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Slip and fall accidents in Oklahoma: A brief guide

An accident termed a “slip and fall” means literally that: someone has been seriously injured by slipping and falling. Slip and falls come under the category of premises liability, which is part of personal injury law.

Under Oklahoma law, a property owner who could have been expected to reasonably know or should have known about a dangerous condition on his or her property is responsible for fixing it. If it is not fixed, they be liable for damages if a slip and fall claim is brought. Damages may be pursued for several different areas of inadequate maintenance: for example, liquid on the floor in a restaurant or other establishment; inadequate lighting in hallways or stairways that precipitated an accident; and broken sidewalks or holes in a sidewalk or walkway.

In Oklahoma, a slip and fall claim needs to be filed within two years after the accident occurred. After that, a court will very likely refuse to hear a claim.

Like many states, Oklahoma claims are subject to a modified comparative fault rule, under which both a property owner and the injured party can be judged to share responsibility. In practical terms, that means that a jury or insurance company representative will determine the amount of fault for each party, using a percentage. (For example, a property owner might be 80% responsible and a plaintiff 20% responsible.) Any award received will, as a result of the rule, be split by this proportion. If an injured party is determined to be more than 50% responsible, no monetary damages can be awarded under the rule.

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