A Legal Guide For Oklahoma Motorcycle Accident Victims

2021 was not a great year for motorcycle riders in Oklahoma. Around 283 motorcycle crashes happened in Oklahoma City alone, resulting in 43 severe injuries. 

Oklahoma Motorcycle
Photo by Harley-Davidson on Unsplash

Generally speaking, riders have a much higher risk of injury on the road because they lack the safety of an enclosed vehicle. Combine this with Oklahoma City’s less-than-stellar road accident record, and you have a big problem. 

If a motorcycle is your primary mode of transport in Oklahoma or its capital, you must know your rights should you be involved in an accident. Knowing what you can and cannot do will guide you when claiming compensation.

Why So Many Motorcycle Accidents in Oklahoma City?

Between 2017 and 2021, 1,343 motorcycle accidents occurred in Oklahoma City. Around 712 of these accidents caused injuries or fatalities. This figure is a disproportionate number, considering motorcycles account for only 3% of all registered vehicles in America. 

Unfortunately, driver behavior and biker mistakes often lead to these accidents. For instance, car drivers cause accidents by not checking their side mirrors when turning left. These incidents are one of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents because drivers do not see bikers when making left turns. 

Head-on collisions also account for around 76% of fatal motorcycle crashes. Most of the time, this happens when cars and other vehicles cross into oncoming traffic. 

Bikers also suffer injuries due to road hazards. These include trees and rocks across the road after a storm or objects that fall from trucks. Potholes and broken parts of the road also lead to serious accidents. 

Other road hazards include lack of signage, reduced lighting, broken traffic lights, and insufficient guardrails. 

Sadly, drunk driving also plays a major role in motorcycle accidents in Oklahoma City. Drivers under the influence of alcohol caused 32% of fatal motorcycle accidents in 2020. 

That said, some of the blame also lies with bikers. Speeding accounted for 34% of accidents in 2020. In addition to all these factors, almost 70% of accidents happen at intersections. 

Intersection accidents mainly happen because vehicles run red lights, blind spots, non-working traffic lights, etc. 

Oklahoma City Motorcycle Laws

If you are a biker in Oklahoma City, several laws apply. If you are under 18, you must wear a helmet and ensure your passengers wear them, too. If your motorcycle does not have a windscreen, you must invest in eye protection.

Anyone 17 or younger must complete an MSF (Motorcycle Safety Foundation) training course. Doing this allows you to apply for an original or renewed driver’s license with a motorcycle endorsement. You cannot get an “M” endorsement if you have not appeared before a driver’s license examiner. 

The examiner will ask for the required documentation, and you must take vision, written, and driving exams. When you pass your exams, you get a learner’s permit, which means you can ride your motorcycle only if a licensed biker accompanies you. The accompanying biker must be at least 21 years old.

Several other laws apply to riding a motorcycle on Oklahoma City streets. Motorcycles must have left—and right-side mirrors. Headlights must stay on, day or night. Bikers must have liability insurance as required by Oklahoma law. 

Oklahoma is an at-fault state, so whoever causes a motorcycle accident is liable to pay damages. This is why you should get a policy that offers more coverage than state minimums. 

What to Do If You Are in a Motorcycle Accident

If you are involved in a motorcycle accident, the first thing to do after checking for injuries is to call emergency services. If you need medical treatment, get it as soon as possible. 

If you are not seriously injured, gather evidence from the scene. Evidence is especially important if you did not cause the accident. Take photos of the accident scene and the damage to your bike. You can also take photos of the damage to the other vehicle and the accident site.

You must file a police report before you file an insurance claim. Consider hiring a lawyer to guide you through claiming compensation. 

Oklahoma follows a modified comparative negligence law for personal injury cases. This means you can recover some damages even if you were partly to blame for the accident. 

However, your percentage of blame will reduce your final compensation payout. For instance, if you are 10% at fault and your claim is $100,000, you can only recover $90,000. 

How to Build a Strong Compensation Case 

If you hire an attorney to help you, it will maximize your chances of a positive outcome. Your lawyer will focus on gathering evidence to prove the other driver or rider’s negligence. 

They will use police reports, photographs, witness statements, and medical records to build your case. 

Moreover, your lawyer will document your damages and injuries. This includes damage to your motorcycle, potential lost income, and medical expenses. 

Your lawyer will also negotiate with the at-fault party’s insurance company. If they cannot settle, your lawyer will advise you to take your case to court. They will represent your case in court and work toward a favorable outcome. 

What to Remember When Pursuing Compensation 

There are several things to remember when filing a compensation case. Refrain from discussing the details of the accident when calling your insurance company. Also, do not admit fault, even if you believe you were partly to blame for the accident.

Keep records of all expenses related to the accident. This includes medical bills, proof of lost wages, and motorcycle repair costs.

Be prepared for your case to drag on for a while. Insurance companies will not pay out on the first demand and will almost always try to pay less. 

Lastly, hiring a lawyer with whom you get along is crucial. You will spend a lot of time preparing your case with your lawyer, and if you communicate well, the process will be much smoother. 

A Motorcycle Accident Is Not the End of the Road

Motorcycle accidents can be traumatic, and the road to recovery is often long and difficult. Make things easier for you by hiring a lawyer to represent you during your personal injury case. You can also use Oklahoma City’s resources and support systems to get back on the road as soon as possible. 

Team JST

Team JST work with our sponsors, shop vendors, and many more to create informative and engaging content.

Jetset Times in your inbox

Sign-up for our newsletter

By signing up, you agree to our Privacy Policy and European users agree to the data transfer policy.