Bicycle accidents often happen when least expected and can result in serious, life-changing injuries. Bike wrecks can be an extremely frightening experience for anyone involved. In addition to collisions with cars or trucks on the road, people riding bicycles can hit objects on the road or encounter other hazardous road conditions that may lead to a severe crash.
Regardless of how a bicycle accident occurs, it may be difficult to identify who is at fault and even harder to know what the first step should be. Fortunately, a dedicated Edmond bicycle accident lawyer could offer that first step by answering questions and guiding you through the complicated process of proving liability to effectively pursue compensation. While you and your family focus on healing, a capable personal injury attorney could help you recover the damages that you deserve.
What an Attorney Can Do for the Injured Party
An Edmond bicycle accident attorney can:
- Identify hazardous road conditions
- Collect photographs of the collision scene and any damages to bicycle and vehicles
- Identify witnesses and obtain statements
- Secure police reports, hospital records, and primary care physician reports
- Gather documents like paystubs to show financial loss due to time lost from work
- Hold the insurance company accountable by filing a lawsuit if a reasonable settlement offer is not made
Bicycle Laws in Edmond
In the State of Oklahoma, bicyclists are required to follow many of the same laws as motorists. While this may be good news for vehicle operators, it also means that bicycles have rights to the road. In fact, Oklahoma has specific statutes the rights and responsibilities of both bicycle riders and the motorists who encounter them.
However, questions of liability can arise at times, since many of these rules are only supposed to be followed when drivers or cyclists determine it is safe to do so. Furthermore, some statutes leave room for individual interpretation. For example, motorists are required to stay three feet away from a bicycle when passing, but one person’s judgement of a three-foot distance may greatly differ from another. Even with video evidence, it’s difficult to identify if the three foot distance requirement was met before a wreck.
Comparative Negligence and the Courts
If a bicycle accident injury case goes to trial, the court (usually the jury) would need evidence to determine who is at fault. Oklahoma is a comparative negligence state, which means that a percentage of fault can be assigned to both the plaintiff and the defendant in a bike crash case.
For example, if a motorist proves that a cyclist was impeding traffic at the time of such an accident, a jury could find the bicyclist 30% at fault for the accident. In this case, the plaintiff’s verdict would be reduced by 30%.
However, if the bicyclist is found to hold a higher percentage of fault than the motorist, the cyclist—who may still be suffering from severe injuries—would be barred from financial compensation entirely.
What damages are recoverable in a bicycle accident in Edmond, OK?
Assuming you or your lawyer can prove the negligence of who caused the accident, a bicycle accident victim can pursue damages to cover the property damage to the bike, and medical bills, and intangible losses like pain and suffering. The plaintiff can also recover lost income for time missed from work. If the injuries are permanent, a jury will also consider future medical bills, lost income, and future pain & suffering. The jury’s role is to decide liability, and then award money to compensate the victim for what the accident has put the victim through.
How an Edmond Bicycle Accident Attorney Can Help
If you or someone you love suffered a serious injury due to a bicycle accident, understanding the laws and gathering the information necessary to prove negligence may seem next to impossible. Through a thorough investigation of your case, though, an Edmond bicycle accident lawyer could begin to collect evidence needed to determine fault and identify the compensation to which you may be entitled. Do not leave your future up to chance—call today to get professional assistance with your case.