918-749-8400

ELIAS & ELIAS ATTORNEYS AT LAW

Tulsa’s Best Personal Injury Law Firm

FAQs

We have taken the liberty of answering some questions you may have. If you still have more questions please call us at 918-749-8400

Auto Accidents

If the accident was partly my fault, am I allowed to make a claim?

Oklahoma has a fault-based system of auto insurance (also known as tort liability). In this system, insurance companies pay according to each party’s percentage of fault. So if you were 40 percent at fault, you could recover 60 percent of your damages. Unfortunately, if you are more than 50 percent at fault, you are not eligible to recover anything for damages or injuries. Another factor to consider is that if you and your insurer do not agree on your claim, you may have to file a lawsuit to receive compensation for economic damages like lost wages or medical expenses, and for non-economical damages like pain and suffering.

Should I take the insurance company’s offer for settlement?

It is usually not a good idea to accept settlement offers before speaking to an attorney with experience in handling automobile accident claims. Insurance companies typically offer minimal compensation and force you to agree not to file a lawsuit. They want to maximize their profits by paying the least amount of compensation possible.

Another reason to avoid taking an insurance company’s offer right away is that the full extent of your injuries, and the cost for treating them, may not be known for quite some time. The insurance company will likely force you to sign a release if you agree to their offer, which may make it impossible to obtain additional treatment. You should not accept money for medical treatment until you know how much it will ultimately cost. An experienced auto accident attorney can help you in this area.

If I refused medical treatment at the scene of the accident, but felt pain the next day, is it too late to seek compensation for my injuries?

You should seek medical treatment as soon a practicable. Some types of injuries, such as those involving soft tissues or disks, can take hours or days before you feel pain or experience other symptoms. If you did not say you were injured at the scene of the accident, you may still be able to receive payment for medical bills, pain and suffering, lost earnings, emotional stress, and more. It is critical, however, for you to seek medical care as soon as you experience pain or symptoms due to your accident. Remember to be 100% with your doctors.

If the other driver’s insurance company calls me, should I talk to them?

The other driver’s insurance company will probably call you very soon after the accident. They’ll ask about damages to your car, and the might ask about injuries. You are not required to talk with them. Your priority should be to follow your doctor’s instructions and to worry about any possible insurance settlement later.

How long do injury cases take?

Some claims can be quickly resolved in a fair manner, perhaps only a few weeks or months. When a case is complicated, or in a situation where the insurance company is being unreasonable, it can take years to resolve the matter. Every case is different. You should speak with an auto accident attorney as soon as you can to discuss your unique situation.

 

Truck Accidents

Is the trucking industry monitored in Oklahoma?

Yes. In Oklahoma, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and the state itself monitor trucking safety. Two DOT agencies are involved—the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) sets standards for new truck equipment, and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) monitors the safety of commercial vehicles. FMCSA creates the regulations for equipment, licensing, inspections, maintenance and hours of service. The state of Oklahoma is mainly responsible for enforcing these regulations.

Are there limits to how many hours a trucker can drive in a day?

There are regulations in place for how many hours a trucker can drive in a given day or week. Unfortunately, according to various studies, these regulations are violated quite often. Not surprisingly, driver fatigue is often cited as a contributing factor in large truck accidents. In addition, drivers who have been cited for driving too many hours in the past are more likely to fall asleep while operating their rigs.

Do younger drivers have more accidents than older drivers?

Studies have shown that truckers in their mid-twenties do indeed have a higher rate of crashes, both nonfatal and fatal, than older drivers who typically have much more experience.

I’ve heard about truckers using drugs while driving. Is this true?

According to a study in four states conducted in 1995, it was determined that roughly 5 percent of truckers tested positive for illicit drugs. (Illicit drugs are those that are not available over the counter.) In other studies, it has been shown that 12 percent of truckers tested positive for over-the-counter stimulants. Federal regulations mandate that carriers test all commercial drivers for drugs before they are hired, whenever they are involved in a crash, and on a random basis. One study showed that nearly 3 percent of drivers involved in a non-fatal crash tested positive for illicit drugs.

