We understand the importance of hiring the best lawyer for your case and one who can help you navigate the insurance claims process and court system. We’re ready to guide you every step of the way.
Understanding Personal Injury Laws in Bethany, Oklahoma
Personal injury laws can be confusing, but it doesn’t need to be overcomplicated. Here are four things you should know:
- Fault-based system: The person responsible for the accident compensates the injured person. This person or company’s insurance c
- Statute of limitations: There’s a time limit for filing a personal injury claim.
- Types of compensation: You may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and emotional distress.
- Comparative negligence: In Oklahoma, if you’re partially at fault for the accident, the compensation you receive is reduced by the amount you contributed to the accident.
Types of Personal Injury Cases We Handle
We handle personal injury cases, including slip and falls, car & truck accidents, nursing home abuse, and dog bites. Compensation can cover medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering in personal injury cases, and more. Slips and falls involve injuries from a hidden dangerous condition on someone else’s property. Businesses owe a duty to prevent hidden dangers to their customers that they knew or should have known about. Car accidents happen daily, and insurance companies fight tooth and nail to pay as little as possible. Common causes of personal injuries include negligence, reckless behavior, defective products, and premises liability. Our team is here to fight for your rights and help you get the compensation you deserve.
Steps to Take After Suffering a Personal Injury
After you get hurt, you need to go to the doctor to get the treatment you need. Seeing a doctor is crucial because it helps diagnose and treat your injuries so they don’t worsen. It’s also essential to record what happened in your personal injury case. Later on, this helps to document your injuries to provide proof to the insurance company.
Here are four steps to take after you get hurt:
- Go to the doctor immediately: Your health is essential, so it’s best to see a doctor as soon as possible. Even if your injuries seem minor, they could get worse over time.
- Report what happened: Tell the police or a manager, depending on where the injury occurred. This makes an official record of the incident.
- Take pictures of your injuries and where the incident happened: Use your cell phone camera to take photos of your injuries and write down any symptoms, pain, or problems caused by the injury. This information will be helpful when you file a personal injury claim.
- Collect evidence: Get any evidence related to what happened, like statements from witnesses, videos, or reports about the accident. This evidence will support your case and show who’s responsible.
Consider their experience, track record, and specialization. It can make a difference to find a lawyer who has successfully handled cases similar to yours. Look for someone with a strong track record of winning cases and securing fair client compensation. Some lawyers may have expertise in specific areas of personal injury law, such as medical malpractice or car accidents.
Another essential factor to consider is the lawyer’s communication skills. You want a lawyer to inform you and promptly respond to your questions and concerns. An attentive lawyer who listens to your needs will better represent you effectively. If you don’t get along with a lawyer at the initial consultation, there’s a good chance you won’t get along when the case gets tough.
When meeting with a potential lawyer, ask about their fees and the contingency fee percentage. Working on a contingency basis means that the lawyer only gets paid if they win your case, usually taking a portion of the settlement or court award.
Ask who will be handling your case. Is it a lawyer, paralegal, associate, or partner?
Lastly, consider the lawyer’s availability. You want a lawyer who will be accessible and able to give your case the attention it deserves. A lawyer overwhelmed with other issues may be unable to devote sufficient time and resources to your lawsuit. How hard will the lawyer be to get in touch with if you have a question?
Common Mistakes to Avoid in Personal Injury Claims
Avoid these five mistakes in your personal injury claim:
- Failing to get medical help right away: Waiting to see a doctor can hurt your case and affect the amount of money you can get.
- Don’t give a recorded statement without a lawyer: Insurance adjusters might use your words against you. Talk to a personal injury lawyer before saying anything.
- Don’t settle too quickly: It might be tempting to accept a fast settlement offer, but think about the long-term impact of your injuries and all the money you deserve, especially if you still have medical bills accruing.
- Keep records of your injuries and expenses: Keep track of medical bills, lost wages, and any other costs related to your injury. This will help build a strong case.
The Role of Evidence in Personal Injury Cases
Evidence is used to prove your claims and support them. It helps establish that the responsible party was negligent and shows the extent of your injuries and damages.
Evidence includes medical records, accident reports, witness statements, photos, and expert opinions. To prove negligence, you must show that the defendant didn’t take reasonable care, which caused your injuries. This can be done by providing evidence of their actions or lack of activities, like breaking traffic laws or not keeping a safe environment.
Negotiating a Fair Settlement With Insurance Companies
To negotiate a fair settlement with insurance companies, you must understand your rights and advocate for your needs. Here are four strategies to help you deal with the adjuster:
- Gather evidence: Collect evidence from the accident scene, take photos of your injuries, and gather relevant medical records or police reports. This will strengthen your case and give you leverage during negotiations.
- Determine the value of your claim: Assess the full extent of your damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and future costs. Having a clear understanding of the value of your claim will allow you to negotiate from a position of strength.
