OREGON PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY
Mr. O'Rourke is an experienced Oregon Personal Injury Lawyer and experience makes a difference.
Mr. O'Rourke has practiced law as a Personal Injury Attorney in Oregon and has represented persons in personal injury cases in Oregon since 1978.
Mr. O'Rourke represents people in all types of vehicle and automobile accident, animal attack and premises liability cases, including slip and fall cases and cases involving defects and hazardous conditions in buildings, houses and properties which cause injuries in Oregon..
Mr. O'Rourke gets good results for his personal injury clients in Oregon and they appreciate the way he represents them.
Oregon is the ninth largest state in the Union. The current population is 3.7 million people. The largest cities in Oregon are Portland, Eugene, Salem, Gresham, Hillsboro and Beaverton. The population is centered primarily in the Willamette Valley from Portland southward to Eugene.
Mr. O'Rourke has practiced law as a Oregon Injury Lawyer since 1978.
THE OREGON COURT SYSTEM
All courts throughout the State of Oregon are required to follow the Oregon Revised Statutes including The Uniform Trial Court Rules and the Oregon Rules Of Civil Procedure, and the Oregon Evidence Code. These rules generally govern personal injury and wrongful death case litigation.
Each Oregon county also enacts its own Supplementary Local Rules which provide for how that county will manage personal injury cases. The main differences between the Counties' Supplementary Local Rules which affect personal injury lawsuits are the rules relating to Mediation, Arbitration, Judicial Settlement Conferences and the setting of trials and assignment of trials to particular judges.
All Oregon Personal Injury Lawyers need to know these rules and how to use them to assert and protect the rights of their clients.
OREGON PERSONAL INJURY LAWS
MODIFIED COMPARATIVE FAULT
Under the traditional Common Law, the claim of any potential claimant was barred if that person was even partially at fault for their own injury, regardless of whether another person was primarily caused the injury. This was known as the concept of Contributory Negligence. The Oregon legislature, feeling this resulted in too-harsh outcomes, has adopted a "Modified Comparative Fault" system for determining liability. ORS 31.600
In Oregon, a person is still entitled to recover damages against an at-fault party if the person is no more than 50% at fault themself. The amount of comparative fault does not bar recovery, but does reduce the amount of the recovery by the injured person's percentage of faults. For example, if a person is injured by someone else, but is themself 15% responsible, their total damage award is reduced by 15%. If the person is 50% or more at fault, the claim is barred by statute, the person cannot recover any damages. The effect of the Oregon scheme is to allow recovery of damages where the injury is primarily the other person's fault.
Here is a practical example. Say a person is turning onto a street from a parking lot and is struck by an oncoming vehicle and causing injuries to both drivers. Technically, the oncoming vehicle has the right of way and the person in the vehicle entering the roadway will be deemed at fault for the accident and the driver of the oncoming vehicle could recover full damages from the other party. However, if the oncoming vehicle was speeding, partially contributing to the accident, the driver of the oncoming vehicle would have his damages reduced by his percentage of fault. In a trial, these percentages are determined by a jury.
TIME TO BRING ACTIONS - STATUTES OF LIMITATIONS
There are various limitations and conditions which govern the right to file a claim in Oregon. Most well know are the Statute Of Limitations regrading time to file a lawsuit. There are different time periods for different types of claims. Each claim has to be analyzed individually to determine the time limitations and other requirements for file the claim. Consult with an experienced Oregon personal injury attorney to avoid losing your right to assert your claim due to the passage of time.
GETTING A TRIAL DATE IN OREGON
Oregon is one of many jurisdictions nationally that tries to in get cases to trial on a "fast track". While many states throughout the country are experiencing record case backlogs, often taking years from time of filing to get a case to trial, The Oregon Supreme court has acted to push its state courts to get cases tried or otherwise resolved within 12 months, one of the fastest dockets in the country. While this has obvious advantages for parties to a lawsuit, it makes familiarity with Oregon state statutes, procedures and court ruled even more crucial for lawyers representing clients in Oregon.
Most Oregon personal injury cases are tried to the Jury. There are 12 Jurors. In the majority of personal injury cases in Oregon, the Jurors decide issues of fault and damages.
Oregon is a geographically large state with a diverse population and the makeup of juries reflect those differences. The counties around Portland, Oregon's largest city, are heavily populated and tend to be urban. Jurors in these counties tend to be somewhat liberal and favorable to plaintiff's making claims.
South of Portland, down the Willamette Valley, communities are largely centered around agriculture and government, though more and more locally urban with addition of hi-tech industries. These counties tend to produce generally moderate jurors, slightly more skeptical than those in Portland .
Oregon's coastal communities are largely tourism-dependant these days, as traditional industries of fishing and timber have declined in tough times. It's communities, along with those of the Cascade mountain range and Eastern Oregon's high deserts, tend to produce Oregon's most conservative jurors.
It is important for personal injury lawyers representing clients in Oregon to be familiar with the Juries who will be deciding their clients cases throughout the state.
For a free consultation with a Gresham Personal Injury Attorney call 503-667-8437
The materials included on this web site are intended to be for general information purposes only. Such materials do not constitute legal advice and must not be relied upon by the reader thereof as legal advice. The publication of the materials on this web site is not intended to create a lawyer client relationship between the reader thereof and James F. O'Rourke, Jr. & Associates. The materials contained on this web site are not intended to substitute for obtaining legal advice specific to the facts and circumstances of your particular case or claim. Nothing in this web site should be taken or construed as a promise or guarantee of any particular result in any case. This web site may be considered Advertising under the Oregon State Bar Rules.
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