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What Are the Long-Term Effects of Untreated Whiplash Injuries?

What Are the Long-Term Effects of Untreated Whiplash Injuries?

A soft tissue injury is an injury that affects muscles, ligaments, and tendons — essentially, tissue other than bone. Whiplash, a soft tissue injury of the neck, is extremely common in car accident victims. Unfortunately, whiplash is often dismissed as a minor or self-repairing injury, which is not always the case. If an accident victim does not receive proper medical care for a whiplash injury, he or she risks developing serious complications later down the road. If you believe you may be suffering from a whiplash injury caused by a crash or collision, you should contact our Oklahoma City car accident lawyers about getting compensated for your medical bills and other financial losses. How Do Car Accidents Cause Neck Injuries? If you thought you didn’t need to worry about whiplash because your accident was minor, think again. Medical research, such as this study published in European Spine Journal, has shown that whiplash is possible at speeds as low as roughly nine miles per hour (15 kilometers per hour). Whiplash most often occurs in rear-end collisions. When the striking vehicle impacts the front vehicle, the force of impact propels the front vehicle occupants forward, causing a violent back-and-forth motion of the neck. This motion rapidly overextends the neck’s muscles and ligaments, pushing them beyond their limits and causing them to stretch or even tear completely. A stretched or torn muscle is commonly called a strain, while a stretched or torn ligament is called a sprain. Therefore, whiplash is sometimes described as a cervical strain or cervical sprain, where the term “cervical” simply refers to the neck. While most likely to... read more
How to Tell if You’re Suffering From Whiplash After a Car Accident

How to Tell if You’re Suffering From Whiplash After a Car Accident

Whiplash is a controversial injury.  Claims adjusters frequently argue that whiplash “isn’t real,” yet according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Americans file more car accident claims for whiplash than for any other type of crash injury.  Despite insurers’ stubborn claims to the contrary, whiplash is very real – not some imaginary condition – as numerous doctors, medical studies, and accident victims can tell you.  If you or one of your loved ones was recently in a car crash in the Oklahoma City area, you should contact the Oklahoma car accident lawyers of Hasbrook & Hasbrook to learn about your legal options in a free consultation.  If you’re suffering from whiplash, the driver who hit you could be liable for compensating your medical bills and other expenses. How is Whiplash (Cervical Sprain) Caused and Diagnosed? The technical term for whiplash is a cervical strain or cervical sprain injury.  The word “cervical” refers to the neck, a strain injury is a stretched or torn muscle, and a sprain injury is a stretched or torn ligament.  (Ligaments are tough, stretchy bands of connective tissue that connect bones and assist with movement.) Whiplash injuries, while common to all types of crashes, are especially likely to occur in a rear-end collision.  As the front vehicle’s occupants and impacted from the rear, the force of the striking vehicle causes a violent rocking motion of the neck.  This motion quickly pushes the neck’s muscles and ligaments past their physical limits, resulting in a whiplash injury. Because it affects ligaments and muscle rather than bone, whiplash is categorized as a soft tissue injury.  Unlike bone... read more
Will I Be Required to See a Mediator for My Car Accident Claim?

Will I Be Required to See a Mediator for My Car Accident Claim?

An Oklahoma car crash victim can seek compensation by suing the driver who was at fault for the collision.  However, the accident victim may be required to go through a process called mediation first.  In this article, our Oklahoma City personal injury lawyers will explain how mediation works — and what happens when it doesn’t work. What is Mediation? What Happens During a Settlement Conference? Car accidents often result in serious injuries — and in turn, hefty medical bills for the victim.  According to Healthcare Bluebook, a consumer service that lists fair pricing for various medical procedures and devices, you’re likely to pay around $8,850 for surgery to repair a broken nose — and that’s just the reasonable cost.  If you fractured a few vertebrae and need back surgery after a car accident, you can expect to pay closer to $50,000.  Even a fairly routine procedure like an MRI can cost you well over $1,000 — and if you need a cast, be prepared to tack another few hundred onto the bill.  To make financial matters even more stressful, the very injuries that cause these expenses also keep the victim out of work, meaning he or she is short on income at the very time it’s needed most. Fortunately, accident victims aren’t necessarily stuck with these expenses.  If the crash that injured you was caused by the other driver, you may be able to get compensated by filing a lawsuit.  (In fact, you may be able to get compensated even if the crash was partly your fault, a subject we covered in our article on getting compensated for an accident... read more
Can a Car Accident Cause Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Can a Car Accident Cause Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Most people associate rheumatoid arthritis (RA) with aging or cold weather.  But did you know that RA can also be caused or aggravated by a traumatic injury, such as an injury sustained in a car accident?  If you began experiencing the symptoms of RA after a car crash, or if a collision caused your existing RA to worsen, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills and other losses.  You should speak with an experienced Oklahoma City personal injury attorney about the possibility of getting compensated for your accident. What Are the Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)? Scientists have identified more than 100 different types of arthritis.  One of the most common is rheumatoid arthritis, a condition the Arthritis Foundation estimates affects approximately 1.5 million people throughout the U.S.  It’s especially common here in Oklahoma, where the CDC estimates anywhere from 25% to 33% of the adult population is affected: a quarter to a third of all Oklahoma residents over age 18.  Only 13 other states have such a high prevalence of RA. Most people think of RA as a bone or joint disorder, but in fact, it is actually a problem with the body’s immune system.  Instead of functioning normally, an RA patient’s immune system attacks his or her own body, leading to chronic inflammation of the joints, typically in the knees and fingers.  (The medical suffix “-itis” always refers to inflammation – for example, bronchitis refers to inflammation of the lungs’ bronchi airways.) Early symptoms of RA may include: Persistent fatigue and tiredness Weight loss Warm, sore, stiff, and/or swollen joints In addition to damaging joint... read more
Can You Sue Someone if Their Dog Causes You to Have a Car Accident?

