Abel Law Firm Can Help You Recover From Motorcycle Accident Injuries
If you have been hurt in a motorcycle accident or have lost a loved one in a fatal crash, the Oklahoma City personal injury lawyers at Abel Law Firm can help you. We have fought to help people who have been hurt in motorcycle crashes across Oklahoma get the justice and financial compensation they are owed, especially if the accident was not their fault. You should not have to pay for someone’s reckless or negligent actions, and we will work hard to make sure that you get the compensation you need after a motorcycle crash.
Motorcycles have long been iconic symbols of freedom in American culture, attracting people of all ages and generations searching for these moments of peace and relaxation atop their bike cruising down a country road. Unfortunately, these riders are at risk of serious injuries and even death when other motorists, municipalities, or motorcycle manufacturers act negligently. Due to the vulnerability of motorcyclists, these accidents can have devastating consequences, including crippling injuries, and in serious cases, death. And with almost 5,000 motorcycle accident fatalities across the United States in 2016 alone, these accidents can have a tragic effect on the life of you and your loved ones, especially if you are the primary money earner in the family and are unable to return to work following your accident.
While motorcycle accidents can happen for a variety of reasons, the majority of them occur because of another driver’s reckless actions. In fact, an estimated three-quarters of all motorcycle accidents involve other vehicles, and two-thirds of those crashes occur because the motorist violated the motorcycle’s right of way. When other motorists cut motorcyclists off, fail to yield or drive recklessly around motorcycles, the results can be physically, emotionally, and financially crippling. From broken bones to internal injuries and even death, the impact of these accidents on you and your family’s quality of life can be overwhelming, leaving you feeling like all hope is lost. Fortunately for you and your loved ones, it isn’t.
If you or someone you know has been involved in a motorcycle accident caused by another motorist’s negligent or reckless behavior, they should be held accountable for their actions. The financial burden these accidents place on victims and their families can be insurmountable, leaving individuals in debt for years to come. You need help paying for the medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses related to your accident that you don’t deserve. At the Abel Law Firm, our team of compassionate and experienced Oklahoma City motorcycle accident attorneys is committed to helping victims of motorcycle accidents receive the compensation they deserve. Call us today at (405) 239-7046 to learn about your legal options.
Why Do I Need a Motorcycle Accident Attorney?
If you have been hurt in a motorcycle accident, an experienced and skilled motorcycle accident attorney can help handle the complicated legal process so that you can focus on recovering from your injuries and rebuilding your life. Along with explaining your rights and legal options, a motorcycle accident attorney can help you with the day-to-day steps involved in your case. This includes filing all paperwork and at the necessary deadlines, gathering documents and evidence to prove the driver or another party that caused the accident was negligent, speaking to and negotiating with the other motorist’s insurance company or legal team, and if need be, taking your case to court. Proving negligence can sometimes be complicated and requires an attorney with experience handling these very detail-oriented cases.
Why Choose Us
The days, weeks, and months after a motorcycle accident can be incredibly stressful, both physically and mentally. Finding the right attorney to help you get your life back on track is one of the most important decisions you can make following an accident and could enable you to recover the financial compensation necessary to pay your bills and move on with your life following your accident. At Abel Law Firm, we have over 130 years of combined experience fighting for our clients, friends, loved ones, and the Oklahoma City community. Not only are we recognized for our outstanding work in the community and with our past successes of getting multi-million dollar settlements, but we have attorneys at our firm who’ve earned national attention and accolades. Our team of Oklahoma City motorcycle lawyers is tough, relentless, but also compassionate. We stand with you every step of the way and help you recover the financial compensation you need to pay for medical bills, lost wages, and other damages. Call us today at (405) 239-7046 or fill out our contact form to get started.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
While single-vehicle motorcycle accidents do occur, almost 75 percent of these accidents involve another vehicle. Not only are passenger vehicles like cars and trucks much larger and heavier than motorcycles, but motorcycle riders are completely exposed to the elements on their bikes. And other than a helmet and thicker clothing, motorcyclists have virtually zero protection, and especially not at a level other motorists do with airbags and seatbelts. So even if the accident was minor and at a low speed, motorcyclists could still suffer much more serious injuries than passenger vehicle drivers do.
