People face potentially life-changing situations each time they get behind the wheel. According to state data, nearly 200 car accidents occur every day in Oklahoma. More than 33,000 people were injured and 687 were killed in car crashes in Oklahoma in 2016. Even in seemingly minor crashes, drivers and passengers can suffer injuries that have the power to affect their lives and the lives of those they love for years to come.
If you've experienced a car accident, the path forward may seem daunting. Addressing your injuries, dealing with insurance companies, struggling to keep up with missed work and frequent medical bills may be overwhelming.
But Attorney Scott Ray can help. With years of experience helping accident victims just like you, he's ready to answer your questions and make sure your rights are protected.
How Do Negligent Drivers Cause Car Accidents?
While some car accidents are caused by defects or weather, more often driver error is responsible for a crash.
A study by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that drivers cause 94 percent of crashes. Collisions are most commonly caused by these motorist behaviors:
- Speeding. While a common driving violation, speeding is dangerous. It can result in a loss of control and intensify the force of an impact, leading to more serious injuries.
- Distraction. Texting, talking, eating, and other distractions take away a driver’s attention from the road. Even a momentary distraction may prevent someone from taking a necessary action, resulting in a dangerous crash.
- Alcohol or drug impairment. Despite well-known risks, many motorists continue to get behind the wheel intoxicated or high on drugs. These substances inhibit their ability to concentrate and react appropriately to traffic.
- Drowsiness. Tired driving can inhibit a person's ability just as much as impaired driving. People have a hard time focusing on the task at hand, and those who fall asleep lose all control of their vehicle.
- Inexperience. Drivers not properly trained—whether they're young or new commercial vehicle operators—may over- or underreact to a situation. They may not understand the limitations of their vehicles and fail to respond to changing road conditions.
- Aggression. Frustration is often a part of being on the road. Road construction detours, traffic jams, other drivers’ poor decisions, and more may lead to stress behind the wheel. Some drivers have a difficult time managing that stress and may engage in aggressive behavior, such as speeding, tailgating, cursing, honking, gesturing, and other instigating actions.
- Failure to respond to road conditions. Weather and traffic conditions must be acknowledged behind the wheel, and people should adjust their driving techniques accordingly.
Accident Victims Have Rights to Care and Compensation
When a careless driver engages in an unsafe behavior behind the wheel and causes an accident, they can be held responsible. The journey to as full a recovery as possible can be long after a crash, with victims forced to miss work, adjust their lifestyle, and seek expensive medical care.
It's also a stressful time financially, but the law allows victims to file a legal claim to seek compensation for:
- Medical bills. Victims have a right to medical care, and compensation can cover doctor visits, medications, hospital stays, surgery, rehabilitation, adaptive equipment, and much more.
- Lost wages. Serious injuries can keep a victim out of work, and compensation may be available to help provide for the wages that are lost during this time.
- Future medical bills. In many cases, an accident victim is likely to require ongoing medical care or may be at a higher risk for developing other medical issues. A legal claim can provide compensation for these future problems.
- Pain and suffering. The pain of a car crash can be experienced both physically and emotionally, and the courts recognize the stress of these situations. At times, this compensation can be both substantial and vital.
- Wrongful death. Surviving family members of individuals killed in a car crash have rights to compensation for the companionship and financial support provided by the lost loved one.
Do You Need an Attorney After an Oklahoma Car Accident?
Often, accident victims are tempted to try to handle things on their own after a car accident. However, it can be a confusing and difficult time. Insurance company adjusters can and do employ a variety of tactics to reduce the amount of compensation awarded to victims. The legal system can also be overwhelming, especially for those who have little experience with the law.
At Scott Ray Law Firm, attorney Scott Ray wants to take the burden off accident victims. During the time after a crash, victims and their families should be able to focus on what’s truly important—as full a recovery as possible.
While you focus on your health and personal life, Scott Ray will:
- Answer your questions
- Provide clear expectations of the process
- Investigate your claim
- Negotiate with insurance companies
- Help you avoid common case pitfalls
- File a lawsuit and appear in court if necessary
Attorney Scott Ray understands the consequences of a crash on an accident victim’s life, and he works hard to help every client hold those responsible for their injuries accountable. To learn more about the services our firm provides and find out about your rights, call our Lawton office today, or take a moment to fill out the contact form on this page. You’ll speak to a member of our team who will learn more about you and arrange an appointment if we can help.