Following an accident caused by another party and their negligence, the state of Oklahoma allows victims to pursue the recovery of their damages and seek financial compensation for the injuries and trauma they have been subjected to as a result.
Personal injury lawsuits can be raised for a wide variety of accidents and injuries, such as in the event of a car or truck accident, slips trips and falls on private property, drowning injuries, bicycle accidents, and any other situation where you suffered serious injuries through no fault of your own.
However, while you are entitled to pursue compensation by yourself, it is rarely a good idea to pursue compensation without the help of a skilled personal injury lawyer fighting your case. A personal injury attorney with experience in handling cases just like yours will ensure you have the best fighting chance to secure the financial compensation that fully represents your injuries, pain and suffering, and future medical treatment.
OKC Injury Lawyer – Fierce Advocacy for Your Personal Injury Claims
Here at OKC Injury Lawyer, our history of successful cases means we are ready and waiting to take your case on. We have a reputation for fierce advocacy here, and this means that our name is well known to the insurance companies across the state, especially in Oklahoma City, OK.
This reputation means that the insurance companies and their legal teams, who have the sole task of devaluing your claims, know that we don’t back down and we don’t settle for less. If we are not happy with settlement negotiations, we are more than happy to fight on your behalf in court to secure you an outcome that we believe is acceptable.
When it comes to the victims of injuries caused by someone else, OKC Injury Lawyer is a law firm passionate about providing legal representation and fierce advocacy without the fear of financial loss if the case is not successful. We work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you pay no upfront costs and no costs until, and only until, we win your case. If we lose your case, you will not pay us anything. This means we take the financial risks on behalf of our clients, allowing them to pursue justice and compensation from those who have wronged them without fear.
It starts with a free consultation, which gives you space to ask the important questions you need to ask and gives us the opportunity to evaluate your case. Unfortunately, some cases are not valid, and if we decide your case is not going to be successful, we will tell you why and explain. If we think your case is sound and meets the requirements for proving negligence, we will explain how our fee structure works, and then the decision is down to you. If you are happy with our explanation, we can start right away, taking the case on the spot.
Our priority is our clients, and this means we always take the time to foster a confidence inspiring attorney client relationship from the get go. We promise to educate you where necessary, and keep you well-informed about what is going on. Unlike some law firms, we keep you involved and ensure you are never left in the dark. We are not just your advocates, we are here to listen to your story, providing a sympathetic ear when you need it most.
Call us today at 405-276-4803.
What are Damages, and What Can I Recover in a Personal Injury Case in Oklahoma City, OK
Following any personal injury accident, most victims wonder how the compensation is calculated and how much they will get.
As most personal injury cases (around 75% of them) settle outside of court, most settlements are decided upon in negotiations between your attorney and the other parties’ insurance company.
When your attorney is approaching the negotiations, they will need to have calculated what they believe the case to be worth in terms of compensation to give them the base to negotiate from.
The key to successful settlement negotiations is to calculate your damages in a fair and reasonable manner that makes them hard to dispute. Outlandish claims that are not backed up by evidence and a compelling case are more likely to be dismissed by the other party. This is one of the reasons why your attorney’s experience in calculating damages in previous cases is invaluable.
To begin with, your attorney will need to calculate what your economic damages are. These damages have caused you economic losses, such as medical bills, lost wages, and property damage. These are the easiest to support and evidence, as long as you have receipts and bills, so make sure you keep a record of all the costs you have incurred as a result of your injury, as it will make it easier for your attorney to evidence their claims.
The next task is to gauge how severe your pain and suffering were, which is the physical pain you have been through, the mental and emotional trauma you have had to deal with and will have to deal with, and any loss of enjoyment to your way of life.
Experience is key in calculating non-economic damages like this as it is completely subjective, and so it is completely up to your attorneys’ discretion.
Often, your non-economic damages are the more substantial, as many attorneys use a 1-5 multiplier that they apply to your total economic damages depending upon how severe your pain and suffering was. A painful injury with a short recovery time may be a 2-3x multiplier, and an injury that needs lifelong treatment and causes chronic pain may be a 4-5x.
Your economic damages are usually pretty straightforward. There will be clear figures that simply need evidence with supporting documents, such as a repair bill for your car, or the medical bills for your treatment.
