Blog of Charles Bryan Alred
Five Drivers, Passengers Injured in Recent Oklahoma Car Accident
Posted on November 20, 2019
Despite the serious nature of the incident, several victims involved in a three-car collision in Central Oklahoma are expected to recover from their injuries. Oklahoma’s News on 6 covered the November 5, 2019 motor vehicle crash, in which two passengers and three drivers were all transported to area hospitals for treatment. State and local police continue to investigate the circumstances behind the auto accident, hoping to uncover the causes and contributing factors.
Fault will be an important issue for the three individuals who were behind the wheels of their vehicles when the incident occurred. Each of them can recover compensation if they can prove that another driver was responsible for causing the crash. However, the situation is slightly different for the other two injured victims. Charles Bryan Alred, founding partner at Charles Bryan Alred, PC in Tulsa, OK, explained the rights of passengers in auto collisions.
“When you weren’t driving the car, fault doesn’t matter. Someone else was definitely responsible for causing the accident. But that doesn’t make your claim any easier – in some ways, your claim is more complicated. You have multiple parties that you can pursue to seek compensation for your losses. Each of their insurance companies will most certainly fight your claim by saying their own policyholder wasn’t at fault.”
Mr. Alred noted key liability issues in personal injury cases with multiple defendants, specifically referring to the concept of joint and several liability that the Oklahoma legislature abolished in 2011. “Just a few years ago, each defendant would be responsible for their share of the monetary damages award to a plaintiff, and each one was also on the hook for the entire amount. Today, a motorist is only liable for the harm they cause. So, most passenger victims will need to file a lawsuit and let the defendants battle out liability.”
As such, the main consideration for passengers who are hurt in car accidents is the nature and severity of the injuries. It is necessary to present medical records, work with medical experts, and collect many other forms of evidence to support a claim.
“Passengers also need to realize that enforcing their rights could put them in an awkward position vis a vis the driver of the car. The person you’re pursuing could be a friend or family member. When that’s the case, keep in mind that your rights don’t change just because you want fair compensation for your losses. You can still seek monetary damages through an insurance claim.”