Oklahoma Car Accident Laws – A Complete Guide

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Laura Schaefer

With over 4 million citizens regularly traveling through Oklahoma streets, car accidents are a fact of life. In 2020, there were 27,418 injuries from collisions on Oklahoma’s highways and roads, according to the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office. The risk to human life alone should convince you to learn Oklahoma car accident laws.

Severe weather from tornadoes and heavy rain can dramatically increase the chances of an accident. Over 700 fatal crashes occur in the state every year. Oklahoma State car accident laws were created to guide victims through the legal process and collect a settlement where appropriate. Here are some highlights:

  • There is a two-year deadline for filing most lawsuits regarding vehicle damage caused by an accident.
  • The state’s modified comparative fault rule allows you to claim a settlement even if you were partially at-fault for a car accident.

Knowing Oklahoma’s accident laws before talking to an auto accident lawyer is vital. Every car accident is unique, no matter your location in the Sooner State. You need the expertise of an attorney to get the most out of your settlement.

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How to Report a Car Accident in Oklahoma

Under Oklahoma car accident law, car accidents involving injury or death must immediately report to the police.

“by the quickest means of communication, give notice of such accident to the local police department, if such accident occurs within a municipality, or to the office of the county sheriff or the nearest office of the State Highway Patrol after complying with the requirements of Section 10-104.”

Okla. Stat. tit. 47 § 10-107

According to Section 47-10-108, you must send a written report of your car accident to the Department of Public Safety within six months of the accident. The police officer who responds to your accident will file a report for you, but file one yourself just in case.

What to Do At the Scene of a Car Accident

In Oklahoma, you must take three steps after a car accident that causes property damage or bodily injury:

  1. Stop your car at the scene of the accident or as close to the scene as possible.
  2. Provide the following info to other drivers involved in the crash:
    1. Name and address
    2. Insurance company
    3. Insurance policy number
    4. Vehicle license number
  3. Render reasonable assistance to anyone injured.

If you collide with an unoccupied vehicle, you must stop your vehicle like any other type of accident. Next, locate the vehicle’s owner or leave a written note providing your name and contact information. Finally, record as much information as possible from the scene of your Oklahoma car accident:

  • Take photos of your injuries and make notes about them.
  • Take photos of the damage to your vehicle.
  • Exchange contact information with the others involved
  • Name
  • Address
  • Insurance information
  • Driver’s license number

All of these regulations are detailed under Okla. Stat. tit. 47 § 10-105.

Photos can help your insurance claim or lawsuit against the at-fault driver. Document your injuries immediately. Go see a doctor as soon as possible and alert your insurance company about the accident.

Oklahoma Car Insurance Laws

Oklahoma auto insurance claim laws are specific and start with required coverage. To legally drive a car in Oklahoma, drivers must carry at least 25/50/25 insurance coverage:

  • $25,000 for injury or death to a single person
  • $50,000 total for injuries or deaths if multiple victims are involved
  • $25,000 for property damage

Additional Coverage Options

Oklahoma car accident laws allow you to carry additional insurance coverage in case the minimums aren’t enough. Additional liability coverage insures any family member driving your vehicle. It will likely also cover you if you get into an accident in a rental car.

You may carry two types of additional coverage to protect yourself:

  • Collision coverage
  • Comprehensive coverage

Collision coverage pays for repairs to (or replacement of) your damaged vehicle after a car accident.

Comprehensive coverage pays for damage to your vehicle caused by outside causes. Examples may include fires, theft, or flooding damages to your vehicle.

A general recommendation is to carry a minimum of $100,000 of bodily injury protection per person, $300,000 per accident and $100,000 of property damage. This is known as 100/300/100 coverage.

Is Oklahoma a No-Fault State?

No. Oklahoma is not a no-fault state.

Oklahoma is a “fault state.” This means the at-fault driver deemed responsible for the car accident pays for the financial losses resulting from the accident.

