Reckless driving is a significant traffic violation that endangers drivers, passengers, and fellow road users. Regrettably, reckless driving incidents are far too frequent in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Within Payne County, numerous injury crashes and fatalities have occurred in recent years. A considerable portion of these accidents can be attributed to reckless driving behavior.
An experienced Stillwater reckless driving accident attorney from BDIW Law can provide the necessary guidance and protect your interests. Contact us today to learn more about your options.
Common Causes of Reckless Driving Accidents
Reckless driving encompasses various behaviors, such as speeding, aggressive driving, operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol, distracted driving, and disregarding traffic signals or signs. These actions can significantly increase the likelihood of accidents occurring on the road.
Specific instances of reckless driving behaviors include speeding, which involves driving above the posted speed limit or too fast for road conditions, and tailgating, which means following another vehicle too closely and reducing reaction time for sudden traffic changes. Other examples are running red lights or stop signs, as ignoring traffic signals and signs can lead to severe accidents, particularly at intersections.
Changing lanes without signaling is another form of reckless driving, as the failure to use turn signals before changing lanes can catch other drivers off guard and result in collisions. Distracted driving includes texting, talking on the phone, eating, grooming, or participating in any activity that takes one’s focus away from the road or necessitates removing hands from the steering wheel. These are frequent contributing factors to accidents.
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Understanding General and Special Damages in Reckless Driving Accidents
If you are injured in a reckless driving accident, you may be eligible to recover damages from the at-fault driver’s insurance company or through a personal injury lawsuit. The damages you can recover are general damages and special damages.
Examining General Damages
General damages refer to non-monetary losses that victims experience, including pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life. When determining the amount to award for general damages, a jury or judge will consider various factors, such as the injuries sustained, the level of physical and emotional pain experienced, and the impact of these injuries on the victim’s day-to-day life.
Assessing Special Damages
On the other hand, special damages involve financial losses that can be measured objectively. These types of losses usually consist of medical costs, lost income, and damages to property. Proving special damages is often simpler than proving general damages because they involve actual costs that can be documented with bills, receipts, and other relevant records.
If victims incur significant medical expenses for treatments, surgeries, and medications, they can present these bills as evidence of their financial loss. Similarly, if the victim cannot work due to their injuries, they may provide documentation of their lost wages, such as pay stubs or employer records, to substantiate their claim. Property damage can be assessed and documented by presenting repair estimates, receipts, and photographs.
What Insurance Typically Covers
In Oklahoma, all drivers must carry liability insurance to cover any damages they may cause to others in a car accident. The state has set minimum liability insurance limits to protect victims financially. These limits are $25,000 per person for bodily injury, $50,000 per accident for bodily injury, and $25,000 for property damage.
Should you suffer injuries due to a reckless driving accident, you can submit a claim to the responsible driver’s insurance company to recoup the damages. By doing so, you can obtain compensation for medical bills, lost earnings, property damages, and any additional losses you might have experienced due to the accident.
However, in some cases, the damages you suffer might exceed the at-fault driver’s policy limits. If this occurs, consider filing a lawsuit to recover the full amount of your damages. This legal action can help ensure you receive the compensation you deserve, even if it surpasses the coverage offered by the at-fault driver’s insurance policy.
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What to Do if Your Insurance Claim is Denied
If your insurance claim is denied, you can appeal the decision. To begin, carefully review the denial letter to comprehend the reasons behind the insurer’s decision. If you discover that the insurer made an error or failed to consider crucial information, you can submit additional evidence to bolster your claim and reverse the denial.
To further support your appeal, consider enlisting the help of an experienced Stillwater reckless driving accident lawyer. They can provide valuable guidance and expertise to help you navigate the appeals process, ensuring that you present a strong case and maximize your chances of receiving the compensation you deserve.
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What Happens if the Claim Isn’t Filed on Time?
Filing your insurance claim promptly is crucial, as failure to do so may result in forfeiting your right to recover damages. In Oklahoma, the statute of limitations (Oklahoma Statutes 12.95) for filing a personal injury lawsuit is two years from the accident date. This stipulation means that you must file your lawsuit within this two-year window, or you may lose the opportunity to sue for compensation.
It is highly recommended to consult with a reckless driving accident attorney in Stillwater as soon as possible. Doing so can help you meet all pertinent deadlines and preserve your right to recover damages.
By working with a reckless driving accident lawyer in Stillwater, you can receive guidance on navigating the complex legal process and have an advocate who will fight for your best interests. This support can significantly affect your ability to secure the compensation you deserve after being involved in a reckless driving accident.
Contact BDIW Law for a Stillwater Reckless Driving Accident Attorney
From gathering evidence and building a strong case to negotiating with insurance companies and representing you in court, a Stillwater reckless driving accident attorney from BDIW Law plays a crucial role in ensuring that your rights are upheld and that you receive the representation you are entitled to. Contact us today to learn more about how we can assist you with your case.
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