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Oklahoma Personal Injury Law Blog

Can I get a second opinion on my car wreck?

It’s a nightmare scenario for a person in Oklahoma who has been in a car accident. Despite your best efforts, the insurance company of the driver who hit you is not willing to pay you the amount you want for the damages to your vehicle. Fortunately, you are not out of options. You can seek out a qualified mechanic to examine your vehicle and give you a credible assessment of the money that should be paid to repair it or to compensate you for its lost value.

The Car Insurance Companion website points out that the insurance company will recommend a specific mechanic to look at your damaged vehicle. However, the mechanic might not provide you with an opinion that differs from the one offered by the claims adjuster if the mechanic does regular business with the insurer and wants to continue in the company’s good graces. If the mechanic recommends a higher payment to fix your vehicle, the insurance company could refrain from using that mechanic in the future.

Fatigue and truck drivers

It is a known fact that many commercial truckers in Oklahoma drive for extended periods of time including at night or in the wee hours of the morning. While there may be benefits to having these big rigs operating at times when the roads are not as busy as during the day, you may logically wonder if this could contribute to excessive fatigue among truckers. If a driver is tired, regardless of what type of vehicle they are operating, the risk of an accident can increase.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration does have rules in place about how many hours in a day or a week a trucker can work or drive. A work week for a commercial driver can span eight or seven days in which time they may work up to 70 or 60 hours, respectively. Once they have completed a single work week, they must have at least 34 hours away from work before commencing their next work week.

More motor vehicle technology appears to mean more accidents

Smart phones, infotainment systems and driver assistance technologies are supposed to make your life easier. You can always reach help if you need it, find your way to a new location and entertain the troops while you drive. However, these same technologies also make being on the road more dangerous.

Distracted driving has always been an issue as long as automobiles have been around, but in recent years, technology has increased the amount of distraction. The technology requires a significant amount of a driver's attention, which means that his or her attention is not on the road.

Are truck accidents on the rise?

If you drive on highways in Oklahoma, then you have probably seen large trucks. They are used for many purposes, such as hauling inventory to stores or transporting construction materials. Large trucks pose a risk on roadways to other vehicles because of their size. They require more space and have very large blind spots. You may be curious as to the accident statistics involving these trucks.

According to Transport Topics, there has been an increase in accidents involving large trucks. In 2015, the number of total accidents involving trucks was 83,000. In 2016, that number was 104,000. Fatal accidents also rose by three percent in that time from 4074 to 4213. However, to keep things in perspective, accidents involving just passenger vehicles accounted for 29,813 fatal incidents in 2016. So, while large truck accidents are increasing, passenger vehicles may be more dangerous to you on the roads.

How does the car insurance claims process work?

If you are involved in a care accident in Oklahoma, you often fall at the mercy of the insurance companies involved. You can handle your part rather quickly by submitting your claim in a timely manner, but after that, it all falls on the insurer to move the process along. You may wonder what happens after you submit your claim and how long it will take.

According to Edmunds, insurance companies all handle the details of the claims process differently, but general steps are always followed. After you submit your claim, the company will then give your claim to an adjuster who will begin an investigation. The investigation may involve looking over accident reports and medical reports. The adjuster may inspect your vehicle and the other vehicles involved. He or she will also check your insurance coverage to see what exactly is covered. It is mainly the job of the adjuster to determine who was at fault for the accident, so damages are paid for to the appropriate party.

What are the best safety features to have?

Vehicles today have a wide array of available safety features. Some of them come standard while others are add-ons. Some are just nice to have while others really can save your life. It is not always easy to know which ones you should get on your vehicle because car makers want you to get them all so they can make extra money on the sale. However, there is some new technology that you really should consider getting when you are buying a vehicle in Oklahoma.

USA Today explains that one of the best new technological features in vehicle safety is forward collision warning systems. These systems let you know if you are about to hit something in front of you. They can cut down on head-on collisions through alerting you to react before an impact occurs. They are not only nice to avoid rear ending other vehicles but they can also help you dodge distracted drivers who cross the center line.

What are the requirements to get a CDL?

Driving a large truck is much different than driving a passenger vehicle. Because of this, you cannot use your Oklahoma driver's license to legally drive a truck. You have to get a commercial driver's license. This shows you have the skills and knowledge necessary to safely and properly drive a larger vehicle. You can also get various endorsements that allow you to drive vehicles that transport passengers or carry hazardous materials, for example.

To get your CDL, the Department of Public Safety explains you must first hold a regular driver's license. Then, you need to study the CDL manual to prepare for the test. You also will need to decide which type of CDL you need. There are three classes: A, B and C. Each class gives you permission to drive a vehicle based on weight and other factors. You should choose the one that best fits your needs.

What could you do if your claim were denied?

One of the most frustrating things you could have happen to you after a traumatic auto accident is for your insurance company to deny your claim. Luckily, insurance denial letters are often not the end of the road when it comes to car crash compensation in Oklahoma. 

It is conceivable that your insurance provider could have misapprehended the details of your claim, perhaps due to an internal error. One way you could determine if this is a possibility is by reviewing all of the materials you submitted alongside the communications you received from the insurance company in regards to your denial. If there is a discrepancy in even the smallest detail between these two sets of documents, then you might be able to instigate an investigation in your behalf within the company.

How can you prove another driver is liable for your car accident?

Oklahoma readers know a car accident can change their lives instantly, leaving them to deal with serious injuries, expensive medical bills and other consequences. If you are the victim of an accident that was not your fault, you may know you could have grounds to pursue financial compensation. One of the most important steps in securing financial compensation is proving the other party is liable for your suffering.

Proving fault in a personal injury claim is not always easy. You may find it beneficial to seek guidance from the very beginning of this process in order to give yourself an increased chance of success with your case. As a victim, you have the right to seek legal recourse in order to compensate you for your financial losses and suffering.

What is auto-brewery syndrome?

Everyone knows that drinking and driving is wrong. If you get into an accident and the other driver is intoxicated, that person will face stiffer penalties. However, there is an issue that could make someone seem as if they are drunk even if they are not. It is called auto-brewery syndrome, which NPR explains is when the body produces alcohol in the stomach.

There is not a lot of study or information about this condition. In fact, it is incredibly rare and not likely a good defense if someone wants to use it as a claim for drunk driving. There is not enough known about why it happens or how it happens.

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