Oklahoma City Personal Injury Attorneys Who Put YOU First

OKC’s first priority should be to keep its people safe. Treat others the way you want to be treated is one of the first things we learn as children, but our laws echo this: we must use reasonable care to keep others from the harm that we may cause.

The most common example is that all drivers must safely follow the rules of the road. Our Oklahoma state statutes at Title 47, Chapter 11, are even titled Rules of the Road. Under the law, drivers must use reasonable care while driving to prevent harm to others. As drivers, we expect other drivers to follow the law. A basic traffic intersection, for example, does not work when drivers refuse to follow the safety rules

This community standard not only applies to people, but to businesses as well. Trucking companies, drug, and product manufacturers must follow basic safety rules to keep us all from harm. Like the basic traffic intersection, the system only works, when the safety rules are enforced and the companies are held accountable. When companies receive a free pass from violating the safety rules, there is nothing to prevent them from doing it again. Conduct rewarded is often conduct repeated. In OKC and the surrounding areas, we want to help protect you from businesses whose actions do you harm.

Personal Injury in Oklahoma City (More Common Than You Think)

According to the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office, in 2018 there were: 655 traffic fatalities, 2,452 serious injuries, and 2,452 serious injuries.

We’ve seen it all. Here’s some situations where we can help:

Child Injury (and Abuse)

Injuries are the leading cause of death for children under the age of 20 in the United States. Many of these injuries are the result of negligence or carelessness. If your child was severely injured or lost their life because of the irresponsible actions of another person or company, Hasbrook & Hasbrook can help you through this difficult time. We know what you are going through, and will fight on your behalf to obtain justice and compensation for your tragic loss.

Common Causes of Child Deaths and Injuries

Consider the following statistics: over 12,000 children die every year as a result of an accidental injury. That’s more than 1,000 children each and every month, or about 33 fatalities per day. Non-fatal injuries are even more prevalent: over nine million per year, according to CDC data. These numbers are simply unacceptable, especially when the death or injury was preventable and was caused by careless actions.

Transportation-related injuries kill more children than any other type of injury. Among transportation accidents, motor vehicle accidents like car accidents and truck accidents are the most prevalent. Other common causes of injuries and deaths among children include suffocation (for children under one year of age) and drowning (for children between one and four years of age). Falls, fires, pedestrian accidents, and bicycle accidents are also widespread.

The leading causes of death and injury among children in the United States vary across age groups, locations, and other factors. The CDC reports that in southern states like Oklahoma, fire- and burn-related deaths were more common than they were in other parts of the country. Among non-fatal injuries, insect stings and animal attacks were another widespread problem. Boys were generally more likely to be injured or killed than girls.

These types of accidents are seldom blameless or caused by a single factor. In many cases, numerous problems and mistakes come together in a way that permits a terrible tragedy to occur. If a child’s death or injury was caused by another person’s failure to take the normal and appropriate safety precautions for the situation, the guilty party may be liable for compensation.

We completely understand that no amount of compensation can undo the accident. However, compensation can help to cover your child’s medical bills, make up for income you lost after taking time off from work, pay for care services you may have had to hire, and keep your family a little more comfortable as you go through this challenging time together. Even more importantly, it can help grant parents and loved ones a sense of closure knowing that justice was served and the negligent party was held accountable for their inexcusable failures.


Nursing Home Injury (and Abuse)

The state of Oklahoma is home to over a hundred nursing homes with thousands of residents. In and around Oklahoma City, there are over thirty different options available to families who have made the tough decision of entrusting the care of their loved ones to a long-term facility. While most facilities take excellent care of their residents, there are others that do anything but. An astounding one in six elderly nursing home residents has experienced some type of abuse or neglect each year. Elderly abuse and neglect can sometimes be difficult to detect.

Types of Nursing Home Abuse

When people think of abuse, they commonly think of physical or emotional abuse. These types of abuses are common in everyday life and in nursing homes, as do sexual and financial abuse. However, there are other types of abuse that are more specific to nursing homes, such as neglect and chemical restraint.

Neglect occurs when the nursing home fails to ensure that its residents are well-fed, clean, do not get bed sores, or otherwise cared for to an appropriate degree given their condition. Chemical restraint involves improperly medicating a resident to make them more docile.

