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FAQs on Personal Injury

The attorneys you can trust

As one of Oklahoma City’s leading personal injury law firms, the Van Meter Law Firm strongly believes quality service can alter the outcome of your injury claim—and, in turn, the rest of your life.  Our lawyers are devoted to ensuring you receive compassionate care, intelligent legal advice, and appropriate compensation for your injuries.  We devote our work to Helping the Hurt Find Hope.

Contact our firm for an initial consultation with a seasoned Oklahoma injury lawyer.  Centrally located in downtown Oklahoma City, our office has free parking and is easily accessible by public transportation.  We take cases on a contingency fee basis.  If you cannot come to us, we come to you.

Should I provide a statement to an insurance company without a lawyer’s help?

No.  The more significant your injuries, the more important it is to seek legal counsel before talking to an insurance company.  The insurance company may try to diminish the significance of your injuries or talk you into taking a settlement below what you deserve.  It would be detrimental to provide an incomplete statement early in the process until you and your attorney know the details and severity of your injuries.

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Will I have to go to trial to recover damages?

Van Meter Law Firm resolves cases by carefully reviewing evidence and performing extensive research.  As such, the vast majority of our claims settle before trial.  Our opposition knows we will not hesitate to take a case to court if they do not offer fair compensation for your injuries.  We are strong trial attorneys and enjoy handling difficult cases.

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What is considered “pain and suffering?”

The term pain and suffering encompasses physical injuries, mental injuries, and their future ramifications.  Harm caused by pain from a physical injury falls under pain and suffering, as does suffering caused by the mental anguish of experiencing a physical injury.  It also includes the difficulties and troubles an injury and its subsequent consequences generate, such as potential surgeries, lost wages, and permanent injuries.

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How are recoveries determined?

The amount of money recoverable in all personal injury cases hinge on three factors:

  • Liability—establishing fault and the identity of the negligent parties
  • Damages—the amount that will fairly and adequately compensate you for your injuries
  • Source of collection—insurance or other assets from which damages can be recovered

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What is a typical settlement amount?

Settlements greatly vary based on the nature and severity of your injury and the liability.  Our personal injury attorneys review and interpret your case information to determine the appropriate value for your claim based on:

  • Incurred medical bills
  • Future medical bills
  • Any permanent limitations caused by your injury
  • Loss of past income
  • Impact on future earning capacity
  • Activities you can no longer do
  • Loss of quality of life
  • Prognosis for further problems
  • Strength of lay witness testimony
  • Your age
  • Wrongful death
  • Loss of consortium
  • Expert testimony
  •  Settlement Resource availability
  • Liability
  • Causation
  • Jurisdiction and jury pool
  • Individual Case facts and particulars

That said, individual case legal merits and other privately negotiated factors determine results.

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How long do I have to file a personal injury claim?

The Oklahoma statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim is two years from the date or discovery of your injury. However, when a governmental entity is involved as the party making the error, a Governmental Tort Claim Notice must be given within one year for the State entity, and two years for the Federal entity.

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Who governs products liability cases?

While some products liability statutes are regulated on a federal level, most cases are determined by applying state law.  The products liability lawyers of the Van Meter Law Firm have a thorough understanding of Oklahoma and federal product liability laws.

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What is the difference between wrongful death and medical malpractice?

Wrongful death and medical malpractice fall into two difference categories—wrongful death is a type of damage and malpractice is a type of negligence.  Not every wrongful death case involves medical malpractice and not every medical malpractice case involves wrongful death.  Wrongful death involves an untimely death that likely would not have occurred but for negligence.  Medical malpractice involves negligent health care — care that falls below the medical standards.

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How can I help a relative or friend who has been abused or neglected in a nursing home?

There are many ways to help someone who has suffered abuse or neglect in a nursing home.  As bruises and other signs of physical abuse fade over time, it is extremely important to carefully document all evidence of mistreatment.  You can also remove your friend or relative from the facility and lodge a formal complaint against the nursing home or caregiver with the nursing home’s Administrator, the State Department of Health, and the Department of Human Services.  Talking with a qualified nursing home neglect attorney, like those at Van Meter Law Firm, and beginning a legal investigation as soon as possible is the best way to protect the necessary evidence to help prove your case.  Stopping the cycle of abuse is your ultimate goal—and ours.

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Can the insurance company refuse to pay my medical bills if my car was not damaged?

In short, no.  While insurance companies often try to draw a correlation between the damage to your car and the severity of your injuries, it is possible your body was injured even if your car was not.  Your insurance company is required to cover all damages from your accident.

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