Even the most careful and attentive driver can get into a motor vehicle accident. Following an auto accident, it is not uncommon for people to panic and lose their cool. With all the shock and adrenaline rush you experience following a collision, it is easy to be overwhelmed and confused.
It is important to stay calm and take the following steps after a car crash to protect your legal rights and ensure that you are getting fair compensation for your injuries and damages.
Taking Immediate Steps After an Accident
In the minutes immediately following a car accident, drivers and passengers alike should:
- Get to safety – If possible, vehicles should be moved out of traffic, preferably to the shoulder of the road. If the vehicles are disabled, people should stay away from traffic lanes that still have moving vehicles, go to the sidewalk, or remain in their vehicles to await law enforcement.
- Call the police – Someone should immediately call the police, no matter how minor the accident seems. Law enforcement will assess the situation and take a report, which may later help during the insurance claim or legal process.
- Check for injuries – An ambulance should be called if someone is seriously injured. Minor injuries may be taken care of by first aid at the site as long as they do not require immediate medical attention.
- Exchange insurance information – Oklahoma Statutes §47-10-104 requires all motorists to exchange their vehicles’ names, addresses, and registration numbers with the other driver involved in a car accident. That said, keep your conversation with another party limited. Something as simple as saying, “I’m sorry,” could be taken as an admission of fault should your case go to trial.
- Document the accident – If it is safe to do so, it may be a good idea to take pictures of the accident scene, including damage to the vehicles and skid marks on the road. This evidence may later prove useful in a claim.
- Ask for a copy of the police report and witness statements – These documents can be helpful during an insurance claim or personal injury case.
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When to Contact a Car Accident Attorney
The sooner you’re able to contact a car accident attorney after an accident, the better. Car accident lawyers do more than help you take legal action against the party responsible for your losses. We can stand by you while you’re discussing your case with the police or with an insurance representative.
Our presence can make these conversations easier and prevents the aforementioned parties from misinterpreting the nature of your accident. At the same time, our team members can take advantage of the accident scene and gather evidence of another driver’s negligence. We can also collect bystanders’ contact information for later contact.
If you cannot contact an attorney while you’re still at the scene of an accident, don’t worry. You can reach out to our team at any point prior to the passing of your personal injury statute of limitations. According to Oklahoma Statutes §12-95, you have two years from the day of your accident to take legal action. We do our best to make the most out of that filing time.
What Can a Car Accident Lawyer Do for You?
As mentioned, our attorneys can stand up for you in the face of case manipulation or misrepresentation. We also investigate the nature of your accident and help bring forward evidence of another party’s negligence. At the end of the day, it is our job to make it as easy as possible for you to pursue a civil complaint against the party responsible for your losses.
We do this primarily by helping you build out a civil claim. You can count on our team to:
- Establish the value of your car accident and support that claim with evidence
- Collect evidence needed to establish the role of a duty of care and the violation thereof
- File your claim within the state’s deadline
- Communicate with the liable party and any affiliated representatives
- Run interference with insurance providers
- Arrange settlement negotiations
- Take your case before a judge
You can discuss the full range of our civil services during a car accident case consultation.
Should You File a Personal Injury Claim Against Another Party?
The phrase “taking legal action” can seem severe, particularly if you haven’t interacted with civil law before. Filing a personal injury claim against another person doesn’t mean that you’re trying to send them to jail, though. Personal injury claims, rather, help you secure the financial support you need to recover from an accident that someone else caused.
With that in mind, it is in your best interest to file a personal injury claim against another party if you believe their negligence contributed to your losses. If your claim goes through, you can rely on that liable party to help you address the bills you receive throughout your recovery.
In other words, personal injury claims make it easier for you to rest and recuperate after a severe car accident.
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Addressing Insurance Concerns After Your Car Accident
Following a car crash in Tulsa or other parts of Oklahoma, you will most likely receive a call from an insurance company. You should refrain from giving a recorded statement to the insurance claims adjuster or even talking to any insurance company representative before you consult with a lawyer.
Oklahoma is an at-fault auto insurance state, which means you must file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company in order to receive compensation for your injury. If the insurance company begins to question the severity of your injury, attempts to blame you for the accident, or simply delays the claims process, it is even more important to seek legal counsel right away.
Our attorneys can intercede in these conversations with insurance adjusters to ensure that you’re being treated fairly. If we suspect that an insurance adjuster may be trying to redirect blame for your accident or otherwise undervaluing your losses, we can take up a personal injury claim on your behalf.
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Contact Our Attorneys for Legal Support Today
Recovering from a car accident takes a considerable amount of time and resources. You shouldn’t have to go through the process of restoring your previous quality of life without help. If you think negligence lent to your accident, you can take the person responsible for your losses before a judge. There, you can demand damages based on the cost of your accident.
Car accident lawyers in Tulsa have the experience to help you prepare a personal injury claim and defend said claim before a judge. You can contact the BDIW law team to discuss your legal options and determine liability in your particular case. Call today to schedule a free consultation.
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