Who Can File a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Oregon?

You were in a car accident a few weeks ago. Initially, you were just relieved to have escaped (seemingly) without having sustained a serious injury. The first few days you noticed some stiffness in the joints and neck, and when you lifted a bag of groceries you felt a twinge in your back, but still, you weren’t too concerned. As the days wore on, however, the stiffness didn’t go away, and the headaches that you put down to stress got worse, instead of better.

You visit the doctor, and he recommends some tests and an MRI scan. Those tests reveal you have sustained soft tissue injuries to your spinal cord area, including whiplash, and you’re going to need some physical therapy which, as well as being expensive, will mean taking some time off work. Then you wonder, who can file a personal injury lawsuit in Oregon? Have you left it too late? How can you prove the injuries were a result of the car crash?

Talk To An Attorney ASAP

Make no mistake – time is of the essence, for several reasons. First, the sooner you report your injury, the more credible your claim will appear in court. Second, there are statutes of limitations for filing various types of personal injury claims. A good Portland personal injury attorney will be able to explain very quickly whether you have a good case or not, and what are the grounds for filing a personal injury lawsuit in Oregon.

In the case described above, your attorney will want to determine as early as possible whether another party’s negligence contributed, in whole or in part, to your injuries. A large number of accidents involve errors on the part of both drivers, but this should not dissuade someone who has been injured from filing a personal injury lawsuit in Oregon. It simply means that when the court is making an award, the amount paid out may be adjusted to take account of the percentage of negligence of both drivers.

Not Every Injury is Grounds for a Lawsuit – But Don’t Assume Yours is Not

It’s important to keep track of everything that’s happened to you since the accident that caused your injury. A personal injury attorney will seek compensation for all medical expenses, ongoing treatment, and loss of income due to missed work, as well as pain and suffering. However, it’s important to realize that not every injury is grounds for filing a claim. If you’re walking through a building and the sprinkler system goes off and your suit is ruined, that is not a valid personal injury. If you slip and fall on the wet floor while trying to run out of the building, crack your head, suffer concussion and a broken wrist, you definitely do have grounds for filing a personal injury lawsuit in Oregon.

Why Hire a Lawyer? I Can File a Lawsuit Myself. 

You definitely can, but in almost every instance, it’s advisable to use the services of a personal injury attorney. The legal process in Oregon is complicated, and insurance companies in particular will respond far more quickly and appropriately when dealing with a recognized, experienced personal injury attorney than with a private individual. You can be assured your attorney will keep you advised every step of the way.

Valid Claim and Legal Standing

In order for a lawyer to file a claim on your behalf, two factors must be in place. You must have both a valid claim and legal standing. For an Oregon claim to be valid, it must be able to be settled through the legal process. Your grievance must be reasonable, and the other party must have been at least partially at fault. Your personal injury attorney will explain all the parameters of what constitutes a valid claim. Secondly, to have “standing” in a personal injury lawsuit, you must have sustained a true injury. Courts take a dim view of frivolous claims, and most attorneys will discourage you from filing a lawsuit unless you have a real and provable injury.

If you have been involved in anything like the scenario described above, the most sensible thing to do is contact a Portland personal injury attorney for advice. Generally speaking, they will charge nothing for a consultation, and if nothing else, they will let you know the likelihood of your personal injury lawsuit succeeding.