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What Do I Need to Prove in a Personal Injury Claim?

personal injury

Have you suffered an injury caused by another party’s negligence and reckless actions? If so, you could file a personal injury lawsuit to recover financial compensation to pay for all the costs associated with your injury.

However, in order to obtain a successful outcome inside or even outside the courtroom, you must prove the following elements:

  • Duty of care – This type of duty is an obligation to avoid injuring other people or endangering their lives. For the most part, everyone has at least some duty of care toward others. For example, drivers have a duty not to endanger other motorists and pedestrians on the road. In a premises liability claim, property owners have a duty to provide a safe environment on the premises.
  • Breach of duty – Next, you must prove that the duty was breached. Regarding car accidents, the at-fault driver endangered your safety by speeding, running a red light or a stop sign, ignoring current road conditions, or driving without headlights on at night. In a slip and fall case, a store owner failed to clean up liquid on the floor or placed warning signs around the area.
  • Causation – You must also need to prove a causal link between the at-fault party’s actions and your injuries based on the “preponderance of the evidence,” which means that your injury was “more likely than not” caused by the at-fault party. Remember, Oklahoma is a “modified comparative negligence” state, meaning that your compensation will be reduced by your percentage of fault. However, if you are at least 50 percent at fault for the accident, you cannot recover compensation.
  • Damages – Finally, you must prove that you suffered damages. There are three types of damages: economic damages, noneconomic damages, and punitive damages. Economic damages are tangible losses such as medical expenses, lost income, and property damage. Noneconomic damages compensate for intangible harm such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, or loss of enjoyment in life. Punitive damages—which are rare—are designed to punish the at-fault party for their egregious conduct and discourage others from doing the same.

You have two years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit in Oklahoma. Since the legal process for personal injury claims is complex, it is wise to hire an experienced lawyer to ensure you obtain the best possible outcome in your case.

If you have been injured in an accident in Norman, contact the Law Offices of Keith J. Nedwick, P.C. today and request a free meeting to learn about your available legal options.