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Auto Accidents Outside of Oklahoma. Which Laws Apply?

Posted on: January 23, 2017 by Edwards & Patterson Law

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In this day and age traveling to another state is a regular occurrence. Any time spent driving on the road opens the possibility to an accident, and that possibility multiplies when driving in an unfamiliar place. What happens to those who are injured in auto accidents in another state? Where do you file suit for a personal injury that occurred in another state? You may be familiar with the laws set in place in Oklahoma, but do those laws apply in other states?

Jurisdiction in Auto Accidents

Jurisdiction is the legal term referring to a court’s authority to hear a case. In the court of law, the defendant has the right to have their case heard in the jurisdiction where they live. So in auto accidents where one was injured in another state by a citizen of that state, they would have to travel to the state where the accident occurred to have their case heard.

Fortunately for Oklahoma residents, if they were hit by an out of state driver in their own state, Oklahoma has jurisdiction over any accident even if it involves out of state drivers. So rather than filing suit and traveling to the defendant’s state to resolve the issue, the case can be heard in Oklahoma.

Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury

Laws governing the length of time one has for filing a personal injury suit vary from state to state. Oklahoma has a two year statute of limitations from the date of injury for personal injury suits and for wrongful death suits from the date of death. Though two years is a common time frame within the states, it is not a national standard and may vary by type of injury. It is important to know the laws of the state where the injury occurred.

Negligence

Another law that differs from state to state is how negligence is calculated in a personal injury case. Oklahoma has a comparative negligence law that requires one to be less than 50% responsible for an accident in order to pursue a suit against the other party. Once the percentage of fault is determined they are entitled to receive the determined percentage of damages. For instance, if it was determined you were 30% responsible, you would only be entitled to 70% damages.

If you have had a personal injury accident in another state or were involved in an accident with someone from out-of-state, contact a personal injury attorney to represent you. An attorney will know what laws apply to your situation and how best to pursue them. Edwards & Patterson have offices in Tulsa and McAlester and will be happy to help you understand what your rights are and how to pursue them in a way that will best serve you.

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