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Should I Hire a Lawyer After a Motorcycle Accident in Oklahoma City?

Sabah Khalaf
9 minute read

According to the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office (OHSO), there were 1,285 motorcycle accidents in the state of Oklahoma in 2021, including 76 deaths. More than 700 of those crashes involved injuries. If you’re a motorcyclist, these statistics may not surprise you – it’s no secret the roads can be a dangerous place on two wheels. In Oklahoma City, the state’s largest city, the risks can be even higher. If you’ve been in an accident in OKC, you might be wondering: Should I hire an Oklahoma City motorcycle accident lawyer? Here’s what you need to know.

Do You Have Standing to Make a Claim?

The first thing to consider is whether you have standing to bring a case, which means that you meet the requirements to file a motorcycle accident lawsuit in Oklahoma City. A motorcycle accident falls under the laws related to personal injury claims:

  • You have two years to file a claim. The statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits in Oklahoma is two years from the date of the injury, which is typically the date the accident happened.
  • Someone else must be at fault for the accident. Oklahoma follows a modified “comparative fault” rule, which means that each party is assigned a percentage of the fault. The other party must be more than 50% at fault for the accident in order for you to sue.

You’ll also need to prove that the other party was negligent in their actions. To prove negligence, you need to establish that the case meets the elements of a tort. Essentially, this means that:

  • The person owed you a duty of care, meaning they had a responsibility to act with care. In motorcycle, auto and truck accidents, courts typically assume that drivers automatically have a duty of care to others on the road.
  • The person breached their duty of care, either by doing something or by not doing something. For example, they have a duty to check their surroundings before switching lanes. If they didn’t, they breached that duty.
  • You suffered direct harm as a result of the person’s action or lack of action.

Determining whether you have standing isn’t always straightforward. If you’re not sure, it’s smart to contact a motorcycle accident lawyer in Oklahoma City.

Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in Oklahoma City

Motorcycle accidents aren’t always a result of negligence. If a tree falls into the road or there is a classic Oklahoma ice storm, there might not be anything the other driver could have done. But there are also many different scenarios in which someone can be negligent while they’re on the road. Some of the most common situations that motorcycle accident lawyers in Oklahoma City see are:

  • Speeding
  • Failing to yield
  • Distracted driving
  • Drunk driving
  • Fatigue

Be especially careful on the Northwest Expressway – Oklahoma City’s top six most dangerous intersections are along that busy road at the following spots:

  1. Belle Isle Boulevard
  2. North Rockwell Avenue
  3. North Portland Avenue
  4. NW 63rd Street
  5. Lake Hefner Parkway
  6. North Pennsylvania Avenue

How Severe Are Your Injuries?

Motorcycle accidents cause more injuries and deaths than auto accidents, especially for those who aren’t wearing helmets (in fact, 70% of those involved in fatal motorcycle crashes in Oklahoma weren’t wearing helmets). That’s why this type of accident often results in:

  • High medical bills due to hospital stays and specialized care
  • A need for long-term rehabilitation, like physical therapy
  • Inability to work for at least a short period of time
  • Long-term physical and emotional pain and suffering

This list includes both economic damages, which you can add up to a monetary amount, and non-economic damages, which you can’t count like you would count money. The more severe your injuries are, the more you’ll need an Oklahoma City motorcycle accident lawyer to take care of your case.

What’s the Average Compensation for a Motorcycle Accident?

Every motorcycle accident is different, so it’s hard to give an average amount of compensation, even within the state of Oklahoma. The total amount you’ll receive depends on:

  • The severity of your injuries: Severe injuries with long-term and permanent consequences, like the loss of a limb, receive higher compensation.
  • The severity of your pain and suffering: If you’re permanently unable to return to work, disfigured, or suffer other severe harm, you could receive more compensation.
  • The degree of negligence involved: If the other party was grossly negligent, which means they demonstrated “reckless disregard” for your life, they might be ordered to pay more compensation.

An experienced Oklahoma City motorcycle accident lawyer can help you estimate the compensation you may receive.

How Can A Lawyer Help Your Case?

There are many reasons you’d want to consult a lawyer after a motorcycle accident in Oklahoma City – even if you don’t think you have a claim. Many law firms, including the Oklahoma Injury Guy, will provide you with a free case evaluation so you can determine if you have standing. If you have a good case, an experienced lawyer is key to help you:

  • Gather and analyze evidence: Strong evidence increases your chances of getting higher compensation. Your lawyer can collect police reports, interview witnesses, review your medical records, and help you prove pain and suffering.
  • Manage the process: Filing a motorcycle accident lawsuit involves a lot of paperwork. Aside from the motions you need to file in court, your lawyer will take care of communicating with the other party’s team.
  • Negotiate with insurance companies: Insurance companies have well-paid experts on their side and spend millions to make motorcycle accident claims go away. Your attorney will make sure you get the compensation you deserve.
  • Prepare for trial: Many motorcycle accident lawsuits settle out of court, but not all of them. If you can’t agree on a settlement, you’ll want a lawyer who is experienced in the courtroom, as well.

Tips for the Best Outcome in a Motorcycle Accident Case

A motorcycle accident lawyer takes care of many aspects of your case. But there is still plenty you can do to help yourself out:

  • Always see a doctor. Even if you feel fine, you might notice injuries once the adrenaline of the accident wears off. You’ll need medical records and professional opinions in order to prove your case.
  • Get insurance information and visual proof. In the heat of the moment, it’s easy to forget to take the other person’s information, as well as record video and photos. If you’re not able to do these things at the crash scene, you can get insurance information from the police.
  • Write everything down. In addition to getting statements from any witnesses, you should also write down your own experience as soon as you can. Continue documenting your recovery in a journal even after the accident to help prove pain and suffering.
  • Don’t talk to anyone. It’s tempting to post on social media, but don’t do it. Even a short post assuring your friends and family that you’re OK isn’t a good idea. Don’t talk to insurance companies either – that’s why you have a lawyer.

Of course, the best thing you can do is retain an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer in Oklahoma City. They know the process for this particular area, and they can give you even more tips on how you can help your case.

The Bottom Line

Motorcycle accidents are often serious. With little protection for the rider, they can easily lead to severe injuries. And despite pleas to “Share the Road,” the fact is that many drivers simply don’t look out for motorcyclists. That’s why there are lawyers like the Oklahoma Injury Guy who are willing to fight for you – and win. If you’ve been in an accident, contact us today to see if you have a case.