Considered a legal term, personal injury could be defined as harm to the body, emotions or mind. You have two basics it falls under: damages and liability. In the court system, if you can prove either damages or liability, you could have someone on the hook for a personal injury lawsuit in Oklahoma City. You have a few different types of personal injury lawsuits that classify for this that include:
- Car accidents
- Slip and fall injuries
- Motorcycle accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Car Accidents
Let’s say that you had a car accident in Oklahoma City. You suffered whiplash, two broken legs and a brain injury as a result of the car accident. Not to mention, you were laid up and unable to work. The other driver blew a stop sign and slammed into the driver side door. You shouldn’t have to foot the bill because of someone else’s negligence. As a personal injury lawyer in Oklahoma City, I believe that you deserve compensation for your pain and suffering and lost wages.
How much a car accident claim will be worth will depend on several factors that include:
- Medical expenses
- Vehicle damage
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Finally, your conduct can also have an impact on the worth of your claim. If you were partially responsible for the accident, you could see a reduced settlement. Part of this depends on the contributory negligence laws or comparative negligence laws. In Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, you can pursue comparative negligence if the crash victim was 49 percent or less liable for the car accident. If you were at 50 percent or higher, you can’t look for compensation from the other parties at fault. Again, this depends on the state, but this is the specific laws for Oklahoma.
Why is it valuable to know the worth of your case? Let’s say that you want to make a car accident claim. You will most likely have to provide a detailed estimate to get the most favorable results. Having an experienced personal injury attorney can help you to determine the value because of how they have looked at countless other cases, and they can figure out an estimated ballpark for this case’s worth.
You should also understand the steps that you should take after involvement in an accident. First, you should check to see that everyone is fine. After you have determined the injuries, you should dial for emergency services if needed. Next, you will want to snap photos of the car accident. Take photos of the skid marks, the vehicles and from different angles.
While the police take photos as well, it helps to have a collection of your own evidence because of how this provides you with extra security. You want to get the details of the accident. Some of the things to get of the accident include:
- Skid marks
- Car damage
- Site of the accident
- Weather conditions
- Visible bodily injuries
- Shattered glass or vehicle parts
You want to take the photos from different angles and at different distances to paint the best picture of the accident scene.
Along with taking pictures, you should also exchange information with the other driver of the accident. The information that you will want to collect includes insurance and contact information. When exchanging information, you want to collect:
- Insurance policy number and insurance company
- Full name of the driver and contact information
- Location of the accident
- The color, model and type of the vehicle
- License plate number and driver’s license
You want to document the accident as much as possible. Here at our personal injury law firm in Oklahoma City, we advise our clients to collect information like police officers at the scene, badge number of the officers and getting a copy of the accident report. In some cases, your insurance company might ask you for it. Not to mention, it can be helpful.
Let’s say that the other driver refuses to give you his contact information. What can you do? First, you could trace them through their vehicle registration number. You don’t want to get confrontational with them and make the situation worse because you have other options. For example, the police report will often write down their information, and you can get it from there. The other driver can’t refuse to provide certain information if the police request it. You can use the police to get the information. Be sure to inform the officer that the other driver refused to give the insurance information. In this way, they will know that they need to pass it along.
Slip and Fall Accidents
Slip and fall classifies as a personal injury case, and it happens when you fall on someone else’s property. Under a broader category, they fall under “Premises Liability,” which will be described later. For someone in Oklahoma City injured in a trip and fall accident, they should contact a personal injury law firm as soon as possible even to get legal counsel. This can help them later.
If a slip and fall happened because of the negligence of someone else, you may have a right to a personal injury settlement.
What do you do after a slip and fall injury? After an injury, you should immediately have a doctor look at your injury. This gives you medical documentation of your accident. It ensures that the insurance company can’t try to blame your injury off on another cause, which can hinder your right to a fair settlement. You might even have injuries that you can’t see right away. For example, you may have suffered a head injury. You go to bed feeling normal, but you wake up being unable to move your legs. Having a medical record gives you an essential piece of evidence that your personal injury lawyer can use to protect you.
Premise Liability Accidents
Having a lawyer who understands Premise Liability can make or break your case. Premise Liability happens when you get injured on someone else’s property or in a public setting. Entering a property such as this, you expect the property to remain as free of obstacles as possible within reasonable expectation. Hazardous conditions through inadequate security, poor maintenance or irresponsible pet ownership can lead to an accident.
Some of the potential cases that fall under premise liability include:
- Slip and fall
- Dog bites
- Power line injuries
- Asbestos exposure
- Chlorine gas poisoning
Injury on someone else’s Oklahoma City property means that the property owner could be held liable for the injuries. In some cases, proving liability for personal injury can prove difficult, but through investigators, medical experts, industry experts and dedicated legal staff, you will see the most favorable settlement.
In some cases in Oklahoma City, you could file a lawsuit for personal injury in the case of a motorcycle accident. For example, let’s say that you hit a pothole on a road, and this caused you to get into a crash. There have been cases where motorcyclists filed a personal injury lawsuit against the Oklahoma City government or the state government, and they have won their cases.
Some of the damages that you could recover in the case of an injury include:
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Medical bills
- Property damage
- Out-of-pocket costs
Beware of insurance companies that try to offer you a settlement right from the start. As personal injury attorneys, we have seen this time and time again. The company offers motorcycle crash victims a low-ball figure with the hopes that they will sign away their right to true compensation and save themselves some cash. Some unwitting victims have fallen for this. Accepting the offer, you have agreed that you can’t seek further settlement against them, and it will almost always be a lower figure than what you could receive otherwise. You don’t want to be left with unpaid bills.
Insurance Defense/Insurance Disputes
The nature of insurance companies puts them in the thicket of litigation and lawsuits. You want to have someone who specializes in this field of law to protect your rights. If you have found yourself in the midst of an insurance dispute, you need qualified and expert legal assistance. You want someone well-versed in insurance disputes and insurance defense to help you navigate this complex area of law.
Some of the procedural problems have the potential to drag this out and some of the issues that arise when this happens include collusion, late notice, consent to settle, failure to exhaust primary coverage and reimbursement of coverage costs.
Here at our personal injury law firm, we have been doing business in the Oklahoma City area for over 15 years. We can help to ensure that you receive a fair settlement, and we have legal experts to defend your rights in the court system. You need someone licensed and qualified to protect you because you can’t expect people on the other side to play fair. In many cases, they won’t play fair. In a personal injury case, the damages get paid to the injured person whether from the company or another person who is being held responsible for the accident. If you’ve been injury, you should call a personal injury law firm as soon as possible.
Bryan Garrett is a personal injury attorney in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Call the law firm of Bryan Garrett today for a consultation.
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