Can You Sue Someone if Their Dog Causes You to Have a Car Accident?

It’s a situation that unfolds on roads across America every day.  A driver is minding their own business, traveling down a quiet street, when suddenly it happens – a loose dog runs out into the middle of the street, causing the driver to swerve and crash.  Fido is fine – but the driver isn’t.  Now they’ve got a broken arm, not to mention considerable damage to their vehicle.  So who is responsible in this situation?  Is a dog’s owner liable for compensating the injured driver when their pet causes an accident to occur?  Or is the accident victim stuck with the bill?  Our Oklahoma car crash lawyers explain some key points about liability for auto accidents caused by loose dogs. Oklahoma Leash Laws: Who is Liable When a Dog Causes a Car Crash? Dogs and humans have been inseparable for thousands of years.  Without dogs’ early role in herding, hunting, agriculture, and warfare, human history would have followed a very different course.  Time has only made the connection stronger, with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) estimating that more than a million dogs are adopted from shelters throughout the U.S. each year. While dogs can be man’s best friend, they can also cause serious injuries when they are not properly leashed or fenced in.  When an animal suddenly runs out into the road, most drivers’ natural instinct is to veer out of its path.  That’s good news for the animal, but not so helpful for the driver, who is likely to crash into a mailbox, tree, ditch, telephone pole, or oncoming vehicle.  Alternately, the... read more
Is it Really True That Men Pay More for Auto Insurance?

Is it Really True That Men Pay More for Auto Insurance?

There are lots of myths about auto insurance.  One of the more famous is that men pay more on average than women.  But is that really true?  And if so, what facts do insurance companies base their rates on?  Our Oklahoma car accident lawyers take a look at the crash statistics behind the cost gap.  Is Auto Insurance More Expensive for Male Drivers? Do male drivers pay more for insurance coverage?  This is a common question for first-time insurance buyers, so let us take this opportunity to set the record straight: insurance companies can and often do charge male policyholders more for similar coverage.  That comes directly from the Oklahoma Insurance Department (OID), which states the following: “Companies maintain loss statistics that continue to show that more dollars are paid due to losses involving male youthful drivers when compared to female youthful drivers.  Rating factors will be higher to reflect these figures.” Put simply, insurance companies tend to charge male drivers higher rates because statistics indicate that male drivers are more likely to get into an accident.  Because there’s a greater financial risk for the insurer, the insurer tries to compensate by charging a higher amount. However, that doesn’t mean female drivers are off the hook, either: a driver’s gender just one of many variables insurers consider when assessing risk.  As you may have noticed, the OID specified not just males, but “youthful” males.  That’s because insurance companies also weigh factors like your age, your marital status, your credit score, and even the type of community you live in, a subject we covered in our article on factors that... read more
Can a Car Accident Cause Scoliosis?

Can a Car Accident Cause Scoliosis?

