Damages Awarded to Accident Victims
Under the personal injury laws in the State of Oklahoma, a person who has been injured by the negligence of irresponsible action of another can receive both economic and non-economic damages as decided by the court. In order to prove the fault of the other person, the process of discovery is pursued. Depositions (oral interviews) will be conducted by lawyers of both parties, and this will involved interrogating witnesses and examining the evidence. Among the presented evidence are medical records and bills, police reports, photos, and witness statements.
The comparative fault law that Oklahoma follows has an effect on the amount of compensation that a victim can receive. Under this rule, the victim can still have compensation even though they have contributed to the accident. The amount of award given by the court, however, will be reduced according to the percent of fault that the victim contributed to the accident, provided that it is lower than 50 percent.
It is fairly easy to compute the amount of compensation for economic damages, because it can be backed up with documents such medical expenses, repair bills, and estimated past and future lost wages. On the other hand, putting a dollar amount for non-economic damages can be more difficult. Non-economic damages are that ones that cover for physical and mental pain and suffering, emotional trauma, and loss of enjoyment in life. In order to help compute these damages, an Oklahoma personal injury lawyer would have to show the severity of the injuries, and physical limitations that they present, and the possibility of the injury being permanent. There are limits or “caps” to the amount of damages that the non-economic damages can provide, and you would have to talk with your lawyer regarding these matters.
Because most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency basis, personal injury cases are generally free of charge until the case is settled. Once the personal injury claim is solved, the lawyer will be paid in a pre-arranged percent of the awards given. The percent is usually the same to most lawyers, however, some do have higher percentage due to extra work done.