Life happens, and sooner or later you might find yourself needing an Oklahoma car accident lawyer to help you recover costs for damages or injuries sustained in a collision. Suffering injuries in a car accident is bad enough — but to compound the trauma by having to fight for compensation for your injuries, lost work time and future medical and living expenses is something no one should have to endure. That’s why your first call after a collision should be to an experienced car accident attorney. We’ll work with you and with the insurance companies to make sure that your expenses are covered and that you can live to the fullest extent possible following the accident.
A good car accident lawyer will be both experienced and ethical. That means that your lawyer will be able to navigate both the insurance system and the court system, so that she or he can advance your best interests as quickly and inexpensively as possible.
If you are an injury victim in an Oklahoma car accident, there are several important things to remember. Several basic concepts can make all the difference if you, your family or friends are hurt and need help.
It might be completely clear to you who is at fault for an accident. But, that doesn’t mean that the other driver will admit fault. The best things you can do to protect your interests are to gather as much information as possible, get a police report and call your Oklahoma City car accident lawyer immediately.
The claims process for a car accident is not always easy or fair. Even if you’re not at fault, the other driver’s insurance company will always try to compensate you as little as possible for your claim. Trying to go head-to-head with an insurance adjuster who has likely processed hundreds of cases exactly like yours is an uphill battle. That’s why an Oklahoma car accident lawyer is your best ally.
More often than you might realize, the negligent driver doesn’t even have insurance. Hopefully, you have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. If you have uninsured motorist coverage, it means that your own insurance will cover your damages that were the fault of an uninsured motorist. If you have underinsured motorist coverage, it gives you additional coverage when you have a significant amount of damages or injuries and the negligent driver doesn’t have enough liability insurance to cover all of it.
But, the laws surrounding these kinds of coverages can have a lot of nuances that can be overwhelming, and if you find yourself in the situation in which you need to interpret them, your car accident lawyer in Oklahoma would be the best person to walk you through what you need to do in order to get the most from your insurance coverage.
And, while filing a car accident lawsuit is the legal worst-case scenario—because, of course, you would rather just have the insurance company send you a check for your losses—it is sometimes the only option for getting your damages and medical expenses covered.
It all depends on your percent of liability. In Oklahoma, a plaintiff cannot recover damages if that person is 51% or more at fault. In other words, the plaintiff can recover if s/he is 50% or less at fault. However, even in that scenario, the plaintiff’s entitlement to damages is reduced by the degree of fault. In many accidents, both drivers can be found to be responsible for some allocation of fault, even if it’s as little as failing to react quickly enough. States’ laws differ, and an Oklahoma car accident lawyer will give you even more specifics on that state’s rules. Generally, though, if the plaintiff is 10% at fault, he will get 90% recovery (rather than 100%).
Car insurance industry statistics show that the average person will file a claim for a car collision about once every 18 years. That means that during your driving lifetime, you would be statistically likely to have three to four car accidents. This could mean anything from a parking lot fender-bender to serious injury collisions. The good news is that the likelihood is that your crashes won’t be fatal — of about 10 million accidents on U.S. roads each year, about three of every 1,000 accidents are fatalities.
The following are some injuries that are common in Oklahoma car accidents:
Any head injury can be serious. In a high-speed collision, a driver or passenger could hit his or her head against the steering wheel, dashboard or window. The worst-case scenario (aside from fatality) is a traumatic brain injury. This would include anything from a mild concussion to a coma, which could also cause long-term cognitive and executive function problems. A car accident could also leave someone with hearing or vision loss or skull fractures.
A back injury could include a range of effects, including nerve damage that could affect sensation and control in arms, hands, feet and legs. A herniated disc can also cause numbness, weakness or pain in the arms and legs.
Whiplash is one of the most common neck injuries that occur during a car accident. What is whiplash? Whiplash, also called neck sprain or neck strain, is an injury to the neck characterized by a collection of symptoms that occur following damage to the spine.
Whiplash happens when a sudden jolt from a car accident causes your head and neck to jerk forward, which could cause the intervertebral joints (located between vertebrae), discs, and ligaments, cervical muscles, and nerve roots to be damaged.
If you were injured during a car accident and are suffering from these symptoms, you may have experienced whiplash:
If you or a loved one are currently experiencing these symptoms, please seek medical attention immediately and then contact an Oklahoma City car accident lawyer. Hopefully, you have soft tissue damage that can be healed through various modalities. However, some of the above symptoms are the result of and/or can lead to more serious injuries that can become debilitating.
Other neck and chest injuries sustained from a sudden jolt or impact from a car accident include broken ribs, collapsed lungs and damage to internal organs, the pelvis or the abdomen.
They don’t have to. An Oklahoma City car accident lawyer, like McIntyre Law, usually has a contingency fee arrangement, which means that you don’t pay until you’ve recovered damages. At that point, your car accident attorney will take an agreed-upon percentage of what you’ve received. Most attorneys will earn approximately one third, or 33% of the damages awarded in a car accident lawsuit. Fees will also depend on the length of time that the case is litigated, whether it can be settled out of court and other factors specific to your action. The McIntyre Law team offers a free legal consultation for your Oklahoma car accident case, where you can discuss the merits of your claim, and what the chances of recovering damages could be.