Personal injuries in Oregon can happen in a variety of situations. While they are referred to as ‘accidents,’ they typically occur due to the reckless and negligent conduct of others involved. In this situation, you have the right to file a personal injury claim, seeking compensation for medical bills, lost income, and other losses you incur.
At the Johnston Law Firm, our Oregon personal injury attorneys guide you through the claims process. One of the most common questions we hear from clients involves how long it will take to get a settlement. The following details some of the various factors involved.
Your Rights In Filing A Claim
According to the Oregon Health Authority, accidents are a leading cause of death and disability in the state. These claim the lives of more than 3,000 people each year while leaving tens of thousands of other victims suffering serious personal injuries. Among the most common:
- Motor vehicle accidents, involving drivers, their passengers, bicyclists, and pedestrians;
- Motorcycle accidents, which often result in devastating personal injuries;
- Truck accidents, which can impact multiple other motorists on the road;
- Premises liability accidents, such as slips and falls or getting struck by objects;
- Product liability accidents, due to negligence on the part of manufacturers and distributors.
While unintentional, these and other accidents often occur due to the negligence of others. Negligence means taking actions that are dangerous and put others at risk or failing to take reasonable safety precautions. When you suffer personal injuries as a result, you have the right to hold the at-fault liable for damages.
Time-Sensitive Steps When Seeking Compensation For Personal Injuries In Oregon
Chapter 12 of the Oregon Statutes provides time limits for initiating different types of legal proceedings. Generally, you have up to two years after an accident happens to file a personal injury claim. While this seems like a long time, it allows for other actions needed. Time-sensitive steps you should take immediately include:
- Notify the authorities: You must notify the police, the property owner, or other authority immediately so that an accident report can be filed.
- Seek medical attention: Get medical care immediately, even if your injuries appear minor. Many potentially serious conditions have symptoms that can take days to appear. Not seeking medical help could jeopardize your health, as well as your rights in a claim.
- Notify any insurers involved: Depending on the type of accident you are involved in, you and the at fault party may have insurance policies that can help offset your expenses. However, failure to notify the insurance company as soon as possible or not reply to correspondence will likely result in a claim denial.
Insurers may surprise you by offering an immediate settlement. Before accepting this amount or signing any documents, speak to our Oregon personal injury lawyers first. In many cases, this amount is likely to be significantly less than what you are entitled to. Once you accept, you waive your rights in any future claims.
When Will I Get A Settlement?
While each case is different and time-frames depend on the specific circumstances involved, it may take up to six months to a year or longer to get compensation for personal injuries. This may seem long but it allows for the following:
- A firm diagnosis: Personal injuries can be complex and it may take months for your doctor to make a firm diagnosis.
- Maximum medical recovery: This is the point when your doctor determines you are unlikely to make further progress and any ongoing issues are likely to be permanent disabilities.
- Insurance negotiations: Insurers are notoriously difficult to deal with and will generally attempt to either deny or downplay your claim.
- Gathering evidence: It takes time to investigate your case and gather the evidence needed to prove the other party was at fault and that you are entitled to compensation.
- Filing a personal injury lawsuit: When claims are denied or policy limits fail to cover your costs, you have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit through the Oregon Civil Court. However, it takes time to schedule different types of hearing. argue your case, and obtain a final court order.
Discuss Your Options With Our Oregon Personal Injury Attorneys
At the Johnston Law Firm, we work to get you the maximum amount of compensation in the most effective and time-efficient manner possible. To discuss your options and timeline for your claim, call (503) 546-3167 or contact us online and request a consultation with our Oregon personal injury attorneys.