Have you been injured in an accident caused by another person? Are you worried about how you will pay your medical bills or the time it will take to recover?
Understandably, your primary focus after an accident is your health and recovery. You could require serious medical procedures and lengthy rehabilitation as part of your treatment plan, or suffer from a permanent disability that makes it very difficult to readjust to everyday life.
Just be sure you don’t miss the deadline to file your personal injury claim, known as the statute of limitations. It could stand between you and your rights for compensation under Oregon’s personal injury laws.
What Is a Personal Injury Claim?
Unfortunately, the legal system cannot undo the damages you have suffered because of a personal injury. However, the law can provide a way for you to receive compensation for your financial, physical, and emotional damages, losses, and injuries.
Under Oregon’s personal injury laws, you have the right to seek compensation from the person, company, or government entity responsible for the circumstances that caused your injury.
Compensation for personal injury claims can include, but is not limited to, compensation for:
- Past, present, and future medical expenses
- Past, present, and future lost wages and income
- Loss of or diminished earning capacity
- Property damage
- Cremation, funeral, and/or burial expenses, if applicable
- Ongoing medical care or personal care
- Other out-of-pocket expenses related to the injury
- Physical pain, emotional suffering, and/or mental anguish
- Loss of support, companionship, and guidance
An experienced personal injury attorney can further explain the compensation available, the statute of limitations for your case, and how to maximize your chances of receiving full and fair compensation for your damages, losses, and injuries.
What is a Statute of Limitations?
The deadline to file a personal injury lawsuit is referred to as the statute of limitations. If you fail to meet the strict time constraints set by the statute, it can prevent you from receiving compensation in your personal injury claim.
If you don’t file prior to the expiration of the deadline, the party responsible for your injury has a valid legal defense to your claim for compensation. In other words, you will not receive any compensation for your injuries. This is one of the top reasons to contact an Oregon personal injury attorney as soon as possible after an accident.
What Are Oregon’s Deadlines to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
According to the statute of limitations for Oregon, injury victims typically have two years from the date of injury to file a personal injury lawsuit. This includes claims for motor vehicle accidents, medical malpractice, dog bites, bicycle accidents, slip and fall accidents, medical malpractice, and workplace injuries.
However, you must be careful when calculating the deadline to file a personal injury lawsuit under the statute of limitations, because there are certain exceptions to the general rule.
Exceptions to Oregon’s Statutes of Limitation
1. If you are injured by a drunk driver and you intend to sue the bar or restaurant that served the drunk driver alcohol, you must notify the company within 180 days from the date of your injury of your intent to sue. This is called the Dram Shop Notice.
The duty to provide notice within 180 days after the injury also applies to government entities or public bodies. Therefore, if you intend to sue a city, school district, parks department, or other public entity, you must provide written notice to that office within 180 days of your injury or you lose your right to sue the public entity under Oregon’s personal injury laws.
2. A wrongful death lawsuit is also an exception to the general two-year rule for personal injury lawsuits in Oregon. Most wrongful death claims can be filed within three years of the date of death rather than two years.
3. Another exception involves injury to a minor. When a minor is injured, the statute of limitations to file a personal injury lawsuit can be extended to one year after the child’s eighteenth birthday or five years from the date of injury, whichever date occurs first.
Because the statute of limitations has exceptions, it’s important to contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible after the date of injury. An experienced Oregon personal injury attorney knows the exceptions to the two-year rule and understands what steps need to be taken to protect your right to receive compensation for your injury.
When Does the Statute of Limitations Begin?
Calculating the date that the statute of limitations starts can be a potential landmine in a personal injury case. For example, in a medical malpractice case, that statute of limitations begins to run from the date of injury or the date the injury is discovered. This could potentially extend the two-year rule to file a personal injury lawsuit.
However, the date the injury was discovered must be determined by the “exercise of reasonable care.” Therefore, it can be difficult to determine when an injury should have been discovered as defined by “reasonable care.” You also have the five-year statute of repose in medical malpractice cases that allow you to file a lawsuit five years from the date of injury in cases of fraud or misrepresentation.
Calculating the date for when the statute of limitations began is crucial to ensure you file your personal injury lawsuit prior to the expiration of the deadline. An attorney who practices personal injury understands how to calculate these dates to protect your rights.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney Now
Waiting too long to pursue a legal claim for your personal injury may result in you losing the opportunity to recover compensation for your losses and damages. If you or a family member has suffered an injury because of another party’s negligent, careless, or reckless acts or behavior, you deserve to receive compensation for your injuries, losses, and damages.
Preparing a personal injury claim takes time. Your attorney needs to perform a thorough, comprehensive accident investigation to identify all responsible parties and to identify and preserve key evidence to prove fault and damages. Do not risk waiting too long. Call an Oregon personal injury attorney today. Most personal injury attorneys offer a free consultation, so it will not cost you anything to get the details you need to make an informed decision on how to proceed regarding a personal injury claim.