I was driving my motorcycle behind a car which at the last moment must have realized they missed their turn. They slammed on their brakes in front of me. I was not following too closely but was unable to miss the car.
I rear ended the car on its right portion. I was thrown off my bike and over the car. The car then put the car in reverse and went down the road they missed. They left the scene of the accident.
I had no motorcycle license and no insurance on it either. I was ticketed for no license and for not avoiding the collision. A witness to the accident came by my house and gave me the address of the person who left the scene. I have tried to call the trooper to see if they went to the house but haven’t heard anything. I now have medical bills and no way to fix my motorcycle.
I’m just looking for some guidance. Do I have rights to collect for motorcycle repair and medical bills?
Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.
Don’t give up. There is hope!
THE BAD NEWS
Although from the facts you present we believe you were not following too closely, our opinion will be of little consequence.
It is true that once you received the two citations from the State Trooper your fate was constructively sealed as to receiving any insurance benefits from the driver’s insurance company. Add to the mix your lack of a motorcycle license and you can be assured filing a claim with the fleeing driver’s insurance company will be a futile act at best.
THE VERY GOOD NEWS
In the State of Oklahoma it is a crime to leave the scene of an accident and doing so is punishable by up to a year in jail and a substantial fine. We have listed below the section of the State of Oklahoma’s Motor vehicle Code for your reference…
Title 47. Motor Vehicles
Chapter 10 – Accidents and Reports Relating to Accidents Highway Safety Code
Section 10-103 – Accidents Involving Damage To Vehicle
Crime: In Oklahoma, it is unlawful to leave the scene of an accident in which you are involved.
Punishment: Failing to stop at the scene of an accident in which you are involved is a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment in the county jail up to (1) year and/or a fine of up to $500.
Part of the same law states, and we are paraphrasing, that…
IN ADDITION TO ANY CRIMINAL PENALTIES, THE DRIVER WHO LEFT THE SCENE OF THE ACCIDENT, WHETHER HE CAUSED THE ACCIDENT OR NOT, SHALL PAY TO THE DRIVER OF THE VEHICLE WHO WAS LEFT AT THE SCENE AN AMOUNT OF MONEY EQUAL TO THREE TIMES THE VALUE OF THE DAMAGE TO HIS VEHICLE. THIS MONEY SHALL BE PAID WITHOUT REGARD TO WHICH DRIVER MAY HAVE BEEN AT FAULT, EVEN IF THE DRIVER OF THE VEHICLE LEFT AT THE SCENE WAS CITED FOR ANY VIOLATIONS OF ANY PART OF THE MOTOR VEHICLE CODE.
UNDER THIS SECTION OF THE LAW FAULT IS IRRELEVANT.
THE CRIME OF LEAVING THE SCENE OF THE ACCIDENT TAKES PRECEDENCE OVER ANY INSURANCE OR OTHER CIVIL MATTER. IT DOES NOT MATTER WHETHER EITHER THE FLEEING DRIVER OR THE DRIVER LEFT AT THE SCENE HAD INSURANCE OR NOT.
THE COURT HAS ABSOLUTE AND INDEPENDENT POWER IN THESE MATTERS AND IN ADDITION TO ORDERING THE FLEEING DRIVER TO PAY THE DAMAGES SET OUT UNDER THIS LAW MAY ALSO IMPOSE UPON THE FLEEING DRIVER PENALTIES THE COURT MAY DEEM APPROPRIATE REGARDLESS OF FAULT. THE ACT OF FLEEING IN AND OF ITSELF TAKES PRECEDENCE OVER ANY CIVIL DISPUTE AS TO FAULT.
It would be very helpful to your case Denise if the Troopers would arrest, or at least cite the fleeing driver for “Leaving the Scene of an Accident”.
You should do everything ethically and legally possible to “prompt” the Troopers to take action against the fleeing driver. You have as much right as the next guy to have “equal protection under the law”.
The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.
Best of luck,
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