Understanding Oregon’s Modified Comparative Fault Law: Explained by Our Portland Trucking Accident Lawyer
One of the most common questions after any type of personal injury accident, whether it is a slip and fall, motor vehicle accident, or even a dog bite, is what if the victim was partially at fault. This is particularly true in trucking accidents where a person in a smaller vehicle may have collided with a truck that made a delayed lane change or is disabled on the side of the road. It is only natural to think that, as a victim, you may have been partially at fault for an accident. Some people think that they should be responsible for their own damages after they partially cause an accident or damage. While that is a nice gesture in some minor bumper taps, when a victim is permanently disabled due to the reckless, careless, and mostly negligent conduct of another person, victims and their families could be looking at hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars in expenses. Our Portland trucking accident lawyer explains how Oregon’s modified comparative negligence law works to allow victims who may be partially at fault to recover compensation.
What is Negligence?
Under Oregon law, negligence is the failure to behave with the level of care that someone of ordinary prudence would have exercised in similar circumstances. Essentially, negligence is the failure to take proper care in doing something to avoid unnecessary risk to others. Negligence is a main cause of action in almost every type of personal injury case, including a trucking accident.
What is Fault?
Under Oregon law, fault is the liability or culpability of a party. While that is usually straight forward in incidents such as someone who punches another person, in negligence cases that is not always so clear. In fact, fault can be a very complicated concept and is usually hotly contested. Fault is also usually not very clear in a motor vehicle accident or especially a slip and fall or trip and fall, because the actions of the victim may play a huge role in the accident.
How is Fault Considered under Oregon Law?
Each state has a different way of assessing fault. The two main types are contributory negligence and comparative negligence, which is also known as comparative fault. Contributory negligence is the concept where a victim who is partially at fault, even a little bit at fault, is barred from recovering compensation. Comparative fault is the concept where a victim who is partially at fault is allowed to collect compensation which is reduced by his or her proportion of fault. So if a victim is 10% at fault, the victim will have his or her award reduced by 10%.
Oregon is Modified Comparative Fault
Oregon is neither contributory and comparative fault. It is known as a modified comparative fault. This means that a victim will have his or her fault reduced by the proportion of fault, however, if the victim is more than 49% at fault, the victim is barred from collecting.
For example in an Oregon trucking accident:
- Victim recovers $100k and is 25% at fault, the award is reduced to 75%
- Victim recovers $100k and is 49% at fault, the victim can receive $51k.
- Victim recovers $100k and is 50% at fault, the award is zero.
Ask our Portland Trucking Accident Lawyer for Modified Comparative Fault Negligence Cases
Understanding Oregon’s modified comparative fault laws is an important part of protecting your rights to compensation. If you or a loved one have been seriously injured or killed as a result of a trucking accident or collision contact the Oregon Truck Accident Lawyers at Kuhlman Law at our number below or fill out the intake form. We offer a free initial case evaluation and handle cases on a contingency fee which means that you pay no money unless we recover.
Our law firm handles cases throughout the state including Bend and Portland Oregon, Redmond, Central Oregon, Sisters, Madras, Multnomah County, Deschutes County, Salem, Eugene, Corvallis, Lane County, Medford, Gresham, La Grande, Albany, Medford, Beaverton, Umatilla, Pendleton, Cottage Grove, Florence, Oregon City, Springfield, Keizer, Grants Pass, McMinnville, Tualatin, West Linn, Forest Grove, Wilsonville, Newberg, Roseburg, Lake Oswego, Klamath Falls, Happy Valley, Tigard, Ashland, Milwakie, Coos Bay, The Dalles, St. Helens, Sherwood, Central Point, Canby, Troutdale, Hermiston, Silverton, Hood River, Newport, Prineville, Astoria, Tillamook, Lincoln City, Hillsboro, and Vancouver, Washington.
We also have an office in Minneapolis, Minnesota and take Trucking accident cases throughout the Twin Cities, including St. Paul, Hennepin County, Ramsey County, Dakota County, Washington County, Anoka County, Scott County, Blaine, Stillwater, and Saint Paul Minnesota.
Please act quickly, there is a limited time (Statute of Limitations) in which you can bring a claim under the law.