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Personal Injury FAQs

The Handley Law Center June 25, 2024

It all started as an ordinary day. You were just going about your business when, all of a sudden, you got hurt. The worst part? You can't even blame yourself for what happened because the accident was someone else’s fault.  

While you can't undo what happened or what you experienced, such as being in pain, being unable to work, or struggling with finances, you may be entitled to compensation through a personal injury claim if someone else was responsible for your injury.

Obtaining compensation can be complicated, so it’s understandable that you may have many unanswered questions. At The Handley Law Center, we strive to be a trusted resource for people who have been injured. Our personal injury attorneys in Canadian County, Oklahoma, are committed to providing quality legal services to injured persons and their families throughout the state.

Get Answers to Your Personal Injury Law Questions

Here, we have gathered some of the most common questions our team receives from prospective clients. While we hope that the list answers some of your questions, contact us to learn more about the specifics of your case.  

What Is a Personal Injury Case?  

“Personal injury” is an umbrella term for insurance claims and lawsuits brought by injured victims to seek compensation for “damages” resulting from another party’s negligence or wrongdoing. According to the American Bar Association (ABA), damages refer to monetary compensation awarded to the victim.  

Unlike criminal cases, personal injury cases do not focus on determining whether the defendant (the at-fault person) committed a criminal offense. Instead, these cases focus on determining whether the defendant was negligent and whether that negligence caused the plaintiff’s injury and damages.  

What Is Negligence?  

Negligence is a term that gets thrown around quite often in personal injury discussions. In the context of personal injury law, a party (person or entity) is negligent when it does something that falls short of the standard that is expected of a "reasonable person” under similar circumstances.

If you can prove that the defendant in your personal injury case is negligent, you will generally be entitled to compensation from that individual or entity.  

For example, if you were injured in a car accident, you will need to prove that the other driver violated a traffic law (e.g., they ignored a traffic signal) and that their negligence led to your injury (e.g., you were injured in a collision with that driver) and caused damages (e.g., you incurred medical expenses and loss of income due to your inability to return to your job for six months).  

What Kind of Damages Can I Recover in a Personal Injury Case? 

Generally, damages are divided into two broad categories: economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are any objectively verifiable monetary losses like medical bills, lost wages, vehicle repair costs, and others.  

Non-economic damages, as you might have guessed, are non-monetary losses for which it can be harder to estimate a dollar value. Examples of non-economic damages include mental anguish, diminished quality of life, pain and suffering, and others.  

The presiding judge may also award the third category of damages called “punitive damages,” which are available when the defendant shows a blatant disregard for the safety and well-being of others. 

Should I Accept the Settlement Offer from the Insurance Company? 

Often, insurance companies make quick settlement offers to personal injury claimants and those offers may even seem fair at first sight. You may receive an offer that seems generous, which would require you to put minimal to no effort into your case.

Unfortunately, insurance companies will rarely offer a reasonable amount in their first settlement offer. If they offered you a certain amount, it means they calculated how much your case is worth and made you an offer for well below what you deserve to minimize their liability and maximize their profits.  

However, every case is unique and should be reviewed individually. That is why you should discuss your situation with an experienced attorney before you accept or decline any offers from the insurer.  

How Long Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Oklahoma?

In Oklahoma, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is generally two years from the date of the injury (Oklahoma Statute §12-95). This means you have two years to file a lawsuit. If you don’t, you risk losing the right to seek compensation.  

However, there are exceptions. For example, if the injury was not immediately apparent, the clock might not start ticking until the date when you discovered or should have discovered the injury. Your attorney will make sure you don't miss the statute of limitations or other critical deadlines. 

Should I Hire a Personal Injury Attorney?

While no law requires you to hire an attorney in Oklahoma, being represented in your personal injury case means you are more likely to obtain a more favorable result. When you try to handle your case alone, you could become overwhelmed quite easily, especially when also trying to receive medical treatment and get back to your normal life.  

Your attorney will walk you through the entire process, offer you legal advice every step of the way, and work to ensure you get the compensation you need and deserve.  

Didn’t Find Your Question? Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Attorneys

For a more detailed discussion of your personal injury case, contact The Handley Law Center. Our Canadian County personal injury attorneys can answer your questions and help you get started with your compensation claim.

We also serve other counties, including Oklahoma County, Caddo County, Custer County, Blaine County, and Kingfisher County. Request a free case consultation with our attorneys and ask any questions we haven’t highlighted above.