Anyone who has been involved in a car accident in Oklahoma will want to have an understanding of the different state laws and car insurance rules that could affect a settlement or lawsuit over the crash. This page provides a summary of the Oklahoma-specific resources available on All-About-Car-Accidents.com, plus links to more detailed information.
If you decide to file a lawsuit after a car accident in Oklahoma -- or even if you’re only making an insurance claim for the time being -- there are a few state laws to know about, beginning with the time limit for getting a car accident lawsuit started (this is a state law called a “statute of limitations”).
In Oklahoma, you have two years after the car accident to file a lawsuit, whether it's for personal injury or for vehicle damage. You can find this law codified at Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 12 section 95(3).
If you don’t get your case started before the lawsuit-filing window closes, it’s safe to assume that the court will refuse to hear it when you do try to file. So it’s crucial to pay attention to the deadline, and that’s true even if you think your case is going to settle out of court. You always want to leave open the option of filing a lawsuit, not just for leverage in settlement negotiations, but also to make sure you can turn to the court system for a remedy if the settlement process isn’t promising a satisfactory solution.
Get details on other Oklahoma laws that could impact your car accident case in our article Car Accident Laws in Oklahoma.
Like most states, Oklahoma requires drivers to carry adequate car insurance coverage on any vehicle owned and operated in the state. The following minimum coverage is mandatory:
Uninsured motorist coverage is not required in Oklahoma -- car insurance companies are required to offer UIM coverage to people who are purchasing a policy, but you’re free to decline it. For more details on car insurance for vehicles in the state, check out our companion article Oklahoma Car Insurance Laws.
You don’t necessarily need to hire a lawyer for every variety of car accident claim. For example, in a situation where the other driver’s insurance carrier isn’t disputing that its insured was at fault, and you suffered only minor injuries, it’s probably fine to handle that kind of claim yourself as long as you’re comfortable doing so.
But what if the other driver’s insurer is saying that you caused the car accident? Or what if you suffered serious injuries and the insurer is balking at the extent or the costs of your medical treatment? In those situations, things can get complicated (and contentious) very quickly, and it may be time to discuss your situation with a local car accident lawyer in Oklahoma. Remember that most lawyers will take a car accident case on a contingency basis, meaning that the lawyer only gets paid a percentage of any successful settlement or court award.
A good attorney knows how to successfully navigate not just the back-and-forth of settlement negotiations with car insurance adjusters, but also the car accident lawsuit process if your case proceeds to Oklahoma civil court.