Oregon takes pride in its vast forests, fertile valleys, and gorgeous terrains like Crater Lake. The Beaver State's spectacular views are certain to leave an impression on both visitors and residents. However, whether you are enjoying recreational activities or just driving to work down Route 30, accidents are unavoidable. The last thing you want is to get hurt and end up in long-lasting pain without receiving compensation. If you were involved in an accident, read on to find out how pain and suffering damages are treated in Oregon.
What Are Pain and Suffering Damages?
In general, damages are money awarded to a party in a civil lawsuit for any losses or injuries that are caused by others. Damages can be divided into two categories: (1) economic and (2) noneconomic. In Oregon, "economic damages" refer to verifiable monetary losses, such as medical expenses. "Noneconomic damages," on the other hand, refer to nonmonetary losses, including pain and suffering.
Here are different types of damages listed in the Oregon Revised Statutes:
- Reasonable charges necessarily incurred for medical, hospital, nursing and rehabilitative services and other health care services
- Burial and memorial expenses
- Loss of income and past and future impairment of earning capacity
- Reasonable and necessary expenses incurred for substitute domestic services
- Recurring loss to an estate
- Damage to reputation that is economically verifiable
- Reasonable and necessarily incurred costs due to loss of use of property
- Reasonable costs incurred for repair or for replacement of damaged property, whichever is less
- Mental suffering
- Emotional distress
- Injury to reputation
- Loss of care, comfort, companionship and society
- Loss of consortium
- Inconvenience and interference with normal and usual activities apart from gainful employment
Measuring Pain and Suffering Damages
The degree of pain and suffering an individual experience can vary greatly from person to person. At trial, you must have evidence, like medical testimony, that your pain and suffering is related to the defendant's conduct. Then, the court will consider several factors to determine the monetary value for your pain and suffering, such as your age, the type of injury, and how the injury affects you.
Limitations on Noneconomic Damages in Oregon
Although Oregon allows you to recover for both economic and noneconomic damages, you should know that there are certain limitations in recovering noneconomic damages. There are laws, called "statute of limitations," that impose time limits on an injured person to file a lawsuit against another person or entity responsible for the injury.
"Damages caps" are laws that limit the amount of damages you can recover. "Negligence standards" are rules that courts use when fault is shared among the parties involved in an accident. In Oregon, the state applies modified comparative negligence standard, which allows you to recover damages as long as you were 50 percent or less at fault than the other party.
Below is a chart laying out important limits on damages in Oregon.
Statute of Limitations Damages Caps
- $500,000 limit on noneconomic damages [Section 31.710]
- Modified comparative negligence [Section 31.600]
Note: State laws are always subject to change at any time, usually through the enactment of newly passed legislation but sometimes through higher court decisions and other means. You may want to contact an Oregon personal injury attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
Get a Free Claim Evaluation from an Experienced Attorney
Proving pain and suffering damages is very subjective, so it's often easy to overlook different types of damages that may be available to you. If you are suffering from an accident, contact an experienced attorney in Oregon for a free claim evaluation to discuss your legal options.
Contact a qualified attorney.