As a leading cause of death in the United States, car accidents claim the lives of thousands of victims each year throughout the country. According to the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), Oregon alone had over 50,000 traffic accidents in 2018, with more than 41,000 people suffering injuries and 502 losing their lives.
If you or a loved one suffered a severe or fatal injury in a motor vehicle collision in the Beaver State due to someone else’s negligent or reckless behavior, an Oregon car accident lawyer could help you determine if you have grounds to pursue compensation from the at-fault driver. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today at (800) 223-5115 to speak with our legal team.
Oregon Car Accident Deaths Continue to Increase
Even before the pandemic struck, Oregon began to see an increase in car accident deaths. ODOT reported that while total crashes dropped 13 percent from 2017 to 2018, the number of fatal crashes went up by 10.7 percent, and fatalities rose by 14.35 percent.
The independent review website SafeWise found that Oregon had a significantly lower violent crime rate than the national average. Unfortunately, residents must instead confront danger on the state’s roads. If your Oregon car accident left you with substantial damages, an attorney could help you seek financial recovery.
Common Causes of Car Accidents
From 2005 to 2007, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) conducted its National Motor Vehicle Crash Causation Survey (NMVCCS) “aimed at collecting on-scene information about the events and associated factors leading up to crashes involving light vehicles.” Researchers gathered data and assigned critical reasons, or the last failure in the chain of causation, to each accident. They consisted of driver-related, vehicle-related, environment-related, and unknown critical reasons.
At 94 percent, driver-related reasons caused the vast majority of accidents. Researchers further divided the category into five types of driver errors for clarification.
- Recognition: At more than 40 percent, errors such as inattentive and distracted driving accounted for most of these accidents.
- Decision: Approximately one-third involved errors such as driving too fast for conditions or misjudging other cars’ speed.
- Performance: Just over one in 10 crashes resulted from overcompensation, poor directional control, or other similar errors.
- Non-Performance: Seven percent of accidents with driver-related causes involved non-performance errors such as falling asleep.
- Other: The final eight percent was a catch-all when researchers could not determine or narrow down the reason.
If another driver caused the accident that left you with injuries or resulted in your loved one’s death, the attorneys at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm could help you pursue justice and compensation. Contact our legal team at any time for your free case review.
Financial Awards in Car Accident Cases
In Oregon, the driver responsible for causing a motor vehicle accident must cover the victims’ damages with their auto insurance policy. If the cost of the victims’ injuries exceeds the amount of insurance available through the at-fault party’s coverage, the victims might have the option to pursue additional damages with a personal injury lawsuit.
The types of financial awards you could qualify to receive and the amount you might recover vary based on your case’s circumstances. They may include compensation for:
- Medical bills, including emergency medical care, rehabilitation, follow-up appointments, and medical equipment.
- Lost wages for the time you had to take off work to recover from your injuries.
- Reduced earning capacity if your injuries left you unable to return to work.
- Property damage to your vehicle and other personal belongings.
- Pain and suffering, such as mental anguish, permanent disfigurement, or loss of consortium.
- Funeral and burial expenses if you lost a loved one in the accident.
- Loss of support if your deceased family member provided you with financial support.
An Oregon car accident lawyer can help you assess your damages and pursue adequate financial recovery.
Statutes of Limitations on Car Accident Claims in Oregon
Victims and their family members can file car accident claims in Oregon within a specific time frame, known as a statute of limitations. They must settle their claim or file a lawsuit by the deadline, or the court might not consider their request.
For personal injury claims, in which a victim seeks financial awards from the at-fault party for their injuries, ORS § 12.110 establishes a two-year statute of limitations. For wrongful death cases, in which family members pursue damages for their loved one’s unlawful death, claimants typically have up to three years from the date of the victim’s passing under ORS § 30.020.
How an Oregon Car Accident Lawyer Can Help You
While you can pursue a personal injury or wrongful death claim following an Oregon car accident on your own, the legal system presents many challenges that victims and their families often find challenging to navigate. A car accident lawyer can assist you by:
- Helping you establish liability in your case.
- Communicating with the insurance companies on your behalf to negotiate a fair settlement that accounts for all your current and future accident-related expenses.
- Taking your case to court, if necessary, to pursue the financial awards you deserve.
Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to Get Started on Your Case
The Oregon car accident lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm understand the devastating effects car accidents often have on victims and their loved ones. We can help you pursue the financial awards you need to get back on your feet and on the road to recovery.
If you suffered injuries or the loss of a loved one in a car accident anywhere in Oregon, contact us today at (800) 223-5115 for your free case evaluation with our legal team.