Put Thirty Years of Experience To Work For You - Columbus Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Scott Elliot Smith
Motorcycles offer a fun way to experience the open road, especially on warm, sunny days in Ohio. While riding a motorcycle is thrilling, they do carry risks of injury in accidents. While drivers and passengers in cars have airbags and seatbelts to protect them, not to mention the steel body of the car, motorcycle riders have relatively little crash protection.
If you or a loved one was injured, or sustained fatal motorcycle accident injuries in an accident, call 614-874-1056. An experienced Columbus motorcycle accident lawyer is prepared to listen to you and discuss your options. The Smith Law Office can put experience and resources to work for you. You may be entitled to compensation for losses, which in a motorcycle wreck can be significant. You may need financial compensation for lost wages, steep medical bills, pain and suffering and other types of damages.
We realize your case is about more than just money. It's about justice. It's about making sure you get the attention you rightfully deserve. It's about helping you get back to the place you were prior to the injury.
What should I do after my Ohio motorcycle accident?
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident caused by another driver in Columbus or another part of Ohio, make sure you take certain steps to protect your rights and your health. Such steps immediately after your accident include:
- Call the police – Ask them to respond to your motorcycle accident. If your collision occurred on a city street in Columbus or another community, the local police will likely respond. If your motorcycle crash occurred on I-270, I-71 or another highway, a trooper from the Ohio State Highway Patrol will likely respond.
- Seek medical attention – Ask the police to send an ambulance if you or anyone else sustained an injury in your crash. If you are not sure, ask them to send one to your accident. Don’t try to diagnose yourself. Have a medical professional examine you.
- Get witnesses’ names – If you are well enough to do so, get the names and phone numbers of anyone at the crash site who saw your accident. Eyewitness testimony can be a powerful piece of evidence in support of your motorcycle accident claim.
- Take photos – Take pictures of your motorcycle accident. Make sure to get photos of the crash itself, any nearby street signs, light conditions, etc. – anything you think might be important when it comes to your accident claim.
- Exchange information – Get the other driver’s name, address, driver’s license number and insurance information. Give the same information to the other driver.
- Don’t discuss crash – Once you exchange information with the other driver, don’t say anything about your crash to the other driver or anyone else at the scene other than the investigating police officer. Keep your comments to a minimum and stick to the facts. Anything you say could be used as evidence to deny your injury claim.
- Call a lawyer – The sooner you talk to an attorney, the better you can understand the legal options available to you.
Several hours or days after your motorcycle accident, you should also take these additional steps as well:
- See your doctor – Even if a medical professional already examined you at the scene of your accident, schedule a follow-up appointment with your doctor. Many motorcycle accident injuries take several hours or days to develop, including concussions and other traumatic brain injuries (TBI).
- Follow your doctor’s instructions – This recommendation might seem obvious but it’s important to take your doctor’s advice – whether it’s resting at home, having regular checkups to monitor your progress or taking certain medications. If you ignore those instructions, the at-fault driver’s insurance company could use your actions as evidence that you’re not injured and deny your accident claim.
- Review your accident report – Get a copy of your official Ohio accident report, which is officially called an Ohio Traffic Crash Report (OH-1). You can obtain a copy of the report from the police department that investigated your crash or online from the Ohio Traffic Safety Office. You should then carefully review your report and look for any mistakes. Even the slightest error could jeopardize the outcome of your motorcycle accident claim. An experienced attorney can review your report and help you set the record straight if there are any mistakes.
- Call your insurance company – Tell your insurance company you have been in a motorcycle accident caused by another driver.
- Don’t talk to the other driver’s insurance company – The at-fault driver’s insurance company will likely contact you soon after your crash. Don’t talk to them. Even if their questions seem simple or straightforward, they’re simply looking for information they can use to reduce or deny your motorcycle accident claim.
- Don’t discuss your accident – Don’t post anything on social media about your motorcycle accident. The same goes for talking about your accident with friends. Insurance companies for at-fault driver are constantly searching for anything they can use to deny accident claims. Don’t give them anything they can turn into evidence against you.
- Get an attorney – If you have not already done so, talk with an experienced Columbus motorcycle accident lawyer. The sooner you have an attorney, the better you can be prepared for anything that comes up after your crash.
How much is my motorcycle accident claim worth?
The simple answer is your motorcycle accident claim should cover all your accident-related expenses. What you might not realize just how many expenses you should be compensated for after your crash.
