When you have experienced an accident such as a slip-and-fall or a rear-end collision due to someone else’s negligence, you may be contemplating whether or not to bring a lawsuit for your personal injuries. While this is your decision to make, it is very important to understand that there is a time limit to file a claim. This is referred to as the statute of limitations.
Statutes of limitations vary in each state and are dependent upon the type of case that you are filing. According to section 12-95 of the Oklahoma Statutes, most personal injury lawsuits in Oklahoma have two years to file a civil lawsuit. This time period begins on the date of the accident. Statutes of limitations are implemented because after a certain amount of time evidence and witnesses may no longer be as reliable.
Are There Exceptions?
There are some exceptions to the two-year personal injury statute of limitations. These exceptions essentially stop the clock from running and extend the deadline to file. For instance, if someone is a minor (under the age of 18 in Oklahoma) or if a court finds that someone is incompetent under the law (not of sound mind), the statute of limitations will pause until the individual is no longer considered a minor or legally incompetent. Once this occurs (i.e. they turn 18 or are found of sound mind by the court), under Oklahoma Statutes section 12-96, the individual has one year to file suit.
Another potential exception can be found in Oklahoma Statutes section 12-98. When the individual who has allegedly caused the injury has left the state or is in hiding within the state, it is unlikely that the statute of limitations would begin until the individual comes back to the state or out of hiding.
What if You Miss the Deadline?
If you fail to file your case within the proper period of time, and then try to bring your personal injury lawsuit, it is likely that the defendant will simply file a motion to dismiss the case due to failure to comply with the statute of limitations. It is likely that they will be successful. When you do not bring your case within the deadline, you lose your ability to negotiate with the defendant and their insurance company. This is why it is so important to be are aware of the statute of limitations and take action within the allotted time period.
The Attorneys at Graves McLain Can Help.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident due to the negligence of another person, you should not have to pay the consequences. That’s why it is important to consult with a knowledgeable and experienced Personal Injury Attorney.
To learn more or to schedule a consultation right away, call Graves McLain at 918-359-6600. We will speak with you for FREE in order to determine how we can best help. You will never pay an attorney’s fee up front – and you owe us nothing – until we win your case. We don’t get paid until you do.
Graves McLain – Serious Lawyers for Serious Injuries