Oklahoma City Personal Injury Attorney
If you are injured in a car accident, slip and fall accident, workplace disaster, or another type of preventable accident, you may be entitled to financial compensation from the person or party who caused your injury. Although this is a difficult and overwhelming time in your life, you are not alone. Our team of Oklahoma City personal injury attorneys at our law firm can help you pursue a case and the justice that you deserve using aggressive legal strategies. Our personal injury attorneys help clients in need move forward with their life. Call us today at our Oklahoma City office so we can evaluate your case and start working on our strategy for the best possible outcome for your unique claim.
Oklahoma City Personal Injury Resources:
- Why Choose An OKC Personal Injury Lawyer From Dan Davis?
- How A Personal Injury Attorney In Oklahoma City Can Help
- What Is A Personal Injury Claim In OKC?
- Compensation Available In An Oklahoma City Personal Injury Claim
- Economic Vs. Non-Economic Damages
- What Are Punitive Damages In An Oklahoma City Personal Injury Case?
- Common Oklahoma City Personal Injury Claims
- Understanding Wrongful Death
- How Insurance Affects A Personal Injury Claim
- How To Handle An Insurance Adjuster
Why Choose An Oklahoma City Personal Injury Lawyer From Dan Davis Law Firm?
- Our law firm spent over 25 years providing legal representation to help injured people recover and move on. We are driven by a deep interest in helping others and a knowledge of personal injury law and the inner workings of an insurance company.
- Our team at our law office is local to Oklahoma City. We are a family-owned and family-run firm located in the heart of Deep Deuce with vast legal expertise.
- Our law office has countless hours of legal experience and has successfully obtained hundreds of millions of dollars in settlements and jury verdicts for past clients in need.
- Our law firm works on a contingency fee basis. This means we only charge a fee for our services if we secure the best financial compensation on the client’s behalf.
Why Do You Need a Personal Injury Attorney Today?
Going through the legal process of obtaining financial compensation for your medical bills and other losses might be the last thing you wish to do as an injured accident victim. If you choose to hire a good lawyer, our law firm can immediately remove the legal burden from your shoulders. You can rest, relax and focus on healing from your economic damages and non-economic damages while your legal team handles matters such as accident investigation, eyewitness interviews, evidence collection, and settlement negotiations. While most personal injury cases in Oklahoma City settle, an attorney will also have the power to take your case to trial, if necessary, for maximum compensation for the economic and non-economic damages you experience.
What Is a Personal Injury Claim in Oklahoma City?
A personal injury claim in Oklahoma is a civil lawsuit filed against one or more parties for inflicting injury or economic and noneconomic harm against a victim. In most law firms, personal injury cases are based on the legal theory of negligence. If someone is negligent, that person or entity has failed to use a reasonable or required amount of care, resulting in harm to others. Negligence is particularly important to prove if you were involved in an accident with a commercial truck, which a truck accident lawyer in Oklahoma City will help you to prove. For clients to have grounds to file a personal injury case, there generally must be evidence of the four elements of negligence:
- Duty of care: A legal or ethical obligation to act with an appropriate amount of care, such as the duty that all drivers have to prevent car accidents.
- Breach of duty: Any action or omission that goes against the duty of care, or something that a reasonable and prudent party would not have done in the same or similar circumstances.
- Direct cause: Proof that the defendant’s breach of the duty of care was the direct cause of the victim’s injuries or claimed losses.
- Damages: Specific, compensable losses were suffered because of the defendant’s negligence. Common damages include lost wages, property damage, and medical costs involved with your case.
An attorney at our personal injury law firm will carefully review the facts of your individual case to determine if you can base a claim on negligence or a different legal theory, such as strict liability, intentional wrongdoing, or breach of warranty. A good lawyer can successfully guide you through the legal process that is suited to your unique situation and needs, then help you collect evidence to meet your burden of proof.
What Types of Compensation Are Available For OKC Injury Claims?