Common Injuries of Nursing Home Neglect

Bed sores, or pressure ulcers, are one of the most common injuries which result from neglect. Pressure ulcers are not a natural effect of aging, but on the contrary, are normally preventable with basic hygiene measures.

Bed sores tend to develop on the boniest areas of the body, such as the hips, ankles, and wrists. They may take weeks or months to develop, depending on the individual. In addition to being extremely painful, bed sores can also lead to serious medical complications, including:

Cancer – Chronic wounds that never heal, called Marjolin’s ulcers, can develop into an aggressive type of skin cancer called squamous cell carcinoma.

Cellulitis – Cellulitis is a bacterial skin infection capable of spreading rapidly and causing death.

Osteomyelitis – Osteomyelitis is a bone infection which typically requires surgical treatment to remove the infected bone.

Sepsis – Sepsis occurs when bacteria from open bed sore wounds passes into the bloodstream, potentially leading to organ failure and death.

Broken bones are also highly common. While it’s true that older adults are more susceptible to fractures due to factors like reduced bone density and difficulty balancing, that still doesn’t excuse or explain a preventable injury, especially since nursing homes are supposed to monitor residents who are known to have a high risk of falling. If you suspect anything untoward going on with your loved one, we can help you get to the bottom of it before any more maltreatment occurs. Call today to schedule a consultation and see how a compassionate attorney can help.


Defective Products

Both federal and Oklahoma state laws hold companies responsible for ensuring that their products will not harm consumers. The Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) is the federal agency in charge of making sure products sold in the United States meet federal safety regulations. If a product does not meet these requirements, it must be recalled and kept off the market until the problem is fixed.

When a product does not work as intended, malfunctions, or otherwise creates a significant risk of harm to a person, it is considered a defective product, and anyone injured by it may be able to recover damages for their injuries. If a defective product causes harm to you, an Oklahoma City defective products lawyer could help identify all possible sources of compensation that could help you pay for your recovery. Call a dedicated attorney today to schedule a consultation.

Laws and Liability for Defective Products

A manufacturer or seller of a product that is defective may be held legally liable for any foreseeable injuries stemming from the faulty product. In fact, any entity along the manufacturing chain could potentially be held liable for a defective product, from the manufacturer of component parts all the way to the owner of the retail store where the defective product was sold.

In Oklahoma City, however, products liability law gives sellers more protection if they sold a defective product. Under Oklahoma Statutes §12-832.1, the manufacturer of a defective product must hold harmless a seller against any product liability action, unless the seller was negligent or intentionally modified or altered the product, in which they could be independently liable for any injuries stemming from the faulty product.

Elements of Products Liability

In order for an injured party to recover compensation in a defective products case, they must first establish that the defendant both manufactured and owned the commercial rights to sell the product in question. Once these two elements are established, the injured party must demonstrate three distinct circumstances that serve to establish liability:

1. The defective product was the actual and proximate cause of the plaintiff’s injuries. In other words, the product’s defect must have been what caused the injury, and the injury must have been a foreseeable result of the defect

2. The injured party must prove the defect existed at the time it left the manufacturer’s possession, or that it existed at the time of sale or once it left the seller’s control

3. The defect made the product unreasonably dangerous

A seasoned defective products attorney in Oklahoma City could help the plaintiff assign liability. In Oklahoma City, manufacturers are generally considered strictly liable for injuries sustained by consumers because of product defects. Essentially, this means that liability does not depend on whether the manufacturer was negligent or intended to do harm. They could be held liable to an injured party regardless of their intent or how much care they exercised.


Accidental Drowning

Every year, more than 60 people across Oklahoma under the age of 15 drown. During the hot months of summer, it is always a treat to be able to hop into the pool and cool off. Parents enjoy taking their children to the local community pool and allowing their youngsters to splash around, however, swimming is not always safe, and unfortunately, can lead to drowning and death. More than three-fourths of drownings occur outdoors in natural bodies of water, including lakes, rivers, creeks, and ponds and these numbers increase during the summer.

Who is Liable in a Drowning Accident?

Trying to determine who is liable when there has been a drowning is not always an easy thing. The answer depends on where and how they were injured. For a person to maintain a premises liability action they need to prove the following:

1. The defendant was in charge of the property
2. That the injured child was the type of person that the defendant could expect to be on the property
3. The defendant did not exercise the proper amount of care
4. The child was injured in a foreseeable way
5. The defendant’s carelessness was a major cause of the child’s injury.

