In the immediate aftermath of a car accident, it can feel like much of the responsibility falls on you. Assuming you’re unhurt, you should get the other driver’s contact and insurance information. You may even want to talk to witnesses and get their contact information, too.
Also, take photos of both cars from every angle, with the surrounding area in the background. You want to focus on where the cars came to a stop, along with the location and severity of the damage. This tells a story that you will need later when the at-fault conversation starts.
Most importantly, never admit fault at the scene of the accident, even if you are certain you were at fault. This can hurt you later.
If this already seems like a lot of work, it is. However, an attorney can help you in many ways:
They will investigate who is legally at fault
Sometimes it’s not clear who was at fault. It’s possible both drivers made mistakes. An attorney will provide you with an unbiased assessment.
Oklahoma has “comparative fault” laws. (Also known as “comparative negligence” laws.) If you are found to be 50% at fault or more, you won’t receive any compensation. If you are found to be 49% at fault or lower, you will receive compensation based on what percentage of fault is assigned to you.
Insurance companies are in the business of making money, not giving you a maximum settlement – or even a fair one. A lawyer will fight this battle for you.
How much will it cost?
Most personal injury attorneys will provide a free consultation. If you hire an attorney, they won’t get paid unless you do.
The final word
The law is complicated and confusing, with dizzying variables. Even if you’re unhurt, car accidents can be upsetting and turn into a major life disruption. Every part of this can be eased by an understanding attorney, who has your best interests at heart.