A bike and the open road are two ingredients for a great adventure, scenic commute, or fun way to spend time with friends. While we love the feeling of soaring down the open road, it’s not without risks. All it takes is one negligent motorist to make an enjoyable ride take a turn for the worse.
If the unthinkable happens, one question that will inevitably arise is whether you were wearing a helmet. Oklahoma’s helmet laws affect victims’ ability to collect damages after a crash.
In this blog, we’ll outline the specifics of these Oklahoma laws and outline some next steps if you find yourself in this difficult situation.
Understand Oklahoma Motorcycle Helmet Laws Before You Hit the Road
Like most states, Oklahoma does not require motorcyclists over the age of 18 to wear a helmet. However, helmets are a critical piece of equipment for keeping riders safe on the road.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, wearing a helmet reduces your risk of dying by 37% if you’re involved in a crash. Riders who don’t wear a helmet are also three times as likely to experience a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) during a crash than their helmeted counterparts. In fact, these statistics are so overwhelming that they impact how victims receive (or don’t) compensation after a crash — even though Oklahoma’s helmet laws do not require adult riders to take these steps to protect themselves.
Wearing a Motorcycle Helmet Protects More Than Your Brain
If you sustain a head or neck injury that would have been prevented by protective headgear, it can be challenging (or even impossible) to recover damages after the accident. This is because Oklahoma is a modified comparative negligence state, meaning that if a victim is partially responsible for their pain, suffering, or wounds, they can only recover damages in proportion to their level of negligence. Not wearing a helmet when there is overwhelming evidence that supports how effective they are at preventing injuries is sufficient evidence for the jury, insurance company, and others involved in your case that you are to blame for your injuries. Wearing a helmet helps eliminate the question of whether or not victims can be held liable for their injuries.
RELATED ARTICLE: What Evidence Do I Need to File a Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit?
A Motorcycle Crash Lawyer Might Be Able to Help After an Accident
While we always advocate for helmet use, drivers should not be punished when motorists drive recklessly. If you or someone you love has suffered a head, neck, or traumatic brain injury while riding a motorcycle in our great state, consider contacting a skilled and experienced Oklahoma personal injury lawyer.
Motorcycle accidents can be some of the most traumatic and complicated events you can experience on the road. Time and time again, we see motorcyclists who suffer because of someone else’s bad behavior. An experienced motorcycle lawyer on your side can advise you of your best options following a motorcycle crash and also help you navigate the notoriously challenging insurance claim process. Insurance companies will do whatever they can to settle your case as quickly and cheaply as possible — even if that means unfairly denying your claim or offering you a low settlement that won’t cover the costs of your recovery.
If you need to pursue legal action to get the justice you deserve following a motorcycle crash, an Oklahoma motorcycle accident lawyer can help you navigate the process of filing suit, compiling evidence, and building a case. If there is any question about negligence and whether you were wearing a helmet when you were hurt, you need a lawyer on your side who can fight for you.
Get Your Free Motorcycle Crash Case Evaluation With Atkins & Markoff
At Atkins & Markoff, we believe everyone has a right to be safe on the road. That’s why we fight to educate drivers and motorcyclists alike on safe driving habits and have committed our careers to making sure that victims of negligent drivers get the justice they deserve.
If you’ve been hurt by another driver, have questions about filing a personal injury claim, or want to know more about how helmet use impacts your motorcycle crash case, please reach out today by calling 405-758-5836 or completing this brief form to schedule your free case evaluation.
(2008, January). Motorcycle Helmet Use Laws. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Retrieved from https://www.nhtsa.gov/sites/nhtsa.dot.gov/files/810887.pdf
Goguen, D. Oklahoma Car Accident Laws. Nolo. Retrieved from https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/oklahoma-car-accident-laws.html
Matthews, J. Motorcycle Helmet Laws and Recovery for Injuries. Nolo. Retrieved from https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/motorcycle-helmet-laws-recovery-injuries-30271.html
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.