Oregon Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Claims

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What Are The Statute of Limitations In Oregon?

If you’re injured in Oregon, you may be able to seek compensation for your losses from the at-fault party in what is called a personal injury claim. Every state, including Oregon, has a deadline to file a lawsuit for personal injury damages called the statute of limitations. If you don’t hire a lawyer to file a lawsuit on your personal injury claim soon enough, your claim will be barred forever.

In Oregon, the statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit on personal injury claims like motor vehicle accidents or dog bites is two years from the accident date. ORS 12.110(1). That means you have two years from the date you are injured to file a lawsuit against the responsible party for compensation. If you don’t file within two years, you may forfeit your right to recover damages.

For wrongful death claims in Oregon, the Personal Representative of the Estate of the person killed must file a lawsuit against the at-fault party within three years of the accident. ORS 30.020(1).

Oregon Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Claims

Contact an attorney right after you’re injured in a car accident so you aren’t prevented from recovering compensation for your damages by the statute of limitations. In addition, hiring an attorney soon after your accident allows the attorney to investigate your case, interview witnesses, and preserve evidence. On the other hand, suppose you wait to hire an attorney. In that case, evidence may be lost, and witnesses may not remember the accident.

Even though the statute of limitations in Oregon for car collisions is two years, some exceptions may give you more or less time to act to preserve your personal injury claim.

A few exceptions follow, but you should call a lawyer if you have been injured in a car collision to discuss whether an exception applies.

  1. Advance Payment Exemption
    In Oregon, the statute of limitations for a personal injury claim is extended or “tolled” if the insurance company for the at-fault driver pays you for your injury or damage to your car unless the insurer writes you a letter notifying you of the last date you have to file a lawsuit. ORS 12.155(1) and ORS 31.560. Suppose the insurer fails to write you that letter within 30 days of the advance payment. In that case, ORS 12.155(1) extends the statute of limitations by the time between the date the payment was made and the date you received the letter.
  2. Personal Injury Claims of Minors
    If you were a minor when you were injured, the statute of limitations is tolled or extended while you were under 18, so you may have more than two years to file a lawsuit. ORS 12.160(1). However, there are exceptions to this, so you should have your parent or guardian consult with an attorney to protect your rights. The deadline to file suit will not be extended beyond the earlier of your 19th birthday or for more than five years from the date of the accident. ORS 12.160(2). However, you must still file a lawsuit within two years of the accident if the at-fault party is a public or governmental body. ORS 30.275(9); see below.
  3. Public or Governmental Entities.
    Suppose the at-fault party is a public or governmental entity, employee, or officer of a public entity, such as a city, county, or state agency. In that case, you may have to file a written “tort claim notice” with the agency within as little as 180 days of the accident. ORS 30.275(1) & (2)(a). A written tort claim notice must be filed within one year of the accident for wrongful death claims. ORS 30.275(2)(a). That is why it is important to hire a lawyer soon after your accident so they can investigate your case and determine if a public or governmental entity might be liable. Also, there are specific requirements for how to write a tort claim notice and to whom to send it, so you should consult with an attorney regarding this.

Suppose you are injured in a motor vehicle accident in Central Oregon. In that case, the G. R. Johnson Law firm can help you understand the statute of limitations and the exceptions that may apply. Mr. Johnson has over 30 years of experience trying personal injury cases. He has represented most major insurance companies defending these types of claims. He uses that knowledge to help people injured due to the fault of others.

How to report an accident to the Oregon DMV

I always make sure to get my clients all of the insurance benefits they are entitled to. This includes finding all insurance policies that cover my clients’ medical expenses.

Gary R. Johnson Law is here to help and advocate for you.

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