Documentation and proof are everything when pursuing a car accident claim. Not only do you have to prove how your accident occurred, but you also have to prove that your injuries were substantial. Additionally, you must prove that you suffered both economic and non-economic damages as a result of your injury. The attorneys at Lawter & Associates discuss the challenges you may face when proving car accident liability and what to expect from your case.
Why the severity of your accident matters
Insurance companies often argue that accidents with minor impacts don't result in significant injuries. Our attorneys know that this is simply not true. Minor accidents often create gray areas. For example, let's say another driver rear-ended you at an impact speed of 10 mph. You likely didn't feel any immediate pain, but later learned that you sustained whiplash. As a result, your doctor recommended that you take time off from work and avoid certain activities. Your doctor also prescribed you pain medication and referred you to a chiropractor. This is where documenting everything is critical. That includes:
- Your symptoms and official diagnosis
- Doctor recommendations
- Missed time from work
- Cost of prescription medication, medical appointments, X-rays, and other medical care
Getting prompt medical attention is critical to building a strong case. When there are no gaps between the time of your accident and the time you see a doctor, insurance companies have less leverage against your claim. Be sure to discuss every injury symptom you suffer from with your doctor. That includes pain and suffering stemming from your injury. If a symptom is not documented in your medical record, then you likely won't get compensated for it.
Determining car accident liability
Oklahoma employs the "at-fault" car insurance rule, which means you must prove that the other driver was at fault after a crash. Some evidence provides a clear picture regarding who was at fault. For example, police cited or arrested the other driver. This information would be documented in the official police report. From there, your attorney can dig deeper and gather more evidence to help you build a strong case. In many drunk driving cases, we learn that an alcohol-serving establishment was responsible for serving a noticeably impaired patron, who then got behind the wheel. This is known as a dram shop case.
Another example is a rear-end collision. In most cases, the driver who rear-ends another driver is found at fault, especially if the crash victim was legally stopped at a red light, stop sign, or in a traffic jam.
Evidence isn't always clear as day. The driver who hit you may not have admitted to fault or left behind little evidence. This is where your attorney must conduct a thorough investigation. The attorneys at Lawter & Associates may be able to determine fault by:
- Examining physical evidence from the crash scene
- Interviewing witnesses
- Obtaining surveillance footage if it's available
- Getting a subpoena for the at-fault driver's cellphone records
Be aware of the insurance company's tactics
The other driver's insurance company has an incentive to reduce your compensation and they will use several tactics to accomplish this. That includes:
- Calling you and asking for a recorded statement.
- Offering you a lowball settlement to close your case out as quickly as possible.
- Dragging your case out for as long as they can.
If the other driver's insurance company contacts you, simply decline to answer any questions and tell them that you have consulted with an attorney. The legal team at Lawter & Associates can handle the rest. We'll gather the evidence we need to prove your case and help you recover every dollar in damages. This includes medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and other damages related to your crash.
We have law offices based in Oklahoma City and Tulsa. Contact us online or call us to set up your free and confidential case evaluation.