Ohio Cycling Accidents
What you need to know.
Some of the most serious injury cases that we deal with are the result of car and bicycle accidents. These accidents often result in serious injury or death to the cyclist, substantial damage to the bicycle, and often with little or no damage to the driver’s vehicle. Even the most cautious cyclists are in serious danger from not being seen, distracted drivers, drivers unfamiliar with cyclists’ rights on the road, and road rage. Drivers might fail to yield or give proper clearance when passing a cyclist which can cause cyclists to lose control. Even if no contact is made by the driver, he or she might be liable for your injuries and damages resulting from passing you too closely. As with motor vehicle accidents, the driver is liable for damages he or she causes for failing to maintain an assured clear distance from you and your bicycle. The problem that most cyclists face is ensuring the identity of the driver that caused the incident. In some cases the driver might not even be aware that he or she caused an accident. In other instances the driver might speed away to avoid being identified. Some cyclists have started using video recording devices which can help identify the vehicle involved. Automobile insurance policies may or may not apply to your accident. You should discuss with your insurance representative the details of your coverage as they pertain to accidents involving motor vehicles and bicycles. You might need to change your coverage depending on the policy coverage and riding habits. Automobile insurance companies vary on what they cover for cyclists, so pay attention to the details and shop around.
Cyclists are bound to the same rules as all motor vehicles on the road. If a cyclist is injured as a result of his or her failure to follow the applicable traffic laws, this failure might substantially reduce or completely precluded the cyclists ability to recover damages. The same rules of negligence apply to cyclist and they are afforded no special exceptions.
What should you do if you, or a loved-one, are involved in a cycling accident?
Obviously it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible and call the police. Make certain that you examine your helmet carefully for any signs of damage and advise the doctor accordingly. Don’t be surprised if the responding officer is reluctant to cite the driver for the incident. These cases often boil down to “he said/she said” situations, where the responding officer might not be able to make a conclusion based on the physical evidence alone. Simply because the officer does not find the driver at fault does not preclude you from pursuing a claim for your injuries. Witnesses to the incident and photographs of the damages and injuries are important to effectively pursue a claim. Therefore, have someone take photographs of your injuries and the property damage. Photographs of your injuries and the damages sustained are persuasive and humanizing when dealing with the insurance company. Do not speak to any representative from the insurance company until you have spoken with a lawyer. Written and oral statements made to the insurance representative might be misconstrued and mischaracterized to your detriment in any subsequent claim you make regarding the incident. As you might have already guessed, our firm has experience not only representing injured cyclist, but we also enjoy cycling. If you are the victim of motor-vehicle accident and bicycle accident, don’t hesitate to call our office to discuss your case. Happy riding and be safe out there!