Imagine that you work as a chef in an Oregon restaurant, and one day, hot soup spills onto your hand, seriously scalding you. Thinking it’s a classic case of an employee being injured on the job, you seek emergency treatment, safe in the knowledge that you will be reimbursed by insurance for whatever medical bills you incur.
What Is Personal Injury Law?
Many people believe that they must be battered and bleeding to claim they’ve suffered a personal injury. In fact, personal injury is broader than physical injury. Damage to your property or your reputation is also categorized as personal harm. You can legally claim that someone has caused you personal injury when they cause you bodily harm, pain, and suffering, or emotional distress. Whether they have caused you personal injury by accident or deliberately, Oregon law indicates that they will still have a case to answer.
The first step to getting your dues after a personal injury is to prove that the other party is responsible for the injury you suffered. Keep in mind that this process is time-sensitive. A claim for a physical injury needs to be submitted within two years of the incident. If you suffered a personal injury due to medical negligence or malpractice, you will have up to two years from the discovery of the injury to file your claim.
You can claim the below forms of compensation as part of a personal injury case in Oregon:
- Economic: An economic claim includes compensation for medical bills, loss of income, and replacement of damaged property.
- Non-economic: Emotional distress and pain and suffering fall in this category. Oregon law allows you to receive up to $500,000 of non-economic damages.
The law, however, will reduce the amount you are compensated in the event of personal injury if it is determined that the incident was in any way caused by your negligence. If you’re judged to be partially responsible for the incident leading to your injury, you can receive fewer settlement funds. If you’re found to be equally at fault, or more at fault than the other party, you will be required to offer compensation to the other party. If you find yourself dealing with any of these circumstances, it’s wise to know what a personal injury attorney can do for you.
Take On a Variety of Case Types
There are several different types of cases of personal injury for which you can seek compensation. A PI attorney can help you get compensation for the loss of income during the days you were unable to work due to the injury. They can also help you get compensation for the costs you incurred while being treated for injuries.
You can consult a PI attorney for the following personal injury-related causes:
- Loss of a source of income
- Emotional distress
- Loss or damage to personal property
- Loss of relationships
- Permanent disability
Review Your Case
As you begin searching for a PI attorney, you also need to get your case in order. This means gathering evidence to strengthen your claim. If you were involved in an accident, you will need contact and insurance information from all others involved, as well as license plates and detailed information about the circumstances of the accident.
Receipts for medical bills and treatments, along with medical reports detailing the injuries you suffered, will also come in handy. Ensure you have all this ready well before the statute of limitations for reporting your injury expires.
Negotiate With Insurance Adjusters
Review your insurance policy with the help of your attorney to see what kind of coverage your situation may warrant. They are trained to spot technicalities and details that you may miss. Try to determine the maximum amount of compensation you’re eligible for, and get in touch with your insurer as soon as possible to try to negotiate the best deal for your compensation.
Advice You On Legal Strategies
After doing what you can to build your case, leave the rest to the experts. They will review the evidence you have gathered and endeavor to gather some of their own. Then, they will report back and recommend a strategy using their legal expertise.
Analyze Settlement Offers
If the party that caused your personal injury wishes to settle out of court, your attorney will help you analyze the offer to see if it is a fair reflection of the loss that the injury caused.
The other party likely has their own attorney, who will be working in their interest. You should consult your lawyer to determine if you ought to take a settlement, or if they will help you work on a counter-offer.
Don’t Settle For Less
With an experienced Oregon PI attorney at your side, you can be sure that you will be appropriately compensated for losses caused by any sort of personal injury-even those that may seem impossible to put a price on. For this reason, it’s important you contact your attorney and fully debrief them before engaging the other party legally.