Bicycling has soared in popularity in Oklahoma City, offering residents and visitors alike an eco-friendly and invigorating way to enjoy the city’s vibrant culture and scenic beauty. The Hefner-Overholser Trail offers breathtaking views of Lake Hefner and Lake Overholser while the Oklahoma River Trails provide a serene riverside journey that’s perfect for family outings and fitness enthusiasts.
Despite its many benefits, bicycling can be dangerous when motorists and other parties fail to pay proper attention. Many motorists, glancing down at their phones or driving at aggressive speeds, fail to notice cyclists until it’s too late. When such tragedies strike, the consequences can be devastating and even fatal.
In these critical moments, a dedicated bicycle accident lawyer can be indispensable. At Carr & Carr in Oklahoma City, we understand the challenges faced by bicyclists, both on the road and after an accident. If you’ve been hurt because a negligent driver was more interested in their phone or beating a red light, we’re here to protect your rights and win the settlement you need to rebuild your life.
Why Hire Carr & Carr for Your Oklahoma Bicycle Accident Claim?
- Dedicated Client Focus: At Carr & Carr, clients are not just case numbers. Each client receives personalized attention and care. Your case is handled with utmost dedication and focus.
- Proven Track Record: Our law firm has a robust history of successfully handling bicycle accident claims. Our track record of securing favorable outcomes for our clients is a testament to our skill and dedication.
- Strong Negotiation and Litigation Skills: Dealing with insurance companies can be difficult. Our OKC bicycle accident lawyers have strong negotiation skills as well as a history of success in the courtroom. They work tirelessly to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries and losses.
- Sound Legal Strategies: Our firm uses sound legal strategies to build a strong case on your behalf. We use detailed investigations, expert testimonies, and thorough legal research to bolster your claim and strive for the best possible outcome.
- No Upfront Costs: We understand the financial strain that accidents can cause, which is why Carr & Carr operates on a contingency fee basis. This means you don’t pay anything upfront. Fees are only collected if we win your case.
By choosing Carr & Carr, you ensure that your bicycle accident claim is in capable and caring hands, giving you the peace of mind to focus on your recovery.
How Much Is My Bicycle Accident Claim Worth?
The value of a bicycle accident claim can vary greatly depending on several factors, which is why there is no average settlement amount. Generally speaking, the claim can include both economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are quantifiable financial losses resulting from the accident. They include:
- Medical Expenses: This component covers all healthcare-related costs. It includes ambulance fees, emergency room charges, hospitalization costs, surgeries, doctor’s visits, medication, physical therapy, and any future medical treatments related to the injuries.
- Lost Wages: You can seek financial compensation for the time you were unable to work and earn money due to your injuries. This covers the period from the accident until you return to work.
- Loss of Earning Capacity: If your injuries lead to a long-term or permanent decrease in your ability to earn, you can claim for this loss.
- Property Damage: This category covers costs associated with repairing or replacing your bicycle and any other damaged personal property, like your helmet, clothing, or smartphone.
- Other Out-of-Pocket Expenses: This includes any other costs incurred due to the accident, such as travel expenses for medical treatment, costs of hiring help for household chores you can no longer perform, and so on.
Non-economic damages compensate for intangible losses and are more subjective:
- Pain and Suffering: This accounts for the physical pain and discomfort you endured because of your injuries. Calculating this loss can be tricky, as it varies greatly based on the severity and duration of the pain.
- Emotional Distress: You can seek compensation for psychological impacts like anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other mental health issues resulting from the accident.
- Loss of Enjoyment of Life: If your injuries prevent you from participating in hobbies, sports, and other activities that were part of your life before the accident, you can claim financial compensation for the change.
- Disfigurement or Physical Impairment: If the accident results in scars, loss of limbs, or other permanent physical changes, you can seek compensation for how these changes affect your life and self-perception.
- Loss of Consortium: This applies if your injuries affect your relationship with your spouse, including loss of companionship, affection, and sexual relations.
How much you receive as compensation will depend on factors like those below:
- Severity of Injuries: Generally speaking, more serious and long-lasting injuries lead to higher compensation.
- Documented Evidence: Detailed medical records, receipts, and documentation of lost wages are crucial in substantiating economic damages. For non-economic damages, journals detailing your daily pain levels and emotional state can be helpful.
- Impact on Daily Life: The impact of the injuries on your routine, career, and personal life can affect the final amount.
- Insurance Coverage: The limits of the at-fault party’s insurance can cap the amount of compensation available.
An Oklahoma City personal injury attorney can provide a detailed assessment and ensure that all potential areas of compensation are explored.
What If I’m Not Sure of Who Is At Fault? Can I Still Sue?
If you are unsure of who was at fault for your bicycle accident, you may still be able to sue for damages due to Oklahoma’s comparative negligence law. This law allows you to seek compensation even if you could have been partially at fault for the accident. However, there are important points to consider:
- Your compensation will be reduced by your percentage of fault. For example, if you are found to be 30% at fault for the accident, the total compensation you can receive will be reduced by 30%.
- Oklahoma follows a modified comparative negligence rule with a 50% threshold. This means you can only recover damages if you are less than 50% responsible for the accident. If you are 50% or more at fault, you are barred from recovering any compensation.