In Oklahoma, an injured accident victim may be eligible for damages, or financial compensation, for their losses. This includes both economic and noneconomic damages. If you or your attorney can show the defendant is at fault for causing your losses through negligence or other grounds, you could recover damages for the following:
- Medical care
- Lost wages and future capacity to earn
- Personal property damage
- Travel costs
- Other out-of-pocket expenses
- Physical pain and emotional suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium
- Funeral and burial reimbursement, if applicable
- Punitive damages
The damages that are available for your personal injury case will depend on how the accident and injury have impacted your life. If you are a victim of a brain injury or spinal cord injury in Oklahoma City, for instance, you may be eligible for compensation for your ongoing medical care, surgeries, rehabilitation, and therapy. A good lawyer can assess the value of your particular case for you before you accept a settlement from insurance companies.
Economic Losses vs. Non-Economic Losses
Most personal injury cases involve two separate types of loss claims. Economic losses are quantifiable and easily proven losses such as medical expenses, property damage, and lost income. Non-economic damages are no less real, but they are less tangible and can be more difficult to prove since they don’t come with an invoice or bill. Some examples of non-economic losses caused by a personal injury include:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium (loss of ability to perform in romantic closeness with a spouse of loved one
- Loss of enjoyment of life (for instance, being unable to pursue former favorite activities)
- Punitive damages
What are Punitive Damages in a Personal Injury Case?
In cases where one party’s gross negligence or misconduct results in catastrophic injuries or death, punitive awards may come into play for your case. While the majority of personal injury claims involve only compensatory damages for economic damages and pain and suffering, punitive damages are entirely different. Instead of economic and non-economic claims by the victim or loved ones, punitive damages are awarded to victims solely as a form of punishment to the negligent party involved. They’re also meant to serve as an example to discourage further misconduct by the culpable party as well as similar behaviors from others. Punitive awards are paid to the victim or their survivors in addition to compensatory damages. The amount of a punitive damage award depends on the severity of the gross negligence or willful misconduct as well as the severity of the injury caused. In a punitive damage claim, juries decide based on the following:
- The serious nature of the negligence or willful misconduct and the hazard the behavior presented to the public or the individual specifically
- The degree to which the defendant was aware of the hazards related to the conduct
- The duration of the defendant’s misconduct
- Whether or not the defendant tried to cover up or conceal the behavior, as well as their attitude after the fact, including whether or not they helped the investigation by being forthcoming or instead resisted full disclosure and discovery
- The defendant’s financial situation
Determining the Size of Payouts for Non-Economic Damages
While economic payouts are mathematical calculations based on factors like medical bills and measurable income loss, the size of a payout for to a claim of non-economic damages is more challenging to calculate and varies greatly from one case to the next depending on the unique circumstances. Whether it’s a settlement from an insurance company or damages awarded by a judge, some factors considered in determining the amount include:
- Whether the defendant acted with malice or egregious misconduct
- Whether the injury the victim sustained prevents them from participating in sports or hobbies they formerly enjoyed
- Whether the victim’s injuries prevent them from carrying out household duties such as cleaning or routine home and lawn maintenance
- Whether the injury prevents the victim from playing with their children
- If the injury and related surgeries, therapies, and ongoing care interferes greatly with the victim’s life or adds undue inconvenience
Non-economic damages aren’t as easily quantifiable as economic ones, but they can greatly affect your lifestyle and your ability to enjoy your life. If these unfortunate circumstances directly resulted as the fault of someone else, you deserve compensation. Even if a monetary award can’t return normality to your life, it can help ease burdens and make such losses more bearable.
What Are Common Types of Personal Injury Claims In Oklahoma City?
Personal injury law is a broad field that encompasses many different types of accidents and injuries. The law imposes a duty on everyone not to put others in unnecessary danger – leading to many opportunities to file personal injury lawsuits if one or more parties violate this duty and cause an injury or death. Certain types of incidents more commonly result in personal injury claims and require more attention and the assistance of an Oklahoma City accident lawyer.
