If you have been injured in an auto collision in Oregon or Washington, you may make a claim for your losses, also known as "damages." In each state, the statutes assign specific names to the kind of "damages" that you can claim.
With an injury claim in Oregon, you can make a claim for "economic damages." These are the kind of losses that can be verified with some document, like a medical bill or wage stubs. The key to proving an economic loss is linking it to the injuries caused in the auto collision. For example, if you were injured in a collision, and required physical therapy, you must show that the need for the physical therapy is a result of the injuries from the auto collision. You also need to show that the treatment was necessary, and that the charge for the treatment was reasonable.
Economic damages are not limited to your past medical expenses or lost wages. In some cases, you may have a claim for future medical expenses and future lost income. Claims for future losses often require strong proof, and sometimes you may need to help of an expert witness to document and verify the need for future medical treatment or disability.
If you have a claim in Washington for an auto injury, you can make the same claim, but the damages in Washington are known as "special" damages. Again, these are the kind of damages that you can claim for things that are verifiable, like medical expenses and lost wages.
The other kind of lost that you can claim is known as "non-economic" damages in Oregon, and "general" damages in Washington. These damages are intended to compensate an injured person for the loss of their health, which includes pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of ability, and all the other things that go along with being injured. The amount of not economic damages you may claim depends upon the severity of the injury, and its long-term consequences.
If you have a auto injury or any kind of injury claim in Oregon or Washington, and have questions, call us at 503-325-8600. We can explain how the process works, and let you know where you stand.