October 19, Near Stayton on Highway 22 E, Mercury Marquis driven by Mark Higley, was going W. The driver was trying to turn onto Fern Ridge Road. A Chevy Suburban, driven by Wendy Dethman, was going E. Higley turned into the path of the Suburban and was hit head-on. Higley’s wife, Ella Higley, died in the crash. Two passengers in the Suburban, Robert Detham, and Neoma Miller, suffered serious injuries.
If you are seriously hurt in a car accident, you will have some important questions to ask about filing a car accident insurance claim in Oregon.
First, know that Oregon is considered a ‘fault’ plus PIP (personal injury protection) state for car insurance purposes. For the most part, Oregon follows the standard ‘fault’ system. It means the driver who was at fault for causing the crash is liable for paying all damages caused by the accident. In the above crash, the deceased’s insurance policy would be liable for the damages caused by the crash.
If the damages go above insurance limits, the driver or his estate must pay the balance.
However, the PIP policy also comes into play in accidents. Each driver must carry PIP, which covers your own injuries up to a certain limit in the first year the accident happens. But you still can file a lawsuit against the other driver before you reach your PIP limits.
Second, Oregon no longer has damage caps in place. If your Oregon personal injury lawsuit is a success, you only can receive above $500,000 in non-economic damages. This means that you can recover economic damages (medical bills, lost earnings, various out of pocket expenses), plus compensation for pain and suffering or noneconomic damages.
Third, there is a statute of limitations in effect for Oregon personal injury lawsuits. You have two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. If you are filing a wrongful death lawsuit, you have three years from the date of death to file your lawsuit.
Serious auto accidents such as the above case usually involve grave injuries and sometimes death. People who are hurt in such massive accidents could have tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical expenses. They may not be able to work for months, years, or ever again.
These types of lawsuits are complex, and an experienced Portland personal injury attorney is needed to ensure you get the compensation you deserve. Talk to The Herron Law Firm today for a complimentary consultation on your car accident case. We have a strong record of success in negotiating successful car accident claims. Our attorneys also have an exemplary record of successful verdicts when the case needs to go before a jury.
5285 Meadows Road, Suite 204, Lake Oswego, Oregon