Have you recently been involved in a car accident? Do you share primary responsibility for causing the collision? If so, you may be anxious to figure out what your financial obligations will be and how you may be held accountable for your portion of the blame.
Oklahoma is a fault-based state, so the liable party is generally required to compensate the injury victim for their losses. However, after a careful investigation, your Oklahoma car accident attorney may determine you are only partially to blame. Here is more about what you can expect if you share fault for causing an accident and what to expect when you file a claim with the insurance company.
How Insurance Works When You Share Fault for a Car Accident
Oklahoma follows fault laws in personal injury claims. This means the liable party should be the one to cover the injury victim’s damages. If you are at fault for the accident, you may be ordered to cover the victim’s costs and compensate them for their economic and non-economic damages.
Minimum Auto Insurance Requirements
When you have insurance coverage, the insurance company should cover whatever you have included as part of your insurance policy. Oklahoma law requires you to have a minimum of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident in bodily injury liability coverage.
You also need to have at least $25,000 of property damage liability coverage. You should purchase uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage amounting to $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident. This way, your insurance company will provide up to $50,000 per accident for medical expenses and $25,000 per accident in property damages.
Unfortunately, you can expect your insurance company to increase the amount of your premiums if you have to file a claim. They do this to recoup their losses. You may even find yourself subject to a subrogation claim depending on the circumstances of your case. This is where the insurance company filed a claim against you to recoup the amount they spent in insurance settlement payouts.
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When You Can Still Recover Compensation
Even if you believe you are responsible for causing the accident, it may surprise you to learn you are only partially to blame. The good news is that Oklahoma law does not always prohibit you from recovering compensation when you share liability for the accident.
As long as your portion of liability does not exceed 50%, you can still recover compensation for your damages at a reduced rate. Here is a general idea of how modified comparative negligence cases work in Oklahoma:
How Modified Comparative Negligence Works in OK
There are some instances in which you can still recover compensation for your losses despite sharing fault for the accident. For example, if you were driving over the speed limit, you may be partially at fault for the accident.
If the judge determines that you are 20% at fault, you could expect the court system to reduce your car accident settlement by 20%. You would then only be able to recover 80% of whatever you were awarded.
In this way, you will not completely lose out on your opportunity to recover damages for your injuries. However, if your portion of blame is greater than 50%, the court system will refuse to hear your case, and you can expect to be ordered to cover the victim’s damages in full unless other parties also share blame for the accident.
Damages the Liable Party Should Repay
When you are involved in a car accident, the liable party should be required to cover the injury victim’s damages. Certain damages can be recovered by the insurance company, while others will need to be taken care of by the liable party directly.
What Insurance Covers
Certain types of damages the insurance company will take care of. For example, your bodily injury protection coverage should cover the injury victim’s medical expenses. However, the insurance company will only pay out up to your policy limits.
This means if you purchase the minimum amount of auto insurance coverage required by law at $50,000 per accident, and the injury victim’s damages were greater than $50,000, any medical bills exceeding $50,000 will be your responsibility.
Some examples of damages the insurance company may take care of, depending on the types and amount of coverage you purchase, include:
- Rental car coverage
- The diminished value of your vehicle
- The difference between how much you owe on the car and what the car is valued at if you are leasing
- The injury victim’s medical expenses
- The injury victim’s personal property damages
- The injury victim’s loss of income
Damages Recovered via a Car Accident Lawsuit
Unfortunately, you should expect to take care of any damages your insurance company does not cover on your own. If you are incapable of settling your case outside of court, the liable party may file a car, motorcycle, or truck accident lawsuit against you.
It is important to remember that when a claim is filed in civil court, the injury victim has the right to be made whole. That means they should receive compensation for all losses, not only economic damages. Examples of the damages you may be ordered to pay if a car accident lawsuit is filed against you include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Diminished quality of life
- Loss of household services
- Embarrassment and indignity
- Skin scarring
- Loss of employee benefits
- Damage to the injury victim’s credit score
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Connect with a Car Accident Attorney at BDIW Law Today
In many car accident cases, multiple parties share liability for the accident. Even if you are partially at fault, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages. If you are primarily responsible for causing the accident, you may be expected to compensate the injury victim for their damages.
However, you may also be entitled to compensation for your own losses. Protect your rights and avoid being taken advantage of by the insurance company when you reach out to an experienced car accident lawyer at BDIW Law for a no-cost, risk-free consultation. We can get started on your case as soon as today when you call our office or fill out our quick contact form.
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