After striking a bicycle rider, a negligent driver dragged 31-year-old Chad Epley for about ten blocks.
Oklahoma City, OK -- (ReleaseWire) -- 04/05/2019 -- The wreck occurred near the intersection of Classen and Northwest 16th Street. First responders rushed the critically-injured Mr. Epley to a nearby hospital, where he was subsequently declared dead. Investigators found the wreckage of his bicycle near the intersection of Classen and Northwest 6th Street. Police have few leads, other than a dark image captured on nearby surveillance video. That business owner alerted employees to have the surveillance footage ready for review "because it was a pretty crazy accident." "Some victims think there's no reason to call a lawyer after a hit-and-run accident," observed Oklahoma City auto accident lawyer Phillip P. Owens II. "But in fact, the opposite is true.
If the negligent driver did not remain at the scene, you need a lawyer even more."An attorney is more than an effective courtroom advocate.A lawyer is also a good investigator, and these skills are critical in hit-and-run cases. First responders often overlook evidence at the scene, but an attorney pays attention to details like: Additional Witness Statements: Some people don't like to talk to police officers. But they will tell a personal injury attorney about the things they saw and heard. Even if they only saw part of the crash, their testimony can be critical. Nearby Surveillance Video: Unless a security, red light, or other camera caught the whole thing on tape; most first responders may not review it. But nearby surveillance video from several blocks away can be just as valuable.Inquiring at Local Body Shops: Some business owners do not like talking to police officers either. But these individuals are usually willing to help a personal injury attorney obtain compensation for a victim.
The burden of proof comes into play here. In criminal court, prosecutors must establish guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. That's the highest standard in Oklahoma law. But in civil court, the burden of proof is only a preponderance of the evidence (more likely than not). So, a little circumstantial evidence goes a long way in a negligence case.Investigation and advocacy skills also come into play if the tortfeasor (negligent driver) is not found. Most victims can file claims against their own insurance companies in these situations. Like a traditional negligence claim, alternate insurance claims rely on evidence. Advocacy is important as well. There are some procedural differences between a trial and an insurance company arbitration.
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