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Bicycle Accident Attorney in Cleveland

Working to Protect the Rights of Cyclists in Ohio

In an accident involving a bicycle and a car, the bicycle rider is more likely to suffer severe injury or death than the occupants of the passenger vehicle. In 2018, there were 857 fatal bike accidents nationally. In that same year in Ohio, over 20 cyclists were killed, and more than 140 were seriously injured in a collision.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, many bicycle accidents could have been prevented had the motorist or biker obeyed all traffic rules and laws. When a driver’s negligence or recklessness causes an accident, the injured party may have legal recourse to recover compensation for their sustained harm. At HMW Law, we can work toward a fair and just financial recovery on your behalf. Schedule your free consultation by calling 216-369-1352 or submitting an online contact form.

What Are Ohio’s Bicycle Laws?

According to the Ohio Revised Code (ORC) 4511.01, bicycles are considered vehicles. That means cyclists may ride along any public roadway except freeways. It also means that riders must adhere to the same laws as drivers. For instance, cyclists must obey all traffic signals, such as stop signs and red lights, and they must travel in the same direction as traffic.

Ohio also has some laws that are specific to cyclists. For example, ORC 4511.55 provides that they must ride as close to the right side of the road as practical unless unsafe. Additionally, two bikers can ride side-by-side on the road and are not required to move over for faster-moving cars.

Because bicycles are considered vehicles and can use public roads, motorists must follow the same rules when passing them as they would if they were driving by another car. For instance, they should remain behind a cyclist traveling through an intersection when making a right turn. They should also give bikers the same amount of room they would for another vehicle when passing them.

Unfortunately, although drivers are expected to be safe and extend certain courtesies when driving by bicyclists, some may disregard the rules of the road. If they are negligent in their duties as a driver, they could cause an accident that puts the safety and life of the biker at risk. At HMW Law, our Cleveland bicycle accident lawyers can thoroughly investigate your case to determine whether the driver’s negligence or recklessness contributed to your accident.

What Are Some of the Most Common Bike Accident Injuries?

When a vehicle crashes into a cyclist, the rider is the one who usually sustains the most harm, as bicycles offer no protection to riders in the event of a collision with a motor vehicle. Even if a biker is wearing safety gear such as a helmet, they can still sustain a variety of injuries ranging in severity from road rash, bruises, muscle pulls, and scrapes to head, neck, and spine injuries.

Head injuries, such as concussions, are usually serious and require medical attention. While bikers who suffer a mild to moderate concussion are usually able to make a full recovery under medical supervision, more serious head injuries such as TBIs (Traumatic Brain Injuries) can lead to lifelong disabling symptoms and significantly alter the victim’s quality of life.

Neck and spine injuries also range in severity from a common whiplash to a spinal cord injury that can leave the victim partially or totally paralyzed. Bicycle accidents can also result in a variety of fractures (broken bones) affecting a cyclist’s arms, legs, and torso. Facial fractures are also possible and are not only painful but can also lead to permanent scarring and disfigurement.

Another possible bicycle accident injury is internal bleeding, which can occur due to the cyclist colliding with a motor vehicle and rupturing internal organs or blood vessels. Internal bleeding injuries may not be immediately apparent but are life-threatening and require immediate medical attention. This is one of many reasons why it is essential that you seek medical attention after a bicycle accident, even if it doesn’t initially seem like you’ve been hurt. You might not immediately notice the harm you suffered, but a doctor can identify accident-related injuries. After you have received medical care, call our team to discuss your options for pursuing a claim against the at-fault driver.

How Much is a Bicycle Accident Claim Worth?

If your bicycle accident injuries resulted in a sizable stack of medical bills and other expenses that continue to accumulate, you may be anxious to find out how much money you may receive for your claim. The truth is each bicycle accident case is unique, and the value of your claim hinges on several aspects, such as the severity of your injuries and the extent of your damages.

In general, the more serious, disabling, or life-altering your injuries are and the more significant your economic and non-economic losses are, the higher the value of your claim may be. In other words, someone who suffered a broken arm and a few bruises is less likely to receive the same amount of money as someone who suffered a traumatic brain injury due to a bicycle crash. However, the best way to determine how much you may be able to recover from your accident is to speak to a skilled bicycle accident attorney about your case.

What is the Statute of Limitations for a Bicycle Accident in Ohio?

Bicycle accident claims in Ohio are subject to the state’s statute of limitations. A statute of limitations is a deadline established by law that limits the time a bicycle accident victim has to take legal action and file a claim seeking compensation for their injuries and damages.

Ohio’s statute of limitations for a personal injury claim (including bicycle accidents) is two years, counting from the date when the accident took place. In other words, once your accident occurs, the clock starts ticking. If you don’t file a claim within two years, your claim may be dismissed, and you may be barred from receiving any compensation. This is one of several reasons why hiring an attorney early on in the process is crucial for the success of your case.

Another aspect to consider is that even though you have two years to assemble your case, the longer you wait, the harder it will be to recover sufficient evidence to prove your side of the story. Witnesses may be harder to reach, videos and photos may be erased or lost, physical evidence may be displaced, and your memories about the accident may fade.

This is important because a bicycle accident is a civil case, meaning it is up to the plaintiff to show enough evidence to support their claims. Be sure to reach out to an attorney shortly after your accident – that way, your attorney will be able to gather substantial evidence to support your case and maximize your chances of receiving top compensation.

Why Should I Hire an Attorney for My Bicycle Accident Case?

Being injured in a bicycle accident that was not your fault can be an extremely difficult and emotionally draining situation. During this time, your focus should be on doing what you need to do to recover and get back on your feet. By working with an experienced bicycle accident attorney, you can have the peace of mind of knowing your lawyer will handle all aspects of your case for you and help you assert your rights to fair compensation.

At HMW Law, we are committed to providing top-quality services to those needing legal representation. Our bicycle accident attorneys in Cleveland can guide you through the complexities of your case and work toward securing maximum damages recovery on your behalf. We will take care of all negotiations with the insurance company in order to settle your case, but we can also prepare for trial and take your case to the courtroom if necessary.

At our firm, we employ a team approach to every personal injury case we take on. Thus, when you turn to us, you will have over 70 years of combined experience on your side and access to one of our team members 24 hours a day, seven days a week. When you have a question or concern, our Cleveland bicycle accident attorneys will respond promptly with a clear and honest answer. We will never leave you in the dark about your case and will be by your side every step of the way. If you or a loved one suffered severe injuries after being involved in a bicycle accident with a reckless driver, contact HMW Law at 216-369-1352 and request a free consultation to discuss your case.