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With the Willamette River providing the perfect backdrop, there are many innovators, artists, and visionaries in Eugene. The city is full of inspiration and that can be seen in how the municipality strives towards a sustainable future and accessible growth plans. Along with its rich culture, the city has also been dubbed as “TrackTown USA” due to the many elite athletes that visit from around the world to train. The Huffington Post has also called Eugene, “the city where everyone runs.
There is no doubt that Eugene Oregon has something to offer to everyone. Unfortunately, the diverse culture in the city is sometimes marred by collisions on the road. After a car accident, you will likely feel very stressed, upset, and confused. A car accident can leave you with serious personal injuries that are extremely costly and painful. Those injuries will incur high medical bills and you may not be able to return back to work right away to pay for them. You may be able to file a claim for compensation after a collision. However, these claims are not easy to file. Below you will find some important laws that you need to know straight from our Eugene car accident lawyers!
Claiming Personal Injury Protection After an Auto Accident
The state law in Oregon states that all motorists must purchase a certain amount of auto insurance. This insurance includes a certain amount of liability for bodily injury and property damage, uninsured motorist insurance, and personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. All of which are to be used in case of auto accidents.
Immediately following the car accident, you can file a claim with your own insurer to receive personal injury protection benefits. As long as you have purchased the required minimum amount, you can collect up to $15,000 in benefits. You can collect this type of compensation even if you contributed to the crash, and you can receive them fairly quickly. But is that always going to be enough to cover your medical bills?
The cost of a serious injury often exceeds $15,000, and PIP benefits will not provide full compensation for damages such as pain and suffering. Under tort law in Oregon, you can also file a claim for additional damages against the liable party so you obtain the maximum compensation you are entitled to. That is where we come in! Our Eugene car accident attorneys will sit down with you to talk about your options and how we can help get your the fair compensation you deserve!
Comparative Fault Law in Oregon
As in all other states, the law in Oregon recognizes that more than one party may be to blame for a crash. In the Beaver State, accident victims can still file a lawsuit, using a car accident lawyer, against liable parties if they were partly at fault for the collision. This is known as the comparative fault law. Under this law, you can still file a claim against the negligent party as long as they were more at fault for the crash than you. If you were more than 51 percent to blame for the crash, you cannot file a claim for damages.
If it is found that you did carry some portion of blame for the collision, but it was less than 51 percent, any damages you are entitled to are reduced. The reduction will reflect your percentage of fault. For example, if you were awarded $100,000 after a crash, but you were 20 percent at fault for the accident, those damages would be reduced by 20 percent. In total, you would receive $80,000 in damages.
The Statute of Limitations on Car Accident Claims in Eugene, Oregon
While you can file a lawsuit, using a personal injury attorney, against a negligent party after a car accident, you only have a certain amount of time to do so. In Eugene, as throughout the rest of Oregon, you have only two years to file your claim after a crash. This is known as the statute of limitations, or time limit. If as a personal injury client you do not file your crash within two years, you will likely be unable to claim for any damages or lost wages at all from the negligent party.
The statute of limitations law is very strict. Although there are some exceptions to it, they are very limited. It is critical to speak to a Eugene personal injury attorney as soon as possible after a collision. Personal injury lawyers will ensure your claim is filed properly and on time so it is never placed in jeopardy. If you have further questions about your car accident case or how to work with your insurance company, contact us for your free consultation!
Caps on Non-Economic Damages
The legal statutes in Oregon place a cap, or limit, of $500,000 in non-economic damages in personal injury claims. Non-economic damages are those that do not have an actual dollar value, such as pain and suffering. While the statutes are very clear about this law, case law is not. The Oregon Supreme Court has made many rulings striking down the cap, claiming it unconstitutional. The Court has ruled many times, and most recently in 2020, that injury victims should be able to claim compensation that will fully cover the cost of their injuries.
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