Did you or a loved one recently get hurt in a car accident in Oklahoma City? If so, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain, and suffering. The experienced Oklahoma City car accident lawyers at McGuire Law Firm will help you fight to maximize your financial recovery. Call us today at (405) 513-5658 for a free consultation.
This way, you have the opportunity to sit down with our small family firm and learn about your case from attorneys who have decades of experience helping crash victims just like you. To get started, all you have to do is give our law office a call to schedule a time to chat. It’s that simple.
Oklahoma City, OK Car Accident Statistics
Oklahoma City has some of the busiest, most congested, and crowded roads in the midwest. In fact, Oklahoma City is one of the country’s 10 most dangerous cities to drive in. So, it makes sense that one out of every four car accidents in the state of Oklahoma occurs in Oklahoma City. In 2018, there were a total of 71,280 collisions in the state. 21,286 of those crashes were within the city’s limits.
That’s roughly 50 car accidents in Oklahoma City every single day.
How serious are the collisions in Oklahoma City? They range from minor fender benders to deadly. In 2018, Oklahoma City saw:
- 72 fatal car accidents
- 339 incapacitating car accidents
- 394 non-incapacitating car accidents, and
- 3,526 possible injury car accidents.
So, roughly 25 percent of car accidents in Oklahoma City result in a probable injury, injury, or death.
Which Roads and Intersections in Oklahoma City Are the Most Dangerous?
Accidents happen everywhere across the city. However, certain intersections and stretches of road tend to see a lot of crashes. The following have been identified as some of the most dangerous roads and intersections in Oklahoma City:
- Lake Hefner Parkway
- Kilpatrick Turnpike
- Oklahoma City Blvd and Klein Ave
- N.W. Expressway and Belle Isle Blvd
- N.W. Expressway and Rockwell
- N.W. Expressway and Portland
- N.W. Expressway and N.W. 63rd St.
- N.W. Expressway and Lake Hefner Parkway
- N.W. Expressway and Pennsylvania Ave
- N.W. 39th Expressway and Meridian
- N. MacArthur and Reno Ave, and
- S. Western Ave. and S.W. 59th St.
You might be able to decrease the risk of getting into an accident by avoiding these stretches of road, especially during rush hour or other particularly busy times of the day.
Why Should I Hire an Oklahoma City Car Accident Attorney After a Car Crash
Life can get complicated after an unexpected crash in Oklahoma City, OK. You might struggle with painful injuries and be unable to work. Depending on the severity of your injuries, you could even be faced with the reality of a permanent disability. That could fundamentally interfere with your ability to live and enjoy your life for years to come. If someone else caused your accident, they have be held legally and financially accountable for the consequences.
While you may have the right to seek damages after a collision, getting money in your hands can be difficult. Negligent and at-fault parties won’t just rush to accept responsibility. Insurance companies will search for any way to deny your claim. They might even try to blame you. In order to successfully secure the compensation you deserve, you’ll have to stand up and demand what you’re rightfully owed.
This can be tough when you’re trying to focus on getting better. Fortunately, you don’t have to do it on your own. Hiring an experienced Oklahoma City personal injury attorney will not only level the playing field and position you for a substantial recovery, but also give you time to get back on your feet.
At McGuire Law Firm, we’ve been fighting on behalf of car accident victims in Oklahoma since 2007. Our car accident lawyers have a combined 60 years of legal experience – including more than 17 years defending insurance companies. So, our small family firm is uniquely prepared to address the challenges and roadblocks insurance companies will throw your way. We draw on our inside knowledge of how insurance companies operate and handle claims to the benefit of our clients every single day.
When you call us for help after a crash, we will work diligently to secure all of the compensation you need and deserve. You can expect us to:
- Listen carefully to your side of the story so that we can begin to form a foundation for your case
- Conduct a thorough investigation and look at your crash from all possible angles
- Gather and scrutinize all relevant evidence, including police reports, medical records, photographs or video footage, and more
- Bring in experts – including accident reconstructionists and forensics specialists – to help us understand, step-by-step, what happened and caused the crash
- Handle all court filings and paperwork
- Take care of the communication with insurance companies and interested parties
- Stand up and protect you if and when you are blamed by other parties
- Build a persuasive trial-ready claim in order to negotiate a settlement on your behalf.
