Motor Vehicle Accidents
Car Accidents 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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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.
More answers to the most frequently asked car accident questions.
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 wreck injury, 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 accident Oklahoma. 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 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 car accident cases others who enabled a drinking driver may be held liable for your injuries.
- Teen car 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 drivers. 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 auto accident attorney 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. We also have our Oklahoma City lawyers for accidents involving large trucks. In case you need to know more about Oklahoma laws for truck accidents, you may also contact us.
Auto Accident Attorney Legal Protection and Assistance After a Car Crash 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.
Sustained a car wreck injury?
Contact an Oklahoma City Car Accident Lawyer to get help with a car accident claim
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.
Ready? Call us toll free today at (405) 213-0674
- Oklahoma Uninsured Driver Accidents
- Texting and Driving
- Single Car Accident
- Teen Driving Resource Center
- Hit and Run Car Accident
- How We Handle Car Accident Cases
- Interstate Car Accidents
- Distracted Driving
- Steps to Take After a Car Accident
- Car Accident FAQs
- Drunk Driving Accidents
- Teen Driving Accidents
- Aggressive Driving Accidents
OKLAHOMA TRUCK ACCIDENT ATTORNEY
Truck drivers cause thousands of accidents every year across the United States and in Oklahoma. The resulting injuries and damage can be extensive when 18-wheelers and other large commercial trucks collide with smaller vehicles, such as cars, pickups and motorcycles. Pedestrians and bicyclists usually fare even worse. Occupants of other large trucks can also be hurt or killed when another trucker causes a collision.
There are many dangers involved with trucking. Large trucks often weigh 20 to 30 times as much as passenger vehicles. Due to their weight and size, tractor-trailers and other large trucks are more difficult to steer, more likely to tip over or jackknife, and have much longer stopping distances than normal passenger vehicles.
These factors require truck drivers to be particularly cautious to prevent accidents. When they fall short and a crash results, a truck’s size and weight can make crash injuries far more severe, especially when a smaller vehicle is involved. Federal rules require that commercial tractor trailers traveling at 60 miles per hour must come to a complete stop in 250 feet, nearly the length of a football field. Across the nation, 97% of the people killed in two-vehicle accidents involving a passenger vehicle and a big rig were occupants of the passenger vehicle, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
Fatalities in tractor trailer accidents in Oklahoma have increased from 94 in 2009 to 112 in 2013. The counties that include Oklahoma City and Tulsa have by far the highest number of truck accident injuries and fatalities in 2013, accounting for a third of the state’s total. Large truck accidents occur most frequently on city streets, interstate highways and rural highways in Oklahoma, with the majority of truck wrecks happening on weekdays. A total of 230 people sustained incapacitating injuries and more than 650 people suffered other injuries in large truck accidents in Oklahoma in 2013.
Got involved in a commercial truck accident? Entrust your case to Burch, George & Germany, P.C.
With such severe injuries, a lot is at stake in a truck accident lawsuit. Crashes involving trucks are often more complex than other types of traffic accidents. That’s why you need an experienced commercial truck accident lawyer to stand up for your rights.
Through honest and ethical practices and years of hard work on behalf of injured people, the Oklahoma truck accident attorneys at Burch, George & Germany, P.C., have earned the respect of our peers and the community we serve. This is evidenced by the fact that about two-thirds of our cases are referred to us from other reputable law firms that trust us to treat their clients with respect, compassion and personalized attention.
They know that the truck crash lawyers at Burch, George & Germany, P.C., are committed to doing everything it takes to succeed, regardless of the defendant’s size, power or financial strength. Our Oklahoma City law firm has the experience and resources to take on the largest trucking companies and insurers – and win.
Isn’t it time to find out how we can put our resources to work for you? Contact us today to find out how we can help you.
Got injured in a truck crash? If you are filing a truck accident lawsuit, let our truck wreck lawyer handle the details.
There are many types of truck accidents. Many factors can lead to these accidents, including tailgating, speeding, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs resulting to drinking and driving accidents, distracted driving and other dangerous behaviors. One of the major causes of truck accidents is driver fatigue and lack of sleep. Truckers face tremendous pressure from trucking companies and shippers to make deliveries on time. Because they are usually paid by the mile, truck drivers also have a major financial incentive to go as far as possible in the shortest amount of time.
Under federal hours of service rules, truck drivers are allowed to stay behind the wheel only a certain number of hours without taking mandatory breaks and rest periods. Drivers are required to keep logs that detail how long they stayed on the road and how far they drove. Some truckers falsify logs, often with unspoken approval – or even encouragement – from their employers. Evidence such as this could play a role in determining fault in a truck accident lawsuit.
