Experienced Tulsa Personal Injury Lawyer
Strong advocacy when serious injuries, catastrophic injuries, or wrongful deaths occur in Oklahoma
Every type of injury that is caused by the negligence of another person or company changes your life to some degree. In some cases, you may need medical care for a few weeks or months, and you may miss time from work. In tragic cases, you may need medical help for the rest of your life and your ability to make a wage may be permanently impaired or loss. Just the same, every type of injury causes physical pain and/or emotional suffering that can vary in severity. In the worst cases, families are devastated when a loved one dies.
Biby Law Firm has the experience and resources to guide you through each phase of your personal injury case. We take the time to meet with you personally, we will contact your doctors to fully understand your injuries, your pain, and your prognosis. We will work with investigators to help prove your case. Along the way we always keep you informed about the progress of your case. It is our goal to prepare every case for trial, even when entering settlement negotiations, because it helps make your claim stronger. To schedule a consultation with an experienced Tulsa personal injury lawyer, contact us today.
What are the most serious types of personal injury cases?
While many victims suffer broken bones and other injuries that heal with time, many Tulsa accident victims suffer long-term or permanent injuries. Catastrophic injuries can last for the victim’s lifetime. Some victims with catastrophic injuries require around the clock care. Many catastrophic injury victims need to treat to with different types of physicians, therapists, and counselors for the rest of their lives.
Catastrophic injury victims often can never work again. For many victims and their caretakers, their life is never the same. Common types of catastrophic injuries that require the care and experience of skilled Tulsa personal injury lawyers include:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI). TBIs are often caused by trucking collisions, motor vehicle collisions, construction accidents, recreational accidents, slips and falls, and workplace accidents. By definition, a TBI is a blow to the head which causes damage to the brain and/or the skull. TBI victims usually suffer long-term cognitive and psychological difficulties in addition to the initial physical harm. Many times the families of victims report the person has memory issues, is more emotional, angry, is short with family or is just “different” than before an incident. Many people who sustained a head injury with need to meet with a neuropsychiatrist, and then treat with a variety of therapists – such as speech, vocational, physical, and occupational therapists. However, head injuries are often permanent and progressive.
- Burns. Burn injuries are among the most painful there are. Even when the physical pain is treated, victims are left with unsightly scars and disfigurement that cause emotional harm. Severe burn injuries can make it impossible for people to work, and many have trouble facing the outside world.
- Spinal cord damage. The Mayo Clinic defines a spinal cord injury (SCI) as “damage to any part of the spinal cord or nerves at the end of the spinal canal (cauda equina).” Spinal cord injuries are usually permanent. Spinal cord injuries can lead to pain and numbness in your hands and feet, change your body’s ability to function and to experience physical sensations. Minor damage may cause chronic pain, urinary difficulties, and breathing difficulties. In the worst cases, severe spinal cord damage can cause partial or full paralysis.
Chronic pain can be catastrophic, though in a different way
Other injuries, while not classified as catastrophic, can still last a lifetime. These are chronic injuries. One of the most common forms of chronic pain are neck, back, and shoulder injuries.
According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, chronic back pain can interfere with you daily activities and restrict your ability to move. Neck pain also affects your range of motion and your ability to enjoy life. Shoulder injuries include torn rotator cuffs, shoulder instability, extreme stiffness, and arthritis.
How do Tulsa childhood injuries differ from adult injuries?
An adult who sustains a catastrophic injury is in a different position than a child would be, and child injury cases have to be handled differently in regard to damages and medical treatment.
Oklahoma Uniform Jury Instructions (OUIJ) 4.2 and 4.3 allow for certain damages to be recovered for injuries sustained by children. OUJI 4.2 allows a child to recover for his or her past and future medical expenses after they turn 18, pain and suffering past and future, disfigurement, scarring and lost wages after the child turns 18.
OUJI 4.3 states that the parent(s) or guardian(s) are allowed to recover for the past and future medical bills of their child until the child turns 18. In addition, the parent can recover for the past and future lost wages or impairment of earning capacity until the child turns 18. Lastly, the parent or guardian can recover for past and future loss of household services that a parent or guardian would have received from the child until the child was 18 years of age. Children often have difficulty expressing what type of physical or emotional pain they are having.
Any net proceeds in excess of $1,000.00 will be required to be put into a trust account until the child turns 18 and can only be withdrawn for good cause as decided by judges on a case by case basis. In some instances, courts will allow the funds to be held in a 529 Colleges Savings Plan.
- Children are growing while they recover. Treating childhood injuries means the physicians need to account for a child’s growth when creating a treatment plan.