- Be patient and persistent: Negotiating with insurance companies can take time. Stay calm, be persistent, and don’t settle for less than what you deserve. Insurance companies may try to offer you less, so be prepared to negotiate and counter their offers.
- Consult with an attorney: Consider seeking the guidance of a personal injury lawyer who specializes in negotiating insurance settlements. They can provide valuable insight into the process, advocate for your rights, and help you secure fair compensation.
The Benefits of Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer
Hiring an accident lawyer can give you peace of mind throughout the legal process. Instead of stressing about the complex legal procedures and deadlines, you can focus on your medical treatment and recovery while your attorney handles all the necessary tasks to build a strong case on your behalf. Your attorney will gather and present the relevant evidence, handle court filings, negotiate with the insurance company and defense lawyer, and ensure that your rights are protected. With their experience, they will work tirelessly to achieve the best possible settlement for you, ensuring that you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries and losses.
You can file a personal injury lawsuit to seek compensation for your injuries and hold the responsible party accountable.
- Filing Deadlines: Know the time limits for filing your lawsuit, called statutes of limitations. In general, there is a two-year deadline in Oklahoma.
- File a Lawsuit: If a settlement cannot be reached, your attorney may recommend filing a lawsuit. They will prepare the necessary legal documents, such as a complaint, and file them with the appropriate court.
- Discovery Phase: After filing a lawsuit, both parties will engage in the discovery phase. This involves exchanging relevant information, documents, and evidence related to the case. Depositions are also taken during this phase.
- Mediation or Settlement Conference: The court requires the parties to attend mediation or a settlement conference before going to trial. This is an opportunity to resolve the case through negotiation with the assistance of a neutral third party.
- Trial: If the case does not settle during mediation, it will proceed to trial. Your attorney will present your case to a judge or jury, including evidence, witness testimonies, and legal arguments. The decision will be rendered, and you will be awarded compensation if successful.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?
The cost of hiring a personal injury lawyer can vary depending on factors like the complexity of your case and the lawyer’s experience. The price can be a contingency fee, where the lawyer only gets paid if you win, or an hourly rate or a flat fee. Almost all injury attorneys work on a contingency fee. Most charge between 33 to 40% of whatever is collected.
Can I Handle My Personal Injury Case Without Hiring a Lawyer?
You likely don’t need a lawyer if you have a small case. Handling your personal injury case without a lawyer is possible, but it has pros and cons. On one hand, you can potentially save money by not paying legal fees. Conversely, the insurance company isn’t motivated to settle without knowing they must pay something at trial.
Settlement Amount: Hiring a lawyer can potentially result in a higher settlement amount. Lawyers are experienced in negotiating with insurance companies and deeply understand the legal aspects of personal injury cases. They can accurately assess the value of your claim and fight for your rights, ensuring that you receive adequate compensation for your injuries, medical bills, lost wages, pain, and suffering.
Legal Knowledge: Personal injury law can be complex and involves various legal procedures, deadlines, and requirements. Without legal knowledge, you may miss certain legal rights or make mistakes that could harm your case. Lawyers are well-versed in the laws and regulations related to personal injury claims, and they can guide you through the entire process, protecting your interests and ensuring that all necessary steps are taken.
Investigation and Gathering Evidence: Lawyers have the resources and expertise to conduct a thorough investigation of your case, gather relevant evidence, interview witnesses, obtain medical records, and build a strong case on your behalf. They know what evidence is crucial to proving liability and damages, which can significantly impact the success of your claim.
Insurance Company Tactics: Insurance companies employ various tactics to minimize payouts, including offering low settlements or denying claims altogether. Lawyers are familiar with these tactics and can navigate through them effectively. They can handle all communication with the insurance company, ensuring your rights are protected and you don’t fall victim to unfair practices.
Litigation: Having a lawyer is almost essential if your case needs to go to court. They will handle all the legal aspects of litigation, including filing lawsuits, drafting legal documents, representing you in court, and advocating for your rights. Going against insurance companies and their legal teams without proper legal representation can be highly challenging.
Time and Stress: Handling a personal injury claim can be time-consuming and stressful, especially when dealing with injuries and medical treatments. Hiring a lawyer allows you to focus on your recovery while they take care of the legal aspects, paperwork, negotiations, and any potential litigation.
How Long Does It Usually Take to Settle a Personal Injury Case?
If the case is small, the case could get settled within a few weeks. This assumes that the plaintiff has completed medical treatment and all the records/evidence are available. If liability is disputed or if the victim has significant medical bills or a complicated medical history, the case can take up to two years to resolve. Part of the delay is dealing with the court’s schedule on when the case can go to trial.
What Factors Are Considered When Determining the Amount of Compensation in a Personal Injury Case?
Several factors are considered when determining the amount of compensation in a personal injury case. These factors include:
The severity of your injuries
How your daily life has been affected
The cost of medical treatment
Any lost wages or future earning potential
The court will also look at:
The negligence of the other party involved
How responsible they are for your injuries
The main goal is to make sure you are fairly compensated for the damages you have suffered.