Timeline of an Oregon Personal Injury Lawsuit

If you are in Oregon and are considering filing a personal injury lawsuit, your hope is to be awarded fair compensation for the damages you incurred so that you can recover your losses. To recover compensation, your personal injury attorney will guide you each step of the way as you demonstrate how the at-fault party caused your injuries.

Personal injury lawsuits in Portland can be quite involved and are not resolved overnight. Some take a year or even longer to be decided. The process of recovering your deserved compensation can be a prolonged one.

Steps to Take Following an Injury

The initial step following an accident is seeking medical help. This will treat your injuries, prevent them from worsening, and potentially catch any injuries that would otherwise be missed. Other than caring for your physical condition, it will also provide a paper trail in case your case goes to court. This evidence can be very helpful in showing your condition, its severity, and the treatment options you were given.

Even if you do not feel like you sustained injuries, let a medical professional examine you anyway. Many times, there are injuries that are not evident at first glance, and these can cause you harm later. If they go unrecorded and later become problematic, it could cast doubt on any future lawsuit you try to pursue.

Once you have seen a doctor and are treated for your injuries, it is time to speak with an attorney. An Oregon personal injury lawyer will review your claim and go over the legal options with you. If your case has merit, and they believe it is a case they can win for you, they will take you on as a client.

Maximum Medical Improvement

Depending on the severity of your injuries, it is bound to take some time to heal. After your consultation with a personal injury attorney, you will be advised to wait until you reach maximum medical improvement (MMI). Maximum medical improvement (MMI) is reached when the condition you or your loved one is dealing with has reached a point at which you cannot expect further improvement.

MMI could also be defined as a time when a person has reached a plateau in their treatment. Hopefully, this means the patient has made a full recovery from their injury. However, it could also mean that the injury has been treated and stabilized to a degree that they do not expect further major medical or emotional changes. Once the MMI stage is reached, no further improvement is considered a possibility, even if the patient continues with medical treatments and therapies.

MMI can be applicable in a number of cases, such as personal injury lawsuits and workers’ compensation cases. Once the MMI has been determined, the injury victim’s case can proceed with information about how much impairment they will be left to deal with going forward. The amount of benefits awarded to a worker will be impacted by the degree of permanent or partial impairment they sustained.

At this point in the process, MMI will mean that there are no more treatment options that will be offered. Termination of temporary disability payments should be expected as a settlement is reached in regard to the worker’s condition. Your personal injury or workers’ compensation lawyer will file a claim on your behalf once this stage is reached since you will have a more clear picture of the demands you should make.

Examination of the Case in Order to Make Appropriate Demands

During your recovery phase, your personal injury lawyer will review your case and conduct a thorough investigation into what happened to you. By evaluating the available evidence and uncovering further evidence, your attorney can compile an estimate of the damages you sustained.

This will help them assemble an initial demand package to present to the at-fault party. This correspondence will make clear the details of your claim, including the compensation you are seeking. The at-fault party will then be informed of your intention to file a lawsuit against them.

Negotiations Begin

The at-fault party has the option to speak to you with your attorney in an effort to negotiate a settlement agreement. If they come to the table with genuinely realistic expectations, you may be able to negotiate a successful agreement at this stage and avoid a lengthy litigation process. If negotiations do not provide the compensation required, the lawsuit will begin, and the litigation phase will begin.

Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit

If negotiations are not productive, your personal injury attorney will file a lawsuit with the civil court of Oregon. Once the suit has been filed, you will enter the discovery phase. The discovery phase means that documents, evidence, and requests for information will be exchanged.

Depositions will be taken at this stage, and all relevant parties and any witnesses will be included. Depending on how complicated your lawsuit is, discovery may take from six months to a year to complete.

Pretrial Negotiations

Leading up to the trial, you have the opportunity to negotiate a settlement with the at-fault party. This could mean more negotiations, similar to how they were held before the lawsuit was filed. There is also an opportunity to try mediation. If these methods produce a suitable settlement that you find acceptable, you can avoid trial. You will be given the agreed-upon settlement. If discussions are unsuccessful, you will typically proceed to trial.

Going to Trial

The case will go before the court after unsuccessful negotiations and mediation attempts. There, the court will listen to the details of the case and hear arguments from both sides. The timeline for this process will depend on how complex the details of your case are.

The trial process can last a day or can be much lengthier, taking weeks or longer to decide. Once the trial concludes, the court will determine whether compensation is appropriate. If it is determined you should be awarded compensation, the court will decide how much would be appropriate.

Contact Paulson Coletti Trial Attorneys PC, Today

If you have been the victim of a personal injury in the state of Oregon, a personal injury lawyer with Paulson Coletti Trial Attorneys PC can help. Our attorneys are skilled negotiators and talented trial attorneys as well. Contact us today to discuss your case.