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Tulsa Bicycle Accident Lawyer

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A man is injured in a bike accident in Tulsa, Oklahoma

Bicycling is popular in Tulsa, both for recreation and commuting purposes. Unfortunately, it’s not always the safest means of transportation. 

Statistics from the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office show that the city of Tulsa had the second-highest number of bicycle accidents in the state in a recent year. Tulsa County also ranked second for bike crashes. Statewide, 389 cyclists were involved in crashes in one year alone. 

Were you or a loved one hurt in a bike crash? At Edwards & Patterson Law, we know that these collisions can cause serious and disabling injuries. You could be entitled to financial compensation for your losses if someone else is responsible for the accident. 

Don’t let the opportunity to recover the money you are entitled to pass you by. Talk to an experienced Tulsa personal injury lawyer about your legal options. Call or contact us today for a free consultation.    

Questions? Get answers in a free consultation today. Call or contact us now.

Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents

Bicycle accidents happen everywhere, but most often in urban areas and outside of intersections. Some of the most common causes of these collisions include:

  • Dooring: These types of accidents happen when a motorist opens a vehicle door in front of an oncoming cyclist without checking if the way is clear.
  • Distracted driving: Drivers who are occupied with texting, talking on the phone, or other activities may drift into the bicyclist’s lane or strike them while turning.
  • Left-hand turns: Bikes are slower and less visible to drivers. Motorists making left turns may fail to see a cyclist or misjudge the distance when making a left turn, causing a deadly collision.
  • Aggressive driving: The law may grant cyclists the same rights are other drivers, but some motorists are resentful of sharing the road with bicycles. This can lead to dangerous episodes of road rage, tailgating, and/or pranks such as throwing items at cyclists.
  • Speeding: Driving too fast increases the chance of severe injuries in any type of collision, especially for vulnerable cyclists and pedestrians.
  • Impaired driving or riding: Driving or biking under the influence of drugs or alcohol reduces motor coordination, reaction time, judgment, and awareness — all things that contribute to deadly wrecks.
  • Vehicles driving too close to a bike: Oklahoma law says that motorists must leave at least three feet of clearance between their vehicles when passing a bike. They must also maintain a safe distance from bicyclists in traffic. When that doesn’t happen, the consequences can be devastating.

When a driver breaks a traffic law and causes a bike accident, they can — and should — be held accountable for their negligence. It’s smart to talk to an attorney as soon as possible if you were hit and injured by another driver.

How Will a Personal Injury Lawyer Help Me After a Tulsa Bike Accident?

Although you are not required to hire a bicycle accident lawyer after a Tulsa bike accident, it can improve your chances of recovering the settlement you deserve. 

An attorney will:

  • Explain your legal rights: Oklahoma law allows accident victims to seek compensation if someone else’s actions (or inactions) caused them harm. However, identifying and proving who is at fault is not as straightforward as one might think. A personal injury lawyer can examine the facts of the case and discuss your legal rights with you.
  • Help you avoid legal pitfalls: Personal injury claims can be fraught with complications on the path to a settlement. A skilled attorney will anticipate these obstacles and take measures to protect your claim.
  • Accurately evaluate your claim: There’s no magic formula that determines how much compensation you are owed after a bicycle accident. A lawyer will evaluate all of your losses and ensure they are included in your claim so you do not lose out on the money you are owed.
  • Determine who was at fault: Identifying who is at fault for an accident is not always easy. Sometimes, multiple parties may be to blame, or you may share the fault for the bicycle accident. Making sure that fault is distributed appropriately can greatly affect your right to compensation, so a Tulsa bicycle accident lawyer will be a powerful ally to have on your side.
      
  • Negotiate with the insurance company: Insurance companies will try a variety of tactics to minimize or deny you compensation. Attorneys are skilled negotiators who won’t let insurers undercompensate you. 

Essentially, a lawyer is your representative throughout the entire personal injury process to ensure that your claim is resolved fully and fairly. 

Who is Liable for My Injuries and What Damages are Available?

Determining who can be held liable for a bicycle accident requires a careful investigation. In many cases, fault lies with another driver. But if you were struck by a commercial truck on a rural road, fault could lie with the driver, the trucking company, or other parties responsible for the truck’s maintenance. A defective bike part might mean the manufacturer should be held liable. 

In short, you should never jump to conclusions about fault in a bicycle accident — even if you think you are to blame. Instead, get in touch with a bike accident lawyer who can examine the case in detail.

In Oklahoma, you can recover compensation for a wide range of losses. These include medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and more. 

Common Injuries from Bicycle Accidents

Some the injuries that bicycle accident victims suffer include:

  • Pelvic fractures and other broken bones
  • Dislocations
  • Internal bleeding and organ damage
  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  • Back and spinal cord injuries
  • Facial injuries
  • Damage to teeth, jaws, and other dental injuries
  • Deep cuts and bruising
  • Mobility loss
  • Soft tissue damage
  • Road rash
  • Chronic pain

What Evidence Do I Need for My Bicycle Accident Case in Tulsa?

Strong evidence is essential to win any bicycle accident claim. You must be able to prove that the other party(s) are responsible for the accident and your injuries.

Examples of evidence include:

  • Medical records
  • Photos of the accident scene and your injuries
  • Video surveillance from nearby business or traffic signals
  • Witness statements
  • Police reports
  • Physical evidence from the crash, such as ripped or bloody clothing, a shattered helmet, and the damaged bike
  • Expert testimony from doctors, vocational rehab representatives, and financial planners
  • Your own account of the accident, ideally written soon after the crash

A knowledgeable bicycle accident lawyer will know what evidence is necessary to build a strong and solid case for you. An attorney can also represent you during settlement negotiations with the insurance company in an effort to achieve the best possible outcome for your case.

How Is Fault Proven in a Bicycle Accident Case?

To prove that someone else’s wrongful or negligent actions caused your bicycle wreck, you must show:

  • They had a duty to protect you.
  • They failed in this duty by doing something careless, negligent, or wrongful.
  • Their actions caused your accident, which resulted in your injuries and other damages.
  • Financial compensation is owed to make you “whole” again.

Some parties that might be liable in an Oklahoma cycling accident include:

  • Drivers
  • Pedestrians
  • The bicyclists themselves
  • A local municipality
  • The restaurant or bar who overserved a drunk driver
  • A third party, such as the car’s manufacturer, if a defective part caused the crash

Sometimes, it’s not clear who is at fault for a bicycle accident. A lawyer can launch an independent investigation to determine what happened and who should be held accountable for your injuries and other losses.

What Should I Do If I Was Partially at Fault for the Accident?

In Oklahoma, it’s still possible to collect compensation even if you are partly to blame for a bicycle accident. Under the state’s modified comparative negligence rule, cyclists can still recover money as long as they were less than 50 percent responsible for the collision. However, the courts will reduce the amount you can receive based on your percentage of fault.

For example, if you were 20 percent responsible for the bicycle accident and your damages were worth $100,000, then the most compensation you could get would be $80,000.

Disputes about fault can make or break a bike accident claim. If you are found even one percentage point above the 50 percent limit, you can’t receive any money at all. Insurance companies know this. They’ll fight hard to push as much fault as possible onto you. A tough lawyer can protect you from being unfairly blamed.

Talk to a Tulsa Bicycle Accident Attorney Today

Don’t wait to fight for the compensation and justice you deserve. Get started on the road to recovery by contacting the dedicated bicycle accident lawyers at Edwards & Patterson Law today. All initial consultations are free. Contact us now.

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