Although certainly an uncomfortable truth, the vast majority of us will experience some level of a car accident at some point in our lives. And while exchanging information with the other driver and letting the insurance companies sort it all out can sometimes lead to a satisfactory conclusion for both parties, things aren’t always that simple—especially when significant damages or injuries are involved, or if there’s a dispute as to who ultimately caused the wreck.
In many cases, hiring a qualified attorney to handle your car accident in Oklahoma will be in your best interest to secure a favorable outcome. Here are four common situations when you should strongly consider hiring legal representation.
Uninsured or Underinsured Drivers
Insurance companies that operate in Oklahoma are required to offer what’s known as uninsured motorist coverage (UM). While UM is optional, it can provide additional coverage for vehicle damage, bodily harm, and property damage if you are in an accident with an uninsured motorist. As such, your policy is required to pay in the event of an accident with an uninsured driver.
Unfortunately, some insurance companies may downplay their obligation to fulfill the coverage, especially if the accident has incurred high costs. In other cases, the resulting damage or medical bills may exceed what the policy covers, which means you may have to file a lawsuit against the uninsured driver to cover the rest of the remaining costs after the policy has paid for its part.
Disputes on who is ultimately responsible for a car accident in Oklahoma are common, especially when the financial costs of the accident are high. The other driver’s insurance company will often do all they can to minimize their responsibility towards paying the costs, especially if they think they can cast doubt on who was actually responsible for the wreck.
Further complicating matters is what’s known as comparative negligence. In Oklahoma, drivers can be considered partially at fault for an accident, determined by a percentage scale. This means you must prove that the other driver’s fault was greater than yours. If you are considered 49% responsible or less, the other driver is considered more at fault and thus more responsible for the payment of damages.
As you’ve probably guessed, some insurance companies will try to deny your claim or reduce your damages by attempting to show that you were the one with the greater percentage of the blame. Even if the other party has been established as the one more at fault, your insurance company may try to inflate the percentage of your responsibility to reduce what they have to pay. This scenario is a prime example of when you will need an attorney on your side.
If the insurance company is pushing a settlement that does not sufficiently cover your expenses, pain and suffering, absence from work, or other losses, you can file a personal injury lawsuit. Your attorney can work with you to document and demonstrate your losses while establishing the clear fault of the other driver.
Death of a Loved One
If your loved one passed away in a car wreck caused by another driver, you might be entitled to compensation in a wrongful death lawsuit by pursuing losses such as:
- Funeral expenses
- Punitive damages
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of companionship
- Lost wages and benefits from the deceased
Your Legal Representation Matters
A car accident in Oklahoma can easily become a complicated legal affair that leaves you exposed to missing out on the compensation you deserve for what you and your loved ones have been through.
If you find yourself in any of the above scenarios or are simply seeking legal advisement to navigate your unique situation stemming from a car wreck, Overman Legal Group will assist you in making the process as easy for you as possible. We will leverage our proven legal expertise while exhausting every last resource to get you the compensation you deserve. Are you accused of being at-fault for an accident? We can help with your defense as well.
Don’t leave your case in the hands of the insurance companies.