Pursuing Compensation for a Catastrophic Injury in Oregon
Posted on behalf of RizkLaw on Mar 30, 2020 in Auto Accident
When an Oregon car crash or other accident results in a life-altering catastrophic injury, the victim may feel overwhelmed. Medical expenses for severe injuries can very quickly lead to an ever-growing financial burden. Seeking damages from the at-fault party is often an essential step to helping the injured victim move forward with his or her life.
At Rizk Law, our experienced Portland personal injury lawyers are prepared to discuss your claim and how we may be able to help you recover compensation for your injuries and other damages after suffering from a catastrophic injury.
How Does Oregon Define a Catastrophic Injury?
A catastrophic injury is one that results in long-term or permanent disability or changes in a person’s life. The injuries are often severe and painful. Additionally, the recovery process tends to be long and often involves very expensive treatment, such as multiple surgeries, hospital stays, physical therapy and ongoing care.
Some common examples of catastrophic injuries include:
- Brain injuries – Traumatic brain injuries can result in devastating consequences and may impact your ability to care for yourself or others. Some brain injuries may also cause cognitive impairment or affect your memory. In some cases, speech, movement and personality may also be altered.
- Spinal injuries – Catastrophic spinal injuries often leave the victim paralyzed and dependent on others for daily care.
- Amputations – Losing a limb can affect you both physically, financially and psychologically.
- Extreme burns – Serious burn injuries may result in the loss of sensation to the burned part of the body, emotional trauma when there is scarring or disfigurement, as well as the need for skin grafts.
- Internal injuries – Some accidents may affect your internal organs, such as your heart, kidneys or lungs, requiring invasive surgery that puts you at risk for infection, excessive bleeding and other complications.
Why Pursuing a Catastrophic Injury Claim Is Challenging
Pursing damages following a catastrophic injury will likely involve a long and complicated legal process. Here are some of the challenges involved:
For the Injured Victim
The victim has his or her own difficulties following a catastrophic injury due to another’s negligence. From coping with a life-altering injury that may require months to years to achieve maximum recovery to facing an ever-growing and potentially lifelong financial burden. In addition to these very real struggles, the victim also may have to deal with psychological challenges, including pain and suffering, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and ongoing physical therapy.
Your attorney’s priority throughout a catastrophic injury claim is to protect your best interests and help to ensure you receive maximum compensation for your injuries. These types of claims are especially complex and your personal injury attorney may have to:
- Fully investigate your claim and consider all contributing facts
- Gather supporting evidence from the accident, including your medical records
- Handle insurance companies who will rigorously look for ways to reduce or deny your claim
- Work to limit any percentage of liability you may be assessed if you share fault for your accident
- Accurately assess the full value of your claim and negotiate with the insurance company or other third parties to try to ensure your settlement takes into consideration all damages and provides you with fair compensation for your future needs
Oregon Laws that May Affect the Outcome of Your Claim
There are laws in Oregon that may impact the outcome of your catastrophic injury claim, including Oregon’s law about:
In Oregon, if you share liability for the accident that caused your injuries, there are two potential outcomes:
50 percent or less at-fault - In this scenario, you can still pursue compensation for your damages, but the total amount of compensation you receive will be reduced based on your percentage of liability. So, if you are 10 percent at fault for the accident and the total awarded damages are $100,000, you will receive $90,000.
51 percent or more at-fault – In this situation, Oregon courts will bar you from being able to recover damages.
Another law that may impact the value of your claim is Oregon’s cap on non-economic damages, which cannot be greater than $500,000. These damages provide compensation for your physical pain and emotional suffering, mental anguish, frustration, loss of enjoyment, loss of companionship and other non-economic damages. However, Oregon does not cap economic damages, which include, but are not limited to, lost wages, medical expenses and property damage.
Our trusted attorneys have extensive knowledge of these and other Oregon laws that may affect your claim, and if you have a case, we are prepared to fight for maximum compensation for the damages you suffered.
How an Attorney Can Help
If you sustained a catastrophic injury, it is important that you focus on continuing your medical recovery. Our experienced lawyers are prepared to thoroughly investigate your accident, work to try to prevent you from being assigned more fault than you deserve and gather evidence to try to build a strong argument to support your claim.
Our initial consultations are completely free and help us to determine whether you may have a valid case. Contact us today to schedule this free, no-obligation review of your claim. We are available to take your call 24/7.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, we remain fully able to review and process new claims and manage existing ones through our secure online processes.