The Oklahoma Comparative Negligence doctrine can impact the outcome of your personal injury claim. Oklahoma’s Highway and Safety Office reports approximately 120,000 to 130,000 car wrecks each year. Nearly a quarter of these wrecks occur in the Northeastern part of the state. Unfortunately you may find yourself being a wreck in this statistic. It’s normal for a person to experience a car accident in their lifetime. However, many people do not know about the legal doctrine of Comparative Negligence that will have an impact on your damages.
Comparative Negligence Doctrine
Under Oklahoma law comparative negligence is in Title 23 §13. It reads:
“…negligence resulting in personal injuries or wrongful death, or injury to property, contributory negligence shall not bar a recovery, unless any negligence of the person so injured, damaged or killed, is of greater degree than any negligence of the person, firm or corporation causing such damage…”
Note that contributory negligence is another term for comparative negligence in Oklahoma law.
Explaining Comparative Negligence
The Oklahoma comparative negligence doctrine can be somewhat confusing if you are just learning about it. Well, we can explain. Under this doctrine the court weights the faults of the parties. So, it determines who is mostly at fault. There are two possible outcomes for a person suing another party in a car wreck.
- You are less than 50% at fault for causing the accident. If you are 49% at fault or less, then you can recover damages. However, you will only be able to recover a minimum amount. This is because the amount of damages you can recover is dependent upon the percentage you are at fault. For example, imagine you are 40% at fault for a wreck and sue someone who is 60% at fault. The damages come to $100,000. However, because you are 40% at fault you may only recover $60,000 or 60% of the total damages.
- You are over 50% at fault for causing the accident. If you are over 50% at fault for causing the accident, then you will not be able to recover any damages if you sue the other party. An example of being over 50% at fault is if you roll a stop sign and hit someone who is speeding. It is likely you will bear the majority of the negligence.
Comparative Negligence Attorneys
In a negligence suit relying on comparison, you generally come out better if you hire legal counsel to represent you. This is because our OKC injury attorneys have the experience and skill necessary to fight for your side. We understand the necessary evidence and what is in your favor and what is not. Get a Free case evaluation with an OKC personal injury attorney today at 405-367-8710