Oklahoma Personal Injury Law
Statutes of Limitations: The amount of time you have to sue whoever caused your injury or damage.
- Personal Injury – 2 years from when you discovered the injury
- Damage to Personal Property – 2 years
- Medical Malpractice – 2 years from the time of discovery
- Legal Malpractice – 2 years
- Other Professional Malpractice – 2 years
Where to Sue:
- Personal injury claims under $6,000 - Oklahoma Small Claims Court (a division of each Oklahoma District Court)
- Personal injury claims over $6,000 - Oklahoma District Court
How to Sue:
Small Claims Court:
- Forms: Complaint; Summons.
- Where to file: When you file your Complaint and Summons with the clerk of the Oklahoma Small Claims Court where the defendant lives, the clerk will review and stamp the Complaint and Summons prior to service.
- How to notify the defendant (service): Either the Oklahoma Small Claims Court clerk should mail the papers to the defendant by certified mail return receipt requested, or a sheriff or disinterested adult should personally serve the papers on the defendant at his place of residence.
- Proving the defendant was notified: The sheriff or disinterested adult serving process on the defendant should fill out and file a Small Claims Affidavit of Service promptly after serving the defendant.
- Attorneys: You may have an attorney in Oklahoma Small Claims Court.
- Appealing a small claim: Appeals are made to the Oklahoma Supreme Court by either side within 30 days of the entry of judgment.
Oklahoma District Court: Filing a personal injury case can be difficult, and misfiling your case could result in the dismissal or loss of your case, or court fines. It is strongly advised that you discuss your case with an Oklahoma personal injury attorney.
- Forms: Civil Cover Sheet (Form JS-44); Complaint; Summons. Each Oklahoma District Court will have its own Summons form, which you can obtain from the clerk of the Oklahoma District Court where you intend to file your personal injury suit.
- How to File: Complete the Civil Cover Sheet, Complaint, and Summons and bring them to the clerk of the Oklahoma District Court to be signed and stamped. The Complaint and Summons will then be ready for service on the defendant.
- How to Notify the Defendant: Request that a sheriff or disinterested adult personally deliver the Complaint and Summons to the defendant. If you intend to serve the defendant by mailing the Complaint and Summons, use certified mail return receipt requested.
What to Do if You Are Being Sued:
- Time to respond to a Summons in Oklahoma: 20 days.
- Contact a lawyer for help before you respond to the Oklahoma Summons.
- If the plaintiff's injury happened at your home or place of employment, your insurance may cover the plaintiff's personal injury claim, so you should inform your insurance company of the incident. Your insurance company may provide you an attorney if your insurance covers the plaintiff's claim.
What to Do if a Judgment Was Entered Against You:
If you do not answer an Oklahoma Summons and Complaint within 20 days of service, the court will declare you in default and may enter a default judgment against you. If the court enters a default judgment you will have to pay the amount of money the plaintiff sought in his complaint.
- Time to Set Aside a Judgment in Oklahoma:
- An Oklahoma District Court can set aside a default judgment if the defendant was not properly notified of the suit against him within one year after the defendant was notified that he was in default, but in no event more than two years after entry of the default judgment
- If an Oklahoma District Court has entered a default judgment against you, you should contact a lawyer to discuss your options.
Ways to Collect Your Judgment:
- If you succeed in your Oklahoma personal injury suit, you must then begin the process of collecting your judgment from the defendant. If you are having trouble getting the defendant to pay the judgment, you can ask the court to garnish the defendant's wages or bank accounts or to place a lien on the defendant's property. An Oklahoma debt collection attorney can help you collect your judgment.