ClickCease
Local Phone Number (918) 641-4044
Toll Free Statewide 833-ASK-WLAW
Tulsa Personal Injury Attorney

Common Reasons Why Drivers Hit Pedestrians in Tulsa

Schedule Consultation

Common Reasons Why Drivers Hit Pedestrians in Tulsa

Negligent drivers and pedestrians are often a bad mix. This is especially true when a driver is in a hurry, distracted or intoxicated. If you were hit while walking, speak with a Tulsa accident lawyer today. 

Unfortunately, cars and pedestrians are often a bad combination. In 2017, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 5,900 pedestrians lost their lives due to collisions with cars. In the same year, approximately 137,000 pedestrians suffered nonfatal injuries that were treated in emergency rooms across the country. That is a pedestrian fatality every 85 minutes. In 2020, those numbers continued to soar despite the pandemic lockdown.

For the most part, roadways and traffic laws are designed to facilitate vehicular traffic, not pedestrian traffic. Yet nationwide, many communities, including Tulsa, are seeking to make their communities more walkable. Pedestrian traffic makes communities more vibrant and more livable. It helps revitalize small businesses within the community. For that reason, all communities should be concerned about protecting pedestrians. Anyone injured should learn about their rights from a Tulsa accident lawyer.

Oklahoma is a Comparative Fault State

Accidents occur for many reasons. A driver may not see a pedestrian or may be in a hurry. A pedestrian may cross in an unexpected place instead of at a designated intersection. A pedestrian may be wearing darker clothing, making it difficult to see the pedestrian. Sometimes, the fault is that of the driver, and sometimes, the fault is that of the pedestrian. Sometimes, the fault is shared.

The fault is often a complicated subject. Oklahoma is a comparative fault state. That means that a person who shares some fault, but not more than 49% fault, can bring a lawsuit against another person who is more at fault for the accident. When injured, it is always a good idea to have experienced legal representation on your side. When the question of fault is at issue, it is even more important to do so. Our Tulsa accident lawyers are here to help you every step of the way.

Oklahoma Law Regarding Pedestrian Right-of-Way

Oklahoma laws regarding a pedestrian’s right-of-way are fairly straightforward to understand.  At all times, a driver must obey the posted speed limit.

Drivers must yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian who is crossing within a crosswalk when the pedestrian is on the half of the crosswalk where the vehicle is traveling. Drivers of other vehicles may not pass a vehicle that has stopped for a pedestrian until that move can be made safely.

A pedestrian may not suddenly leave the curb or enter the path of an oncoming vehicle that is so close that it makes it impossible for the driver to yield the right-of-way. Likewise, a pedestrian who is crossing at a non-designated crosswalk must yield the right-of-way to all other vehicular traffic.

If a sidewalk is provided, the pedestrian must use it. If there is no sidewalk, then a pedestrian may only walk on the left side of the roadway or shoulder and must face traffic approaching from the other direction.

Most Common Reasons for Pedestrian Accidents

Speeding: Sometimes, drivers are just in a hurry. Driving over the posted speed limit always poses a threat to others. It just takes longer to recognize and react to possible danger. The greater the vehicle’s speed, the greater the degree of injury to a pedestrian at impact. The likelihood of pedestrian death is nearly 100% for speeds over 50 mph.

Failure to Stop or Yield: Running a stop sign or a red light is a leading cause of pedestrian accidents. Failure to yield often occurs when a driver is making a turn before letting pedestrian traffic clear enough. But failure to yield also occurs when a driver plows through a crosswalk containing a pedestrian who has already begun to cross.

Driving Under the Influence: Always a bad decision on the part of a driver, driving under the influence makes any accident more likely. This can occur at night, at a time when it is especially difficult to see a pedestrian in a crosswalk.

Distracted Driving: Cell phone use or engaging in any activity that distracts a driver can mean an accident. A driver must place their full attention on the task at hand. Oklahoma has laws that prohibit distracted driving.

Because pedestrians have little to protect them at impact, an accident can have devastating effects. Pedestrians often suffer serious personal injuries and death. If you or a loved one are involved in a pedestrian accident, you must work with an experienced traffic accident lawyer as soon as possible.

Get a Free Consultation with Our Tulsa Accident Lawyers

If you have been hit by a car or truck, it is vital that you get the legal help you need. Contact our team of experienced Tulsa accident lawyers today at Wandres Law, PC,  to see what we can do for you. The case evaluation is free. Call (918) 641-4044 or contact us online today.

Tulsa Personal Injury Attorney

Stay Safe from Injuries in the New Year

Schedule Consultation

Some injuries happen and are beyond your control, but there are steps you can take to keep you and your family as safe as possible. As the New Year approaches, remember the following tips and, if someone is injured due to the negligence or fault of another, contact a Tulsa personal injury attorney

Accidental injuries send nearly 40 million people to the emergency room or doctor’s office each year in the United States. While you might think you lead a relatively low-risk life, the chances that someone or something else might cause you injuries is a very real one. While you cannot control the actions of others or prevent all types of accidents, there are some steps you can take to lower the chances of injuries for you and your family. 

In the event that you or someone you love does suffer an injury, and you believe another person or party was at fault, you shouldn’t wait to contact a Tulsa personal injury attorney so that they can evaluate your rights and legal options. 

Get a Vehicle Check-Up

If you and others in your family drive cars or SUVs, it is important to make sure they are in good working order. There could be issues with your vehicle that are not noticeable if you are not a mechanic, and such issues can lead to serious crashes if left unchecked. Simple items like checking the tire pressure (especially as the temperatures decrease) and replacing your wiper blades can make a difference. 

It is always worth your time to schedule a check-up for the vehicles in your household. While you cannot prevent all vehicle parts from malfunctioning, you can often reduce your chances of emergency situations on the road if you schedule a check-up and necessary repairs.  

Check for Product Recalls 

We all have a wide range of products in our homes, and the holiday season often means additional products come in as gifts. With new or existing products comes the risk that something might be defective and cause injuries when being used. Some products that might come with risky defects include:

  • Toys
  • Games
  • Bicycles and other sports equipment
  • Furniture
  • Electronics
  • Baby products
  • Appliances
  • Tools
  • Vehicles

When a manufacturer learns of a possible defect or unreasonable risk of a product, the company should issue a recall. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) publishes a recall list of defective products, and you can check the recall list for any new products that recently entered your home. Often, “new” Christmas gadgets and toys given as gifts may have been sitting in the gift giver’s closet for months (or years!), and they would have no reason to know of any recalls. 

Review Driving, Bicycle, and Pedestrian Safety

It is very likely that people in your household drive cars, ride bicycles, or walk near traffic – even if it is only in your neighborhood. It is important to regularly review safe practices for being on or near the road to help prevent accidents whenever possible. This is especially the case for teen drivers. With the pandemic and so many school-age children home during the week, it’s especially important to go over safety rules with your young drivers to avoid a potential tragedy. 

Some things to review might include:

  • Defensive driving
  • Staying aware of traffic on a bicycle
  • Using sidewalks and crosswalks
  • Never crossing the street without an adult
  • Avoiding distracted or impaired driving

While others might still be negligent and cause crashes and injuries, you can help ensure your family members do their part to stay safe, and to keep those around them safe as well. 

Know What to Do if an Accident Happens

As mentioned, no matter how careful and proactive you and your family may be, there is always the chance that others around you can cause serious accidents. It is important to know what to do following an accident to protect your health, safety, and legal rights. 

Some steps you might take after an accident and injuries include:

  • Get to a safe space when you can, such as pulling over to the side of the road
  • Call 911 so emergency personnel can report to the scene
  • Get the medical diagnosis and treatment you need as soon as possible
  • Collect information from all others involved in the accident
  • Contact an experienced personal injury attorney if you believe that another party caused the accident. 

Learn About Your Rights from a Tulsa Personal Injury Attorney

While you can never prevent all injuries from happening, you can regularly review safety tips and what to do should an accident and injuries occur. Setting up a free case evaluation with a Tulsa personal injury lawyer is an essential step in protecting your rights. Many injury victims can financially recover for their medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, and other losses.

At Wandres Law, PC, we help clients dealing with injuries and losses from a wide variety of accidents, including traffic accidents, falls, and those caused by defective products. Call (918) 641-4044 or contact us online to learn more about our services and how we can help you.

Tulsa Personal Injury Attorney

Violations of the Law Often Lead to Personal Injuries

Schedule Consultation

While some injuries are completely accidental, others happen because another party violates a law that is in place to ensure safety in the community. In this situation, the wrongful party should be held fully liable for all harm and losses they caused. Contact a Tulsa personal injury attorney about your options.

Personal injury claims allow injured individuals to seek compensation from parties that caused their injuries. In many cases, someone might be negligent or careless and cause injuries to others. However, some injuries also happen because someone violates the law. 

When a person violates the law and causes you harm, they should be held accountable for their actions. You should speak with a Tulsa personal injury attorney about your rights. The following are some laws of which violations might lead to personal injuries. 

Traffic Laws

Many personal injury claims stem from traffic accidents. Drivers should all be well aware of all relevant traffic laws and regulations, and they are expected to abide by the law when they are on the road. Unfortunately, every day in Oklahoma, many drivers intentionally or unintentionally violate these traffic laws. 

Some common violations of traffic laws that might lead to accidents include:

  1. Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  2. Speeding
  3. Improperly yielding
  4. Failing to obey all traffic signals and stop signs
  5. Failing to obey construction zone and school zone laws
  6. Improper lane changes or passing
  7. Following too closely
  8. Texting and driving

All of the above can result in serious accidents and injuries to others, whether they are occupants of other cars, pedestrians, cyclists, and others on the road. 

Building Codes

Business and property owners need to make sure that their premises are safe and in compliance with all relevant building codes. This includes electrical wiring, plumbing, flooring, height transitions such as steps, and more. If a building is not up to code, hazards can exist, and people can suffer injuries as a result. 

Nursing Home Regulations

Nursing homes are complex operations that must provide care for residents with a wide range of needs. States have strict regulations when it comes to nursing homes, and these regulations are intended to keep residents as safe as possible and free from neglect, unnecessary injuries or medical conditions. However, nursing home management can allow violations of these safety regulations.

Some violations that might lead to harm to residents include:

  1. Hiring staff with certain criminal convictions
  2. Allowing neglect or abuse
  3. Not having sanitary conditions
  4. Improper food safety
  5. Administering medication without a prescription
  6. Improperly isolating or restraining residents
  7. Improper monitoring of residents with high fall risks
  8. Failure to prevent residents with violent tendencies from abusing other residents

When nursing homes violate regulations and cause injuries to residents, they should not only compensate victims, but they also might face penalties and fines.

Criminal Laws

Sometimes, people commit crimes that cause injuries to others. Some crimes against people include:

  1. Assault
  2. Sexual assault or abuse
  3. Robbery
  4. Carjacking
  5. Homicide

Criminal violations can result in charges issued by a prosecutor, and convictions of violent crimes can mean fines and time in jail. In addition, injured victims can file a claim for personal injury against the offender. If the offense is manslaughter or murder, the family of the victim can file a wrongful death claim. 

Liability for Injuries

Under Oklahoma law, people who violate laws that are designed to prevent harm or are otherwise negligent are often liable for the injuries they cause. That means that victims can often recover compensation for all of the losses they have suffered as a result of another person’s wrongful act. Common examples of losses that are sought in a personal injury claim include:

  1. Current and future medical expenses
  2. Lost income
  3. Lost quality of life
  4. Physical and emotional pain and suffering 
  5. Property damage

In many cases, personal injury claims are resolved by reaching a settlement agreement with the at-fault party’s insurance company; in others, victims file lawsuits in order to obtain compensation through a court judgment. In either case, it’s highly advisable for victims to retain an attorney to represent them throughout the process.

While you can recover even if someone did not violate the law, an infraction or criminal conviction can often be used as proof of negligence and liability, and your lawyer can identify when this can help your case.

Contact a Tulsa Personal Injury Attorney for More Information

At Wandres Law, PC, we know how to seek the compensation you deserve from the parties responsible for your injuries, including parties who violated the law. If you suffered injuries, you should not wait to have our legal team evaluate your rights. Call (918) 641-4044 or contact us online for a free consultation today.

Tulsa Personal Injury Attorney

Woman killed in wreck with semi truck

Schedule Consultation

Atoka County, OK (October 31, 2020) — A north Texas woman is killed in a wreck in southeast Oklahoma.

According to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, 65-year-old Sylvia J. McCoy of Beford, Texas was driving her 2017 Toyota Corolla on U.S. 69 in Atoka County when she was struck by a semi truck.

The semi truck was driven by 49-year-old Darwin T. Clark of St. Louis. He was not injured.

McCoy was pronounced dead at the scene and transported to Brown’s Funeral Home in Atoka. The cause of the collision is pending investigation.

Collisions in Oklahoma

Each day across Oklahoma, accidents, and negligence cause innocent people to suffer serious injuries or even death.  If you or a loved one have been the victim of a personal injury, it can be very difficult to navigate the legal process on your own.  To compound matters, insurance companies get involved in your case with the sole purpose of paying you the lowest amount of money as legally possible.  These insurance companies have lawyers and will use them to gain every advantage to accomplish this purpose.  The is also a time frame to file a personal injury lawsuit which is why it is convenient to hire Wandres Law, PC.  For a free consultation or to speak with an attorney, send us an email or call us at (918) 641-4044.

Note: Information provided in these posts comes from outside sources.  Details have not been independently confirmed by us.  If you notice any information that in not correct, please contact us as soon as possible so we can correct it.

Tulsa Personal Injury Attorney

Increase in Bicycle and Pedestrian Crashes in Tulsa

Schedule Consultation

As fatal bicycle and pedestrian accidents increase in Tulsa, as a cyclist, it is important to keep yourself safe when you are around vehicle traffic. If an accident happens, you should be aware of what to do to protect your rights. Calling a Tulsa personal injury attorney is imperative.

In late September, police in Tulsa issued a plea to drivers to pay attention and reminded drivers to be aware that they share the roads with cyclists and pedestrians. This plea came after there were recently several fatal accidents involving cars hitting bicycles and people walking. Even if such accidents are not fatal, they often ersult in serious injuries to victims.

If you or a loved one was a victim of an accident, as a pedestrian or while riding a bicycle, you should contact Wandres Law, a Tulsa personal injury attorney, right away. We can evaluate your rights, and help you hold negligent drivers responsible for the harm and losses they caused.

Increased Accidents in Tulsa

In a single week in September 2020, police in Tulsa reported the following tragic accidents:

  1. A car hit a man who was walking near 70th and Admiral, and the man did not survive his injuries;
  2. A cyclist died after a driver hit him while riding near Lewis and Pine;
  3. A driver hit another cyclist near 31st and Sheridan, and the victim was not expected to survive their injuries

In many situations, these fatal accidents would not have happened if a driver had paid more careful attention to the road, and complied with all applicable traffic laws. 

Injuries to Cyclists and Pedestrians

Neither pedestrians nor cyclists wear much beyond a helmet to protect them from the impact of a crash. Even if a cyclist has a helmet, the helmet will not protect from head injuries 100 percent of the time, and helmets obviously offer no protection to the rest of the body. Pedestrians, of course, do not generally have head protection, so they are completely vulnerable to the impact of a car, truck, or SUV. 

Because of their vulnerability, and because of the weight and force of a vehicle impact, it is no surprise that many times, the injuries resulting from these accidents are fatal. It can, of course, be devastating to family members and other loved ones to learn that they suddenly and unexpectedly suffered a tragic loss. We have, unfortunately, represented those who, beyond the loss of someone they love, have also lost their financial, emotional, and practical support in an instant. 

Even when a cyclist or pedestrian survives a collision with a motor vehicle, they often sustain a variety of traumatic injuries. Some injuries common in such crashes include:

  1. Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  2. Spinal cord injury (SCI)
  3. Crush injuries
  4. Traumatic amputations
  5. Back injuries
  6. Face and jaw fractures
  7. Severe Internal injuries

Victims of pedestrian and bicycle accidents often need emergency transportation, trauma care, hospitalization, surgery, and extensive rehabilitation. The costs of medical care alone can be overwhelming, and these expenses are often combined with lost income and other long-term losses, such as permanent impairment or disfigurement. 

Liability for Pedestrian and Bicycle Crashes

Because the injuries and losses can be so severe from pedestrian and bicycle accidents, it is important to know your legal rights. If you are injured in any sort of collision that isn’t your fault, whether it be while walking, biking or driving, you have the right to hold negligent parties liable for your losses. If someone died in an accident, their surviving family members can seek compensation from liable parties by filing a wrongful death claim. 

Some examples of negligent conduct that can lead to liability include:

  1. Distracted driving
  2. Drunk driving
  3. Failure to yield
  4. Not obeying traffic signals
  5. Speeding
  6. Aggressive driving
  7. Other violations of traffic regulations

Once our team determines who can be held liable for an accident, we can file the necessary claims and lawsuits to seek compensation for your losses. As an injury victim, losses can include:

  1. Past and future medical bills
  2. Physical and mental pain and suffering
  3. Past and future lost income
  4. Permanent injuries and disabilities

We will seek maximum compensation from negligent drivers who cause severe injuries to pedestrians and cyclists. 

Learn How Wandres Law and our experienced team of Tulsa Personal Injury Attorneys Can Help

At Wandres Law, PC, we believe that everyone, including cyclists and pedestrians, should be able to share the road without suffering serious or fatal injuries. When a driver is irresponsible and collides with a person or vehicle, we work to hold that driver accountable for their actions by seeking full compensation for injured accident victims. If you believe you or a loved one might have a claim following an accident, you should consult with our team of experienced Tulsa personal injury lawyers at no cost. Call (918) 641 4044 or contact us online. – we’re ready to help you and your family.

Tulsa Personal Injury Attorney

Konawa Woman and Toddler Killed in Crash with Semi Truck

Schedule Consultation

Richard R. Barron | The Ada News

A 21 year-old Konawa woman and a 2 year-old girl were killed Thursday when the vehicle they were riding in was struck by a semi-truck at the intersection of state Highway 39 and County Road 3520, just outside of Konawa in Seminole County.

According to Oklahoma Highway Patrol, a semi-truck, driven by Adam King, 29, of Ellisville, Mississippi, ran a stop sign and collided with a 2011 Hyundai Sonata driven by 21 year-old Mahaley Larney of Konawa.   Mahaley Larney was airlifted to OU Medical Center in Oklahoma City.  She was admitted in stable condition.

The two passengers of the vehicle, 23 year-old Sadie Larney of Konawa and a 2 year-old girl, were killed in the crash.

After hitting that car, OHP says the semi-truck continued across the highway, striking another car – a 2005 Nissan Altima – driven by Donnie Hise II, 40, from Tupelo. He was also airlifted to OU Medical Center in Oklahoma City, where he was admitted in stable condition.

The passenger in that car, Joey Sutterfield, 44, from Tupelo was taken to a hospital in Ada, where he was treated and released.

The driver of the semi-truck was also taken to a hospital in Ada, where he was treated and released.

Collisions in Oklahoma

Each day across Oklahoma, accidents, and negligence cause innocent people to suffer serious injuries or even death.  If you or a loved one have been the victim of a personal injury, it can be very difficult to navigate the legal process on your own.  To compound matters, insurance companies get involved in your case with the sole purpose of paying you the lowest amount of money as legally possible.  These insurance companies have lawyers and will use them to gain every advantage to accomplish this purpose.  The is also a time frame to file a personal injury lawsuit which is why it is convenient to hire Wandres Law, PC.  For a free consultation or to speak with an attorney, send us an email or call us at (918) 641-4044.

Note: Information provided in these posts comes from outside sources.  Details have not been independently confirmed by us.  If you notice any information that in not correct, please contact us as soon as possible so we can correct it.

Tulsa Personal Injury Attorney

Crash between truck, agricultural sprayer leaves Sentinel man dead

Schedule Consultation

Washita County, OK (October 7, 2019) – The OHP is investigating after the driver of an agricultural sprayer failed to yield at a stop sign and hit a truck, killing the driver.

It happened Monday night on SH 55 and County Road 2160, just east of Sentinel, OK in Washita County.

Officials say the driver of the sprayer failed to yield at the stop sign and drove into the path of 57-year-old Sentinel resident, John King.

King was pronounced dead at the scene.  The driver of the sprayer was taken to the hospital in stable condition.

Our condolences go out to Mr. King’s family.

Collisions in Oklahoma

Each day across Oklahoma, accidents, and negligence cause innocent people to suffer serious injuries or even death.  If you or a loved one have been the victim of a personal injury, it can be very difficult to navigate the legal process on your own.  To compound matters, insurance companies get involved in your case with the sole purpose of paying you the lowest amount of money as legally possible.  These insurance companies have lawyers and will use them to gain every advantage to accomplish this purpose.  The is also a time frame to file a personal injury lawsuit which is why it is convenient to hire Wandres Law, PC.  For a free consultation or to speak with an attorney, send us an email or call us at (918) 641-4044.

Note: Information provided in these posts comes from outside sources.  Details have not been independently confirmed by us.  If you notice any information that in not correct, please contact us as soon as possible so we can correct it.

 

Related: What are the most common reasons for truck accidents in Oklahoma?

Tulsa Personal Injury Attorney

Grady Co. volunteer firefighter killed in crash near Fort Cobb

Schedule Consultation

Caddo County, OK (September 13, 2019) – Grady County Fire Department officials confirm a volunteer firefighter was killed in an off-duty crash near Fort Cobb.

It happened around 1:30 Thursday afternoon.

According to the Grady County Fire Department Facebook page, 21-year-old Acme Firefighter Jeffrey Blaine Alexander of Marlow was killed in the crash.

Courtesy: Grady County Fire Department

According to law enforcement, a semi was traveling eastbound on County Road 1380. Alexander was driving a pickup truck traveling northbound on County Street 2550.

The semi truck failed to stop at a stop sign and hit the pickup. The semi overturned and landed on the passenger side. The pickup rotated and left the road to the right.

Alexander was ejected and pinned under the trailer of the semi.

He was pronounced dead at the scene by Apache EMS. The driver of the semi as well as a passenger in the pickup were not injured.

Our condolences go out to Mr. Alexander’s family and the entire Grady County Fire Department.

Collisions in Oklahoma

Each day across Oklahoma, accidents, and negligence cause innocent people to suffer serious injuries or even death.  If you or a loved one have been the victim of a personal injury, it can be very difficult to navigate the legal process on your own.  To compound matters, insurance companies get involved in your case with the sole purpose of paying you the lowest amount of money as legally possible.  These insurance companies have lawyers and will use them to gain every advantage to accomplish this purpose.  The is also a time frame to file a personal injury lawsuit which is why it is convenient to hire Wandres Law, PC.  For a free consultation or to speak with an attorney, send us an email or call us at (918) 641-4044.

Note: Information provided in these posts comes from outside sources. Details have not been independently confirmed by us.  If you notice any information that in not correct, please contact us as soon as possible so we can correct it.

Tulsa Personal Injury Attorney

Stigler Man Dies After Crash with Semi Truck

Schedule Consultation

Haskell County, OK (August 15, 2019) – A Stigler man dies nearly two weeks after a crash with a tractor-trailer.

55-year-old John David Thompson was driving his Ford pickup when the driver of a tractor-trailer ran the stop sign on Oklahoma 9.

Authorities say 58-year-old Feliciano Rosas was driving a Freightliner when he ran a stop sign and T-boned Thompson’s pickup.  Thompson was pinned in the pickup for almost 20 minutes before being airlifted to St. Francis in Tulsa, where he was admitted in critical condition.  Thompson died August 27.