A car accident can cause debilitating back and spinal injuries, including a curvature of the spinal column known as scoliosis.  If you or one of your loved ones recently suffered a spinal cord injury in a car crash, our Oklahoma car accident lawyers may be able to help you get compensated for your medical bills, the earnings you’ve lost, and other expenses caused by the accident.  If you’ve sustained a serious injury, you deserve the benefit of skilled legal representation to help you evaluate your options. What is Scoliosis? Can it Be Caused by Physical Trauma? The spinal column consists of 33 bones called vertebrae which protect the underlying spinal cord, a sensitive bundle of nerves traveling from the base of the brain to the coccyx (tailbone).  Normally, the spinal column forms a straight line, providing support and helping us hold our bodies upright.  Scoliosis occurs when the spinal column is bent to the side, forming more of an S- or C-shape than a straight vertical line. Some types of scoliosis are caused by medical disorders or are present from birth, such as congenital scoliosis, which is caused by skeletal abnormalities, or idiopathic scoliosis, which scientists believe is inherited.  However, scoliosis can also be caused by trauma, meaning a physical impact resulting in injury.  (For example, traumatic brain injury describes damage caused by a blow to the head, as opposed to damage caused by disease or infection.)  Scoliosis caused by blunt force trauma or other physical injuries is called degenerative scoliosis. How is Spinal Curvature Diagnosed and Treated? If you experience any pain whatsoever after a car accident, you... read more
Do Car Accident Claims Ever Expire?

Do Car Accident Claims Ever Expire?

The sooner you begin the process of making an insurance claim after a car accident, the sooner you will have the opportunity to recover the compensation you deserve.  But acting quickly is more than just a good idea – it’s essential to maximizing your odds of success.  If you wait for too long, you could lose your chance at getting compensated forever.  If you or one of your family members was recently injured in a car collision, you should contact our Oklahoma City car accident lawyers to review your case in a free consultation.  How Long Do I Have to Make an Insurance Claim After a Car Accident in Oklahoma? Oklahoma is a fault state with regard to auto insurance.  Unlike drivers in no-fault states, who generally turn to their own insurers with a first-party claim, drivers in fault states like Oklahoma typically make a third-party insurance claim with the other driver’s insurance company.  The driver who is found to be primarily at fault for causing the accident can be held liable for compensating the injury victim, depending on the circumstances of the crash, the severity of the victim’s injuries, and other factors.  Even if you were partially responsible for the crash, you can still potentially be compensated as long as you were less than 51% at fault.  (For more information about this topic, see our article on partial fault for a car accident. After being involved in a multi-vehicle car accident, the first step is to make sure that everyone is safe and that you have called an ambulance for anyone who was injured.  You should also report the... read more
Which Driver is at Fault for a Rear-End Collision?

Which Driver is at Fault for a Rear-End Collision?

In no-fault states, it does not matter which driver causes an accident: under most circumstances, injury victims are compensated by filing a first-party claim with their own insurer.   However, Oklahoma is a fault state, which means injury victims generally make a third-party claim with the other driver’s insurer.  In some situations, the Oklahoma car accident victim may decide to file a lawsuit against the driver him- or herself.  In either case, the injured party must prove the other driver was responsible for causing the crash in order to receive compensation.  So which driver is responsible when a rear-end collision occurs?    Who is Liable When a Car Gets Rear-Ended in Oklahoma? When two drivers get into a collision, it’s often one person’s word against the other.  In order to establish who actually caused the crash, investigators turn to a few different sources of evidence, which can include crash debris, video footage, photographs, and eyewitness testimony.  Additionally, each driver’s actions will be compared against Oklahoma’s motor vehicle statutes to determine whether either motorist was breaking any of Oklahoma’s traffic laws when the accident occurred.  If either driver failed to yield the right of way, made an improper turn, or violated other rules of the road, he or she may be found liable for the resulting crash. Oklahoma’s rules for driving behind other vehicles are consolidated under 47 O.S. § 11-310, which provides that drivers must place a “reasonable and prudent distance” between themselves and the vehicles ahead.  The statute doesn’t specify a fixed measurement, so this factor must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.  The Oklahoma Driver’s Manual recommends staying three... read more
Can a Car Accident Cause Vision Problems?

Can a Car Accident Cause Vision Problems?

