If you are involved in a car crash without insurance, you could lose your driver’s license, lose your car registration, pay a fine, and maybe even have to go to jail, depending on where you live.
Worse yet, you would likely be sued for bodily injuries, property damages, pain and suffering, lost wages, and more. These costs could ruin you socially, emotionally, and especially financially. If you do manage to be allowed to drive legally again, your car insurance rates would be very expensive.
We all like to believe that people will do the right thing and carry insurance for any vehicle they own. Unfortunately, some people may unintentionally let their car liability insurance lapse. Other people may intentionally cancel their insurance coverage for reasons that do not necessarily make sense. Still, others may be driving stolen cars. The Insurance Research Council estimated 10.5% of the car accidents in Oklahoma in 2015 involved uninsured drivers.
If you were hurt in an accident with an uninsured motorist in Oklahoma City, turn to the experienced car accident attorneys at Ryan Bisher Ryan & Simons for assistance. We’ll discuss your rights and help you seek the compensation you deserve, whether from your own insurance policy or elsewhere.
Call us, chat with us live, or fill out a contact form to reach us today.
What Is the Required Minimum Car Insurance Coverage by Law in Oklahoma?
Oklahoma car insurance regulations require all car owners to carry the following coverage:
- $25,000 for bodily injury or death per person
- $50,000 for bodily injury or death per accident (two or more persons)
- $25,000 for property damage per accident
Car insurance agencies in Oklahoma City are required to offer uninsured motorist (UIM) coverage to anyone buying car insurance. This coverage is not mandatory and it can be declined.
Buyers also have an option to purchase collision and comprehensive insurance in Oklahoma, but just like UIM coverage, these coverages are optional.
Is Oklahoma a No-Fault State?
Oklahoma is an at-fault state, and the state’s at-fault laws incorporate a 50% comparative negligence rule, also known as comparative fault.
Insurance companies and the courts will evaluate and determine each person’s fault. Any driver found to be more than 50% at fault for the accident cannot seek payment from other at-fault drivers. A driver found to be 49% or less at fault for the accident is allowed to seek damages from other at-fault drivers.
Under Oklahoma’s comparative negligence laws, the amount of damages recoverable by a driver will be reduced according to the percentage of fault attributed to that driver. For example, if you sustain $100,000 in damages and are found to be 10% at fault, your award would be reduced to $90,000.
What Happens When You Have a Car Accident Caused by an Uninsured Driver?
If you are involved in a car accident in Oklahoma and the driver of the vehicle that caused the accident has no insurance or insufficient insurance, payments for bodily injuries and property damages will depend on the type of coverage you have.
If you have a collision policy in effect under your own car insurance, you may be able to receive compensation for damages to your car. However, any medical expenses you suffer as a result of the accident caused by a driver with no insurance will be your responsibility, unless you also happen to have UIM coverage on your personal vehicle and/or Medical Payments (MedPay) coverage.
What Is Uninsured Motorist Coverage and How Could It Help Me?
Uninsured motorist (UIM) coverage protects you if you are involved in an accident caused by a driver who has no insurance. It may also cover hit and run accidents. Oklahoma does not require drivers to purchase uninsured motorist coverage.
However, considering UIM coverage can be purchased by you from your own insurance company, it is a good idea to have this coverage. UIM coverage can help you receive payment for medical expenses and property damages caused by an uninsured driver who causes an accident. Without UIM coverage you may have to pay for all the costs out of your own pocket. It’s possible any collision coverage you have on your own personal vehicle would cover damages to your car. But your own medical liability insurance will not cover medical expenses.
Can a Lawyer Help If I’ve Been in a Crash with an Uninsured Motorist?
If you have been in a crash with an uninsured motorist, you should hire a lawyer to help you. If the accident was the fault of an uninsured motorist, without an attorney, it could be difficult for you to collect for bodily injuries, property damages, pain and suffering, and lost wages that you may have suffered.
Here are some ways a lawyer can help you:
- Educate and advise. A lawyer can help you understand your options and provide advice and counsel on decisions such as should you agree to a settlement, negotiate a settlement, or file a lawsuit. Unfortunately, uninsured motorists often don’t have many assets so it may not be worth the time and money to pursue legal action.
- Communicate on your behalf. Your lawyer can handle communications with the other driver, repair shops, doctors and other care providers, and if necessary, disability and workers’ compensation agencies
- Gather and organize evidence. A mountain of medical records, bills, and other paperwork to prove medical liability and damages need to be obtained. Missing documents and reports are difficult to gather.
- Negotiate an out-of-court settlement or represent you in court.
Hurt in an Accident with an Uninsured Motorist? Call Ryan Bisher Ryan & Simons for help.
In Oklahoma City, the attorneys at Ryan Bisher Ryan & Simons have an impressive record of helping car accident victims get the maximum compensation they deserve. Our attorneys understand the challenges and frustrations victims face after being involved in a car accident. This is especially true if the other party failed to uphold their financial obligations and carry at least the minimum liability insurance required by law.
We’ll help you seek the compensation you need to pay your bills, repair your vehicle, and move on with your life after the crash. Contact Ryan Bisher Ryan & Simons today for a free no-cost, no-obligation consultation.