ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT TULSA CAR ACCIDENT LAWYERS
Car accidents are unfortunately common here in Oklahoma, and many people are left with serious, life-changing injuries as a result. When these accidents are caused by the negligence or reckless behavior of another driver, injured parties have a right to pursue compensation for medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering.
We truly care about our clients. Our personal injury lawyers typically spend two hours with a new client getting to know them. We believe that the better we know our clients and their stories, the more successful we will be in their cases. It is our goal to meet the needs of every client.
DANGEROUS DRIVING HABITS THAT CAUSE CAR ACCIDENTS
Car accidents happen every day on our public roads and highways, often with devastating results that injure or kill victims. While car accidents may be common on our roadways, it does not mean that they should be expected or tolerated, especially when they could have been prevented if not for the negligent, careless, and dangerous acts of other drivers.
Anyone who gets behind the wheel of a motor vehicle has a legal duty to take reasonable precautions that limit risks of causing accidents and injuries. When they fail to uphold their obligation of driving safely, often as a result of dangerous driving habits, they can be held fully accountable for causing a wreck, and liable for the damages victims suffer as a result, including their medical bills, lost work income, and pain and suffering, among other damages.
Some dangerous driving habits that commonly cause car accidents include:
- Distracted Driving – Driver distraction has become one of the most concerning driving habits on public roads. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that over 3,100 people were killed and more than 430,000 were injured in wrecks involving distracted drivers in 2014 alone. Common forms of distraction include texting and using a cell phone, talking to passengers, drinking or consuming food, and personal grooming, among others. All forms of distracted driving are dangerous and negligent, and some, including texting, are illegal in the state of Oklahoma
- Inattention – Driver inattention commonly causes car wrecks, whether a driver was distracted or not. When drivers fail to make the task of driving a priority, they can easily fail to check their surrounding before making a turn, switching lanes, or entering intersections, which can increase the likelihood of a wreck.
- Drunk Driving – For as long as there have been cars, there have been drunk drivers. Today, drunk driving and even drugged driving account for numerous preventable injuries and deaths on our roads. While these acts are illegal and grounds for criminal penalties, victims must pursue compensation through the civil justice system, which can hold impaired drivers accountable for causing harm to victims as a result of their careless actions. Drunk and drugged drivers, like everyone, know, or should know, that impaired driving increases crash risks.
- Disobeying Traffic Laws – Traffic laws are in place for a reason; they help reduce the likelihood that drivers engage in habits that increase the risks of accidents. When a driver runs a red light, fails to use turn signals, violates someone’s right of way, or commits any other traffic violation, they can be held liable for any injuries they cause in a wreck. In some cases, drivers who are grossly negligent may also face criminal consequences for injuring or killing others in car accidents, even if they were not impaired.
- Aggressive Driving – Aggressive driving can take many forms, all of which are a clear breach of a driver’s duty to operate their vehicle safely. These can include behaviors such as following too close, speeding, unsafe lane changes, and committing multiple acts of traffic violations. Road rage can also lead to preventable wrecks. Aggressive drivers can be held accountable for causing wrecks and injuries.
UBER AND LYFT ACCIDENT CLAIMS
Over the last five years, ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft have left taxis in the dust, becoming leaders in the transportation industry and changing the way we get from point A to point B. As autonomous technology will soon pilot the majority of ridesharing vehicles, for now, we’re stuck with fallible drivers—which means accidents.
Whether you’re a passenger in an Uber that crashes, a driver who gets into an accident with a Lyft, or a pedestrian struck by a ridesharing car, you may be entitled to receive compensation for your injuries. Rideshare drivers are required to have personal car insurance to work for Uber and Lyft, however, both companies offer their own coverage if there is an accident. Below is a breakdown of Uber’s insurance policies:
- Uber app is turned off: Only the driver’s personal car insurance can be used in accidents where the mobile application is turned off since technically the driver was not “on the job.”
- Uber app is on and the driver is waiting for a request: If the accident occurs while the driver is online, but before they have accepted a request, both the driver’s personal car insurance and Uber’s liability coverage can be used. Uber’s liability insurance is between $50,000 and $100,000 for injuries and $25,000 for property damage.
- The driver is on their way to pick up a rider or already on a trip with a passenger: Uber’s insurance coverage is used in this scenario, which offers up to $1 million in third-party liability and $1 million in uninsured and underinsured motorist insurance coverage for passengers.
Lack of sleep, poor vehicle maintenance and alcohol, and drugs can result in an Uber or Lyft accident, and you are entitled to compensation for all damages you sustain due to the harmful or negligence behavior of a driver. If you are injured in an accident, make sure to seek medical attention, contact the police, and gather important information, such as the name, address, driver’s license number and insurance policy number of the rideshare driver.
OKLAHOMA CAR ACCIDENT LAWS
Oklahoma has a two year statute of limitations on car accident claims, which means you have two years from the date of your injury to file a claim or you may lose your right to compensation. Additionally, you will lose your right to file a claim if you are deemed 50% or more responsible for the accident that led to your injuries. You can, however, still file a claim and collect compensation if you are less then 50% at fault. In this scenario, a claimant’s fault and compensation amount will be determined separately by the court and in the end, their compensation total will be reduced by their percentage of fault. This rule is called “modified comparative negligence.”
CAN I FILE A CAR ACCIDENT CLAIM AFTER INSURANCE PAYS?
Since most settlement agreements state in the settlement that the amount of compensation the insurance company will pay to you will be the only compensation paid out, once you agree to a settlement it can be very difficult to recover any further compensation. Because of this, it’s very important to speak to an attorney about your case before you sign anything with an insurance company. If you have already agreed to a settlement, call our firm today to learn what options you have and how we can help you.
HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS RECOVERED FOR OUR CLIENTS
In any legal case, the best weapon a lawyer can have is to have a firm grasp of the facts. When insurers attempt to discount the severity of your injuries or claim they were not caused by your accident, we are ready to advocate for your maximum recovery. In order to do this, we gain a full picture of the facts of your case.
We work with our in-house nurse to prove the validity of your injuries and can help you receive the medical care you need from physicians and specialists we work with regularly. We also work with accident reconstructionists who can work at the scene of your accident to prove others’ negligence. In situations in which there is minimal car insurance coverage, we have successfully recovered funds from homeowner’s insurance policies.
Two recent car wreck cases demonstrate our ability to successfully recover damages:
- We represented three individuals in a drunk driving accident. One client had been killed and the other two suffered head injuries and other serious injuries. After a complete investigation of the case, we recovered a confidential seven-figure settlement from multiple defendants, including the bar that had supplied alcohol to the drunk driver.
- An individual who suffered head injuries, a broken leg and internal injuries in a car wreck hired us after his former attorney received a settlement offer of $500,000. We re-filed the case and settled the case for almost eight times the original settlement offer.
GET STARTED TODAY WITH A FREE CONSULTATION
Our Tulsa car accident lawyers understand how stressful and frustrating the time following a serious accident can be. It is for this reason that we are committed to helping injury victims get fair compensation for the injuries, pain, and financial loss they have suffered.
If you have been injured in a motorcycle or truck accident, or lost a loved one in an accident, contact us. We are available for evening and weekend appointments and, for personal injury cases, we charge nothing unless we win your case.