A claim for injury in Oregon or Washington requires that you first prove fault, or liability. Sometimes this is not an issue, and other times it is."Fault" or "liability" are pretty much interchangeable terms, and simply refer to who made the mistake. There are a variety of ways to prove that someone was at fault.
You may be able to show that the responsible party violated a statute or rule that was designed to prevent injury. You may even be able show fault if someone failed to follow a recommended standard or practice.
Sometimes, the person who caused the injury may be responsible because of their relationship to you is one that demands special attention. A doctor and a patient have a "special" relationship, as do an attorney and a client.
Sometimes a person's legal status may determine how much a person has to do to prevent an injury. For example, if you are visiting a store as a potential customer, and you are injured because of the storekeeper is careless or makes a mistake, that store keeper may be responsible because you are a customer, and the store keeper benefits from you being in the store. But if you are not invited to be on another's property, you are a trespasser, and the store keeper or landowner does not owe you the same level of care.
Finally, there may be no rule, status, or relationship that defines a person's responsibility to be safe. It may just be that a person does something careless, even stupid, that they know could hurt somebody. Although it might seem like it sometimes, there is not a rule or law that covers every possible way a person may act carelessly, or even stupidly, and hurt someone. This option of proving someone is responsible for another's injury is there for those cases.
Sometimes, there is a lot that goes into proving someone is responsible for your injury. It can take a thorough investigation, and even after all the stones are turned over, you may find that you do not have a claim against the person that caused your injury.
If you are injured, and you think someone should be held accountable, but are not sure, call us at 503 325 8600. We may be able to help you right away, or may recommend that you go deeper. Either way, its good to know where you stand.