Car Accidents Frequently Asked Questions
- I have been a car accident that was the other driver’s fault. How do I protect my rights?
- Won’t my car insurance pay all my bills from a car accident?
- If I pursue a lawsuit from my car accident, what can I expect to receive from such a claim?
- My son was injured in a car accident caused by the teenage friend he was riding with. We’re reluctant to hurt this young man with a legal claim, but we do have medical bills. What can we do?
- I was hurt in a car accident caused by a teen who was driving drunk. Can I file a claim against the people who sold alcohol to this underage driver?
A car accident can happen in an instant and leave you with injuries that may forever change your life. In addition to the pain and suffering caused by your injuries, a serious accident may leave you facing medical bills, the costs of repairing your vehicle, loss of income while you are out of work, and other unanticipated expenses.
According to the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office, 33,721 people were injured in traffic fatalities in our state in 2013 and 678 were killed. Of the deaths, a fourth were the results of alcohol impaired crashes where the driver had a blood alcohol content of .08 percent or higher. Even more fatal accidents involved a speeding driver.
If another driver caused your car accident injuries, you should be fully compensated for your medical bills and other losses. When you turn to the at-fault driver’s insurance company for the financial assistance you thought you could rely on, you may be disappointed. Insurers protect their bottom line first. They have many ways to delay, low ball, and even deny legitimate auto accident claims.
How and Why Car Accidents Occur
About 70,000 car accidents happen every year in Oklahoma, averaging more than 190 a day. Though the year-to-year trend in the number of fatal and injurious accidents in Oklahoma is downward, there are still tens of thousands of families experiencing heartbreak and financial hardship every year because of a catastrophic car accident.
Most car accidents result from some type of driver error. Commonly seen types of car accidents include:
- Single-car accidents. It’s not always the driver who’s at fault in a single-car accident. Many accidents are caused by defective autos or auto parts, faulty roadways, or other factors, such as road work and the poorly designed work zones set up by contractors.
- Hit-and-run accidents. A hit-and-run accident can create particular problems as the injured person tries to obtain compensation through their own insurance for damage done by an unidentified person.
- Interstate car accidents. Accidents on interstate highways often involve high speeds and may include multiple vehicles or commercial motor vehicles (i.e., large trucks). Those who are hurt in interstate crashes are more likely to suffer catastrophic injuries.
- Distracted driving accidents. Any activity that diverts a driver’s attention from the primary task of driving is a distraction. Common distractions include talking on a cell phone, texting, eating, grooming, and adjusting the radio. Engaging in distracted driving is dangerous and distracted drivers who cause accidents can be held liable for the harm they cause.
- Texting and driving accidents. Texting and driving is considered to be a particularly dangerous form of distracted driving because it requires visual, manual, and cognitive attention. Texting while driving, which is more prevalent among younger drivers, leads to thousands of accidents.
- Drunk driving accidents. While the courts may severely punish a drunk driver, a person injured by an impaired driver must turn to civil action for financial restitution. In addition to the impaired driver, in some cases others who enabled a drinking driver may be held liable for your injuries.
- Teen driving accidents. Teenage drivers are more likely to get into car accidents because of their inexperience and because of recklessness. In fact, young drivers are more likely than adults to engage in risky driving behavior. But teens are required to carry auto liability insurance like any driver and victims of their recklessness have a right to restitution.
- Aggressive driving accidents. Aggressive behavior such as speeding, tailgating, and road rage contributes to many car accidents and injuries. Aggressive drivers can and should be held accountable for their actions.
- Accidents with uninsured drivers. Oklahoma has one of the highest rates of uninsured drivers in the country, the Insurance Research Council says. Being in an accident caused by an uninsured driver complicates your case for restitution, but you can obtain compensation in many cases with appropriate legal help.
If someone else’s carelessness, negligence, or recklessness was responsible for the car accident you were involved in, Oklahoma law may provide a means for you to obtain compensation for your losses.
After any car crash you will most likely have to deal with an insurance company adjuster, regardless of whether the accident was a fender bender or resulted in serious personal injuries and property damage. Some Oklahoma car accident victims attempt to deal with insurance companies without consulting with an experienced car accident attorney and wind up getting far less than they deserve for their accidents and injuries.
You can avoid that mistake. If you have suffered any injuries in a car accident, you need to talk to an experienced car accident lawyer at Burch, George & Germany, P.C. We offer a free initial consultation and will give you our guidance about your legal rights and best options. It costs you nothing to discuss your case with us. We do not receive attorney fees unless we recover compensation for you on your car accident claim.
Legal Protection and Assistance After a Car Accident
Auto insurance companies protect their interests. Let us protect yours.
Our car crash lawyers have years of experience dealing with such insurance issues as liability, claim valuation, deductibles, medical bills, insurance policy exclusions, and reimbursements for vehicle damage.
We know how insurance companies operate. We know that their primary interest is protecting their bottom line, even when they are dealing with their own policyholders who have paid premiums for years.
When you hire us, we can assist in several ways:
- We have the resources to fully investigate your accident to help you determine who was really at fault. We frequently work with accident reconstruction experts and other specialists to determine what actually happened in a crash.
- We can deal with the insurance adjusters while you concentrate on healing.
- We can help you make sure you get the medical treatment you need for your car accident injuries.
- We can analyze every detail of the insurance policies involved (including issues related to liability coverage, uninsured or underinsured motorists, comprehensive and collision coverage, and medical expense reimbursements). It is our goal to help you get all of the compensation you deserve from every source.
- When insurers drag their feet, we can help move your claim forward.
- We can obtain your medical records and have them analyzed by doctors or other medical specialists. With a full understanding of your injuries and impairments and their long term costs, we can ensure that you don’t accept a lesser settlement amount that short changes your future. It is critical for you to be aware of the full extent of your injuries and how your disabilities will affect your ability to earn a living.
Insurance companies have a duty to deal with their policyholders in good faith. Unfortunately, many take advantage of accident victims, which may indicate bad faith insurance practices. You can be certain that insurance companies have teams of attorneys to represent their interests. Make sure someone stands up for yours.
Contact Our Oklahoma City Car Accident Lawyers
The Burch, George & Germany, P.C. litigation team has successfully represented many Oklahoma City car accident victims at trial and at the negotiating table. We know what it takes to fight and win against big insurance companies. We have a record of courtroom success.
We understand how important your car accident claim is to you. That’s why when you’re our client, we will always treat you with the respect, attention, and compassion you expect and deserve. All of our clients deserve our best and they get it.
How can we help with your Oklahoma City car accident or injury case? Contact us today for a free consultation.
Ready? Call us toll free today at (405) 213-0674.
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The firm's lawyers and paralegals share the same core values as the firm's founders. Our firm is built on hard work, dedication, personal service, respect and doing everything we can to help clients prevail in their legal pursuits. Through honest and ethical practices, active participation in collegial organizations and lecturing to other lawyers and law students, our attorneys have earned the respect of our peers in the legal profession and in the community.