BICYCLE ACCIDENTS ATTORNEYS IN TULSA, OKLAHOMA
Bicyclists are a vulnerable group when sharing the roadways with cars weighing 2300 lbs to SUV’s weighting 5700 lbs., traveling from 25 mph in residential areas to 45 mph in commercial districts.
Under Oklahoma law, bicyclists have the right to use, or share, the public roadways. Bicyclists are still allowed to ride on sidewalks except in business districts of some cities, where the building is next to the sidewalk such that occupants exiting the building would be in danger of being hit by a bicyclist.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) notes that there are two main types of crashes involving bicycles: the most common is falls and the most serious involves a car, which makes up 1/3rd of all the crashes involving bicyclists. The NHTSA provides good data and suggestions for safe riding, with emphasis on prevention.
The most common causes for a motorist striking a bicyclist are:
Failure to keep a proper look out
Driving too fast for conditions
Failing to slow for traffic ahead
Failure to maintain an assured clear distance from traffic ahead
Following too closely
Making an improper turn
Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
Dooring a cyclist
Running red lights/stop signs
Failing to yield the right of way
Failing to obey Statutes and Ordinances
If you have been in a bicycle accident, call the Rode Law Firm at (918) 599-8880 for your free consultation today. We’ll review the facts of your case and see how we can best help you get on your road to physical, financial, and emotional recovery!
In a bicyclist case involving a collision with a motor vehicle, it is important to secure as much information from the scene as possible, including:
Pictures of the scene
Pictures of any tire marks from braking by the bicyclist and the motorist
Pictures of gouge marks on the roadway from motor vehicle or the bicycle
Pictures of the bicycle and the motor vehicle
Pictures of the points of rest of the bicyclist, bicycle, and motor vehicle
Pictures of insurance card and driver’s license of the operator of the motor vehicle
Names and numbers of all witnesses
Showing the relative positions of the bicyclist and the motor vehicle on the roadway before impact are key to determining and proving liability. Determining liability or fault in these cases can look very ambiguous to the average person – even to trial court judges, as we found out in a recent case.
In Smith v. Barker, Tulsa County District Court Case No. CJ-2014-163, we presented our client’s case to the Jury and the Trial Court Judge refused to instruct the Jury that under Oklahoma law the bicyclist had the right of way. The Jury returned a verdict finding the “Plaintiff was 80% contributorily negligent and Defendant was 20% negligent.”
On behalf of our client, we appealed the Judge’s refusal to instruct the jury that the law stated the motorist had to yield the right of way to the bicyclist. After oral argument on appeal, the Oklahoma Court of Appeals reversed the Trial Court Judge and remanded the case for a new trial. Smith v. Barker, 2017 OK CIV APP 69, 419 P.3d 327. Defendant then filed an appeal, appealing the Court of Appeals’ opinion to the Oklahoma Supreme Court via Petition for Certiorari, which was denied.
After Defendant lost on appeal, Defendant’s Liability Insurance Carrier via Defendant’s Counsel, agreed to settle the case for “liability policy limits of a confidential amount.” Rode Law Firm was instrumental in expanding protection of bicyclists’ rights under Oklahoma law in handling this appeal pro bono for our client.
If you have been injured in a bicycle accident and you are looking for attorneys who have experience handing bicycle cases, call the Rode Law Firm at (918) 599-8880 and let us get to work for you.
When a bicyclist is involved in an accident with a car or truck, all too often the injuries are severe and permanent.
Injuries and Damages resulting from bicycle accidents can include:
Spinal cord injuries
Neck and back injuries
Closed head injuries
Scarring & Disfigurement
Medical Bills, past and future
Lost wages, past and future
Loss of Earning Capacity
Loss of ability to perform household chores
Severe Emotional Distress
At the Rode Law Firm, we have seen first-hand how these injuries not only cause physical pain and suffering, but also how a person’s limitations, and decreased functional capacity, reduce their quality of life and cause mental pain and suffering, aka mental anguish.
For example, when a healthy person exerts significant physical labor, such as working out, mowing a large yard, or manual labor, etc., they enjoy the fruits of that strenuous, physical labor. That is, he or she enjoys a feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction knowing that he/she was able to independently perform the laborious, hard work to complete the task at hand. This can give a person a feeling of strength; comfort in knowing he/she can provide food, shelter, and clothing for their family; and a feeling that all is well.
All too often, permanent physical injuries cause pain when a person is at rest, and severe pain when he or she attempts to exert significant physical labor. Such pain will shut a person down and prevent them from performing strenuous, physical labor.
This can be devastating to the injured person because: the injured person realizes he/she can no longer complete strenuous, physical tasks; the injured person no longer enjoys the good feelings of independently accomplishing a physically, strenuous project; and the injured person no longer feels strong, no longer feels he/she can provide for their family, or that all is well.
All too often, loved ones of our clients tell us their injured family member is not as happy, does not have as much energy, and is less mobile then they were before the collision. This is a component of damages that should not be overlooked, but rather developed and presented with the demand package sent to the Insurance Carriers, to the Mediator, or to the Jury, if necessary.
Our team at the Rode Law Firm has extensive experience in handling the issues of liability and damages in bicycle accident injury cases.
If you have been injured in a bicycle accident, call the Rode Law Firm at (918) 599-8880 for your free consultation today. We’ll review the facts of your case and see how we can best help you get on your road to physical, financial, and emotional recovery!