Motorcycle accident victims are often left with serious or life-threatening injuries. Some of those injuries may also be permanent and could impact the rest of that person’s life.
Whether you were riding a Harley, sport motorcycle or dirt bike, if you were injured in an accident caused by negligence, you should strongly consider legal assistance. If you were seriously injured or need help enforcing your rights under your insurance policy, the Cleveland motorcycle accident lawyers at Friedman, Domiano & Smith are ready to help.
For more than 45 years, the licensed attorneys at our firm have helped motor vehicle crash victims secure millions in compensation. There are no upfront fees with our services and an initial consultation is free.
Call 216-621-0070 to schedule a free consultation today.
Do I Have a Valid Case?
When determining whether you have a valid motorcycle accident case, there are two main factors to consider:
- Whether the accident was a result of someone else’s negligence
- Whether those negligent actions directly resulted in your damages
Negligence means a failure to uphold a duty of care the other driver owed you. Drivers owe motorcyclists a duty of care to follow the rules of the road and operate their vehicle in a reasonable manner to prevent an accident. If another driver failed to act in a way that would prevent a collision with your motorcycle, his or her actions could be considered negligent.
Once you establish another driver’s actions were negligent, you need to prove that his or her negligence directly caused your injuries and property damage, collectively called “damages.” Another way to think about this is that you would not have been harmed but for the other driver’s negligence.
The facts of each case may differ, but the principle of negligence does not. Our attorneys can evaluate the facts of your claim during a free consultation to determine whether you may have a valid case for compensation.
There are a variety of factors we may consider when reviewing your case:
- The severity of your injuries
- How the crash occurred
- Damage to your motorcycle and the other vehicle involved
- Evidence you collected after the crash
Types of Motorcycle Crash Cases
Our firm takes on cases involving many types of motorcycle crashes, including:
- Rear-end crashes
- Left-turn crashes
- Impaired driving accidents
- Red-light collisions
- Head-on crashes
- Crashes involving speeding
- And more
If you were injured in one of these types of accidents, or any other type of crash, give us a call to discuss possible legal options.
Give us a call for legal assistance. 216-621-0070
How Much Might My Case Be Worth?
If our attorneys determine your case is valid, the next step would be to establish how much it may be worth so we may help you maximize compensation.
Since the facts of every case differ, so does the value of the victim’s damages. For motorcycle accident victims, those damages could be significant. Injuries from these crashes are so frequently life-threatening, including:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Spinal cord injuries
- Skull fractures
- Soft-tissue injuries, particularly to the knee, ankle or shoulder
- Broken bones
- Road rash
These injuries often require extensive medical treatment that should be paid for by the liable party. These costs may include:
- Hospital stays
- CT scans
- Physical therapy
- In-home care
- And more
Medical costs are not the only damages associated with motorcycle accidents. Victims may also seek compensation for:
- Motorcycle repair/replacement costs
- Lost wages for time lost at work
- Loss of earning capacity if your injuries are permanent
Our attorneys are also prepared to help you pursue compensation for physical pain and emotional suffering you may experience. This includes pain and suffering while you were recovering from your injuries and pain and suffering that continues because of a permanent injury.
How Can a Lawyer Help Me?
Hiring an attorney is beneficial for motorcycle accident victims for several reasons. First, you need someone who understands your legal rights and how to protect them. At Friedman, Domiano and Smith, we have been helping motor vehicle crash victims for decades and have a proven track record.
Second, for you to recover maximum compensation, you need to prove negligence by the liable party directly resulted in your injuries. To do this, you need a detailed understanding of the law and how to gather evidence to build a strong case for compensation.
When you hire an attorney – at our firm attorneys are hired on contingency, so there are no upfront fees – he or she can handle the investigation and building of a case on your behalf. We know how to deal with insurance companies and aggressively negotiate for full compensation.
Once you accept a settlement you will not have another chance to claim additional compensation. That is why our attorneys consider the long-term implications of an injury before we advise a client to accept an offer. For example, some injuries require many years of reconstructive surgery or rehabilitation.
We know some victims feel pressured to accept the first offer because they have been warned about bias against bikers. We know how to deal with such issues and will not settle for anything less than you deserve.
