmets. Additionally, anyone holding a Motorcycle Temporary Instruction Permit Identification Card, or a novice license should wear helmets when driving a motorcycle. Passengers, regardless of age or license status, must wear helmets if they are riding with someone who is under 18, or has a temporary or novice license.
In the state of Ohio, all personal injury lawsuits (which includes motorcycle accidents) have a statute of limitation of up to 2 years from the date of the accident.
Because Ohio is a fault state, the first order of business after an accident occurs is to find the party accountable for the said incident. If you can prove that the other party is the party responsible for the accident, you can file a motorcycle accident claim to offset your medical bills and motorcycle repair costs.
Before anything, you and your lawyer may sit down and analyze if you may have contributed to the accident in any way. Because of how state laws work, the other party’s insurance company will surely pass the blame to you and make you responsible for the accident. Your lawyer may ask you if you were distracted prior to the accident and if you were driving within the speed limit.
Motorcycle accidents are not as linear as people think. Usually, it does involve 2 parties, usually one vehicle owner and one motorcycle rider. But accidents can involve several parties, and each party may have contributed to the accident in their own ways.
Other motorists – Usually, motorcycle-related accidents involve the motorcycle rider and other motorists. It’s more common for the other party to be owners of larger vehicles as opposed to another motorcycle. Finding out who is at fault will usually involve reading the police report, interviewing witnesses and checking traffic cams.
The local government – There have been cases where motorcycle riders decided to sue the municipality following an accident. It’s the city’s responsibility to maintain all roads and keep the streets safe for motorcyclists. If road defects like potholes were the reason why you got into an accident, suing the municipality is an option for you.
Motorcycle manufacturers – Manufacturers of motorcycles have to implement strict rules to ensure that all motorcycles made from their factories are safe and road-worthy. If there are product defects, manufacturers are obligated to report the defect and recall all affected products. If a motorcyclist dies due to an unreported motorcycle defect, the manufacturer can be held liable for their death.
If the court finds merit in your personal injury claim you are entitled to damages, which will be taken out against the liable party’s insurance policy. Here are just some of the damages that can be awarded to you following a successful lawsuit:
Medical care – This includes all present and perceived future medical costs related to your injury, including hospitalization charges, prescription meds, laboratory tests, future check-ups, mobility aids, and more.
Loss of income – Any present and future earnings lost because of the injury.
Loss of Quality of Life – If your injury results in permanent damage or disability, you can sue for loss of quality of life, or loss of enjoyment. This provides financial compensation for victims because the accident has debilitated them in a way that they cannot enjoy the same quality of life as before the accident
Pain and suffering – this refers to the emotional trauma experienced by the victim after the accident and while recuperating.
Wrongful death – Wrongful death claims are initiated by the family of the victim if the victim dies as a result of the accident.
Punitive damages – This is awarded to the victim once it is proven that the liable party intentionally wanted to harm or kill the victim.
We handle injury cases throughout Ohio including, but not limited to the following areas: Toledo, Bowling Green, Bryan, Clyde, Defiance, Delta, Findlay, Fremont, Kenton, Lima, Maumee, Monclova, Napoleon, Perrysburg, Port Clinton, Oregon, Ottawa, Sylvania, Swanton, Sandusky, Tiffin, Upper Sandusky, Van Buren, Waterville, Wauseon, Whitehouse, Woodville, and many more.
If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident, you will need an experienced motorcycle accident attorney on your side. Attorney Bruce Boerst has that experience of knowing motorcycle cases inside and out. Bruce will be able to understand you when you explain the details of your case.
If you are concerned about money and feel you cannot afford an attorney, we work on a contingency fee, which means our fee is paid when a settlement or verdict is reached. No out of pocket expenses!
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a motorcycle accident, contact us ASAP!