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What Are Non-Economic Damages in Oregon?

What Are Non-Economic Damages in Oregon?

Most people understand they recover compensation for their medical bills and lost wages after an accident. These economic damages are easy to wrap your head around.

People might not understand that they can also recover money for their non-economic damages after an accident. These damages are more personal than financial, but they are no less real than economic losses.

Our Portland personal injury lawyers explore the topic of non-economic damages in this article.

Understanding Non-Economic Damages in Oregon

In Oregon, injury victims can typically recover two types of damages after an accident:

  • Economic damages – to cover financial losses like medical bills, lost income, and property damage.
  • Non-economic damages – to cover non-monetary losses like pain and suffering.

Economic damages are easy to quantify. They typically come with receipts, invoices, or bills that detail the nature of a loss.

Non-economic damages are harder to calculate. However, they can make up a substantial part of your compensation award. These losses do not have a specific monetary value. They are personal in nature. They recognize that personal injury damages can have physical, emotional, and psychological costs, as well as financial costs.

Common Types of Non-Economic Damages in the State of Oregon

There are many different types of non-economic damages in Oregon injury cases. We discuss the most common non-economic losses below. 

Pain and Suffering

Serious injuries can cause serious, debilitating pain. This pain can affect a victim’s work, relationships, and other aspects of daily life. Non-economic damages allow victims to recover money for the pain and suffering they’ve endured after an accident.

Emotional Distress

An accident can cause severe emotional distress to a victim. They might feel anguish about their injuries. They might also feel distressed by memories of the accident. Emotional distress makes up an important category of non-economic damages.

Scarring and Disfigurement

Some accidents like car accidents and construction accidents can cause disfiguring injuries. This scarring and disfigurement can cause emotional trauma and embarrassment for victims. Injury victims can recover money for this non-economic loss.

Loss of Enjoyment of Life

Serious accidents like truck crashes can have many negative impacts on one’s life. The injuries may prevent them from participating in hobbies or doing other things they used to do. In fact, a victim’s injuries can even reduce their quality and enjoyment of life. 

Loss of Consortium

Loss of consortium is a non-economic damage experienced by a victim’s spouse. A victim’s injuries may impact their ability to provide love and support to their spouse and children. The injuries could also prevent barriers to intimacy.

How Do Courts Determine the Amount of Non-Economic Damages to Award a Victim? 

As mentioned above, non-economic damages can be hard to quantify. These losses don’t come with bills or invoices. However, courts and insurance companies have come up with ways to determine the amount of non-economic damages an injury victim should receive. 

Many courts use the “multiplier method” to arrive at a value for non-economic losses. With this method, courts assign a number to a case between 1.5 and 5. The higher the number, the more serious the injuries. 

Courts will then multiply a victim’s economic damage by this number. For example, if a victim has $100,000 in economic damages and a 2x multiplier. They would have $200,000 in non-economic damages. 

There are other ways to evaluate the non-economic damages in your case. The best way to determine the value of your case is by speaking to an experienced injury lawyer. Your lawyer can help you calculate your losses and bring in experts to estimate harder-to-value damages.

Does Oregon Cap Non-Economic Awards in Personal Injury Cases?

Economic damages are completely uncapped in Oregon. However, Oregon law caps non-economic damages to $500,000 in some personal injury claims. The Oregon Supreme Court has held that this cap is unconstitutional when applied to common-law injury claims. A skilled personal injury lawyer can help you determine if a cap would apply to your case.

What is the Deadline for Claiming Non-Economic Damages in Oregon?

Oregon’s statute of limitations places a time limit on your ability to file a claim after an accident. Generally, you will have two years after an accident to file a lawsuit to recover non-economic damages. Wrongful death claims have a three-year time limit. 

If you don’t file your claim by the deadline, you will be unable to pursue your claim in court. That’s why you should never delay your personal injury claim. You should get started as soon as possible.

Contact Tillmann Law For Help With Your Personal Injury Case

You could be entitled to economic and non-economic damages after an accident in Portland. Having the right legal team can make a world of difference in your case. The personal injury attorneys in Portland at Tillmann Car Accident & Personal Injury Lawyer can help you maximize your compensation.

Contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your case by calling (503) 773-3333.

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