Driver negligence is one of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents. When other drivers driver recklessly or make mistakes on the road, you could pay the price. Proving negligence in your case is an essential component in recovering financial compensation. And while it may seem clear and straightforward, arguing your case and proving negligence isn’t always so easy. Along with other motorists, some accidents may be caused by negligent manufacturers who designed or sold a bike that wasn’t safe to ride. You need a skilled legal representative to help you if you were injured in an accident caused by the following:
- Drivers who were intoxicated
- Distracted driving
- Drivers who disobey or don’t comply with traffic laws
- Fatigued drivers who fell asleep behind the wheel
- Mechanical or manufacturing defects
- Dangerous roadways conditions
One of the most valuable assets you can have following an accident is access to reliable information about your legal rights and options so you can move forward the best way possible. At Abel Law Firm, it’s our job to find the party responsible and hold them accountable, even it means taking your case to court.
Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Motorcycle accident injuries can be wide-ranging and varied but unfortunately, are often severe because of the lack of protection the rider has. Most other vehicles are much larger and heavier, so an impact can cause catastrophic damage to a motorcyclist’s body. Some of the injuries for which motorcyclists are most at risk include:
- Road rash, from scraping along the pavement after an accident
- Broken legs and other damage to lower extremities
- Broken ribs and bones from heavy side impacts
- Punctured lungs and internal organs from rib breaks or metal and glass debris
- Head trauma from impacting the pavement or a vehicle, possibly leading to permanent brain damage
- Neck and spinal cord damage, sometimes causing partial or full paralysis
It is extremely important to seek medical attention immediately following an accident, even if you don’t believe you were injured. You may be suffering from a concussion or another hidden injury that won’t manifest until much later. If you don’t seek immediate medical care, the insurance company may try to argue that you weren’t injured.
Recovering Financial Compensation
The true costs associated with your accident aren’t always clear right away. For many victims, their injuries could require years of additional medical expenses, surgeries, and medication. You shouldn’t be expected to pay for these expenses. Exposure to outside forces makes motorcycle riders especially susceptible to injury. If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, you may be eligible to recover compensation for damages, including the following:
- Medical expenses
- Future medical bills
- Emotional or psychological treatment expenses
- Prescription costs
- Rehabilitation costs
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Wrongful death
- Funeral and burial expenses
These types of accidents can upend your sense of normality and day-to-day life, as well as the lives of your family members. Along with these expenses, you may also suffer a number of other repercussions following an accident such as additional surgeries or procedures, the stress of dealing with insurance companies, expenses related to making your home handicap-accessible, as well as loss of life’s enjoyment in the everyday activities. In order to receive the compensation you need to pay for these expenses and many more, you will need the help of an experienced motorcycle accident attorney from the Abel Law Firm. Our Oklahoma City motorcycle accident attorneys have the resources and determination needed to fight for your right to compensation for your injuries.
Motorcycle Accident Statistics
Unfortunately, motorcycle accidents are all too common in Oklahoma, and hundreds of motorcyclists are still injured or worse on Oklahoma roads every year. The State of Oklahoma Highway Safety Office publishes crash statistics each year regarding fatalities, crashes locations, helmet use, and other categories of motorcycle accidents. The following are critical findings from 2018, the most recent year for which data is available:
- Motorcycle fatalities dropped in 2014, but have increased since then, to 89 in 2018
- Driving at an unsafe speed was a contributing factor in 44.6% of motorcycle crashes in which the driver took an improper action.
- The deadliest areas in Oklahoma for motorcyclists were Tulsa and Oklahoma City by far, totaling nearly half of motorcycle crash fatalities statewide, 22.
- Slightly more than half of the motorcyclists died in urban rather than rural crashes.
- 69% of motorcyclists crashed during daylight hours, and 73% had accidents during clear weather conditions.
Beyond drunk driving fatalities, of all of the 1274 motorcyclists involved in crashes to take place on Oklahoma roads in 2018:
- About 43% of motorcyclists crashed on city streets.
- May, June, and August were the months with the most motorcyclists involved in crashes.
- The month of August saw the most motorcycle accident fatalities, totaling 14.
- Focusing on days of the week, Friday and Saturday had the most substantial number of riders crash, and fatalities jumped to 22 on Saturday.
- The most significant number of riders crashed in the late afternoon to early evening, between 4 pm and 6 pm.
Finally, helmet use plays a vital role in the severity of Oklahoma motorcycle accidents. In crashes, both fatal and nonfatal:
- In 65.8% of deadly crashes, the motorcycle driver was not using a helmet.
- In over half of the crashes resulting in no injury ((54.3%), riders were using a helmet.
- 48.1% of the total crashes involved motorcyclists wearing a helmet.
