Do semi drivers have the same driving rules?
Yes. Drivers of these type vehicles or Trucks have to obtain a special license and receive specific training before they are allowed on the road, and I consider them to be professional drivers. They must not only follow the “Rules” of the common driver, they must follow specific Federal and State laws and regulations which apply only to these type drivers and vehicles.
What is the difference between an Auto Accident and a Trucking Accident?
Generally, the difference is the amount of damage caused to you or your loved one. Trucks and other Commercial Vehicles often cause devastating and debilitating injuries or death when they are involved in an accident simply because of the size and weight difference between your car and the Truck. It is important to contact a lawyer who handles these cases quickly, as these cases are often fiercely contested and it is important to preserve evidence and retain the necessary experts to prepare the case.
What do I do if I get injured in a car accident?
The first thing you should do if you are hurt or think you may be injured is go to the doctor or emergency room to get checked out. Depending on the nature of the accident, some injuries are obvious, while others may not be as obvious, such as soft tissue injuries (Whip-Lash) which often occur in rear-end car accidents. After you have been checked out, call me.
If I get injured in a car accident who is responsible for paying my medical bills and for the work I have missed?
In “theory”, assuming you are not at fault for the accident, the person who caused the accident will be responsible for paying your damages which often include medical expenses and lost wages. However, in reality, the person who caused the accident is generally not going to pay for the damage they caused you, an insurance company is going to pay the damages 99% of the time. Keep in mind that the Insurance Company is going to try and pay as little as possible and will only pay if you are able to prove with evidence that you are legally entitled to damages and have the evidence to support the damages you are seeking. Because you will be up against and insurance company and not the guy that hit you, it is important that you call me so you can protect your right to fair compensation for the damage caused to you.
Why does the number of Trucking Accidents each year continue to increase?
There are tons of studies out there that can help answer this question, but the simple answer is that there are more people on the road and less people that know what they are doing. Many Trucking accidents are caused by the negligence of the driver, or the company he or she is driving for, often because the driver is in hurry, not properly trained or some other act or omission.
What do I do if I am contacted by an Insurance Company or investigator following a Trucking Accident?
Insurance Companies that insure 18 wheelers, Etc. know that when their insured causes an accident and someone is injured or killed, it is going to be expensive. Insurance Companies and Trucking Companies have adjusters, investigators, and lawyers who are “on call” who immediately began preparing a defense. If you are contacted by an Insurance Company or anyone else and asked to give a statement or “talk” about the accident, keep your mouth shut and call a lawyer like me who handles these kinds of cases.
Why do I need a lawyer, can't I just handle my injury claim on my own?
You may not need a lawyer and I have seen many people work out their claims on their own and have come out just fine. I have also seen many people get taken advantage of by “low-ball” offers, the pressure by the Insurance Company to reach a quick settlement, and other tactics. I offer free consultations and will be happy to talk to you about your case, so give me a call and if I don’t think you need a lawyer or have a case I will tell you.
How much does it cost to hire a lawyer to represent me if I have been injured in a car accident?
Depends on the case and the lawyer. I handle most car accident cases on a contingent fee agreement. What that means is I front all of the expenses of the case, including my time and take my fee out of any recovery I get for you. If I do not get you anything, I don’t get anything and you don’t owe me for my time or expenses. Call me and we can discuss your case and possible fee agreements.
What is a Products Liability lawsuit?
Generally, It’s a claim brought on behalf of someone who has been injured or killed as a result of a defective product. Products Liability lawsuits can also be brought by owners of property for damage caused by a defective product.
What is a defective product?
A product is defective when it is not reasonably fit for the ordinary purposes for which such products are intended or may reasonably be expected to be used. A defect may arise in several situations, but usually arises out of the design, manufacture, packaging, labeling, failure to warn or any other appropriate basis of liability.
What is Insurance Bad Faith?
In Oklahoma, an Insurance Company (insurer) has a duty to deal fairly and act in good faith with its insureds (policy holders). When an Insurance Company denies a valid claim for one reason or another, caused unreasonable delay, or is being unfair, the Insurance Company has violated its duty and can be sued for contractual damages and damages for “Bad Faith”. If you feel like your claim was wrongfully denied, give us a call and we will be happy to look into it for you.
How do I know if I have been a victim of Bad Faith?
Just because your claim was denied and you do not think it is fair does not mean that you have a Bad Faith case or cause of action. May claims are simply not covered under the policy at issue based upon policy provisions. This area of law is very complex and is governed by many Laws and Regulations, but the following are some examples of what Insurance Company must not do when dealing with an insured.
Making the claims process adversarial;
Fail to assist the policy holder, disclose all coverages, benefits and explain the claims process;
Fail to conduct a full, fair and prompt investigation of the claim;
Make Settlement Offers less than the insurer’s evaluation of the claim in UM claims;
Fail to give a written explanation, pointing to facts and policy provisions supporting the denial.
Do I have a Bad Faith case if it is NOT my Insurance Company that is being unfair?
Unfortunately, no. In Oklahoma, Insurance Companies only have to be fair to their policyholders. If you are dealing with the Insurance Company of someone who hurt or injured you, you are considered a “third party claimant” and the Insurance Company can treat you anyway they want for the most part.
I got sued for a car wreck I caused and have insurance, but my Insurance Company won't settle and I have to go to court and am afraid that I will not have enough coverage to cover the verdict, am I responsible for damages over my policy limits?
Like most questions, it depends. If you caused and accident and get sued, your Insurance Company will try to pay as little as it can to the person you hurt, even if that means making you go to court. Most insurance contracts state that the policy will only pay up to the policy limits. Accordingly, if you are found liable for damages in excess of your policy limits you will be responsible. If you feel like your Insurance Company is putting its interests before yours by exposing you to damages above your policy limits, this could be Bad Faith, especially if the case can be settled for policy limits.
How do I know if a defective product caused my injury?
It is very difficult to prove that a product was defective and caused your injuries. To do so takes careful analysis of the product involved and how the injury occurred. Just because you were hurt using a tool does not mean you have a product liability case. However, if something happened that shouldn’t, call me.
How long does a Products Liability lawsuit take?
Like all lawsuits, a long time. Unless the case can be settled, expect the process to take up to two years.