Personal Injury Claim Against the State in Oregon

Personal injury claims arise anytime someone is harmed due to the careless or negligent actions of another individual or entity. Individuals can also file a personal injury claim against a government entity, but they are a little bit more challenging. Typically, the government does have some form of immunity against lawsuits, but they also usually waive that immunity in certain circumstances. However, there are strict requirements in place for filing lawsuits against the state and other government entities.

Understanding the Oregon Tort Claims Act (Oregon Tort Claims Act)

The Oregon Tort Claims Act is a law passed by the state that waives sovereign immunity, which allows itself to be sued if an employee or agent of the state causes harm to another individual due to their negligence (Oregon Revised Statutes sections 30.260 through 30.300. Section 30.265). There are various types of situations where a personal injury lawsuit against a government entity in Oregon will be appropriate, including the following:

  • Vehicle accidents
  • Slip and fall incidents
  • Injuries caused by negligent security
  • Medical negligence or malpractice
  • Wrongful death

It is crucial to point out that the Oregon Tort Claims Act does not apply in instances where a government employee causes intentional harm to another individual. In these cases, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit directly against the private individual for them causing you harm.

The Oregon Tort Claims Act allows individuals to file lawsuits against the Oregon State government as well as county and municipal governments and their agents.

In order to file a claim against a government entity in Oregon, you must file the claim within 180 days. If the claim involves wrongful death, it must be filed within one year from the date of death.

Standard personal injury procedures will apply for claims against the government entities. For example, Oregon operates under a “modified comparative negligence” system, which means individuals may receive reduced compensation if they are partially at fault for the incident. First, any person who is 51% or more responsible for their injury will be unable to recover compensation. If a person is less than 51% responsible, they will receive reduced compensation based on their percentage of fault.

The total amount of compensation available for claims under the Oregon Tort Claims Act is limited (the amount available each year is published by the Office of the State Court Administrator (OSCA) in Oregon). There are various caps (limitations) in place for how much a person can recover, and the caps for claims against local governments are lower than claims against the state government.

Working With a Lawyer

Any person who has been injured as a result of the careless or negligent actions of a government entity or government employee in Oregon should contact an attorney immediately. These claims can be incredibly challenging, but an attorney will work diligently to uncover the evidence needed to prove liability. Your Portland personal injury lawyer will stand up to government entity legal teams and insurance carriers to help recover the compensation you are entitled to.