Whether your injuries are the result of a slip-and-fall, motor vehicle accident or a defective product, you have a limited amount of time to file your personal injury claim. If your claim is filed after the Oklahoma statute of limitations has expired, you can be barred from receiving any compensation for the personal injuries you suffered.
Although they vary from state to state, statutes of limitations are generally enacted for two main reasons. First, memories tend to fade, and evidence can be lost or even discarded without knowing its significance. Second, these laws prevent defendants from having to unexpectedly defend against claims from events that occurred many years ago.
The statute of limitations can have harsh consequences for an injured plaintiff. It can be an absolute defense to a personal injury claim, regardless of the merits of the case or the extent of injuries.
The statute of limitations is considered an affirmative and total defense if it has expired. The defendant who caused the injury can file a motion to dismiss on grounds that the plaintiff’s claim is barred by the statute of limitations contained in Title 12, § 95 of the Oklahoma Statutes. Indeed, this is the first step a defendant’s attorney will likely take after a lawsuit has been filed.
To protect your rights, it is important to act quickly. Whether the applicable statute of limitations has expired often depends on the facts of your case. Experienced Oklahoma personal injury attorneys can provide the knowledgeable guidance you need.