Personal Injury Law in Salem, OR

Were you hurt due to another’s negligence in Salem? If so, it may have far-reaching consequences such as a loss of wages or extensive medical treatment. Personal injury law allows an injured person to get damages if the responsible person acted recklessly. A personal injury attorney in Salem, OR can help navigate the lawsuit to make sure you receive all of the compensation you deserve.

What Is Personal Injury Law?

Personal injury law in Salem relates to the legal process of getting compensation for an injury caused by someone else’s negligent behavior. These cases involve one party, the plaintiff, trying to seek financial compensation for expenses incurred and money lost as a result of the defendant’s reckless behavior. These cases involve both parties’ insurance companies and may even settle before proceeding to litigation.

Examples of Personal Injury Claims in Salem, OR

Some personal injury claims are more common than others. However, almost any incident that ends with a physical or mental injury could qualify, depending on the circumstances.

A few of the most common personal injury claims are:

  • Car Accidents
  • Slip and Fall
  • Dog Bites
  • Medical Malpractice
  • Workplace Accidents
  • Burn Injuries

Most Common Injuries in Salem 

The most recent Oregon Trauma Registry Report states that trauma is the leading cause of non-fatal injuries and death. And, according to the CDC, accidents are the 4th leading cause of death for Oregonians. In addition, Driver & Motor Vehicle Services files reports around 100,000 accidents each year. 2,541 of those reports in 2018 came from people injured in car crashes in Salem, according to the Oregon Department of Transportation.

Steps in a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Salem, OR

Once you determine that you wish to proceed forward with a personal injury action in Oregon

A lawsuit begins when a complaint is filed with the court and served on the defendant. The complaint alleges your assertion as the plaintiff that the defendant’s negligent behavior resulted in damage to your body or mental state. As the process proceeds forward, you may have to go through depositions, independent medical evaluations and document production. This discovery process is lengthy and ends in either settlement or a court appearance.

You may find yourself in Oregon Small Claims Court if the claim is for $750 – $10,000. Otherwise, it’s likely that the next step becomes mediation. There is nothing stopping your personal injury attorney in Salem from arranging a settlement. In fact, most civil cases resolve outside of court as opposed to going through a long and costly trial. If your case goes to court, the outcome could be months to years away.

Oregon Personal Injury Settlement

With most personal injury cases, insurance companies and injured parties prefer settlement negotiations rather than going to court for a trial. You may wonder how much you should seek in your settlement and factors that impact the final amount.

Personal injury laws in Oregon recognize economic and non-economic damages. Current Oregon legislation categorizes the latter as less tangible items like emotional injuries. The former consists of direct losses like repairs, hospital bills, and other out-of-pocket expenses. However, the actual amount often consists of adding immediate costs and considering precedent for similar cases adjudicated in Salem.

If the other party has insurance, the insurance company likely wants to settle out of court to avoid leaving the final settlement decision to a jury. Settlements benefit injured parties as much as they do insurance companies. This is because accepting a settlement means you receive compensation sooner rather than later. Also, by going to court in OR, that means you risk not receiving any compensation at all.

Damage Awards in Oregon

If your Oregon personal injury lawsuit goes before a judge or jury, your legal team will be ready with a request for damages. In personal injury cases, there are three types of damage awards a court may order the defendant to pay to compensate you for the damage he or she inflicted.

Special compensatory damages reimburse you for things such as lost income, medical bills and insurance deductibles. You submit receipts proving these losses.

General compensatory damages are subjective. If you receive special compensatory damages, you may also collect general damages. If your injury was particularly painful, you might request that the judge order the defendant compensate you for the pain and anguish.

Punitive damages are the most rarely awarded and are up to the court. The judge or jury may determine that the defendant’s negligence was particularly heinous and the resulting injury to you was equally horrific. 

In July 2020, Reuters reported that the Oregon Supreme Court struck down limits on non-economic damages for personal injury cases. They justified the ruling by stating it violated the constitutional right to alleviate their suffering in the court system.

Statute of Limitations in Salem, OR Personal Injury Law?

The injured party may have a set amount of time to file suit for a personal injury case. State law establishes statutes of limitation. Commonly, the plaintiff’s injury or discovery of the injury begins the statute of limitations. However, the latter factor is trickier, as the plaintiff will have to prove when the injury was first realized.

The state gives Salem residents up to 2 years to file a personal injury claim. This makes contacting a lawyer in Salem after discovering injuries even more crucial. The longer that you wait, the less likely a court may be to admit your case.

We recommend you speak with a personal injury lawyer for this matter. Don’t wait too long and miss out on receiving the compensation you deserve for your injury. 

Work With an Experienced Salem, OR Lawyer

Pursue a personal injury claim in Salem against the responsible person if you are dealing with an injury caused by someone else. One of our experienced lawyers can help you navigate your personal injury claim. We can even help you connect with an attorney across Oregon state lines.

Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an experienced lawyer in your area!

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