Oklahoma Attorneys Discuss Car Insurance Law
How Do Oklahoma Car Insurance Laws Work?
Oklahoma is a "fault" car insurance state. This means that the driver who was at fault for the crash can be held accountable for all injury and property damage that happened in the crash. In such cases, the at-fault driver's insurance will cover the bulk to the damages. Injured victims of Oklahoma car crashes can seek compensation by filing a claim with their own insurer, by filing a claim with the at-fault driver's insurer, or by filing a lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
How Much Insurance Do You Need?
You are legally required to follow Oklahoma auto insurance laws or face possible fines, loss of your license, and even jail time. How much coverage you get is up to you, but there are minimum car insurance coverage requirements. If you are a motorist in Oklahoma, your insurance policy should have the following minimum coverage:
- $25,000 for the injury or death of one person including yourself, your passenger or another driver, pedestrian, or bicyclist.
- $50,000 for the injury or death of more than one person in a single crash.
- $25,000 for property damage.
These coverages, however, do not provide any protection against damage to your vehicle, damage to yourself if hit by an uninsured motorist, other damages unrelated to an accident, or medical coverage for yourself.
It is not advisable to only purchase the minimum coverage allowed by law. Purchasing additional coverage such as collision, comprehensive, uninsured motorist, and medical insurance can prove useful if you are ever involved in a serious injury accident. Injuries that require hospitalization, surgery, time away from work, and physical therapy often cost much more than most people make in a year.
You may also wish to consider purchasing more than the minimum limits for the insurance in the event that you are in an accident and an injured party has more than $50,000 in damages. Otherwise, if you are the at-fault driver, you may be legally responsible for more than the amount you are carrying in insurance.
Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Coverage in Oklahoma
As mentioned above, it is highly advisable to purchase uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. Oklahoma law requires insurance providers to include UIM coverage with every policy, but it does not require all motorists to purchase this additional protection. You should make sure that you have such protection. If you are ever involved in an accident with a driver who has little to no coverage, you will be protected under this clause from your own auto insurance policy.
Uninsured motorist coverage can also help compensate you if a hit-and-run driver causes your injuries. Not all hit-and-run drivers get caught. You may have to rely on your own insurance policy in such cases. Uninsured motorist coverage pays you, resident members of your family, and passengers of your vehicle for personal injuries caused by an uninsured motorist, an underinsured motorist, or a hit-and-run driver. But it does not cover damages to your vehicle. If an uninsured motorist damages your car, repairs would be paid for under your collision coverage. If you carry liability insurance only, there would be no insurance coverage available to repair your car.
Protecting Your Rights in Oklahoma
Making sure you are properly covered is a crucial step in protecting your best interests. But what happens if you are given bad advice about how much insurance to carry? Well, the law states that you are required to carry the minimum legally required insurance. So if you have chosen to carry less than that, there is no defense. If you carry only the minimum amount, and the injuries in an accident exceed that, you may be exposing your income and assets to potential losses. The bottom line is that you are responsible for what you purchase, and this goes for car rental insurance as well.
Make sure you have adequate coverage (including emergency roadside assistance) and take the time to learn about your legal rights and options in case you are ever involved in a crash. An Oklahoma car accident attorney can review your case and help you pursue fair compensation for all your injuries, damages, and losses.
Call Car Accident Help at (405) 285-4357 for a no-cost consultation and case evaluation.
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