According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), millions of car accidents occurred throughout the United States in 2018, including 33,654 in which victims lost their lives. While accidents happen for many reasons, driver error accounts for many of them. For example, the National Safety Council (NSC) found that more than 700 people suffer injuries each day because of distracted driving accidents.
Drivers in Oklahoma have a responsibility to abide by all traffic laws, pay attention to their surroundings, and do their best to maintain their safety and the safety of those in their vicinity while behind the wheel. When drivers behave recklessly, their actions can lead to serious—even fatal—consequences.
If you suffered injuries or lost a loved one in a motor vehicle collision, you know the physical pain, emotional distress, and financial instability that victims in these circumstances face. However, you do not have to face it alone. An Oklahoma car accident lawyer can help you fight for justice and compensation. Contact the legal team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today at (800) 794-0444 to discuss how we can help you pursue the financial awards you deserve.
Prevalence of Oklahoma Car Accidents
Despite Oklahoma ranking in the bottom half of all U.S. states in terms of population, the NHTSA found that it ranked No. 8 in fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled in 2018. The Oklahoma Highway Safety Office (OHSO) reported that of the state’s 71,280 motor vehicle crashes that year, 603 resulting in fatalities.
If you or a loved one suffered severe or fatal injuries in a collision caused by another driver’s negligence, an Oklahoma car accident lawyer could help you seek compensation for your damages.
Proving the Fault of the Other Driver
In Oklahoma, drivers must carry liability insurance. This insurance means that if they cause a car accident that results in someone else’s injuries, victims can pursue a claim against their policy to cover their accident-related damages. To prove the other driver’s liability in your accident, you or an attorney must demonstrate that the driver’s actions meet the legal criteria for negligence:
- Duty of care: The driver had an obligation to exercise reasonable care to ensure the victim’s safety.
- Breach of duty: The driver breached their duty of care to the victim inadvertently or through an intentionally reckless act.
- Causation: The breach of duty led to the victim’s injuries or loss of life.
- Damages: The injuries or loss resulted in substantial financial damages.
Keep in mind that Oklahoma is a comparative negligence state. Under OK Statutes § 23-13, if a court finds you shared responsibility for the accident, it will reduce your award proportionately to your percentage of fault. For example, if you were 20 percent to blame and received a $100,000 award, you would only recover $80,000 (20 percent of $100,000 is $20,000, which the court subtracts from your award). If you were 50 percent or more at fault, you cannot recover from the accident.
Proving negligence on your own may prove challenging, but a personal injury lawyer can help you gather the information you need to establish liability and seek financial recovery. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today to discuss your Oklahoma car accident case with a team member.
You May Qualify for Financial Awards
If another party caused the car accident that led to your injuries, you have a legal right to pursue compensation from their insurance company for your losses. In some cases, awards might extend beyond insurance policy coverage, but the types and amounts you could receive might vary based on your case’s circumstances. They could include:
- Emergency medical care and other related health care expenses.
- Lost income for the time you had to take off work to recover from your injuries.
- Loss of future wages if your injuries left you with a disability.
- Property damage bills for your vehicle or other personal effects.
- Pain and suffering for your emotional and physical trauma.
- Funeral and burial expenses if a loved one suffered fatal injuries in the accident.
- Loss of support if you lost a loved one in the accident who provided for you financially.
- Loss of companionship with your deceased family member.
An Oklahoma car accident lawyer can help you evaluate your damages and pursue the financial awards you might qualify to receive.
Oklahoma Statutes of Limitations
In Oklahoma, car accident victims and their loved ones have a certain amount of time to file a claim for damages against the at-fault party. Known as the statute of limitations, claimants must file within this period or risk losing the opportunity to pursue legal action.
In most cases, accident victims seeking damages for their injuries have a maximum of two years from the date of the incident to file a personal injury claim per OK Statutes § 12-95.
Generally, the personal representative of the victim’s estate can file a wrongful death lawsuit within two years of the date of their passing to seek financial awards for their damages per OK Statutes § 12-1053.
Some exceptions apply to both statutes of limitations, though. An Oklahoma car accident lawyer can help you determine how much time you have left to file your claim and if an exception applies to your case, and get the process started as soon as possible.
Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm Today
Car accidents in Oklahoma lead to thousands of injuries and hundreds of deaths each year. If you or someone you love became a victim of a preventable collision, you know all too well the long-term effects it can have on your life. If you feel overwhelmed by the financial instability caused by your injury or loss, you do not have to face the process of seeking compensation on your own.
At Pintas & Mullins Law Firm, you can count on our team of Oklahoma car accident lawyers to get to know the details of your specific case, pursue financial recovery on your behalf, and provide you with the support you deserve every step of the way. Contact our team today at (800) 794-0444 for your free case evaluation.