If you've suffered a personal injury or significant vehicle damage in a motorcycle accident, you deserve to know how the law works and the protections it provides. The issue of who is responsible, and therefore legally liable, is not always clear-cut in these types of crashes. To shed some light on this issue, below are three important details to know about motorcycle accident liability laws in Ohio and how they figure into a personal injury claim.
What to Know About Ohio's Motorcycle Accident Liability Laws
1. Contact Doesn't Have to Occur for One Party to Be Liable
In some motorcycle crashes, there is no physical contact between the car and the bike. For example, if a car speeds through a stop sign and loses control, veering toward a motorcyclist in the opposite lane, the cyclist may need to lay their bike down to avoid a collision. In a case like this, the motorcyclist might experience substantial personal injury and damage to their bike, and the speeding driver would likely be responsible for the accident.
2. There Can Be More Than One Responsible Party
Some crashes may actually involve more than one liable party. Using the example above, an investigation into the accident scene might reveal that the motorcycle had a defective part, which contributed to the driver not being able to safely stop the bike; or, perhaps the motorcyclist had to put the bike down in an area under road construction, and they hit their head on a piece of construction equipment while coming to stop. There are all sorts of variables and factors that can play into a personal injury case, and the law recognizes that, sometimes, more than one party can be liable for damages.
3. Wearing a Helmet Can Affect Liability
Ohio does not require motorcyclists to wear a helmet while operating a motorcycle. With that said, whether you choose to wear one could impact a personal injury claim resulting from an accident — even in an accident for which you are not at fault. Ohio is a comparative negligence state, meaning you could be found to have contributed to the severity of the injuries by choosing to forgo a helmet, and any compensation awarded will be reduced by an amount equal to your culpability.
Personal injury law, especially in motorcycle accidents, can be a complex matter. In these situations, you should have the support only a skilled and experienced attorney can provide. The Law Office of Lawrence W. Henke, III has been serving clients throughout Montgomery County, Ohio, for more than 30 years. Call (937) 461-9330 or visit them online to discuss your injury claim with a legal professional today.