However, children may also be injured by faulty pool drains, which can pin a child underwater. In those cases, you may be able to file a products liability claim against the company for knowingly building a drain without enough safeguards to protect children from getting stuck in it.


Boating Accidents

The dangers of driving on the highway sometimes pale in comparison to the dangers faced by boaters. Many boat drivers choose to disobey rules and consume alcohol when behind the wheel, without thinking of the consequences.

Many boat drivers choose to disobey rules and consume alcohol when behind the wheel, without thinking of the consequences. To make matters even more dangerous, licensed boat drivers will often relinquish the wheel to inexperienced friends or even children, assuming that nothing could go wrong in this seemingly innocuous situation.

Unfortunately, these are the actions that often lead to catastrophic boat accidents between two watercraft.

While drinking and boating are always a bad mix, this isn’t the only scenario which can lead to injurious or even fatal accidents on the water.  Other common causes of watercraft collisions and falls overboard can include:

1. Boat operators who are fatigued or distracted.
2. Boat operators who are too inexperienced for the unique demands of that particular watercraft or body of water.
3. Speeding on the water.
4. Using improper maneuvers for the weather conditions (e.g. going too fast in thick fog).
5. Lack of a lookout watching for other watercraft.

In other cases, it’s not the operator who’s to blame – it’s their craft’s manufacturer or boat mechanic.  Like any other type of vehicle, boats and watercraft need periodic maintenance and repairs, and must be designed and assembled correctly in order to work properly.  If a manufacturer uses faulty or defective parts or materials, or if a boat mechanic negligently fails to notice and correct a mechanical defect, even cautious and responsible operators can find themselves involved in serious water accidents.

Unlike with accidents on the road, it is uncommon for there to be witnesses to a boat wreck, due to the typical lack of traffic on the water.  Because of this, it can be very difficult for you to singlehandedly show compelling proof that it wasn’t your fault – especially when you are already trying to recuperate from debilitating injuries and emotional trauma.

Let us help you so that you can get the rest you need.  Our personal injury lawyers have extensive experience in this area, and know exactly what to look for when working to secure the damages you need to cover anything from prescription medications to lost wages.


E-Cigarette Injuries

If you suffered burns, fractures, lacerations, or other injuries caused by an exploding e-cigarette or vaporizer, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, pain and suffering, and other hardships caused by the accident.

After debuting onto the consumer market about a decade ago, e-cigs enjoyed years of robust sales, being aggressively advertised as a safer alternative to traditional tobacco cigarettes.  However, more and more reports of people being injured by defective e-cigs and e-cig batteries have emerged in recent years, contributing to a wane in popularity among these once-trendy products.

Some e-cigarettes are disposable, while others contain rechargeable lithium-ion batteries.  These batteries can overheat and explode, inflicting serious injuries including: broken bones, bruises and contusions, cuts and lacerations, permanent scarring and disfigurement, and severe burns.

According to a 2014 report from the U.S. Fire Administration, over two dozen incidents of exploding e-cigs were documented between 2009 and 2014, resulting in nine injuries.  Most of the accidents took place while e-cigs were charging, but several also occurred while the person was using or holding the device.  To quote the report, “The shape and construction of e-cigarettes can make them more likely than other products with lithium-ion batteries to behave like ‘flaming rockets’ when a battery fails,” increasing the risk that the user will sustain injuries.

While it’s fortunate that public awareness about the dangers of e-cigarette use is starting to increase, serious accidents will continue to harm innocent consumers until e-cigs are better regulated or banned outright.

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Our
Practice Areas

It is a broad legal field which covers many different types of accidents and “torts,” or civil (non-criminal) wrongs which cause harm or loss. Some of the most common case types involve automobile accidents, workplace accidents, and premises liability.

Our experienced legal team handles a wide variety of accidents, including the following types of cases:

 

Our Case Results

Below you’ll find some of the recoveries we’ve obtained for our clients. Please keep in mind that each case is different and that prior results should not create an expectation about future results in an individual case.

