What You Need to Know About Hit & Run Accidents in Oklahoma

Have you ever returned from a day of shopping at the mall and found a huge dent on the side of your vehicle?  Of, have you been side-swiped by a driver late at night who then decided to take off rather than stopping to do the right thing?  For whatever reason, hit and run accidents appear to be on the rise. Whether due to impairment by alcohol or drugs or through shear carelessness, many drivers are getting away with damaging your car and leaving you stuck with the bill.  However, don’t be discouraged, as there may be ways of protecting yourself.

Oklahoma law requires drivers to maintain a minimum liability coverage of 25/50/25. This coverage provides for $25,000 for bodily injury per person, $50,000 for bodily injury per accident and $25,000 in property damage or what is known as “uninsured motorist coverage” or “UM Coverage”.  UM Coverage may cover you for your medical costs, loss of income, pain and suffering and emotional distress stemming from your hit and run accident.  However, since medical expenses often tend to be enormously high, especially when you have been seriously injured, having substantial UM coverage above Oklahoma’s state minimum is highly recommended.  For those that reside in high density areas, it is especially important to consider getting the maximum amount of UM Coverage available in order to protect yourself and your vehicle.

To increase your chances of succeeding on an UM claim due to a hit-and-run accident, you must immediately report the incident to the police department. Also, most insurance companies require that you promptly report the accident to them, typically within thirty days.  Additional steps that you can take to protect yourself in the event of a hit and run accident are as follows:

  • Try to get the make, model and license plate number of the car that struck you.
  • Do not have the damages to your car repaired prior to allowing your insurance company to inspect the vehicle in its post-accident condition.
  • Get the names and contact information of anyone who witnessed the incident, which will help your insurance company to fully investigate the accident.
  • If your car was hit while in a public place, there is a good chance that the accident may have been recorded, especially in a secured parking lot of a mall or other type of shopping center.  Be sure to check your surroundings after you have been hit and see whether the incident may have been caught on camera.  Speak with store personnel, advising them of the accident and inquire as to the procedures necessary to review their camera footage.

If you or someone you know has been injured in a hit and run accident, the time to act is now.   Only an experienced Oklahoma auto accident attorney can fully evaluate the facts of your case and advise you of your legal options.  Call my office now to find out how I can help fight for your rights and get you the compensation you deserve for your injuries.

How to Prevent Motorcycle Accidents in Oklahoma

Given the combination of beautiful landscapes and warm summer weather, it is not surprising that people in Oklahoma love to take their motorcycles out on the open road.  However, the statistics regarding motorcycle accidents is alarming, and not surprisingly, increasingly on the rise across the United States.  According to national highway statistics, over forty percent of two vehicle motorcycle collisions involving death are caused by the failure of the other driver to see the motorcyclist.  Given the combination of high speeds and the difficulty that drivers often face in spotting motorcyclists – especially on Oklahoma highways – it is clear that accidents are highly likely.  What then can you do to prevent a collision while still enjoying the benefits of motorcycling?

  1. Wear a helmet and protective gear.  No matter what, wearing a helmet is truly a no brainer, as helmets often mean the difference between life and death.  Otherwise stated, wearing a helmet is the most important step you should take before getting on your bike.  In addition to wearing a helmet, protective gear such as leather clothing is also helpful to not only protect you from the elements such as wind and sun exposure, but it can also prevent road rash and other serious conditions should you fall off your motorcycle.  Taking these precautions will certainly make for a more enjoyable and much safer ride.
  2. Be patient and follow the rules of the road.  While it is a lot easier for a motorcyclist to get away with weaving in and out of slow moving traffic and also, driving between vehicle lanes, you must follow the regular rules of the road.  If you fail to adhere to the road rules, you may be putting yourself at great risk of injury or death, especially since other drivers may not see you.  Overall, be patient and wait the traffic out like everyone else.  Be sure to exercise extreme caution when changing lanes and again, don’t drive between vehicle lanes to get ahead.  It is not worth it to jeopardize your safety and well-being.
  3. Get yourself noticed.  It cannot be underscored enough that other drivers are less likely to see motorcyclists, so take whatever measures are necessary to become noticed. This includes using hand signals, wearing reflective gear, and also, following the rules of the road that make it more likely to be visible to other drivers.
  4. Keep your motorcycle in good repair.  No one wants to even think about dealing with a tire blow out or some other mechanical issue while driving a motorcycle in the middle of a busy highway.  As such, it is crucial to inspect your bike regularly to make sure that it is well maintained and free to potential hazards.

While taking the above precautions is extremely important, it is essential to speak with an experienced motorcycle accident attorney who can properly advise you of the legal aspects in bringing forth a motorcycle accident claim.  Despite how much you do to prevent a collision, you cannot guarantee that others will be as careful, making accidents highly likely under certain circumstances.

