When a car accident occurs, the driver who is found to be negligent is normally liable to pay damages to the driver who was not at fault. This can vary, however, by circumstance and even by state.
Oklahoma has different rules than some other states, and it’s important to understand how the concept of fault works and how your case will progress, in order to get payment for the damages you’ve suffered. Learn how a car accident case proceeds, what elements are involved regarding fault, and how an auto accident attorney can help get you compensated.
Fault and the Car Accident Case
The single most important aspect of determining who is eligible for compensation in a car accident case is determining who was “at fault” for the incident. Oklahoma is what is known as a “fault” state, meaning that the negligent driver will be held responsible for paying the injuries and damages suffered by the victim.
Proving fault requires three elements:
- Every driver has a responsibility to act in a reasonable manner and not put other drivers in danger. In legal terms, this is a “duty of care.”
- The driver acted in an irresponsible, careless or thoughtless manner that is not consistent with what a reasonable person would do, thus breaching this duty.
- This breach of duty resulted directly in an accident that caused the harm in question.
In Oklahoma, there is another aspect to proving fault. In our state, the concept of contributory negligence can affect the damages that can be awarded. Assume, logically, that the total fault for an accident is 100%. In some cases, both parties can bear partial responsibility. The injured party’s damages will be reduced by the amount of negligence they share.
Now consider that an accident is worth $100,000 in damage. When the case is argued, it’s determined that the victim was actually 20% responsible for causing the accident. This means that the damages they receive will be reduced by that much—so they’ll be entitled to $80,000. If it’s discovered that they are 50% or more responsible, they cannot collect damages at all.
Dealing with Insurance Companies
Even if you’re not at fault for your car accident, dealing with insurance companies can be a nightmare. They will try anything they can to reduce the amount of money they have to pay out, even blaming you for the incident or claiming that you’re being untruthful about your injuries. They will make lowball offers and threaten non-payment if you don’t sign off. You don’t have to take this from them.
Call an Auto Accident Attorney
A qualified and experienced auto accident attorney has experience in not only protecting your rights and proving negligence in accident cases, they know how to stand up to bullying insurance companies and get you the compensation you deserve.
At Parrish DeVaughn, we’ve spent years helping Oklahoma accident victims seek compensation and justice for the injuries they’ve suffered. We can help you as well. Just give us a call, and let’s sit down and talk about your case. There’s no charge for the call, and we won’t charge you any fees unless we win your case. Get in touch with us today!