Fewer than 1% of the nearly 34,000 traffic accidents reported in Cuyahoga County in 2019 involved motorcycles, but those accidents produced nearly 13% of the county’s traffic fatalities and more than 10% of serious injuries, according to data from the Ohio State Highway Patrol.
When accidents happen, motorcyclists are vulnerable. If you have suffered an injury in a motorcycle accident—or, worse, a family member has been killed—a Cleveland motorcycle accident lawyer at Ben Crump Law, PLLC can fight for compensation on your behalf.
To schedule your free consultation, call our offices today at (800) 924-3113.
Motorcycles in Ohio
To operate a motorcycle in Ohio, you must either have a motorcycle license or a motorcycle endorsement on your driver’s license, according to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV). The rider is considered a novice for the first year.
Motorcyclists must first obtain a TIPIC, or Temporary Instruction Permit Identification Card, after completing a knowledge test and eye screening. The TIPIC is valid for one year. Within that period, motorcyclists can either take a skills test or pass a Motorcycle Ohio course to be able to purchase a regular license or endorsement.
To apply for the TIPIC, motorcyclists must be over 15 years old. Those under 18 must have the permission of their parent or guardian, according to the BMV.
- $25,000 in bodily injury coverage for one person.
- $50,000 in bodily injury coverage for one accident.
- $25,000 in property damage coverage for one accident.
Per Ohio Revised Code §3937.18, motor vehicle insurance policies in Ohio may but do not have to include uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, which will pay costs in the event of a collision with someone who does not have insurance or does not have sufficient insurance to cover your damages. It is worth considering—more than 12% of Ohio drivers are uninsured, according to the Insurance Information Institute, and the medical expenses that follow a motorcycle accident can be large.
Rules for Motorcycles
Ohio Revised Code §4511.53 lays out several rules specific to motorcycles. These include:
- Motorcyclists must wear eye protection at all times.
- Motorcyclists and their riders must ride astride the saddle or seat facing forward at all times.
- Motorcycles cannot be operated on a highway when the handlebars rise higher than the seated operator’s shoulders.
- Novices and motorcyclists under 18—as well as their passengers—and operators with TIPICs must wear helmets.
- Motorcyclists with TIPICs are not permitted to ride at night, during rain, snow, or other precipitation events, with a passenger, or on closed-access highways or heavily congested roads.
For a free legal consultation with a motorcycle accidents lawyer serving Cleveland, call (800) 924-3113
After an Accident
In Ohio, you must remain at the scene of an accident at least long enough to exchange contact and vehicle registration information with the other party. If there is an injury, death, or the other party is not responsive, you must notify the authorities and wait until a police officer arrives to investigate unless emergency services personnel remove you, according to Ohio Revised Code §4549.02.
If you are able, document as much of the scene as possible: Take photos, collect the names of witnesses, and so forth. Report the accident to your insurance company. Seek medical attention as soon as possible, even if you do not immediately notice symptoms. Record all of your medical expenses, any pain you suffer, as well as the time you miss from work.
Because Ohio is an “at-fault” state, the party responsible for the damage covers the other party’s damages. Since 1980, however, Ohio has employed the “comparative negligence” standard for determining the proportion of blame, according to the Ohio Department of Insurance. Under this standard, your recovery is reduced in proportion to your responsibility for the accident—which means the other party’s insurance company might argue that you bear some fault for what happened when negotiating a settlement.
You do not have to accept the other party’s settlement offer. You may believe that amount will not cover your damages, or—if you do not have underinsured motorist coverage—the at-fault driver may not have had enough insurance to cover your costs. In these cases, you may decide to file a lawsuit.
If you have been in a motorcycle accident and an insurance company has approached you about a settlement, a Cleveland motorcycle accident lawyer at Ben Crump Law, PLLC might be able to help you decide on the best course of action.
There is no limit on the amount of economic damages—meaning tangible losses for property damages, medical expenses, and lost wages—you may recover in a lawsuit, but Ohio caps noneconomic damages at the greater of $250,000 or three times the amount of economic damages. “Noneconomic damages” refer to things like pain and suffering and mental anguish, as noted in Ohio Revised Code §2315.18.
This cap is waived for very serious injuries that result in permanent deformity or render you unable to care for yourself. In addition, there are no limits to your potential recovery award in a wrongful death lawsuit, according to Ohio Revised Code §2125.
The statute of limitations in Ohio property damage and personal injury cases is two years from the date of the accident, according to Ohio Revised Code §2305.10. In wrongful death cases, the deadline to initiate a case is two years from the date of the death.
Cleveland Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Near Me (800) 924-3113
How We Can Help
At Ben Crump Law, PLLC, we know that motorcycle accidents can have profound, even life-altering effects on victims and their families. We also believe that those who have suffered because of others’ negligence deserve justice, and we never shy away from a tough case.
Our Cleveland motorcycle accident lawyers work on contingency, which means you will not pay us until we recover an award on your behalf. If you would like more information about how we can fight for you, call our offices today at (800) 924-3113.