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Statute of Limitations on Construction Accident Claims in Oregon

Posted on March 28, 2022 in

Construction accidents can happen at any time. These work sites can be very dangerous without proper safety precautions and protocol. Even with protections in place, accidents can happen, leading to serious injuries for Oregon workers.

If you are injured in a construction accident, you may be eligible for financial compensation through a workers’ compensation claim or third-party lawsuit. However, you will need to file your claim within the appropriate deadline to recover a settlement or benefits. For lawsuits, this deadline is known as the statute of limitations.  

Legal Options for Injured Construction Workers

After a construction accident, you can choose to pursue a workers’ compensation claim under your employers’ insurance, or a third-party lawsuit. 

Most Oregon employers are required to carry workers’ compensation coverage, which provides benefits to employees who are injured on the job. Unless your employer does not carry this coverage, you cannot pursue a lawsuit against him or her. 

You could file a lawsuit if a third party is responsible for your injuries. For example, say that a delivery driver visits your construction site and strikes you with his or her vehicle. In this situation, you could file a lawsuit against the delivery driver. If you are injured by a piece of defective equipment, you could hold the manufacturer accountable in a product liability lawsuit.

Time Limits for Oregon Construction Accident Lawsuits

All states have laws on how long plaintiffs have to file civil lawsuits. Different types of lawsuits usually have different deadlines. If you do not file your lawsuit within the appropriate time frame, the court will likely dismiss your case. 

In Oregon, the statute of limitations for construction accidents is as follows.

  • Personal Injury Lawsuits: If you are pursuing a personal injury lawsuit, you have two years from the date of your construction accident to file your claim. 
  • Product Liability Claims: If you are pursuing a product liability lawsuit, you have two years from the date of your accident to file. However, you cannot file your claim more than ten years from the date that the product was purchased. 
  • Wrongful Death Claims: If you lost a loved one in a construction accident, you could file a wrongful death lawsuit on his or her behalf. In these cases, you must file your lawsuit within three years of your loved one’s death. 

Is There a Statute of Limitations for Workers’ Compensation Claims?

Workers’ compensation claims do not fall under Oregon’s statute of limitations rules. Instead, these claims follow a different process with several important steps. You, your employer, and even your physician will need to meet the following deadlines.

  • You must notify your employer of your construction accident as soon as possible. If you do not provide notice within 90 days, you will not be able to file a claim.
  • The doctor who examines your injury must complete Form 827 and send it to your employer or workers’ compensation insurer within three days. 
  • Your employer must report your workplace injury to the workers’ compensation insurer within five days of learning about your claim. Your employer must also accept or deny your claim within 60 days of receiving notice 

Whether you are filing a workers’ compensation claim or a third-party lawsuit, you need an attorney on your side. A construction accident lawyer in Portland can carefully evaluate your case and strategize your optimal path to recovery. 

Contact an attorney as soon as possible following your accident to discuss your next steps.