Oregon Car Accident Compensation Laws

Oregon is known as a giant playground for those who love the outdoors. From the Blue Mountains to the famed Oregon coast, there is no shortage of spectacular attractions in "The Beaver State." And while many Oregonians prefer their bikes over their cars, chances are you'll need to drive to at least some of these sites. In the unfortunate event that you've been involved in a car accident while traveling around this beautiful state, read on to learn about Oregon's car accident compensation laws.

Below, you'll find a table outlining key sections of Oregon's car accident compensation laws, including limits on damages and the statute of limitations.

Statute of Limitations

2 years for most personal injury lawsuits (Sec. 12.110(1)); 6 years for property damage actions (Sec. 12.080(4)); 180 days for claims against the state (Sec. 30.275(2)(b))

Limits on Damages $500,000 cap on non-economic damages (Sec. 31.710)
Other Limits Modified comparative negligence fault system may prevent or diminish damages (Sec. 31.600); nonuse of seatbelt may reduce award by no more than 5% (Sec. 31.760)

Types of Damages

If you've been in a car accident, there are typically two types of damages to consider: economic and non-economic. Economic damages are the concrete monetary losses you've incurred as a result of your injury or damage to property, while non-economic damages, on the other hand, are the more subjective, nonmonetary costs of an accident, like emotional distress and the loss of spousal companionship.

Economic damages can include:

  • Car repairs or replacement
  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages

Non-economic damages can include:

  • Physical pain
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of affection or companionship

"Comparative Negligence" Rules Apply

In Oregon, you may recover damages even if you were partly to blame for causing the accident, but you must not be more than 50% at fault to do so. According to the modified comparative negligence standard, any damages that are awarded will be reduced in proportion to the degree that you were at fault. For example, if you were 10% to blame for the accident and the other driver was 90% at fault, you may file a lawsuit, but an award of $1000 will be reduced by $100.

Limits on Damages

In Oregon, there is no cap on economic damages like medical expenses and lost future earnings. However, the state does limit some non-economic damages to $500,000. Additionally, the failure to use your seatbelt could reduce your award by up to 5%. Lastly, there is a timing issue with filing your lawsuit in court, known as the statute of limitations. For personal injury cases, you have two years, and for property damage cases, you have six years. Finally, if your claim is against the state government, you must file within 180 days.

Have an Oregon Attorney Review Your Claim for Free

The comparative negligence rules can significantly affect your ability to recover damages after a car accident. Fortunately, you can receive a free claim evaluation from an experienced attorney. That way, you'll know more about the strength of your claim and potential compensation amounts moving forward.

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

Contact a qualified attorney.