If you suffered injuries or lost a loved one in an Oklahoma car accident someone else caused, you may qualify to receive compensation from those responsible. You need an attorney to advise you of your options and guide you through the complex car accident claims process.
But when should you hire an attorney after a car accident? The most direct answer is, “as soon as you physically can.”
Car accident claims involve many procedures, and your attorney can gather evidence to support your claim and negotiate with the insurance company to get the highest settlement possible. If the insurance company refuses to offer a fair settlement, you will need an attorney to file a car accident lawsuit on your behalf and represent you in court.
Read on to learn about the claims process and how an attorney can increase your chances of getting the favorable outcomes you seek. Don’t delay in contacting a Tulsa car accident lawyer. The sooner you get started, the better your chances of obtaining full and fair compensation for your injuries and losses.
What Are Deadlines for Filing a Car Accident Claim in Oklahoma?
Oklahoma sets specific deadlines called statutes of limitations for filing car accident lawsuits in civil court. If you miss these deadlines, you may lose your right to pursue a claim for compensation.
The relevant deadlines for filing car accident claims in Oklahoma are:
- Personal Injury Claims: In most cases involving personal injuries resulting from a car accident, you have two years from the accident to file a lawsuit.
- Property Damage Claims: If you’re only seeking compensation for property damage to your vehicle or other property because of the car accident, Oklahoma gives you two years from the accident to file a lawsuit for property damage.
- Wrongful Death Claims: If the car accident resulted in a fatality and you wish to file a wrongful death claim on behalf of a deceased loved one, you generally have two years from the date of the person’s death to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
If you file a lawsuit after the statute of limitations expires, the court will dismiss your case and you will lose the opportunity to pursue compensation through the legal system.
However, some exceptions apply to these deadlines. For example, if the at-fault party is a government entity, the process and deadlines may differ. Additionally, the age of the injured party or latent injuries may extend the deadline.
Insurance companies may have their own deadlines and requirements for filing injury claims with them, so you need a lawyer to investigate and determine when and how you should file. Your lawyer can gather evidence to support your claim and submit it promptly and properly.
To ensure you comply with the applicable statute of limitations and protect your right to seek compensation after a car accident in Oklahoma, consult an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. An attorney can assess your case, provide guidance on the relevant deadlines, and help you take the necessary legal actions within the prescribed time limits.
What Car Accident Claims Can an Attorney Handle?
Car accident attorneys can handle a wide range of car accident claims and help individuals seek compensation for their injuries and losses.
Here are some common types of car accident claims that an attorney can handle:
- Distracted Driving Claims: If the at-fault driver was distracted (e.g., texting, talking on the phone, or using in-car entertainment systems) at the time of the accident, attorneys can establish liability.
- Drunk Driving (DUI) Claims: Accidents involving drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs can result in severe injuries or fatalities. Attorneys can pursue claims against the impaired driver and potentially the establishment that overserved them.
- Reckless Driving Claims: Reckless driving, including excessive speeding, aggressive driving, and running red lights, can lead to accidents. Attorneys can pursue compensation for victims of reckless driving.
- Hit and Run Claims: In cases where the at-fault driver flees the scene of the accident, attorneys can assist victims in identifying the responsible party and pursuing a claim.
- Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Claims: If the at-fault driver is uninsured or lacks sufficient insurance coverage to fully compensate the victim, an attorney can help the injured party seek compensation through their own insurance policy with uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
- Rideshare Accidents: Accidents involving rideshare services like Uber and Lyft can involve complex liability issues. Attorneys can navigate these complexities and help injured passengers, drivers, or pedestrians seek compensation.
- Commercial Vehicle Accidents: Collisions with commercial vehicles, such as trucks, delivery vans, or buses, often involve multiple parties and complex insurance issues. Attorneys can handle claims involving commercial vehicle accidents.
- Auto Defect Claims: If a defective vehicle part or component contributed to the accident, attorneys can pursue product liability claims against the manufacturer, distributor, or seller of the faulty product.
- Government Liability Claims: Accidents caused by poorly maintained roads or other government negligence can lead to claims against government entities. Attorneys can guide victims through the process of pursuing these claims.
- Wrongful Death Claims: When a car accident results in a fatality, attorneys can assist surviving family members in pursuing wrongful death claims against the responsible party or parties.