If insurance companies refuse to cooperate and extend a fair offer, our law firm will not hesitate to bring your case to a jury. However, insurance companies in Oklahoma City know our track record in court. So, they’ll probably be eager to avoid a showdown with us at trial. Our experience and past successes can be a huge asset to you right from the start.
Our attorneys will keep you in the loop every step of the way. If you have a question – call. You’ll get your attorney on the line, not law firm support staff. Our car accident attorneys are here to help you in any way that you can, whenever you need it. So, give us a call to arrange a free consultation today to learn more.
What Are the Leading Causes of Car Accidents in Oklahoma City?
Car accidents aren’t uncommon in Oklahoma City. But, why? A crash can happen for a lot of different reasons. However, there are factors that tend to contribute to a lot of accidents in Oklahoma City.
When a driver’s eyes aren’t on the road, hands aren’t on the wheel, or mind isn’t on the task at hand, they’re distracted. Unfortunately, distractions are a leading cause of car accidents across the country and right here in Oklahoma City. When a driver looks away from the road to read a text or engages in a heated conversation with a passenger, they lose the ability to drive safely.
Distracted drivers are much more likely to speed, lose control of their vehicle, run a red light or stop sign, or fail to notice stopped traffic in front of them. Studies show that even a small distraction lasting only a few seconds can significantly increase the odds of a crash.
In 2018, there were 1,884 distracted driving car accidents in Oklahoma City. That’s roughly 10 percent of all collisions in the city.
Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is never safe. However, that doesn’t stop some people from getting behind the wheel while impaired. Impaired drivers have reduced reaction times, are more likely to fall asleep, and are prone to engage in risky behaviors on the road.
Oklahoma City’s roads and highways see a lot of traffic. It can take a while to get from one place to another. That can become frustrating for some drivers. So, when there’s the opporuntity to do so, many drivers exceed the speed limit. However, speeding is associated with an increased risk of getting into an accident – especially a fatal one.
In 2018, there were 1,217 car accidents in Oklahoma City where speed was a factor.
Tailgating, or following too closely, leads to a lot of car accidents in Oklahoma City. When a driver fails to leave an adequate cushion of space between vehicles, they simply don’t have enough time to react or stop their car when traffic conditions change. Note that the driver of the rear vehicle in a rear-end collision is often, but not always, responsible for these types of crashes.
Sometimes accidents happen, despite the fact that everyone involved in the collision was driving cautiously. In some instances, it’s due to the fact that a vehicle or piece of safety equipment failed or was defective. This might include faulty brakes or a dangerous exploding airbag. When a vehicle defect contributes to a crash, the company responsible for the product can be on the hook for resulting harm.
Hazardous Road Conditions
Again, not all accidents are caused by drivers. There are times when hazardous or dangerous road conditions will contribute to a crash. Examples include potholes, uneven road surfaces, or obscured signs or traffic lights. When road defects, poor road design, or hazardous road conditions lead to an accident, the government agency responsible for that stretch of road could be liable for the consequences.
Attempting to Beat a Red Light
Intersections are dangerous. This is where cars, bicyclists, and pedestrians are most likely to cross paths. This is where vehicles traveling in different directions meet. This is where turns are executed. There’s a lot going on. When a driver is in a rush and attempts to beat a red or yellow light at an intersection in Oklahoma City, the consequences can be disastrous.
When the weather is bad, drivers have to use extra caution behind the wheel. Even a little bit of wind or rain can make Oklahoma City’s roads much more difficult to navigate safely. Cars can hydroplane. It becomes more difficult to see. Road surfaces are slick and impair the ability to brake. So, when drivers aren’t extra careful, the weather can increase the likelihood of a crash.
If you’ve been injured in an Oklahoma City car accident, call McGuire Law Firm to learn about your legal rights and options. Our experienced personal injury attorneys would be more than happy to discuss your case and address any questions you might have. Your initial case evaluation is free, so reach out to us to schedule yours today.
Time of Day
It can be more dangerous to drive around Oklahoma City at certain times of the day. This is particularly true at night, after the sun has set. When driving at night, it can be more difficult to see your surroundings. At the same time, you’re more likely to share the road with drivers who are either drunk, impaired, or fatigued.
