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Oklahoma Negligence Laws

The legal theory of negligence is a common cause of action for personal injury and other civil lawsuits. To be negligent is to violate a duty owed to another -- in other words, to do (or fail to do) something in a reasonable manner, resulting in another individual's injuries. For instance, if you broadside another motorist after running a red light, causing injury to the other driver, then you are negligent and thus liable for the injuries. Simply stated, a motorist who runs a red light is not following the rules of the road or acting like a reasonable person.

Oklahoma Negligence Law Overview

Negligence is fairly universal from one state to the next, with some variations on how contributory or comparative negligence affects liability and injury claims. A plaintiff in Oklahoma whose own negligence contributed to their injury, for instance, will have their damages reduced in proportion. And if the injured party was more negligent than the prospective defendant, he or she may not collect damages.

Additional details about how Oklahoma handles negligence claims are listed in the following chart. See FindLaw's Negligence section for more articles.

Code Section Tit. 23 §13-14
Comparative Negligence -
Contributory Negligence-Limit to Plaintiff's Recovery Contributory negligence cannot be greater than negligence of defendants. Damages reduced in proportion to such person's contributory negligence.
Contribution Among Tortfeasors Yes; Tit. 12 §832
Uniform Act Tit. 12 §832

Note: State laws are always subject to change at any time, usually through the enactment of new legislation but also through higher court rulings and other means. While we make every effort to ensure the accuracy of our state law information, you might want to contact an Oklahoma personal injury law attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

The Elements of a Negligence Case

In order to collect damages for injuries that resulted from another party's negligence, you must be able to prove the following five elements:

  1. Defendant owed a duty to commit an act or refrain from committing an act
  2. Defendant breached this duty
  3. This breach of duty caused injury to the plaintiff
  4. Defendant's actions (or inactions) were the proximate cause of the injury (the defendant should have known that this action could have caused injuries)
  5. Plaintiff suffered actual damages (i.e., lost wages, hospital bills, suffering, etc.)

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Oklahoma Negligence Law: Related Resources

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