- Passenger Injury Claims: Passengers injured in car accidents, regardless of which vehicle they were in, can seek compensation for their injuries. Attorneys can help passengers pursue claims against the at-fault driver or other parties.
- Pedestrian and Bicycle Accident Claims: Individuals injured while walking or cycling can file claims against negligent drivers. Attorneys can assist in these cases to ensure pedestrians and cyclists receive proper compensation.
- Intersection and Rear-End Collision Claims: Attorneys can handle claims arising from common accident scenarios like rear-end collisions and intersection accidents, where liability may be straightforward but still requires legal representation.
Car accident attorneys have experience navigating the complexities of these various types of claims, investigating accidents, negotiating with insurance companies, and, if necessary, pursuing legal action in court to ensure their clients receive fair compensation for their injuries, medical expenses, property damage, and other losses.
What Types of Compensation Can I Get from an Oklahoma Car Accident Claim?
If you’re in a car accident in Oklahoma and suffered injuries or property damage, you may recover compensation. The specific compensation you can receive depends on the circumstances of your accident, the extent of your injuries, and the liability of the parties involved.
Here are some common types of compensation available in an Oklahoma car accident claim:
- Medical Expenses: You can seek compensation for all past and future medical expenses related to the accident. This includes hospital bills, doctor’s visits, surgery costs, prescription medications, rehabilitation, and therapy.
- Lost Income: If your injuries result in time away from work, you may recover compensation for lost income. This includes both the income you already lost and any future earning capacity diminished due to your injuries.
- Property Damage: You can recover the costs of repairing or replacing your damaged vehicle or other personal property that the accident affected.
- Pain and Suffering: You may pursue compensation for physical pain, emotional distress, and psychological suffering caused by the accident and your injuries. These damages are less tangible, but your attorney can substantiate them and help you recover these types of non-economic damages.
- Disability and Impairment: If the accident results in long-term disability or impairment, you may recover compensation for the diminished quality of life and loss of enjoyment of life.
- Loss of Consortium: In cases where the accident has affected your relationship with your spouse or family, your spouse or family members may claim compensation for the loss of companionship, support, or consortium.
- Funeral and Burial Expenses: In the tragic event of a fatal accident, surviving family members can seek compensation for funeral and burial expenses in a wrongful death claim.
- Punitive Damages: In cases of extreme negligence or intentional wrongdoing, punitive damages may punish the at-fault party and deter similar behavior.
- Future Damages: If your injuries result in long-term or permanent disabilities or medical needs, you may recover compensation for future medical expenses and lost income.
- Legal Fees: In most cases, personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they only get paid if you receive compensation. They typically charge a percentage of your settlement or award.
Oklahoma operates under a fault system for car accidents, so the at-fault party and their insurance company generally must compensate the injured party. Additionally, Oklahoma follows a modified comparative negligence rule, which means that if you are partially at fault for the accident (up to 50 percent at fault), your compensation may decrease by the percentage of fault assigned to you. If you are more than 50 percent at fault, you may not recover any compensation.
To navigate the complex process of seeking compensation in an Oklahoma car accident claim, consult an experienced personal injury attorney who can assess your case, help determine liability, and work to maximize your compensation.
How Much Does an Oklahoma Car Accident Attorney Cost?
As mentioned above, most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. You won’t pay an upfront retainer or receive monthly bills for their services. Instead, your lawyer will handle your claim and help you recover compensation with no out-of-pocket costs to you. Your attorney will only accept a fee if they negotiate a favorable settlement for you or win your case at trial. If your attorney cannot recover compensation on your behalf, you should owe them nothing.
Contact an Experienced Car Accident Injury Lawyer Today
Car accident claims in-depth legal knowledge, an understanding of how insurance companies operate, and familiarity with local courts and complex procedures. An attorney can make a considerable difference in the outcome of your case and how much compensation you ultimately receive.
You really have no time to waste in contacting an attorney and starting the process. You must adhere to any deadlines or statutes of limitations to ensure you can pursue your case, and you need to act quickly to gather evidence and witness statements before it’s too late.
The Oklahoma personal injury attorneys at Aizenman Law Group have extensive experience handling car accident injury claims for clients in Tulsa and across the state. We will review your claim at no cost and advise you of your options. Contact us today for a free consultation.