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Pain and Suffering Damages in Oregon

Oregon takes pride in its vast forests, fertile valleys, and gorgeous terrains like Crater Lake. The Beaver State's spectacular views are certain to leave an impression on both visitors and residents. However, whether you are enjoying recreational activities or just driving to work down Route 30, accidents are unavoidable. The last thing you want is to get hurt and end up in long-lasting pain without receiving compensation. If you were involved in an accident, read on to find out how pain and suffering damages are treated in Oregon.

What Are Pain and Suffering Damages?

In general, damages are money awarded to a party in a civil lawsuit for any losses or injuries that are caused by others. Damages can be divided into two categories: (1) economic and (2) noneconomic. In Oregon, "economic damages" refer to verifiable monetary losses, such as medical expenses. "Noneconomic damages," on the other hand, refer to nonmonetary losses, including pain and suffering.

Here are different types of damages listed in the Oregon Revised Statutes:

Economic Damages
  • Reasonable charges necessarily incurred for medical, hospital, nursing and rehabilitative services and other health care services
  • Burial and memorial expenses
  • Loss of income and past and future impairment of earning capacity
  • Reasonable and necessary expenses incurred for substitute domestic services
  • Recurring loss to an estate
  • Damage to reputation that is economically verifiable
  • Reasonable and necessarily incurred costs due to loss of use of property
  • Reasonable costs incurred for repair or for replacement of damaged property, whichever is less
Noneconomic Damages
  • Pain
  • Mental suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Humiliation
  • Injury to reputation
  • Loss of care, comfort, companionship and society
  • Loss of consortium
  • Inconvenience and interference with normal and usual activities apart from gainful employment

Measuring Pain and Suffering Damages

The degree of pain and suffering an individual experience can vary greatly from person to person. At trial, you must have evidence, like medical testimony, that your pain and suffering is related to the defendant's conduct. Then, the court will consider several factors to determine the monetary value for your pain and suffering, such as your age, the type of injury, and how the injury affects you.

Limitations on Noneconomic Damages in Oregon

Although Oregon allows you to recover for both economic and noneconomic damages, you should know that there are certain limitations in recovering noneconomic damages. There are laws, called "statute of limitations," that impose time limits on an injured person to file a lawsuit against another person or entity responsible for the injury.

"Damages caps" are laws that limit the amount of damages you can recover. "Negligence standards" are rules that courts use when fault is shared among the parties involved in an accident. In Oregon, the state applies modified comparative negligence standard, which allows you to recover damages as long as you were 50 percent or less at fault than the other party.

Below is a chart laying out important limits on damages in Oregon.

Statute of Limitations
  • 2 years for personal injury [Section 12.110(1)]
  • 6 years for property damages [Section 12.080(4)]
  • 180 days for claims against the state government [Section 30.275(2)(b)]
Damages Caps
  • $500,000 limit on noneconomic damages [Section 31.710]
Negligence Standard
  • Modified comparative negligence [Section 31.600]
Other Limits
  • Cannot recover any noneconomic damages if the plaintiff was driving under influence when the accident occurred [Section 31.715]

Note: State laws are always subject to change at any time, usually through the enactment of newly passed legislation but sometimes through higher court decisions and other means. You may want to contact an Oregon personal injury attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Learn More About Pain and Suffering Damages in Oregon from an Attorney

Proving pain and suffering damages can be very difficult and hard to estimate, and it's often easy to overlook other types of damages that may be available to you. If you have questions about pain and suffering damages, or need help with filing a personal injury claim, it's best to speak with a qualified personal injury attorney near you.

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