Just under 1,000 bicyclists are killed in accidents with motor vehicles each year, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Thousands more are seriously injured.
In one year alone, the CDC determined that $10 billion in medical costs and lost earnings result from fatal and non-fatal bicycle accidents. Reckless and negligent driving puts cyclists around the country in danger and costs them significant amounts of money.
If you or a loved one is the victim of this circumstance, it can be devastating. That devastation can be compounded when the complex legal system and stingy insurance companies make it difficult for victims and their families to access their rightful compensation in order to pay costly hospital bills.
Knowing the laws and finding the right partners to help you navigate that system and fight the insurance companies can’t ease your pain and suffering, but it can help you protect your rights and recovery what you are owed.
Read on to learn what you need to know about your accident and how you can find that partner to get you through this difficult time.
Law and Liability
Liability laws and rules can vary from place to place and from incident to incident. These laws may work for or against you as you seek to protect your rights after an accident. At Spivak and Sakellariou, our attorneys have decades of experience with personal injury cases and can help you navigate these unclear waters.
If you were injured in Ohio, we can help you. Call us for a free consultation to get the guidance you need. Here is an overview of the relevant laws to help you understand your footing. When you call, we will walk you through how they apply to your case.
Ohio Bicycle Laws
In Ohio, bicycles are considered vehicles under the law. That means they can be lawfully operated on most roads, excluding freeways. It also means most traffic laws apply equally to drivers and cyclists.
There are some restrictions and privileges specific to cyclists in the state, though:
- A bicycle must be operated as near to the right side of the roadway as practicable
- Appropriate hand signals must be used when turning, slowing, or stopping
- Some limited-access roads are off-limits to cyclists
- Drivers must give all cyclists at least three feet of space when passing them
- Cyclists are also permitted to ride “two abreast,” meaning side-by-side, in the same lane.
- Ohio law does not require cyclists to move out of the way of faster traffic.
Here is the Ohio law that outlines some of these rules for bicyclists.
Fault in Ohio
Ohio uses a comparative fault theory in cases like yours. In essence, you can pursue compensation if you were injured, but the amount of damages that you can recover are reduced depending on your level of fault.
That means that in Ohio, if you are found to be at 51% fault or more, you are prohibited from recovering any compensation at all. That number, 51% becomes to goal of the insurance companies fighting against you in these cases. Let it be our job to stop them from hitting that number.
How We Can Help
When you call our office, you’ll get a free consultation. During that conversation, we’ll review the facts of your case, get to know you and your family, and determine how we can best help you get what you are owed. Every case is different, just as every family is different. We will tailor a service that best matches your needs, your goals, and your unique circumstances.
When you make a personal injury claim, there are two likely routes your case will go down.
Many of these types of cases are settled out of court with insurance companies. Those that aren’t, go to court. Not only are the partners at Spivak and Sakelleriou skilled and experienced negotiators, but we are also trial lawyers with decades of experience between us.
You can feel confident with us either in the conference room or the courthouse. Our approach is simple, we take the time to listen to every client’s unique needs. We believe that individual attention and deep empathy help empower us to get the best results for everyone that walks through our doors.
We understand that nobody wants to be in your position. It can be a very difficult time. Our goal is to help you navigate those unpleasant waters to help you get what you deserve and move on with your life without the unfair financial burdens that can make it difficult to do that.
Insurance companies and adjusters are masters at negotiation. It pays for them to pay out as little as possible and they spend a lot of time and money ensuring that they are positioned to do just that.
Compensation in these cases often depends on the amount of fault that is ascribed to each involved party. An insurance company will try to argue that the percentage of fault falling on your shoulders is as high as possible to lower the amount they owe. Without a deep understanding of how the law defines fault, it can be difficult to argue those numbers.
When you negotiate a settlement with these professionals, it is important that you bring a professional of your own. That is where we come in. Our attorneys have been solely focused on personal injury cases like yours since our firm was founded. We’ve negotiated hundreds of settlements for our clients and have a proven track record of results and satisfied clients.
Don’t Wait to Get Help
The sooner you call us to talk about your accident, the better. Insurance companies have a playbook of dirty tricks they can employ to keep you from receiving the compensation you deserve. If you don’t know what’s coming, you can’t protect yourself, your family, or your rights.
As soon as you’ve been treated for the injuries you may have sustained in your accident, give us a call before it’s too late.