Filing a personal injury claim in Oklahoma

Noble McIntyre on March 8, 2016


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How long do I have to file an Oklahoma personal injury claim?

A “statute of limitations” is the legal term for the amount of time you have to file a claim. Generally, you have two years from the date of the incident to file a personal injury claim in Oklahoma. If you wait longer than two years from the date of the incident or injury, the court might not be willing to hear your case. The exception to this rule is that if your case involves the Oklahoma government, you would have only one year to file a claim for liability.

How do I file a personal injury claim?

A personal injury lawsuit can be filed in a court that has jurisdiction over the case. That could be the district court where the injury occurred, or it could be the court where either you or the other party lives. Although the requirement is that a lawsuit must be filed within two years from the occurrence of the injury, the exception to this is that it could also be within two years of when the injury is discovered. For example, in a medical malpractice suit, you might not be aware of the injury until much later.

In every case, there is a plaintiff and a defendant. The plaintiff is the injured party, or the person bringing the suit. The defendant can be a person or an entity (a company or government agency) that is being blamed for having caused the injury. The intent behind a personal injury lawsuit is that the purpose is to make the plaintiff whole. In other words, the court seeks to restore a plaintiff to the position that s/he was in prior to the injuring event. Sometimes, that can be accomplished by restoring whatever money was spent. Some injuries, though, cannot be “healed” with money, but the court cannot heal injuries—it can only award damages so that the plaintiff can continue to live as she or he had been living prior to the event.

How much can I recover from a personal injury lawsuit?

Oklahoma provides legal support for both economic and non-economic loss. An economic loss would be anything that costs you money, like past or future estimated lost wages or medical bills. A non-economic loss is physical or emotional pain and suffering. There is $350,000 cap on non-economic loss in an Oklahoma personal injury lawsuit.

Sometimes, the plaintiff will be partially at fault for the incident, but that doesn’t mean he can’t recover any damages. When there is a comparative fault case, it means that you share some of the liability (like in an automobile accident where both parties bear some responsibility), but you can still recover damages if the court determines that your responsibility is 49% or less. If you are found to have some responsibility, then the court will reduce the amount of damages awarded.

I was injured, but I don’t want to deal with a lengthy and expensive trial

Most cases don’t wind up at trial. Your personal injury lawyer will prepare a case as if it is going to trial, but often, cases are settled before they reach that point. Your lawyer will engage in negotiations with the opposing counsel to attempt to reach settlement. There is usually also an option to try mediation or arbitration. “Mediation” is where an unbiased third party (similar to a judge) is brought in to help the two sides settle a case. An arbitration is similar, except the arbitrator makes a decision in the case, and that will be binding on the parties. If all attempts to negotiate fail, your case would head to trial.

How do I start to recover damages from a personal injury accident?

The first step in the process is to contact an Oklahoma personal injury lawyer. The professionals at McIntyre Law can help you from start to finish — we’ll advise you on whether you have a case and your likelihood of recovering damages, find expert witnesses and others who can help your case, and conduct negotiations. Contact us today for a free consultation.

How long do I have to file an Oklahoma personal injury claim?

A “statute of limitations” is the legal term for the amount of time you have to file a claim. Generally, you have two years from the date of the incident to file a personal injury claim in Oklahoma. If you wait longer than two years from the date of the incident or injury, the court might not be willing to hear your case. The exception to this rule is that if your case involves the Oklahoma government, you would have only one year to file a claim for liability.

How do I file a personal injury claim?

A personal injury lawsuit can be filed in a court that has jurisdiction over the case. That could be the district court where the injury occurred, or it could be the court where either you or the other party lives. Although the requirement is that a lawsuit must be filed within two years from the occurrence of the injury, the exception to this is that it could also be within two years of when the injury is discovered. For example, in a medical malpractice suit, you might not be aware of the injury until much later.

In every case, there is a plaintiff and a defendant. The plaintiff is the injured party, or the person bringing the suit. The defendant can be a person or an entity (a company or government agency) that is being blamed for having caused the injury. The intent behind a personal injury lawsuit is that the purpose is to make the plaintiff whole. In other words, the court seeks to restore a plaintiff to the position that s/he was in prior to the injuring event. Sometimes, that can be accomplished by restoring whatever money was spent. Some injuries, though, cannot be “healed” with money, but the court cannot heal injuries—it can only award damages so that the plaintiff can continue to live as she or he had been living prior to the event.

How much can I recover from a personal injury lawsuit?

Oklahoma provides legal support for both economic and non-economic loss. An economic loss would be anything that costs you money, like past or future estimated lost wages or medical bills. A non-economic loss is physical or emotional pain and suffering. There is $350,000 cap on non-economic loss in an Oklahoma personal injury lawsuit.

Sometimes, the plaintiff will be partially at fault for the incident, but that doesn’t mean he can’t recover any damages. When there is a comparative fault case, it means that you share some of the liability (like in an automobile accident where both parties bear some responsibility), but you can still recover damages if the court determines that your responsibility is 49% or less. If you are found to have some responsibility, then the court will reduce the amount of damages awarded.

I was injured, but I don’t want to deal with a lengthy and expensive trial

Most cases don’t wind up at trial. Your personal injury lawyer will prepare a case as if it is going to trial, but often, cases are settled before they reach that point. Your lawyer will engage in negotiations with the opposing counsel to attempt to reach settlement. There is usually also an option to try mediation or arbitration. “Mediation” is where an unbiased third party (similar to a judge) is brought in to help the two sides settle a case. An arbitration is similar, except the arbitrator makes a decision in the case, and that will be binding on the parties. If all attempts to negotiate fail, your case would head to trial.

How do I start to recover damages from a personal injury accident?

The first step in the process is to contact an Oklahoma personal injury lawyer. The professionals at McIntyre Law can help you from start to finish — we’ll advise you on whether you have a case and your likelihood of recovering damages, find expert witnesses and others who can help your case, and conduct negotiations. Contact us today for a free consultation.


Noble McIntyre

Noble McIntyre is the senior partner and owner of McIntyre Law who focuses primarily on drug litigation and catastrophic injury cases. He is currently representing clients injured by the drugs Paxil, Levaquin and testosterone therapy drugs and by clients affected by oil field injuries. His goal has and continues to be to work diligently on behalf of his clients to achieve the highest and best result for his clients’ injuries while maintaining professionalism and abiding by all ethical standards of his profession. Read more about Noble McIntyre.


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