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Top 5 Causes of Oklahoma Motorcycle Accidents

Posted on: September 14, 2020 by Tony Edwards

Motorcycle riders preparing for a stroll.

Motorcyclists are among the most vulnerable drivers on Oklahoma roads. Motorcycle accidents have numerous causes, but are often connected by one common thread — most occur due to negligence, or someone’s failure to drive or act responsibly.

If you or a loved one was hurt in a motorcycle crash, knowing the most common causes of motorcycle accidents may help you understand whether you have a potential legal claim. The attorneys at Edwards & Patterson Law have compiled the top five causes of motorcycle accidents in Oklahoma below. Read on to learn more, or contact us for a free consultation.

 What Are the Top Five Causes of Motorcycle Accidents?

Even the smallest driving error can cause deadly injuries to motorcyclists. The most common causes of motorcycle accidents include:

  • Failure to yield or see a motorcycle: Motorcyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as other drivers in Oklahoma. That means that all motorists must understand the right-of-way rules and obey them. A driver who fails to yield can cause severe and life-threatening injuries to motorcyclists, who have less protection from impact in a crash. Motorcycles are also smaller and less visible to other drivers, which can be a problem if a careless driver fails to check his/her blind spots before proceeding in traffic.
  • Speeding: Speeding is dangerous, regardless of who’s engaging in it. Both drivers and motorcyclists who speed increase the chances of a collision and the likelihood of severe injuries is also greater.
  • Drunk driving: Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs contributes to some of the worst accidents in Oklahoma. Drunk driving impairs judgment, reaction times, motor coordination, cognition, and alertness — all abilities that are critical to safe driving. Impaired drivers can face criminal and civil penalties in Oklahoma.
  • Poor road conditions: Bad road conditions, such as potholes, faded paint, and improper signage can put a motorcyclist at risk. A municipal government or another party responsible for road maintenance may be held liable for poor road conditions that lead to a motorcycle accident.
  • Lack of rider/operator experience: Operator error, either on the part of another driver or the motorcyclist, can contribute to a crash. Even in cases where both a driver and motorcyclist share fault for an accident, it may be possible to obtain compensation in Oklahoma.

Do I Need to File a Police Report If I Was in a Motorcycle Accident?

Yes. If you are involved in a serious motorcycle accident, filing a police report is very important to your claim and the process of recovering compensation. It’s also required. Under Oklahoma law, you must file an accident report if the crash leads to any injury or death or more than $300 in property damage costs.

After you file a police report, be sure to keep a copy for your records. This is a form of evidence, and may be useful for establishing fault and determining damages.

What Injuries Occur in Motorcycle Accidents?

The type and severity of injuries that a motorcyclist may suffer after a motorcycle accident can be life-altering, including:

  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Face and scalp injuries
  • Back injuries
  • Neck injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Road rash
  • Burns
  • Cuts and lacerations
  • Internal injuries
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Amputation
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Psychological injuries (e.g., PTSD, depression)

Motorcycle accident injuries can be expensive to treat, disabling, and may forever impact the victim’s quality of life. Obtaining compensation can help ensure that they have the financial support they need moving forward. If you have been hurt, an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer at Edwards & Patterson Law can review your case and discuss your legal options.

How Is Fault Determined in a Motorcycle Accident Case?

Oklahoma is a fault state, which means that whoever causes a crash will be responsible for paying for the damages. Sometimes, fault is obvious. For example, if a drunk driver blew through an intersection and hit a motorcyclist, all evidence would suggest that the drunk driver was to blame and should be held liable. In other cases, though, fault may be unclear. When this is the case, a thorough investigation will need to be conducted to determine who’s to blame. Our lawyers can lead the investigation and work with experts to build your claim and fight for a full and fair settlement on your behalf.

Are Helmets Required Under Oklahoma Law?

There is no universal helmet law in Oklahoma. Only those under 18 years of age are required to wear a helmet. However, law or not, wearing a helmet is strongly recommended as it can both prevent severe injuries and protect the at-fault driver’s insurer from trying to pin some of the blame on you. By wearing a helmet, you show that you took extra precautions to reduce the chances of severe injury in the event of a motorcycle accident.

Call Our Oklahoma Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Today

At Edwards & Patterson Law, we understand the toll that a motorcycle accident can take on victims and their families. If you were injured due to another’s negligence, you can count on us to demand maximum compensation for all of your losses.

Questions? Call or contact us today for a free consultation.

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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  • Contact Edwards & Patterson Law Firm today for a free consultation.
  • Contact Edwards & Patterson Law Firm today for a free consultation.
  • Contact Edwards & Patterson Law Firm today for a free consultation.
  • Contact Edwards & Patterson Law Firm today for a free consultation.
  • Contact Edwards & Patterson Law Firm today for a free consultation.
  • Contact Edwards & Patterson Law Firm today for a free consultation.
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