Some of the other most common types of personal injury cases filed in Oklahoma City are:
- Trucking accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Dog bite injuries
- Workers’ compensation
- Motorcycle accidents
- Nursing home abuse
- And more
These are all cases that we accept at Dan Davis Law in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. We can help you work through your personal injury case using proven legal strategies and negotiation tactics to achieve the best possible results on your behalf. A good lawyer is dedicated to your recovery and compelled by a desire to help you move forward. In addition, if someone’s injury results in the loss of life, our Oklahoma City wrongful death attorneys are equipped to handle the case.
Understanding Personal Injury, Survival Action, and Wrongful Death in Oklahoma
In the tragic event that the negligence or breach of duty of one party causes catastrophic injuries resulting in death, Oklahoma law allows surviving family members to bring forward any claims that the deceased could have brought had they survived the injury. Two ways survivors may file claims include through a survival action or a wrongful death suit. Some family members choose to file both types of claims. The important distinction between the two types of claims is that grieving family members file a wrongful death claim for their own damages resulting from the death including the following:
- Medical expenses
- Funeral costs
- Loss of income from the decedent’s wages
- Grief and emotional pain and suffering
- Loss of guardian benefits for surviving children
- Loss of household services normally provided by the decedent
- In some cases, settlements and awards include punitive damages as a form of justice for the wrongful death
Surviving family members may file a wrongful death claim if the loved one’s death was caused by someone else’s negligence, recklessness, or misconduct. Any financial award for these damages goes directly to the surviving spouse or next of kin.
A survival action claim differs from a wrongful death claim in that it’s filed by surviving family members on behalf of the deceased loved one themselves. A survival action centers on the pain and suffering of the decedent rather than the survivors. The loved one’s death does not have to be related to the accident for this type of suit. The claim typically covers the following:
- Medical expenses
- Lost income
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
Any damages awarded in a survival action suit go to heirs named in the decedent’s will or directly to their estate. If the deceased loved one doesn’t leave a will, the intestacy laws of Oklahoma apply and the funds are distributed to the survivors of the deceased according to those laws and the probate process.
The statute of limitations for filing both types of claims in Oklahoma is two years. If you think either type of claim applies to your situation, call our Oklahoma City office today so we can determine the best course of action for you as a surviving family member after an accident caused by the wrongful action or inaction of another party.
How Insurance Companies Take Advantage of Personal Injury Victims
Insurance companies are in business to make a profit. Their business model operates on the foundation that they take in more money in premiums than they pay out in claims. For this reason, they employ insurance adjusters whose job is to find ways to minimize payouts or deny them completely. While some claim denials occur for valid reasons, others do not, and many companies try to take advantage of personal injury victims who are in the middle of coping with the multiple crises and emotional upheaval of the accident and their recovery. Some common tactics used by insurance companies to deny or minimize payouts include the following:
- Stating that the insurance policy doesn’t cover the kind of accident you experienced
- Claiming the policy wasn’t in effect at the time the accident occurred
- Claiming that the policy terms don’t include coverage for the person, party, or business that caused the accident
- Claiming that too much time passed between the accident and the time you sought out medical treatment
- State that they find your medical condition was pre-existing or unrelated to the accident
- Claiming that the insured party has exhausted the limits of their policy
Insurance companies may also use these claims and others to undervalue a claim that they do pay out. Because insurance companies may take advantage of your pain and stress during the aftermath of an accident, it is especially important to consult with experienced attorneys like those of the Dan Davies Law Firm in Oklahoma City.
What You Should and Shouldn’t Say to an Insurance Claims Adjuster
Unfortunately, insurance claims adjusters may take advantage of your understandable emotional state after an accident. While you shouldn’t lie or omit any information when talking to an adjuster, it’s important to understand that they may later use your comments against you in ways you don’t anticipate. Be wary in the following ways when talking to an adjuster
- Tell only facts and never speculate about the accident. Talking about what you could have done differently or what you think might have contributed to the accident and speculating about the other person’s part in the accident or incident may give an adjuster reason later to suggest you’ve contradicted yourself or changed your story
- Don’t use an apologetic tone or admit fault or partial fault. Even saying something innocently such as “if only I’d looked twice,” or “I wish I’d been extra careful” may later be construed as you admitting fault even when the accident was caused by someone else’s actions
- Don’t give a recorded statement. Insurance adjusters will listen to a recording over and over to try to find anything that they can interpret as admitting fault or partial fault
- Never discuss your injuries. Instead, seek medical attention as soon as possible and have your trusted attorney use the records themselves to speak for your case. Even answering “fine” or “okay” to a seemingly routine question like, “how are you today?” may be used against you later
Speak as little as possible to an insurance adjuster. Instead, tell the adjuster to wait for a demand letter drafted by your attorney.
