Best Personal Injury Lawyers In Tulsa, OK Of 2024 – Forbes

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If you are injured by someone else’s negligence in Oklahoma, you should know your rights and duties to successfully file a lawsuit against them. The guide below helps you understand the basics of personal injury law in your state.

Oklahoma Statute of Limitations

In Oklahoma, actions against the defendants for causing personal injury should be brought to the court within two years from the date on which the negligent act took place. This time frame is called the statute of limitations and if you miss this deadline, your lawsuit will be dismissed unless you qualify for a rare exception.

The most common exceptions to the statute of limitations in personal injury cases are:

  • Legally Disabled Plaintiff. If the injured person is a minor or has been declared mentally incompetent at the time when the negligent act took place, they can file a lawsuit against the defendant one year after the disability is removed. This means they can take action against the negligent party once they turn 18 or are declared competent.
  • Absent Defendant. If the person who caused the injury leaves the state or conceals themselves before an action is taken against them, the period of absence is not included in the statute of limitations. This means the statute of limitation pauses for the time of the absence and resumes when the defendant returns.
  • Medical Malpractice. Actions against a healthcare provider must be filed within two years from the date on which the injury was discovered or should have reasonably been discovered. This means if you can prove you were unaware of the injury at the time the negligent medical act took place, the statute of limitations starts from the date when the injury was discovered.

Oklahoma Personal Injury Laws

The state of Oklahoma does not impose any cap on economic and non-economic damages in personal injury cases. You are eligible to receive compensation for the entirety of your losses, including medical expenses, loss of pay, pain and suffering and emotional distress.

The state did impose a cap on noneconomic damages in medical malpractice cases until 2019, but it was declared unconstitutional by the Oklahoma Supreme Court. The requirement of an affidavit of merit in medical malpractice claims was also declared unconstitutional in 2017. According to this overturned rule, the plaintiff had to provide some degree of proof of malpractice before they could file a lawsuit.

Oklahoma Dog Bite Law

An owner of a dog is guilty of a misdemeanor if they allow their dog, which has a history of causing or threatening unprovoked injury, to run at large or attack any person.

If the injury victim is a law enforcement officer who was performing their duties at the time of the attack, the misdemeanor charge turns into a felony. The charges also upgrade to a felony if the injured person dies as a result of the attack.

The dog bite law does not apply if, at the time of the attack, the victim was intentionally committing a crime on the owner’s property or was assaulting the owner.

Identifying Fault in Personal Injury Cases

In Oklahoma, the person at fault for causing injury is liable to pay for the resultant damages. Identifying the negligent party can sometimes get tricky, and you may need the help of a personal injury lawyer in Tulsa to sue the correct defendants.

Once you know the person responsible for the negligent act, you can recover compensation for your economic and non-economic losses. The value of compensation is determined by the modified comparative negligence rule. It states that if your actions contributed to your injury, your total claim will be deducted by the percentage of your negligence in causing the accident.

But if you were more than 50% responsible for causing the accident, you are not eligible to receive any compensation at all.

How Can an Attorney Help You?

It is advisable to reach out to an attorney in personal injury cases as soon as possible. This is because it is easier to gather evidence and witness testimony early in the case. Once you hire a personal injury lawyer in Tulsa, they will take care of most of the legal tasks involved in the case. This will give you the time to focus on your health and recover from the injury.

Your lawyer will help you determine the parties responsible for the negligent act and file claims with the insurance companies. They can then negotiate with them until a satisfactory settlement is reached.

If you do not want to settle for the amount offered by the insurance agencies, your lawyer can file a lawsuit and represent you in court. They will prepare a strong case against the defendants that will help you win a favorable verdict or settlement.

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