Oklahoma Personal Injury Law: What You Need to Know
March 8 2023
In Oklahoma, personal injury laws are governed by a statute of limitations that typically gives an injured person two years from the date of injury to file a lawsuit. Additionally, Oklahoma follows the doctrine of modified comparative negligence which allows courts to determine each party’s percentage of fault for an accident.
Overview of Oklahoma Personal Injury Law
Oklahoma personal injury law is a specialized area of law that protects victims who have been injured due to someone else’s negligence or reckless action. These laws provide a tool to address and mitigate the damaging effects of an accident, such as loss of income and medical expenses. When deciding personal injury cases, Oklahoma law looks at the legal concept of ‘duty of care’ which means that people must act with reasonable care in situations that could cause harm to others.
The most common form of legal action taken for personal injury in Oklahoma is known as a tort claim, which is when the offender is found to be liable for damages caused by his/her actions or inaction. To prove liability, a plaintiff must demonstrate that the defendant acted negligently and breached the ‘duty of care’ they owed to the victim. Negligence can include a single incident such as a car accident, or deliberate and repeated action like in instances of medical malpractice or product liability.
It is important to note that Oklahoma follows a modified comparative negligence rule when assessing cases involving two or more parties. This means that any party found negligent, including those filing the action, may have their compensation reduced by their percentage of fault. Additionally, if both parties are equally at fault then no compensation will be given out.
In order to bring a successful case forward, it is recommended that victims consult with an experienced attorney and discuss their individual circumstances. A professional lawyer will be able to assess all aspects of your situation and provide you with the best course of action for your particular case.
This section has provided an overview of how Oklahoma personal injury law works and shown why seeking out legal advice is so important in achieving a successful outcome. The next section will focus on the specifics of negligence and liability under Oklahoma law and investigate what components are needed to demonstrate these concepts in court.
Negligence and Liability Under Oklahoma Law
Under Oklahoma law, a person who suffered an injury resulting from the negligence of another may be entitled to compensation. This can be achieved through a personal injury lawsuit where a plaintiff seeks damages by proving that the defendant was negligent. Negligence is the failure to use reasonable care or the act of doing something a person should not do. In order for a plaintiff to prove negligence in Oklahoma, they must establish that the defendant had a duty of care, breached that duty, and caused harm to the plaintiff as a result of that breach.
Duty of care is established when there is a relationship between two parties that requires one party to act in a way that does not cause unreasonable risk of harm to the other. For example, a property owner has a duty of care to ensure their premises are safe for visitors. If someone suffers harm due to an unsafe condition on the premises, then liability may depend on whether the duty of care was breached and what risks were reasonably foreseeable.
The level at which a defendant breaches their duty is determined according to the standard of care expected from someone in the same profession or circumstance. The standard of care expected from a doctor might differ than that of another professional such as an accountant because each profession carries different duties and responsibilities.
By establishing these factors, plaintiffs have better chances of succeeding in their negligence case against defendants who have caused them harm. Establishing causation, however, can still be difficult despite arguably having met these elements. This is because even if all other elements are established and proven, it must also be shown that negligence was actually what caused the injury in question as opposed to some other factor. Establishing this connection can be tricky and often times involves evaluating circumstantial evidence or expert opinions. Therefore, properly demonstrating negligence under Oklahoma law can require extensive research and legal arguments by experienced attorneys so that plaintiffs can ultimately obtain justice for any harm caused by another’s careless actions or inactions.
Establishing negligence under Oklahoma law requires careful consideration of various factors such as proving a duty of care, breach, causation and applicable standard of care. The next section will discuss how plaintiffs go about proving negligence beyond merely making assertions against defendants potentially responsible for their injuries.
Establishing negligence is an important step that must be taken when pursuing a personal injury case in the state of Oklahoma. To prove negligence and win a case, plaintiffs must provide legal evidence that their injuries were likely caused by another persons’ failure to act responsibly. This can occur through action or inaction. Negligence would also need to be established if the value of damages or losses being sought exceeds the threshold required under Oklahoma law.
A plaintiff must demonstrate four elements in order to show negligence: duty, breach, causation, and damages. Duty refers to the legal obligation for individuals to conform to a certain standard of behavior in order to protect others from harm; a breach occurs when someone fails to meet this obligation; causation establishes a strong link between the defendant’s breach and resulting injury; and damages show how the actions resulted in physical or monetary losses.
The burden of proof lies with the plaintiff, they must demonstrate each element before they can file a personal injury suit or receive compensation. If all elements are not present, the case will not move forward. This puts a lot of pressure on plaintiffs as they must be able to demonstrate fault with sufficient evidence for most cases to succeed.
