Accidents happen all of the time; there is no sure way to predict if and when an accident will occur. Whether you or someone else is responsible for your injuries, the reality is that an accident can cause you injuries that will make it difficult to perform daily tasks such as dressing, walking, eating and sleeping. In addition, you may lose days, months and even years of work and pay. Furthermore, what initially seemed like a small problem may actually leave you permanently impaired.
However, if your injury was caused by the negligence of another, be it in a traffic accident, slip and fall accident, by malpractice or a defective product, you have the right to be compensated. This article discusses how you can be sure if you have grounds to seek compensation in an Oklahoma City personal injury claim.
Liability in Oklahoma City Personal Injury Claim
Personal injury law covers a wide array of accidents, the most frequent of which are auto accidents, slip and fall accidents, medical malpractice and accidents caused by defective products. Each differs in the primary cause of the accident, but they all require that someone other than yourself be held liable in order for you to have grounds to seek compensation.
In order for a person to be held liable for your injuries, they must:
Have acted negligently towards you.
Have injured you.
Be liable for your injuries.
A person has acted negligently towards you if the following criteria are met:
Duty – a person must have had a legal responsibility to behave in certain manner towards you. For example, we have a legal responsibility to operate our cars with a reasonable amount of care for the safety of others.
Breach of duty – a person must have breached his duty to behave in a certain manner towards you. Driving recklessly at any time is a breach of a driver’s duty to other motorists on the road.
Injury – You must have suffered an injury as result of the accident. These injuries may be either physical, emotional, financial or a combination of the three.
Cause – the person in breach of duty must have been the most direct cause of your injuries. If a shop owner forgets to clean up or warn you of a spill on the floor and you slip and fall, his or her forgetting to clean up or warn you of the spill is the proximate cause of your injuries.
A person may be held liable for your injuries if they did something intentionally that caused you to be injured. This includes libel, slander or assault and battery. While, intention is not as easy to prove as it may seem, if it can be proven that the person knew that his or her actions would cause you harm, he or she may be held liable for your injuries.
In certain circumstances, a person may be held liable even in the absence of negligence or intention. This is often the case for an individual involved in activities that are particularly hazardous in nature, such as the transportation of explosives or other volatile materials.
Strict liability is also applicable in cases where a person has been injured by a defective product. In these cases, in order for you to have grounds to seek compensation from the designer, manufacturer, distributor, etc. it need only be proven that a defect in the product caused you to be injured.
Your Percentage of Fault
In addition to meeting the conditions above, Oklahoma requires you to be less than 50% at fault for the injuries you have sustained.
Oklahoma personal injury law follows the theory of modified comparative fault-50%, which allows plaintiffs who are partially at fault to be awarded proportionate compensation, as long as they are less than 50% at fault for the injuries they have sustained.
For example, if you are held 49 percent responsible for the accident in which you were injured, you will be entitled to compensation for 51 percent (100% – 49%) of your losses . However, if you are 51 percent responsible, you will be statutorily barred from receiving any compensation at all.
Free Consultation: Oklahoma City Personal Injury Attorney
If you have been injured in an accident, consult with an experienced Oklahoma City personal injury attorney to get the compensation you deserve. A call to Personal Injury Law Office of Oklahoma City costs you nothing, but the information you receive could be invaluable. You can reach a skilled personal injury attorney at (405) 716-HURT (716-4878).
If you prefer, you may send your question via e-mail using the form at the top right of this page. We’ll get in touch with you as soon as possible. Don’t wait another minute to find out what you may be owed. Call Personal Injury Law Office of Oklahoma City today!