In Oklahoma personal injury cases, defendants can argue that the plaintiff is partially to blame for the incident that caused a plaintiff’s injuries. If the court finds that the plaintiff is indeed partially responsible for the incident, it typically affects the amount of compensation that the plaintiff can recover for their injuries. Indeed, Oklahoma courts enforce the modified comparative negligence rule, which allows for the apportionment of fault among various parties.
Complicated Shared Fault Rule
The modified comparative negligence rule makes personal injury lawsuits much more complicated. Not only do plaintiffs have to prove that their injuries were caused by the defendant’s negligence, but they also have to prove that their own negligence was minimal in comparison to the plaintiff’s negligence. If the court finds that the plaintiff was more than 50 percent negligent during the incident, they are not allowed to collect any compensation from the defendants for the injuries they suffered.
Carrying the Burden
If you hire an experienced personal injury attorney, your lawyer may be able to settle your case with the defendants without having to sue them. You see, the plaintiff carries the burden of proof in personal injury lawsuits. In order for the court to hold the defendants financially responsible for the plaintiff’s injuries, the plaintiff has to prove several factors. After looking at the evidence and hearing any potential settlement offers, your lawyer can tell you if you are better off taking a settlement offer or taking the matter to court.
Before Comparative Negligence
Before worrying about the shared fault, the plaintiff has to prove several other factors. The first factor is called “duty” or “duty of care.” This means that the defendant was obligated to provide a safe environment to the plaintiff, or to exercise safety around the plaintiff. The second factor is called “breach of duty,” which means that the defendant somehow violated their obligation to the plaintiff. The third aspect of proof is called “cause-in-fact” or “proximate cause,” which means that the defendant’s violation is directly related to the plaintiff’s injuries or that the plaintiff caused an event or acted in a way that caused the injuries. Finally, damages (medical bills, loss of wages) must be proven in a personal injury case.
Fighting the Blame
You can assume that most defendants that are sued for personal injuries are going to use the modified comparative negligence rule to try to lower their liability – and to even try to weasel out of paying compensation to the victim. That is why it is crucial to find a skilled Oklahoma personal injury attorney who not only understands the modified comparative negligence rule, but also knows how to fight against it in the courtroom.
Whether you have suffered injuries in a slip and fall accident, a car accident, or any other personal injury accident, you need a Oklahoma personal injury attorney who can get you the maximum compensation so that you can pay your bills and recover from the incident. You don’t have to fight it alone. Contact online or call the Law Offices of Robert R. Robles at (405) 232-7980 today for a risk-free consultation.