When involved in a Tulsa auto accident, there are several steps you need to take if you plan on making a claim for your injuries against the culpable party’s insurance company.
Some of these steps are straightforward. Others require some attention and care and perhaps the attention of an experienced Oklahoma personal injury attorney.
First and foremost, get the medical attention and treatment that you need in order to recover. Tulsa auto accident injuries vary quite a bit depending on the type and severity of the impact involved. But whether you have a soft tissue injury or something more severe, seek medical help.
Collection of Records
As you begin to feel better, you will want to start to collect medical and accident-related records. A police report may be ready within several days after the accident.
In terms of determining liability, the police report is the most important record you can obtain. It will have information concerning the drivers and vehicles involved, including the officer’s opinion regarding how the accident occurred and who was at fault. It may also contain witness information that may prove helpful.
You will also want to collect your medical records and copies of your medical bills as you are treated. Your medical records may include any emergency treatment, as well as X-rays, examinations, treatment for injuries and pain, and all physical therapy records. This evidence is needed to help you prove your pain and suffering.
A Tulsa auto accident investigation is often done by your attorney or by your attorney’s representative. It can include contacting the witnesses and taking their statements, taking pictures of the scene of the accident, taking pictures of the property damage involved, and determining if there were any road hazards in place that may have contributed to the accident.
If liability is questionable, this might also include an opinion from an accident reconstructionist.
A demand letter tells the insurance company how you view liability and it also lays out your damages in some detail for the insurance company. It may also contain copies of the police report and your medical bills to support your claim.
Tulsa Auto Accident Settlement Negotiations
After the insurance company has had a chance to review your demand letter and supporting documents, it will conduct its own internal investigation into the matter. The insurance company will take a statement from their insured, and once it has a clear picture of liability and damages, settlement negotiations can begin.
The insurance company will often try to reduce the value of the claim. Negotiations should be left to a skilled Tulsa auto accident attorney. All too often, an injured party will accept the first offer that an insurance company makes only to find out later that the claim was worth much more than the insurance company offered.
If the settlement negotiations are successful, the matter will be resolved and the insurance company will pay the claim. The attorney will then make disbursements from that claim. Common disbursements include those for medical bills and attorneys fees.
Most Tulsa auto accident cases are taken on a contingency basis. When the claim is paid, the attorney’s fee is taken from that settlement amount.
Tulsa Auto Accident Trial
If the Tulsa auto accident claim is a complicated one, it may go to trial or it may require that a third party’s insurance become involved. This often happens in multi-party accident claims.
Subrogation is a legal right that is reserved by the insurance carrier to pursue a claim against a third party that caused the loss in part or whole.
Free Consultation: Tulsa Car Accident Lawyer
To get help after a Tulsa car accident, contact an Oklahoma personal injury attorney at the Personal Injury Law Office of Tulsa today.
For a free, no-obligation consultation, call 918-924-5528 or send your question using the email form on this page.