Under Oklahoma state law, motorists are required to stop immediately if they hit another vehicle, person, or an object while driving. The driver must seek reasonable medical care for anyone who is hurt in the crash, and they must fully disclose personal information when reporting the accident.
If the motorist flees the scene, they could face misdemeanor criminal charges, even if no one was hurt in the crash. If someone was injured or killed, the driver could face felony charges under Okla. Stat. 47 § 10-102. Despite the law and the penalties, many drivers still choose to leave the scene of an accident.
According to a study performed by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, more than one hit and run accident occurs every minute in the United States. More than 680,000 hit and run accidents occur each year. The reasons drivers flee the scene of an accident vary. It could be that the driver did not have insurance to cover the damages the accident caused. Other times, a driver could have a warrant out for their arrest. Sometimes, people just panic and make bad decisions.
If you are a victim of a hit and run accident in Oklahoma City, you have recourse under the law. As soon as you are able, you should contact an Oklahoma City hit and run accident attorney to discuss the compensation that could be available to you.
The law firm of Ryan Bisher Ryan & Simons was founded in 1984 and has been representing hit and run victims in Oklahoma City for over 30 years. The firm is dedicated to providing each client with one-on-one attention. We believe that focusing on one client at a time will help each attorney develop a deep understanding of their clients’ cases, which sets the stage for the best possible outcome.
If you are a hit and run victim in Oklahoma City, call the team of hit and run lawyers at Ryan Bisher Ryan & Simons. We are ready to help identify the hit and run driver or assist you in filing a claim against your own insurance policy to seek the compensation you deserve. Our attorneys can be reached by phone or you can contact us by email or by online chat at any hour of the day to discuss your hit and run accident case.
Oklahoma’s Hit and Run Law
Oklahoma law requires that every driver involved in an automobile accident shall remain at the scene of the accident and exchange their correct name, address, vehicle registration number, driver’s license number, and insurance identification card.
The Oklahoma hit and run law also require that the driver render “reasonable assistance” to any injured person.
Under Oklahoma law, a driver who fails to stop after an accident with another vehicle, a pedestrian, or a bicyclist is guilty of a misdemeanor. If found guilty, the hit and run driver will receive a fine up to $500, imprisonment for up to one year, or both.
Oklahoma law also states that a hit and run driver will be liable to the injured victim for an amount equal to three times the value of the damage caused by the accident in civil court. The civil court judge also has the discretion to order other restitution to the injured victim for any other damages they sustained in the accident.
What Do I Do If I Was Injured in a Hit and Run Accident?
If you were hurt in a hit and run accident, you are most likely worried and stressed about your situation. You are probably wondering who will pay for your losses if the hit and run driver cannot be located.
The first thing you should do after a hit and run accident is to remain calm and call 911. If you are able, take pictures of the accident scene, including the damage to your vehicle. Write down any details about the hit and run vehicle as soon as possible, such as the color, make, and model, and any info about the license plate.
Once the police arrive on-site, make sure that you tell them everything you can remember about how the accident occurred and the other vehicle that was involved in the accident. If there were witnesses to the accident, you should ask them to also give their statement to the investigating officer.
You should seek medical treatment for your injuries. If an ambulance does not respond to the accident, ask a family member or a friend to drive you to the nearest hospital.
As soon as you are able, you should contact an Oklahoma City accident attorney to discuss your case. Speaking to an experienced hit and run accident attorney can help. Your attorney will be able to explain your legal rights and the options available to you following a hit and run accident.
For example, an attorney can discover the different sources available to pay your claim for your hit and run injury. Your attorney can also help make sure that you get the medical treatment that you need to recover from your injuries, and that your medical bills do not go unpaid.
Finally, your attorney can open a claim with the appropriate insurance company and communicate with the insurance adjuster to make sure that they have all the information they need to properly evaluate your claim.
If you were injured in an accident caused by a hit and run driver in Oklahoma City, call the attorneys at Ryan Bisher Ryan & Simons to discuss the options available to you. We have the experience and the skills to seek the best result possible following an unfortunate situation.
How Uninsured Motorist Coverage Works in Hit and Run Crashes
All vehicle owners in Oklahoma are required by law to carry liability insurance with a minimum limit of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident. However, when a hit and run driver is never identified, the hit and run victim is not able to make a claim against the insurance carried by the at-fault party.
Uninsured motorist (UM) coverage may be available for the hit and run victim. If a person injured in a hit and run car accident had an auto insurance policy with UM provisions, the injured party could bring a claim under their own insurance company to recover the benefits available up to the policy limits.
In that instance, the insurance company “stands in the shoes” of the uninsured hit and run driver. Once the claim is submitted, the uninsured insurance company can either decide to settle your claim or defend the claim in court. That’s why you need a qualified personal injury attorney to stand up for your rights even when dealing with “your” insurance company.
How to Report a Hit and Run Accident in Oklahoma
All people involved in a hit and run accident in Oklahoma must file a collision report with the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety if the accident involved injury, death, or more than $300 in damages. More information about the collision report can be found here.
You should report your hit and run accident to your insurance company as soon as you can after the accident occurs. Most insurance companies allow you to make the initial report online. You can also call the toll-free number on your insurance identification card.
Your insurance company may ask you to forward the police report. They will also ask about the injuries you sustained, and the treatment you received. In some cases, they may ask you to provide a recorded statement regarding the hit and run accident. Don’t fall into this trap!
It is best to speak to an attorney about your before providing a recorded statement, as the information you provide may be used by the insurance company to deny or minimize your claim for uninsured motorist benefits.
How Can a Lawyer Help Me after a Hit and Run?
Oklahoma hit and run accident attorneys Ryan Bisher Ryan & Simons can help you seek the maximum compensation available after a hit and run crash.
We are ready to collect all the evidence necessary to prove your hit and run case in order to pursue the highest possible settlement on your behalf. This could include evidence that will prove that the hit and run driver was responsible for the accident, and proof that you sustained serious and permanent injuries in the accident.
Schedule your free consultation by calling us now. You can also contact us by email or by online chat.Get Started