If you have been injured due to the fault of another, the person responsible may be liable to compensate you for your injuries, pain and suffering and financial losses. But in order to be eligible for compensation, you must prove that the defendant in your lawsuit was negligent in his or her actions.
So, what is negligence under Oklahoma personal injury law?:
Negligence in an Oklahoma Personal Injury case
Negligence under Oklahoma personal injury law basically means doing something carelessly or without regard for your own safety or the safety of others. More technically, it means committing an act in breach of a legal duty of care you have in regards to your actions towards others.
For example, drivers have a legal duty to obey traffic signs in order to avoid road accidents. When you run a stop sign, intentionally or not, you have breached this duty and committed an act of negligence.
Duty of Care in an Oklahoma Personal Injury Case
Under Oklahoma personal injury law, in order for negligence to be established, the defendant must first have owed you a duty of care. This means that the person had a responsibility to behave in a careful manner with respect to your safety or well-being. For example:
Drivers have a duty to drive in a reasonably careful manner.
Businesses have a duty to keep their premises reasonably safe for customers to visit.
Manufacturers have a duty to make their products safe for use.
Physicians have a duty provide a reasonable standard of care to their patients.
Breach of duty in an Oklahoma Personal Injury case
Secondly, in order to establish negligence, you must prove that the party responsible breached the duty of care he or she owed to you. In other words, the responsible party did not behave in a responsible manner with respect to your safety or well-being. For instance:
If a driver is driving too fast for road conditions, the driver is in breach of his or her duty to drive carefully.
If a customer visits an establishment and slips on a wet floor, the establishment may be in breach of its duty to make the place of business safe for visitors.
If a product is faulty and dangerous for consumers to use, a manufacturer may be in breach of its duty to make products safe.
If a doctor misdiagnoses a patient and prescribes the wrong medication, he or she may be in breach of the duty to treat the patient with a reasonable standard of care.
Causation in an Oklahoma Personal Injury Case
Third, in order to recover damages caused by another’s negligence, you must also prove that the responsible person’s breach of duty caused your injuries. Basically, this means that your injuries were a direct or proximate result of the defendant’s action. For example:
When a driver drives recklessly, his or her reckless driving may result in an accident in which you are injured.
If you visit a grocery store and slip and fall on a spill, the proprietor’s failure to keep the floor in a safe condition for customers may be the cause of you slipping and being injured.
If you are injured while using a faulty product, the manufacturer’s breach of its duty to design products in a manner that is safe for consumers to use may be the cause of your injuries.
When your medical condition worsens because the doctor misdiagnosed your problem or prescribes the wrong medicine, your injury is caused by the fact that he or she failed to treat you with a reasonable standard of care.
Damages in an Oklahoma Personal Injury Case
Finally, to have a cause of action based on negligence under Oklahoma personal injury law, you must prove that the injuries you sustained as a result of the defendant’s actions resulted in you suffering a loss, tangible (quantifiable) and/or intangible.
Injuries sustained in a car accident may leave you with expensive medical bills, lost work, damaged property and emotional distress.
Injuries sustained in a fall may result in long-term pain and discomfort, and an overall loss in the quality of your life.
Injuries sustained while using a faulty product may result in the loss of life, limb or permanent disfigurement.
A misdiagnosis by your doctor may result in the need for more treatment and higher medical bills.
All four of these elements must be met for negligence to be established and to recover damages under Oklahoma personal injury law. This typically means you will need to gather and preserve as much evidence as possible from the accident or circumstance that resulted in your injury.
Personal injury attorneys are trained and experienced in helping their clients gather the evidence needed to build a successful personal injury case.
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!