What Type Of Damages Can I Seek After A Motorcycle Accident?
Motorcycle accidents occur much too often in the our area, and they frequently result from the negligence of other drivers. When a motorist behind the wheel of a car or truck follows a motorcyclist too closely or fails to account for blind spots, for example, a motorcyclist can sustain catastrophic injuries in a collision. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), motorcycle accidents have been rising rapidly across the country. Indeed, the overall rate of motorcycle miles traveled has risen by about 23 percent in the last decade, while motorcycle accident fatalities have increased by about 20 percent during that same period.
If another party is liable for injuries in a motorcycle collision — whether the liable party is another driver, a negligent property owner, or even the manufacturer or designer of a defective motorcycle part — what types of damages can the injured motorcyclist seek? In general, Ohio allows injured motorcyclists to seek compensatory damages, and in some cases punitive damages may be a possibility. Our Columbus motorcycle accident attorneys can provide additional clarification.
Compensatory Damages in Ohio
Most plaintiffs in a motorcycle accident lawsuit will seek compensatory damages. Under Ohio law, there are two types of compensatory damages that you may be eligible to obtain: damages for economic losses and damages for noneconomic losses.
Ohio law defines economic loss as a pecuniary harm that may include lost wages or salaries, medical care and treatment, and the direct cost of any services, products, treatments, or accommodations necessary due to the injury. A noneconomic loss is defined as “nonpecuniary harm that results from an injury or loss to person or property” such as “pain and suffering, loss of society, consortium, companionship, care, assistance, attention, protection, advice, guidance, counsel, instruction, training, or education, disfigurement, mental anguish, and any other intangible loss.”
Noneconomic damages can be more complicated since there is no objective dollar figure associated with such nonpecuniary losses, but a lawyer can speak with you about how to prove that you have suffered a noneconomic loss for which you should be compensated.
Punitive or Exemplary Damages in Ohio
In limited cases where a motorcycle accident resulted from the intentional harmful act of another party or for particularly reckless conduct, it may be possible to seek punitive or exemplary damages. This type of damages award is intended to punish the defendant for an especially harmful act.
Timetable Requirements for Seeking Damages
You will only be able to seek damages in an Ohio motorcycle accident if you file a lawsuit before the statute of limitations has run out. Under Ohio law, the statute of limitations for most types of motorcycle accident claims is two years from the date of the injury. As long as your lawsuit is filed within that time window, you can be eligible to seek and obtain damages.
If a loved one was killed in a motorcycle accident, you should know that wrongful death lawsuits in Ohio also have a two-year statute of limitations. However, the clock will begin to tick on the date of the death as opposed to the date of the initial injury. If you do not file your lawsuit before the statute of limitations runs out (either a personal injury or wrongful death case), your claim will be time-barred.
Contact a Columbus Motorcycle Accident Attorney Today
If you or somebody you love sustained injuries in a motorcycle crash, you should speak with a Columbus motorcycle accident lawyer at the law firm of Brian G. Miller CO., L.P.A. about seeking damages.