A GUIDE TO PERSONAL INJURY LAW IN OREGON
Personal injury law can be confusing for those who are not lawyers. Knowing the law regarding accidents and the individuals who work on them is essential. Personal injury cases in Oregon are governed by Oregon Revised Statutes Chapter 31, often called OPRA.
A personal injury plaintiff can seek compensation from a defendant for physical injuries or property damage if they believe that person caused their injuries or damage through negligence, recklessness, intentional wrongs, or any other wrongful act. It includes harm done through assault and battery and damages resulting from defective products in Oregon.
The law limits want a plaintiff can receive so that they do not seek excessive damages. The damages available are intended to be fair compensation for the actual injuries and losses sustained by the plaintiff due to the defendant’s wrongful conduct. Damages are not intended as punishment nor a deterrent to others who might commit similar wrongs, although this may affect the defendant’s conduct.
Long Island medical malpractice lawyers know that the plaintiff must establish through evidence that: the defendant was negligent, that their negligence caused the plaintiff to suffer damages, and those damages are recoverable.
To be eligible for compensation for an injury, the plaintiff must prove the following:
1) A defendant who was negligent or otherwise at fault;
The plaintiff must also prove that their injury resulted from the accident and not from some other cause.
2) That the injury or death resulted from the negligence;
Through evidence of damages, the plaintiff may also show that their injury directly resulted from the defendant’s wrongful action. For example, if a plaintiff is struck by a motorcycle and suffers injuries that affect their daily activities, the injuries may be considered compensable.
3) That their damages are not excessive;
This limit is set out in OPRA section 4105(a) and is intended to ensure that any awards made to plaintiffs do not exceed what they would have received had no negligence been shown.
4) That the injury or death did not result from intentional wrongs;
Oregon courts have consistently found that the intentional wrong of an employer has no bearing on a lawsuit brought by their employee. It is because an employer has no special relationship with a victim, which would allow them to be held responsible for negligence.
That all elements of damage were sustained;
To recover damages from a defendant, it is necessary to show that the plaintiff suffered some injury when the accident occurred. It means that if the plaintiff still suffers some injury from their accident, they can pursue compensation through the lawsuit. A minor injury that does not cause severe or permanent damages is frequently not eligible.
6) That the plaintiff is not barred from requesting compensation;
A victim who was either wholly or partially at fault for the accident cannot receive compensation under Oregon law. If a plaintiff caused the accident, they could not recover damages unless they can prove that the defendant’s actions were more responsible for their injuries and that they are still suffering harm due to those actions. They must also prove that their conduct did not contribute to the extent their injuries occurred. It includes conduct before and after the incident, which resulted in their injuries, and if alcohol, drugs, or other substances played a role.
7) That the injury award is consistent with such damages;
It means that a plaintiff must agree to accept the number of damages awarded to them by a court. It is impossible to change the number of damages if they win a more significant settlement than they requested; however, they can continue to pursue compensation after a settlement has been reached by filing an OPRA action.
8) That another person was not responsible for causing the injury or death;
Both complete and partial tort actions are available under Oregon law, although only one action can be brought at any given time. If two or more persons are responsible for causing an accident, each victim may seek compensation through OPRA.
The Oregon laws on personal injury work in a way that protects the injured while providing compensation to the victim. The actions taken following an accident are precautionary and not designed to harm the victim by forcing another individual to take responsibility for their negligent actions. The laws are designed to reduce the burden on the courts and prevent excessive claims while recovering damages for victims who have been injured through no fault of their own.
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