Your economic damages include:
When someone is injured in Oklahoma City, OK, it is extremely rare that they will need to take no time at all away from their job to receive treatment or recover. When people are injured and do have to take time off, the result is often a reduction in earnings, either partially or their whole wage, depending on their job.
With the way the world is now and the cost of living, many families and individuals do not have a nest egg of savings to keep them afloat in an emergency, and when you may be dealing with medical costs and the repair bill for your car, it can leave victims in a place of financial hardship, stress, and anxiety if they miss out on wages too.
You should never be left out of pocket because you have been injured by another party’s negligence, and this includes your lost wages. Fortunately, if your case is successful, your attorney will help you document and recover all of the wages you have lost as a result of the accident. You will be able to claim all lost income as part of a personal injury lawsuit, both past, and future.
This means that if you have been injured to the point where you will not be able to return to work for a prolonged period, or in the most serious cases, ever again, your attorney will need to consider what you should be compensated to cover this. If you have lost your potential to work in the future, your compensation should be equal to what you could have earned over your lifetime.
Medical care is costly, especially in Oklahoma City, OK and following any serious injury, you are likely to incur serious medical costs. For some, medical insurance may be sufficient but even those with strong coverage may be surprised by how fast their coverage runs out. For those that don’t have healthcare, you may be left in a terrible situation, having to front medical costs yourself until you can recover them.
By working with an experienced personal injury lawyer, you will be able to compile a timeline of your medical expenses, supported by receipts and invoices, and this will allow you to recover every penny of it, from treatment, to hospital food and transport to and from the hospital.
It is worth remembering, however, that your ability to recover all of your expenses depends on you keeping records and copies of all the invoices and treatment costs. We highly recommend keeping a diary of your treatment, and if possible, a daily journal that includes your pain levels, your mood levels, and how you are feeling.
The next job your attorney will need to carry out before they can approach the negotiation table with the other party is to look at your non-economic damages and judge their severity by using whatever method they have developed.
This is where an experienced personal injury attorney really shines. The more cases they have handled that involve non-economic damages, the more accurate they will be when it comes to calculating your non-economic damages in a manner that makes them difficult to argue with. This is not a simple task as your damages will have no clear figures attached.
Pain and Suffering
Usually, the most substantial of all the damages, your pain and suffering, is the compensation part of your settlement. Economic damages allow you to recover what you have lost, but your pain and suffering compensates you for what you have been through.
Loss of Enjoyment of Life
Another non-economic damage that may increase the multiplier your attorney uses, is any loss of enjoyment of life that you have suffered as a result of the accident. This is to compensate you for any changes to your life that the accident has caused.
An example of this would be for people involved in motor vehicle accidents that suffer injuries that mean they can no longer drive a car, or for a father who has suffered back injuries in a slip and fall that means he can no longer carry his daughter to bed.
If these injuries are permanent, they are going to have a long-term effect on the quality and enjoyment of your life, and this should always be included in any compensation.
What Qualifies a Person To Make a Personal Injury Claim in Oklahoma City, OK
Personal injury cases are usually brought on the grounds of negligence. In regard to the law, this means there will be four important elements that need to be proven by your attorney for your case to be valid.
The very first element is that the other party must have held a legal obligation, a duty of care, to act in a manner that protects others from harm or injury. There are a number of reasons why you might assume a duty of care to someone, but the common ones are:
- The duty of care all road users assume to other road users.
- The duty of care all medical providers assume to their patients.
- The duty of care private property owners owe to visitors to the property.
The next element is that the person who was at fault for the accident must have breached their duty of care with the actions that led to the accident. To breach the duty of care, you must have acted unreasonably, meaning differently from how a reasonable individual would act in the same situation. If you were texting while driving and caused an accident, this is unreasonable behavior, as a safe driver would not text behind the wheel.
The third element is causation, which means that the accident directly caused your injuries. The best way to prove this is to seek immediate medical care for any injuries you have after an accident so that you have documentation of your injuries close to the accident happening.
The last element of a negligence case, is that the injuries you have suffered have led you to suffer economic and non-economic damages. These are the damages you are seeking.
