April 27, 2022 | Criminal Defense
A bicycle accident can cause catastrophic injuries for the bike rider. It can also be terrifying for the driver. It is easy for a driver to panic after hitting a bike rider.
The primary goal is to remain calm and call for help. You need to report the accident by calling 911 and requesting emergency medical services for the bicyclist.
You could face criminal charges because you hit a bicyclist. So seeking legal advice from a Cincinnati criminal defense attorney is also a top priority.
What Happens if You Flee the Bicycle Accident Scene?
You are required to stop at the scene of an accident, according to Ohio Revised Statute §4549.02. You must give the police officer your name, address, and insurance information. If another person owns the vehicle, you must provide the vehicle owner’s name.
Fleeing a bicycle accident in Cincinnati could result in a hit-and-run ticket. If there were no injuries, you could face up to six months in jail and a $500 fine. The judge could also suspend your driver’s license for up to three years.
However, most bicycle accidents result in injuries to the biker. If you flee to the scene of a bicycle accident with injuries, the criminal penalties increase. You could be sentenced to one year in prison and a fine of $2,500.
Killing a bicycle in a hit-and-run accident is a third-degree felony charge. The punishment is up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Other Criminal Charges Related to Bicycle Accidents in Cincinnati
Depending on the facts of the case, you could also be charged with other crimes. For example, if you are driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you could be charged with one or more DUI/OVI charges. The result could be fines, jail time, probation, loss of driving privileges, and other penalties.
Reckless driving is another charge that might apply in a bicycle accident. You could lose your Ohio driver’s license, spend time in jail, have four points against your driver’s license, and/or pay a fine for a conviction.
Hitting a bike rider with your car could also result in vehicular assault, aggravated vehicular assault, or vehicular homicide. A judge may sentence you to a lengthy prison term and high fines. In addition, you could lose your driving privileges for many years.
What Should I Do After a Bicycle Accident in Cincinnati?
Even though the police did not charge you with a crime at the accident scene, you could be charged later. Therefore, it is best to discuss your situation with a criminal defense lawyer. An attorney advises you of your rights and the steps to take to protect yourself in the event of a criminal charge.
Call 911 to report the crash and wait for the police to arrive. Offer assistance to the injured rider until EMS arrives.
While waiting for the police, take pictures of the accident scene. Ask witnesses for their names and contact information. Documenting the accident scene can help you with your defense.
Do not discuss the bicycle accident with anyone other than the police officer and your lawyer. Instead, tell the police officer what happened in clear, concise statements. Do not offer unnecessary information or admit fault for the cause of the bicycle crash.
You Might Not Be At Fault for the Cause of the Bicycle Accident
Drivers have a duty of care to avoid hitting a bicyclist. They must follow traffic laws and avoid doing anything that could cause another person harm.
However, bicyclists also have a duty of care. They must follow traffic laws. If they break the traffic laws or ride the bicycle in a reckless manner that causes a crash, the rider could be liable for damages.
It is easy to blame the motorist when a car hits a bicyclist. The police officer may assume you are at fault, but that might not be the case.
In addition to criminal charges, the bicyclist might sue you for damages. Damages can include medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other out-of-pocket expenses. Therefore, you must determine the cause of the bicycle crash to prove whether you were to blame.
Ohio’s contributory fault laws can help you avoid liability after hitting a bike rider. If the bike rider was 51% or more at fault, the bike rider could not hold you financially liable for damages. Proving fault can also help you prove you were not guilty of criminal charges after hitting a bike rider.
Contact the Cincinnati Criminal Law Attorneys at Suhre & Associates, LLC For Help Today
Suhre & Associates, LLC – Cincinnati
600 Vine Street, Suite 1004
Cincinnati, OH 45202