If you or a loved one is a drunk driving accident victim, contact the Oklahoma City car accident attorneys of Abel Law Firm to schedule a free consultation. You deserve compensation for your injuries and expenses.
While all injuries and fatalities caused by automobile accidents are painful, those caused by drunk drivers are especially devastating because they are entirely preventable. If you have been injured in an accident caused by a drunk driver or lost a loved one because of a drunk driver, you may be entitled to financial compensation. We understand that money will not bring your loved one back to you. But it may be necessary to ensure that the criminal who caused the accident will never make that mistake again.
The Oklahoma City drunk driving victim attorneys of Abel Law Firm are dedicated to fighting the gross injustices committed by reckless and drunk drivers. We believe that you deserve to be compensated for your loss. To learn more about what we can do for you, call us today at (405) 239-7046 or fill out our contact form online for a free consultation.
Do I Need a Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer?
Having an experienced and qualified Oklahoma City accident attorney on your side can often make a difference in a successful case. We will be able to assess your case, advise you of your legal options, and work on your behalf to either achieve a fair settlement or fight for your rights in court. An attorney can fight for the compensation you need to cover medical expenses and return to everyday life.
Drunk driving cases might seem as if they should be open and shut. But they often can be much more complex. Qualified Oklahoma City drunk driving lawyers will have an exhaustive knowledge of personal injury law and the common defenses drunk drivers will try to use to dismiss their cases. A skilled drunk driving lawyer will be able to bring justice to those who drive drunk, standing up to insurance companies that may try to lowball you, settle the claim on the first offer, or try to deny the claim outright.
Why Choose Abel Law Firm to Handle My Case?
The Oklahoma City drunk driving attorneys of Abel Law Firm have unmatched experience and knowledge of personal injury laws. With over 130 years of combined experience, our attorneys are among the state’s elite, having won millions in compensation for accident victims. Our Senior Partner, Ed Abel, has practiced in Oklahoma for over 50 years. Five other highly skilled personal injury lawyers are with him, including several named “Super Lawyers” in Oklahoma.
Working as a team, we bring our collective knowledge of drunk driving law and years of experience trying drunk driving cases to each case we represent. With several of our attorneys maintaining perfect “10” ratings on Avvo’s legal services website, we believe the results, reviews, and awards speak for themselves. Abel Law Firm is deeply involved in the community, and we bring a personal and local touch to our cases, treating you as an individual and not striving to meet a quota. We bring our knowledge, experience, and attention to your case to win the compensation you need to move forward with your life.
How We Can Help
At Abel Law Firm, we know the challenges that victims of drunk driving accidents face. We understand because we have spent decades fighting for justice for people like you. Our OKC drunk driving accident victim attorneys may be able to help fight for the justice you deserve if you or someone you love has been injured or worse in an accident involving:
DUI, or driving under the influence, is not limited to drivers under the influence of alcohol. If the driver that injured you was under the influence of alcohol, illegal drugs, or even prescription medication, they could be held liable for your injuries.
Dram Shop Laws
In some cases, you may also be able to hold the establishment that provided alcohol to the intoxicated driver liable for your injuries. This can include a bar, club, restaurant, or liquor store. These cases involve dram shop laws, which include:
- Distributing alcohol to anyone under the age of 21: In Oklahoma, alcohol-serving establishments cannot sell alcohol to anyone under the age of 21 under any circumstances. If the driver who hit you was under 21 and intoxicated, the alcohol distributor could be held accountable.
- Distributing alcohol to someone who appears intoxicated: Under Oklahoma Dram shop laws, establishments that distribute alcohol may not serve someone visibly intoxicated. If a bar or liquor store sold alcohol to an intoxicated person, they may be liable for a drunk driving accident.
If holding a dram shop liable is possible in your case, it can help you recover even more money. This is because you can only recover money up to the insurance policy limit. An individual driver’s insurance limit is likely far lower than a business’s. A lawyer from Abel Law Firm will be able to investigate your case to determine whether holding a dram shop liable is a possibility in your case.
It is important to note that criminal cases are entirely separate from civil cases. Even if the drunk driver is found guilty in criminal court, this alone will not compensate you. You must file your claim if you wish to recover any money. Similarly, because the cases are separate, this means that you may still be able to recover compensation even if the driver is acquitted in criminal court.
Proving Fault in a Drunk Driving Accident Victim Case
Even if proving a drunk driver is at fault seems pretty straightforward, you must have substantial evidence. Merely saying or thinking they were drunk isn’t enough to pursue compensation. Our Oklahoma City drunk driving accident lawyers have the resources to obtain the necessary evidence that shows the other driver was intoxicated and should be held liable for your injuries and associated losses.
