Portland Personal Injury Attorney
Understanding Oregon Personal Injury Law
Accidents can happen anywhere, and the resulting injuries can be serious and even debilitating. You may find yourself dealing with the financial impact of heavy medical and hospital expenses, while the time it takes to recover could result in lost wages and prevent you from engaging in hobbies and activities with friends and loved ones. In many cases, these so-called accidents are often the result of someone’s careless or negligent conduct. Personal injury law deals with various types of accidental and unintentional injuries, and can be used to hold responsible parties accountable in order to obtain the compensation injured victims need. If you or someone you care about has suffered from these types of injuries in Portland or Vancouver, a personal injury lawyer can help you recover.
Types of Personal Injury Cases
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, accidental injuries result in more than 30 million hospital emergency room visits each year, and are the fourth leading cause of death in this country. While the injuries sustained in these accidents may have been largely unintentional, the fact is that there is generally someone or something who is ultimately responsible. In personal injury law, negligence is a legal theory under which a responsible party may held liable for the injuries and other damages an injured victim suffers. Negligence is defined as doing something or failing to do something a reasonable person would have done under similar circumstances. Negligent actions or inaction form the basis for many types of personal injury cases, including the following:
- Motor vehicle accidents, in which a driver, passenger, or pedestrian is injured as the result of another driver’s reckless behavior;
- Slip and fall accidents, such as injuries sustained as the result of wet floors or uneven sidewalks;
- Premises liability cases, in which a person is injured due to dangerous conditions on another’s property;
- Product liability cases, in which injuries occur as the result of defective or dangerous products;
- Medical malpractice, in which a medical error or mistake results in injuries or damages; and
- Wrongful death, in cases where unintentional injuries result in death.
Elements of A Personal Injury Lawsuit
Under Chapter 31 of Oregon Revised Statutes, tort actions are those which seek financial compensation for injuries suffered as the result of someone’s reckless or negligent actions. As a tort action, elements of a personal injury lawsuit include the following:
- Claim for damages: The legal paperwork filed by your attorney with the court on your behalf, naming the parties responsible for your injuries and the types of damages you are seeking.
- Mediation: Negotiations before an impartial party with you, your attorney, and the at fault party during which an attempt will be made to settle or resolve your case.
- Settlement: A financial amount agreed upon by all parties out of court to compensate you for your injuries and resolve your claim.
- Damages: Under Oregon law, you may be entitled to economic damages, such as medical expenses and lost wages, as well as non-economic damages including mental anguish and pain and suffering.
- Judgment: A verdict handed down by a judge awarding damages for your personal injury claim.
Even if you were partly responsible for your accident and injuries, you may still be entitled to compensation through Oregon’s comparative negligence laws, which allows for the apportionment of damages based on the percentage for which a party is responsible for your injuries.
Personal Injury and Insurance Companies
If you have been seriously injured due to the negligence or careless actions of an individual or business, enlist the help of a personal injury attorney right away. Settling with an insurance company may result in you receiving far less compensation than you actually need.
At Johnston Law Firm, P.C., in Portland, Oregon, we pride ourselves in our ability to work hand in hand with insurance companies to resolve coverage disputes and denials for our clients. Our experience with insurance denials is a great benefit to our personal injury clients. We know exactly what the insurance companies are looking at, and we can head off many of their challenges proactively. This helps us build a persuasive claim that pursues full and fair damages for your pain and suffering.
Don’t miss out on these common personal injury mistakes. Get the legal counsel you need to guide you through the process of filing an injury claim.
Personal Injury FAQs
When you sustain an injury in an accident, you likely have many questions about how to seek compensation for your injuries. The following are some Portland personal injury FAQs that may help you with your case.
What Events Can Lead To A Personal Injury Lawsuit?
Many different incidents can lead to serious injuries and a subsequent lawsuit filed by injured victims. The following are some events that are commonly at issue in a personal injury case:
- Car accidents;
- Truck accidents;
- Pedestrian and crosswalk accidents;
- Bicycle and motorcycle accidents;
- Slips, trips, and falls;
- Workplace accidents;
- Injuries caused by dangerous or defective products;
- Injuries caused by dangerous property hazards;
- Medical malpractice.
