July 15, 2020 | Motorcycle Accidents
Sadly, three troopers were injured in a crash that occurred during a procession in Oklahoma City on July 2. The procession was for a Tulsa police officer killed in the line of duty. The body of Sgt. Craig Johnson was being taken to the medical examiner’s office.
Sgt. Johnson had been shot during a traffic stop earlier in the week. He died from his injuries at a Tulsa hospital. The person responsible for the shooting has been charged with murder.
It is unclear how the traffic accident occurred. Three Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers were injured in the crash. The three troopers were riding motorcycles.
The troopers were in critical condition at an area hospital. The crash occurred on the Kilpatrick Turnpike as the procession was moving westbound.
Motorcycle Accidents Can Cause Traumatic Injuries
Motorcycle crashes can result in catastrophic injuries for riders. Even though riders may be wearing motorcycle helmets and other protective gear, motorcycles do not protect the rider during a crash. Vehicle occupants have protection from airbags, seat belts, and the metal structure of the vehicle.
Riders can sustain a variety of injuries in an accident. Many of the injuries can be life-threatening or result in permanent disabilities.
Common motorcycle injuries include:
- Road rash or abrasions
- Broken bones
- Brain injuries
- Back and spinal cord injuries
- Skull fractures and concussions
- Chest injuries
In addition to physical injuries, a motorcyclist may suffer from emotional injuries, including PTSD, depression, and anxiety. The emotional trauma caused by a motorcycle crash can be debilitating.
Who is Responsible for Damages Caused by a Motorcycle Crash?
In the above incident, the three troopers were on duty at the time of the accident. Because they were performing duties within the ordinary course of their employment, workers’ compensation may apply.
Workers’ compensation may cover injuries sustained in a car accident. For example, if you are running errands for your boss when a crash occurs, your injuries occurred while you were working. Likewise, if you are required to travel to a job site, a car accident on the way to the job site should be covered by workers’ compensation.
However, workers’ compensation benefits do not compensate you for all damages caused by a motor vehicle accident. Workers’ compensation only compensates workers for a portion of their lost wages. Pain and suffering damages are not recoverable in a workers’ compensation claim.
However, workers injured in traffic accidents while on the job may be entitled to additional compensation through a third-party claim.
What If Another Driver Caused the Car Accident?
An investigation should reveal if another driver caused the car accident. Some common factors that lead to car crashes include:
- Reckless driving
- Drunk driving
- Fatigued driving
- Distracted driving
- Failure to yield the right of way
- Improper lane changes
If another driver’s actions led to the cause of the car accident, the worker might have a third-party claim against the other driver. The third-party claim is in addition to any workers’ compensation claim.
It is important to pursue a third-party claim if one is available. A third-party claim may result in full compensation of all damages, instead of partial compensation through the workers’ compensation claim.
In a third-party claim, you could receive compensation for damages that were not compensated by workers’ compensation benefits such as:
- Unreimbursed loss of income or benefits
- Future lost wages and loss of earning capacity
- Decreases in earning potential
- Unpaid medical bills or expenses
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma, including PTSD and depression
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Disability and permanent impairments
- Loss of quality of life and enjoyment of life
The amount you might receive from a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver depends on several factors. Two factors related to damages that impact your claim are the severity of your injuries and the total financial losses.
However, proving fault is a crucial factor. If you cannot prove that the other driver caused the crash, you cannot recover compensation for a third party claim. You can receive workers’ compensation benefits if you did not intentionally cause the accident, but a third party claim would be impossible.
What if I am Partially to Blame for the Crash?
Oklahoma has a modified comparative fault law. As long as you are on more than 50 percent at fault for the cause of the crash, you can recover compensation for your injuries in a third-party claim. However, your compensation may be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to you for causing the auto accident.
It can be difficult to determine fault in some cases. Working with an experienced car accident lawyer can help. A lawyer investigates the cause of the crash to determine fault, while also identifying all sources of compensation that might be available for an accident claim.