Because of the difference in their size, speed, weight, and operation, compared to motor vehicles, bicycles present unique challenges when operated on roadways where cars, trucks, and motorcycles are also present. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), bicyclists have a higher risk of injury and death due to accidents than the occupants of motor vehicles do.
Ohio law gives bicyclists the same rights and rules as motor vehicles in most situations on the road. If you suffered an injury in a bicycle accident in Columbus, Ohio, that was caused by someone else’s negligence or failure to follow the law, you could be entitled to receive compensation.
A Columbus bicycle accident lawyer at Ben Crump Law, PLLC, may be able to help you recover compensation for your medical bills, property damage, and other losses after a bike accident. Call our team at (800) 761-5225 for a free consultation on your legal options after a bicycle accident and to learn more about how we can help you.
Ohio Bicycle Laws
Ohio law defines bicycles as a type of vehicle and gives bicycle riders the right to operate them on almost all roads. Like any other vehicle operators, however, bicyclists must follow the rules of the road, such as obeying traffic signals and granting the right-of-way when required. Ohio does also have a few bicycle-specific laws that are designed to keep both bicyclists and motorists safe on the road:
- Bicyclists must stay as near to the right side of the lane as possible unless the lane is too narrow for both cars and bikes to share.
- Bicycles must have reflectors and lights to increase their visibility on the road.
- Two bicyclists may ride side-by-side in the same lane.
- Bicyclists are not required to move out of the way of faster traffic.
- Motorists are required to keep a distance of at least three feet when passing a bicycle on the road.
Additionally, the City of Columbus has several bicycle-specific laws in its code of ordinances. Bicycle access on public bikeways cannot be restricted, and bicyclists must ride in the roadway instead of on the sidewalk whenever possible.
For a free legal consultation with a bicycle accidents lawyer serving Columbus, call 800-761-5225
Common Causes of Bicycle-Car Accidents
While many bicycle accidents only involve the bicycle and are caused by road conditions or loss of balance, crashes involving a bicycle and a car (or more than one of either) are always a risk when these two types of vehicles have to share the road. There can be many reasons for accidents to occur, but the particular risks for bicycle-car accidents include:
- Motor vehicle drivers following bicycles too closely or attempting to pass them on the road without enough room.
- Unsafe lane changes or weaving through traffic.
- Distracted or inattentive driving, causing motorists not to see bicycles.
- Failure to cede the right-of-way when appropriate.
- Speeding, which can prevent motorists from stopping in time to avoid hitting a bicycle.
Columbus Bicycle Accident Lawyer Near Me 800-761-5225
Legal Options for Compensation After a Bicycle Accident in Columbus
When you are in a bicycle accident that was not your fault in Columbus, Ohio, where you can turn to for compensation for the accident’s expenses depends on the situation. Since Ohio is a fault state, the at-fault driver or bicycle rider is legally responsible for compensating the others involved in the accident.
If the motor vehicle operator caused the accident, you could file a claim with their car insurance provider. When the bicyclist is at fault, their auto insurance or property insurance policy may also be applicable. Since insurance claims can be complicated regarding bicycles and insurance companies might try to pay as little as they can to protect their own financial interests, you can hire a Columbus bicycle accident lawyer for help with your claim. An attorney can negotiate with insurance claims adjusters for you to take the hassle out of the process.
You could also pursue a civil lawsuit to seek compensation after a bicycle accident. You may be able to recover compensation for your losses through a personal injury lawsuit, and if your loved one died in the accident, you could seek recovery through a wrongful death lawsuit.
Contact the team at Ben Crump Law, PLLC, for help. We are familiar with both state and local laws, so we can investigate the circumstances of the accident and help you establish who was at fault so you can recover the compensation you deserve.
The Statute of Limitations Could Affect Your Case
You will need to pursue your case within two years of the date of the bicycle accident or your loved one’s death if you hope to recover compensation through the legal system.
If you miss this deadline, you could lose your right to compensation, so it can help to contact a law firm as soon as possible after the accident.
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There are many categories of financial compensation that you may be able to recover for a bicycle accident through a civil lawsuit:
- Past and future medical treatment costs
- Property damage expenses
- Loss of past and future income
- Burial and funeral expenses
- Mental anguish
- Pain and suffering
- Scarring or disfigurement
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
You have the legal right to seek damages when you suffer from someone else’s actions because you should not have to suffer even further from the financial burden. The person who caused the accident should pay for its consequences.
The Team at Ben Crump Law, PLLC, Can Help You
If you or your loved one suffered in a bicycle accident, a Columbus bicycle accident lawyer at Ben Crump Law, PLLC, may be able to help you. Our team can investigate the accident and gather evidence such as photos, video surveillance, witness statements, police reports, medical records, and other information to help you show who was at fault for the accident and your right to reimbursement.
Let us negotiate with insurance companies or represent your interests in court so you can focus on healing after your bicycle accident. You can reach Ben Crump Law, PLLC’s bicycle accident legal team at (800) 761-5225 to set up a free consultation to discuss your legal options. We operate on contingency, which means we will never charge you any fees unless we can obtain a financial award for you.