Car accidents are an unfortunate reality, with the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office statistics painting a sobering picture. In 2021 alone, 66,074 reported car accidents were reported across Oklahoma. Among these, 681 proved fatal, and 1,703 resulted in serious injuries. These numbers underscore the harsh reality that accidents on the road are not uncommon, and the consequences can be severe.
Car accidents inflict physical harm and can lead to significant financial and emotional burdens. The aftermath of an accident often involves steep medical bills, rehabilitation costs, medication expenses, and other healthcare-related outlays. Moreover, the injuries sustained may force you to take time off work, causing a decline or even a complete loss of income. The emotional toll cannot be underestimated either; car accidents can impact your life.
If another person's negligence caused the accident, you should not bear the sole responsibility for these burdensome costs. The at-fault driver should be held accountable. This is where understanding your legal rights and compensation options becomes paramount. Filing a claim or lawsuit means seeking justice and getting the necessary care for your recovery.
Navigating an injury case can be complex and daunting, particularly when dealing with the physical and emotional aftermath of a car accident. This is why it is essential to enlist the services of an attorney. A lawyer can advocate for you and guide you through every step of the legal process.
From building a solid case to representing your interests, a skilled attorney can be instrumental in pursuing the compensation you rightfully deserve. They understand the intricacies of personal injury law and can effectively negotiate with insurance companies or pursue a lawsuit on your behalf.
Common Car Accident Injuries
Car accidents can result in various injuries.
Below are some of the types of harm that can occur in such incidents:
- Whiplash: Whiplash is one of the most frequently encountered injuries in car accidents. This injury occurs due to the sudden and forceful back-and-forth motion of the head during a collision. It can lead to neck pain, stiffness, and discomfort, often requiring medical attention and physical therapy for recovery.
- Fractures: Car accidents can cause complete or partial bone breaks, with fractures being prevalent in the arms and legs. The impact of a collision can subject these extremities to significant forces, resulting in fractures that may necessitate casting, surgery, or rehabilitation for proper healing.
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI): When the head experiences a violent jolt or impact during an accident, it can lead to traumatic brain injury. This condition can range from mild concussions to severe brain damage, with long-lasting effects. Victims need extensive medical treatment, rehabilitation, and ongoing care.
- Spinal cord injury: Car accidents can also cause damage to the spinal cord or nearby nerves. Such injuries can result in the loss of muscle sensation or function, leading to paralysis or other neurological complications. Recovery from spinal cord injuries can be challenging and involve long-term medical care and therapies.
- Burns: In some car accidents, particularly those involving fires or significant friction, individuals may suffer from burns. These injuries can vary in severity, from first-degree burns causing mild discomfort to third-degree burns that damage multiple layers of skin and underlying tissues. Treating burns often involves specialized medical care and skin grafting procedures.
Determining Liability to Seek Compensation
In the context of car accidents, liability is the legal responsibility of one party for the accident and the resulting damages. Establishing liability is critical to any car accident case, as it determines who should be held accountable for the incident.
Liability is about identifying the person at fault for the accident. This is typically established by evaluating whether the individual breached their duty of care. Duty of care is a legal obligation to act reasonably and responsibly in a given situation. When operating a vehicle, drivers owe a duty of care to other road users, passengers, and pedestrians.
If a driver's behavior deviates from what a reasonable person would do under similar circumstances, they may be found liable for the accident. This breach of duty can encompass a wide range of behaviors, from failing to obey traffic laws to engaging in reckless activities like texting while driving.
Legal Rights of Injured Parties
Individuals injured in car accidents have certain legal rights that are essential to understand when pursuing justice and compensation.
If you've been injured in a car accident due to the negligence or wrongful actions of another driver, you have the fundamental right to hold that person liable for the harm they've caused. This means you have the legal standing to seek compensation for your injuries and losses resulting from the accident.
In exercising your legal rights, you can file a personal injury claim or lawsuit against the at-fault driver. This legal process enables injured parties to seek justice and financial recovery for their incurred damages.
The Importance of Consulting an Attorney
Consulting a lawyer is crucial for a comprehensive understanding of your rights and a practical course of action. An attorney can evaluate the case details to determine its strengths and weaknesses. This assessment is vital in understanding whether you have a viable claim and what potential avenues are available for pursuing recourse. A lawyer will also have the knowledge and resources to collect crucial evidence, such as medical records and expert opinions, to build a strong case on your behalf.
If a negligent driver in Norman injured you, schedule a consultation with the Law Offices of Keith J. Nedwick, P.C. by contacting us at (866) 590-8173.