It goes without saying that car accidents are capable of causing debilitating injuries.  Human bodies simply aren’t designed to withstand the tremendous forces exerted by collisions, particularly at high speeds.  Bones fracture into pieces, muscle fibers tear apart, and nerves are compressed or severed completely.  Yet physical trauma isn’t the only damage that can result from a serious crash.  If the victim sustains a blow to the head or neck, senses like vision and hearing can also be affected.  If you recently suffered a neck or head injury in an automotive accident, you should contact an Oklahoma car crash lawyer of Hasbrook & Hasbrook for assistance.  You may have a right to compensation for your injuries. How a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Affects Your Sense of Sight, Hearing, and Smell Car accidents are among the leading causes of traumatic brain injury (TBI) in the United States.  According to the CDC data, motor vehicle traffic caused about 14.3% of all traumatic brain injuries from 2006 to 2010, surpassed only by object strikes (15.5%) and accidental falls (40.5%).  TBI can be categorized as “mild,” “moderate,” or “severe,” but even a mild TBI can impair the victim’s mental abilities, physical abilities, and overall health. Obviously, the human brain is an extremely complex organ, and no two TBI cases are identical.  There may be great variation in symptoms experienced from patient to patient, depending on which part of the brain is injured and to what extent.  That being said, sensory problems are a common outcome among many TBI victims. Vision is one of the senses which can be impacted by TBI.  Vision problems can occur... read more
Were You Injured by a Drunk Driver? Dram Shop Liability May Play a Role in Your Claim

Were You Injured by a Drunk Driver? Dram Shop Liability May Play a Role in Your Claim

Bars, restaurants, and liquor stores have a duty not to sell alcohol to visibly intoxicated patrons.  Vendors who ignore this responsibility and go ahead with a sale may be liable for car accident injuries caused by the drunk driver they served.  This concept is known as “dram shop liability.”  A “dram” is an old-fashioned word for a small serving of gin, which is where the term gets its unusual name.  If you were injured by a drunk driver in Oklahoma, dram shop laws may impact your case.  You should speak with an experienced Oklahoma City car accident lawyer for more information about getting injury compensation. How Many Oklahoma Car Accidents Are Caused by Drunk Driving? Despite being completely preventable, drunk driving is often a factor in automotive accidents.  You can see this clearly for yourself by looking at government accident data and comparing the drunk driving figures against the overall death and injury statistics. According to the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office’s 2014 crash report, there were a total of 68,327 car accidents in Oklahoma that year.  22,673 were injury crashes, and 589 crashes were fatal, resulting in: 3,042 incapacitating injuries (from the OHSO persons report) 11,690 non-incapacitating injuries 669 deaths The same year, a total of 3,558 car accidents involved drunk driving.  1,598 were injury crashes, and 151 crashes were fatal.  These Oklahoma DUI accidents resulted in: 399 incapacitating injuries 938 non-incapacitating injuries 172 deaths These numbers mean about 5% of all car accidents reported in Oklahoma in 2014 — roughly one in 20 — had driver intoxication as a cause or contributing factor. That percentage increases greatly when you... read more
How Long Do You Have to See a Doctor After an Auto Accident?

How Long Do You Have to See a Doctor After an Auto Accident?

There are obvious health reasons for seeing a doctor after a car accident.  But not only is prompt care important to your health – it’s also important to your insurance claim against the at-fault driver.  If you wait for too long to seek medical treatment, the insurance company can deny coverage – even if you were seriously hurt.  For this reason, getting immediate medical treatment is one of the most important steps to take after a car accident in Oklahoma. Delay in Treatment: Getting Medical Care within 72 Hours of a Car Accident A car accident is a high-stress emergency event.  Your body responds by pumping out a huge surge of adrenaline (epinephrine), the hormone associated with the “fight or flight” response.  During an adrenaline rush, your heartbeat speeds up, you take faster breaths, and you’re less sensitive to sensations of pain.  However, that’s not necessarily a good thing. Pain is your body’s way of telling you that tissue has been damaged.  When you don’t feel pain signals the way you normally would, you don’t receive your body’s message that an injury has occurred.  It can take hours or entire days to start feeling pain while the initial rush and shock of the accident subsides. When you report the accident to your insurance company, do not make any statements indicating that you “feel fine,” “weren’t badly hurt,” or any remarks along those lines.  You may have sustained injuries you aren’t even aware of, because your body, responding to a state of high stress, is so flooded with chemicals. It is also critically important to get medical care as soon... read more
Is Compensation for Car Accident Victims Limited in Oklahoma?

Is Compensation for Car Accident Victims Limited in Oklahoma?