The data is clear. Helmets save lives. Motorcyclists who don’t wear helmets but survive their injuries, they are far more likely to suffer from acute head trauma, concussions, and brain damage. No matter the distance you travel, if you are on a motorcycle, don’t forget your helmet.
Oklahoma Motorcycle Laws
If you ride a motorcycle in the State of Oklahoma, there are a number of laws you should be aware of. These include:
Obtaining a license or permit – To get a license to operate a motorcycle, you must be at least 16 years of age, but you can get a permit if you are under 16. If you already have a license to drive a car, you only need to get an endorsement on your license by taking additional knowledge, vision, and skills tests. If you are visiting Oklahoma, you can use an out-of-state license. Driving without a valid license can result in a fine and possible prison time.
Protective gear – Helmet use is optional for riders over 18 on roads, and optional for everyone off-road. Certain other safety gear is required, however, including eye protection and a windscreen. The bike itself must have two rear-view mirrors, a fender over each wheel, a horn, a muffler, and a speedometer. It must have a headlight and a tail light. Your headlight must be on at all times, even during the day.
Passenger requirements – You must be over 16 in order to carry passengers on your motorcycle, and your wheels must be larger than 12 inches in diameter. Your bike must have a double-seating device with double footrests or a dedicated sidecar.
Frequently Asked Questions about Motorcycle Accident Cases
When you’re thinking about hiring a lawyer, you have questions, and the experienced lawyers at Abel Law Firm are ready to answer them. Read over some frequently asked questions and get in touch with us at (405) 239-7046 to discuss the specifics of your claim.
What should I say to the insurance company?
No matter the circumstances, you should always speak with a qualified motorcycle accident attorney before issuing statements to the at-fault driver’s insurance company, especially if the company is requesting a recorded or written report. Unless you’ve cleared it with your lawyer previously, speaking with an insurer can ultimately hurt the success of your claim.
While an insurer may seem perfectly friendly and empathetic, they are not on your side. Their commitment is to their company’s profits, and an insurance company agent will often try to get you to say something that could keep you from collecting compensation.
What is the statute of limitations for an Oklahoma motorcycle accident?
For almost any accident involving a motorcycle, the statute of limitations in Oklahoma is set at two years. However, there are exceptions to this rule (especially if you are filing a wrongful death claim on behalf of a loved one). It is always best to speak with a qualified motorcycle accident attorney first to understand how quickly you should act.
Reporting the accident to the insurance company is an essential step in getting the process started. Additionally, keep in mind that the facts of the case take time to come together, and some parties may be unwilling to cooperate or may have an interest in slowing down, putting together the case. In order to ensure you have sufficient time, you should contact a lawyer as soon as possible.
Can I still file a claim if I wasn’t wearing a helmet?
While it is undoubtedly recommended to wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle, in Oklahoma, helmets are only required if the driver of the motorcycle is under 18. Given that insurance companies have an incentive to minimize payouts to maximize profits, they will often try to shift blame to the motorcycle driver if they were not wearing a helmet. However, remember in this instance that the law is on your side, and you were not breaking the law by riding without a helmet if you were over 18 at the time of the crash.
The other driver’s insurance company contacted me shortly after my crash to offer me a settlement. Should I accept it?
In many cases, when an insurance company believes that a claim is valid, they will try to walk away from the situation by offering the crash victim a lowball settlement offer. You should never accept this offer without first contacting a qualified Oklahoma City motorcycle accident attorney, as this offer is often far below what you deserve or what is even needed to cover all of your expenses after an accident.
Following an accident, you could continue to suffer from medical complications and rack up additional expenses. Settling too early could quickly leave you in a financially difficult position. Settlements offered immediately in the aftermath of the crash when the insurer isn’t aware of all the case details are typically unfair to the victim.
Contact an Oklahoma City Motorcycle Accident Attorney
Because of the lack of protection or safety features on a motorcycle, accidents with other motorists can be extremely costly and potentially deadly. Victims suffer not only great physical pain but also emotional pain, oftentimes unable to ever get on a bike again for fear of another accident. If you have been the victim of a motorcycle accident because of another party’s negligence, they may be liable for your losses. With all this uncertainty related to your health and your family’s future, you need stability and confidence in your legal representation. Don’t wait until it is too late to file your claim. Contact the Oklahoma City motorcycle accident lawyers of the Abel Law Firm by calling (405) 239-7046, filling out a contact form on our site, or chatting with us live today.