November 26, 2022

Modified Comparative Fault In Oregon

Recover from Your Car Accident: How Oregon's Modified Comparative Fault Law Can Help

Have you been injured in a car accident in Oregon? You're not alone. In fact, car accidents are a leading cause of injury and death in every state. But if you've been injured through no fault of your own, you have the right to seek compensation for your losses.

Oregon is a modified comparative fault state, and it's very important to know what that means. Call us to get your questions answered in a free consult or read on to educate yourself.

Learn the facts. Learn your rights.

From Shared Fault to No Fault: Navigating the Shift from Contributory Negligence to Modified Comparative Fault

Car accidents can turn lives upside down in an instant, leaving victims with physical, emotional, and financial burdens. While the legal system strives to provide compensation for these losses, the path to recovery can be significantly impacted by the state's approach to fault. Traditionally, many states adhered to the principle of contributory negligence, where even a slight degree of fault on the part of the injured party could completely bar them from receiving any compensation. This harsh system often left victims without recourse, even if their injuries were severe and the other party was primarily responsible.

Fortunately, a growing number of states have transitioned to a more equitable system known as modified comparative fault. Under this system, even if an injured party shares some degree of fault for the accident, they can still recover damages, with the amount reduced proportionally to their percentage of fault. This means that even if you were partially at fault for a car accident, you can still receive compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Here's a table comparing the key differences between contributory negligence and modified comparative fault:

FeatureContributory NegligenceModified Comparative Fault
Fault ThresholdAny degree of fault bars recovery.Recovery allowed with up to 50% fault.
Damage ReductionNo reduction in damages.Damages reduced proportionally to fault.
FairnessCan be harsh and unfair, even if the other party was primarily at fault.Provides a more equitable approach, acknowledging that accidents can involve shared responsibility.
State AdoptionFewer states are adopting this system.More states are adopting this system, recognizing its fairness and benefits for injured victims.

The transition from contributory negligence to modified comparative fault is a positive step towards ensuring that victims of car accidents receive fair compensation for their losses. This allows them to focus on recovery and rebuilding their lives without the burden of insurmountable financial hardship. It also serves as a deterrent against reckless behavior by holding all parties accountable for their actions.

If you've been injured in a car accident, it's crucial to understand your state's fault system. Consulting with an experienced personal injury attorney can help you navigate the legal process and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. Remember, even if you believe you may share some fault for the accident, you still have rights and options. Don't hesitate to seek legal counsel and explore your options for recovery.

Oregon's modified comparative fault law

Oregon's modified comparative fault law allows you to recover damages even if you were partially at fault for the accident, as long as your fault doesn't exceed 51%. This means that even if you made a mistake, you're still entitled to compensation for your injuries.

Here's how it works:

  • A jury will determine the percentage of fault for each party involved in the accident.
  • If your fault is 50% or less, you can recover damages for your injuries, medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
  • However, your damages will be reduced by your percentage of fault. For example, if the jury awards you $100,000 in damages but finds you 20% at fault, you will only receive $80,000.

Oregon's modified comparative fault law is ORS 31.600 titled "Contributory negligence not bar to recovery".

Contributory Negligence: A Different Approach to Fault

While Oregon's modified comparative fault law provides a framework for recovering damages even with partial fault, some states still operate under the concept of contributory negligence.

What is contributory negligence?

Contributory negligence is a legal doctrine that bars a plaintiff from recovering any damages if they were even slightly at fault for the accident that caused their injuries. This means that even if the other party was 99% at fault, you would be denied any compensation if you were found to be even 1% at fault.

How does it differ from comparative fault?

Unlike comparative fault, where damages are reduced proportionally to the plaintiff's degree of fault, contributory negligence offers no such flexibility. Even a minor lapse in judgment can completely bar you from recovering any compensation, regardless of the severity of your injuries or the other party's negligence.

Why is it important to know?

Understanding the legal system governing your state is critical. It can also help to know how the legal system works in other states in case you have an accident there. If you've been injured in an accident and live in a state with contributory negligence, it's crucial to consult an attorney who can assess your case and advise you on the best course of action.

Examples of Contributory Negligence:

  • Distracted driving (texting, talking on the phone, etc.)
  • Speeding or reckless driving
  • Failing to obey traffic signals or signs
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs

States with Contributory Negligence:

  • Alabama
  • Maryland
  • North Carolina
  • Virginia
  • Washington D.C.

Why You Need an Experienced Oregon Personal Injury Attorney:

  • Navigating the legal system can be complex. 
    • An experienced attorney will know the ins and outs of Oregon's modified comparative fault law and how to apply it to your case.
  • Insurance companies are not on your side. 
    • They will try to minimize your payout or even deny your claim altogether. An attorney will fight for your rights and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.
  • The longer you wait to hire an attorney, the harder it will be to win your case. 
    • Evidence can disappear, and witnesses' memories can fade.

At Johnson Law, we have a proven track record of success in helping car accident victims recover the compensation they deserve. We understand the physical, emotional, and financial challenges you're facing, and we're committed to helping you get back on your feet.

Don't miss out on the compensation you deserve. Call Johnson Law today for a free consultation.

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(971) 205-3266
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