What Is The Statute Of Limitations In Oklahoma For Injury Claims?

In Oklahoma, if you’re the victim of a personal injury, you may be eligible to collect compensation from the negligent third party through a settlement or jury verdict. But, like most states, there is usually a limit on how long you can collect compensation, known as the statute of limitations. 

In this guide, we’ll examine the statute of limitations that governs civil suits in Oklahoma and any exceptions.

If you have been injured in an accident due to someone else’s negligence, do not wait, call our Oklahoma City personal injury attorneys today at (405) 397-1717. 

Why Statute Of Limitations Exist In Oklahoma? 

The deadline imposed by the statute of limitations constrains the number of cases the courts can process. But why does every state in the U.S. have a statute of limitations? 

A statute of limitations acts to:

  • Encourage victims to be proactive in working on their case. 
  • Ensures cases are processed promptly if the degradation of evidence could harm the accuracy of the case’s outcome. 
  • It protects defendants from old cases in which a defense would be difficult to mount due to time’s passage. 
  • Prevent the courts from being overburdened with too many suits. 

While it may seem overwhelming that your case has a statute of limitations, it exists to protect your rights. If civil cases don’t have a deadline, your case could potentially never be heard due to the strain placed on the courts.

What Is The Statute Of Limitations In Oklahoma? 

In Oklahoma, most injury cases have a statute of limitations of two years, as found under 76 OK Stat § 5.5 (2023). The full text of this law reads: 

Any claim filed herein shall be filed within two (2) years of the date of injury, death or damage to property, or, if applicable, within one (1) year of the date of a final adjudication on any legal action taken by the claimant against any person responsible for the injury, death or damage to property, or be barred by limitations from recovery.

Exceptions To The Two-Year Statute Of Limitations

It’s important to understand that not all statutes of limitations abide by this two-year deadline. Here are some examples of circumstances that could change this deadline:

  • The victim was a minor. In that case, the victim has to file a case two years after their 18th birthday (if their parents or guardians did not pursue legal action). 
  • The injuries weren’t apparent. This discovery rule allows victims to take action even if the injuries weren’t found until later, which commonly happens in medical malpractice claims. 
  • The defendant is considered a part of a governmental agency. This abbreviates the statute of limitations from two years to one year as dictated under 51 OK Stat § 153 (2023). It requires the victim to file notice of their injuries with the state within 180 days. 
  • The defendant is out of the state or country or is incarcerated. In all of these instances, the statute of limitations doesn’t begin until the individual is back in Oklahoma or free from incarceration. 

Contact An Oklahoma Personal Injury Lawyer For Legal Assistance

The sooner you can get legal representation from one of our trusted Oklahoma City accident lawyers, the better. Warhawk Legal is happy to answer any questions regarding Oklahoma statutes of limitations in our free case review process. Contact us at (405) 397-1717 or book your appointment online.