Oklahoma City Car Accident Attorneys
Aggressive representation for car wreck victims throughout Oklahoma
It is devastating it is to be injured in an auto accident caused by the negligence of another person. Serious auto accidents leave you suffering and in pain, with significant emotional distress. The last thing you want to deal with is mounting medical bills, property damages and lost wages.
At Cunningham & Mears, our Oklahoma City car accident attorneys understand that you have questions and concerns about your case. You want to pay your medical bills and get back to your normal life. Our attorneys are here to help you ease the financial burden by seeking compensation for your harm after a car wreck. We take care of the legal aftermath of your accident and deal with insurance companies, so you can focus on what is most important — your recovery.
What to do after a car accident
After a being involved in a car accident you are likely to feel a bit shaken and disoriented. That is normal. Once you have taken a breath and composed yourself, here are a few tips to follow that will help you later when it is time to file an accident claim:
- Make sure you are safe. If you can, move your car out of the travel lane. If that is not possible, turn on your hazard lights and get yourself to the sidewalk or the shoulder of the highway.
- See to the safety of others involved in the accident. If you or anyone else in the crash has been injured, call 911 and request medical help.
- Call law enforcement. Call the police to the scene so that they can create an accident report. You can cooperate with the police without saying anything about fault on anyone's part. If the police do not arrive, you can go to the police station to file a report.
- Gather evidence at the scene including:
- Name, contact information and insurance information for the other drivers involved.
- License plate numbers for the other vehicles involved
- Makes and models of the vehicles involved
- Location of the accident
- Names and badge numbers of the responding police officers
- Pictures and video of the accident scene, the vehicles and people involved and any witnesses.
- Contact your insurance company and inform them of the accident.
What are the most common causes of car accidents in Oklahoma?
Driver negligence is one of the most common causes of car wrecks. We help victims of accidents handle all types of driving negligence by the other party:
- Drunk or drugged driving. Drunk driving or driving under the influence of drugs is the epitome of reckless and negligent driving. The Oklahoma Highway Safety Office (OHSO) reports that there were 178 impaired traffic fatalities in 2017, which is down from the 189 alcohol-related traffic fatalities in Oklahoma in 2016.
- Distracted driving is not only texting while driving, but also includes distractions such as eating, grooming, and interacting with passengers or being distracted by something outside the vehicle. In 2016, there were 2,490 crashes resulting in injury and 23 fatal traffic crashes caused by distracted driving in Oklahoma.
- Speeding, which includes both exceeding the posted speed limit and driving too fast for current road conditions such as rain or ice. The OHSO reported that speeding accounted for causing 17.5% of the 687 traffic fatalities that occurred in Oklahoma in 2016, which was up 6.5% from the year before.
- Drowsy driving. Drowsy (fatigued, sleepy) drivers caused 677 crashes with 625 causing injuries and three fatalities in Oklahoma in 2016.
- Failure to obey the rules of the road, such as failing to yield right of way, or changing lanes in an intersection, running a red light, or failure to obey stop signs or other traffic signals.
- Failure to stop for pedestrians whether in or out of a crosswalk.
Other causes of Oklahoma car accidents not related to driver error
Not all car crashes are the result of negligent or careless drivers, however. Defective auto parts, poor road design or maintenance, lack of lighting and signage and wildlife can all contribute to a collision. A skilled Oklahoma City car accident lawyer from Cunningham & Mears is prepared to protect your interests after a car accident injury has left you in pain and unable to work. We fight for the compensation you need.
Helping you recover compensation for injuries after a car accident
There are many variables that can account for the range of severity of injuries in a car wreck. The speed at which each vehicle was traveling when they collided, the condition of the brakes and other factors will have an impact on whether the people involved in a car accident walk away or never survive.
Some of the more common injuries in car accidents include:
- Head injury from being hit by objects in the vehicle or hitting the windshield can be serious and have consequences that impact a person’s life long after the head wound has healed.
- Traumatic brain injury, which can occur whether the head took a hit, or was slammed back and forth by the g-forces in the crash, can alter the person’s ability to function in life and work and relationships. Our OKC brain injury lawyers fight aggressively for justice on behalf of the injured.
- Whiplash is another name for a neck sprain which can occur with a neck injury where the joints, muscles, ligaments and nerve roots in the neck have suffered damage. Whiplash can occur in car accidents when the body is whipped forward and backward in a jerking motion. (WebMD) Whiplash is a soft tissue injury, but it can have lasting effects including severe headaches, back pain, dizziness, pain and stiffness in the neck and shoulders and other difficult symptoms. Most whiplash injuries resolve themselves with treatments and time, while some cause permanent complications.