In certain cases, shared negligence may also apply. Two parties – either both defendants or a combination of a defendant and plaintiff – can share responsibility for an injury even if one party was more careless than the other. In this situation, both parties can bring suits against each other and will have their awards reduced based on the degree of fault that can be attributed to each party involved in the incident.
Establishing negligence is an essential part of pursuing any personal injury case in Oklahoma, as it determines whether liability falls on one party or multiple parties. Now that we have explored what negligence is and when it applies to personal injury cases, let’s discuss compensatory damages awarded in these types of cases which will follow next.
Compensatory Damages Awarded in Personal Injury Cases
Compensatory damages are a frequent outcome of personal injury cases in Oklahoma. Common types of compensatory damages awarded by the court may include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and emotional distress inflicted upon the plaintiff. While punitive damages may also be requested, those are much less likely to be awarded in these cases and are only available in extreme circumstances.
When it comes to compensatory damages, there is typically some disagreement over the amount of money that should be awarded to the victim. As such, both sides of the argument must present sufficient evidence for their claims in order for the court to make an informed decision. Courts usually look at things like medical bills related to treatment for injuries sustained during the incident and long-term outlooks for ongoing care or diminished earning capacity when determining how much compensation should be awarded.
The amount of compensatory damages awarded in any given personal injury case can vary greatly depending on the severity and long-term effects of the injuries sustained as well as other considerations. Ultimately, it is up to the court – with consideration of both parties’ arguments – to decide what it deems appropriate compensation for such a case.
The next section will discuss another important part of Oklahoma personal injury law – statutes of limitations – and explain why knowing these laws is so important for pursuing your legal rights after a personal injury incident.
Statute of Limitations in Oklahoma
When someone has been injured due to negligence or intentional misconduct in Oklahoma, it’s important that they know the statute of limitations in order to protect their rights. The statute of limitations is the time limit within which a person must file a lawsuit, otherwise they will be unable to sue for damages. In Oklahoma, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases is two years.
However, there are certain exceptions to this two-year rule that could extend the statute of limitations. For example, if the person was a minor at the time of injury (under 18 years old) or if they were mentally disabled at the time of injury, then they may be granted an extension on filing a claim. Further, there are some situations where it may take longer than two years for an individual to discover when or how their injury occurred, such as with medical malpractice or illnesses that develop over time. In these circumstances, the statute of limitations will begin running from when an individual discovers or should have reasonably discovered their injury.
Overall, understanding the applicable statutes of limitation is essential in protecting an individual’s rights and ensuring that they are able to seek compensation for their injuries. It’s also important that individuals recognize when any potential exceptions apply in their case so that any legal action can be taken promptly and in accordance with local laws and regulations.
With this in mind, it’s essential for those who experience serious injuries to seek guidance with respect to pursuing a case against those responsible by hiring an Oklahoma Personal Injury Lawyer.
- In Oklahoma, plaintiffs filing a personal injury claim must show that the defendant was negligent, that their negligence caused harm to the plaintiff, and the extent of the damages suffered by the plaintiff.
- Under Oklahoma’s comparative negligence rule, injured parties can be held partially accountable for their own injuries, with their damages reduced proportionally based on fault or liability.
- In Oklahoma, there is a two-year statute of limitation on personal injury claims and any lawsuit regarding it must be filed within this two year period.
Hiring an Oklahoma Personal Injury Lawyer
Hiring an Oklahoma Personal Injury Lawyer – is it right for you? There’s no easy answer to this question but, ultimately, each situation must be considered on a case-by-case basis. On one hand, having access to an experienced legal team can provide a lot of advantages. An attorney will understand the laws applicable to your case and be knowledgeable about insurance companies and other parties involved. They can help evaluate the damages caused by the accident and fight for a fair settlement or file a lawsuit if necessary. Having an attorney standing up for your rights can hold those at fault accountable for your injuries and have a positive impact on the outcome of your case.
On the other hand, hiring an experienced lawyer usually isn’t cheap so there is always a financial consideration when deciding whether or not to proceed with legal action. However, personal injury lawyers typically take cases “on contingency” which means they accept payment as a portion of any settlement or verdict you receive in court. Ultimately, if you are facing increasing medical bills due to someone else’s negligence, then taking legal action may make sense – no matter the cost -and having legal representation could be important factor in receiving adequate compensation for your injuries.