If you or someone you know has been involved in an Oklahoma motorcycle accident, call our Oklahoma motorcycle accident attorneys now to find out more what your rights and obligations are as well as the ways in which you can optimize your chances of recovery.

Top 5 Ways That Oklahoma DUI Defense Attorneys Challenge DUI Charges

 Many people falsely believe that when they are charged with a DUI, they are without legal recourse.  The good news is that this couldn’t be further from the truth.   In other words, just because you were arrested for a DUI does not mean that there aren’t defenses available to either minimize your charges or even get them dropped.  For numerous years, I have successfully helped thousands of clients facing DUI charges in Oklahoma by raising the following challenges:

  1. The field tests administrated by law enforcement are not indicative of impairment.  Even a healthy and sober person can struggle with standing on one leg or walking in a straight line.  In other words, whether due to physical disabilities or other non-impairment related issues, a person can falsely appear to be intoxicated and arrested for DUI.
  2. The DUI arrest arose from an illegal stop.  An Oklahoma police officer cannot pull over a vehicle without having a reasonable and articulate basis upon which to do so.  In other words, the officer must believe that a law has been violated or witness same before stopping a car.  Many DUI charges are dropped due to the fact that a driver’s rights were violated in this regard.
  3. Inaccurate blood test.  Oftentimes, blood drawing centers fail to follow all necessary procedures in order to ensure the accuracy of the blood samples.  For instance, if phlebotomists use alcohol when swabbing an area prior to performing a blood test, it could skew the results. 
  4. Inaccurate breathalyzer test.  In Oklahoma, breathalyzer tests are administered after a person is arrested and taken to a police station.  When these tests are delayed, it can actually render a higher BAC than at the time of the arrest, causing a person to be falsely charged with a DUI.                   
  5. Videotape or police dispatch tapes.  All Oklahoma State police officers have video cameras in their patrol cars.  These videos, along with those taken at the police station, can be valuable resources for those charged with a DUI. Specifically, they can demonstrate that the alleged offender was actually not visibly impaired or slurring speech as the police offer would like you to believe.  These tapes can also evince that the police offer had some type of bias towards the driver or other reason to falsely allege that he or she was intoxicated.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

If you have been charged with a DUI in Oklahoma, there is no time to waste.  As evident from the above, there are legal defenses available to fighting against your DUI charges.   When I meet with you, I will take the time to investigate the facts of your case, advise you of your legal options and develop strong defenses in your favor.  I invite you to contact me today to learn more about my legal services as an experienced Oklahoma DUI defense attorney and to help you get your life back on track.

Safety Tips for Beginner Bikers in Oklahoma From Experienced Oklahoma Motorcycle Accident Lawyers

Almost everyone would agree that riding a motorcycle is a fun, adventurous and freeing experience.   However, it can also be very dangerous, especially for those who lack training and experience.  According to a national study, many accidents involving motorcycles occur due to beginner motorcyclists who have not the experience necessary to safely maneuver, especially on high speed and unfamiliar roadways.  Additionally, crashes involving motorcycles in Oklahoma tend to occur mostly in higher density areas of the State, such as Oklahoma City.

Notwithstanding, there are numerous steps you can take to enjoy your motorcycle riding experience and avoid injury.  These are as follows:

  1. Perfect practice makes perfect!  We always recommend that bikers practice in parking lots or other areas where they can gain more confidence in turning, braking and negotiating other difficult maneuvers.
  2. Get some training.  In Oklahoma, there are courses that novice motorcyclists located throughout the State can take through the Oklahoma Motorcycle Safety Training Program.  These programs can even benefit more experienced riders who wish to brush up on certain skills.  You can also go online and search for a course near you.
  3. Know your course before you take it.  For novice bikers, it is essential that you know exactly where you are going at all times.  For instance, construction detours and other unknown hazards can cause novice bikers to lose control and become seriously hurt.
  4. Don’t take your bike into unfamiliar areas.  For people who are not experienced bikers, going into areas of which you are not familiar can be highly dangerous.  Specifically, unfamiliar areas can leave you uncertain as to the nature of road conditions, potentially leading to serious accidents.
  5. Keep yourself protected.  Wearing bike helmets, eye goggles and thick clothing (i.e. leather jackets) is highly recommended for several reasons.  Not only do these types of protective clothing and gear shield you from the elements, it can also help prevent certain types of serious injuries should you sustain a fall.
  6. Always keep your motorcycle in good shape.   Not surprisingly, many motorcycle accidents occur due to tire blowouts or other types of malfunctions.  Be sure to inspect your motorcycle and address repairs as soon as possible.

If you or someone you know has been injured in a motorcycle accident, call our Oklahoma motorcycle accident lawyers to find out more about your legal options.  Waiting to get seasoned representation can greatly affect your chances of being justly compensated for your injuries.  We will take the time to evaluate the facts of your case, advise you of your rights and help you make informed decisions about your case.