Portland Personal Injury Lawyer
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Understanding the Negligence Laws in Oregon

As you may know, you have the right to pursue damages in the event that you are injured by the negligent, reckless or careless actions of another person. You must only need to show that the other party had a responsibility to uphold a duty of care and that their failure to do so has subsequently resulted in your harm. What happens, however, when you have contributed to the cause of your own injuries? Well, the state of Oregon follows a system of modified comparative negligence with a 51% rule—meaning that a wrongfully injured victim can still recover damages if they have inadvertently contributed to their own harm.

For example, the victim of a DUI-related car accident can choose to pursue a personal injury lawsuit even if they were partially at fault for causing the collision. Whether or not the plaintiff will be able to recover compensation is up to the jury, however, as they have the responsibility of determining who was at fault—and to what degree. The modified comparative negligence system only allows a victim to recover damages in the event that they are less than 50% at fault for causing the accident in which they were injured, which is where the 51% rule comes into play. If the jury finds them to be more than 51% at fault, they will be entitled to nothing.

As long as their level of responsibility remains under this designated number, they will still be able to recover compensation. It will, however, be reduced according to their own degree of fault. For example, you would only be awarded $8,000 of an original $10,000 in damages if you were deemed to be 20% responsible. Although this system can still work out favorably for those who have been negligently injured, it can also prove to be a slippery slope. A plaintiff may put themselves at risk of a countersuit if the jury finds them to be more than 51% responsible for causing the accident in which they, and the defendant, were injured.

For this reason, it is highly recommended that you consult with a Portland personal injury attorney at the Law Offices of Timothy Grabe before taking any action. In doing so, you can ensure that your case will stand up against the accusations of your opponent and that you will have a good chance of successfully securing compensation. To learn more about how our firm can help, simply pick up the phone and give us a call at (503) 825-2115. Your initial consultation is free, so do not hesitate to get started as soon as possible. Additionally, you can contact our legal team online by submitting a free case evaluation form directly from our website.