Wrongful Death: $1,000,000

A young lady consumed too much alcohol at a bar and drove her car into a restaurant. Apparently, when she pulled into the parking lot of the restaurant she thought she was stepping on the brake instead of the accelerator. She drove into the restaurant wall and killed a man seated in the restaurant. We were able to recover all the available insurance and obtain $1,100,000.00 in settlement.

Truck Accident: $825,000

Truck driver failed to yield at the intersection. A middle aged school teacher received what appeared to be minor injuries when her pickup was hit by a truck. After undergoing a period of physical therapy, an MRI showed she had a ruptured disk in her neck. She underwent neck surgery and still experienced pain in her neck. We recovered $825,000.00 on her behalf.

Auto Accident: $275,000

A teenage driver with our teenage client as a passenger, lost control of her vehicle and ran off the road. Our client received injuries which required surgery for broken bones in her ankle. Her mother consulted with an attorney and was advised to accept the settlement of the minimum liability policy limits. She was advised that her daughter would have one year after reaching the age of 18 in which to file suit.

The family later moved out of the state and shortly before the statute of limitations was to expire, we received a call from the mother asking if we could do anything else to recover for her daughter’s injuries. We filed a lawsuit in order to preserve the daughter’s claim. We asked to review all of the available insurance policies.

We were able to discover that the teenager’s father had uninsured motorist coverage under a policy for a small business which he owned. Surprisingly, the business policy provided uninsured motorist coverage to the daughter living at home. We were then able to recover another $100,000.00 on behalf of the teenage girl.

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Injured in Oklahoma City? Here’s How a Lawyer Will Handle It

When a company or person chooses to break the safety rules, communities have an obligation to enforce those rules. Enforcement can occur by someone receiving a ticket or citation, and by taking legal action. This enforces accountability, and makes our communities safer. This accountability is ultimately decided by the local citizens of our community. Juries enforce the rules, and choose which rules to enforce.

Juries not only serve to prevent needless tragedy from happening to others, but to ensure that the wrongdoer is held accountable. This accountability can be in the form of compensatory damages. This is the amount of harm the wronged party has suffered. These damages are to compensate the injured party for how much they have been harmed and what has been taken from them. These damages, or harms and losses, is the amount of money that will reasonably and fairly compensate someone for the wrongful conduct. Factors to consider include: the physical/mental pain and suffering, age, physical condition before and after the incident; nature and extent/permanency of the injuries; disfigurement; loss of earnings/time; impairment of earning capacity; and, the reasonable expenses of the medical care and treatment.

Juries can also award punitive damages against a company or individual that has acted in reckless disregard of the rights of other and/or acted intentionally and with malice toward others. These damages are to punish, deter, and set an example for others. If you have been injured in Oklahoma City or surrounding areas, it is important that you take action quickly. Seeking proper medical treatment is your top priority, following by then seeking the help of an Oklahoma City personal injury lawyer.

How to Pick the Right Oklahoma City Personal Injury Lawyer

For those who have minimal contact with attorneys, hiring one can be a daunting task. Forbes offers several tips for hiring the best and most trustworthy attorney for your situation and budget.

As with any recommendation, start with the members of your inner circle (your “network”). Your friends, colleagues, neighbors, and family members will be able to candidly recommend professionals that they have had personal experience with. Even if you are unable to turn up an attorney in your required field, you may be able to get a good recommendation from another attorney.

Another great way to find an attorney is to contact your State’s bar association. The Oklahoma Bar Association Web site has a “Find a Lawyer” page through which you can search for attorneys using a number of fields such as practice area and location. There are many other web sites that can assist you in finding an attorney, such as Martindale, Lawyers.com, and FindLaw. Once you have made a shortlist of potential attorneys, check their websites and track records.

Be prepared for your initial consultations. A great question is to ask how many cases the attorney has handled that are similar to yours, and what the various outcomes were. Finally, make sure you fully understand how the attorney will bill for his/her services, should you choose to hire him or her.

Frequently Asked Questions

How quickly must personal injury lawsuits be filed in Oklahoma City?

Generally, the time to bring a personal injury lawsuit in Oklahoma City is two years from the date of the personal injury accident. There are some instances though, where it is only one year or less. There are circumstances where a lawsuit against a governmental entity, for example, a city (like Oklahoma City) or county, must be filed in less than a year. Therefore, it is important to determine how long you have to file your claim or lawsuit. Depending on your situation, we will advise you of the deadline to file your lawsuit.

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