The state of Oklahoma is renowned for its open roads, beautiful scenery, and enthusiasm for motorcycle riding. That being said, Oklahoma City contains 16 percent of the residents in the state itself, which makes for some traffic and compromising riding scenarios not typically found elsewhere in the Sooner State.
There is a chance of an incident happening every time you are out on a ride, but being knowledgeable and having a good motorcycle accident attorney can help you ride stress-free and mitigate liability should something happen. We’ll outline how to find a motorcycle accident lawyer in OKC to make sure that you are covered in every instance possible.
Do you need to hire a Motorcycle Lawyer in Oklahoma City?
Unfortunately, accidents can happen to even the most careful riders out of frequency alone. Regardless of who is at fault, there is going to be some legal recourse and follow-up necessary. There will be critical steps to take at the time of the crash, when you present information to lawyers, and in any subsequent claims or court cases.
Even if both parties agree on fault at the scene of the crash, we recommend making sure you have proper representation for follow-up. Oftentimes, insurance companies can manipulate cases to minimize payouts, or it can t be difficult to collect money you deserve should the other party be at fault. Conversely, it is important to mitigate damages from claims should you be blamed for the accident.
Both before and after an incident, having legal representation familiar with Oklahoma and OKC motorcycle laws will go a long way in getting the outcome you deserve.
Common causes of motorcycle accidents
There are many variables and distractions that can contribute to motorcycle accidents. Here are some of the most common ones to watch out for:
- Another Driver Turning Left: One of the leading causes of motorcycle accidents is a motorist cutting a rider off while making a left-hand turn across lanes. It is estimated that anywhere between 36-42 percent of all motorcycle accidents are because of this, which is an astonishing amount.
- Inclement Weather: Difficult road conditions and harsh weather are one of the greatest sources of all crashes, and increase single-vehicle incidents in motorcycles significantly. Make sure to avoid bad weather if possible, and to learn how your bike handles the road during sub-par conditions if you must. The OKC winters can bring heavy rains and wind, so we recommend monitoring the weather before heading out.
- Driving Under the Influence: Another unfortunately high percentage of single-vehicle crashes for motorcyclists are DUI crashes. We’ll put it simply: do not drink before riding your motorcycle, and watch out for cars driving erratically that may be operated under the influence.
- Merging: Motorcycles are smaller than most cars on the road, and often get hidden in blind spots. We recommend not staying static near vehicles to your left or right if possible, as you might not be visible to the driver. Defensive driving in traffic can be a life-saver, especially when it comes to lane protection.
- Rear-End Collisions: Because motorcycles are small, light, and less protected, a rear-end collision is much more dangerous than when driving a car. The same principles as blind spots apply – try to make sure that you are present in the vision of the cars around you. Lane splitting is not illegal in Oklahoma, but only in the sense that it is not mentioned explicitly in the motorcycle laws. This means that if you are doing anything wrong while lane splitting, the legal liability and insurance scrutiny will be at its highest.
Any sort of distraction on the road can cause an accident, so always take your riding seriously. Oklahoma City is a particularly busy city, and while it can be fun to navigate the bustling streets, you should look out for you and other drivers’ safety first.
Determining fault in a motorcycle accident
In the event of an accident, first make sure you and any other parties are safe and do not need immediate medical treatment. Following that, it is up to all parties to determine fault and document it for insurance and legal reasons.
Things that often contribute to clear fault are speeding, breaking any road sign rules, impaired or tired driving, or negligence. When it comes to determining fault in an accident, insurance companies and lawyers will be looking for witnesses, dashcam or security camera footage, and police reports to create a claim.
Damages available in OKC motorcycle claims
Once you have filed a claim within the proper statute, insurance or a court case will determine what damages you are eligible for. The most common forms of damages include:
- Disability from injury
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Medical expenses
- Property damage
It is important to note that there are many different classes of economic and non-economic damages available via legal action. This is where it is important to have the best representation from lawyers who are knowledgeable about the nuance of each potential claim.
Oklahoma Helmet Laws
One thing that can put you at fault or nullify the possibility of damages in a case is not wearing a helmet. Even though it is only a secondary offense to not wear a helmet in Oklahoma if you are above 18 years old, not wearing a helmet can assign you partial fault or lower your compensation.
While no one wants to have their freedoms imposed upon, the added safety in both a physical and legal sense makes wearing a helmet a priority when riding in Oklahoma City.
Motorcycle Accident Lawyers for Your Riding Community
Law Tigers is proud to have the entire motorcycle community’s back – we’re riders just like you. Regardless of the collision scenario you find yourself in, our team of experienced legal specialists will be there to ensure you have the best chance at success.
We are confident in our abilities because riding is in our blood and we care deeply about keeping our clients at ease mentally. Our track record of specialized victories spans decades. At Law Tigers, we know that riding is a priority, and we want to help keep you on the road.