Oklahoma is a “fault” insurance state, which means that if you ever get hurt in a car accident, the driver who caused the crash or collision may be responsible for compensating you.  However, state laws restrict the amount of compensation that can be awarded to an injury victim, depending on what sort of harm or loss is being compensated.  If you were hit by another driver, you should contact our Oklahoma City crash accident lawyers about the compensation that may be available to you. What Are the Different Types of Damages Awarded in a Civil Case? In the context of personal injury law, the term “damages” describes a monetary award for a loss or harm (“tort”) suffered by the injury victim.  However, damages are divided into several categories, each of which serves its own distinct purpose. Let’s quickly go over the differences between the types of damages that can be awarded in a civil case, such as a case arising from a preventable truck accident in Oklahoma.  The victim may be awarded: Compensatory Damages – Compensatory damages compensate the victim. This might sound like a redundant explanation at first, but it’s important to distinguish compensatory damages from punitive damages, described below.  Compensatory damages can include: Economic Damages – Economic damages compensate quantifiable expenses and losses, such as the car accident victim’s medical bills or projected income losses while he or she recovers. Some states call economic damages “special damages.” Non-Economic Damages – Non-economic damages compensate subjective hardships, such as the pain and suffering caused by a whiplash neck injury. Some states call non-economic damages “general damages.” Punitive Damages – Punitive... read more
What Are the Legal Rights of a Passenger Who is Injured in a Car Accident?

What Are the Legal Rights of a Passenger Who is Injured in a Car Accident?

Regardless of whether they are drivers or passengers, vehicle occupants may pursue compensation for crash injuries caused by reckless, negligent, or illegal actions, such as driving through a red light.  If you sustained a passenger injury in a side-impact collision, a single-vehicle accident, or any other type of crash, you should speak to the Oklahoma automotive accident attorneys of Hasbrook & Hasbrook about your legal options for getting compensated. Getting Compensated as an Injured Passenger: Filing a Third-Party Insurance Claim Motorists have a legal duty to follow traffic laws and exercise common sense while driving.  When a driver decides that he or she is exempt from the rules of the road – or, simply makes a careless mistake – that driver may be liable for personal injury or wrongful death caused by the resulting accident.  This basic premise holds true regardless of whether the injury victim is a driver or a passenger. Some common ways drivers can be reckless or negligent when operating a motor vehicle include: Driving the wrong way down a one-way street Driving while intoxicated Following too closely Ignoring right-of-way Making illegal U-turns and other prohibited driving maneuvers Making improper turns Texting while driving When a passenger gets injured in an Oklahoma car crash, there are a few ways he or she can go about getting compensated.  In most cases, the first step is to make an insurance claim.  This may involve: Filing a third-party claim against the driver at fault for the accident. The at-fault driver could be the driver of the other vehicle, or the driver of the vehicle the passenger was riding in. ... read more
Why Should a Driver in Oklahoma Consider Purchasing UM or UIM Insurance Coverage?

Why Should a Driver in Oklahoma Consider Purchasing UM or UIM Insurance Coverage?

Most people rely on insurance to help pay for the costs of a car accident.  However, according to the Insurance Research Council (IRC), approximately 13% of all U.S. motorists — roughly one in eight drivers — were uninsured as of 2012. The number of uninsured drivers in Oklahoma was twice as high — closer to 26%, or about one in four motorists — making Oklahoma the number one state for uninsured drivers in the country.  In light of these figures, one could argue that Oklahomans, more than residents of any other state, would be wise to consider purchasing UM or UIM insurance.  But what are the benefits?  What protection do these types of coverage offer in the event that you’re ever involved in an Oklahoma car accident? What is Uninsured Motorist/Underinsured Motorist Insurance? UM stands for Uninsured Motorist insurance, while UIM stands for Underinsured Motorist insurance.  As these names suggest, the purpose of UM/UIM coverage is to provide financial protection in the event you are ever injured in an accident where the driver at fault is not adequately insured, or is not insured at all.  The uninsured or underinsured motorist will not be able to pay for your medical bills and other expenses out-of-pocket, which is precisely where your UM/UIM insurance will be useful. UM/UIM coverage in Oklahoma provides protection if you, one of your family members, or any of your passengers are ever injured in an automotive accident caused by: An uninsured driver. An underinsured driver, meaning a driver who does carry auto insurance, but whose policy limits are exceeded by the costs of the injury victim’s medical... read more
9 Factors That May Increase Your Car Insurance Rate