Don’t worry if you are unsure about where you stand in terms of the four elements of negligence. During your free consultation with one of our team, we will be able to evaluate whether your case is likely to tick all four boxes.
Common Personal Injury Case Types
We handle a wide variety of cases each year, and this means we see different types of injuries and accidents every single day. Certain cases are more common than others however, and this means that for certain injury types, we will have handled cases just like them before, giving us an advantage that means we can tailor a bespoke strategy based on previous success.
The most common forms of injury come from:
Slip and Fall or Trip and Fall Injuries
Slips, trips, and falls are a common injury type and occur for a wide variety of reasons, from unmarked excavations to messy warehouses, falls from ladders to wet floors.
If they happen while you are on private property, the case may fall under premise liability law. This means that if you can prove the owner of the property knew of the hazard and failed to act accordingly, they may be liable for your damages.
This is because property owners owe a legal duty of care to visitors to the property.
Car Accident Injuries
The most common personal injury case type in the entire country is a car accident case. This means we see more car accident victims than anything else. These cases often result in compensation claims because of the fact that all road users automatically owe a duty of care to make sure they act in a way that protects other users of the road, automatically ticking the first box of the four elements of negligence.
Medical Malpractice Injuries
Healthcare is expensive, with the United States having the highest cost per person on average for medical care in the world and by a fair margin. The average American medical cost per person is $12,000, with the second country being Germany at $7000, a $5000 difference.
For this cost, you should be able to seek medical help without the fear that your medical providers are incompetent.
Unfortunately, that is not always the case, and when our medical providers act negligently, by deviating from the standards of medical practice, or by neglecting to give their patients the full due care and attention they deserve, the results can be serious catastrophic injuries that affect a person for the rest of their lives. This is called medical malpractice.
Medical malpractice cases are notoriously difficult to win, and if you have suffered from the following, you must get in touch with an experienced personal injury lawyer that handles medical malpractice cases immediately.
- Failed and Delayed Diagnosis – When presented with the symptoms of a patient, a doctor should be able to accurately diagnose the problems in a timely manner that allows for quick and efficient treatment. Any delay in this process, or worse, if a doctor fails to diagnose what is wrong, can lead to further injuries, even the wrongful death of a patient.
- Misdiagnosis – If your medical provider diagnoses a patient with the wrong condition, they may receive treatment for a different condition. At best, this may lead to aggravation of previous conditions, at worst, it may prove fatal.
- Surgical Error – Surgeons are trained for many, many years to become qualified, and this means they should know full well the importance of following medical practices and providing the full due care and attention a patient deserves. When they do not, the results can be horrific, including operating on the wrong body part, leaving tools inside a patient, or performing the wrong surgery.
- Wrongful Death Claims – There is no financial compensation that will ever reduce the grief of losing a loved one to negligent medical providers, but compensation is still important as it provides financial security for the family while they deal with what has happened.
Which Oklahoma City, OK Personal Injury Lawyer Should I Hire to Represent Me?
The first step for victims who wish to pursue compensation is to find an attorney to represent them. This may be a difficult task, especially if you have never needed an attorney to represent you before.
Often, law firms will attempt to win your attention with tv ads and billboards. While this does not mean they are bad, it does not mean they are good. We recommend looking past these advertisements and researching your attorney through independent sites like AVVO. These sites assign a ranking system to attorneys based on their past victories, peer reviews, accolades, and accreditations.
Once you have found a lawyer that has a proven track record for winning cases similar to yours, you should call them to arrange a free consultation with them.
During this meeting, you should look for the following:
Past Victories in Similar Cases
Usually, the best personal injury law firm for the job is one that has won the most cases that are similar to yours in the past. This means your first question should always be how many cases, similar to mine, have you won?
Serious personal injury cases may take several years before they are completed, and this means you may be spending a lot of time with your Oklahoma personal injury attorneys during this time. You should always make sure you are comfortable with your law firm and its attorneys, as you may have to discuss personal matters and spend a long time talking to them over the next few years.
A good law firm will not usually have to rely on advertisements that much as they will have a busy caseload of clients that come from referrals. This means they should have excellent time management skills that allow them to allocate adequate time to every client and their case depending on where their time needs to be spent.
This means you should never expect access to them around the clock, but they should always reply in a timely manner and allocate you the time you deserve.
