Oklahoma is not just the birthplace of Brad Pitt, Chuck Norris, and Sonic. It's also home to impressive college football (think the Oklahoma Schooners) and beautiful, big sky prairies. If you're driving part of the nearly 400 miles of Route 66, or in town for the next Thunder game, the last thing you want to deal with is a car accident. If it does happen, know what to expect in a lawsuit by educating yourself about Oklahoma's car accident compensation laws.
Below is a table outlining important aspects of Oklahoma's car accident compensation laws, including limits on damages and the statute of limitations.
|Statute of Limitations
||2 years for most personal injury and property damage lawsuits (Tit. 12, Sec. 95(3))
|Limits on Damages
||$350,000 cap on non-economic damages generally (Tit. 23, Sec. 61.2), and $300,000 cap on non-economic damages of certain medical malpractice claims (Tit. 63, Sec. 1-1708.1F)
||Modified comparative fault rule may prevent or diminish recovery of damages (Tit. 23, Sec. 13-14)
Types of Damages
There are usually two types of damages to consider in a car accident: economic and non-economic. While economic damages refer to the more direct, specific costs you've incurred as a result of your injury or damage to property, non-economic damages are the more abstract costs of an accident, like emotional distress and the loss of spousal companionship due to some serious bodily injury.
Examples of economic damages include:
- Car repairs or the cost of replacement
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
Examples of non-economic damages include:
- Physical pain
- Emotional distress
- Loss of affection or companionship
Limits on Damages
Oklahoma does not have a cap on economic damages from bodily injury (such as medical expenses or lost wages). However, it does limit non-economic claims based on bodily injury, with a few exceptions (such as the defendant's gross negligence). Also, claims are time-sensitive, as you have only two years from the date of the accident to file most lawsuits in court. This time limit is known as a statute of limitations.
"Comparative Fault" Rules Apply
Oklahoma follows a "modified comparative fault" version of contributory negligence. This rule states that if you were partially to blame for causing the accident, you may only recover damages if your negligence is not greater than that of the other party or parties combined. In other words, to recover these damages, you must be 50% or less at fault for the accident.
Additionally, if you are partly to blame, any damages that are awarded will be reduced in proportion to the degree that you were at fault. For example, if you were 10% at fault and the other driver was 90% at fault, you may file a lawsuit, but an award of $1000 will be reduced by $100.
Have More Questions About Oklahoma Car Accident Compensation Laws? Ask a Lawyer
Understanding the comparative fault rules and damages caps governing a car accident in Oklahoma is vital to a successful recovery of damages. To learn more about the strength of your case, it's a good idea to consult with an experienced car accident attorney who will be familiar with all of Oklahoma's car accident compensation laws.