This is the next article in our series on the Oklahoma Statute of Limitations on various civil cases.  The last post gave a preview of the questions to be answered throughout the series.  In this post, we will discuss the Oklahoma statute of limitations in cases involving property damage.  The statute of limitation is the maximum period, within which, you must initiate a lawsuit.  In case of property damage, the clock starts to tick from the date of the incident.

Throughout the series, we also stress the importance of retaining a knowledgeable civil litigation attorney to help you navigate the legal complexities.  Filing a case within the statute of limitations is only a start.  Having a solid representation by your side can help you finish strong.

If you have suffered property damage and seeking to initiate a lawsuit, contact Niroula Law.  You can reach us online or by telephone to get in touch with an OKC civil litigation law firm and speak to an OKC civil litigation lawyer.

Oklahoma statute of limitation for property damage is two (2) years

The property damage lawsuit may include injury (“trespass”) to real property such as a house; or an injury to personal property such as a car.  12 O.S. §95(A)(3).

If you suffered property damage in Oklahoma, then the law allows you to bring a suit against the responsible party.  Such a suit covers actions for taking, detaining, or injuring personal property, including actions for the specific recovery of personal property and injury to real property.  This action must be brought within two (2) years.  12 O.S. §95(A)(3).

A buddy takes your fancy weed trimmer without asking and refuses to return it.  You can bring a lawsuit to recover your property and damages caused due to its absence.

A mechanic shop refuses to return your vehicle due to a payment dispute, even after you have paid in full.  You can bring a lawsuit to recover your vehicle and for related damages.

A neighbor backed up to your mailbox with their car and damaged it.  You can bring a suit to recover the repair or replacement cost.

Your ex-partner kept a valuable collection of baseball cards after the breakup and refused to give it back after moving out, despite your request.  You can bring a lawsuit specifically to recover this valuable baseball card collection.

Exception to the two (2) years statute of limitation for property damage

Lawsuits that are filed outside the two-year statutory time limit will be dismissed by the court, usually upon the defendant’s motion.  However, there are instances where the plaintiff can file a lawsuit for property damage even after the two years have elapsed.

A person who suffered property damage and is legally disabled at the time the injury accrues, can bring a suit within a year after the disability is removed.  12 O.S. §96.  For example, if a mentally incompetent person or a person with a mental disability suffers property damage, then they are entitled to bring a suit within a year after the disability is cleared.

The same rule applies if the person who suffers property damage is a minor under the age of eighteen (18).  For example, if a minor’s property is damaged due to the negligence of a neighbor, then they have a year from the day they turn 18 to bring the suit.  However, this cannot be less than two (2) years from the date of the injury.  12 O.S. §96.

If the person causing injury leaves the state or conceals himself before the owner can file the suit, then the statutory clock may be “stopped” for that duration.  12 O.S. §98.  However, there are more nuances to the law.  If you are in this situation, you must speak to a civil litigation attorney.

OKC civil litigation lawyer

If you suffered property damage in Oklahoma, don’t delay.  You must act swiftly to ensure that your lawsuit is filed timely before the expiration of the statutory time limit.  We will assess your situation, and recommend the best course of action.  Contact us online or via telephone to get in touch with a civil litigation firm and to speak to an OKC civil litigation lawyer.