It is an unfortunate fact that many people suffer in car accidents every year because of the negligence of other drivers. According to the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), 502 people died and 41,073 people suffered injuries in car accidents in Oregon in 2018.
If you or your loved ones suffered injury or more in a car accident in the Portland area, a Portland car accident lawyer from Ben Crump Law, PLLC may be able to help you recover compensation for your losses. Learn more about how we could help you by calling (800) 598-7557 for a free consultation with our team.
Driver Negligence in Oregon
When you hope to recover compensation for a car accident in Portland, state laws play an important part in your ability to do so. The first thing to know is that Oregon is a fault state, which means that the person who is at fault for a car accident is responsible for paying for its consequences. Insurance adjusters will often conduct an investigation to determine fault before offering a settlement, including looking at information like the police report, the damages done to the vehicles, and medical records.
However, it is common for more than one person to have some blame for an accident. In cases like this, Oregon follows a modified comparative negligence law, Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS) § 31.600. Under this law, the damages you may be able to recover for the accident are reduced by your portion of fault, and you cannot recover any damages if your fault is more than that of the other people involved. For instance, if you are 20% at fault, you can receive 80% of the damage award, but if you are 60% at fault, you cannot receive any damages, except according to your own insurance policy.
Because of the fault system and the comparative negligence statute, it is crucial to prove the other driver’s fault for your car accident in Portland in order to receive compensation for your losses. Fault for a car accident can take many forms, but according to the Oregon Department of Transportation, the 10 most common driver errors that cause accidents are:
- Failing to avoid a stopped or parked vehicle.
- Failing to yield the right-of-way.
- Running off the road.
- Inattentive driving.
- Driving too fast for the road conditions.
- Following other vehicles too closely.
- Failing to maintain the driving lane.
- Making a left turn in front of oncoming traffic.
- Failing to decrease speed for slower-moving vehicles.
- Disregarding traffic signals.
Pedestrian and bicyclist errors can also be the cause of car accidents, such as failing to yield the right-of-way, using the wrong lane, or the manner of crossing a road or intersection.
For a free legal consultation with a car accidents lawyer serving Portland, call (800) 598-7557
Damages You Could Recover
If someone else is at fault for your car accident, you may be able to receive a variety of types of damages in payment for your suffering. The kinds of damages you could be able to recover include:
- Loss of past and future income
- The cost of medical treatment
- The cost of property damage
- Burial costs for your loved one if they died because of the accident
- Emotional anguish
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment of life
To recover any of these damages, you will need to show that the other party was responsible for the accident and your suffering. A Portland car accident lawyer and the rest of the team at Ben Crump Law, PLLC is here to help you do that. We can investigate the accident, gather evidence of negligence, and pursue a fair settlement for all your losses on your behalf.
Portland Car Accident Lawyer Near Me (800) 598-7557
How to Recover Damages
There are two main ways you can pursue payment for your suffering after a car accident in Portland:
- Go through the insurance system. You can file an insurance claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company, and you can also file a claim with your own insurance provider. How much compensation you can get from insurance depends on many factors, such as proof of fault, coverage types, policy limits, and how insistently the insurance provider tries to mitigate their losses. If you have trouble receiving the amount you think you deserve from insurance, your attorney can help you negotiate with them and even file a lawsuit against them if necessary.
- Go through the legal system. When car insurance fails to provide you the compensation you deserve, you may be able to obtain it by pursuing a civil lawsuit. You can file a personal injury lawsuit for your own losses or a wrongful death lawsuit for the death of your family member. In some cases, you may be able to recover more damages through a lawsuit than you can through insurance, such as payment for your pain and suffering and emotional distress.
Statutes of Limitations for Car Accidents in Oregon
Civil lawsuits are subject to a statute of limitations, which is a law that states how long you have after a wrongful event to pursue legal action for it. According to Oregon law, from the date of the car accident you have:
- Two years to file a personal injury case (ORS § 12.110)
- Three years to file a wrongful death case (ORS § 30.020)
- Six years to file a property damage case (ORS § 12.080)
Once these time limits have passed, in most cases, you lose your right to recover damages. However, there can be rare exceptions, so you may want to consult a Portland car accident lawyer to be sure you know what your legal options are.
At Ben Crump Law, PLLC, we can inform you of your legal options for recovering compensation after your car accident, advise you of the best route to take, and identify the damages you might be able to recover. We can handle all the aspects of your case, including investigation, documentation, communication, and negotiation, so that you can focus on your healing and recovery.
Call our team at (800) 598-7557 today for a free consultation. We work on contingency, so you will never owe us any fees unless we can win an award for you.