Oklahoma City Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers
No one gets behind the wheel of a motor vehicle after drinking without deciding to do so. Drunk driving accidents represent some of the worst cases of driver negligence and recklessness in Oklahoma, often resulting in catastrophic injury or death.
If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a crash caused by a drunk driver, you can and should demand compensation for your losses. However, insurance companies do not make full and fair payments on their own. You will need a skilled Oklahoma City drunk driving accident lawyer on your side to thoroughly document your damages and fight for a full financial recovery.
The dedicated car accident lawyers of Ryan Bisher Ryan & Simons have been helping drunk driving crash victims and their families for years. We will identify every potentially liable party after your crash and aggressively pursue maximum compensation for you. Our firm has earned a reputation as skilled negotiators and fierce litigators. Insurance companies know we don’t back down from a fight for our clients.
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation. Because we understand the financial pressure crash victims are under, we do not charge anything to begin working on drunk driving accident cases. In fact, we only get paid if we recover compensation for you.
Who Can Be Held Responsible for Drunk Driving Injuries?
Although drunk drivers may face criminal charges and penalties for their actions, criminal prosecution does not address the damage they do to innocent drivers, pedestrians, passengers, or others. That’s why Oklahoma law allows victims of drunk drivers to file a personal injury claim or wrongful death lawsuit against the party or parties responsible for the accident.
At Ryan Bisher Ryan & Simons, our Oklahoma City drunk driving accident attorneys will work quickly to identify every potentially liable party in your case. This may include:
- The alcohol-impaired driver. Regardless of whether the driver who hit you was charged with or convicted of driving under the influence (DUI), we will launch our own investigation to collect evidence demonstrating that the driver’s drinking caused the accident. Though a DUI charge and conviction strengthens a case, a personal injury or wrongful death claim does not have to prove a specific level of intoxication, such as through blood alcohol content (BAC). It must only show that the driver was drinking before the crash, and intoxication was the primary cause of the accident.
- An alcohol vendor. In Oklahoma, someone who sells alcohol at a bar or nightclub (a bartender) or a restaurant, liquor store, etc., may be held responsible for a customer’s drunk driving accident. Under so-called “dram shop law” restrictions, evidence would have to show that a vendor had “knowingly” sold alcohol to someone younger than 21 (the legal drinking age), to someone who was already intoxicated, or to a person “who has been adjudged insane or mentally deficient.” Ultimately, the establishment (through its owner) could be held liable for the crash victim’s losses.
- A party host. Hosts of parties or similar events may be held liable for a drunk driving accident caused by an underage drinker or intoxicated guest to whom they served alcohol. Oklahoma’s dram shop law makes it illegal to knowingly “deliver or furnish alcohol” to such guests. This applies to private parties, workplace events, and other social occasions.
In addition to seeking compensation through a drunk driver’s auto insurance coverage, we will explore whether you are eligible for compensation from your own uninsured or underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage. If we have found that third parties (a business or social host) should also be held accountable, we may seek compensation from them through business liability coverage (public liability), homeowners’ insurance (personal liability coverage and medical payment coverage), or other liability coverage they may hold.
Our investigation of a drunk driving accident would seek to uncover an abundance of evidence to support your claim. This may include crash scene evidence, information about damage to the vehicles, and police reports. Liability may be established in part through such evidence as witness statements that cite behavior indicating intoxication and/or continued drinking at a bar, party, etc. We may also examine the driver’s credit/debit card receipts or an establishment’s receipts showing alcohol purchases, as well as social media posts or cellphone texts that might contain incriminating information.
Compensation in Oklahoma Drunk Driving Accidents
As our legal team investigates the cause of the crash, we will also develop an accounting of what has happened to you (your injuries, costs, and losses). We may demand financial compensation for your:
- Medical expenses, both now and in the future
- Property damage to your vehicle
- Lost income, including reduced earning capacity
- Pain and suffering, both physical and emotional
- Punitive damages in cases of egregious conduct
In a wrongful death claim, compensation for the victim’s family may also include:
- Funeral expenses
- Future lost wages the victim would have earned and contributed to the family
- A spouse’s and child(ren)’s lost companionship
In order to determine the full extent of how this accident has affected you, we must allow time for you to reach your best expected recovery from injuries. Then, our team will analyze your medical records and, in cases of disability, consult vocational rehabilitation specialists and life-care planners to determine the potential for returning to work and/or your future medical care needs.
Unfortunately, insurance companies often make it difficult to obtain a proper payout, particularly if you have extensive injuries and medical expenses. The insurance adjuster who reviews your claim has his or her employer’s best interests at heart, not yours. There are many ways insurers can stall, low-ball, or simply deny legitimate accident claims.
Be wary of an insurance company that offers a drunk driving accident settlement before you even have an idea of the full extent of your injuries, costs, and losses. An insurance adjuster knows what the company wants to pay for a claim like yours and is often interested primarily in getting a signature to close your case and move on.
Our knowledgeable Oklahoma City drunk driving accident attorneys will review any insurance settlement offers or paperwork for free in an initial consultation. In the end, we want victims of drunk drivers to be made as financially whole as possible, whether that’s through a proper insurance settlement or a jury award.
Talk to Our Oklahoma City Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Today
If you’ve been injured or lost a loved one in a drunk driving crash, contact the personal injury law firm of Ryan Bisher Ryan & Simons in Oklahoma City today. Our compassionate car accident lawyers have earned the respect of opposing attorneys, insurance companies, and local judges for the strength and integrity of personal injury claims we bring forward.
Schedule a free consultation today to discuss the losses you are facing due to a drunk driving accident. We can travel to meet with you wherever is most convenient, including at your home or in the hospital. Contact us now to get started.Get Started