Time Limits: Oregon and Washington Injury Claims

Every state sets a time limit to have your injury claim filed in court, or resolved by settlement. Often times, the ultimate time limit in settling or filing your cases referred to as the "statute of limitations." Lawyers also like to call these time limits "limitations on actions."  Time limits can be a tricky business, and in some cases, there may be more than one time limit for a single claim.

Oregon Time Limits

Generally, Oregon requires that you have your injury claim settled by negotiation or filed in court within two years of the date of your injury. Sometimes, people may not realize that they actually have a claim until several months, or even years after the careless or negligent act. In these kinds of cases, the time limit will begin to run once the injured person discovers that they actually have a claim. This is often referred to as the "discovery rule."

Some cases have more than one time limit. For example, if you are making a claim against  a state or local agency in Oregon, then you must give a tort claim notice under the Oregon Tort Claims Act.   The notice must specify the time, place and circumstances surrounding the claim, and  must be sent to the appropriate agency in writing. This allows the government agency to investigate the claim, and resolve it if necessary.   You still may be able to bring a claim if the state agency was aware of the fact that a claim was being made before the  tort claim notice limit expires. However, it is always best to make sure you put your claim in writing to avoid any problems later on.

In Oregon, the time limit  for  submitting a notice of tort claim is 180 days from the date of your injury. In a wrongful death claim, the time limit is one year from the date of injury. These time limits may be extended by the discovery rule, which we discussed above, or if the injured party as a child.

Some claims involving injury have a shorter time limit. For example, there are statutes that allow claims against landlords, and unlawful trade practice claims against business owners. These claims have a shorter time limit.

Any lawyer he talks about time limits is going to make a "disclaimer." This means that he should not consider this short article to be a comprehensive evaluation of time time limits. Every case is different, and if you have any doubts, you should contact somebody as soon as possible to make sure you're protecting your rights.

If you are looking at a claim against the government agents, this article discusses the process of making a tort claim in Oregon.

Washington Time Limits

Washington also has its own set of rules governing time limits. Generally, for a negligence claim, you must have your case resolved or filed within three years from the date of the injury.

Washington also has its own tort claims act that sets out time limits and requirements for submission of a notice of tort claim. Generally, you have more time in Washington to make a tort claim against a government agency. However, you have to submit a lot more documentation than what is required in in Oregon. Washington also has its own agency dedicated to processing claims against the state government.

Getting an Extension on Time Limits

In some cases, the person making the claim, and the person responding to it may agree to extend the time of. However, this should be avoided generally, and may not be available and all kinds of claims.

There are also some rules and statutes that well "toll" a statute of limitation or time limit. "Tolling" is like a "time out." The running of the time limit stops until certain things happen.

The most important thing we discussed with our potential clients are time limits, but only after we learn about our client's story, the kind of case they are facing.