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Teen Driving Resource Center

Teen Driving Resource Center Frequently Asked Questions
I have been a car accident that was the other driver’s fault. How do I protect my rights?

Immediately after a car accident, if you are not too hurt to act, there are several steps you can take to gather evidence that will help if you pursue a legal claim.

First, you should report the accident to police right away. You will also need to contact your auto insurance company to file a claim.

If you can, take photos of the accident scene, including vehicle positions, damage, skid marks and debris. When you talk to police, answer questions about the accident honestly. However, do not volunteer information. Do not admit fault. Do not blame anyone else.

If you have been hurt, see a doctor as soon as you can. If an ambulance / emergency medical services arrive at the accident scene, follow their instructions. Seeing a doctor or an EMT ensures you are taken care of. It also documents your injuries and the medical care they require. This will be important in a claim for compensation.

Won’t my car insurance pay all my bills from a car accident?

The settlement you receive from your car insurance company may depend on several factors, including your policy and your role in the accident. It may also depend on whether you are represented by an experienced Oklahoma car accident attorney.

Liability insurance pays for personal injuries and property damage if you are at fault in a car accident. Therefore, you would seek payment from the other driver’s insurance if he or she caused your crash.

The minimum amount of liability coverage required in Oklahoma is “25/50/25,” or $25,000 per person for bodily injury, $50,000 for all persons injured in one accident, and $25,000 for all property damage in one accident. If you have collision insurance, it should pay for damage to your vehicle according to what the policy provides.

You may also have uninsured motorist/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage. This coverage pays for personal injuries caused by an uninsured motorist, an underinsured motorist or a hit-and-run driver. You are not required to carry this coverage in Oklahoma. Still, insurers are required to offer it with every auto insurance policy.

Oklahoma law also embraces the doctrine of “comparative negligence.” In a car accident, each party’s contribution to the accident is considered. For example, the comparative negligence among two drivers may be found to be 80/20 (one is 80 percent at fault, the other is 20 percent). If you are 20 percent at fault, your claim would be reduced by 20 percent. If you have 50 percent or more of the negligence, you would not be compensated for your losses.

An experienced car accident attorney can challenge claims that your negligence contributed to a car accident and thus increase your claim. Your attorney can also pressure a reluctant insurance company to pay a proper settlement in a timely manner.

If I pursue a lawsuit from my car accident, what can I expect to receive from such a claim?

A settlement after a car accident generally includes compensation for medical expenses, property damage, lost wages and pain and suffering. Our goal is to help our clients get all of the compensation they deserve from every available source.

When you pursue a car accident lawsuit, your attorney will calculate all of your expenses and losses. The attorney will then ask for that sum from the at-fault party’s insurance company.

An attorney will meet with the responsible insurance company representatives to negotiate a settlement. In cases that involve severe or permanent injuries that cause temporary or permanent disability, an appropriate settlement will be considerable.

If the insurer will not agree to a proper payment, the case must be presented in court for judgment.

A full investigation of your car accident may also determine that multiple parties beyond the other driver are liable for your injuries and losses. This could result in one or more lawsuits seeking compensation, which would follow the same course as outlined above.

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?

You can and should pursue a claim to cover your child’s expenses, regardless of the at-fault driver’s age. You must remember that insurance pays such a claim. It does not come out of a teenager’s or his parents’ pockets.

It is an unfortunate fact that young drivers are more likely than adults to engage in negligent behavior that causes car accidents such as speeding, distracted driving, drunk driving and fatigued driving. A majority of those who are injured or killed in car accidents caused by teenage drivers are the at-fault driver’s passengers of similar age.

Like adults, teenage drivers are responsible for their actions behind the wheel. Indeed, learning to drive responsibly is part of becoming an adult. And teenage drivers, like adults, are insured.

Even when teen drivers are on their parents’ auto insurance, compensation is available without financially damaging innocent parents.

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?

You may have a legitimate third-party claim against a vendor who sold alcohol to an underage driver who later caused a car accident.

Unlike other states, Oklahoma does not have a specific “dram shop” law pertaining to businesses’ responsibility for drivers they sell alcohol to. But case law indicates that Oklahoma courts will hold a vendor liable for selling alcohol to drivers who are not yet 21 years old, the legal age for drinking.

