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How Long Do I Have to File a Claim After My Motorcycle Accident in Oklahoma?

Posted on: June 1, 2021 by Tony Edwards

A man is injured in a motorcycle accident in Oklahoma.

Our dedicated motorcycle accident lawyers at Edwards & Patterson Law understand the challenges that riders face when they’ve suffered severe injuries in a crash. Pursuing an injury claim can seem daunting when you’re dealing with treatment and recovery and trying to get back on your feet and back to work.

However, because Oklahoma state law limits the time accident victims have to take legal action, it’s crucial to consider your options and move forward as quickly as possible.

Fortunately, you don’t have to seek compensation alone. Our experienced and compassionate Oklahoma motorcycle crash lawyers are here to handle all of the legal legwork your injury claim requires. Your focus should be on getting treatment and recovering from your injuries. Our skilled attorneys and support staff can do the rest.

Are you ready to talk to a lawyer about your case? We offer a free and confidential case evaluation to review your situation and answer your questions. Contact us today to get started.

Common Injuries Suffered in Motorcycle Accidents in Oklahoma

Motorcycle accidents can result in severe and potentially life-altering injuries. While car and truck drivers have seatbelts, airbags, and a sturdy frame with specifically engineered crumple zones, a motorcycle rider only has protective clothing and a helmet as protection in the event of a crash.

Some of the most common injuries that riders suffer in crashes include:

  • Injuries to the head and face
  • Back and spine injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries (including paralysis)
  • Loss of limbs
  • Internal organ injuries
  • Fractures and broken bones
  • Cuts and lacerations
  • Road rash

Costs of Motorcycle Accidents in Oklahoma

The cost of a motorcycle accident can be overwhelming. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in Oklahoma, costs related to motorcycle fatalities totaled $144 million in one recent year. Those who are injured but survive the crash are often forced to deal with mounting medical bills, repairs or replacement of their motorcycle, lost wages, and more.

In a study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the average hospital costs for a non-helmeted rider involved in a crash was $17,704. Riders who were wearing a helmet still incurred more than $5,000 in medical expenses on average. Accident victims also might incur significant expenses in the form of travel for doctors’ appointments and prescription medication costs.

Depending on the nature and severity of the accident, your motorcycle could be damaged or totaled. If it can be repaired, the cost of doing so could cost hundreds or thousands of dollars. Replacing your bike could be exponentially more. Even if insurance is willing to cover the costs, it might be difficult to get what you consider fair value for your bike, and you might still have to pay a significant deductible before your insurance pays the rest.

Another significant financial factor that accident victims are often unprepared for is the loss of earnings due to time spent in treatment and recovery. If you can’t work, you can’t earn money to pay your bills, support yourself and your loved ones, and more. Missing out on work can be financially devastating for people involved in a motorcycle accident, and it can be particularly frustrating if the accident and resulting expenses were not your fault.

How Long Do I Have to File a Claim After My Motorcycle Accident in Oklahoma?

There is a significant difference between filing an injury claim with an insurance company and filing a lawsuit to recover damages in court.

Typically, if you are filing an insurance claim after an accident, the insurance companies involved need to know as soon as possible that an accident has taken place. Once they are notified, they will begin working to gather the evidence and information they need to determine who was at fault and how much compensation may be owed.

To pursue compensation through a personal injury lawsuit, you must file it within your state’s statute of limitations, or time limit. Oklahoma only gives motorcycle accident victims two years from the date of the accident to file a suit.

Two years may sound like a long time, but it actually is relatively short compared to the work that is usually necessary to resolve a case. Most injury claims reach a settlement long before a lawsuit is necessary, but the crash must be investigated, evidence must be collected and analyzed, and negotiations between your personal injury lawyer and the other party’s insurance company must take place. This can be a time-consuming process. You’ll want to give your lawyer adequate time to prepare a convincing claim on your behalf and negotiate for a fair settlement.

If a fair settlement can’t be reached, your attorney might recommend filing a lawsuit to seek damages in court. This must be done before the statute of limitations expires, or else the court will be barred from hearing your case. That’s why it’s crucial to take immediate action if you’ve been hurt. There’s a limit to how long you can wait and still seek the compensation you’re owed.

Notice Requirements for a Claim With Your Own Insurer

Notifying your insurer after an injury accident is essential. Most insurance companies require drivers to notify them as soon as reasonably possible after a crash. However, every company will have its own guidelines.

If you are unsure about what your policy notification requirement is, look through the “Notice of Occurrence and Cooperation” section of your policy guide. This is typically the section that will tell you when you need to notify your insurer and what you will have to do to cooperate with their accident investigation.

An experienced Oklahoma motorcycle accident attorney can handle communications with your insurer for you and help you navigate the often-confusing claims process.

Why Is It Important to Get Started Quickly?

In addition to meeting the statute of limitations requirement, getting started quickly can be vital to the overall success of your motorcycle accident claim. The sooner you get in touch with an attorney, the sooner they will be able to secure crucial evidence before it is lost or destroyed.

An experienced attorney has the power and resources to gather witness statements, secure possible video recordings of the accident, investigate the other driver’s phone or text records if needed, and hire accident reconstruction experts, among other things.

The sooner that your attorney can get to work, the better chance they’ll have at gathering all the evidence and information they need to strengthen your accident claim and seek the maximum amount of compensation possible.

Contact Us Now for Help From an Oklahoma Motorcycle Crash Lawyer

If you’ve been hurt in a motorcycle accident in Oklahoma, contact Edwards & Patterson Law for help as soon as possible. We’ll be ready to begin work on your case immediately if you choose to hire us. Our innovative and aggressive lawyers have experience investigating and handling motorcycle accident claims. We’re ready to put our resources to work for you.

We can be reached by phone, through our online contact form, or by live chat on our website 24/7. We’re ready to sit down with you and discuss your case during a free, no-obligation consultation. Don’t wait until it’s too late to get the justice and compensation you’re owed. Call us now.

Tony Edwards

Tony Edwards is a McAlester native who has practiced civil litigation in Oklahoma for nearly four decades. Tony earned his undergraduate degree from East Central University and his law degree from the Oklahoma University College of Law. Today, he focuses his practice exclusively on the representation of accident and injury victims, including mass tort cases involving defective products. He holds an AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell, indicating the highest level in legal ability and ethical standards. In addition to his law practice, Tony serves as an elder in Lakewood Christian Church and is active in Shared Blessings, an organization which his wife, DeVonna, launched in 1998 to provide clothes for people in need.

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