9 Factors That May Increase Your Car Insurance Rate

As we wrote about in a previous article, there can be serious drawbacks – and hefty financial penalties – to driving without insurance in Oklahoma.  However, while it’s crucial to make sure that you’re adequately covered, it’s not always simple to find an affordable policy.  While most people are already aware that selecting a low amount of coverage or high deductible will help keep prices down, there are also many additional factors which can impact the price of your policy, too.  While some of these factors are beyond your control, you’ll be empowered to make the best, most efficient decisions when you understand what sorts of variables impact your auto insurance costs. Personal Variables: Your Age, Gender, Location, and Marital Status Not only do insurance companies examine your vehicle and driving history – they also examine you.  Your age, your gender, and even whether you’re married or single can all have an impact. For instance, drivers under the age of 25 generally have higher accident rates – particularly male drivers – and in turn, higher insurance rates to match.  (According to the CDC, people aged 15 to 24 account for only 14% of the U.S. population, yet about 29% of the costs associated with annual car accident injuries.)  On the other hand, some insurance companies offer discounts for students with high grades, generally called a Good Student discount. Your marital status also has bearing on how much you ultimately pay.  Since single individuals are statistically more accident-prone than people who are married – likely due to a correlation with age and years of driving experience – they also tend... read more
What Time of Day Are Car Accidents Most Likely to Happen?

What Time of Day Are Car Accidents Most Likely to Happen?

It may sound far-fetched to suggest that certain months, days, or hours could be more dangerous for driving, but crash statistics indicate otherwise.  Our Oklahoma City car accident lawyers combed through the most recent data available from the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office to pick out which times of day, days of the week, and months of the year had the highest rates of crashes and collisions.    Does Time of Day Affect the Likelihood of a Car Accident Occurring? If statistics are any indication, the answer to this question is a resounding yes.  However, the data paints a somewhat surprising picture. You would probably expect the highest number of accidents to occur at night, when drivers are tired, contending with reduced visibility, and sometimes, returning home intoxicated from parties and bars.  However, OHSO crash records actually indicate that the vast majority of crashes and collisions take place during the day.  In fact, OHSO found that daytime accidents were just over three times more likely to occur than nighttime accidents.  Unexpectedly, OHSO data also indicates that the amount of lighting has virtually no impact on the frequency of nighttime crashes, with a slim difference of just 282 accidents between crashes with lighting and crashes without lighting. The following statistics are sourced from the 2014 OHSO report on statewide crashes, the most recent data available: Daylight – 49,455 crashes Darkness – 7,796 crashes (with lighting), 8,078 crashes (without lighting), 205 crashes (lighting unknown) Dusk and dawn had similar accident rates.  Accidents were only slightly more likely to occur during dusk, with a difference of 333 crashes: Dawn – 1,001 crashes Dusk –... read more
Who Is Liable for a Multi-Vehicle Accident in Oklahoma?

Who Is Liable for a Multi-Vehicle Accident in Oklahoma?

After an automotive accident, there are a lot of questions that need answers. Drivers may find themselves asking, how expensive will it be to repair or replace my damaged vehicle? How much will I have to pay, or will I have to pay? However, the biggest question is often: who pays? Determining liability after a multi-vehicle accident is a complex process. In this article, the Oklahoma car accident lawyers of Hasbrook & Hasbrook will explain fault versus no-fault states, how fault is determined, and how the percentage of liability is determined in a multi-vehicle accident in Oklahoma. How is Liability Determined in an OK Truck or Car Accident? After any car accident in Oklahoma, a driver must prove that the other driver was at fault if they want to recover compensation. Determining who was at fault requires insurance investigators to carefully comb through the accident, and typically includes a detailed review process. This might include the investigator: Taking photographs and examining the scene. Determining if the drivers carried auto insurance. Interviewing drivers, passengers, and bystanders. Reviewing police reports and speaking with investigating police officers, which may include determining if any of the drivers: Were intoxicated. Were unlicensed, or driving with a suspended license. Were speeding. Were following too closely. Were driving recklessly. In a multi-vehicle accident, it is also common for investigators to assign each driver involved in the accident a percentage of fault. For example, in a three-car accident between cars A, B, and C, an investigation may reveal that Car A was 60% at fault, Car B was 30% at fault, and Car C was only 10%... read more
What Happens if You Don’t Report a Car Accident to Your Insurance Company?

What Happens if You Don’t Report a Car Accident to Your Insurance Company?

After an Oklahoma City car accident, there are two parties you may be required to notify: law enforcement, and your insurance company.  But how do you know when it’s necessary to report an accident to either?  And what are the risks and penalties for a driver who fails to disclose that a crash or collision has occurred? Do I Need to Report a Minor Accident to the Police? What About My Insurer? The short answer to the first question is no.  The long answer, of course, is more nuanced. If an accident does not result in any injuries, state laws do not require you to report the accident to law enforcement.  (That being said, it is wise to obtain a police report regardless, as they often prove highly useful during settlement negotiations.  You can read more about this topic in our article on reporting a car accident to the police.) Under O.S. § 47-10-103, which deals with accidents limited strictly to property damage, the driver who caused the accident need only remain at the scene long enough to exchange contact information with the driver of the other vehicle.  O.S. § 47-10-107 specifies that only drivers who are involved in accidents causing wrongful death or personal injury need report the crash to the police.  If you fail to report a fatality or injury to the police, you can be criminally charged with hit and run, a conviction of which can subject you to steep fines and a lengthy sentence, not to mention a burdensome criminal record. With all of this useful information in mind, it’s crucial to note the above... read more
What Are the Most Common Child Injuries Caused by Car Accidents?