Many commercial trucks are equipped with a “black box” – similar to those used in the airline industry. These devices record important information about how fast a truck was traveling at the time of the accident, whether the truck’s brakes were applied, how long the truck had been traveling without interruption and other important details that could be used to establish liability.
If you’ve been involved in a truck accident, it’s important to contact an experienced truck accident attorney who has the ability to:
- Understand the types of information needed to prevail in a truck accident case, such as details contained in the black box or logs.
- Identify all potential defendants (many truckers haul cargo for various companies who could share responsibility).
- Analyze insurance policies and uncover all available sources of coverage.
- Negotiate with insurance companies while also preparing for trial if necessary.
- Work with accident reconstruction experts, medical experts, engineers and other expert witnesses on your behalf.
Don’t let an accident with a tractor-trailer or other big truck negatively affect your life any more than is necessary. Contact an experienced Oklahoma truck wreck lawyer to make sure you receive all of the compensation you deserve, such as lost wages, medical expenses, property damage, pain and suffering and long-term medical or disability issues that you may have to deal with in the future. If you or a loved is a victim of a truck-related hit and run accident, don’t hesitate to contact our hit and run lawyer to seek for legal assistance.
Contact our Oklahoma truck accident attorney at Burch, George & Germany, P.C.
At Burch, George & Germany, P.C., we have successfully represented many victims of serious truck accidents. How can we help with your Oklahoma trucking accident or injury case? Contact us today for a free consultation. You may also contact us if you or a loved one were involved in a motorcycle accident. We will explain how Oklahoma motorcycle laws work.
Let’s get started. Call us toll free today at 405-239-7711.
OKLAHOMA CITY MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT
Our Oklahoma Motorcycle Accident Attorney Rides One Himself!
Riding motorcycles is a great hobby for many people in Oklahoma and is increasing in popularity all of the time. It’s also an economical and fun way to get around. At Burch, George & Germany, P.C., we appreciate what makes riding motorcycles so attractive because we ride too.
We also know that motorcycle riders are often unfairly portrayed as rebels and risk-takers, particularly by insurance companies in accident lawsuits. We know that, in reality, most motorcycle riders are more cautious and alert than the average driver. That’s because motorcyclists aren’t protected by the same types of structures that cars and pickups have.
Our Oklahoma motorcycle accident lawyer is committed to fighting for the rights of motorcyclists who have been injured in accidents that were caused by other drivers. Just like with car accidents and truck accidents, we won’t let insurance companies get away with shifting the blame to innocent riders.
Burch, George & Germany, P.C., motorcycle and Oklahoma car accident lawyers have the experience, passion and resources to take on – and win – high-stakes cases, no matter how big and powerful the opposition is. We know the most important case is yours. When you’re our client, you can expect the kind of attention and respect you deserve.
Holding at-fault drivers responsible when they hurt motorcyclists
One of the major causes of motorcycle accidents is the failure of other drivers to notice motorcyclists. Some drivers fail to take the time and make the effort to see motorcycles. Others have difficulty judging the speed of an oncoming cycle or don’t understand the limitations on a motorcycle’s maneuverability.
Many motorcycle accidents are caused by drivers who engage in the same behaviors that cause car accidents. They drive while distracted by cell phones. They drive while drunk or under the influence of drugs (in cases like these, contact a drunk driving accident lawyer for legal help). They speed, tailgate or drive aggressively.
Avoid motorcycle fatalities by following Oklahoma motorcycle laws
Whatever the cause, the fact is that motorcycle riders usually come out the losers in collisions with other vehicles. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcyclists are 35 times more likely to experience a deadly accident than those in passenger cars – mostly due to head injuries. Although wearing a helmet decreases the likelihood of serious injury or death, the simple truth is that a motorcycle’s smaller frame is no match against the force of a larger and more powerful vehicle.
If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident, contact the attorneys at Burch, George & Germany, P.C. We understand the complexities of motorcycle accidents – because we ride, too. We know bikes, how they work and know how important it is to reconstruct the accident scene in order to prove that a biker was not at fault.
As active members of the Downed Bikers Association, an Oklahoma City-based nonprofit organization created to aid those lost or disabled due to motorcycle accidents, we know the prejudices that many motorcyclists face on the road – and in the courtroom. We are passionate about standing up for the rights of bikers who have been injured through the fault of other motorists.
Speak with an Oklahoma City motorcycle accident lawyer at Burch, George & Germany, P.C.
Whether you live in Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Norman or any one of Oklahoma’s 77 counties, let our experience help you in an Oklahoma motorcycle accident or injury case. Contact us today for a free consultation.
Let’s get started. Call us toll free today at 405-239-7711.