Oregon Tort Law Issues
The information below provides a brief summary overview of a few common personal injury law issues we routinely handle here at Graves & Swanson LLC.
Because tort law is very complicated and highly fact-specific, if you have questions about your particular situation, you may want to contact our offices to see about scheduling a consultation.
Accidental Injuries and Intentional Conduct
If you have suffered harm from an accident, collision, or unexpected injury, you may be dealing with a variety of different issues, such as medical bills, insurance premiums, pain and grief, disability, lost income, and more. An experienced attorney may be able to assist you in deciding whether or not you have a legal action underlying your injuries, and if so, what steps you might take to ensure your rights and interests are protected.
Similarly, if you have been the victim of an intentional tort – i.e., conduct perpetrated against you with the intent to harm you – an experienced attorney can help you determine what, if any, remedies exist for you to seek compensation and remuneration your injuries.
Types of Personal Injury
"Personal injury" is a broad term, and encompasses many different aspects of the law and different factual scenarios. Some of the common examples of subjects underlying personal injury or tort suits include:
Assault and Battery
Perhaps two of the most commonly known torts, assault and battery need little explanation. In plain English, battery generally consists of someone making an unwanted, harmful and/or offensive contact with your body or something connected to you, such as a punch, kick or shove. Assault, in contrast, is when someone threatens or tries to commit a battery upon you, and does so in a way that makes you fear battery is imminent – an example would be a person telegraphing a punch while yelling that they wanted to hurt you. If you believe you may have been the victim of an assault or battery, contact our offices to discuss possible options to help remedy your situation.
Automobile, bus, commercial trucking, motorcycle accidents and collisions can result in serious injury and harm. Such accidents may be the result of careless, reckless, distracted, or drunk drivers, or a consequence of factors outside of one’s control, such as weather, wind and rain. Regardless, if you have been injured in a car accident or any type of vehicle collision, a personal injury attorney can help you determine what, if any, options and remedies are available to you.
Cycling and Pedestrian Injuries
In a city such as Portland, bicycle and pedestrian accidents are an unfortunately frequent occurrence. Sometimes these accidents take the form of hit-and-run accidents, being injured by opening car doors, or other tragic collisions. Other times, the accident may be the result of an improperly managed roadway, sidewalk or street. An experienced attorney can help investigate and determine whether there may be a cause of action relevant to your bicycle or pedestrian accident.
Business torts are a unique type of tort claim, as they generally consist of injuries to a business rather than to an individual. These laws help provide remedies to individuals and business owners whose business relationships or other economic interests may have been harmed by the wrongful conduct or actions of another.
Such claims may include: Interference with Contractual Relations, Interference with Prospective Business Advantage, and/or Theft of Trade Secrets.
Defamation, Libel & Slander
In cases of defamation, libel or slander, the wronged individual must generally prove that another person “published” (spoke or wrote) a statement that damaged or diminished the wronged party’s personal or professional reputation. If you feel that you have been harmed by false or misleading statements, our office can help determine if there is a basis for a defamation or libel action to assist you in asserting your rights and protecting your interests.
Domestic violence may involve any number of different torts and personal injury claims, including intentional infliction of emotional distress, fraud and financial abuse, and battery or assault. Because the practice of personal injury in domestic violence situations so often overlaps with domestic relations law, for more information please see our Family Law and Domestic Violence practice area pages.
Definitions of elder abuse vary, but it generally consists of taking advantage – either emotionally, financially, or physically – of a vulnerable adult. This may take the form of neglect, fraud, financial exploitation, or physical or emotional abuse. If you fear that your loved one may be suffering elder abuse, contact our office to discuss your personal situation and possible options.
Sexual abuse, sexual assault, rape, molestation, and sexual battery are tortious acts. Victims of sexual violence may suffer from a variety of harms and costs as a consequence of the abuse, including psychological or emotional distress, pain and suffering, lost wages, counseling expenses, and more. Personal injury actions can help make a victim whole by providing compensation for their injuries, holding the perpetrator or institution responsible for the harm accountable for their intentional or negligent acts, and validating the survivor's experience.
If you or someone you know would like to talk to an attorney to discuss what options may be available to you, please contact our offices. For more information on how the civil justice system can help survivors of sexual violence, please view our Victim Rights Law and Sexual Violence practice area pages.
To establish a claim of fraud, an individual must generally prove that another person intentionally misrepresented a material fact, and that the individual relied on that misrepresentation and was thereafter harmed by it. Common examples of fraud claims may include a seller misrepresenting the quality or condition of a home or automobile, which the buyer then relies upon, only to find out later that the home is infested with termites or the car is a lemon. If believe that you have been deceived by a person or by an unfair practice, contact our office to help assert your rights.
Invasion of Privacy
Invasion of privacy claims are actually several separate torts joined under an umbrella category. These torts – which existed at common law – allow injured parties to bring suit against individuals who intruded into their private affairs, published private information without their consent, or used his or her name or likeness for personal gain. If you feel you have been the victim of an invasion of privacy, contact our offices to discuss your situation and potential options.
Premises liability cases cover a wide range of different personal injury claims, including slip and fall cases, unsafe construction zones, buildings or spaces, safety violations, defective conditions or other hazards. If you have been injured on someone else’s personal or commercial property, contact our office to help evaluate any claim you may have against the landowner, manager, or landlord.
Wrongful deaths can have tragic long-term impacts on surviving family members. Surviving family members affected by a loved one’s wrongful death may not realize the extent of their legal rights and options. If you are struggling with the death of a loved one and feel there is more that should be done to enforce your rights, contact our office and we will gladly advise you of possible options or steps you can take.
Time is of the Essence
It is important to remember that many personal injury claims have very strict time limitations – or statutes of limitation – within which a suit or action must be brought. For example, in Oregon, the statute of limitations for battery is two years. For this reason, it is important to contact an attorney as soon as you realize you may have a claim, that way you can best ensure preservation of any causes of action you might have.