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How much time do I have to file a personal injury claim? Exceptions to statute of limitations?

People often say “you have two years to file a personal injury case in Oregon”. However, not all personal injury cases have a two-year filing deadline. Individuals involved in many personal injury cases in Oregon have two years to file a lawsuit from the date of their injury. The two-year limit is set by state law and is also known as the statute of limitations.

There are many exceptions to the two-year statute of limitations. For example, actions under a rental agreement have a one year statute of limitations for some claims.  For cases involving child abuse, the statute of limitations varies depending on the circumstances. In the case of wrongful death, individuals have three years to file a claim. For claims that occurred in another state but are being tried in Oregon, the statute of limitation is unknown. In some cases, the statute of limitations may be extended if the injured person can prove that they did not discover the injury until a later date.

The moral of the story is: never assume a statute of limitations in any state, including Oregon, without legal counsel. To find out the applicable statute of limitations in your particular case, speak to a knowledgeable attorney.

A civil court will likely not hear a case brought after the statute of limitations has passed and injured parties will not be able to seek damages after that time has passed. For Oregon and Washington residents, the statute of limitations can change dramatically based on factors such as in which state the personal injury occurred or where the wrongful conduct causing the injury arose. Often, it can be two different statutes in two different states.

If you have been injured and think you may have a case, it is important to contact an attorney as soon as possible. Not all cases will require the assistance of an attorney, but many will.

In some cases, people call almost immediately after an accident. Often though, people delay calling an attorney until several months or years have passed. Perhaps it’s the fact that the pain in your lower back is still lingering months later. Or perhaps you’ve gotten frustrated going back and forth with the insurance company. Maybe you’ve wondered how you will cover the cost of medical bills and missing work for all your appointments. Whatever your reason, attorneys and their legal team can help you manage insurance companies and medical bill negotiation.

In order to win a case, you must prove fault, liability and damages incurred. As time passes, your memory may fade, witnesses may be less inclined to step forward, and video footage may be erased or evidence may be lost. Building a case takes time. The longer attorneys and legal teams have to compile evidence and statements, the better.

If your accident has caused long term injuries or you are permanently disabled, it is especially important to contact an attorney soon after your accident. It can be difficult to determine the expenses a long-term injury may cause you, or what future lost earnings may be. An experienced personal injury attorney can help guide you through that process and advocate for you with the involved parties.

The bottom line is that if you think you may have a case, call a law firm to discuss the matter as soon as possible. D’Amore Law Group offers free consultations to help you determine if you have a potential case and if it’s worth pursuing legal action.

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