Car Accidents Attorneys in Canadian County, Oklahoma
According to Oklahoma Crash Facts, there were 66,074 car crashes in 2021. Being involved in a car accident can be a life-altering experience. The physical injuries, emotional distress, and financial burdens that follow can be overwhelming. During these challenging times, what you need the most is someone who can provide you with the right guidance and support.
At The Handley Law Center, we stand by your side. Our team of dedicated attorneys is located in Canadian County, Oklahoma, serving clients throughout Oklahoma, Custer, Blaine, Kingfisher, and Caddo counties. We strive to provide expert legal representation and compassionate support for those affected by car accidents.
Understanding Car Accident Laws in Oklahoma
Oklahoma has specific laws and regulations concerning car accidents. First, it's important to note that Oklahoma operates under a "modified comparative fault" rule. This means that even if you are partially responsible for the accident, you can still recover damages. However, your compensation will be reduced by the percentage of your fault. Also, if your share of fault is greater than that of the other party, you won't be able to recover any damages.
The statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit related to a car accident in Oklahoma is two years. This means you have two years from the date of the accident to bring your case to court.
If the accident resulted in death, the two-year clock starts from the date of the victim's death. It's crucial to understand these timelines as they can significantly impact your case.
Oklahoma Is a "Fault" State
Oklahoma is a "fault" state when it comes to car accidents. This means that the person who causes an accident is responsible for any resulting harm. In other words, the at-fault driver's insurance company typically must pay for damages, such as medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage, suffered by the other parties involved in the accident.
This "fault" system can affect how you pursue compensation after a car accident. You have several options: file a claim with your own insurance company, which will then seek reimbursement from the at-fault driver's insurer; file a claim directly with the at-fault driver's insurance company; or file a personal injury lawsuit in court against the at-fault driver.
Types of Car Accidents
Car accidents can take many forms, each with its own set of legal considerations. These include rear-end collisions, often caused by tailgating or sudden stops; head-on collisions, which occur when two vehicles moving in opposite directions collide; side-impact collisions, also known as T-bone accidents, that typically happen at intersections; and rollover accidents, where a vehicle tips over onto its side or roof. Each of these accidents can result in different types of injuries and damages, necessitating varied legal approaches.
Common Causes of Car Accidents
Various factors contribute to car accidents in Oklahoma. Distracted driving, such as texting or eating while driving, is a leading cause. Speeding, driving under the influence, and reckless driving also cause numerous accidents every year. Weather conditions and poor road maintenance can further exacerbate these risks. Understanding these causes is essential in determining liability and pursuing compensation.
Legal Steps After a Car Accident
After a car accident, it's crucial to take certain steps to protect your rights. This includes collecting evidence at the scene, seeking immediate medical attention, and reporting the accident to the police. Dealing with insurance companies can be a daunting task, and it's important to remember that their primary interest is to minimize payouts. An experienced car accident attorney can help negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf.
Seeking Compensation for Car Accident Injuries
The impact of a car accident can be far-reaching, affecting various aspects of your life. If you were involved in a car accident--depending on your specific circumstances--you can be entitled to:
Medical Expenses: These are often the most immediate and significant costs after an accident. Compensation can cover everything from emergency room visits, hospital stays, surgeries, and medications, to ongoing medical treatments required for your recovery.
Lost Wages or Income: If your injuries prevent you from working, either temporarily or permanently, you may be able to recover the income you've lost. This can also include a loss of earning capacity if you're unable to earn the same amount as you did before the accident.
Pain and Suffering: Beyond the physical pain, accidents can cause significant emotional distress. Compensation for pain and suffering is meant to acknowledge these non-tangible effects of an accident.
Emotional Distress or Mental Anguish: Car accidents can lead to severe emotional or psychological effects, including stress, anxiety, or depression. In many cases, victims may be compensated for their emotional suffering.
Property Damage: If your vehicle was damaged or destroyed in the accident, you might be entitled to compensation for repair or replacement costs.
Rehabilitation or Physical Therapy Costs: Serious injuries may require extensive physical therapy or rehabilitation. These costs, which can extend far into the future, should be included in your compensation.
Loss of Consortium or Companionship: If the accident has affected your relationship with your spouse or caused a loss of companionship, you may be entitled to compensation.
Punitive Damages: In cases where the at-fault party's actions were particularly reckless or intentional, punitive damages may be awarded. These are designed to punish the wrongdoer and deter similar behavior in the future.
Our team at The Handley Law Center is here to guide you through this complex process.
Car Accidents Attorneys Serving Canadian County, Oklahoma
We understand that a car accident can turn your life upside down. But you don't have to face this challenging time alone. At The Handley Law Center, we're here to help. Our team of dedicated attorneys, serving Canadian County, Oklahoma, and surrounding counties, is ready to provide the compassionate support and experienced legal representation you need. If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident, reach out to us today.