March 6, 2023 | Car Accidents
Oklahoma drivers must have minimum amounts of car insurance. Unfortunately, many drivers do not have the required car insurance coverage. If you are hit by a driver who does not have insurance in Oklahoma City, your options for receiving compensation for damages may be limited.
What Are the Car Insurance Requirements for Oklahoma City Drivers?
The minimum car insurance coverage in Oklahoma is often referred to as 25/50/25. The insurance requirements are:
- Liability insurance for bodily injury to one person of $25,000
- Liability insurance for bodily injury to two or more people per accident of $50,000
- Property damage insurance coverage of $25,000
Some drivers choose to purchase higher amounts of car insurance. A driver can purchase coverage in the amount of 100/300/100 to protect themselves in case they cause an accident. A driver can be personally liable for the remaining damages if liability insurance does not cover the damages caused by a car crash.
What Can I Do if I Was Hit by a Driver Who Does Not Have Insurance in Oklahoma City?
If a driver does not have liability insurance, your claim might be covered by uninsured motorist coverage. However, you must have uninsured motorist coverage as part of your car insurance policy.
Uninsured motorist coverage compensates you for damages if an uninsured driver causes a car crash. You must prove the following elements to recover compensation:
- The driver who hit you did not have insurance coverage;
- The driver caused the accident; and,
- You sustained damages because of the accident.
If you prove the uninsured driver caused the crash, you can recover compensation for your damages. Unfortunately, the process of filing an uninsured motorist claim might not be straightforward. Your insurance company might deny the claim for several reasons.
Even though you are working with your insurance provider, the insurance adjuster works to reduce the company’s liability for the claim. Therefore, you need to take steps to protect your right to fair compensation for your damages.
What Should You Do After an Accident With an Uninsured Driver?
Gathering evidence is important. If possible, take photographs of the accident scene and make a video with your cell phone. Ask eyewitnesses for their contact information.
Seek medical treatment immediately for your injuries. Keep detailed records of your expenses and costs associated with the accident.
Avoid giving a statement to the insurance adjuster before speaking with an Oklahoma City car accident lawyer. The statements you make could give the insurance company a reason to deny your claim. A skilled personal injury lawyer understands the tactics used by insurance companies and how to prove your case.
What Can I Do if I Cannot File an Uninsured Motorist Claim?
If you do not have uninsured motorist coverage, you can file a personal injury lawsuit against the uninsured driver. You have the burden of proving causation and fault for the car accident.
The legal elements of a negligence claim to prove are:
- The uninsured driver had a duty of care
- The uninsured driver breached the duty of care through their actions or omissions
- The uninsured driver’s breach of duty was the proximate and direct cause of the accident
- You sustained damages and injuries because of the car wreck
The burden of proof is by a preponderance of the evidence. The jurors must believe there is more than a 50% chance that the uninsured driver caused the accident.
Evidence in a personal injury case can include the following:
- Physical evidence from the accident scene
- Photographs of the vehicle and the accident site
- Videos of the collision captured by traffic cameras or nearby surveillance cameras
- Statements made by the drivers and passengers
- Testimony from eyewitnesses
- Opinions and evidence from expert witnesses, including accident reconstructionists
- Medical records and employment records
Unfortunately, receiving a judgment against a driver does not guarantee payment. The driver might not have sufficient funds or income to pay the claim. Therefore, talk with an experienced attorney before filing a lawsuit.
What Compensation Can You Receive for an Uninsured Motorist Claim in Oklahoma City?
Examples of damages you can recover if you file an uninsured motorist claim or a personal injury lawsuit include:
- The cost of medical care and treatment
- Out-of-pocket expenses and costs
- Emotional distress and mental anguish
- The cost of future medical bills for permanent impairments
- Physical pain and suffering
- Loss of income, wages, and benefits
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Personal care and help with household chores
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Diminished earning capacity
- A decrease in quality of life
- Impairments and disabilities
The amount you receive for your claim depends on many factors. The severity and type of injury impact the value of damages. However, the availability of insurance coverage also determines how much money your claim is worth.
Does the Oklahoma Contributory Fault Statute Apply in Uninsured Motorist Claims?
In four states, contributing to the cause of a car accident bars you from receiving any money for your claim. However, Oklahoma has a modified contributory fault law. You are barred from receiving compensation if you are 51% or more at fault for causing the car crash.
You can still recover compensation for damages if you are under 51% at fault. However, your compensation is reduced by your level of fault. Therefore, if you were 15% at fault for the crash, you could only receive 85% of the amount of your damages.
What Is the Deadline for Filing a Claim for an Uninsured Driver Accident in Oklahoma City?
There is a two-year statute of limitations from the accident date for car crashes in Oklahoma. However, you should check your insurance policy to determine if there is a deadline for filing claims or notice of claims.
Also, exceptions to the statute of limitations could change the deadline for filing lawsuits. An Oklahoma car accident attorney can advise you of your legal options and the filing deadlines during a free consultation.
Contact the Oklahoma City Car Accident Lawyers at McGuire Law Firm Today for Free Consultation
We serve throughout Oklahoma and its surrounding areas: