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Insurance companies and their lawyers use a variety of tactics to deny and limit recovery to personal injury victims.  The two basic examples are: 1)  Comparative Negligence - This is where the defendant places part, or all, of the blame for the injury on the injured.  Basically, the rule in Oklahoma is that a plaintiff may not recover if his/her negligence is greater than the negligence of the defendant(s). The exact language in the Oklahoma Statutes is: In all actions hereafter brought, whether arising before or after the effective date of this act, for negligence resulting in personal injuries or wrongful death, or injury to property, contributory negligence shall not bar a recovery, unless any negligence of the person so injured, damaged or killed, is of greater degree than any negligence of the person, firm or corporation causing such damage, or unless any negligence of the person so injured, damaged or killed, is of greater degree than the combined negligence of any persons, firms or corporations causing such damage. [Emphasis added]. See:  12 O.S. § 13 So, if a plaintiff is found by the jury to be 20% at fault, than his or her damages are reduced by that amount. 2)  Assumption of Risk - This can bar recovery for the plaintiff.  This occurs when the plaintiff has expressly or impliedly assumed the risk.  Risky activities are generally associated with this. The most common defense we’re now seeing from insurance companies is attacking the credibility of the injured person. They usually don’t come out and say that the person is lying,but they’ll question “how hurt they were” - even in the face of their paid testifying doctors agreeing...
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Anthony Thompson over at the Law Office of Harold D. Thompson has a recent post on “Why Serious Accident Cases Don’t Settle.” Mr. Thompson lists: 1. Lack of Understanding–Parties will often emotionally commit to trial, where their grievances will be heard, sympathized with, and publicly redressed. Compromise, as many see it, is unprincipled. 2. Lack of Information–Any evaluation system should be designed to supply the best information possible under the circumstances. Counsel’s failure to supply the necessary information to make judgments regarding settlement, or the client’s failure to recognize the importance of that information results in no settlement being reached. 3. Lack of Attorney Support–Settlement requires the finest of attorney skills. For a settlement to have any chance for success, a lawyer must take the lead, and support the settlement effort. Once the choice is made to explore negotiating serious accidents, the lawyer has a duty to carry out the negotiations with all the skill and competence that can be mustered. 4. Lack of Communication–A lawyer’s failure to convey the evaluation has the same effect as if there had been on evaluation at all. This evaluation must not only be communicated to the client but it must be explained so that the client understands the reasons for the lawyer’s recommendation. All serious accident cases require a thorough examination. 5. Lack of Appreciation of the “Economics” of Settlement–Recently I was involved in a lively trial in which the opposing counsel rejected a sizable settlement offer. Only his stubborn attitude obstructed settlement. It made little sense, since even under the best of circumstances, the opposing party could not have done as...
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