We are always prepared to go to court, even though most cases settle. By hiring an attorney who is prepared to go to court and does so regularly, the insurance company may be more likely to negotiate in good faith.
Get started today. Call 216-621-0070.
Is There a Time Limit to File a Lawsuit?
Yes, there is a two-year statute of limitation in Ohio for cases involving personal injuries, including injuries suffered in motor vehicle collisions. Once those two years pass, you will be unable to pursue compensation through a lawsuit. Even if you file a lawsuit, the other side can simply file a motion to dismiss the case because it was filed after the statute of limitations ran out.
Insurance companies like to delay the resolution of the insurance claim process, so victims have less time to file a lawsuit. Since investigating a case, evaluating damages, and dealing with insurers can take time, it would be in your best interest to contact an attorney as soon as possible.
Our Cleveland motorcycle crash lawyers are always prepared to take cases to court and get the lawsuit filed before the statute of limitations expires.
What if I Was Not Wearing a Helmet?
You should still be able to seek compensation if you were not wearing a helmet. Give our attorneys a call to discuss potential legal options.
In Ohio, all motorcycle operators and passengers who are under the age of 18 are legally required to wear a helmet. All novice licensees are also required to wear one. Other motorcycle riders are not required to wear a helmet.
If you are either a minor or a first-time motorcycle license holder and you are injured in an accident while not wearing a helmet, this could affect the value of your case, but not entirely bar you from recovering compensation. Under Ohio’s comparative negligence law, injury victims who are less than 50 percent at fault for their injuries may still recover reduced compensation. (Compensation is reduced based on your percentage of fault.)
It is important to note the insurance company would need to prove your injuries would have been less severe if you were wearing a helmet and the law required you to wear a helmet. If you suffered a head injury this may be easy to do. However, if you suffered an injury to another body part, it would be harder for the insurance company to connect not wearing a helmet to your injuries.
What if I Was a Passenger on the Motorcycle?
As a passenger on a motorcycle involved in an accident, you may be able to recover compensation from the liability insurance of any driver who is at fault for the crash. This includes the driver of the motorcycle you were riding on.
While passengers may hesitate to file a claim against a friend who caused an accident that left you injured, it is important to remember that you are not filing a claim against your friend or loved one – you are filing a claim against that person’s liability insurance.
No-Contact Motorcycle Crash Claims
Sometimes a motorcycle collision does not involve a crash with another vehicle. Maybe the motorcycle crashed into a fixed object, like a tree or road sign. However, another driver may still be at fault. Another driver’s recklessness may have caused the motorcyclist to make a maneuver that resulted in a crash.
In these situations, motorcyclists may be able to file claims against their uninsured motorist coverage, if they purchased it. If the police can locate the at-fault driver, and your attorney can validate your case, you could file a claim against that driver’s liability insurance.
Ohio requires drivers to purchase a minimum amount of insurance:
- $25,000 bodily injury coverage for an accident involving only one person
- $50,000 bodily injury coverage for an accident involving two or more people
- $25,000 property damage coverage
These minimums are often not enough to cover the full cost of a victim’s motorcycle accident damages. Even though drivers are required to have this coverage, many still do not carry any insurance. That is why it is important that you have uninsured motorist coverage on your own policy.
Steps to Take Following a Motorcycle Crash
The most important step is to get medical treatment to diagnose and treat your injuries. You do not want to wait because your injuries could get worse. Immediate medical treatment helps to show the insurance company your injuries are connected to the crash. Insurers regularly tell victims they were injured because of something besides the accident.
Other steps include:
- Obtaining contact information from witnesses: Legal complications sometimes arise after motorcycle accidents when those involved dispute their liability. Impartial witnesses can make a significant difference in substantiating your claims.
- Photographing the crash scene: If it is safe to do so, take detailed pictures that capture vehicle positions, the street layout and damage to your bike. These photographs can become invaluable when reconstructing the crash or determining liability.
Call Us Today to Schedule a Free Consultation
If you or a loved one were injured in a motorcycle accident, our experienced attorneys are ready to help you through the process of filing a claim. We are prepared to help you pursue the compensation you need for your medical bills, lost wages and other damages.
We offer a free consultation to discuss your legal options and charge you nothing while we work on your case. You only pay us if we successfully recover compensation on your behalf.