Oklahoma is a beautiful state with many outdoor activities to enjoy. Biking or bicycling has become an increasingly popular leisure activity throughout much of Southwest Oklahoma and the Texas Panhandle. In a car-centric world, most cyclists are forced to share the road with larger vehicles. Unfortunately, far too many motorists fail to look out for those riding bikes – whether on the highway or in the neighborhood. Biking on the road with cars driven by inattentive drivers can turn a peaceful afternoon ride into a devastating accident.
When a bicyclist sustains injuries in a crash, they could be eligible to recover compensation from the person who caused them harm. An Altus bicycle accident lawyer could work with you to build a strong case for recovery. One of our experienced personal injury attorneys will be with you every step of the way.
Causes of Bicycle Crashes in Altus
Bikes are smaller than cars, which means car drivers often overlook a cyclist in a way that would not ordinarily happen with a larger vehicle. Drivers also frequently underestimate the speed of bikes, leading to them cutting into the cyclist's path. Cyclists are at the most risk at night when they are less visible to motorists.
Intersections create considerable risks due to the amount of traffic and possible confusion as to who should be going at a particular moment. A truck driver focusing on turning left might fail to see a cyclist crossing the road with a green light. Also, drivers making right turns might not account for a cyclist who is approaching from behind.
All motorists are responsible for using caution when taking to the roadways. Cyclists have an equal right to use the roadway and drivers need to learn to share space with other road users. If you are a cyclist who has been injured by the fault of a driver who failed to pay attention, contact our team of Altus bike collision lawyers to discuss your recovery options.
Driver Obligations Around Cyclists
Oklahoma law includes specific protections for cyclists. Drivers are obligated to give cyclists adequate space when passing, slow down as they approach a cyclist, give the same right-of-way to bikes as they owe to cars, and look out for a rider's traffic indications and turn signals.
Drivers who fail to use caution can face liability for resulting crashes and the injuries they cause. They should also look out for oncoming bikes when opening their car doors, as they can cause a crash if they open up their door right as someone is passing by. An Altus lawyer could review the facts related to a crash to determine if a driver is liable.
When the Cyclist Might Be Liable
Like car drivers, cyclists must also follow traffic laws and behave reasonably. A cyclist who violates traffic lights and signs, travels at an excessive speed, or in an inappropriate or prohibited lane, may be partly to blame for a resulting accident.
The fact that a cyclist may have contributed to the accident will not necessarily prevent recovery if a driver also engaged in dangerous behavior. Recovery may still be possible if the cyclist shares a lower percentage of fault than the driver. Oklahoma law will permit a person who is 50 percent or less at fault for their injuries to recover a reduced amount of damages from another negligent person.
For example, if the total damages are $10,000, and the cyclist is 10 percent at fault, the court will reduce the award by 10 percent to $9,000 because of the injured person's comparative negligence. A local bicycle accident attorney could work with an injured person to reach the best possible resolution to a claim.
Hire an Altus Bicycle Accident Attorney
Cycling crashes can sometimes result in catastrophic and life-altering injuries. If another person caused that harm, the court could hold that person liable. The damages that you recover can help pay for medical care and losses that might be affecting your personal finances.
Reaching a favorable settlement or verdict will require building a strong case. An Altus bicycle accident lawyer could advocate on your behalf with any insurers and throughout the legal process. Call one today.