Questions To Ask Your Oklahoma City Personal Injury Lawyer
When you’ve endured a serious injury it can have life-altering effects, often temporary, but sometimes ongoing, indefinite, or permanent. Whether you can expect a full recovery or are left with a permanent disability, it’s likely that you have medical bills piling up and you’ve missed time at work and may expect to miss more if further treatments are necessary. The decision to hire a personal injury attorney is a serious matter and can make all the difference in your future. Though it can’t undo the injury, compensation for your economic and non-economic damages can relieve financial burdens while you focus on recovery.
Because hiring the right attorney is so critically important, it helps to know how to begin by asking the right questions so you make an informed decision. What questions should you ask your prospective personal injury lawyer?
What Do You Charge for Legal Services?
It’s important to address this all-important question first so you can rule out lawyers charging more than a reasonable amount for their services. Most personal injury lawyers offer a free consultation and many charge on a contingency fee basis, meaning you pay nothing upfront and they only receive a fee after they assist you in gaining a settlement or damages award in court, in which case they take a percentage of the amount as payment for their services.
How Long Has Your Firm Been In Practice in This Area?
A law firm’s longevity, local reputation, and years of experience in both the legal area of your type of personal injury claim and the physical area of your jurisdiction are all important matters to explore before you make a decision to move forward. The success of your case depends upon your attorney’s experience, resources, and familiarity with similar cases within your state’s court system.
What Legal Strategy Do You Propose for My Case?
It’s important to understand what approach your attorney intends to take with your case. A skilled attorney with years of experience in personal injury law in your state should be able to assess your case and plan a legal strategy to address it efficiently and in a strong, compelling, and timely manner. This important question gives you insight into the attorney’s plan of action and timeline for your case and is a good way to discern their acumen in your type of personal injury claim. It also addresses the important question of whether they hope to settle your case out of court or press forward into courtroom litigation.
You should always understand and approve your lawyer’s legal strategy for your case before it moves forward.
Will You Personally Handle My Case?
Frequently, a client’s first consultation at a law firm takes place with the firm’s senior member and then your case is assigned to an associate — often one with less experience. If this is the case, be sure to ask for the associate’s qualifications, experience, and courtroom record. Then ask the senior attorney how much time they themselves intend to devote to overseeing your case.
What Damages Can I Anticipate in My Personal Injury Case?
Before you enter into a legal agreement for representation, you should have at least a fair idea of what amount in monetary damages you can anticipate either in a settlement or court award. Most attorneys arrive at an amount by first gathering evidence to prove fault, and then scrutinizing your existing medical bills and treatment recommendations. Typically, a personal injury lawyer seeks compensation on a client’s behalf for the following damages:
- Medical expenses and future medical expenses
- Lost wages, lost future wages, and reduced earning potential for the future
- Pain and suffering
While no two cases are exactly the same, it’s important to have an idea of what to expect when your case resolves. Your lawyer should be able to support their planned strategy by showing you their results in similar claims. By asking the right questions of an attorney, you can be your own best advocate in your case.
Contact An Oklahoma City Personal Injury Attorney Today
It can be critical to your case and future to get the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer in Oklahoma City as soon as possible after an accident. You can trust that an attorney will work for you – no one else – and strive to obtain maximum financial compensation on your family’s behalf. Your personal injury lawyer can help you negotiate with insurance companies that might otherwise take advantage of you, as well as give you advice that you can trust on how to pick up the pieces after an accident.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident in Oklahoma City, contact Dan Davis Law to find out how our law firm can help you. We are an experienced and hardworking team of personal injury lawyers. Contact us or call today at (405) 930-4210 for a free consultation about your case.