Oregon’s Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury: What You Need to Know
Have you been injured in a car accident? You may be wondering how to obtain compensation for your damages. Becoming injured in a car accident is a disorienting process, and many car accident victims find it difficult to move forward soon after the accident. However, discussing your case with a lawyer as soon as possible can help you significantly. Every state, including Oregon, imposes time limits, or statutes of limitations, on bringing a personal injury lawsuit. If you do not file your lawsuit before this deadline, you will lose the opportunity to seek compensation.
What is Oregon’s Time Limit for Car Accident Lawsuits?
Oregon has one of the shorter statutes of limitations when compared with other states. In Oregon, car accident victims have two years from the date of the car accident to either settle their claim or file a lawsuit. You only have two years from the car accident date to go to civil court and file a lawsuit against the defendant who caused the car accident or settles with the insurance company.
Even though you technically have two years to file a personal injury lawsuit, many personal injury lawyers in Oregon will refuse to take your case if it is older than 18 months. The older the case, the more difficult it is for lawyers to gather evidence and investigate the car accident properly. That’s why you need to hire an accident attorney in Portland as soon as possible.
Exceptions to Oregon’s Statute of Limitations
In general, car accident victims only have two years from the date of the car accident to file a personal injury lawsuit. However, there are some exceptions to this general rule. Certain types of personal injury claims have different time limits, called statutes of limitations. For example, when a car accident victim is a minor or a person who has been declared insane, the statute of limitation may be extended. However, the victim of a car accident cannot bring a lawsuit more than 10 years after the date of the crash in any circumstances.
When the car accident victim dies due to his or her injuries, the surviving family has a right to bring a wrongful death lawsuit against the at-fault driver. Oregon recognizes an exception to its statute of limitations for wrongful death cases. The victim’s family members have three years, not two years, to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the defendant.
Bringing a Claim Against a Government Entity in Oregon
What happens if the state of Oregon, accounting, a city, or even a school is at fault for your injuries? Suppose your child was involved in a bus accident and became injured due to the bus driver’s intoxicated driving. In these cases, a separate statute of limitation applies. If you need to file an injury claim against a government body, you must provide written notice of your claim. The time limit for submitting the written notice is extremely narrow. Victims must provide written notice that they intend to file a claim against the entity within 180 days of the car accident.
Suppose you suspect that there is a chance that a governmental entity is responsible, even partially, for your accident. In that case, we recommend discussing your case with a lawyer as soon as possible. You do not want to miss out on the opportunity to obtain the compensation you deserve against the at-fault government employee or entity. Your lawyer will be able to advise you as to which statute of limitation applies to your case so you can proceed with developing the legal strategy to obtain compensation.
Why You Should Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer as Soon as Possible
Car accident cases can quickly become complicated, even if your case is straightforward. For example, suppose a truck driver veered into your lane and caused you serious injuries. As a victim, you may think that obtaining compensation would be relatively easy because it is evident that the truck driver was at fault. Unfortunately, proving liability can be difficult. Your lawyer will need time to gather evidence, speak to witnesses, and prepare a legal strategy.
Your lawyer will also need time to negotiate aggressively with the insurance company or defendant during the claims process. Should your case proceed to trial, the pretrial discovery process will take time. The sooner you discuss your case with a lawyer, the sooner your lawyer can begin gathering evidence and preparing to advocate for compensation.
Additionally, if you plan on seeking compensation through an insurance claim, you will need a lawyer on your side immediately. In many cases, insurance adjusters begin contacting victims within hours or days of the car accident. They will ask you to provide a recorded statement. It is easy to unintentionally admit fault when discussing your case with the insurance adjuster. After all, being in a car accident is a disorienting experience.
When you hire a lawyer right away, your lawyer can help you prepare a statement that accurately reflects what happened and protects your compensation claim. While you focus on recovering from your injuries, your lawyer will communicate with the insurance company and negotiate aggressively with them to obtain the total amount of compensation you deserve for your injuries.
Schedule Your Free Initial Consultation
Have you and your loved ones been injured in an organ car accident? If so, we recommend discussing your case with a personal injury lawyer in Portland as soon as possible. The longer you wait to file your claim, the more you will risk missing the deadline. Time is crucial when it comes to car accident claims, and the sooner you have a lawyer on your side, the better.
At DuBois Law Group, our experienced car accident lawyers offer clients a free initial consultation. You can discuss your case with us and ask us questions about our legal services without payment obligation. We will not charge you until we successfully obtain compensation for you. Contact us today to schedule your free initial consultation.