We Will Help You Fight For Compensation For All of Your Car Accident Injuries
Whether you’re involved in a rear-end collision, sideswipe crash, or rollover car accident, you can sustain serious, life-changing injuries. At McGuire Law Firm, we are prepared to help you fight to demand the compensation you’ll need as you recover and get back on your feet. We represent clients who, after being involved in a motor vehicle accident in Oklahoma City, sustained:
- Chest injury
- Crushing injury
- Broken bones and fractures
- Head injury
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord injury
- Catastrophic injury
- Burns, and more.
Sadly, there are dozens of fatal crashes in Oklahoma City every year. If you’ve lost a family member in a fatal Oklahoma City car accident, our lawyers can help you navigate a wrongful death action against the responsible party. While money won’t bring your loved one back, it can absolutely make a difference in your life for years to come. Contact our compassionate team today to learn more.
What If I’m Blamed For My Car Accident?
After an accident, don’t be surprised if no one rushes to accept responsibility. You also shouldn’t be surprised if other parties or their insurance providers point fingers and attempt to blame you. It’s a common tactic.
If successful, it can interfere with your ability to recover compensation. That’s because Oklahoma has modified comparative negligence rules. This means that fault is divided up and allocated between everyone who plays a role in causing a crash – including those who got hurt.
Sharing some responsibility and blame for an accident will affect your ability to seek and secure monetary damages. In simple terms:
- You’re entitled to a reduced financial award if you share less than 50 percent of the blame for your accident, and
- You’ll be barred from a financial recovery if you share more than 50 percent of the responsibility for the wreck.
The less fault that’s allocated to you, the better. That’s why it’s critical to disprove the allegations that you share blame or, at the very least, minimize the degree of fault that’s assigned to you. McGuire Law Firm knows what steps have to be taken to protect you and your ability to recover compensation.
We’ll carefully investigate the circumstances of your crash, searching for any reason or evidence that shifts blame away from you. Our team will invest the time, resources, and legal manpower that are necessary to protect you and maximize your recovery.
Who is Liable For My Car Accident Injuries?
Under Oklahoma state law, anyone who contributes to a car accident can be held legally and financially responsible for the consequences.
That means you could get compensation for numerous parties. So, you could potentially have a legitimate claim against:
- Drivers of other passenger cars
- The driver of your vehicle, if you were a passenger
- A passenger in your vehicle, if you were the driver
- Truck drivers
- Bus drivers
- Trucking companies
- Transit companies
- Uber drivers or Lyft drivers
- Vehicle manufacturers
- Mechanics or vehicle repair shops
- Government agencies, and
- Employers of negligent parties.
McGuire Law Firm will conduct an exhaustive inquiry into the circumstances of your car accident in Oklahoma City. Our goal will be to determine the cause(s). Once we know why your accident occurred, we can use that information to identify who might be at fault. We can aggressively pursue monetary damages from anyone who played even the slightest role in your crash.
What Damages Are Available After a Car Accident in Oklahoma City?
The costs of an unexpected car accident in Oklahoma City can be extraordinary. Depending on the seriousness of your physical injuries, the financial repercussions can cost tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars.
According to the National Safety Council, a disabling injury will cost, on average, $96,200 over the course of a victim’s life. That doesn’t even take into account the intangible consequences of an accident, such as chronic pain or emotional distress.
Fortunately, after an accident, you can seek to be compensated for all of your injuries, damages, and suffering from responsible parties. In Oklahoma, compensatory damages fall into one of two categories – economic damages and non-economic damages.
There are certain costs of an accident that are fairly easy to calculate in terms of dollars and cents. They’re present and future costs, expenses, and losses that are associated with an accident or resulting injuries. These are called economic damages. Commonly awarded economic damages include:
- Hospitalization, surgery, medication, medical devices, and other medical expenses
- Lost income and wages
- Temporary and permanent disability
- Property damage
- Nursing care, and
By recovering compensation for these economic losses, you should be put back in the financial situation you were in before the accident.
