Under Oregon Revised Statute 20.080, an injured claimant can make a written demand to recover damages of up to $10,000 on the at-fault person and the at-fault person’s insurance company. The demand must cite ORS 20.080, include all related medical records, medical bills, and any other losses. The other party then has thirty days to make their best offer.
If after thirty days the other party does not respond or refuses to settle, the injured claimant can file a lawsuit against the at-fault party. If the injured person recovers even one dollar, the at-fault party must then pay the amount awarded, and in addition pay for the injured claimant’s court costs and attorney’s fees. If the at-fault party responds with an offer to settle that is less than what was demanded in the ORS 20.080 letter, the injured claimant would have to beat that offer at arbitration or trial in order to receive his or her attorney’s fees.
Because ORS 20.080 provides for attorney fees, many personal injury attorneys have incentive to take some “smaller” cases that they may not have normally taken. The goal of ORS 20.080 is not necessarily to take small cases into litigation, but rather to motivate insurance companies to resolve the “smaller” cases. We have had great success in handling ORS 20.080 cases. Ryan Hilts is a personal injury lawyer in Lake Oswego and serves as a personal injury attorney in the Portland area. For more information,on the Oregon Revised Statute 20.080, contact Ryan today.