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Lawyer Of The Year Jami S. Oliver 2024
Jami S. Oliver voted 2024 “Lawyer of the Year”, Columbus, OH Product Liability Litigation – Plaintiffs by Best Lawyers in America Jami S. Oliver also named Best Lawyers 2024 in three areas of practice:
Litigation – Labor & Employment, Medical Malpractice Law – Plaintiffs, and Product Liability Law – Plaintiffs
Columbus Personal Injury Lawyer / Columbus Bicycle Accident Lawyer

Columbus Bicycle Accident Lawyer

Columbus is a welcoming city for cyclists, with metro bike maps, miles of protected bike lanes, turn boxes, abundant bicycle parking, a multimodal thoroughfare plan, and many projects and planning in the works to make Columbus friendlier and safer for cyclists. Even with all that going on, though, cycling in the city can still be a dangerous and potentially deadly activity. Because bicycles are smaller and narrower than other vehicles and less common on the road, and because their view can be obstructed by larger vehicles, bicycles are harder to spot by motorists. Cyclists can increase their visibility by riding in the center of the lane, but this is not always possible or practical.

Even when cyclists are riding carefully, competently and vigilantly, they can still be prey to negligent drivers who don’t take care to share the road with bicycles. Drivers can be impatient, aggressive or reckless around bikes. They can be distracted, inattentive, fail to signal, and act in countless ways that put a bicycle rider’s health and life in danger. The Oliver Law Office is a leading personal injury law firm in Columbus dedicated to helping auto accident victims get justice and compensation for the harm done to them in crashes caused by a driver’s negligence, including cases involving the most severe and catastrophic injuries or wrongful death. You can learn more about Ohio bicycle safety laws and tips below. If you or a loved one has been hurt in a bicycle crash and you need help holding the at-fault driver accountable, the Oliver Law Office will handle every aspect of your case so you can focus on yourself and your family. Contact our experienced Columbus bicycle accident lawyer today.

Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents in Columbus

There are many ways negligent drivers can get into wrecks with bicycles. These are some of the most common:

  • Misjudging the cyclist’s speed. Cyclists can be going anywhere from 15 to 35 miles per hour, and it’s common for drivers to misjudge the speed of an oncoming cyclist. This leads to drivers making left turns across the path of a rider who cannot avoid colliding with the car. These crashes also happen when the bicyclist is behind a car that is coming through the intersection; the left-turning driver executes the turn after the oncoming car has passed through without looking to see if there is a bicycle following the car.

  • Entering the roadway. Cars entering the roadway from a driveway, alleyway, or intersection hit bicycles when they fail to look out for bicycles crossing their path. Safe driving involves not pulling into the roadway too quickly, and stopping before crossing a sidewalk or crosswalk.

  • Right hook crashes. These accidents happen when a driver makes a right turn without looking to see if a bicycle is on the right side of the lane or in a bike lane. Negligent drivers cause right hook accidents by failing to look behind them, failing to signal their turns, or by passing cyclists and then reentering the lane in front of the cyclist too quickly.

  • Dooring. Every cyclist knows about the danger of getting “doored” even if it hasn’t happened to them personally. Dooring happens when a driver or driver-side passenger opens their door into traffic or a bike lane, and a cyclist crashes into the open door. These accidents can be catastrophic or deadly as the cyclist can flip head over heels onto the pavement. Opening a car door into a bike lane without checking the side mirror or looking behind is a negligent act.

  • Distracted driving. Driver inattention, including texting while driving and other smartphone activity, is a leading cause of all types of auto accidents. Distracted driving can be especially dangerous to cyclists, who are harder to spot on the road even when drivers are paying attention.

Rules of the Road for Bicyclists in Columbus

Under Ohio law, bicycles are vehicles and cyclists are drivers. Cyclists must follow all the laws that apply to other vehicles and drivers, except for those laws which wouldn’t apply to a non-motorized vehicle. Otherwise, cyclists have all the same rights and responsibilities as motorists. Below are some safe riding tips based on Ohio traffic laws.

  • Helmets are required for riders under 18. Adults are encouraged to wear helmets for safety, but they are not required to wear them by law.

  • Cyclists should ride in the direction of traffic, i.e., on the right side of the road.

  • Generally speaking, cyclists should use bike lanes wherever they are available. If there is no bike lane, cyclists should ride as close to the right edge of the road as is safe and practical, staying on the paved surface. If there are parked cars in the street, cyclists should ride in the roadway at least four feet from the parked cars to avoid getting “doored.” In any event, riding in bike lanes is optional for the cyclist, and it’s not always the safest place for a cyclist to be.

  • If the lane is too narrow to accommodate both a bicycle and a motor vehicle, cyclists can lawfully occupy the center of the lane, even if they are riding slower than the pace of traffic. If the lane is wide enough to permit it, cyclists should stay to the right of the lane so cars can pass in the same lane. However, it is lawful for cyclists to take the lane under Ohio law if the lane is too narrow to share with a motor vehicle, if they are keeping up with the flow of traffic, or if there are hazards or objects on the edge of the road, including potholes and parked cars.

  • Riding on sidewalks is illegal in Columbus, except where sidewalks are officially designated as multi-use trails open to both cyclists and pedestrians. An exception exists for children under ten, who can and should ride on the sidewalk instead of the street.

  • Drivers should yield to cyclists in bike lanes or traveling parallel to the driver in the roadway. Drivers should slow down to pass a cyclist safely, including changing lanes to pass if there is not enough room to pass safely in the same lane.

Contact the Oliver Law Office Today

If you have been injured in a bicycle crash or lost a loved one in an auto-bike collision, the attorneys at the Oliver Law Office are committed to helping you get the justice and compensation you need and deserve. Let us take care of your legal claim while you focus on yourself and your family. Call our experienced Columbus bicycle accident lawyer today.

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