Dealing with a car accident can be stressful – if not completely overwhelming – for most people. You have many things to worry about, from getting your car repaired or replaced to getting the medical treatment that you need for your injuries. On top of it all, an insurance company adjuster may repeatedly call you, asking for information or trying to get you to accept a settlement offer.
An experienced car accident lawyer from Cain Law Office who knows the ins-and-outs of filing a car accident claim can alleviate your stress. The lawyer can handle all aspects of your case from start to finish, pursue maximum compensation for you and allow you to focus on your health and your family.
Here, we explain the steps that both you and your lawyer can take to file a car accident claim if your crash occurred in Oklahoma City. To discuss the specific aspects of your case, contact us today and receive a free consultation. You can expect a prompt response – even if you reach us at night or on the weekend.
Six Steps You Can Take on Your Own After an Oklahoma City Car Accident
You should contact Cain Law Office as early as possible after an auto accident. A consultation with our firm will help you to understand your rights and options and give you a clear idea of what lies ahead with your claim. We will also protect you from insurance companies and fight for all compensation you are due. In short: The sooner we start work on your case, the better off you will be in the long run.
With that said, here are a few steps that you can take on your own that will help the process:
- Gather information at the accident scene. You should try to collect as much information as you can at the crash scene. For instance, you should get the names, phone numbers and insurance information for all drivers involved. You should also take photos of the vehicles and surrounding area. Additionally, try to get the names and numbers of any witnesses.
- Get immediate medical attention. If you do not need emergency care, you should see a doctor within 24 hours of the crash, or as soon as you can. The timely documentation of your injuries will play an important role in your claim. If you wait too long to see a doctor, an insurance company may try to argue that your injuries are not serious, or that they are not related to your accident.
- Get a copy of your police accident report. A copy of the report should be available within a few days after the crash. You can go directly to the law enforcement agency that prepared the report such as the Oklahoma City Police Department. (The cost is 25 cents per page.) Also, you can request a copy from the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety. (The cost is $7 per copy, or $10 for a certified copy.)
- Report the accident to your insurer. You should promptly report the crash to your insurance company. Most insurance policies require their insured drivers to report accidents – regardless of who was at fault. Your insurance company may require you to fill out a form and/or forward a copy of your police accident report.
- Don’t talk to the other driver’s insurance company. An insurance claims adjuster with the other driver’s insurance company may call you within a few days of the crash. The adjuster may ask you to give a statement or ask for access to your medical records, or the adjuster may offer you an amount to quickly settle your claim. You should decline to speak and tell the adjuster to contact your lawyer at Cain Law Office. An insurance company won’t be out to protect your interests. You don’t want to say or sign anything that could hurt your ability to collect full and fair compensation.
- Stay off social media. An insurance company may take anything you say about your accident on Facebook, Twitter or other social media sites and try to use it against you. An insurer may also take a seemingly unrelated post or photo and try to use it. For this reason, you should avoid social media use until your case is over.
Types of Auto Insurance Coverage for Oklahoma City Drivers
Oklahoma is a traditional “fault” state. If you are involved in an auto accident that another driver causes, then your primary option will be to seek a recovery of compensation for your medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering and other damages through the at-fault driver’s liability auto insurance coverage. Under Oklahoma law, drivers must carry the following minimum amounts of liability insurance:
- $25,000 for bodily injury or death of one person in an accident
- $50,000 for total bodily injury or death in an accident
- $25,000 for total property damage in an accident.
The at-fault driver may lack liability insurance. In fact, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety estimates that 10.5 percent of Oklahoma drivers are uninsured. If so, you may be able to file an uninsured motorist (UM) claim with your own insurer for coverage of your bodily injuries. You should have this coverage unless you rejected it in writing. Depending on your auto insurance policy, you may have other insurance options, including:
- Underinsured motorist (UIM) – This covers the difference between what the at-fault driver’s liability insurance covers and the total amount of your injury-related damages (up to the limits of your policy).
- Medical payments coverage – This pays for your medical bills up to the policy’s limits, regardless of who was at fault. It’s also commonly called “MedPay.”
- Collision and comprehensive – Collision insurance can cover your car repair and replacement costs up to the policy’s limits, regardless of who was at fault. Comprehensive covers non-collision-related damages such as those caused by theft, vandalism or animals.
Your lawyer from Cain Law Office can review your insurance policy and explore all of your options. Your lawyer’s goal will be to find all sources of compensation in order to pursue the maximum amount for you. When you work with us, we will take care of filling all necessary paperwork, communicate with the insurance company and handle all settlement negotiations. We will advise you throughout the process and pay close attention to your goals. If necessary, we will be ready to fight for what you deserve at trial.
Oklahoma Car Accident Statute of Limitations
As you consider what steps you will take next after a car accident in Oklahoma City, you should pay close attention to the statute of limitations. This is a law which limits the amount of time that you have to file a lawsuit.
Generally, under Oklahoma law, you must file a personal injury lawsuit within two years after the date of your injury. If your loved one died, you must file a wrongful death lawsuit within two years from the date of his or her death.
If you fail to file a lawsuit before the statute of limitations expires, you will likely lose your right to recover compensation in a car accident claim. This is another reason why you should get help from an experienced car accident lawyer at Cain Law Office as early as possible after your crash.
Our Oklahoma City Car Accident Attorneys Are Ready to Help You
To learn more about filing a car accident claim in Oklahoma City and to discuss the specific facts of your case, contact Cain Law Office today for a free consultation. You can get immediate help from an experienced and dedicated lawyer who will fight for the maximum amount of compensation for you.