What Are the Most Common Child Injuries Caused by Car Accidents?

The U.S. Department of Transportation contains an agency called the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), whose function is to research automotive safety issues in the interest of reducing accidents.  In this article, our Oklahoma City car accident lawyers will focus on NHTSA research into common childhood injuries resulting from crashes and collisions.  If your son or daughter was hurt in a car accident in the Oklahoma City area, our attorneys may be able to recover compensation for your family. Brain Injuries Rank #1 Most Common in Children Under 8 Years Old While anyone can be seriously injured in a car accident, children are exceptionally vulnerable because their muscles, bones, and ligaments are still growing.  In particular, children are highly susceptible to head and brain injuries, especially the following six types: Cerebrum Injuries – The cerebrum refers to the two large, wrinkled halves of the brain (as opposed to the smaller cerebellum or “hindbrain” located beneath and behind the cerebrum). Cerebral lacerations and contusions – in other words, cuts and bruising to the brain – were more common across all age groups than any other type of injury.  A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can interfere with virtually every cognitive function, including memory, communication, emotion, perception, learning, and problem-solving. Skull Base Fracture – A fracture at the base of the skull, which is called a basal or basilar skull fracture, can lead to deafness, impaired vision, and involuntary eye motions. Skull Vault Fractures – Skull vault fractures are cracks in the cranial vault, or the space in the skull in which the brain rests. Subarachnoid Hemorrhaging – Describes bleeding (hemorrhaging) in... read more
What is the Safest Seat for a Child if a Car Accident Occurs?

What is the Safest Seat for a Child if a Car Accident Occurs?

During the 1990s, conventional wisdom said the rear seat was the safest seating position for child car passengers.  Then again, conventional wisdom during the 1940s said that cigarettes were good for your health.  As technology and scientific knowledge advance, it’s always worth revisiting old ideas about best practices to prevent or reduce child injuries in car accidents.  Several studies have been conducted with this exact goal in mind – with some surprising (and not-so-surprising) results.  In this article, our car accident injury lawyers find out what modern research has to say about what’s really the safest seat for a child. Is it Safer for Children to Be Seated in the Rear or Front of a Car? In 2009, traffic safety researchers conducted a large-scale study to analyze front and rear seat injury rates among children injured in more than 10,000 accidents across more than a dozen states.  In the researchers’ own words, “Design improvements to frontal air bags for vehicles of model year 1998 and newer have reduced the risk of injury to child occupants exposed to their deployment.  These changes… give impetus for the reconsideration of rear seating recommendations for child occupants.” Based on the aforementioned improvements to front seat safety, you might expect the front seat to outperform the rear seat in terms of injury prevention.  Yet the study, which was published in Traffic Injury Prevention, did not expose any information that would uphold this idea.  In fact, it strongly confirmed existing knowledge that the back seat is statistically the safest option.  Here’s what the researchers concluded, based on the data uncovered by the study: “When stratified... read more
Should I Get an Attorney for a Car Accident?

Should I Get an Attorney for a Car Accident?

After you’ve been injured in a car accident in Oklahoma City, there are dozens of problems to deal with.  You’ve got to call your insurance company, call your employer, budget around your medical bills, make arrangements for your family’s transportation, take the damaged car in for repairs…  The list goes on and on.  With so many stressors already weighing on your mind, it’s understandable that you might not want to add a task to the heap by deciding to hire an attorney.  However, there are (at least) three very important reasons you should think about seeking legal help after you’ve been hurt in an automotive accident. Reason #1: It’s Free Unless Our Car Accident Lawyers Get Compensation for You Let’s start by addressing the elephant in the room: money.  Car accidents are expensive, costing around $125,000 in the case of an injury and as much as $6 million in the case of wrongful death, according to AAA estimates.  Certain severe injuries, such as a spinal cord injury or a traumatic brain injury, can also carry lifelong expenses associated with ongoing surgeries, rehabilitation, in-home care, medical equipment, permanent disability, and other costs. When faced with such intimidating bills, most people aren’t eager to add to their already-considerable expenses by hiring an attorney.  But on that front, we’re pleased to deliver some good (and possibly surprising) news: when you work with Hasbrook & Hasbrook, you won’t pay any fees unless we obtain compensation for you. This type of financial structure is called a “contingent fee” or “working on a contingency basis,” because your payment is contingent upon us getting compensation for... read more
What Happens if Someone Dies in a Car Accident?

