Common Misconceptions About
Car Accident Claims in Oklahoma
You’ve just been injured in a car accident, and you’ve heard stories from others about the process they had to endure to get compensation for their medical expenses and lost wages during their recovery time. You’re not sure what to believe.
Oklahoma is an at-fault auto insurance state, which means that every vehicle operator must maintain liability protection should they cause injury or property damage to others. The minimum requirements are $25,000 in liability insurance for one injured person, $50,000 in coverage for two or more injured persons, and $25,000 in coverage for property damage. This is commonly referred to as 25-50-25 auto insurance.
Of course, no one is bound by these limits. You can always purchase higher coverage. Some insurers even recommend raising the caps to 100-300-100 to prevent someone injured in an auto accident caused by you from filing a personal injury lawsuit, jeopardizing your personal assets if they win.
If you’ve been injured in an auto accident, even if you feel the injuries are minor, not only should you get immediate medical attention but you should also consult with an attorney about your options for recovering any medical expenses or lost wages.
Contact me at Wilson Law Firm PLLC if you’re in or around Shawnee, Oklahoma, or nearby in Chandler, Norman, Okemah, or Ada. For more than two decades, I have devoted myself to helping accident victims and others recover the just compensation due to them. Let’s discuss your situation and weigh your options going forward.
Common Myths That Can Hinder an Injury Claim
When you’re involved in an auto accident, don’t shrug off your injuries. They may seem minor, but injuries have a way of worsening or not even appearing until days or weeks later. For your own sake, you need to be medically evaluated.
Apart from your well-being, there are other practical reasons to be evaluated. First, you will need the documentation should you file a claim or a personal injury lawsuit. Second, if you delay seeking medical attention, the insurance company for the at-fault driver can claim your injuries weren’t that serious and that you’re now exaggerating everything just to win money.
Some other common traps and myths include:
The accident was minor, so I don’t need to report it. Wrong. Oklahoma law requires that you report any accident that results in injury, death, or a mere $300 in property damage. Call 911 at the scene to report the accident and seek medical care if you or a passenger needs it.
I was partially at fault for the accident, but that won’t affect the damages I’m able to recover. Wrong again. Oklahoma observes what is called the modified comparative negligence rule. This means that, in any accident, the driver of each vehicle will be assigned a portion of the fault, even if their portion is zero.
It also means that if your percentage of contributory negligence – say you made an illegal turn and the other driver ran into you – rises above 50 percent, you cannot collect from the other driver, even if his or her vehicle directly caused your injuries. This standard is applied both in the insurance claims process and in court should you file a personal injury lawsuit.
Hiring an attorney won’t make a difference in the final settlement. This is only true if you’re willing to accept whatever low-ball settlement the insurance company offers you. If you’ve never dealt with an insurance company claims adjuster, then you probably have no idea the way they can entice or even trick you into saying things that make you sound at fault, or even get you to contradict yourself, so they can cast doubt on your whole story.
In a personal injury claim, adjusters have been known to begin the conversation by asking, “How are you today?” If you answer “fine” or “good,” they can then use that against you to claim your injuries aren’t as serious as you make them out to be.
If nothing else, an experienced attorney can handle the claims adjusters and negotiate in earnest for the best possible settlement. An attorney can also judge when you might be better off taking the whole matter to court to secure the just compensation due to you.
How Wilson Law Firm PLLC Can Help
Relying on my firm will relieve you of the stress and anxiety of facing an insurance adjuster – or several – all on your own. I can handle them, and I also can make sure that any document or offer they send you, whether a medical release form or a settlement offer, is in your best interests. Typically, first offers are as low as the adjusters think they can get away with. Run everything past me before you sign anything.
Wilson Law Firm PLLC proudly serves clients in and around Shawnee, Oklahoma, as well as Chandler, Norman, Okemah, and Ada. I am familiar with all aspects of Oklahoma’s auto accident and personal injury laws, and I can advise and guide you toward the proper resolution of your claim.