If you’ve been a victim of personal injury in Oregon due to someone else’s actions or negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. If you hope to make informed decisions and receive a fair payment, it’s essential that you first take the time to study and understand the state’s personal injury laws. To prepare the best case possible, you’ll want to start by researching the law and your options and then finding a reputable attorney.
What Warrants a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
In Oregon, many different “types” of incidents and injuries may qualify as personal injuries for which you can successfully sue. Some common personal injury cases include:
- Automobile accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Trip and fall accidents
- Taxicab accidents
- Bus accidents
- Drunk driving accidents
- Texting and driving accidents
- Hit-and-run situations
- Premise liability
- Product liability
- Dog bites and other animal attacks
- Injuries to your child
- Sexual abuse and child molestation
- Sexual assault
- Hospital negligence
- Medical malpractice
- Wrongful death
If you or one of your family members has been a victim of a situation mentioned above, you may want to continue your research to delve deeper into personal injury law and its limitations.
The Two Main Types of Negligence Law
The state of Oregon uses a comparative negligence system. When a plaintiff sues for personal injury in Oregon, these are the two most common outcomes:
- Comparative Negligence– The court finds that the plaintiff shares up to 50 percent of the responsibility for the accident, allowing the plaintiff to collect damages.
- Contributory Negligence– The court finds that the plaintiff shares more than 50 percent of the responsibility for the accident, which bars them from collecting damages.
Statute of Limitations
In the state of Oregon, an injured person or their beneficiary must file their personal injury claim within the two-year statute of limitations. If you’re considering taking legal action within that two-year window, do what you can to record what you remember of the incident, identify possible witnesses, and take photos or video footage that may help your case.
Caps on Damages
The severity of your injuries and the extent to which you’re responsible for the incident (or could have prevented it) will determine the compensation amount you receive should you win your case. Oregon also has laws that cap the maximum amount of damages you can receive. For example, wrongful death can only award a maximum of $500,000 for pain and suffering. Personal injury caps change frequently, so be sure to find the most up-to-date information.
How to File a Claim
Before filing your personal injury claim, you should research your options for Oregon injury attorneys diligently. Finding the best lawyer available could make all the difference between winning or losing your case. To file a case, you’ll have to go through the following steps:
- Finding an Attorney– As aforementioned, you’ll first have to research and hire a professional personal injury lawyer.
- The Review Phase– Your lawyer will go over all evidence and interview you and others about the situation to determine whether or not you have a solid case.
- Making a Demand– Your lawyer will send your demands to the accused for them and their legal team to consider. You can negotiate outside of court at this stage, but if an agreement cannot be made, your lawyer will file your claim with the courts.
- Filling a Lawsuit and Discovery– The lawyers on both sides of the case conduct research and investigation to build their case. As this process continues, both lawyers will talk to witnesses and review all photos and evidence about your accident or injury.
- Mediation, Negotiation, and Trial– As more information is found, both lawyers may decide to negotiate more throughout discovery. Sometimes a mediator is used to help make an agreement between both parties. If nothing can be agreed upon, the case is then officially taken to trial.
The Best Chances for the Best Outcome
In any legal situation, it’s best to find the most experienced, well-versed lawyer, you can. Finding a good lawyer can make a significant impact on the amount of damages you secure. Don’t let your case slip away due to poor representation—learn all you can about the legal proceedings associated with personal injury law, and find a lawyer you can trust.