Not all consequences of an accident come with a receipt or have a set monetary value. However, these consequences can still be impactful or devastating. Non-economic damages are paid to compensate for these intangible, subjective injuries. Examples include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Disfigurement and scarring, and
- Loss of consortium.
Non-economic awards can be difficult to calculate. That’s why McGuire Law Firm will turn to experts for help as we determine what your case is worth.
We’ll bring in medical professionals to help us understand the extent and severity of your injuries. We’ll turn to therapists and psychologists to better understand how those injuries and the trauma of the crash might impact your ability to live and enjoy your life. We’ll consult with vocational rehabilitation specialists to assess how your injuries might affect your ability to go back to work. If there’s an expert who can shed some light on your case and help us construct a strong claim, we’ll make the call.
Caps on Compensatory Damages in Oklahoma
In Oklahoma, there are no limits on the amount of economic damages that can be awarded to car accident victims. However, the state does impose a cap on non-economic awards – $350,000. There is one exception to this rule. No cap applies when a defendant’s “acts or failures to act” were reckless, grossly negligent, fraudulent, intentional, or malicious.
Punitive Damages Are Only Available Under Certain Circumstances
There’s also something called “punitive damages. Punitive awards are, as the name suggests, intended to punish the defendant for their actions. So, punitive damages are only available in situations when the defendant’s conduct is so outrageous or egregious that punishment is believed to be necessary.
Punitive damages, when awarded, are capped at $100,000 or twice the value of any actual damages awarded.
How Long Do I Have to File A Car Accident Claim in Oklahoma?
It depends on what type of claim you decide to file. We know that you need to rest and focus on getting better, but you still need to act fast. The McGuire Law Firm can handle your case and stay on top of deadlines so you don’t have to. Here are some of the most common types of claims and their time limitations:
Insurance Claims: Oklahoma is a fault insurance state. This means that the insurance company for the at-fault party will typically be the primary source of compensation after an accident. Insurance companies in Oklahoma set the rules regarding when a claim for benefits must be submitted. In most cases, insurers require notice of an intent to file a claim within a reasonable amount of time after a crash. What’s reasonable depends on the company’s own rules and policies.
Personal Injury Lawsuit: If your insurance claim is denied or if your damages exceed an insurance policy’s limits, you can file a personal injury lawsuit against at-fault parties. In Oklahoma, the statute of limitations for most car accident lawsuits is two years. The clock begins to run at the time of your accident. However, there are times when you might have a legitimate reason to toll – or pause – the statute of limitations for a period of time. This might be true if you didn’t discover your injuries right away or if you were a minor when you got hurt.
Government Claim: Claims for damages against the government – including Oklahoma City, Oklahoma County, or state of Oklahoma – are subject to an accelerated timeline. You’ll only have one year to file a special administrative claim to request compensation. If the government denies your request or fails to respond, you’ll then have 90 days to file a civil lawsuit.
Claim for Workers’ Compensation Benefits: You could potentially be entitled to receive benefits from your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance policy if you were injured in a car accident at work. “At work” means that you were injured while you were on the clock and performing a task in the scope of your duties. You’ll have up to 30 days to file a claim for workers’ compensation.
You do not want to miss the deadline that’s applicable to your case. If you wait too long, you’ll be barred from bringing a claim and recovering the compensation that you deserve. So, the best course of action is to reach out to McGuire Law Firm as soon as you can after a collision in Oklahoma. We can get to work on your case right away, working hard to ensure that all statute of limitation requirements are met on time.
What Happens If an Insurance Company Acts in Bad Faith?
An insurance policy is a contract. As long as a policy is in good standing, an insurer has a legal duty to fulfill its side of the bargain. That means considering the claim in good faith. However, doing that can cut into profits. So, some companies engage in deceptive, deceitful, and manipulative practices to limit the amount of money they pay out to injured crash victims like you.
These bad faith practices might include:
- Denying a claim without reason
- Not conducting a thorough or unbiased investigation into an accident
- Failing to respond to a claim within a timely manner, or
- Not issuing a timely payment once a settlement has been reached or verdict entered.
