If you’re injured in a car accident in Oklahoma having an understanding of insurance law is very important. The first thing to know is that insurance is important if you file a car accident claim for your personal injuries. According to the law in Oklahoma, you are required to maintain a specific type and amount of motorist insurance coverage if you are a vehicle owner or driver. This insurance may cover you or it may cover other accident victims if you’re the at fault driver. The State of Oklahoma has recently undergone changes to the law. Among those changes are laws regarding the ability to recover for injuries from an at fault driver if the victim of the car accident doesn’t have their own insurance.
Oklahoma Follows a “Fault” System for Auto Accidents
Oklahoma is a “fault” state when it comes to determining financial compensation for those injured in a Car accident. What this means is that the negligent party that caused the crash is liable for any injuries and losses you may have suffered. In other words, the at-fault party’s auto insurance company will absorb the financial costs, up to the policy limit.
If you have suffered injuries in a truck or car accident in Oklahoma, you may be able to proceed in one of the following ways:
· File a claim with your own insurance carrier, if your policy adequately covers the loss
Bring a claim directly with the negligent truck driver’s insurance company
· File a personal injury claim in an Oklahoma court against the negligent driver
Old Rule For Insurance in Oklahoma No Pay, No Play Rule
Until recently, if a negligent driver caused your injuries, but you did not have your own auto insurance coverage, you were not allowed to receive compensation for the pain and suffering they caused you. This old and out dated rule is commonly referred to as the “Pay to Play” rule.
According to this prior rule, your right to personal injury compensation is limited if at the time of the crash if you were not carrying the mandatory auto insurance. While you can still recover compensation for your actual medical costs and loss of income, you may not be able to recover damages for your “pain and suffering” (non-economic damages).
The rationale behind this rule is that if the injured victim did not have the minimum required vehicle insurance that could compensate them, then they should not be allowed to claim the full benefits from the at-fault party in a truck accident.
Current Law If You Don’t Have Insurance and You are Injured.
Recently the Oklahoma Supreme Court rejected as unconstitutional the old play to pay rule. Rather than having compensability depend on one of the parties having insurance the court know looks to who is at fault. This means that if you are injured in an accident and its the fault of the other party whether or not you have insurance doesn’t matter. The Courts reasoning is simple to understand. Being injured in a truck or car accident has nothing to do with your status as having or not having insurance. If the other party caused the injury they are responsible for your injures regardless.
Types of Liability Insurance Available.
The state laws require all motorists to carry a certain minimum automobile liability insurance coverage before they can legally operate a vehicle on Oklahoma roads. However, a 2018 report released by the ODAC revealed that about 25 percent of the drivers in the state are uninsured.
UM or uninsured motorist coverage pays the policyholder in the event of their accident and injury caused by a driver who has no insurance or in a hit-and-run accident where the driver is not traceable.
UIM or underinsured motorist insurance pays the policyholder in the event of their accident and injury caused by a driver whose liability insurance policy does not sufficiently compensate their damages.
When you purchase auto liability insurance, the insurance provider will offer you UM/UIM coverage. Unless you specifically sign a waiver and decline this option, you will almost always have UM/UIM coverage.
Tulsa Car Accident Injury Attorney Near You.
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in a car or truck accident and you were not at fault you have rights. The first and most important right you have is the right to be compensated for all reasonable and necessary medical treatment. This is to be paid by the at fault driver or their insurance provider. You are also entitled to damages for your vehicle and compensation for any work you missed to to their negligence. Lastly, you are entitled to pain and suffering. For a free case evaluation call our Tulsa, Oklahoma car accident injury attorney today. 918.743.2233