Automobile accidents can have devastating consequences. Oregon is a fault state, but drivers are required to carry PIP insurance coverage. If you have suffered injuries in a car accident in Oregon, you can either –
- File a claim with your own insurance company
- File a third-party claim with at-fault driver’s insurer
- File a personal injury lawsuit against the party at fault
No matter the circumstances, hiring a Salem Oregon personal injury lawyer is always a wise idea. In this post, we are sharing more on the car accident laws and other important things worth knowing.
The statute of limitations
Like other states, there is a statute of limitations in Oregon too. If you want to sue the other driver for vehicle damage only, you have six years to bring a lawsuit. For wrongful death claims, the deadline is three years. If you were injured in the accident and want to file a personal injury lawsuit, the statute of limitations allows two years for the same. In case you fail to adhere to the deadline, the court will most likely reject the request.
The modified comparative negligence law
Oregon is a modified comparative negligence state. If you were partly at fault for the car accident, you can still file a lawsuit against the other driver. However, your eventual settlement will be reduced, by your fault that will be counted at percentage. For instance, if you got $10,000 in settlement and were 30% at fault, you can only recover $7,000 as the final settlement. If your fault is more than the other party, you cannot recover anything at all.
Hiring an attorney
As you can guess, the modified comparative negligence law may not always work in your favor. The insurance company of the at-fault driver will try to shift the blame, and if you are not smart enough, your settlement will be way lesser than what you deserve. Hiring an attorney is a personal call, but the decision is important, especially if you want to maximize your settlement. Lawyers know what it takes to negotiate with the insurance company, and if a fair settlement cannot be reached, your lawyer may file a lawsuit.
Don’t delay in calling a personal injury lawyer after your car accident case. This is even more important when you are partly at fault, or have suffered serious injuries and vehicle damage. Let an attorney evaluate the worth of your claim, keeping all aspects in mind.