After a car accident, the prevailing thought is a concern for everyone’s safety. After determining the well-being of your passengers, the next thought is often on who is at fault. Deciding fault in an accident can mean different things depending on where you live.
If your injuries are extensive and another driver caused the accident, you need to know their insurance will cover your damages. Accidents can cause inconvenience, physical hardship, and monetary difficulties. Working with insurance companies to receive compensation can be challenging, and very often, the injured party rarely recuperates the accurate reimbursement they deserve.
Removing the barriers to recovery can begin by consulting our team and working with an Oklahoma car accident attorney who focuses on client care and rightful compensation.
How Fault Is Determined in an Oklahoma Accident
Oklahoma is an at-fault state requiring the person responsible for the accident to pay for the injuries and damage of the injured individuals. A modified comparative fault system is used, which assigns each driver involved in a motor vehicle accident in Oklahoma a percentage of fault. If a driver is found to be responsible for 50% or more of the accident, they cannot collect compensation for damages.
So how does this work in real life? Imagine you are on your way to gather with friends and running behind, so you drive a little closer to the car in front of you than you usually would. Suddenly, without a signal warning, the vehicle you are tailgating breaks quickly and begins to turn left, but by now, you have collided with the car’s rear.
In this scenario, both parties share responsibility for causing the accident. It is then up to an insurance adjuster to determine the portion of fault assigned to each driver. Being proactive in your approach moving forward is your best defense for recovering compensation for the damages.
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Documenting an Accident to Prove Fault
Information found at the accident scene plays a critical role in determining the percentage of fault. Essential documentation can help you prove that the other driver holds a higher percentage of fault in an accident, but the most vital issue to address is medical care. An Oklahoma accident attorney can help you obtain and preserve evidence of a crash scene.
If you can, acting as an investigator in your own case will preserve information that is often more difficult to obtain later. Examples of evidence in an accident include:
- Pictures of motor vehicles involved in an accident and your injuries
- Photos of the area documenting road hazards, skid marks, time of day, damaged road signs, or construction work
- A police report
- Contact information and insurance coverage of the other drivers involved
- The contact information of witnesses to an Oklahoma car accident
There is additional information that may be more challenging to obtain. Working with an accident attorney in Oklahoma allows for collecting time-sensitive evidence, technical information, and logistical data. This information may include:
- Public or private video footage: Businesses and local governments only keep video surveillance for a certain period.
- 911 Calls: These recordings are not kept indefinitely. It is imperative to secure them as soon as possible.
- Cell phone records: These records may indicate why the driver in the scenario above failed to signal and turned unexpectedly. Records may indicate a phone conversation at the time of the accident.
- Vehicle recall reports: It is possible defective products caused the accident, and the reason no turn signal was apparent in the scenario above is because of faulty wiring. The driver may have acted to initiate the signal, but because of a recalled defective part, the light no longer worked.
Oklahoma Truck Accidents and Fault
Determining fault when a driver is involved in an Oklahoma truck accident is more challenging, even when the truck driver holds more responsibility for an accident than the other driver. A complex network drives the trucking industry, and knowing who owes you for your injuries may not be clear.
Working with an Oklahoma truck accident attorney takes the overwhelming pressure off of you to determine who is responsible for your injuries and allows you to focus on recovery. Below are some of the parties that may be at fault in a truck accident:
- The truck driver: Reasons can include lack of training, distraction, or driving erratically
- The trucking company: Maintenance records can indicate that the company that owns the truck has not performed proper maintenance, or other documents may show that drivers are allowed to drive more hours than permitted by law
- The loading company: Improperly loaded materials can create a weight distribution imbalance leading to the accident
- A parts manufacturer: Defective products can lead to the loss of control of a truck, causing an accident
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Percentage of Fault and Compensation
An accident victim must file an insurance claim with the other party’s insurance to receive compensation. Determining the appropriate compensation for your injuries can be challenging, particularly when adjusters strive to reduce the amount you receive. Purchasing additional coverage other than the required auto coverage, such as collision or comprehensive insurance, can cover your damages until the at-fault driver’s insurance company settles your claim.
At the scene of an accident, never admit fault in your actions. Insurance companies determine fault. Factors that caused the accident may not have been known to you then. Making statements admitting guilt can attribute a higher percentage of fault to you.
Let an Oklahoma motor vehicle attorney speak with the other driver’s insurance company on your behalf. Adjusters often ask to take recorded statements to document your version of what happened. Your statement may be used against you in determining fault or if you decide to pursue a personal injury lawsuit.
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Speak with an Oklahoma Car Accident Attorney About Fault
Left in the hands of adjusters and incidents of conflicting driver accounts, you can be assigned a higher percentage of fault than you deserve in a motor vehicle accident. Speak with an Oklahoma car accident attorney today at BDIW Law, and let us begin the process of protecting your rights and compensation in an Oklahoma car accident.
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