Accidents involving motorcycles are a common occurrence for a variety of reasons. Last year, 5,579 people died in motorcycle accidents, making up 14% of all vehicle fatalities. This was the highest number of motorcycle deaths since 1975, when the Fatality Analysis Reporting System was first established. This number has increased 11% since 2019. If you have been injured, contact an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer in Oklahoma City to review your case for free and get you the compensation you deserve.
Here are some of the common causes of motorcycle accidents and some steps to take following an accident.
Some drivers will not see motorcyclists when making left turns and this can cause failure-to-yield accidents. Accidents involving left turns are one of the most common causes of injury-producing collisions.
Roughly 76% of fatal motorcycle crashes are from being hit head-on, according to 2020 data. These types of collisions occur when a vehicle crosses into oncoming traffic from their own lane. Head-on collisions can throw motorcycle riders off their bikes and cause life-altering injuries or death.
Road hazards can range from natural debris such as tree limbs or rocks on the road to objects that have fallen off other vehicles — such as loose tires or improperly secured cargo. Another form of road hazard is the road itself. Sudden movements to avoid rocks or bumps in the road while on a motorcycle, can lead to accidents.
Some road conditions that can be hazardous include:
- Lack of guardrails
- Road construction without proper signage
- Reduced lighting or impaired visibility due to weather
- Pavement holes, uneven sections, metal plates
- Inoperable traffic lights
- Slippery surfaces
While these issues can be merely problematic for passenger cars and trucks, they can pose a fatal risk to motorcyclists.
4) Lane Splitting
Lane splitting occurs when a motorcyclist drives in between two lanes, typically through slow-moving or stopped traffic. In Oklahoma, and most other states, lane splitting is illegal. If it causes an accident, it can leave a motorcyclist severely injured as well as make them liable for any other injuries caused by the accident. Motorcyclists are expected to follow the same traffic laws as a typical vehicle.
5) Drunk Driving
Alcohol accounted for 32% of all fatal motorcycle crashes in 2020. Any type of impairment can raise the risk of a crash and cause injuries or deaths. If you’ve been hit by a suspected drunk driver, it is critical to speak to an experienced Oklahoma City motorcycle lawyer as there could be lifelong implications.
Motorcyclists driving too fast accounted for 34% of crashes in 2020. While all vehicles are required to follow posted speed limits, a driver or motorcyclist should also be extra careful in unsafe conditions such as rain or heavy wind. The risk of injury or death increases exponentially as the speed of the driver increases.
Nearly 70% of accidents will occur at intersections, according to NHTSA Motorcycle Safety. Some of the reasons include other vehicles running red lights, sudden stops from vehicles, and blind spots from several lanes of traffic moving and stopping. Be sure to always slow down as intersections can be unpredictable no matter if the light is green or it’s a four-way stop.
If you or someone you know has been in a motorcycle accident, you may be wondering how damages are calculated. While a competent Oklahoma City motorcycle accident attorney can fully assess your unique case, here are some of the damages that could be recovered:
- Medical Claims – All doctor and medical bills from any injuries including broken bones, TBIs, road rash, spinal injuries, and more. This includes physical therapy, rehab, ambulance costs, lab work, imaging, ER visits, etc.
- Lost Work Earnings – Your loss of earnings during the time of your recovery is another cost that may be covered, along with any future earning capacity.
- Pain and Suffering – Many times there can be an added recovery for the pain and suffering you went through as a victim during and after the accident. This amount is highly variable and is usually dependent upon the unique facts of each case.
Immediately following a motorcycle accident, you should first assess your health condition and get medical care. Then, contact an Oklahoma City motorcycle accident lawyer. The sooner an attorney is on the case, the less evidence will be lost, and the more paperwork can be secured, such as traffic reports and police records. Your attorney will instruct you on what to do and what not to do to ensure you receive proper compensation for your injuries and loss of vehicle.
With the help of an experienced Parrish DeVaughn motorcycle accident lawyer, Oklahoma City residents can get the support and guidance needed to navigate a claim and secure compensation for injuries.
If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident, contact us to schedule a free consultation. Our team is dedicated to helping you and your family in any way we can.