Contributory Negligence in Oklahoma Car Wrecks changes the way insurance company’s pay claim to injured people. Most people are familiar with the tragic death of actor Paul Walker in 2013 after wrecking into a street pole in a Porsche. In the months following his death, Walker’s daughter filed a suit against Porsche for not providing adequate safety features on the vehicle. Porsche, through its insurance provider, defended itself, citing Walker as contributing to his death through unsafe driving. This defense is using a legal concept of Comparative or Contributory Negligence. Depending on how the court rules, Contributory Negligence in Oklahoma Car Wrecks as a defense may have a significant impact on the outcome of a case.
Contributory Negligence in Oklahoma
Title 23 § 13 of Oklahoma’s Annotated Statutes provide the parameters for contributory negligence under state law. It says:
“…negligence resulting in personal injuries or wrongful death, or injury to property, contributory negligence shall not bar a recovery, unless any negligence of the person so injured, damaged or killed, is of greater degree than any negligence of the person, firm or corporation causing such damage…”
Explaining Contributory Negligence in Oklahoma Car Wrecks
The statute uses a lot of legal language. Let us explain this in more understandable terms. First, the court will look at the entire situation or totality of the circumstances. It will then assign a percentage of fault to each party. If the person bearing the majority of the fault (51% or more) is the person being sued, then the court will likely allow recovery of damages. This means the person seeking recovery for injuries is 49% at fault or less.
For example, imagine a person is speeding and runs a stop sign. It hits another vehicle that is also speeding, but otherwise obeying all traffic laws. The driver that runs the stop sign may be 80% at fault, while the other driver—simply speeding—may only be 20% at fault. This situation would allow the driver hit by the vehicle that ran the stop sign to recover damages. Damages are available to the driver with 20% negligence because the fault is not shared equally between the two drivers. If both drivers were 50% at fault, then no damages would be available for recovery.
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Car Accident Attorneys in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
The injury attorneys at Kania law office understand the importance of Contributory Negligence in Oklahoma Car Wrecks and how it can completely alter a case. We want to ensure you get a fair recovery for the injuries you suffer. Call 918.743.2233 for a free consultation. Get the legal edge that you deserve.