Statute of Limitations for Car Accidents

Car accidents can be incredibly traumatic experiences. Recovery after an accident can be a long process, and physical healing is just one consideration. Few people even want to think about their accident. This is understandable, but it can cause legal troubles. Injuries caused by car accidents are covered by a statute of limitations. This means that if you postpone legal action for too long, you may lose the right to your day in court.

The first thing you need to know about the car accident statutes of limitations is that they vary depending on the state the accident occurred in and the type of damage caused by the accident. In Oregon, the statute of limitations is two years.

Statute of Limitations for Car Accidents

The Oregon Statute of Limitations.

As of writing, the two-year statute of limitation that covers most car accidents can be found in the Oregon Revised Statutes, Volume 1, chapter 12. Here is the relevant text:

“An action for assault, battery, false imprisonment, or for any injury to the person or rights of another, not arising on contract, and not especially enumerated in this chapter, shall be commenced within two years; provided, that in an action at law based upon fraud or deceit, the limitation shall be deemed to commence only from the discovery of the fraud or deceit.”

To sum things up, the statute of limitations is two years in Oregon. With that said, please note that this information is based on the latest edition of the Oregon Revised Statutes. Laws can be changed from year to year, so it’s always a good idea to talk to a legal professional with relevant expertise.\

How Statutes of Limitations Work

Most people have a vague idea about statutes of limitations but have trouble with the specifics. Let’s clear up some of the most common misconceptions. To begin with, you should know that the statute of limitations defines the length of time until legal proceedings can be initiated. This means that plaintiffs can wait until the very last day of their eligibility to start the legal process. After that, the case may go on for years, but the length of proceeds will not impact the legitimacy of the case.

Another crucial point to remember is that the legal process can be initiated even if the statute of limitations has run out.

The court system won’t immediately reject a lawsuit because the statute has passed. It is up to the defendant and their legal counsel to note the time passed and use the statute as cause for the suit to be rejected.

Deciding Whether or Not You are Still Eligible

Whether or not you are eligible for your day in court seems like it should be cut and dry but there are actually a few things to consider when figuring out whether or not you are still within the statute of limitations. The most obvious way to answer the question is by counting the days since the accident occurred. If less than two years have gone by since the date of the accident, then there is still time to act.

However, even if the two-year time limit has elapsed, there may still be hope. This is because in cases involving less obvious types of damage and injury the clock might start ticking upon discovery of the issue. The catch is that in these cases it’s necessary to prove that the damage in question was caused by the accident. This task becomes more difficult the more time has elapsed since the accident, so there’s reason to act quickly even if the clock seems to have plenty of time left on it.

statute of limitations oregon car accident

Dealing with a Running Clock

After any car accident in Oregon, a ticking clock is hanging over the heads of those involved. Two years after the accident or discovery of the harm caused by the accident the opportunity for legal compensation fades away. This is why anyone injured in a car accident needs to move with urgency if they want to seek compensation through the legal system.

This isn’t to say that anyone should act hastily. It’s always worth taking the time to carefully consider any legal action while discussing it with proper professionals. But at the same time, you shouldn’t put the action off any longer than necessary. If you wait too long, you may miss out on your window of opportunity and forfeit the chance to receive the justice you are owed.

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