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Articles Tagged with Damages

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Across the United States, thousands of people die every year as a result of fatal motor vehicle accidents. Those fatal motor vehicle accidents often have far-reaching consequences, both personally and financially. The loss of a loved one paired with funeral expenses and loss of earning can have a devastating effect on a family’s well-being. In some situations, a fatality in such an accident may be considered a wrongful death, and state laws allow for the deceased accident victim’s family members to claim compensation.

An instance where the death of a motorist was caused by the negligence or recklessness of another driver might be considered grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit. The accident victim’s surviving family members may have the legal right to sue the other driver for wrongdoing and claim damages and compensation for their loss. This may include the recovery of lost income and benefits, along with compensation for pain and suffering.

Medical bills accrued prior to the death of the accident victim as well as wages lost as an indirect result of the accident can also be recovered in the event that the family chooses to sue for compensation. The compensation will be divided among the heirs. Such compensation can at least help the family members address some of the financial issues that come up after the accident.

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Throughout the country, including in Oklahoma, most large motor vehicles such as semi-trailers and buses are categorized as commercial vehicles. In addition, smaller vehicles, such as taxis, delivery vans and vehicles that are used in the routine performance of business, are also categorized as commercial vehicles. Under Oklahoma law, vehicles and their operator must meet strict specifications and regulations so that they do not present safety threats to other motorists. These regulations also help ensure that anyone who operates these vehicles in a negligent manner will be held responsible for any necessary compensation or damages.

Enforcement of these provisions has been assigned to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, which has established a separate division-Troop S or OHP-S-to enforce all relevant commercial vehicle regulations. The stated objective of this Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Unit is to protect Oklahoma residents by curbing motor vehicle accidents that involve commercial vehicles. In addition to ensuring safety, the OHP-S also tries to prevent and stop criminal activities that can be committed using commercial motor vehicles, such as the smuggling of illegal goods, contraband and people.

The OHP-S is able to achieve its objectives through a three-pronged strategy. It analyzes statistical data and uses the results to develop and implement a commercial vehicle enforcement strategy. It also carries out problem-specific activities that affect the commercial vehicle industry. Finally, it educates not only those in commercial vehicle businesses, but also the general public about various aspects of commercial vehicle safety.

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One person was killed recently in a multi-vehicle accident on I-35 in Moore, Oklahoma. According to an Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper, the accident was caused by a vehicle traveling on the highway in the wrong direction. The trooper stated that a 21-year-old man from Norman, Oklahoma, was driving a car southbound in the northbound inside lane and collided head-on with another vehicle.

After the head-on collision, the 21-year-old’s car continued traveling until it left the roadway and hit a concrete barrier wall and a third vehicle. Debris from this collision hit a fourth car. Soon after the accident, emergency crews reached the scene.

The driver of the car that was struck by the wrong-way vehicle, a 42-year-old woman from San Antonio, Texas, was declared dead at the scene. The passenger in her vehicle was taken to a medical center and was reported to be in good condition. The 21-year-old wrong-way driver was admitted to OU Hospital in critical condition, while a passenger in his car refused treatment at the scene. The drivers of the third and fourth vehicles were not taken to the hospital.

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Oklahoma residents may be interested to know that the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention provides information related to motor vehicle crashes. For example, one study publicly available analyzed the costs associated with deaths caused by motor vehicle accidents in 2005. According to that study, a staggering 30,000 people are killed in the United States every year due to motor vehicle accidents.

Those fatal accidents not only lead to the loss of life but also result in losses amounting to billions of dollars due to work-loss costs and medical expenses. According to CDC estimates, the monetary losses incurred due to fatal car crashes were a staggering $41 billion. Interestingly, the data showed that only 10 states contributed to more than half of that loss.

Oklahoma, fortunately, was not among the top 10 states on that list; however, despite that, the total estimated monetary loss from crash-related deaths during that year was $700 million. Interestingly, only $7 million, or just 10 percent, was for medical treatment. The remaining costs, amounting to $693 million, were due to loss of work.

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Many Oklahoma residents are worried about the well-being of their loved ones who are placed in nursing homes. Probably the concern arises when people think about the level of attention and care those loved ones need against the various reported incidents of nursing home abuse and neglect commonly featured in the media. Though many incidents of nursing home neglect and abuse may not be fatal or cause great harm but there have been some cases of nursing home deaths.

However, a new bill introduced in the Oklahoma legislature may now make it possible for a nursing home to be held liable if a resident dies or suffers serious injury while in a nursing home setting. According to reports, the new law would create a review board empowered to investigate all cases of injuries and death at nursing homes in Oklahoma. The investigations would be targeted toward determining if the death or injury was a result of abuse or negligence.

According to reports, as many as 3,500 elderly Oklahoma nursing home residents die every year as a result of abuse or neglect. Moreover, Families for Better Care, which is a non-profit organization that rates state-owned nursing facilities, graded Oklahoma as “F” with an overall ranking of 49, making it among the worst states in the country for elderly care. The state’s effort to improve and provide the best possible care to elderly residents is long overdue and necessary to burnish the state’s reputation due to the harm suffered by the low ranking.

