Oklahoma Car Accident Attorneys
Legal Representation After a Car Accident
Car Accident Help provides passionate legal representation for all of our clients. The claims process may be complex and rife with numerous challenges, but with the right legal representation, you will have a fighting chance at overcoming any legal bumps in the road you may face. To learn more about your rights and legal options, please call today at (405) 285-4357 for a free, comprehensive consultation with an Oklahoma car accident attorney.
If you have sustained considerable damages in an auto accident that was caused by the negligence of another party, you have the right to seek compensation. However, you will first need to establish liability and the extent of your damages. You will also need to face the devious and aggressive practices of the opposing insurance company. With the assistance of an experienced auto accident legal team, you will have a better chance at navigating the many obstacles of the claims process and at achieving an adequate settlement that covers all past and future damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
Car Accident Case Results
- Automobile accident case with only $29,000 in medical bills: $500,000 verdict
- Automobile accident case with only $7,000 in medical bills: $125,000 verdict
- ∗∗Several others not mentioned due to their confidential nature
∗Past Results do not guarantee future results.
What Should I Do after a Car Accident in Oklahoma?
Your first concern after an auto accident should be your health and the health of others who were involved. If any injuries have resulted from the incident, call an ambulance right away. Also, call the police, as a police report will be important in proving liability. Once you have been given the appropriate medical treatment (if necessary) and officers have arrived at the scene, you should proceed with the following actions:
- Collect the contact, license, and insurance information from all involved motorists.
- Identify and approach any witnesses. Get their contact information and write down their accounts of what occurred.
- Inform the police if any involved driver seemed distracted and/or under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the accident.
- Take extensive photos and notes of the scene of the accident. Don't forget to look at vehicle damages, injuries, tire skid marks, and other material that may make good evidence.
- Contact an attorney as soon as you can.
It is a must that you avoid placing blame on either yourself or other motorists. Do not stray from objective, neutral statements and do not get emotional. Keep your mind calm and clear and remember that your actions may determine your future.
Types of Injuries Suffered in a Car Crash
In a severe car accident, the driver, passengers, and even pedestrians involved in the course of the crash could suffer injuries, ranging from mild to severe; and most, if not all, may deserve compensation. For example, aches, bumps, and bruises are relatively minor injuries, but if they cause the victim ongoing pain and emotional discomfort, the victim may be able to pursue damages. The more common types of injuries claimed in cases of negligence-caused auto accidents include:
- Broken bones;
- Brain injury;
- Head injury;
- Spinal cord injury;
- Facial injury;
- Soft-tissue damage; and
- Internal injuries.
Depending on the severity of the injury, a victim may not be able to work, may require multiple medical treatments, rehabilitation, and ongoing care, and may even become permanently disabled.
Who Can Be Held Negligent and Liable in a Car Accident?
Liability for an accident can be credited to a number of different factors, and only when the police determine the cause of the accident will the negligent party be found. There are three parties who are commonly found negligent in the event of a car accident: the driver, the government, or the car manufacturer.
a. A driver can be found negligent if he did not exercise the proper caution while driving. This can be speeding, failing to abide by the traffic laws and signs, intoxication, distracted driving, or driving while fatigued. If a motorist is found to have been negligent in any of these instances, they will be held liable.
b. A government agency could also be found negligent if they did not properly maintain the roadways, did not install appropriate lights for visibility, or failed to have the right traffic signs.
c. An auto manufacturer may be found negligent and liable for an accident if it is discovered that the cause of the accident was related to a defective part, manufacturing, or design flaw.
How Do I Prove Who Was Negligent?
When it comes to a car accident case where you are trying to prove the fault of another party, usually the other driver, there are four legal elements that must be met before determining if the defendant was negligent:
- Duty: This looks at whether the defendant was legally obligated to act in a reasonable manner that is legally acceptable in the circumstances of operating a car.
- Breach of Duty: The court will examine whether the driver acted in a manner that a reasonable person would have known had the potential to cause injury or harm to another.
- Causation: The plaintiff has to prove that the actions of the other driver did in fact cause the accident and injuries that resulted.
- Damages: The plaintiff must present to the court proof that he or she was, in fact, injured from the accident caused by the defendant.
There are also instances where neither driver is found to be completely “at fault” and comparative negligence is applied. Comparative negligence is where each party is allocated a certain amount of damages, proportionate to the percentage of negligence he or she is found guilty of. For example, if driver A is found to be 40% responsible and driver B 60% responsible, and the damage to both cars is found to be $100,000 each, driver A could collect $60,000 and driver B collect $40,000.
Comparative negligence can arise in many car accident cases, some of which include distracted driving, multiple car pileups, or rear-end accidents. In all three of these instances, one or more drivers may be responsible for the accident, and each is therefore held liable depending on the circumstances of the crash.
Can I Sue for Punitive Damages in a Car Accident Crash?
Punitive damages go beyond basic negligent liability damages awarded to the victim. Depending on the state you are in, punitive damages may or may not be allowed. Punitive damages are awarded only as a means of punishing the defendant. The courts will consider these damages if they determine that the defendant acted in a grossly negligent and reckless way that he or she knew could threaten the safety of others. The plaintiff will have to prove that the driver’s actions fit this category before punitive damages can be awarded.
How Should I Deal with Insurance Adjusters in OK?
Insurance companies are not charitable institutions; they are businesses, first and foremost. They prioritize profits over people. This means the insurance company will do anything possible to minimize or even invalidate your settlement. You must take careful steps not to jeopardize your claim.
- Get a qualified lawyer right away. This cannot be said enough. An attorney can handle the insurance company the right way and protect your rights.
- You are not obligated to speak with an insurance adjuster. Adjusters may attempt to contact you and even tell you otherwise, but don't believe them.
- Do not say or sign anything without consulting with an attorney first. Adjusters may ask you to record a statement regarding your accident. Chances are they are looking for any holes which can be used to discredit your claim.
What Happens if the Other Driver Does Not Have Adequate Insurance Coverage?
Your insurance policy should offer uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage; purchase it if you can. Auto accidents involving drivers with little to no insurance coverage are not a rarity. Chances are you will experience such an incident at least once in your life. Be prepared with uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. With it, your insurance company will have your back financially in cases where you may not receive enough from the liable party to cover your damages.
Oklahoma Car Accident Lawyers Ensuring Your Future Well-Being
The legal, financial, and physical issues involved in the aftermath of an auto accident are all equally difficult to bear. Handling all of them at once can be overwhelming for anybody. Let Car Accident Help take care of your legal matters for you so you can focus on your physical and emotional recovery. Contact us now for answers to your car accident case questions.
- Oklahoma Car Accident News Blog
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- Corrective Action in Auto Accidents
- Oklahoma Department of Transportation
- Oklahoma State Department of Health
- Oklahoma Department of Public Safety
- Oklahoma Law
- Oklahoma Highway Safety Office
- Vehicle Recalls
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