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Personal Injury

What is UM insurance?

Guthrie man lucky to be alive after hit-and-run motorcycle accident

This guy is lucky his injuries weren’t worse.  The driver sped off.  Now, he is left to pay for his injuries on his own.  What can he do?  Call his UM insurance company!

Just the other day I had a client ask me what “UM” insurance is.  Really, it’s pretty simple.  UM or UIM insurance is uninsured or under-insured motorist insurance.  If you are in a wreck and the person who hit you doesn’t have insurance, your UM pays for any injuries you may have.  (It does not cover property damage.)  In Oklahoma, the law requires your insurance agent offer you UM insurance.  If you don’t want to buy it, the insurance company is required to have you sign a rejection where you sign that you don’t want the insurance.

One nice feature of UM insurance is you don’t have to be driving to be covered.  The Oklahoma Supreme Court has even said you are covered while sitting on your front porch, if an uninsured driver hits you!  With medical bills skyrocketing, the costs involved treating injuries from a wreck can be downright scary!  Certain trends tend to repeat themselves.  Dangerous drivers seem to be consistently under insured.  On the good side, UM insurance is relatively cheap.  I’ve seen it save people from insurmountable medical bills or losses from wrecks.

Since this isn’t intended to be legal or insurance advice, give me a call if you have any questions.  580-234-4334.


Value Lawyer Personal Injury

The Value of a Lawyer: It Pays to Be Precise

You might not need an attorney in every case – take a speeding ticket for example. But, in other (more serious) situations, you’d be wise to not go in the ring alone. And while good representation isn’t cheap, it can help you avoid a string of problems down the road.

And, did we mention all those court fees? Save yourself time, headaches and your pocketbook by hiring a lawyer. Each person’s legal standing may be different, but there are times when you simply need a hand. Keep reading to learn why it pays to be precise.

Our legal system is complicated pure and simple. Whether it’s state or federal law, a solid case can quickly unravel without the help of an attorney. Clients often attempt to negotiate deals prior to hiring a lawyer. And while we’re prohibited from guaranteeing results, involving a lawyer almost always produces a better financial recovery. Think about it. Their knowledge of similar cases gives them the ability to determine whether a client’s deal is fair.

Another pro of hiring a lawyer is their skill in challenging claims and evidence. Everyone has a different story when situations arise like vehicle accidents, divorces, PI cases, general litigation and wills. You may not even realize a certain piece of the puzzle was improperly obtained or contradicts an earlier statement. It’s the duty of an attorney to review all the aspects of a case – especially the ones that could mean the difference between a win or loss.

Additionally, a lawyer ensures you’re properly filing all court documents and handling legal procedures. More than likely, you’re not experienced with deadlines and protocol for legal documents. A simple “Whoops, I’m sorry” doesn’t cut it with the judges and could run the risk of your case being thrown out.

Have a private detective on hand? Yeah, we didn’t think so. Another perk of having an attorney on your side means an extended network of professionals to help in your case. Additionally, a good lawyer can strike up a good settlement, plea bargain or negotiation if you need it. In this scenario, experience and precision are pure value that you simply can’t find out on the street.

Here at EHM, we try to take the guesswork out of things. So, if you have a case on your hands or could simply use some legal guidance, give us a call at (580) 234-4334!

Car Wreck? Here's What You Need to Know.

Car Wreck? Here’s What You Need to Know

Crash. Dust settles. Now, what? Whether you’ve found yourself in a car wreck, injured by someone else’s negligence or by a defective product, one of the first things you’ll do afterward is wade through the murky waters of different insurance claims. Before you jump in, it’s important to educate yourself on the typical protocol. But, don’t worry. Our team here at EHM can help!

If you’re in a truck or car wreck, you’ll need to report the wreck to your insurance company and the other person’s insurance as soon as possible. Both companies will want you to provide information about the cause, the fault, and the extent of damage or injury. Be aware, no matter how nice these companies are, their job is to pay only valid claims. But, more importantly to them, to pay as little as possible. The other person’s insurance will be looking for any crack or weakness in your statement to undervalue your claim. Be truthful, but very cautious in dealing with them.

You have a duty to cooperate with your own insurance company in their investigation of the claim. As in all things, truthfulness is a must. Make sure you follow all the instructions of your insurance company. They could possibly deny your claim if you don’t follow each step just as they require.

It’s important to remember (especially in a car wreck) to take photos of the scene. Take photos before any vehicles are moved. Make sure all parties have had a chance to inspect your car before you get rid of it or repair it. If a defective product injured you, keep the product in a safe place and don’t let anyone tamper with it.

During this time, all the insurance companies will open investigations. This consists of reviewing liability to determine is responsible for causing the damages, reviewing injuries, calculating how much they have to pay.

Once your claim has been calculated, the insurance companies may begin offering to pay you for your injuries. If you decide the money they are offering is reasonable, you can accept. Be very cautious of signing anything. Once you sign a release, you likely give up any right to further payment from anyone even if you find more or different injuries. Often times, insurance companies will try to make a very low offer at the outset to try to get you to settle fast and cheap. Don’t let them rush you. You have time!

Every car wreck, injury from a defective product, or damage from a person’s negligence is very different. The suggestions here simply can’t be specific legal advice for your situation, and they aren’t intended to be. There are just too many unknowns. These suggestions can guide you, but getting fact-specific advice is a must! These differences and the myriad of traps in insurance claims are why we encourage people to seek out personal injury lawyers who deal with these issues every day. All you need is a team like EHM on your side. We handle personal injuries cases all over northwest Oklahoma.

We hope this information helps as a quick guide in helping you navigate the insurance and injury process. Give us call at (580) 234-4334, we’d love to discuss your case over a free consultation!

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Ewbank & Hennigh Law Firm | 580-234-4334
110 N. Independence | Enid, OK 73701