In addition to the above accidents, any accident that occurred because another party was negligent can lead to a personal injury case.
How Do I Know If Someone Else Was Negligent?
In order to be successful in a personal injury claim in Portland, you must prove that another person or party was negligent and should be held liable for your losses. Negligence occurs when a party fails to act with the degree of care legally required in a particular situation. Negligent parties can be other people, companies, or government entities and can include careless drivers, property owners, product manufacturers, employers, medical professionals, and more.
Negligence can be a complex legal concept and the best way to determine whether negligence played a role in your accident is to have an experienced personal injury attorney evaluate your situation. An attorney will have the resources to investigate the circumstances of your accident and identify whether someone else was negligent.
How Long Do I Have To File A Personal Injury Claim?
Every state has different laws regarding the time limits for filing different types of legal claims. Under Oregon law, the following statutes of limitations apply:
- Personal injury – Two years from the date of the injury;
- Medical malpractice – Two years from the date of either the injury or when the injury was discovered;
- Wrongful death – Three years from the date of the injury that caused the death (not the date of the death itself).
While there are some rare exceptions to time limits for lawsuits, generally speaking, you will lose your chance to recover if you do not file a claim within this period of time. Lawsuits also take time to prepare, so you should never delay in discussing a possible case with an attorney who understands time limits for personal injury cases in Oregon.
Will My Personal Injury Case Go To Trial?
When you think of a court case, you may first think about a trial in front of a jury. In reality, the large majority of cases involving personal injury do not require to trial to resolve the matter. Instead, an experienced personal injury lawyer will know how to seek a favorable resolution in other ways. Engaging in mediation can often result in an outcome that is mutually agreeable and can save time, energy, and resources required for litigation. In addition, in the time leading up to a trial date, your attorney can use evidence and arguments to negotiate with the other party to try to reach a favorable settlement agreement that will cover your losses. Only if mediation and settlement negotiations fall through will your case go to trial.
What Is My Personal Injury Case Worth?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the value of a personal injury case can vary significantly from case to case. In cases involving relatively minor injuries, the case may be worth a few thousand dollars to cover your medical bills and any income lost during your recovery. However, when a catastrophic injury occurs, recovery can rise into the millions of dollars and can include compensation for lifelong medical care, permanent disability, pain and suffering, emotional trauma, loss of earning capacity, and more.
In cases of serious injury, medical and economic experts are often involved to testify to the value of your intangible losses. An experienced lawyer will have resources to complete these complex calculations to ensure you seek the full amount of recovery that you deserve for your injuries and related losses.
Compassionate and Dedicated Service from Marc A. Johnston
Whether your personal injury is a brain injury, car accident involving a drunk driver or wrongful death we are here to help. Our founder, Marc A. Johnston is known for his dedicated representation and exceptional client service throughout Portland, OR and surrounding areas. He truly gives it his all when investigating claims and preparing a personal injury case that tells your story. You can feel confident having him as your attorney when you seek our firm’s legal services for claims.
At The Johnston Law Firm, we use a strategic approach to seek maximum compensation in all types of personal injury claims, involving:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Work site and industrial accidents
- Defective products
- Dog bites
- Sexual abuse
- Accidents resulting in injuries to children
- Medical Malpractice & Negligence
- Other accidents resulting in catastrophic injury or wrongful death
Free Confidential Case Evaluation
Contact us today at 503-546-3167 or toll free at 888-342-7252 to get a FREE, confidential case evaluation. We’re conveniently located in downtown Portland at the KOIN Center, and we offer flexible hours by appointment.
Johnston Law Firm, P.C. proudly represents clients in all cities and counties in Oregon: Portland, Gresham, Milwaukie, Lake Oswego, Tigard, Beaverton, Hillsboro, Multnomah, Washington, Clackamas.