Throughout Oklahoma City, motorcycles are a fixture on the road. Consequently, motorcycle accidents can result from various causes, all sharing the common outcome of serious injuries and other damages for riders.
At Ylla | Gosney, our skilled Oklahoma City personal injury lawyers can assess your situation and guide you toward obtaining the compensation you need. If you’ve been hurt in a motorcycle accident, remember that you have legal options to secure the assistance you need during your recovery. Contact us today for a free consultation to learn more.
Understanding Liability in an Oklahoma City Motorcycle Accident
The first step toward obtaining the available benefits and support under Oklahoma law is to establish liability–also known as legal responsibility–for the motorcycle accident. The key to establishing liability is negligence, which involves demonstrating that:
- Another party’s actions caused the accident resulting in your injuries.
Like any other accident, negligence has four elements in a motorcycle accident:
- Duty of care – The other party had a responsibility to ensure your safety and avoid actions that led to the accident.
- Breach of duty – The other party failed in this duty by acting negligently.
- Causation – The breach of duty directly caused the motorcycle accident in question.
- Damages – The accident resulted in injuries and losses.
Once liability is established, the question of who is responsible for covering your damages arises. Typically, this is resolved through an insurance claim, as the person or party at-fault should have insurance to handle such incidents. However, each motorcycle accident is unique, and the value of your claim depends on several factors:
- Type and extent of your injuries – The severity and nature of your injuries significantly impact the claim’s value. Minor injuries generally result in lower settlement offers. Therefore, maintaining medical records and staying current with treatment is crucial, as injuries can worsen over time, potentially increasing your claim’s value.
- Liability disputes – While you may establish another party’s fault, an insurance company may conduct its own investigation and may try to get statements from you that could weaken your case. Also, motorcycle accidents frequently have causes where you yourself could share some of the blame. It’s wise to talk with our team before speaking with an insurance adjuster.
- Percentage of fault – Oklahoma follows a comparative negligence statute, but includes what’s called the “50% rule.” Under this rule, if you are more than 50% at-fault for the accident, you can’t file a claim for damages. In the vast majority of cases, though, you share that level of fault–especially in a motorcycle accident where you’ve been hurt by someone else.
Legal Process After an Oklahoma City Motorcycle Accident
Recovering from a motorcycle accident in Oklahoma City can be a lengthy and demanding process, involving not only physical injuries but also emotional and financial challenges. To aid in your preparation for coping with injuries and other losses, it’s crucial to comprehend the steps involved in the recovery process. These can include:
- Getting medical treatment – If you’re hurt in the accident, you’re most likely going to need medical treatment. Depending on how serious your injuries are, this could include surgery, therapy, or ongoing care.
- Rehabilitation – Also depending on how bad your injuries are, you might need therapy to get better.
- Missed work – Motorcycle accident injuries could also mean you either miss a lot of work for treatment, or maybe even leave you permanently unable to work.
- Emotional support – Motorcycle accidents can be traumatic. You might need help dealing with the emotional and psychological trauma of the accident, as well.
Generally speaking, the actual legal process after a motorcycle accident is going to involve either filing an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit, and usually involves filing both. Through this process, you can potentially recover:
- Medical expenses
- Lost income
- Rehabilitation costs
- Motorcycle repair or replacement
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life or companionship
- Punitive damages
- Wrongful death expenses, in the tragic event of a fatal accident
Dealing with the legal process in these situations can be complicated. That’s why it’s important to work with our experienced Oklahoma City motorcycle accident lawyers. They’ll help make your case strong and get you the financial support you’re owed. Our team will guide you through the legal process to make sure you get the compensation you deserve. On your end, though, it’s also important to know what you can do to strengthen your claim.
Strengthening Your Oklahoma City Motorcycle Accident Claim
No one wants to go through a motorcycle accident in Oklahoma City, but they happen quite frequently throughout the city. Riding a motorcycle can be exciting, but also carries inherent risks. As such, it’s important to be prepared in the event an accident occurs. If it does, here are some of the ways you can strengthen your claim:
- Gather evidence – Collect proof like accident photos, vehicle damage, witness statements, and documents to support your case.
- Seek medical care – Get immediate medical attention for your injuries to link them to the accident.
- Follow traffic laws – Adhere to traffic rules while riding, including speed limits and signals. Also make sure to wear a helmet and safety gear.
- Maintain records – Keep copies of important documents like medical records, bills, and repair estimates. Also keep detailed records of all medical treatments, expenses, and any communication related to the accident.
- Handle insurance carefully – Be cautious when speaking with insurance adjusters about the accident. Consult our lawyers before providing detailed statements, and don’t admit any type of fault for the accident.
- Cooperate with investigations – Work closely with police and insurance inquiries, providing accurate information.
- Follow medical advice – Follow your doctor’s advice and attend all necessary medical appointments. This shows that you are taking your recovery seriously.
Do You Need a Lawyer?
You may be wondering if you even need a lawyer to file an injury claim after a motorcycle accident. The short answer here is no, you’re not required to hire a lawyer, meaning you can just file your claim on your own. However, in order to get the full amount of compensation you’re owed, you’re going to need to be able to effectively build and negotiate your claim. This is where our team’s experience and skill can really help you. We’ve handled numerous motorcycle accident claims over our years of practice, and can help you with your claim by:
- Case evaluation – Our team of lawyers and staff can assess the strengths and weaknesses of your case, helping you understand your chances of success and the potential value of your claim.
- Evidence gathering – We’ll conduct a thorough investigation to gather evidence, such as accident reports, witness statements, medical records, and other documents that are essential for building a strong case.
- Determining liability – Our team will work to establish liability and prove that the other party was at fault for the accident, which is crucial for securing a fair settlement.
- Calculating damages – Our team will help you determine the full extent of your damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and future costs.
- Negotiating with insurance companies – Our lawyers are skilled negotiators who can engage with insurance companies to secure a fair settlement on your behalf. We can handle the often complex and adversarial nature of these negotiations.
- Filing lawsuits – If a fair settlement can’t be reached, your attorney will guide you through the process of filing a lawsuit and representing you in court.
- Protecting your rights – Our lawyers will make sure that your rights are protected throughout the legal process and that you are not taken advantage of by insurance companies or opposing parties.
- Trial representation – In the event that your case goes to trial, our lawyers have the experience and expertise to represent you effectively in court.
- Contingency fees – Our team works on a contingency fee basis, which means you pay nothing up front and we take our fee from whatever result we get for you. This makes our legal services more accessible.
- Peace of mind – Above all else, our lawyers can relieve the stress of managing a legal claim, allowing you to focus on your recovery and well-being.
Dedicated Legal Support After Oklahoma City Motorcycle Accidents
At Ylla | Gosney, we understand the impact of a motorcycle accident on your well-being, both physically and emotionally. Our skilled team of Oklahoma City motorcycle accident lawyers will be there to examine your case, deal with insurance companies, and stand up for your rights in court.
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in a motorcycle accident, contact us today for a free consultation. We’ll make sure to get you the treatment and support you deserve.