A dram shop liability claim may be possible against a store or bar owner who sold alcohol to an underage driver, even without a driving under the influence (DUI) conviction against the driver.

A Burch, George & Germany, P.C., car accident attorney could discuss your case with you for free and do the other necessary work to determine whether we can pursue a claim on your behalf. If we can, we will seek all of the compensation you deserve for your car accident losses.

How long after a car accident do I have to file a claim in Oklahoma?

In most cases, Oklahoma’s statute of limitations for filing a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit is two years after the car accident. But there are exceptions and reasons to start work on a claim as soon as possible.

The two years available to file a claim begins at the date of injury or death. In some personal injury cases, the two years may be counted from a later date on which an injury is diagnosed or otherwise discovered. In cases involving a minor plaintiff, the two years begins once the child turns 18.

Personal injury and wrongful death claims are often complex. They take a long time to develop.

For instance, the investigation of a personal injury case stemming from a car accident requires investigating the accident and the extent of the individual’s injuries. This may involve consulting with outside professionals who perform accident reconstruction work, medical records analysis and financial forecasting. All of this takes time that eats away at a two-year calendar.

We advise Oklahoma car accident victims to contact a personal injury / wrongful death attorney as soon as possible so that work toward a potential legal claim can begin without delay.

I’ve been out of work since my accident. How can I afford a car accident attorney?

Paying a car accident attorney should be the last thing you worry about as you recover from your crash injuries. In fact, we won’t ask for a dime until you have received a settlement or court award from your claim.

Burch, George & Germany, P.C., pursues personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits on a contingency fee basis. This means any fee paid to us is contingent upon us obtaining compensation for you. Simply put: If you don’t win, you don’t pay.

Once we obtain a satisfactory settlement or a court order in your lawsuit, our fee will be a percentage of the total award. We will agree to this percentage when you ask us to represent you.

Before that, we will meet with you to discuss your case and outline how we can help you. We will do this for no charge, regardless of whether you pursue a claim with our legal help.

To learn more, simply contact us today.

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"Thank you Derek & Kelly. You helped us survive the worst event of our lives!"

- Rene S.

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Every day in Oklahoma, thousands of teenagers get their driver licenses and take to the roads alone for the first time. Most of them are ready, but there’s no way to prepare teen drivers for everything that can happen while behind the wheel of a car.

Through our representation of Oklahoma car accident victims, we at Burch, George and Germany have seen teens who have had very good and very bad experiences as new drivers. Assuming the responsibility of driving and maintaining a car is part of becoming an adult.  Not every young person gets through this transition to adulthood unscathed, but we want to help where we can.

Part of our assistance to newly licensed and soon-to be-licensed teens is providing information we’ve compiled for these pages:

Our primary assistance to teens and their parents in Oklahoma is to stand up for their legal interests if they do get injured in car accidents Oklahoma caused by another motorist. Hopefully you won’t ever be seriously hurt in a car crash. But if you are and would like to know your car accident claim, please know that you can turn to us for help.

Visit our car accident FAQ page for answers to the most frequently asked car accident questions such as, “What should be done in Oklahoma interstate accidents?”

VITAL INFORMATION
Won’t my car insurance pay all my bills from a car accident?

The settlement you receive from your car insurance company may depend on several factors, including your policy and your role in the accident. It may also depend on whether...

READ MORE
I have been a car accident that was the other driver’s fault. How do I protect my rights?

Immediately after a car accident, if you are not too hurt to act, there are several steps you can take to gather evidence that will help if you pursue...

READ MORE
OUR ATTORNEYS
  • Attorney Derek Burch - Oklahoma based hit and run lawyer for hit and run car accident victims.
  • Attorney Kelly George Oklahoma City OK
  • Attorney Deann Germany - dangerous drugs lawyer and unsafe drugs lawyer.
  • Attorney James Scimeca - Let us help you file a single car accident insurance claim.

Our personal injury law firm's attorneys and paralegals share the same core values as the founders. As a team, we strive to provide each client with hard work, dedication, personal service, respect and everything we can do to 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.

Through personal service and ethical practices, we will provide guidance and assurance throughout the accident claim process. Call us at 405-239-7711.
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204 North Robinson Avenue, Suite 1500
Oklahoma City, OK 73102
Phone: 405-239-7711

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EMAIL: INFO@BURCH-GEORGE.COM

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