Along with short-term expenses like emergency medical care (including surgery) right after your accident, you should also be compensated for all future, long-term expenses as well. Such expenses can include:
- All past, present and anticipated medical expenses related to your crash.
- The cost of repairing or purchasing a new motorcycle.
- Replacement income if you need time off from work to recover from your injury.
- Lost future income if you cannot return to work due to a permanent disability caused by your motorcycle accident.
Add up all of these expenses and your motorcycle accident claim could easily be worth thousands of dollars or significantly more. The best way to know for sure how much money your claim is worth is by talking to an experienced attorney who can review the details of your case.
Should I accept a settlement offer?
Don’t be surprised if the at-fault driver’s insurance company makes a settlement offer soon after your motorcycle accident. You might be tempted to accept such an offer, especially if your accident-related bills keep adding up.
But the reality is many settlement offers from insurance companies for motorcycle accidents fall far short of how much money you actually need for all your injury-related expenses. And if you accept their offer, that’s it. Your case is closed. That means that you will have to pay for all your other expenses out of your own pocket.
This is why it’s important to carefully review any settlement offer before agreeing to accept it. Don’t feel pressured by the other driver’s insurance company. You and your lawyer should review the terms of their offer and decide whether or not you should accept it.
Should I file a motorcycle accident lawsuit?
Many times, the best way to get the money your rightfully deserve for your motorcycle accident is to file a lawsuit. There are many reasons why motorcycle injury victims in Ohio decide to take legal action. Such reasons include:
- The at-fault driver’s insurance company makes a lowball settlement offer.
- The at-fault driver’s insurance company refuses to negotiate or make a better offer.
- The at-fault driver’s insurance company denies your injury claim and blames you for causing the collision.
- You believe you can obtain more money by filing a lawsuit and taking legal action.
It’s also important to understand that you only have a limited amount to take legal action in Ohio. The deadline (known as the statute of limitations) for filing a lawsuit is two years from the date of your accident, according to Ohio Revised Code, Section 2305.10. That might seem like a long time. But the sooner your lawyer can start investigating your accident, the stronger your legal case.
Insurance Companies and Motorcycle Accidents in Central Ohio
Unfortunately, dealing with insurance companies after a motorcycle accident can be an exercise in frustration. The insurance company often will try to shift blame to the motorcycle rider, even when a driver is clearly at fault. While there are many causes of motorcycle accidents, often we hear about drivers who fail to "see" the motorcyclist. Motorcycles have a right to share the road with other vehicles. Failing to see the biker is simply negligence. The driver needs to be held responsible. At the Smith Law Office, we're dedicated to our clients and pursuing the maximum compensation allowed under state law.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an Ohio motorcycle accident, contact Columbus attorney Scott Elliot Smith, a strong advocate for motorcycle safety and a lawyer with decades of experience helping injured bikers recover.
Unfortunately, bikers are at an elevated risk of being seriously injured or killed in crashes. A fatal injury may be grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit. Too much is at stake in a motorcycle accident. It's important to retain a qualified attorney who can protect your rights.
Drivers have a duty to drive responsibly and in cases where negligence causes death or injury, an actionable claim for damages occurs. Our job as your attorney is to maximize the recovery of your claim.
Previous repairs to the bike not completed properly or product defects may also result in a product liability claim.
Contact the Smith Law Office
Scott Elliot Smith builds a strong case that proves another operator was responsible for the accident that caused your injuries. He knows where to look for evidence of negligence - reviewing all relevant documentation, identify and interviewing all witnesses, and consulting experts as needed. Then he pursues the financial compensation you need and deserve.
Don't let a dispute with the insurance company over a motorcycle accident derail your life. Get back on track. Choose an experienced law firm. Call 614-874-1056 or contact us online. At the Smith Law Office, your initial consultation is free. There's no obligation. Let us put our experience and aggressive legal representation to work for you.
We understand your case is about more than just money. It's about justice, about making sure you get the attention you rightfully deserve. The Smith Law Office serves clients throughout Central Ohio. We have built a stellar reputation in these communities based on more than thirty years of experience and success in personal injury cases.
Discover the difference we can make after your motorcycle crash. Schedule an appointment with Columbus motorcycle accident lawyer Scott Elliot Smith right now. We have two offices conveniently located in Columbus and serve motorcycle injury victims throughout Ohio.