Oklahoma car accidents are costly. Repairing or replacing an automobile is only the beginning. You may suffer injuries requiring extensive medical treatment for months or years.
Determining a settlement amount or if you get a settlement can be difficult because you may still be in therapy for your injuries. Also, the insurance company may try to shift more of the blame for the accident on you, or the other driver may not be sufficiently covered. When you work with an Oklahoma car accident attorney at BDIW Law, you receive guidance on establishing an amount for your injuries, if a settlement offer sounds fair, and are given information to determine if pursuing a lawsuit is right for you.
Oklahoma Law and Car Accident Settlements
Oklahoma is an at-fault state, and the basis of its law is a modified comparative negligence system where fault is assigned by percentages. When a driver is proven more than 50% at fault in an accident, they cannot collect damages from the other party in an accident. For example, if the other driver is 80% at fault, and your actions contributed 20%, your settlement amount will be 80%.
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Determining a Settlement Amount
If you hold less responsibility in an accident than the other driver, you should receive compensation for the damages you have suffered. However, the amount will depend on your injuries. The insurance adjuster’s job is to reduce the settlement paid to you by as much as possible.
Insurance companies will use multiple tactics to minimize settlements in an Oklahoma car accident claim, such as:
- Offering to settle quickly
- Showing compassion for your injuries in an attempt to gain trust
- Using your statements against you to shift the blame or reduce the payout
- Ignoring your phone calls
- Sending unreasonably complicated paperwork
Reasons You May Not Receive a Settlement
Even when it is determined that the other driver is responsible for your damages, drivers do not always comply with insurance laws. In Oklahoma, drivers must carry minimum liability insurance to compensate other drivers they may injure in an accident. When drivers operate a vehicle without insurance and cause an accident, you must determine if it is worth pursuing legal action.
Additionally, a driver may be underinsured, meaning they meet the minimum insurance requirements, but their coverage is not enough to compensate the value of your damages. This scenario is likely in accidents with extensive property damage and personal injuries requiring comprehensive care.
If the driver was uninsured or underinsured, an attorney can help you determine if it is worth pursuing the claim in court. Drivers without insurance often do not have the financial ability to pay out of pocket for your injuries and will be required to pay costly penalties as an uninsured driver in Oklahoma.
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Legal Options in an Oklahoma Car Accident
Whether the other driver was adequately insured or not, your best option for receiving the settlement you deserve is to work with a car accident attorney to discuss settlement options for an Oklahoma car insurance claim.
A car accident attorney in Oklahoma can review your documentation and determine if the settlement offered by the insurance company is fair. Generally, if there is sufficient evidence to prove the driver they cover was at fault, the insurance company will make a quick offer lower than the amount your damages are worth. When insurance companies understand you have knowledgeable representation, they will often amend their settlement offer, or your attorney can make a counteroffer, and the claim will settle out of court.
If a driver was uninsured or underinsured, you can discuss the options of a lawsuit with an Oklahoma car accident lawyer. A lawsuit requires taking your case to court, and either the other driver will agree with the terms of your suit and settle out of court, or your claim is brought before and decided by a jury. Because of these factors, you may opt to carry additional insurance, such as comprehensive coverage and personal insurance protection (PIP), to better protect your injuries and property.
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An Oklahoma Car Accident Attorney Can Help Your Settlement
Navigating the challenges of proving fault in a car accident is complex and requires dedicated time to investigate the incidents that led to your damages. BDIW Law understands the importance of preserving evidence in Oklahoma car accidents and how to use it to obtain the maximum settlement for your injuries. Without the proper documentation, your settlement can be compromised.
If you are able, an Oklahoma motor vehicle accident lawyer will suggest you collect the following significant documentation at the scene of an accident or as soon after as possible:
- Photos that document damage to your automobile and yourself
- Any photo evidence of conditions that may have contributed to or show proof of the accident, such as damaged road signs that caused a hazard, construction blocking the street view, or skid marks on the road from braking
- The contact and insurance information of the other driver and the contact information of any witnesses to the accident
- A copy of the police report
- Your own written account of events
- Copies of all medical bills and statements
There is specific documentation that may be more challenging to obtain. An Oklahoma car accident attorney can secure the following evidence and perform these services:
- Obtain public or private video footage capturing the accident
- Collect accident witness interviews
- Secure expert witness testimony
- File all paperwork within the statute of limitations
- Compile the documentation to paint a compelling story about your injuries for a jury
Your attorney will be able to place a value on the general compensatory damages in your Oklahoma accident claim. They can also advise you regarding whether punitive damages are possible.
Securing a Settlement in an Oklahoma Car Accident
You should not have to settle for inadequate compensation in a car accident. Unfortunately, drivers do not always have insurance coverage, which limits your claims options. Working with attorneys with proven results in Oklahoma accidents is to your advantage after being injured in a car accident.
Strict time limits apply to all car accident claims. When you contact an Oklahoma car accident attorney at BDIW Law, you have made a positive step toward a team passionate about serving you in your time of need. We collect no fees unless you win and offer 24-hour support.
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