Determining fault and negotiating liability can be complicated. An experienced bicycle accident attorney can help assess your case, estimate your degree of fault, and help you seek the best possible outcome.
Common Causes of Bicycle Crashes
Bicycle accidents in Oklahoma City can occur for several different reasons. They include but may not be limited to:
- Driver Negligence: This includes drivers who are distracted, speeding, or violating traffic laws. Texting while driving, failing to yield the right of way, and not checking for cyclists in blind spots are typical examples of driver negligence.
- Impaired Driving: Accidents can occur when the motor vehicle driver is under the influence of alcohol or drugs, impairing their judgment and reaction times.
- Failure to Signal: Accidents often occur when drivers fail to signal their intentions to turn or change lanes, leading to confusion and collisions.
- Poor Road Conditions: Accidents often happen due to poorly maintained roads. Potholes, uneven road surfaces, and debris can cause cyclists to lose control and crash.
- Dooring Accidents: “Dooring” refers to situations where a parked car’s door is suddenly opened in a cyclist’s path. This can cause the cyclist to collide with the door or swerve into traffic, leading to serious accidents.
- Inadequate Cycling Infrastructure: In areas lacking proper bike lanes or trails, cyclists are forced to share the road closely with motor vehicles, increasing the risk of accidents.
Regardless of the cause, cyclists almost always suffer catastrophic injuries because they lack the protection enjoyed by motor vehicle occupants. These injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord injury
- Broken bones
- Organ damage
- Dental injuries
- Psychological trauma
Liability in a Bicycle Accident
The primary factor in determining liability is negligence. If a driver or another party acted negligently, such as by violating traffic laws or driving while impaired, and this negligence led to the accident, they may be held liable for your injuries.
In cases where poor road conditions or inadequate signage contributed to the accident, the property owner or the municipality responsible for road maintenance might be liable. Sometimes, other parties such as a vehicle manufacturer (in the case of a mechanical failure) or a construction company (for leaving hazardous obstacles) may be liable.
To accurately determine liability, you should speak to an OKC bicycle accident lawyer as soon as possible after your accident. They can assess the details of the accident, gather necessary evidence, and help determine the liable party or parties.
What to Do After a Bicycle Accident
If you’re involved in a bicycle accident, you need to prioritize your safety and health. If you or anyone else is injured, call 911 immediately and request the police and an ambulance. An official police report is important even for minor accidents. Officers will document the scene and gather statements, all of which can support your personal injury lawsuit.
Other recommended steps include:
- Get the contact and insurance information of any other parties involved in the accident. Also take note of the vehicle’s make, model, and license plate.
- Take photos of the accident scene, your bicycle, the vehicle involved, any injuries, and the surrounding area. Look for any CCTV cameras that might have recorded the accident.
- If there are any witnesses, get their contact information. Witness statements can provide valuable insights into how the accident occurred.
- Avoid making statements that could be interpreted as admitting fault. Stick to the facts without speculating or placing blame.
- Seek medical attention. Even if you feel fine, it’s important to get checked by a medical professional. Some injuries, like concussions or internal bleeding, may not be immediately apparent.
- Consult an OKC bicycle accident attorney. They can provide advice on how to proceed, especially if you’re considering making a claim for damages.
The actions you take immediately after a bicycle accident can significantly impact any subsequent legal or insurance processes. Prioritize your health and safety first, and then take steps to protect your legal rights.
How Can an Oklahoma City Bicycle Accident Lawyer Help Me?
An Oklahoma City bicycle accident attorney can be a crucial ally when you’ve suffered severe injuries. Their assistance can take various forms, each contributing to a stronger case and a better outcome for you. Here’s how they can help:
- An experienced attorney can provide informed legal advice specific to bicycle accidents. They can help you understand your rights and the legal options available to you.
- An attorney can gather evidence such as medical records, police reports, witness statements, and traffic camera footage. This thorough approach ensures all relevant facts are considered in building your case.
- Your lawyer can assess the circumstances of the accident to determine who is liable. This includes analyzing the actions of all parties involved and understanding how local traffic laws apply to your case.
- Dealing with insurance companies can be challenging. Your attorney can negotiate with insurance adjusters on your behalf, ensuring that you don’t settle for less than what you deserve and protecting you from lowball offers.
- A lawyer can accurately calculate both economic and non-economic damages you are entitled to, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. This ensures that you seek a fair compensation that covers all your losses.
- If a fair settlement cannot be reached outside of court, an attorney can represent you in legal proceedings. They will prepare a strong case, handle all the legal formalities, and advocate on your behalf in front of a judge or jury.
Injured? Get a Free Consultation From an OKC Bicycle Accident Lawyer
Bicycling is an excellent and sustainable form of exercise, but it also exposes cyclists to potential dangers on the road. When the worst happens, and you find yourself the victim of a bicycle accident, knowing that you have a dedicated and skilled legal team on your side can be a significant source of comfort and strength.
At Carr & Carr, we will aggressively fight for the full range of damages you’re entitled to. Your recovery, both physical and financial, is our top priority. To learn more or schedule a free initial consultation, contact us today.