Q
What is a tort?
AA tort is a wrongful civil act, separate from criminal law. All personal injury cases are torts, and there are many different kinds of torts. Some involve negligence–or unintentional or reckless behavior–whereas others occurred due to an intentional act. Each tort has its own specific elements that must be proven to substantiate the claim.
Q
How long do I have to file a personal injury lawsuit?
AThe statute of limitations for most personal injury cases is two years, though this differs in certain cases, such as wrongful death or cases involving sex abuse or children. See that set of questions for further details. If the statute of limitations passes, you lose the right to further pursue your claim. Some cases are resolved out of court before a lawsuit ever needs to be filed.
Q
What if the case is against a public entity?
AThe exception to the statute of limitations described above is when a case is against a public body, such as a public school, TriMet or the Department of Human Services. A statute entitled the Oregon Tort Claims Act (“OTCA”) requires a claimant to give notice of a claim to the public body they intend to sue within 180 days of the event abuse or other incident. Plus, the OTCA has an exclusive two-year statute of limitations. Child sex abuse victims or the person(s) acting on their behalf who fail to provide notice to the public entity per the OTCA or fail to sue within the two-year time frame lose their right to a claim against the public body.
Q
What is a personal injury lien?
AA personal injury lien is money owed to a third party that has stepped in to pay for your medical treatment or wage loss while your case is ongoing. The defendant will not pay for these things during your case; your settlement at the end is meant to compensate you for all of your damages. Liens must be paid back once your case settles, and I will negotiate with the lienholders to reduce your liens as much as possible, putting more money in your pocket. Some examples of liens are hospital and medical provider bills, disability or workers’ compensation payments and payments made by your auto or health insurance or Medicare/Medicaid.

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