When faced with an injury that resulted from a slip and fall incident, car accident, or other scenario that left you injured in Oregon, there are ways to recover the financial losses that you have may have suffered due to the injury. Personal injury claims can help Oregon residents get their finances back in order after such an injury and can help you recover lost wages, payment for medical bills, and damages for pain and suffering.
Oregon’s Statute of Limitations
When you suffer a personal injury, there is a time limit in which you are able to submit a claim. This time limit is referred to as the state’s statute of limitations. In Oregon, the statutes of limitations for personal injury claims is 2 years after the date of the injury, except for wrongful death which has a statute of limitations of 3 years.
Motor Vehicle Insurance in the State of Oregon
If you sustain a personal injury due to an automobile accident in Oregon, there are certain insurance coverages that the state requires drivers to carry when operating a vehicle. Failure to carry such insurance could lead to fines, suspension of driving privileges, vehicle impoundment, and other punishment. The minimum insurance coverage that Oregon drivers are required to carry includes:
- Bodily injury and property damage liability including:
- $25,000 per person
- $50,000 per crash for bodily injury to others
- $20,000 per crash for damage to the property of others
- Personal injury protection (also referred to as PIP) of $15,000 for reasonable and necessary medical, dental, and other expenses incurred up to one year after the crash.
- Uninsured motorist coverage of:
- $25,000 per person
- $50,000 per crash for bodily injury
Who Is At Fault for an Accident in Oregon?
Oregon is considered to be a “fault” plus PIP (personal injury protection) car insurance state. The laws in Oregon allow for a type of hybrid combination of both the “fault” and “no fault” systems in order to determine whose car insurance will pay for what.
For the most part, Oregon follows the “fault” system. This means that the driver who was legally at fault for causing the accident is responsible for paying for all of the damages that were caused by the accident in question. The at-fault party’s insurance will only pay amounts up to the amount the driver is insured for. If damages go above and beyond the driver’s insurance coverage, the at-fault party is responsible for personally paying the remainder of the balance.
The PIP policy that all Oregon drivers must carry is where the “no fault” aspect comes into play. PIP insurance covers your own injuries up to a certain limit during the first year after the accident occurs. Unlike true no-fault states, however, Oregon will not prevent you from bringing a lawsuit against the at-fault party before your PIP limits have been reached.
A Previous Oregon Personal Injury Case
A Portland personal injury law firm handled a case in which a driver was driving on 205N when traffic forced her vehicle to come to a hard stop. The person behind her did not stop in a timely manner, however, and rear-ended her after braking so hard that he swerved during the crash. After going through treatment that did not seem to be helping her, the victim had an MRI done. It was discovered that one of the disks in her back had become herniated during the accident and required surgery. When she was informed regarding the need for back surgery, the accident victim decided it was time to file a personal injury case and contacted Oregon personal injury attorneys. Not only were the lawyers she retained able to get her the policy limits from the at-fault driver’s insurance, her attorneys also filed a UIM claim with her own insurance company. The case settled for $150,000.
Damage Caps in Oregon
As in a number of states, Oregon does have some damage caps in place in regards to the amount of damages that a victim can receive in civil court as a result of a successful personal injury case. In the state of Oregon, there is a $500,000 limit on non-economic damages resulting from a personal injury.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim
If you have been the victim of a personal injury, whether your injuries resulted from a slip and fall incident, an automobile accident, or any other personal injury incident, you should consult with an Oregon personal injury attorney to discuss the best course of action. Your Oregon personal injury attorney can file your case with the court, work with you to help establish fault, and assist you in understanding exactly what damages you should be seeking compensation for in addition to helping you understand the amount of restitution to which you may be entitled.