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How Long Do I Have To File a Car Accident Claim in Portland?

Posted on June 15, 2023 in

Car accidents are an unfortunate yet common occurrence on the road. As a result, it is important for drivers and passengers to be well-informed about the legal aspect of car accident claims, particularly the timeframes and deadlines associated with filing them. 

Statute of Limitations

The first thing you need to consider is the statute of limitations, which is the legal time frame within which a victim of a car accident can file a claim against the responsible party. In Portland, the statute of limitations for most car accident claims is two years. 

This means that if you were involved in a car accident, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit against the party at fault. If you fail to file the claim within the stipulated time frame, the court will dismiss your case.

Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations 

In Portland, there are some exceptions to this deadline. The most common include the following:

Car Accident Victims – Minors and People Declared Insane 

The statute of limitations for car accident claims may vary under certain circumstances. For instance, if the victim is a minor (under the age of 18) or has been declared insane, the time limit for filing a claim may be extended. 

The two-year deadline won’t start to run until the minor turns 18 or until the person is no longer declared legally insane. 

However, it’s important to understand that no matter what the circumstances are, a car accident claim must be filed within ten years from the date of the accident. This is known as the statute of repose

Wrongful Death Cases

In cases where the car accident results in the death of a person, the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim is three years from the date of the person’s death. 

Claims Against Government Bodies

If your car accident claim involves a government entity, the procedure for filing the claim is rather different. In such cases, you need to provide the government entity with a written notice of your intent to file a claim against them. 

Additionally, the time limit for submitting these notices is significantly shorter compared to filing a regular claim – you only have 180 days from the date of the accident to do so.

Reporting the Accident to the DMV

Finally, it is important to note that Oregon law requires individuals involved in motor vehicle accidents to report the incident to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Within 72 hours of the accident, you must submit an Oregon Traffic Accident and Insurance Report with the DMV.

The Importance of Acting Quickly After an Accident

While two or three years sounds like a long time, there are several reasons why it’s important to act as quickly as possible after a car accident:

  • Evidence Preservation: The longer you wait, the more difficult it can become to gather crucial evidence to support your case. For example, surveillance footage from nearby businesses or traffic cameras will be lost or overwritten if not promptly obtained. Physical evidence from the accident scene may also deteriorate.
  • Witness Availability and Memory: Over time, witnesses may become unavailable, either due to relocation, death, or other circumstances. Their memory of the accident may also fade, making their testimony less reliable and valuable.

Navigating the legal landscape of car accident claims can be a complex task, especially given the varying time limits and deadlines in place. It is crucial that you, your loved ones, or anyone you know who has been involved in a car accident is well aware of the timelines and contacts a lawyer as soon as possible. 

Contact Our Car Accident Attorneys in Portland, OR – Tillmann Car Accident & Personal Injury Lawyer

If you were injured in an accident in Portland, OR, please contact our Portland car accident lawyers at Tillmann Car Accident & Personal Injury Lawyer to schedule a free consultation today.

Tillmann Car Accident & Personal Injury Lawyer
101 SW Main St. #1905
Portland, OR, 97204
(503) 773-3333

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