Motorcycle accidents like any kind of automobile accident can be the result of many different factors and events. On February 3, 2016, the Oklahoman reported that a Del City man was killed on Interstate 240 when his motorcycle collided with a tractor-trailer. In this unfortunate accident, the motorcycle struck the rear end of the tractor-trailer. Listed as a factor and perhaps the reason for the accident was that the motorcycle driver was driving at an unsafe speed.
This serves to show that while motorcycles are fun, they pose a risk to everyone on the road. While the tractor-trailer driver was not injured in this case, often when a motorcycle and a passenger vehicle both the motorcycle driver and its passengers and the passengers of the car are injured.
Negligence in Motorcycle Accidents
Following other vehicles too closes, driving while intoxicated, making improper turns and weaving in and out of traffic are all factors that lead to motorcycle accidents. Most motorcycle and auto accidents are the result of someone driving recklessly or negligently. In fact, negligence is the basis of most, if not all, personal injury suits.
Traditionally, the law required that each person behaved as a reasonably careful person would behave in a given situation. This has been modernized and transformed into the concept of negligence. Today all states in the nation have some form of negligence and a standard to determine liability. In simple form, the modern day negligence laws require that a person behaves and act with a duty of reasonable care to all other drivers on the road. The law of negligence can be stated in four elements.
- Duty – a person who is driving on the road, regardless if it is a car, truck, motorcycle, or SUV owes all other drivers on the road a duty of care to respond and act accordingly. Additionally, the states may impose additional duties on drivers in their traffic laws.
- Breach – any failure on the part of the defendant or defendants not to conform to the duty of care is a breach of the duty. Anytime there is a breach of this duty there is a higher likelihood that there is going to be an accident.
- Causation – in order for anyone to recover for damages they need to prove that the defendant’s actions were the actual and proximate cause of the accident and their injuries.
- Damages – Damages are the last element of any negligence case. In order for a plaintiff to recover, they need to show that they have been damaged in some way, this means that they may demonstrate that they incurred medical expenses, missed work as a result of the accident, were required to replace their car, and almost any other conceivable expense that can stem from an accident. In addition, a plaintiff may be able to recover for certain non-economic expenses such as pain and suffering, which may not have a quantifiable value, but are nevertheless recoverable.
Each state follows this general guideline for negligence, however, their own case law and statutes will provide a fuller and more thorough definition of what it means to be negligent in each state. In addition, all states follow one of several schools on negligence when they are determining who is at fault and who can thereby recover. Oklahoma is no different. Oklahoma follows something known as the modified comparative negligence rule, which can be found at Oklahoma Code Tit. 23 §13-14. Under the language of this statute:
Contributory negligence cannot be greater than the negligence of defendants. Damages reduced in proportion to such person’s contributory negligence.
Modified comparative negligence is the most common approach to recovery. Under Oklahoma’s modified comparative negligence statute, a plaintiff will not recover if he or she is found to be either equally responsible or more responsible for the resulting injury. In other words, in order to recover damages, the plaintiff must not be more than 50% at fault for the resulting injury. This is important for anyone who is considering whether or not to file a claim to consider. The jury will come together and make the final determination of how negligent each party was, and while many people believe that when they are involved in an accident that it is always the other person’s fault, they are often surprised when the jury returns a finding that they too were at least somewhat negligent.
Call a Del City Motorcycle Accident Attornet for a Free Legal Consultation
At the law offices of Hasbrook & Hasbrook, our respected personal injury lawyers have more than 75 years of combined experience helping crash victims in Del City recover compensation for their medical bills, lost earnings, and pain and suffering. We can help assess your situation in a straightforward manner and determine whether you may have a motorcycle accident claim. We have experience investigating rear-end collisions, side-impact collisions, head-on collisions, intersection accidents, crosswalk accidents, lane change accidents, and many other types of complex multi-vehicle crash scenarios.
Call our law offices right away at (405) 698-3040 to set up a free legal consultation with our helpful, friendly legal team. We are proud to handle auto accident claims in Canadian County, Oklahoma, including Mustang, El Reno, Okarche, Piedmont, Geary, Calumet, Yukon, Union City, Oklahoma City, and other cities in the area. We don’t charge any legal fees unless we recover compensation for you, and we will keep your information confidential.