The two passengers, Steven Ishcomer of Oklahoma City and Virginia Doge of Ada were taken to a McAlester hospital where they were treated for minor injuries.

Our condolences go out to Mr. Thompson’s family.

Collisions in Oklahoma

Each day across Oklahoma, accidents, and negligence cause innocent people to suffer serious injuries or even death.  If you or a loved one have been the victim of a personal injury, it can be very difficult to navigate the legal process on your own.  To compound matters, insurance companies get involved in your case with the sole purpose of paying you the lowest amount of money as legally possible.  These insurance companies have lawyers and will use them to gain every advantage to accomplish this purpose.  The is also a time frame to file a personal injury lawsuit which is why it is convenient to hire Wandres Law, PC.  For a free consultation or to speak with an attorney, send us an email or call us at (918) 641-4044.

Note: Information provided in these posts comes from outside sources. Details have not been independently confirmed by us.  If you notice any information that in not correct, please contact us as soon as possible so we can correct it.

 

Related Post: What are the most common reasons for truck accidents in Tulsa, Oklahoma?

Tulsa Personal Injury Attorney

Is the Settlement from a Personal Injury Lawsuit Taxable?

Schedule Consultation

 

After a serious, injury-causing accident that resulted in significant losses, taxes are probably the last thing you want to think about. However, taxes are a reality, and legal judgments are subject to complex IRS tax rules. The good news is that, in most cases, a personal injury settlement or award will not result in additional tax liability. The following is a brief overview of tax rules regarding your injury-related settlement.

Compensation for Physical Injuries or Sickness

For the most part, compensation for losses arising from a personal physical injury or sickness is not considered to be taxable income. This can include recovery for:

  1. – Medical expenses
  2. – Lost income
    – Pain and suffering
    – Emotional distress and mental anguish

While most personal injury plaintiffs get to keep their entire settlements tax-free, there are a couple of important exceptions to this rule.

First, some of your compensation for medical expenses may be taxable. While your lawsuit was pending, you may have paid for certain medical treatments out-of-pocket while you waited for your settlement check. You might have then deducted those medical expenses from your taxes in previous years. If you received a tax benefit due to the deduction, you must claim the amount of that benefit as income once you receive compensation for the deducted expenses. This can be a complicated task, especially if you deducted medical expenses in multiple years.

Additionally, damages for emotional distress and mental anguish are only tax-free if the distress stemmed from physical injuries. For instance, if you suffered a disabling spinal injury and can no longer walk, you may experience depression and other mental problems as a result. This stems from a physical injury and, therefore, you will not include thus compensation as taxable income. However, if you suffered emotional trauma for a reason other than a specific injury, that compensation may be taxed.

Punitive Damages

If someone acted particularly egregiously when they injured you, you may receive punitive damages on top of your compensatory damages. Punitive damages are always taxable. If you receive a settlement or a verdict that includes punitive damages, it is important to make sure the settlement is divided to make clear how much is compensatory and how much is punitive. You will need to include your punitive damages as taxable income on your returns.

When you have a pending personal injury case, never hesitate to discuss the issue of taxes with your lawyer. Maybe you will decide not to deduct medical expenses before receiving a settlement or take other steps that may simplify the tax process and help you keep as much compensation as possible – if not all of it.

Call Us Today to Schedule a Free Case Evaluation with a Tulsa Personal Injury Attorney

If you have been injured in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, it’s highly advisable that you speak to an experienced lawyer as soon as you can. To schedule a free case evaluation with a personal injury attorney in Oklahoma, call Wandres Law, PC today at (918) 641-4044 or contact us online.

request a free consultation

Discover why our clients return to us and recommend us to their family, friends and acquaintances.
Contact us today and put one of Tulsa's preeminent law firms to work for you.

    • call us now

      Local Phone Number (918) 641-4044

      Toll Free Statewide 833-ASK-WLAW

    • Our Location

      Tulsa Office 1202 East 33rd Street
      Tulsa, OK 74105

      Oklahoma City Office 3030 NW Expressway
      Suite 200 # 392
      Oklahoma City, OK 73112

    • get in touch