At McGuire Law Firm, our lawyers know what bad faith practices look like. Our founding lawyer, Kent McGuire, spent more than 17 years defending insurers against bad faith claims. Today, he uses that knowledge and insight to hold the most powerful companies in the state accountable. When you’re represented by McGuire Law Firm, insurers have to play by the rules. If they don’t, they know that we will not hesitate to bring a bad faith action and make them pay.
What Should I Do After a Car Accident in Oklahoma City?
First, don’t panic. Try to remain calm. It’s really important, because the decisions you make after your accident can have a massive impact on any legal claims you decide to pursue. So, following an auto accident in Oklahoma City, keep these things in mind.
Stay at the Scene: The last thing you want is to be charged with a hit and run. So, obey the law and stay at the scene of the accident until the police arrive or you’re transported to the nearest hospital.
Move Over: Don’t stay in the middle of the road. If you can, move your vehicle over to the side of the road or to a spot that’s out of the way. If your car is totaled, leave it behind as you seek safety on the side of the road.
Call the Police: Take a moment to call 911 or the local police. You’ll want to make sure that an officer is dispatched the scene, as well as an ambulance if anyone has been seriously injured.
Don’t Apologize: While it might seem necessary or nice, resist the urge to apologize for the accident. Other parties will definitely try to use your apology against you down the line. The best thing you can do is to see if anyone needs medical assistance, call for help, and wait quietly for the police to arrive.
Seek Medical Attention: Always go to the hospital or doctor after a car accident in Oklahoma City. This is the only way to ensure that your injuries are diagnosed and treated promptly. It’s also the only way to make sure that there’s documentation that can establish a causal link between the crash and your injuries. The more time that goes by before you seek help, the weaker the causal link will be. That can prove to be disastrous for your injury claim.
Take Photographs: There’s an old saying, “pictures are worth 1,000 words.” It’s true. Photographs of the scene of the accident, your injuries, and property damage can be invaluable to your attorney if you decide to file a lawsuit. So, take a few moments and take a few pictures. The information contained in those photos could be invaluable.
Get a Copy of the Police Report: When the police arrive on the scene they’ll conduct a preliminary investigation into the crash. They’ll record that, as well as details relevant to the accident, in a police report. This report can be extremely helpful to your attorneys as we begin to investigate your accident.
Don’t Speak With Insurance Adjusters: You might get a call from an insurance adjuster after your accident. They might work for your provider or a third party’s. Either way, they’re not calling out of the goodness of their heart. Rather, they’re probably calling to get you to say something on the record that can be used to hurt your claim for benefits. Other than offering some basic information – insurance details, name, address, phone number – don’t engage in conversion. Adjusters are masters of manipulation and will do anything to help their employer deny or devalue your claim.
Reject Early Offers: Insurance companies might be quick to offer you a settlement after an accident. The only reason for this is to get you to accept way less money than your case is worth Adjusters might be quick to offer a settlement when they know that you have a solid case. So, they’ll attempt to pressure you or scare you into accepting money now. However, taking money now could do a lot of damage in the long run. That’s because the company will want you to sign a waiver when you accept the offer. In doing so, you’d be barred from seeking additional compensation in the future, regardless of what your accident ends up costing you.
Hire a Personal Injury Attorney in Oklahoma City: Car accidents are stressful. Insurance companies and other parties aren’t on your side. They’ll make things even more difficult. Fortunately, you don’t have to navigate the claims process on your own. Let McGuire Law Firm handle your legal pursuit of compensation. We’ll communicate with other parties. We’ll deal with the insurance companies and make them play by the rules. We’ll take care of every aspect of your injury case so that you can focus on getting better. Serving Oklahoma City, our team is always here to help.
Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Oklahoma City Car Accident Lawyers
Has your life been turned upside down because of a car accident in Oklahoma City? Whether you’ve been seriously injured or have lost someone you love in a fatal crash, McGuire Law Firm is here to help.
Our Oklahoma City car accident attorneys will work tirelessly to help you secure a meaningful financial award from at-fault parties. We won’t let insurance companies play games or take advantage of you during this trying time. We’ll be your fiercest advocates and fight to maximize your compensation.
Give our OKC personal injury law firm a call to arrange a time to sit down and discuss legal representation and your case in detail with our team. Your first consultation is 100 percent free, so reach out to us for legal and assistance today.