Personal Injury FAQ
What is a personal injury?
Personal injury is a legal term referring to the injury to the body, rather than injury to property. In order to file a personal injury lawsuit, someone or something must be responsible for the accident.
What types of injuries are considered personal injuries?
We have experience working with many different types of personal injuries, including:
- Eye injuries
- Multiple fractures
- Head trauma
- Brain injuries
- Organ damage
- Severe burns
- Neurological/Spinal injuries
What are the common causes of personal injury?
Personal injuries can happen in many different forms. Personal injury can happen at work or outside of work. Some of the most common accidents that lead to a personal injury case are:
- Car crash
- Motorcycle accidents
- Bike accidents
- Truck accidents
- Pedestrian accident
- Medical malpractice
Can I file a personal injury claim at any time?
The Statute of Limitations for personal injury claims in Oregon is two years. This means you have two years from the date of your accident to file a claim.
What happens if I have a personal injury case in Portland, OR?
If your accident occurred in Portland, OR, you will file a personal injury case with the civil division of the Multnomah County Circuit Court at the Multnomah County Courthouse. According to the Statute of Limitations in Oregon, you have two years from the date of the accident to take action.
When can I file a personal injury lawsuit for a workers compensation injury?
In order to file a personal injury lawsuit, someone must be negligent, or responsible, for the injury. For example, if you slipped and fell while at work, the business or owner of the property isn’t necessarily negligent unless they did something wrong.
You can file a personal injury lawsuit for a workers’ compensation injury if you were injured at work and someone is negligent. Scenarios where this might happen include:
- An injury caused by a defective product
- An injury caused by a toxic substance
- An injury caused by a third party
- An injury caused by your employer’s intentional conduct
Who pays my medical bills?
In the immediate aftermath of an accident, you will be responsible for your own medical bills. You can use your private health insurance or pay these out of pocket. While you can expect a substantial settlement for your injury case, you are responsible for your medical bills before those damages are awarded.
Are medical bills included in a personal injury claim?
Yes, at minimum, the person or business that caused the injury is typically liable for covering the cost of the medical bills.
Can I use my own insurance to cover expenses for a personal injury?
Yes, it is possible to use your private health insurance to help cover the cost of your medical needs while you are awaiting your personal injury claim to settle. However, health insurance companies don’t typically cover costs that another company is liable for.
Once your personal injury claim is settled, those funds with cover expenses that exceed all other payouts from other insurers.
What happens if the person who caused my injury has no insurance?
In the situation where the defendant has no insurance, you should work closely with an attorney to determine if suing the defendant still makes sense. In some cases, it isn’t the right course of action to sue someone with no assets, insurance, or source of income, regardless of how negligent the defendant was in your accident.
Should I accept the insurance company settlement?
It is almost never a good idea to accept the insurance company’s initial settlement. The insurance company’s primary goal is to settle the matter quickly, with the least amount of financial loss.
If you feel the settlement amount the insurance provider offers is not taking the actual and complete costs of the injury into account, the best course of action is to seek help from a lawyer who is familiar with the insurance industry.
What damages can I seek in a personal injury lawsuit?
The two types of damages awarded in personal injury lawsuits are compensatory damages and punitive damages.
Compensatory damages reimburse or compensate the plaintiff for the harm they suffered. These types of damages are available in almost all injury cases. General compensatory damages compensate an injured individual for non-monetary damages incurred in an injury claim. These damages include:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium or companionship
Special compensatory damages are meant to compensate for the monetary expenses incurred because of an injury. The most common types of special damages are:
- Loss of earnings
- Loss of future earnings
- Medical bills
- Cost of future medical care
- Costs associated with canceled trips or altered plans
- Household expenses
Punitive damages are awarded to punish the party responsible for the wrongful and reprehensible behavior that lead to the injury. Punitive damages are only awarded in a small number of cases.
Is there a minimum and maximum personal injury settlement amount?
Personal injury settlements usually range from $3,000 – $75,000. The nature and severity of the injury, as well as insurance policy limits, are the elements that will impact the amount of the settlement.