It’s always a challenge to deal with the aftermath of a personal injury, and the last thing most people want to handle is the legal situation regarding reimbursement and other payment. Fortunately, the state of Oregon has quite favorable laws in this area, and there’s one particular concept which can really help: pain and suffering.
Definition of Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering can be broken into two categories:
- Physical – actual pain in your body
- Emotional – psychological ailments which occur in your mind
It’s possible to file an insurance claim for these, but they aren’t the only compensation you may receive.
“This amount is separate from lost wages and other medical expenses, such as x-rays, medications, and hospital visits.”
Oregon Pain and Suffering Law
The law is designed to compensate injury victims for various purposes. In this case, the payments are made in the form of damages, and they are easily explained in the following quote:
“In general, damages are money awarded to a party in a civil lawsuit for any losses or injuries that are caused by others.”
Here are some examples of economic damages:
- Charges for medical and rehabilitation procedures necessary because of the injury
- Loss of income due to the injury
- Costs due to the loss of property because of the accident
- Damage to a reputation (which will result in monetary loss)
Here are some examples of non-economic damages:
- Physical and mental pain
- Emotional stress
- Humiliation and reputation damage
Oregon Economic and Noneconomic Damages
Pain and suffering must be proven to be as a result of the accident, but there is no standard way to calculate it.
”The degree of pain and suffering an individual experiences can vary greatly from person to person.”
You will be required to prove that whatever pain and suffering you have was caused by the accident, and you will need to have appropriate documentation and testimony to prove that.
Oregon Limitations on Pain and Suffering
There are multiple aspects of the Oregon laws which place restrictions on pain and suffering damages, so you need to be aware of these as early as possible.
- Time: There is a specific time limit in which you have to file your lawsuit.
“In Oregon, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases gives an injured person two years from the date of the injury to go to civil court and file a lawsuit. (Ore. Rev. Stat. section 12.110(1)).”
- Caps: There are limits to the amount of the damages you can ask for.
- Shared Faults: If it can be argued that you shared some of the fault for the accident that happened, this can be used against you (and it may reduce the amount of the damages accordingly).
- Government: If your claim is against the state government (or an employee), then different rules apply. For example, you only have 180 days to file a Tort Claim Notice – not 2 years.
How To Calculate or Measure a Pain and Suffering Settlement:
Economic damages are easier to calculate than non-economic, but there are methods to determine both types.
To calculate economic damages, you just need to have proof. You can show medical bills, the amount of salary you would have been paid for working those days, and similar information.
Non-economic damages are more complicated.
There are a number of approaches that insurance companies take when calculating pain and suffering as part of an injury settlement.
It’s a good idea to keep any receipts and bills you have because of your injury. Here are some examples of what are commonly used:
- Medical bills
- Prescription documentation and receipts
- Proof of lost wages
- Photos/medical reports about injuries
In general, the more you can provide, the better.
Why Ryan Hilts Is The Right Attorney For You
Insurance companies are experts at fighting these claims, so it pays to have an experienced and understanding lawyer by your side.
The process of filing a claim for pain and suffering in Oregon gets more complicated based on the severity of the injury, but it is never an easy one to do. I’ve helped countless people through this difficult time, and they were able to get back to things that meant the most to them in their lives – with an appropriate amount of compensation.
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