Some of the evidence we will collect during our investigation includes:
- Collision report
- Statements from eyewitnesses
- Your medical records and medical bills
- Video surveillance of the accident
- Crash scene evidence and photos
- Receipts from the establishment from which the driver purchased alcohol
- Breath or blood tests results of the driver
- All available auto insurance policies and coverage information
Having an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side can make all the difference in proving that a drunk driver acted carelessly. The attorneys of Abel Law Firm have extensive experience handling drunk driving cases and are prepared to help you prove your case.
Determining the Value of Your Case
Drunk driving accidents often lead to severe injuries and fatalities. If you sustained injuries or lost a loved one, there are various losses you probably suffered. These losses can involve physical injuries, emotional pain, and financial expenses. Some of the losses you might be entitled to after an accident include:
- Medical bills
- Emotional distress
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Loss of consortium
When your Oklahoma City drunk driving accident lawyer reviews your case, we will determine an appropriate value covering your past and future losses. Insurance companies are known for providing low settlement offers and denying claims whenever possible. We can use aggressive negotiation tactics and provide sufficient evidence proving you deserve the maximum compensation.
Some of the factors we might consider that could contribute to the value of your case are:
- The type of injury and how serious it is
- The emotional impact of the accident
- The total insurance coverage on the at-fault driver’s policy
- The effect of the injury on relationships and daily life
- Time missed from work
- The duration of the recovery period
- The total costs associated with the crash
- The amount of evidence proving the other driver was drunk
- Any physical or mental disability caused by the injury
- The estimated cost of future medical treatment
We know the importance of recovering an adequate insurance settlement so you can heal your injuries without paying for anything yourself. You should not be responsible for your expenses when another person’s negligence caused the accident. At Abel Law Firm, we do not take cases like this lightly. We will approach your case with compassion and care so the person who put you in harm’s way faces the consequences of their actions.
How to Seek Compensation If the Drunk Driver Doesn’t Have Insurance
State laws require all drivers to purchase auto insurance with minimum liability limits to cover an injured individual’s losses after an accident. This is implemented through Oklahoma’s fault system to determine who should be financially responsible for a victim’s medical bills, lost wages, and other costs.
Unfortunately, many drivers get behind the wheel without the necessary insurance coverage. If you discover that the drunk driver doesn’t have liability insurance, you can file a claim with your auto insurance company. Although not a legal requirement, uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM) coverage must be available for all policyholders. It provides compensation when the at-fault driver doesn’t have liability insurance or high enough policy limits.
If you didn’t choose to reject UM coverage when you purchased your auto insurance, you could file a claim for various losses, including:
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Out-of-pocket expenses
Abel Law Firm can review the available policies to determine how much coverage there is and if it’s enough to compensate for your past and future losses. If it’s inadequate, we might be able to file a lawsuit for additional compensation that the insurance companies can’t cover.
How Lawsuits Work in Oklahoma
Filing a lawsuit against the drunk driver isn’t the same as pursuing criminal charges. This lawsuit is done in the civil court system for a monetary award. If you want to sue for compensation, you must follow the two-year statute of limitations. This is a strict deadline that you cannot miss. If it passes before you can file suit, you will likely lose your right to hold the other driver financially responsible for your expenses in court.
Another Oklahoma state law could impact the maximum compensation you’re entitled to pursue. Modified comparative negligence reduces the value of an accident victim’s case by the percentage of fault they share. To clarify, let’s say your total losses are $50,000. Even though the other driver was drunk, a jury could determine you were 25% to blame because you were texting while driving. That means your total compensation would decrease by 25%, leaving you with a maximum of $37,500 in compensation. Oklahoma also uses the 51% rule, which prohibits receiving any money if you are more than 50% at fault.
Drunk driving is a serious crime with severe consequences. At Abel Law Firm, we understand the impact that this can have on you. Besides the physical trauma of your injuries, a drunk driving accident can cause mental trauma and financial instability when you cannot work. Our Oklahoma City drunk driving accident attorneys are here to help you get the compensation you need and help you find justice and closure.
You and your family should not have to pay the costs associated with an accident out-of-pocket if an irresponsible drunk driver caused the accident. You were not responsible for your injuries and shouldn’t suffer because someone else made a reckless decision to get behind the wheel after drinking. We will use our extensive knowledge and experience to prove they should be liable for the suffering you were forced to endure.
The Oklahoma City drunk driving accident lawyers of Abel Law Firm are dedicated to fighting for the rights of drunk driving accident victims. To learn more about what we may be able to do for you, contact us today by calling (405) 239-7046, and we will be happy to meet with you for a free consultation.