- Back and neck injuries. The jerking motion that occurs at the moment of collision can injure the back and neck even if there is no outward wound. The individual may even walk away feeling like they escaped the crash uninjured because with the rush of adrenaline, they may not feel the effects of the injury right away. But some of the symptoms of back injury might include back, neck and shoulder pain, headaches, numbness and burning sensations, limited range of motion, loss of strength.
- Spinal cord injury which can lead to partial or complete paralysis is a devastating injury that can occur after a car accident. A person with a spinal cord injury may require a wheelchair for mobility, help with home health care and ongoing medical complications. A skilled Oklahoma City car accident lawyer understands the needs of clients with spinal cord injuries and what it takes to recover compensation to cover their life long medical and life support requirements.
- Broken bones such as broken ribs, knees and feet are serious injuries that can occur in car wrecks. When a person has multiple bone fractures, they need expert medical care and they need time to allow their body to heal.
- Internal organ damage such as injury to the kidney, liver or spleen, punctured lung or lung collapse or internal bleeding from ruptured blood vessels in the body from the crash. These injuries, if not quickly diagnosed and treated can lead to organ failure and death.
- Cuts and lacerations from shattered glass, broken, sharp pieces from the vehicle's frame, and road debris. Depending on the location and depth of the cuts, they can affect underlying tissues such as muscles, tendons, nerves and even organs. Deep gashes and lacerations which have been exposed to the environment are at risk for serious infection.
- Burn injuries. The severity of burns can range from a skin irritating first degree burn to a devastating third degree burn which can cause chronic pain, infections, disfigurement and permanent disability. Burns can have long-lasting repercussions on your health, mental well-being, and ability to earn an income.
If you have lost a loved one in a car accident, you may be concerned about recovering compensation to cover the medical bills and final expenses and the loss of their affection, services and financial support. Our Oklahoma City car wreck lawyers strive to obtain compensation that covers the full extent of your harm.
How do we determine fault in a car accident in Oklahoma?
When a person is injured in a car accident because of the negligence of another driver, if the injured person is successful in proving that the other driver's negligence caused the crash and their injuries, they may be entitled to recover compensation. But what about in cases of shared fault? Oklahoma follows the modified comparative negligence model for determining damages in cases where there is shared fault in causing the accident. Each party is responsible for damages according to their percentage of fault. If the plaintiff's percentage of fault exceeds 51%, they are barred from recovering damages. (23 OK Stat § 23-13 (2017))
For example, a person steps off the curb to cross a busy street with their head down reading the screen of their phone instead of looking around to make sure traffic has stopped. At the same time, the driver of a car heading into the same intersection is also looking at the screen of his or her phone instead of looking out for pedestrians. The car hits the pedestrian and the pedestrian suffers an injury.
The jury decides that the pedestrian is responsible for 40% of the fault and the driver is responsible for 60% of the fault. The pedestrian's damages were $8,000, so they would receive $4800 after they were reduced by $3,200 (40% of $8000).
How can a car accident lawyer help your injury case?
After you have sustained a serious injury in a car wreck in Oklahoma City, or anywhere else throughout the state, you are likely to have accumulated medical bills and lost time at work while you were in the hospital and at home recuperating. At this difficult time, you need an advocate who will protect your right to recover compensation for your injuries and other losses. At Cunningham & Mears, our OKC car accident lawyers bring 55 years of combined legal experience. We listen to your story, we discuss your needs and we work towards achieving your goals. Whether you choose to settle your injury case or pursue a trial, we have the resources and the experience to take on litigation regardless of how complex.
To recover compensation after a car accident, the plaintiff (injured person) is required to prove that the defendant (at-fault party in causing the crash) caused the collision and that their injuries are a direct result of the car accident. The insurance company for the defendant will have their own team of corporate attorneys on their side. Those insurance company lawyers are determined to diminish your case with low-ball offers to protect their company’s profits.
Our job is to prepare a strong case for compensation for you. We take an aggressive stand in fighting for the rights of our clients. Our clients trust us to do the right thing on their behalf, and that is exactly what we do.
If you have been injured in a car accident in Oklahoma City, after you have sought medical attention, your next call should be to schedule a free consultation with our car accident attorney team at Cunningham & Mears.
Learn more about car accident claims in Oklahoma City, OK
Schedule a free consultation with an experienced Oklahoma City car wreck lawyer today
Each accident attorney in Oklahoma City at Cunningham & Mears is dedicated to putting you in a better position than when you first come to us. Whether this means strong negotiations with insurance companies, aggressive litigation in court or simply referring you to the right medical professional, we are here to meet your individual needs. To learn more about how we can help you, contact us or call 405-232-1212 today for a free initial consultation.