- Children who suffer permanent injuries or catastrophic injuries will live with their pain for a much longer time than adults will.
- Children need a parent or guardian to represent their interests in court and with the physicians they see.
- Children are held to a different standard than adults – for example, children under a certain age are presumed incapable of negligence.
Common causes of Oklahoma personal injury claims
Many people are surprised to learn that criminal acts are not the leading cause of injuries and deaths in our country: negligence acts are. Hundreds of thousands of people a year are injured as a result of another person or corporation’s negligence. More mind blowing is that over 40,000 people a year will lose their lives as a result of another person’s negligence. Some 36,000 will lose their life due to a fall. Many times, negligence leads to:
What are your rights in a wrongful death case in Tulsa?
If a family member dies due to the negligence of another, the family members can file a wrongful death claim against the defendants who caused your loved one to die. Wrongful death claims and lawsuits are most commonly related to trucking collisions, motorcycle collisions, car collisions, oil field accidents, construction accidents, nursing home neglect and abuse, and ATV accidents.
Our Tulsa lawyers are most commonly asked to educate family members about the following key parts of any wrongful death claim in Oklahoma:
- Who can file the claim? If the deceased did not have a will then a special administrator or personal representative is appointed to file the claim. Typically, this is either a spouse, child, parent or the next of kin.
- Who are the beneficiaries? Generally, the beneficiaries are the spouse, the children, and any next of kin.
- What damages are allowed? Damages, according to the Oklahoma Statutes, include:
- Medical and burial expenses
- Loss of consortium and grieving – for the surviving spouse
- The decedent’s mental pain and anguish
- The economic losses the survivors suffer due to the wrongful death of the decedent
- The “grief and loss of companionship of the children and parents of the decedent”
While every life is irreplaceable, we work with professionals to determine the economic loss that should be awarded, and we work with medical professionals to help document the suffering the death caused to the spouse and children.
Do I have a personal injury claim?
Personal injury cases include any type of accident where the following three factors occur:
- Someone is injured or killed
- Someone who owes a duty of care is careless or negligent
- The injuries or death are caused by that carelessness or negligence
Say, for example, you are driving through an intersection and a distracted driver blows through a red light and T-bones your car. You suffer broken bones and a concussion as a direct result of the collision. In this example, all three factors are fulfilled: the other driver was negligent, you were injured, and that negligence caused your injuries.
How much is my personal injury claim worth in Oklahoma?
The truth is that it depends. Any lawyer that makes you promises about the value of your case at the outset should be looked upon with caution. A lot of case specific factors will determine the value of your claim. For example, a trucking collision involving a dispute over how the collision occurred can be more difficult than a case where a truck driver was drunk and crossed the center line. Just the same, A broken arm, will likely not be worth as much as the loss of an arm or a death. In addition, you should have a lawyer that will assess the likelihood of financial recovery versus the cost it will take to make the recovery. For example, your lawyer should weigh the damages versus the policy limits and/or available assets of the defendant.
In general, however, you can make a claim for the following types of damages:
- Medical expenses, including hospital stays, ambulance costs, co-pays, medications, therapies, and adaptive technologies
- Lost wages, potentially including the wages of a permanent caretaker
- Property damage (for example, totaled car, rental bills, diminished value)
- Past and future pain and suffering, both physical and mental
- Loss of consortium for spouses
- Funeral and burial expenses if a loved one dies
If the act of negligence was especially egregious, you may also have a claim for punitive damages. Punitive damages are designed to punish a wrongdoer, so they are rare – but they are possible. If your claim involves an act of bad faith, you may be entitled to punitive damages and attorneys’ fees.
Did you suffer a personal injury in Tulsa? Call Biby Law Firm to discuss your case.
At Biby Law Firm, we’ve earned the respect of clients because we get to know our clients, we listen to how they were injured and how their injuries have affected their lives. We then craft our cases around these facts. We use creativity and technology to accurately communicate our client’s damages to insurance companies, opposing lawyers and juries. Time and time again, our clients, insurance adjusters, opposing attorneys and juries have commented on how different and refreshing our approach to handling cases is. These are some of the reasons why we’ve received results for our clients that many would consider impossible. We have also received the highest legal ratings and awards by many of the most well recognized legal rating servings in the country. If you were injured in Tulsa, Broken Arrow, or any other Oklahoma location, call our experienced personal injury lawyers at 918-574-8458 or fill out our contact form. We handle personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis. We proudly serve all Oklahoma communities but especially focus on Tulsa, Broken Arrow, Bixby, Claremore, Vinita, Grove, Afton Jenks, Sand Springs, Sapulpa, Wagoner, Muskogee, and the surrounding areas.