What Happens if Someone Dies in a Car Accident?

Nothing could be more devastating than losing a spouse or family member to a fatal car accident in Oklahoma, especially if the crash was caused by the other driver’s careless actions.  Depending on your relationship to the victim, it may be possible for you to file a lawsuit on his or her behalf – not only to obtain compensation, but even more importantly, a sense of closure, accountability, and justice for your loss. Who May Bring a Wrongful Death Action in OK? Are There Time Limits? Not everyone possesses the necessary legal authority to file a wrongful death lawsuit, even if they have been personally devastated by the loss.  Under Okla. Stat. § 12-1053, you must be the personal representative of the decedent’s estate in order to take a case to court.  As personal representative, you represent not only the interests of the decedent him- or herself, but also any heirs or beneficiaries who might exist. In addition, it is critically important that the personal representative abide by legal deadlines.  In accordance with a strict time limit known as the “statute of limitations,” the action must be brought within two years of the date of death. While absolutely encourage you to prioritize self-care, and to take all the time you need to mourn your loss, we would also point out that the sooner you feel able to start working with a wrongful death attorney, the more time will remain to build the strongest case possible on your loved one’s behalf.  If you wait until the two-year deadline is almost about to pass, there may not be enough time remaining... read more
What Are the Effects of a Car Accident During Pregnancy?

What Are the Effects of a Car Accident During Pregnancy?

Preparing to bring your baby son or daughter into the world is a joyous time for any new parent.  But when a pregnant mother is injured in a car accident in Oklahoma City, the effects on the developing fetus can be debilitating or, sadly, even fatal.    Common and Serious Pregnancy Complications Linked to Car Accidents Over the past few decades, several peer-reviewed medical studies have sought to examine the consequences of automotive accidents for pregnancy, birth, and fetal development.  One recent example, published in 2013 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, sampled data from hundreds of thousands of women to analyze the nature and frequency of negative pregnancy outcomes associated with car accidents. The study found that after just one car accident, pregnant drivers had “slightly elevated rates of” three serious pregnancy complications: Placental Abruption – According to the American Pregnancy Association, this condition results in fetal death about 15% of the time.  It occurs when the placenta completely detaches from the uterus.  As a result, the fetus does not receive sufficient nutrition or oxygen.  If the baby survives, he or she might be born underweight and suffer extensive damage to the brain, which can cause learning and developmental disabilities throughout life.  Placental abruption can also cause fatal hemorrhaging in the mother. The study found 175 cases of placental abruption after a single crash, with another 11 after a second crash (186 total).  The placental abruption rate was 5 per 100,000 pregnancy days with no crash, 6.7 per 100,000 with one crash, and 16.7 per 100,000 with a second crash. Premature Rupture of Membranes (PROM) – When a... read more
I Broke a Bone in a Car Accident, How Long Will it Take to Recover?

I Broke a Bone in a Car Accident, How Long Will it Take to Recover?

Needless to say, the recovery period for a broken bone resulting from an car accident will depend on factors like the location of the injury, the severity of the injury, and the victim’s overall health at the time the crash or collision occurred.  To help give you a rough idea of the healing time you can expect, our Oklahoma City car accident lawyers have compiled this list of average recovery periods for seven types of bone fractures commonly seen in crash victims.  Of course, you should consult with your physician immediately if you suspect you’ve cracked or broken a bone, even if the accident seemed minor. Average Healing Time for Facial Fracture Injuries Every individual’s healing time depends on variables like which bone was broken, the type and severity of the fracture which occurred, and whether he or she has any underlying health conditions which could impede normal recovery, such as a weakened immune system due to multiple sclerosis or rheumatoid arthritis.  Obviously, these factors vary from one person to the next, which means some people will experience significantly longer (or shorter) recovery periods than others.  However, the ballpark numbers below will help to provide an approximate frame of reference for you. Broken Cheekbone – The anatomical term for the “cheekbone” is the zygomatic bone. The average healing time for a fractured cheekbone is generally as little as two to three weeks, though depending on the severity of the break, you may need to have titanium plates or screws implanted to provide adequate support and structure for your eye sockets.  Unfortunately, these implants occasionally become infected, which will necessitate follow-up... read more
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