With these considerations in mind, it’s important to shop around and find an Oklahoma personal injury lawyer who understands your case and is willing to stand up for you. Once you have identified the right attorney, it is time to consider what you should expect from their services as part of creating a successful strategy going forward. That is the subject of our next section: “What to Expect From a Personal Injury Lawyer File”.
What to Expect From a Personal Injury Lawyer File
When filing a personal injury claim in Oklahoma, it’s important to understand what to expect from a lawyer. A personal injury lawyer will create a detailed file, which includes all relevant details of the case. This includes any and all documents associated with the incident, such as medical records, accident reports, photos, expert witness testimony, and more. The contents of the file will help the lawyer determine the validity of your claim and how much compensation you may be entitled to.
Your lawyer will gather evidence pertaining to your injuries and damages in order to prove that someone else was responsible for those damages. This could include physical evidence such as photos or videos of the scene, medical bills or reports showing the extent of your injuries, witness statements, or expert witness testimony. Your lawyer can also use legal documents such as contracts to establish liability in certain cases involving contractual disputes.
It’s also important to have an accurate record of any losses due to your injury. This involves itemizing past and future medical expenses, lost wages from time away from work, pain and suffering costs (like mental anguish), etc. These records should be kept in your lawyer’s file along with additional evidence showing the amount of these losses and their impact on your life.
In addition to the documentation for your case, some lawyers may ask for additional items such as proof of insurance coverage or a police report stating that another party was responsible for your injuries. This type of evidence may be necessary if your case is disputed in court.
Ultimately, filing a personal injury claim requires having enough evidence to prove negligence on behalf of another person or company. Having an experienced personal injury attorney create a comprehensive file can make it easier for you to pursue compensation for your losses.
Most Common Questions
What kinds of damages are available in an Oklahoma personal injury lawsuit?
In an Oklahoma personal injury lawsuit, there are generally two types of damages that can be sought: compensatory damages and punitive damages. Compensatory damages are granted to cover the costs associated with physical injury or death as well as pain, suffering, emotional distress, loss of earning capacity or future earnings, or medical expenses. Punitive damages may also be awarded for particularly egregious acts, such as recklessness or malicious intent. In some cases, punitive damages are meant to punish the wrongdoer and discourage similar actions in the future.
What is the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim in Oklahoma?
In Oklahoma, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim is two years from the date of the injury. This means that you must file your lawsuit within two years of the date that you sustained your injury or you will be barred from filing it at all. This applies to both state and federal courts.
It is important to note that in some cases, the clock on the statute of limitations may begin ticking immediately, while in other cases, it can take months or years before you are aware of an injury or before its full effects become apparent. In these cases, the statute of limitations is not “tolled” until discovery has been made. Therefore, it is important to seek legal advice as soon as possible in order to protect your right to file a personal injury claim in Oklahoma.
Additionally, there are certain exceptions which can extend the statute of limitations period by up to five years. These exceptions involve minors and instances involving medical malpractice where patients may not have initially been aware of their injuries. Again, it is best to seek legal advice so that you can protect your rights and make sure that no time limits prevent you from receiving compensation for the injuries sustained.
How can I determine who is liable for my injuries in an Oklahoma personal injury case?
Determining who is liable in an Oklahoma personal injury case can be complicated and will depend on the facts of each individual case. Generally, under Oklahoma law, the party who has caused or contributed to someone’s injury through negligence may be considered liable for damages. As such, a thorough investigation of the circumstances surrounding the injury should be conducted to identify all potentially liable parties. In addition, anyone who may have been involved in an activity which placed you at risk for harm should also be investigated.
In order to pursue a successful claim for liability in an Oklahoma personal injury case, injured individuals must demonstrate that the party responsible for their injury breached some responsibility or duty of care owed to them. This could include failing to maintain a safe environment or property, failing to provide adequate warning of potential risks, or other negligent activities that led to the injured person’s harm. Failing to demonstrate such responsibility will result in failed attempts at recovering compensation for medical bills and related expenses.
The other factor that must be taken into consideration when determining who is liable in an Oklahoma personal injury case is the concept of comparative fault. Under this rule, if both parties are found at least partly responsible for causing or contributing to injury or damage, then they will both be assigned liability accordingly. Consequently, any compensation awarded by the court would likely be lower than what it would have been without comparative fault factored in.
Overall, when considering who is liable for your injuries in an Oklahoma personal injury case, it is important to remember that determining liability involves a complex set of facts and circumstances that must be investigated before reaching a conclusion. Be sure to consult with experienced legal professionals for advice about your particular situation.