Claims Against Oklahoma for Bicycle Crash Injuries and Losses
Bicyclists face all kinds of dangers when riding on public roadways. From being doored to getting sideswiped, most accidents involving bicyclists are serious and cause injuries or property damage. But what about when the danger is caused by the state or local governments?
Under Oklahoma’s Governmental Tort Claims Act, the state, its political subdivisions, and its on-duty employees are immune from liability for injuries and losses sustained because of road hazards, under most circumstances, but there are some exceptions.
According to Oklahoma law, the State will not be liable for injuries or losses that result from –
- Road and traffic signs, signals, or warning devices that are missing, in poor shape, or malfunctioning, unless the state knew about absence or condition and failed to fix it within a reasonable amount of time.
- Roadway maintenance, unless you can show proof that the State failed to warn about a hazardous condition, or that you would not have suffered injury or loss had it not been for the State’s negligence.
- Surface conditions, like wetness, snow, or ice, unless the State did something to cause the condition.
For example, you are riding your bike in the bike lane and crash into a deep open trench. You break your arm, leg, and neck in the fall. The city dug the trench the day before but had placed no signs or signals warning pedestrians, motor vehicles, or cyclists about the danger. In this case, the government may be liable for your injuries, but that doesn’t mean you will recover your full expenses.
Where there are no caps on economic damages in civil cases, there are damage caps on claims against the government. The Government Tort Claims Act sort of bypasses the statute of limitations for personal injury cases also, as the time limit in personal injury cases is two years normally, the Act only affords you with one.