Oregon is a fault insurance state, which means that drivers who are responsible for car accidents must pay for their victims’ damages. If you are in an accident with a negligent Oregon motorist, you can recover compensatory damages through a personal injury lawsuit or insurance claim.
However, you are only eligible to collect certain accident-related damages, including economic, or financial, losses, as well as non-economic damages, also known as pain and suffering.
Economic damages refer to the tangible financial losses that you sustained as a result of the car accident. Common types of economic damages include the following.
Calculating economic damages is relatively simple. You will need to gather documentation that details your out-of-pocket expenses related to the accident. For past medical expenses, you will need to gather medical bills, receipts, and insurance statements.
For lost wages, you will need to provide pay stubs, timesheets, and correspondence with your employer. Invoices, bills, and other financial documents can help establish other costs related to your accident.
For future medical needs, loss of future wages, and long-term care, however, you may require additional assistance. Your attorney will wait until you reach maximum medical improvement before initiating your claim; this will allow him or her to understand the full extent of your injuries and permanent complications.
Your lawyer will then consult with expert witnesses, including economists, life care planners, and medical professionals, to calculate your long-term costs.
Non-economic damages, also known as pain and suffering, refer to the physical and emotional losses you sustained due to your injuries. Common examples of non-economic damages after a car accident include the following.
Because you cannot provide a bill or invoice to establish these personal injury damages, they are more challenging to calculate. To estimate the compensation you qualify for, your attorney will use one of two methods.
Calculating compensatory car accident damages after an event can be a challenge, but it is very important to determine an accurate estimate before filing a claim. Without a number in mind, you could inadvertently accept an insufficient settlement offer—which will likely result in additional financial hardship later on.
In these situations, it is important to seek the help of a car accident attorney in Portland. Contact a lawyer as soon as possible following your accident to discuss your legal options.