Oklahoma comparative negligence can limit recovery in Creek County personal injury cases. Tulsa alone has nearly 30,000 car and truck and motorcycle collisions annually. This includes small fender benders, fatality wrecks, and also wrecks that total a vehicle. Often these wrecks will injure one or more of the people involved. This triggers a legal theory in Oklahoma law—Comparative Negligence. In some cases this may be synonymous with “contributory negligence”. This legal theory considers the fault of all parties before assigning any monetary liability.
Comparative Negligence Laws in Oklahoma
Oklahoma’s comparative negligence statute states:
“…negligence resulting in personal injuries or wrongful death, or injury to property, [comparative 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…”—23 O.S. §13
Explaining Comparative Negligence
Comparative Negligence can be a difficult concept at first. So, this is a basic summary. First, comparative negligence means the court will weigh the fault of the parties. Once assigning fault, the court will then allocate damage liability. Let us give an example.
Imagine you are speeding and a car pulls out in front of you in a left turn, which crosses your lane. As a result, the two vehicles collide. You clearly have the right-of-way on the street. This would seem to clearly be the fault of the driver making the left turn. However, if you were not speeding, the driver would have had plenty of time to make the left turn without crashing. So who pays for the damages?
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In this case, the court would likely allocate the majority of the fault to the driver making the turn. However, because you were speeding and that contributes to the wreck, you will likely not receive a 100% recovery for any injuries. The court may look at this situation as a 90% fault of the turning driver and a 10% fault of you as the speeding driver. Thus, you could only receive 90% of the financial recovery for damages from the turning driver.
Creek County Injury Attorneys
Our Creek County injury Attorneys have experience working in cases under the Comparative Negligence theory. We understand the law and how to give you the best advantage when fighting it. If you find yourself in a situation facing comparative negligence, call our offices.