Best Personal Injury Lawyers Oklahoma City, OK Of 2024 – Forbes

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When you’ve been injured, whether through a car accident or a slip and fall, the last thing you’re thinking about is filing a personal injury lawsuit in Oklahoma. Your goal is to get better and to ensure your finances don’t take a hit. To help you understand the process, here’s a brief guide on filing a personal injury lawsuit in Oklahoma.

Oklahoma Statute of Limitations

A statute of limitations is the legal deadline before which you must file a lawsuit against the party responsible for your injuries. Under Oklahoma law, that time is two years. If you fail to file a lawsuit within this period, you may lose your right to seek and obtain compensation.

There are some exceptions to this rule, such as cases involving minors or individuals with disabilities. In these situations, the statute of limitations may be extended. In every instance, however, it’s better to move quickly.

Oklahoma Laws for Personal Injuries

There are many relevant Oklahoma laws but here are two you should know:

  • Oklahoma’s damages cap. The Oklahoma Supreme Court eliminated damages caps on noneconomic damages in personal injury cases. There is also no cap on noneconomic damages in wrongful death cases in Oklahoma.
  • Strict liability for dog bites. Oklahoma follows the strict liability rule for dog bite cases which means that a dog owner is liable for any injuries caused by their pet, even if the dog has not shown prior aggressive behavior. There is a special exception for bites that occur in rural areas where there is no U.S. mail delivery.

Identifying Fault for a Personal Injury

Oklahoma follows a modified comparative negligence system. When determining compensation in a personal injury case, this means you can recover damages as long as you’re less than 50% at fault for the accident. However, your awarded compensation will be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to you. For example, if you are found to be 30% at fault for an accident and awarded $100,000 in damages, your total compensation would be reduced to $70,000.

To establish fault, you will need to gather evidence such as police reports, witness statements and photographs from the scene of the accident. The type of evidence needed and the process of establishing fault may vary depending on the nature of the accident or injury.

How Can an Attorney Help You?

An experienced personal injury attorney can provide invaluable assistance tailored to the specific circumstances of your case. Here are some ways an attorney can help you, with an emphasis on how their support might differ based on the type of personal injury case.

Evaluating your case. An attorney assesses the unique aspects of your case, such as the type of accident, the injuries sustained and the parties involved, to determine the strength of your claim and the potential compensation you could receive.

Investigating the incident. A lawyer conducts a thorough investigation into the circumstances of your case to gather essential evidence. In a car accident case, this may involve obtaining traffic camera footage, while in a medical malpractice case, it might require consulting medical experts.

Filing legal documents. Each personal injury case has specific procedural requirements, such as filing a notice of claim against a government entity in cases involving public property. An attorney ensures that all necessary paperwork is filed correctly and within the required timeframes.

Negotiating settlements. Settlement negotiations can vary based on the type of personal injury case. In a truck accident claim, your attorney negotiates with the trucking company’s insurance company, while in a product liability case, they would deal with the manufacturer or retailer’s legal team. Having an experienced attorney in your corner ensures that you have a strong advocate fighting for your best interests, regardless of the opposing party.

Representing you in court. If your case goes to trial, your attorney adapts their strategy to the specific nature of your claim. For instance, in a medical malpractice case, they present expert testimony to demonstrate how the healthcare provider’s actions deviated from the standard of care. In a slip and fall case, they focus on proving the property owner’s negligence.

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