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Oklahoma Negligence Laws

The legal theory of negligence is a common cause of action for personal injury and other civil lawsuits. To be negligent is to violate a duty owed to another -- in other words, to do (or fail to do) something in a reasonable manner, resulting in another individual's injuries. For instance, if you broadside another motorist after running a red light, causing injury to the other driver, then you are negligent and thus liable for the injuries. Simply stated, a motorist who runs a red light is not following the rules of the road or acting like a reasonable person.

This article provides a brief overview of Oklahoma negligence laws.

Oklahoma Negligence Law Overview

Negligence is fairly universal from one state to the next, with some variations on how contributory or comparative negligence affects liability and injury claims. A plaintiff in Oklahoma whose own negligence contributed to their injury, for instance, will have their damages reduced in proportion. And if the injured party was more negligent than the prospective defendant, he or she may not collect damages.

Additional details about how Oklahoma handles negligence claims are listed in the following chart. See FindLaw's Negligence section for more articles.

Code Section Tit. 23 § 13 et seq. of the Oklahoma Statutes
Modified Comparative Negligence Contributory negligence cannot be greater than the negligence of defendants; damages reduced in proportion to such person's contributory negligence
Contributory Negligence — Limit to Plaintiff's Recovery -
Contribution Among Tortfeasors  Yes, but no more than their pro rata share of fault; no contribution for defendants who commit an intentional tort
Uniform Act Tit. 12 § 832

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

The Elements of a Negligence Case

In order to collect damages for injuries that resulted from another party's negligence, you must be able to prove the following five elements:

  1. The defendant owed a duty to commit an act or refrain from committing an act
  2. The defendant breached this duty
  3. This breach of duty caused injury to the plaintiff
  4. Defendant's actions (or inactions) were the proximate cause of the injury (the defendant's conduct or inaction is reasonably related to the plaintiff's injuries)
  5. Plaintiff suffered actual damages (i.e., lost wages, hospital bills, suffering, etc.)

Research the Law

Oklahoma Negligence Law: Related Resources

Get Help with a Negligence Claim from an Attorney

Oklahoma has a variety of different negligence laws that apply to a variety of injuries. If you have a personal injury matter, you should find a local attorney who understands Oklahoma's rules on modified comparative negligence and tortfeasor contribution. It's in your best interests to contact an experienced Oklahoma personal attorney near you today.

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