The Power of ORS 20.080 in Smaller Personal Injury Cases

Oregon_Car_Property_DamageORS 20.080 has always assisted injury victims in recovering from the at-fault party in smaller Oregon personal injury cases. Finally, after many years, the Oregon Legislature has increased the amount injured persons can claim under the statute from $5,500 to $7,500, effective January 1, 2010. That amount jumps up to $10,000 in 2012.

Under the new ORS 20.080, a personal injury claimant must make a written demand for damages, up to $7,500, on the at-fault person and the at-fault person’s insurance company, if known. The demand must cite to ORS 20.080, include proof of damages (i.e., medical records, medical expenses, bills, etc.), and provide the at-fault party thirty days to settle.

If after thirty days the person who caused the accident does not respond or refuses to settle, the personal injury claimant can file a lawsuit against the at-fault party. Then, if the injured person recovers anything (even one dollar), the at-fault party must pay the amount awarded by the arbitrator as well as the injured party’s court costs and attorney’s fees. If the at-fault party responds with an offer to settle that is less than what was demanded and the injured party files a lawsuit, the personal injury claimant must beat the offer at arbitration to receive his or her attorney’s fees.

It is the risk of having to pay the injured person’s court costs and attorney’s fees on top of the damage award that makes insurance companies and their insureds takes claims made under ORS 20.080 seriously. While ORS 20.080 applies to all torts, it is commonly used in motor vehicle accidents involving whiplash, soft tissue injuries, or property damage. Perhaps more importantly, ORS 20.080 gives personal injury attorneys an economic incentive to take on these smaller cases and provide representation to the injured victims.

If you were injured in any kind of accident, including a motor vehicle accident caused by another driver’s negligence, and received soft tissue injures or whiplash, your case might be perfect for ORS 20.080. You may have a better case than you realize!

How can you learn more about the Power of ORS 20.080 in Small Personal Injury Cases?

To learn more about using ORS 20.080 to achieve a better settlement in your personal injury case visit our ORS 20.080 and Small Personal Injury FAQs to find answers to the following questions:

  • How can Oregon law (ORS 20.080) help you settle a small personal injury claim?
  • What are the Benefits and Advantages of using ORS 20.080 to develop an effective settlement offer?
  • What are the steps involved in pursuing a “small claim” settlement using ORS 20.080?
  • What information is included in a “small claim” Demand Letter?
  • What happens after submitting a Demand Letter in a “Small Claim Case” under ORS 20.080?
  • What type of accidents or “Small Claim Cases” are good candidates for settlement using ORS 20.080?
  • What type of damages can I recover in my “Small Claim Case” using ORS 20.080?
  • Can I pursue making a settlement demand on my own using ORS 20.080 without a lawyer?
  • If I have received insurance benefits from PIP or my medical insurance provider, do I have to repay these monies from what I recover in my “small claim” settlement?

Even if you have a smaller case, you should speak with a lawyer to help you determine if you need an attorney. Because I work on contingency fee (meaning: I don’t get paid unless you do), I do not take cases unless I think we can win and I provide honest evaluations. My initial consultations are always free, so call (503) 444.2825, or email at

Travis Mayor, Oregon Personal Injury Attorney

Personal_Injury_Attorney_Travis_MayorI represent accident victims in the Portland Metropolitan Area, Multnomah, Clackamas and Washington Counties, and throughout the state of Oregon.  I provide this Blog as an educational and informational service for Oregon residents – it is not intended to be legal advice, as every case is unique and should be accurately evaluated.   If you or a family member have been in an accident and would like a FREE professional consultation with an attorney, call me at (503) 444-2825, or email at to learn more about your legal rights.

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