- July 14, 2022
- Jed Strong
- Personal Injury
After a motor vehicle accident, slip and fall accident, or another incident where another person’s negligence or conduct resulted in your harm in Oregon, you may be allowed to file a personal injury lawsuit.
While this is the case in many situations, a common question that our clients have is – How long do you have to sue for personal injury?
This is a good question, and it is imperative that you not only understand but that you comply with the statute of limitations that applies to personal injury lawsuits.
What Is the Statute of Limitations in Oregon for Filing a Personal Injury Claim?
The statute of limitations is a law that establishes a time limit on your right to file a civil lawsuit. This time period is strictly enforced in Oregon and in states across the country (although the time period does vary from one state to another). Keep reading to learn more about how long to sue for personal injury and other things related to your case, such as how long does an injury settlement take?
Personal Injury Lawsuits Have a Two-Year Statute of Limitations in Oregon
If you are wondering, “How long do I have to sue for an injury,” the answer is two years. This is a time limit that applies to most personal injury lawsuits.
What this means is if you want to use the state’s civil court system to request damages after injuries caused by another person or entity in Oregon, you must do so within two years of the date of the incident.
This time period applies in situations where the personal injury case is driven by a principle of “negligence,” which are situations like sip and fall incidents, car accidents, and simpler mishaps, and those that are governed by something called intentional tort, like an assault or civil lawsuit. For purposes that apply to a two-year lawsuit filing deadline, the “clock” starts to run on the date when the accident occurred.
What Happens if You Happen to Miss This Filing Deadline?
If you are in a situation where you have missed the two-year filing deadline, and you attempt to file some type of personal injury lawsuit in the court system, the defendant, who is the person you plan to sue, will point this out. When this happens, the most likely outcome is that your case is going to be dismissed. Also, unless there is some type of rare exception in place, the court is going to approve the dismissal.
In the state of Oregon, the statute of limitations is crucial if you have plans to take your injury case to court by filing a formal lawsuit. However, the deadline is also important when it comes to negotiations for a personal injury settlement with the person who caused your harm or their insurance company.
Two years is not that long and can go by quickly if you have let the deadline pass and have not filed your lawsuit. If the other side knows this, then you don’t have much leverage to negotiate. The threat of “I’ll see you in court” doesn’t mean much if going to court is no longer a feasible option for the situation.
Potential Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Cases in Oregon
There are some potential situations that may result in the two-year statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit in Oregon being halted or stalled. In these situations, the filing deadline would be extended.
The first situation is if the accident occurs to someone who is under 18 or if they have a disabling mental condition that keeps them from understanding the rights they have. In these cases, the individual would have additional time to file their personal injury lawsuit after the period of “legal disability” is concluded. This occurs when the individual turns 18 or when they are declared competent. However, the filing period is never going to be extended for over five years or for more than a single year after the person’s disability has ended (whichever situation occurs first).
Additionally, under another Oregon Revised Statute, the if the defendant leaves the state at any point after the accident occurs, but before a lawsuit is filed and begins to live in another state, or if the defendant tries to “hide” in the state, the period they are absent or concealed is not typically counted in the one-year-period. What this means is that the clock for the statute of limitations in these cases would be paused during this period.
Contact Our Legal Team for Help and Information with Your Oregon Personal Injury Lawsuit
There is no question that the law can be complex and confusing when it comes to filing a personal injury lawsuit in Oregon. Because of this, it is recommended that you get in touch with our legal team right away. We can review the facts of your case and help ensure you meet all filing deadlines, and that the two-year statute of limitations does not expire before you have the opportunity to file a claim for damages.
If you are injured because of someone else’s negligence or wrongful act, you have rights. One of these rights is to recover compensation for your damages. If you want to have the best chance of a successful outcome in your case, get in touch with us right away. You can reach out to our legal team by calling (206) 741-1053. We will provide all clients with a free initial consultation to discuss the facts of their case. Our legal team is here to fight for your legal rights and help you receive the maximum compensation possible for your injuries and losses. The first step is to get in touch with us to discuss your claim.