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What Can You Recover for a Drunk Driving Accident in Oklahoma City?

— May 4, 2022

Until recently, pain and suffering damages in a personal injury claim were capped at $350,000.

Oklahoma City, OK – In 2018, there were 8,660 DUI arrests in Oklahoma and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Those are the drunk drivers who got caught. According to a recent study by the Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) group, the average drunk driver has been driving while impaired 80 times before the police finally stopped him. 

If you or a loved one were recently involved in a drunk driving crash, you must talk to the best Oklahoma City DUI accident lawyers you can find. Recent changes to the law may allow you to recover much more money than you could a few years back. Insurance companies know this, but don’t expect them to tell you caps on certain types of damages have been recently eliminated.

Damages can you recover for a drunk driving accident?

Oklahoma is an at-fault state, which means that you can recover damages by filing a claim against the drunk driver’s insurance.

When you file a personal injury claim, you can seek compensatory damages, which are of two types:

Economic damages 

This type of damages refers to your medical expenses, property damage, and lost wages. Don’t rush into a settlement until you’re fully recovered so you know exactly what the medical costs are. Also, if you are left with a disability you must include future lost earnings in your claim.

Police officer leaning in window of car after accident; image by Matt Chesin, via
Image by Matt Chesin, via

Non-economic damages

These are also known as pain and suffering damages and are meant to compensate you for all that you’ve been through since the accident. There are no bills you can present, so it’s really up to your Oklahoma City accident lawyers to put a price on your physical and mental suffering, And convince the insurance adjuster or the jury that you deserve that kind of money. 

Until recently, pain and suffering damages in a personal injury claim were capped at $350,000. However, in 2019, the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled that such a cap is unconstitutional. If your lawyers advise you to sue the drunk driver you can use this ruling to ask for non-economic damages higher than $350,000.

If you lost someone in a DUI accident, you can file a wrongful death lawsuit. In this type of lawsuit, you can recover economic damages (funeral and burial costs, outstanding medical bills, loss of financial support, etc) as well as non-economic damages.

The surviving spouse and the children of the deceased can seek compensation for loss of love and affection, loss of guidance and nurture, etc.

The Oklahoma Constitution prohibits caps on non-economic damages in wrongful death cases.

Can you get punitive damages for a drunk driving accident?

In Oklahoma, punitive damages are meant to punish the party at fault when their conduct was particularly egregious. As most car accident claims are based on simple negligence, you cannot claim punitive damages. However, in a DUI accident, your lawyers can argue that the drunk driver’s conduct shows total indifference to the rights and safety of other road users. If the drunk driver had a high BAC or had prior DUI offenses on their record, that counts as egregious behavior and you may be awarded punitive damages as well. 

Attorneys Near Me

If you’re looking for an accident lawyer or need professional help with other legal matters, you may be wondering “Where can I find Attorneys Near Me?” Don’t worry, help is just a few clicks away. Just follow the link to go to the extensive database on Select the legal area you’re interested in, your state and your city, and schedule a free consultation with a trustworthy lawyer in your area.  

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