If you’re involved in any type of accident in Portland, Salem, or any area in Oregon, and you are seeking compensation for your injuries, lost wages, medical bills, or other damages, then you may need to understand how Oregon’s negligence laws work. If you are involved in an accident outside of Oregon, please give us a call to see if we can still work for you or whether it would be best to hire an attorney in another state.
Negligence is the fundamental legal concept at the heart of all types of accidents, injuries and wrongful death cases. It basically states that in order to collect damages from another party, it must be shown that their actions caused you injury through actions that were not up to a reasonable standard of care.
In some states, contributory negligence means that if a plaintiff is shown to have had any type of fault for the accident, they are barred from collecting any damages in a case. Many states, including Oregon, have moved away from this extreme form of proof to a more reasonable form called modified comparative negligence.
Comparative negligence means that the defendant in a case is only held liable for the percentage of the case they are responsible for. This means if a plaintiff is seeking $1 million, but a jury decides the defendant was only 60% responsible for the injuries a plaintiff incurred, then only $600,000 will be awarded.
Modified comparative negligence means that a plaintiff can only recover damages if it is proved that they are found 50% or less at fault in an accident. If a jury decides that a plaintiff is 51% or more responsible for an accident, then they will not be eligible to collect damages.
Modified comparative negligence is based on the concept that if a person is primarily responsible for their own injuries, then they should not be entitled to any compensation, even if someone else was partly responsible for them being injured.
This means that how a jury apportions blame can have a huge impact on an accident case. In cases where there is more than one defendant, the jury must also decide how much each defendant is responsible. In some instances, a jury may be swayed by the amount of the award in question, and that will have an influence on how much percentage they assign to each party.
If you have questions about an injury accident, feel free to call to talk with a personal injury attorney right away!
Johnson and Taylor proudly serves Portland, Salem and surrounding Oregon communities.