Oklahoma law requires drivers to stay at the scene of a car accident. They must render aid and provide insurance and contact information to the other drivers. If the driver who caused the crash fails to follow this law and flees the scene, the other drivers may wonder if they will be left without any compensation for their losses.
Fortunately, if you find yourself in this situation, you have options. With more than 20 years of experience with handling all types of car accident cases, including hit-and-run crashes, Cain Law Office can help you to explore those options and pursue the compensation that you deserve. Contact us today and learn more in a free, no-obligation consultation through our offices in Oklahoma City and Edmond.
How Can Our Attorneys Help You after a Hit-and-Run Crash?
Our attorneys know that being involved in an accident is stressful enough. When the other driver decides to flee the scene, it can be even more challenging. We want to put you at ease. When you work with Cain Law Office, we will know how to:
- Search for the at-fault driver. We will work with eyewitnesses and law enforcement to track down the driver who caused your crash. If we are successful at locating the driver, we will help you to take legal action against the driver and seek maximum compensation.
- File a claim with your insurance company. If you have uninsured motorist coverage, you can file a claim with your own insurer for your medical bills, repair or replacement of property and other expenses – even if the other driver is never apprehended or identified.
The sooner you contact our legal team, the sooner we can launch our investigation, protect your legal rights and take steps to pursue compensation for your medical expenses, lost income, pain, suffering and more. Don’t wait to get in touch with us. We are available to take your call 24/7. We can meet with you at your home, the hospital or any other location that is most convenient for you. You will pay nothing unless we get compensation for you.
Requirements for Drivers after Accidents in Oklahoma
Oklahoma Statute § 10-104 establishes a motorist’s duty to give information and render aid when involved in an accident causing injury or death to any person or damage to any vehicle. The driver must provide his or her correct name, address and registration number as well as show a driver’s license and security verification form.
Under Oklahoma Statute § 10-103, failure to stop and comply with those requirements can result in criminal charges. If there is damage to the other vehicle, but not injuries, it is a misdemeanor that carries $500 fine and/or up to one year in county jail. Oklahoma Statute § 10-102 makes it a felony to flee the scene if the crash results in non-fatal injury and imposes a fine of up to $1,000 and/or a prison sentence of up to two years. Under Oklahoma Statute § 10-102.1, leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death is a felony punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 and/or up to 10 years in prison.
Criminal Penalties vs. Civil Liability in Oklahoma Hit-and-Run Crashes
In addition to the above criminal penalties, the driver responsible for the hit-and-run collision could, through a civil action, be required under Oklahoma Statute § 10-103 to pay three times the actual value of the damage caused by the accident.
The reasons why a driver may choose to flee the scene of a crash can vary depending on the circumstances. Common reasons include:
- Not having a valid license
- Not having valid insurance
- Being under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance
- Not being a legal citizen of the United States
- Having a warrant for his or her arrest
- Not wanting to accept responsibility for the collision.
A criminal case is completely separate from a civil action. A person can be held civilly liable for a hit-and-run accident even if they were acquitted of criminal charges. However, if a driver is convicted under Oklahoma’s hit-and-run laws, it certainly will help to establish the driver’s liability.
What You Should Do After a Hit and Run in Oklahoma
If another driver flees the scene of your crash, you should not try to chase them. Instead, notify the police immediately. If you can record the license plate, make and model or any other characteristics of the car, do so.
You should also immediately seek medical care – even if you don’t think that your injuries are severe. You want to get a thorough checkup and treatment for your injuries from a medical professional. This will also create a medical record that will be valuable if you need to prove to an insurance company that you did not wait to seek treatment.
You will want to report your accident to your own insurance company so you comply with the terms of your policy. If the negligent driver cannot be located, you may be able to recover compensation through the uninsured motorist provision of your own automobile insurance policy.
Hit-and-Run Accident Injuries
In the event of an injury accident, it is even more critical for drivers to stop so that they can immediately render aid to those who have been hurt. Some common injuries that victims sustain in hit-and-run crashes include:
- Neck injuries
- Muscle strains
- Internal organ damage
- Nerve damage
- Burn injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injury.
Catastrophic injuries often require lengthy hospital stays and can mean several weeks, months or even years of additional rehabilitation. Following a severe injury collision, victims may be unable to return to work and struggle to support themselves and their family. That is why it is essential for drivers to stop, render aid and share insurance information immediately after a crash. This ensures that everyone involved gets the medical attention and compensation they need.