What Is The Time Limit For My Personal Injury Case?

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It is very important that when you think you have a case, you contact an attorney with the appropriate experience and have him or her explain to you the time limits that are involved with your case.  No matter how good your case may be, you will recover nothing if you fail to act in time.

If a car accident occurs in Oregon, in order to maintain a claim for injury compensation, you must settle your case or have filed the appropriate documentation with the appropriate court of jurisdiction within two years of the date of the accident.  This time limit applies to adults.  Minors or people with certain incapacities may be entitled to a longer period of time (see below).  There is also a medical insurance benefit that most people are entitled to in a car accident that usually allows for medical expenses for up to one year following the date of accident.

In most negligence injury cases, (also known as personal injury cases, tort cases, etc.) the time limit in which you have to settle or file a lawsuit is two years in the state of Oregon.   This includes medical malpractice, dental malpractice and most legal malpractice claims, (lawsuits based on the failure to perform a duty in a contract can often be 6 years).

If you are injured as a result of the negligence of your landlord, you can likely pursue two types of claims: one for a simple negligence claim, (two year time limit), and one for violation of the landlord tenant laws.  The landlord tenant claim has a one year time limit.  These would be cases like falling through a rotting back porch deck, or a tree limb falls in the complex and hits you, or black mold in your home.

If your injury involved a government entity, like you were rear ended by a van operated by the local military recruiting office, then you have a different set of time limits.  Another such example would be the bathroom door at the post office came off its hinges and fell on your two year old child.  This would involve the federal government.  Injuries can occur at state and city offices, or by state and city employees driving government owned vehicles.

The first, and often most time sensitive thing you must know is that you are required to
give legally-proper notice of a potential claim to the appropriate state government entity within 180 days of the injury.  This is commonly referred to as a Tort Claim Notice.  Then, you have the two year time limit which starts with the date of accident imposed in addition to this notice requirement.  For claims against the federal government, the notice requirement is a bit different.

For wrongful death claims, the statute of limitations is 3 years.   But, understand that there may be some exceptions to this rule, and that you must consult an attorney to make sure you understand the time limit for your particular case.

For injuries to a minor, it gets a little complicated.   Minors from 0 to 12, have seven years in which to file their claim, (except when involving government entities–then still only two years).  For children over 12, the statute of limitations will likely go until their 19th birthday.  For those over the age of 17 when injured, they will have two years.  Again, there are exceptions to these rules. You must consult with a lawyer for your particular case.   A wrongful death case for a minor is still three years, regardless of age at death.


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