Under this system, the at-fault driver needs to pay for:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost income
  • Vehicle damage
  • Other damages caused by the accident

Those losses will be covered by the driver’s liability insurance, up to the policy limit.

After an accident, you can call your own insurance company for losses covered by your own policy. Additional coverage such as uninsured motorist coverage kicks in when you file with your own insurance company.

Your insurance company will then pursue a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance. Or, you can file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company or file a lawsuit in civil court against the at-fault driver.

Oklahoma Comparative Negligence Laws

Two or more drivers are often responsible for a car accident. Sometimes, the vehicle manufacturer may hold some responsibility for malfunctions that cause the collision.

In the state of Oklahoma, each party is responsible for damages in proportion to their percentage of fault for the accident. This means Oklahoma is a comparative negligence state.

So, if one driver is found 70% responsible and another driver 30%, the first will pay 70% of the damages.

If you are found partially at-fault for the accident, you can still recover damages only if you’re under 50% at-fault. Your recovery amount will be reduced by your percentage of fault.

For example, if you recovered a $100,000 settlement and you were 30% at-fault, you would receive $70,000.

Types of Damages in Oklahoma After a Car Accident

There are multiple types of damages that exist for victims of car accidents in Oklahoma. Be wary of signing any forms before contacting an attorney. You may receive a reduced amount from your damages by only relying on your insurance company.

You may receive compensation for your monetary damages after an accident. This is referred to as your economic damages.

Non-tangible damages are referred to as your non-economic damages, like pain and suffering. These losses are not quantifiable, but you should not ignore the emotional losses you’ve experienced from your vehicle collision.

Economic Damages

Your economic damages are the recordable, monetary losses you’ve suffered from your car accident. Oklahoma car accident laws allow you to receive compensation to cover these losses, including:

  • Medical care for your car accident injuries
  • Vehicle or property damage
  • Lost income
  • Other economic losses such as a rental car fee

Non-Economic Damages

Your non-economic damages refer to the non-tangible losses you’ve suffered from an auto accident. These refer to your:

  • Pain and suffering resulting from the accident and your injuries
  • Emotional trauma from the loss of affection or companionship
  • Dismemberment
  • Mental anguish
  • Punitive damages

IMPORTANT: Non-economic damages have no caps in the state of Oklahoma. An experienced attorney can help you calculate the total value of your car accident claim.

State law in Oklahoma also allows for a jury to award punitive damages. Punitive damages are available if the defendant’s actions were egregious. Punitive damages are capped and can’t exceed $100,000 according to Oklahoma state law.

Statute of Limitations Laws in Oklahoma

Oklahoma Statutes title 12, section 95 sets the statute of limitations for almost all lawsuits caused from a car accident in the state. The statute of limitations in Oklahoma is two years from the date of the accident.

However, if your accident involved a government employee or government-owned vehicle, the statute of limitations reduces to one year to file a written claim.

Tolling the Statute of Limitations

The clock starts counting down toward the limit on the day of the accident.

There is an exception: if someone died as a result of the car accident, Oklahoma Statutes title 12, section 1053 states the representative of the estate must file a wrongful death lawsuit within two years but the clock starts running on the day of the accident victim’s death, not the date of the accident.

Connect With Our Local Network of Auto Accident Attorneys

Car accidents are complicated to handle in Oklahoma if you don’t hire expert legal help. One misstep in your paperwork and you could miss a deadline in your auto settlement timeline.

Not only will an attorney clear up the complex legal process for you, but you may receive a higher settlement than if you agreed to the auto insurance company’s first offer.

LegalASAP can connect you with an auto accident lawyer in your area to review your case for free. The whole process is free of charge until you win your settlement, so click below to continue:

Laura Schaefer

Laura Schaefer is the author ofThe Teashop Girls,The Secret Ingredient, andLittler Women: A Modern Retelling. She is also an active co-author or ghostwriter of several nonfiction books on personal and business development. Laura currently lives in Windermere, Florida with her husband and daughter and works with clients all over the world. Visit her online at lauraschaeferwriter.com and linkedin.com.