What to Do at The Scene of the Accident
As the immediate aftermath of the accident is going to be examined during your case, it is important that you follow certain steps if possible.
Prioritize Your Safety
Your most important priority is to make sure that you prioritize your own safety and health above all else, including your case. If you have hit your head, or feel pain in the neck, shoulders, or back, do not move until an ambulance has been called to the scene and can assess you.
If your injuries allow you to move safely and you are certain you have not hit your head, you should move away from any further danger immediately and then assess the situation. At this point, if it is safe to do so, assess any other victims or the at-fault party for injuries.
Call an Ambulance if There are Injuries
If there are any injuries whatsoever, you must call an ambulance to the scene immediately. Remember, you are not a qualified paramedic, and certain injuries may have no outward symptoms, especially when adrenaline is flowing, or people are in a state of shock.
The ambulance team will ensure everyone is safe and everyone’s injuries are dealt with and if necessary, will transport emergency victims to the hospital. It is also important that they check you over for injuries, no matter how minor they may seem.
The ambulance team will always file an accident report that can be accessed later on as a piece of unbiased evidence in your case. It is an extremely useful piece of evidence that can help prove causation, the third element of negligence.
Call the Police/Fire Department
If you have been involved in a traffic accident, the police should be called to the scene to make the road safe and handle any criminal activity, such as drunk drivers. This is crucial because if the driver was drunk, a blood alcohol test should be carried out. If they are over the limit, it becomes much easier to assign liability to them
The police will also file an emergency accident report that can be accessed later on down the line.
If there were any fires, electricity, gas, explosion, or structural collapse, call for the fire department at the same time.
If you are confident that you are in a safe condition to do so, it will be really helpful to your attorney if you can collect any evidence fresh on the scene. The way we recommend to do this is to video the scene and over the top, record a brief voice statement of what happened in your own words.
If you are lucky enough to have eye-witnesses that wish to cooperate with you, you should collect their details as soon as possible. If they are willing, a statement from them would be even better as your attorney will simply need them to confirm it when they contact them at a later date. This is much less likely to result in witnesses becoming unreliable.
Call a Team of Oklahoma City, OK, Personal Injury Attorneys
At some point, after the ambulance has been called, you should call a personal injury lawyer. They will advise you on what to do, and what not to do to protect your case. If necessary, they may also send an investigation team to the accident scene, especially if you have been taken away by an ambulance.
The sooner you involve a personal injury lawyer in your case, the stronger your chances of success are. This is because evidence is always more concrete and often easier to find closer to the event. This includes things like CCTV footage that may be wiped daily or weekly.
They will also take over liaising with all of the parties, removing you from the task and giving you the space to focus on recovery and your mental well-being.
Oklahoma City, OK Personal Injury FAQ
There is no average or definitive answer to this question. Simply put, the more complicated the case, the longer it will take.
There are a number of factors that influence the time it takes, such as the skill of your attorney, the skill of their legal team, the clarity of what happened, and the severity of your injuries.
Most attorneys in the personal injury arena in Oklahoma City, OK work on a contingency fee basis that allows us to work for clients without the need for upfront costs or financial loss in the event a case is lost.
Your personal injury lawyers will explain this to you in the initial consultation, making sure you understand the fee structure in a clear manner.
Around 7 out of 10 personal injury cases settle outside of court. This is usually because attorneys will not take on a case unless it meets the criteria and most insurance companies know that they will likely lose while incurring court costs on top.
However, 30% of cases will need to be fought out in court, and this is where it is so crucial that you make sure your attorney is equally skilled in litigation as they are in negotiation. This ensures they are capable of fighting a trial.
Often the reputation of your attorney will play a huge factor here; the better the reputation your attorney has as a fierce trial attorney, the more likely the other party will settle to avoid a court battle they will likely lose against them.
Call an Oklahoma City Personal Injury Lawyer
Here at OKC Injury Lawyer, we handle Oklahoma personal injury cases on a daily basis. We have a long history of successful cases under our belt, and each of our attorneys is a fierce trial lawyer and aggressive negotiator. This means when you hire an attorney from our team, you get a fierce advocate every single time. One that will fight their hardest and will not rest until every avenue has been explored