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Medical malpractice is not something most Oklahomans associate with personal injury. In reality, a medical error can result in a catastrophic injury and leave a patient with physical and emotional distress and financial problems because of the expense of treatment. Victims and their families can pursue a legal remedy by filing a medical malpractice claim to seek some measure of justice and to assert their need for compensation to cover medical expenses and related damages.

In Oklahoma, victims need to file medical malpractice lawsuits within two years of their discovery of the medical error. Cases filed after this period are usually declared invalid. This statute of limitation, however, only holds for adults who are victims of medical mistakes. For children 12 or younger, the period is longer – seven years after the injury is discovered. For children older than 12, the period becomes more complicated. They have until age 19 to file a claim themselves or have one filed on their behalf by their parents or a legal professional. In all cases for those older than 12, they have a minimum of two years to file.

Oklahoma also has laws in terms of damages victims can receive. If the evidence shows that there was indeed negligence and malice on the part of the hospital or medical practitioner, then victims can be awarded punitive damages up to $500,000. If a court finds a defendant acted in reckless disregard, the amount is capped at $100,000. If a court deems that a defendant overwhelmingly acted with malice, reckless abandon and the intent to harm another person, then the court can award any amount it sees fit. Economic damages are not subject to limits.

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The untimely or accidental death of a loved one is always a challenging time. Besides the emotional pain brought by a sudden death, surviving families can suffer financial problems as well. When the death is caused by the wrongful or negligent conduct of another party, Oklahoma families have the right to seek justice and minimize financial repercussions by filing a wrongful death lawsuit.

What is a wrongful death lawsuit? A wrongful death lawsuit is a legal action that holds a person or entity responsible for the untimely death of a person due to medical malpractice, unsafe premises, a motor vehicle accident, a defective product or other negligence or wrongdoing. The lawsuit asserts that if not for the conduct of the entity or person, the fatal accident would not have happened. The plaintiffs can seek monetary damages including reimbursement for medical and funeral expenses, loss of financial support, loss of companionship, the grief of surviving children, parents and spouse, and the mental pain and suffering of the decedent.

Who can file the lawsuit? The personal representative of the decedent can file the lawsuit on behalf of surviving family members. It is generally recommended that the personal representative hire an attorney to prepare the lawsuit and represent the family’s interests in court.

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Drunk driving is never a good idea, regardless of whether an Oklahoma driver is behind the wheels of a car or any other vehicle. However, the stakes are higher when an Oklahoman is driving a truck. The truck’s enormous size can cause extensive damage when an accident occurs. The truck’s cargo can add to the devastation by spilling over and causing additional accidents on the roadway. Such a situation recently happened northeast of Tulsa, Oklahoma.

According to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, at around 4:30 a.m. a semi-trailer, which was carrying boxes of groceries, was traveling westbound on Highway 60 when it swerved off the highway, scattering the boxes it was carrying. A tanker truck, which was also on the westbound lane, as well as a pickup which was eastbound, crashed into the boxes that were scattered on the highway. A news report indicated none of the drivers were seriously injured but did not provide any further detail on injuries suffered by the pickup and tanker truck drivers.

Troopers arrested the semi-trailer driver on suspicion driving while being intoxicated. He was subsequently booked into the county jail.

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Despite being cautious, motorcycle riders in Oklahoma can still get injured when negligent drivers are on the road. Since motorcycles provide no protection for riders, motorcycle accidents can often result in serious harm, such as a spine or brain injury. Besides being injured, victims can also suffer the burden of shouldering the medical costs and other expenses. However, when the accident is caused by someone else’s negligence, victims need not suffer financial injuries as well. Our Tulsa-based law firm can help victims during this challenging time.

Our experienced lawyers will aggressively fight for the rights of victims. More importantly, we will make sure that they receive the compensation that they truly deserve. Besides dealing with the negligent party, insurance companies often give victims a hard time. These companies often place the blame on the motorcyclists in order to deny claims. They also seek to minimize claims, leaving an injured victim with insufficient funds for recovery.

This is where our law firm has a distinctive advantage. Earlier in his career, our law firm’s namesake represented insurance law firms, so he knows the strategies that they employ. More than that, he knows how to overcome their dubious tactics that pressure victims to accept one-sided settlements. Our lawyers will make sure that victims receive compensation that covers past and present damages, as well as possible damages that can occur in the future because of their injuries.

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In June, many Oklahomans felt the same shock other Americans did when they heard of the truck accident in New Jersey that severely injured comedian Tracy Morgan and two of his friends. As it turns out, Morgan sustained a catastrophic injury that may leave him with permanent impairments because of brain damage. His legal team is continuing to pursue a personal injury case on his behalf against the company they believe was responsible for the accident.

According to an investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board, the truck driver, who was working for retail giant Wal-Mart, fell asleep while driving and hit the comedian’s limousine van stopped in a construction zone on the Turnpike. The truck driver was estimated to be going 65 mph where the posted speed was 45 miles per hour. The crash also killed one comic in the van.

A lawsuit filed in September holds Wal-Mart and the driver responsible. It seeks compensatory and punitive damages from the company. In response to the legal action, Wal-Mart claimed the limousine van passengers bore responsibility because they were not wearing seatbelts. In addition to facing criminal charges, the truck driver is being held accountable in a separate lawsuit.