The most common cause of car wrecks in Oklahoma City we see are caused by distracted driving. A driver may be distracted by their cell phone or because they were messing with their radio. The second most common cause we see is simply because the at-fault driver wasn’t paying attention. The third most common cause of car accidents we see is drunk driving. If you have been injured in a car accident, you may want to consult with an experienced car collision lawyer who is knowledgeable about handling a case similar to yours. Call today to schedule your initial consultation.
Eligible Ages to Start Driving in Oklahoma City
In Oklahoma City, the earliest someone can legally start driving is 15 years old, but this is only while receiving instruction from a certified driving instructor. If the person is at least 15 and a half, they can get a learner’s permit, but this requires that the person is receiving driving instruction or has completed driver’s education. If the potential driver is at least 16 years old, the driver can get a learner’s permit, and the driver’s education instruction is not required if the person has passed the written exam and vision exam.
Someone with a learner permit is restricted to driving from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. and must be accompanied by a licensed driver who is at least 21 years old. Inexperienced drivers are prone to accidents, so there are special restrictions to their driving privileges.
Drivers can get an Intermediate License that varies based on with or without driver’s ed. Both do not allow for driving outside of 5am to 10pm, unless for activities related to school, church, or work, or anytime if accompanied by a licensed driver that is at least 21 years old.
We also see a fair amount of car accident cases with buses and drivers employed by Uber or Lyft.
Common Carriers (Taxi, Uber/Lyft, and Busses)
The entities considered to be common carriers are buses for public transportation. There are some Oklahoma City common carrier laws, but they are not unique to Oklahoma. If the driver of a bus is at fault for a wreck, then any of the passengers can recover.
In Oklahoma City, the city bus says EMBARK on the side and is a governmental entity. If someone is in a wreck with an EMBARK bus, there are certain laws that fall under the Oklahoma Governmental Tort Claims Act. In this situation, a claim has to be made before a suit can be filed and the claim must be made within the first year. If the insurance company for the bus does not respond to the injured individual within 90 days after the claim is file, the claim is “deemed denied.” When this happens, the claimant has only 180 days to file a lawsuit after the denial (or deemed denied) date. Note that this statute does not apply to all common carries such as a private company party bus, it just applies to governmental entities.
Ride Sharing Apps
In Oklahoma City, Uber and Lyft are popular ride-sharing apps that people use. From a legal perspective, an accident with a taxi or Uber driver is not any different from a regular car wreck. However, there may be difficulty in regards of the insurance company of the at-fault party. Sometimes, the driver of the Uber is held responsible but liability may also be assigned to the company of Uber itself. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help someone assign liability if they are in a wreck involving Uber, Lyft, or a taxi.
Insurance Companies Involvement in Oklahoma City Car Wrecks
While not necessarily unique to Oklahoma City, many claims on the defense are handled by an insurance company like State Farm, Allstate, or Farmers Insurance. These companies have their own in-house departments, so an hourly law firm is not defending the case. When insurance companies hire defense firms, there is more of an incentive to settle when a lawsuit is filed. They lower their costs on defending the cases and tend to value them differently than before.
If you have any more questions regarding insurance companies and the common causes of Oklahoma City car accidents, consult with a lawyer today.