Important Deadlines Affect Your Rights After an Oklahoma Car Accident
Car accidents remain a threat on Oklahoma highways, state roads, and city streets of Tulsa, but a look at the data puts things into perspective in terms of the risk. According to the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office (OHSO), there are more than 73,200 traffic collisions across the state every year. These crashes cause around 650 fatalities, while another 33,000 victims suffer injuries ranging from minor to severe.
If you were hurt in a car accident, you may be aware that you have legal remedies under Oklahoma law. What you might not realize is that there are time restrictions for these cases, and you could lose important rights by not taking action. It is critical to consult with a Tulsa, OK car accident attorney, but some information on the auto crash deadlines is also useful.
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How Oklahoma’s Statute of Limitations Works
The law that establishes legal deadlines is called a statute of limitations, and every US state has their own version. In Oklahoma, you have two years to file a lawsuit in court. Some additional points are also important:
- The two-year period starts to run on the date of the auto crash.
- The clock does not stop during settlement discussions with an insurance company.
- If you do not initiate litigation by the time the statute of limitations expires, you are barred from recovering any compensation for your losses. The law allows the defendant to raise this issue as a defense.
If your child was hurt in a car accident, the statute of limitations operates differently. For children under 12 years old at the time of the collision, parents have up to seven years to sue in court. A child aged 12 to 17 years old has up to one year after turning age 18 to initiate litigation.
Steps in the Legal Process
Two years might seem like a long time to file a lawsuit against the at-fault motorist, but keep in mind that there are numerous tasks you need to accomplish during this time. You must file an insurance claim, which usually turns into settlement discussions. If the insurer refuses to pay fair compensation, your remedy is in court. Every case is different, but it is necessary to:
- Conduct an investigation and gather evidence of fault;
- Obtain and review all medical records regarding your injuries;
- Complete all insurance claim forms and submit them with supporting evidence;
- Engage in settlement negotiations;
- Participate in mediation; and,
- Draft the complaint and paperwork to file a lawsuit in court, followed by a range of litigation tasks.
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Speak to a Tulsa, OK Car Accident Lawyer Right Away
It is important to be aware of the time limit to file a car accident claim, but it is also critical to retain skilled legal counsel to represent you. For more information about your remedies, please contact Boettcher, Devinney, Ingle & Wicker to schedule a free case review with a member of our team. After assessing your circumstances, an Oklahoma auto crash attorney can provide additional details about the legal process.
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