With the recent popularity of motorcycle ownership, motorcycle operators occupy a distinctive place on the highway. We purchase and ride our motorcycles with the expectation of enjoying the freedoms of the open road. With the wind in our faces and the freedom that comes with the maneuverability of such a powerful machine, motorcycle owners ride for enjoyment. Unlike the automobile driver, the thrill of the open road comes at a price to the Oklahoma motorcycle driver. Without the protection of air bags automobile drivers have, motorcycle riders face the road separated by thin air alone. The motorcycle driver or passenger face special risks. If you’re searching for motorcycle accident or car accident attorneys we want to help.
Special Risks Faced by Motorcycle Riders:
Visual Impairment: Because a motorcycle is so much smaller than an automobile its hard to see us. Unlike the motorcycle driver who has a full range of vision, the automobile driver has many blind spots. As a result many motorcycle riders are injured by the negligent acts of the automobile driver. This negligence is the result of not watching the road.
inclement Weather: The famous Will Roger’s quotes, “If you don’t like the weather in Oklahoma, wait a minute and it’ll change,” holds particular risk to the motorcycle driver. Unlike the automobile driver the motorcycle driver faces the hazards of weather without the benefit of four wheels. This hazard includes facing rain without windshield wipers and the dryness offered by the interior of a car. As Oklahoma motorcycle riders we have a unique understanding of a wet or icy road.
Differing Riding Skills: A new breed of motorcycle rider has come with the recent boom in the popularity of motorcycle ownership. Now days, many motorcycle drivers are in their forties, fifties or beyond. Our motorcycles are not our primary means of transportation, but rather used as weekend stress reducers. To the novice rider, the dangers of the road and the possible negligence of the automobile driver may not be fully understood.
Road Hazards: To the motorcycle rider, a pot hole or road debris can be the ultimate hazard. At high speed with only two wheels between the rider and the road, a bump or uneven pavement can be a prescription for death or serious bodily injury.
Product Liability for Negligent Design:
Just like any other manufacture, the motorcycle manufacturer can be liable for negligence in the design or manufacturing of its products. Products liability is the umbrella term for the liability of a manufacturer, seller, or other supplier of property whose negligent conduct causes physical injury or death to others. A person seeking to recover damages for products liability may have a cause of action under a general negligence theory, a strict liability theory, or both. For a negligence theory an injured person must show that the product was defective when it left the hands of the manufacturer or supplier and the negligent design caused an injury to a reasonably foreseeable injured party.
Motorcycle Accident Attorneys in Your Corner:
If you have been involved in a motorcycle wreck or bicycle accident, you need a serious, experienced, and aggressive personal injury attorney. The motorcycle accident attorneys at Kania Law Office have the skill needed and offer personal attention that is unique to those injured as a result of another’s negligence. Our attorneys will provide you with medical referrals, protect your casualty interest, and fight to recover damages for personal injuries, pain and suffering, and lost wages, among others. We not only fight for injured motorcycle riders but also protect the rights of motorcycle passengers involved in accidents.
Proving Negligence in Motorcycle Accidents:
If you have been involved in a motorcycle wreck, you may be entitled to recover monetary damages. Those damages are recovered from the bad drivers insurance company. If they didn’t have insurance you may still be able to recover from uninsured motorist coverage
Personal injury law is intricate, but typically requires that the claimant prove (1) an injury has been sustained, (2) the defendant was negligence, and (3) the negligence was the direct cause of the injury sustained. Oklahoma Jury Instructions – Civil § Instruction 9.1. Negligence can be defined as the “failure to exercise care to avoid injury to another person.” Oklahoma Jury Instructions – Civil § Instruction 9.2. Ordinary care is the care which a reasonably careful person would use under the same or similar circumstances.
In addition to the three elements enumerated above, an injured person must be mindful of the possibility of the defense of comparative negligence. Oklahoma has adopted the comparative negligence doctrine, which abolished the contributory negligence in Oklahoma. The contributory negligence would disallow recovery by an injured person whose actions in some way, however small, contributed to the injury. The Oklahoma standard of comparative negligence, allows recovery by a injured person, so long as the the injured persons negligence was not greater than the negligence of a the defendant. Okla. Stat. tit.23,§13(1979).However, where an injured person is partially responsibility for his or her injury, damages may be apportioned between the injured person and the defendant under comparative negligence. Okla. Stat. tit. 23, § 14 (1979).
We’ll Prove They Were Wrong:
In order to prevail at a trial for the recovery of damages sustained in a motorcycle accident, the aforementioned elements of negligence must be proven to the jury or judge by the “preponderance of the evidence” or the “greater weight of the evidence,” as it is described in Oklahoma Jury Instructions – Civil § Instruction 3.1. This is a much lower standard than the “beyond a reasonable doubt” burden most people are familiar with for criminal prosecution. Generally stated, it has to be more probable than not that the defendant was negligent and caused the claimed injuries. Proving this is what motorcycle accident attorneys do every day.
Damages Injured Riders are Entitled To:
- His or her physical pain and suffering, past and future;
- His or her mental pain and suffering, past and future;
- Your age and how long you have to live with the injury;
- Physical condition immediately before and after the accident;
- The nature and extent of his or her injuries;
- Whether the injuries are permanent;
- The physical impairment;
- The disfigurement;
- Loss of earnings and/or time;
- Impairment of earning capacity; and
- The reasonable expenses of the necessary medical care, treatment, and services, past and future.
Oklahoma Jury Instructions – Civil § Instruction 4.1. When the negligence of another person causes death, members of the decedent’s family may be entitled to additional or different compensation under a wrongful death action.
What You Should Do After a Motorcycle Accident:
Immediately following an accident, it’s important that you act in a manner to protect your rights and the evidence. A person injured in an accident should immediately: Check everyone’s condition and call 911 if medical attention may be needed by anyone.
- Call the police and ensure that a detailed and accurate traffic collision report is made prior to leaving the scene. The police report is the single best evidence of the causation of an automobile accident.
- Do not make any statements to anyone other than the police regarding the causation of the accident. Do not admit fault, simply detail the events as they occurred.
- If possible, and safe for all parties, preserve the scene of the accident until the police arrive. This means not moving any vehicles and having possible witnesses remain at the scene.
- Gather the negligent party’s name, driver’s license number, and address.
- Obtain the other driver’s insurance company and policy number.
- In the event there are witnesses to the accident, gather their contact information and a description of what they witnessed.
- If safe to do so, take pictures of the scene, all vehicles involved, and all injuries sustained.
- Call your insurance company and advise of the incident.
- Contact our experienced motorcycle accident attorneys in Tulsa Oklahoma for a free consultation.
Motorcycle Accident Attorneys Looking Out For You:
If you’ve been injured in an accident our motorcycle accident attorneys want to talk with you. Remember, time is not on your side in this kind of case as there is a statute of limitations for injury cases. Understanding the special risks riders face we take motorcycle accidents personally. It amazes us how other careless drivers ignore motorcycles on the road. To ride is to constantly watch for that person who doesn’t seem to car about the motorcycle rider. Don’t go it alone. We care about motorcycle riders and will express it through our work for you. Lets get you and your bike back on the road, Call us today.