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How to Determine Fault in a Car Accident in Oklahoma

Posted on: April 22, 2020

Car crash accident along the highway.

After being involved in a car wreck in Oklahoma, many people ask: “How is fault determined in an Oklahoma car accident?” Fault can be determined in a variety of ways, including by reviewing the police report (particularly if one driver was cited or arrested for causing the accident), video evidence, eyewitness statements, photos from the scene, accident reconstruction analysis, and many other pieces of evidence.

Since Oklahoma is a “fault state” or “tort state,” the person who is found responsible for the accident will be liable for paying for the other person’s medical expenses, lost wages, vehicle repairs or replacement, pain and suffering, and other damages.

However, proving fault after a car accident is not always cut and dry. There are additional factors to consider when determining who is at fault and the percentage of fault for each driver involved in a crash. To learn more about how an attorney from Edwards & Patterson Law can help prove fault in your case, contact us now for a free consultation.

What Is the Difference Between At-Fault and No-Fault Auto Insurance Claim Systems?

Car accident claims in Oklahoma are subject to “at-fault” insurance liability laws. This means that a crash victim can seek financial compensation from the at-fault driver’s auto insurance. The victim may pursue compensation for medical costs, lost income, car repair expenses, and other losses.

Car insurance claim formIn no-fault states, on the other hand, the injured person’s own auto insurance pays for his or her medical expenses, whether or not the injured person was at fault for the accident. The injured person may be able to sue the at-fault party if the injuries are severe or if the claim meets a certain threshold.

It is also important to understand that car accident claims in Oklahoma are subject to “comparative fault” laws. With comparative fault, both parties may be found responsible for causing the accident. The injured driver can still recover compensation, but the amount recovered will be reduced according to his or her percentage of fault. So, for example, if an accident victim’s damages are $100,000, but the victim was found to be 25 percent at fault for the crash, the amount recovered would be reduced by $25,000. If the injured driver is found to be 51 percent or more responsible for the car accident, then that person cannot recover compensation.

What Are Automobile Insurance Requirements in Oklahoma?

In Oklahoma, failure to carry proof of car insurance may result in fines or even jail time. These are the minimum amounts of required auto liability insurance in Oklahoma:

  • Bodily Injury Coverage: $25,000 per individual and $50,000 for all individuals per accident
  • Property Damage Coverage: $25,000 for property damage to other vehicles

Although insurance companies are required to offer uninsured motorist coverage, drivers can reject this coverage.

How Do You Prove Fault After a Car Accident Claim in Oklahoma?

Some of the types of evidence that will be helpful in determining fault after a car accident include:

  • The police report
  • A detailed examination of the scene of the crash and the damage to the vehicles
  • Eyewitness statements
  • Photos from the scene
  • Surveillance camera footage, if available
  • Indications of whether the driver obeyed traffic laws, traffic signals or signs, or other rules of the road
  • The driver’s cellphone records (to determine whether distracted driving was a factor)
  • Evidence that the driver was under the influence of alcohol, illegal drugs, prescription medication, or over-the-counter medication at the time of the crash

You need a knowledgeable accident attorney to gather all the necessary evidence to prove fault in your claim. To get started on your case, contact our firm today for a free consultation.

What Should I Do After a Car Accident in Oklahoma?

Did you know that your actions immediately after an accident can affect your ability to recover compensation? Follow these tips to protect your rights in the event of an accident:

  • Insurance claim assessment for car accident.Exchange contact information with the other driver(s) involved. Be sure to obtain their insurance information as well.
  • Contact law enforcement to report the accident. Ask for a copy of the crash report. If possible, take photos at the scene and get the names and contact information for any witnesses.
  • Seek medical care as soon as you can, ideally within 24 hours of the accident. In addition to treating your injuries, getting timely medical treatment helps document the harm you have suffered.
  • Contact an Oklahoma car accident lawyer as soon as possible. An experienced lawyer can manage your claim from start to finish and demand maximum compensation on your behalf.

What Is Auto Negligence in Oklahoma?

Anyone operating a car must exercise reasonable caution and should drive responsibly. Failure to do so is considered auto negligence and can put other drivers at risk.

Examples of negligence behind the wheel in Oklahoma include:

  • Speeding
  • Texting while driving
  • Failing to yield to right of way
  • Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Improper signaling
  • Not obeying traffic signs
  • Disregard for traffic laws

Do I Need to Get an Accident Report from the Police?

In most cases, yes. Under Oklahoma law, you are required to report car accidents that cause injury or death. Even if you’re not sure if anyone has been seriously hurt, you should still file an official police report. The police report will be used as a key piece of evidence for determining fault if you decide to file a claim for compensation.

Should I Take a Settlement from the Other Person’s Insurance Company?

The decision is up to you, but keep in mind that the other driver’s insurance company will do everything to protect its own interests. It will likely try to offer you the lowest possible settlement. This is why it’s best to leave negotiations to an attorney. An attorney understands what full compensation should be in your case and will fight for what is fair.

How Can an Attorney Help Me?

The other driver’s insurance company is relying on the fact that you are probably unfamiliar with your rights after a crash. Fortunately, when you contact an experienced car accident lawyer from Edwards & Patterson Law, you can rest easier knowing that someone is fighting for the full compensation you deserve.

If you were hurt in a car accident in Oklahoma, let our team put our skills, experience, and extensive resources to work for you. Call us or reach out to us online to schedule a free consultation today.

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  • Contact Edwards & Patterson Law Firm today for a free consultation.
  • Contact Edwards & Patterson Law Firm today for a free consultation.
  • Contact Edwards & Patterson Law Firm today for a free consultation.
  • Contact Edwards & Patterson Law Firm today for a free consultation.
  • Contact Edwards & Patterson Law Firm today for a free consultation.
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