If you or a loved one has been injured on someone’s property, causing the injury to hurt you so bad that you missed work, incurred a ton of medical bills, and as a result suffered pain and suffering; under Oklahoma tort law you may be entitled to just compensation for the injuries caused by the property owner’s negligence. My name is Vivid Niroula, and I am a personal injury attorney based in Oklahoma City. My passion is to advocate for your rights and assist you through the every step of the process to get you justice, by fighting for the just compensation to which you are entitled.

Personal injury cases can be complicated and the laws hard to understand, that is precisely why is why I wrote this article – to give you a birds-eye view of Oklahoma slip and fall law and premise liability law in OKC. It’s important to note that every case is different, legal advice and legal strategies that are effective to tackle one case may be inapplicable to another one. Please consult with a slip and fall attorney to seek legal advice that is appropriate to your particular circumstances.

Should I file for a slip and fall lawsuit in OKC?

Before we can answer this question, it’s important to understand the basics of a slip-and-fall case. Simply put, slip and fall cases also known as premises liability cases are negligence claims, where a property owner if proven must compensate for injuries caused by his failure to maintain a safe premise or to warn of a known hazard. Such actions stem from the fact that every property owners have a duty to others to take reasonable care to remedy dangerous conditions on the property or to provide adequate warning of such conditions, if unable to remedy them. So in essence, what we are proving is that the property owner had a duty to the injured person (the Plaintiff) of keeping the premise safe or warning of a known hazard, which the owner breached, and that such a breach caused the injury to the Plaintiff, incurring medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

So, before we can prove that the property owner breached a duty, we must establish that he or she owed a duty to the Plaintiff in the first place. The duty owned by the property owner to the Plaintiff depends precisely on the relationship between the two parties.

  1. Duty owed to a licensee: Under Oklahoma law, a licensee is a person who enters the property with the owner’s (or occupier’s) permission, and who is present on the property for his or her benefit. Social guests, who come to visit or hang out, including friends and family are considered a licensee under the premise liability framework. A property owner or an occupier has a duty of due care to a licensee to warn of any known hazards or dangerous conditions on the property, that cannot be discovered on their own. For example, if a landowner invites a friend over to watch the Bedlam, but then fails to repair or warn that the stair is broken, resulting in the friend attempting to use the stair and breaking his ankle, he breaches his duty that was owed to his friend by failing to warn of a known danger.
  2. Duty owed to an invitee: Under Oklahoma law, an invitee is a person who enters the property with the owner’s (or occupier’s) permission and who is present on the property to confer an economic benefit to the owner, or who enter a property that is open to the public. An electrician, plumber, or housekeeper who is invited to a home to confer services to the owner, or a customer who enters a restaurant or a grocery store is considered an invitee under the premise liability framework. A property owner or an occupier owes the highest degree of care to an invitee to keep the premises in a reasonably safe condition by performing regular inspections, fixing hazards, or posting reasonably visible warning signs. Because an invitee enters the property to confer economic benefits to the owner, the law establishes a higher level of duty on the owner of the premise. For example, if a customer slips on a puddle of water while shopping at a grocery store injuring herself, and the owner had failed to mop the puddle or put up a warning sign, he breaches his duty to keep the premises reasonably safe.
  3. Duty owed to a trespasser: Under Oklahoma law, a trespasser is a person who enters a property without the permission of the owner or the occupier. The law affords very little protection to a trespasser if hurt or injured while on the property of another. For example, a person who hunts on another person’s property without the property’s permission, a burglar, etc. is considered a trespasser under the premise liability framework. A property owner has no duty to a trespasser to make his premise safe, and therefore not subject to liability for any injury to the trespasser on the property, however, the owner may not act willfully or intentionally to cause injury or death to a trespasser. In the case of a child trespasser, under the “attractive nuisance” doctrine, the duty owned by the land owner is higher than that to a trespasser. A land owner may be liable for a physical injury or death to a child trespasser caused by a dangerous condition on his property, where he could have exercised reasonable care to eliminate the danger, for example by building a fence around a swimming pool.

As discussed above, the duty of care that a property owner owes to a person depends on your classification as an invitee, licensee, or trespasser. If the owner breaches a duty that is owed to you (1) by causing the dangerous condition, (2) knew of the condition and did nothing about it, or (3) should have known about the condition where such condition caused you to slip and fall, resulting in the injury and incurring the medical expense, lost wage, or pain and suffering, you may have a solid reason to file a slip and fall lawsuit.

What must you prove to win a slip and fall injury lawsuit in Oklahoma?

Slip and fall types of cases are negligence cases that fall under Oklahoma tort laws, and therefore you the Plaintiff must prove the four essential elements of negligence to have a good shot at winning a slip and fall injury lawsuit in Oklahoma. The four things you must show to win a slip and fall injury lawsuit are that (1) the property owner owed you a certain standard of care (duty), (2) he or she did not live up to that standard (breach), (3) your injury was caused due to the owner’s negligence (causation), and (4) incurring the medical expense, lost wage or pain and suffering to you (damages). Let’s say that while shopping at a grocery store you stepped on a broken olive oil bottle on the floor, slipped on the oil, fell, and broke your ankle which caused you to miss work, incur medical bills, and you went through a lot of pain and suffering. To win this case, you must prove that the store had a duty to regularly clean the floor, which it breached by failing to do so, causing you to slip and fall, as a result of which you incurred pain, suffering, and economical loss.

What is the statute of limitations for slip and fall in Oklahoma?

All slip and fall actions fall under the premise liability umbrella which in turn is covered under Oklahoma Tort law, Title 76, Section 5.5, which states that all lawsuits filed as a tort claim must be filed within two (2) years of the date of injury, death or damage to property. If you slipped and fell on another person’s property causing you injury, then the statute of limitations for such an action is 2 years, and you must file a lawsuit within two years of the day of the injury or you will be barred from recovery.

How much is a slip-and-fall case worth in Oklahoma?

Every case is unique with its own set of facts, and it’s hard to answer this question without gathering complete facts about the case. With that being said, most slip-and-fall settlements in Oklahoma can be estimated to be anywhere from $10,000 to $50,000. At the end of the day, the success of your case will depend on how well you can establish the four elements discussed above, the injury part being the most significant – the more severe the injuries the higher the settlement amount.

Can I sue my employer for a slip and fall in Oklahoma?

In most cases the short answer is no, if you are injured at work because of a slip and fall injury, you must file a claim with your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company. Most Oklahoma employer must cover their employees with workers’ compensation insurance, such policy kicks in to cover your injuries if you get hurt at work and therefore is generally the sole source of compensation for a workplace injury. However, in some limited circumstances, you may successfully sue your employer for a workplace injury. Please consult with a slip-and-fall attorney to assess your situation and give you sound legal advice that is tailored to the facts of your case.

OKC Slip and Fall Lawyer and Oklahoma Premise Liability Attorney

We have a solid understanding of Oklahoma premise liability laws, maintain the highest level of customer service, and move quickly on these matters. We work on slip-and-fall cases on a contingency fee basis, which means we don’t get paid until we get you the compensation you deserve. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury on someone else’s property, and are seeking for a fierce advocate to take on your case, please contact Vivid Niroula at Niroula Law by calling (405) 456-9250, emailing vivid@niroulalaw.com, or filling out the Contact Us Form on this website.