What are the most common types of equipment failure in trucks?

Faulty brakes and steering systems seem to be the main culprits. According to several studies, a truck with defective equipment is involved in a crash at a rate double that of a properly maintained rig.

What if someone from the trucking company tries to speak with me? Should I talk to them?

Talk with them only if you feel comfortable doing so. The person calling you from the truck company may seem friendly and act like he or she wants to help you, but that is not the case. They only want to protect the company’s interests, by paying as little as possible in compensation to you. Contact an experienced Tulsa truck accident attorney before talking to the other driver’s insurance representative.

Motorcycle Accidents

Is a passenger on a motorcycle eligible to receive compensation for injuries?

Both the motorcycle passenger and operator can sue for damages resulting from the crash. If the operator of the motorcycle was at fault, the passenger may even sue the person driving the bike.

If the accident was partly my fault, am I allowed to make a claim?

Even if you were partially at fault for causing the accident, you can still make a claim for damages. Oklahoma has a fault-based system of auto insurance (also known as tort liability). In this system, insurance companies pay according to each party’s percentage of fault. So if you were 40 percent at fault, you could recover 60 percent of your damages. If you are more than 50 percent at fault, you are not eligible to recover anything for damages or injuries.

If I wasn’t wearing a helmet at the time of the crash, can I still file a claim?

Yes. You can receive compensation from the driver responsible for the crash whether you were wearing a helmet or not.

What if a member of my family or other loved one was killed in an accident. Can I file a claim for them?

You may be entitled to compensation for wrongful death of a loved one or family member. Contact an experienced Oklahoma motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your situation.

What should I do if someone from the other driver’s insurance company calls me?

You do not have to talk with them unless you want to. The person calling you from the other driver’s insurance company may seem friendly and act like he or she wants to help you, but that is not the case. They only want to protect the insurance company’s interests, by paying as little as possible in compensation to you. Contact an experienced motorcycle accident attorney before talking to the other driver’s insurance representative.

Bicycle Accidents

If I was involved in a bicycle accident, who can I seek damages from?

If another vehicle, such as a car, bus or truck, was involved in the accident, you can obtain damages from the driver’s insurance company. There may also be other “third parties” who contributed to the accident. Who are these third parties? They can include the city, county or state responsible for road maintenance or maintenance of public property; owners of dangerous private property where the accident took place; their insurance companies; the company that made or sold you the bicycle you were riding; and others.

Can I receive compensation for anything other than medical treatment?

Yes. In addition to compensation for medical care, you can receive money for lost wages, pain and suffering, depression, anxiety, and more. In terms of medical care, you can obtain compensation for a hospital stay, medicine, ongoing surgeries, multiple doctor visits, physical therapy, and more.

If a loved one or member of my family was killed on a bicycle, can I obtain compensation on their behalf?

Yes. In cases of wrongful death, you can receive compensation from the motorist who killed your loved one, together with that person’s insurer. You can receive compensation for your loved one’s medical care. You can also obtain compensation for lost wages, funeral costs and more.

If the accident was partly my fault, am I allowed to make a claim?

Even if you were partially at fault for causing the accident, you can still make a claim for damages. Oklahoma has a fault-based system of auto insurance (also known as tort liability). In this system, insurance companies pay according to each party’s percentage of fault. So if you were 40 percent at fault, you could recover 60 percent of your damages.

What should I do if someone from the insurance company representing the driver who caused my accident contacts me?

Talk with them only if you feel comfortable doing so. The person calling you from the driver’s insurance company may seem friendly and act like he or she wants to help you, but that is not the case. They only want to protect the insurance company’s interests, by paying as little as possible in compensation to you. Contact an experienced Oklahoma bicycle accident attorney before talking to the other driver’s insurance representative.

ELIAS & ELIAS ATTORNEYS AT LAW

1519 S Utica Ave, Tulsa, OK 74104
Phone: (918) 749-8400
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