Under Oklahoma law, if you have suffered a personal injury due to someone else’s negligence or fault, you may be able to file a claim against the at-fault party. In most cases, you have up to two years after the event to file a lawsuit against that person. That two-year statute of limitation often begins on the date of the original incident.
Oklahoma imposes time limits on filing lawsuits for two main reasons;
First, it protects the integrity of evidence. Time is the enemy when it comes to evidence, as memories begin to fade and physical evidence can become lost or damaged. Imposing a statute of limitations makes it more likely that evidence remains intact so the courts get a true representation of the facts of a case.
Second, it prevents a plaintiff from using threats of a lawsuit against a potential defendant indefinitely.
In almost all cases, the two-year statute of limitations starts on the date of the original personal injury. However, there are known exceptions. Here are some of the most common cases that have the two-year limit;
For example, if someone dies as a result of a personal injury, the statute of limitation remains two years, but it starts on the day that person died, instead of the date of the injury which caused the death. That is because a person can die days, months, or even years after an injury.
Another important exception is when the injury is caused by an employee of the State, a municipality, or other entity covered by the Oklahoma Governmental Tort Claims Act. In these cases, the claim must be presented within one year of the date of loss or injury.
Additionally, some injuries do not appear immediately after an incident. In those cases, the statute of limitations begins on the date when an injury was discovered or when it should have been discovered with reasonable care. A common example of this is when a surgeon leaves an instrument inside a patient during surgery. The discovery of that instrument may not occur for a long time after the surgery.
If the personal injury occurs to a minor, the statute of limitations works differently. If a child was under the age of 12 at the time of the injury, the parents or guardian of that child have up to 7 years after the incident to file a personal injury case on the minor’s behalf. If the child was between 12 and 17 at the time of the injury, the minor has up to one year after their 18th birthday to file a suit. However, the parents’ claim for reimbursement of medical or any other expenses related to the child’s injury would still be limited to two years.
If the person who sustained the injury was mentally incompetent at the time of the injury, the statute of limitations can be halted until that person is considered mentally competent or until 7 years have passed since the original incident.
If you have been involved in an accident that resulted in a personal injury, the statute of limitations in your case has already started. Call Wandres Law today to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced legal team. We have helped many injury victims receive favorable outcomes in their individual personal injury cases.
For more information on our Tulsa Personal Injury Lawyer, please visit our site.