Oklahoma Statute of Limitations for Car Accident Injuries and Losses
Many people don’t know that a clock starts ticking the moment you are involved in a car accident. This clock is counting down the amount of time you have to negotiate a damage settlement or file an accident lawsuit in Oklahoma. This time limit, called the Statute of Limitations, is two years. Be aware that if the accident involves a government vehicle or employee, the time limit is much shorter. In some states, the limits for wrongful death are longer, but Oklahoma also limits wrongful death claims to two years.
There are nuances within the law that may change when the clock is started, but there are also rules for when they can be applied. For instance, for car accident damage and injury claims, the clock starts ticking at the moment of the accident. For wrongful death claims, the clock starts at the moment of death, which may be much later than the date of the accident. The clock is tolled if the victim is a minor under the age of 18, i.e., the clock is stopped until the minor reaches the age of adulthood in most causes of action. While these rules can seem complicated, they work to prevent someone from bringing a claim long after evidence degrades and details are forgotten by witnesses.
Time Limits on Car Accident Cases in Oklahoma
This time limit means that any accident involving a motor vehicle, whether you are a pedestrian, bicyclist, riding a motorcycle or were in another vehicle, and you were injured, or your property damaged, you must file your claim against the at-fault driver within two years of the accident.
Your attorney must also have enough time to collect evidence, locate witnesses, and request the police report. The sooner these things are done, the better. Your attorney and their investigators will need to gather images and measurements of skid marks, road hazards and defects, and vehicle damage. They will need copies of your insurance coverage, and if you are injured, they will need to collect your medical records and the treatment plans expected for your recovery. The more evidence that can be presented to prove your case, the better your chances of getting the compensation you deserve.
It’s a misconception that most car accident cases go to court. In fact, most are settled out of court through negotiations. This is another you reason should begin building a case immediately after the accident occurs. Negotiations take time, especially if the other insurance company is pushing for a settlement that is in their best interest.
Bottom line: don’t wait until the medical bills are piling up or your vehicle is breaking down to talk to an attorney about filing a claim. Reach out as soon as you are able, so there’s time to build the best possible case for your claim.