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Statutes of Limitation

This article is a brief summary of various statutes of limitation for claims in Oregon. A statute of limitation is a legal time bar within which a claim must be made. For example, Oregon has a two (2) year statute of limitation for personal injury claims. Therefore, you have two years from the date of injury to either settle your personal injury claim or file a lawsuit against the at-fault party whose negligence caused your injury. If you fail to either settle your personal injury claim or file a lawsuit within two years of the injury then you will be forever barred from bringing a claim or collecting for your injury. For obvious reasons, it is extremely important to know the statute of limitation that applies to your claim. Be advised that this article is a summary only and does not contain all statutes of limitation for all claims. Further, statutes of limitation can be shorter or longer depending upon the specific claim and the factual circumstance surrounding the claim. As always, you should consult with a competent attorney to ensure that you do not miss the correct statute of limitation for your claim.

PERSONAL INJURY.

Generally, personal injury claims have a two (2) year statute of limitation.

WRONGFUL DEATH.
Generally, an action for wrongful death must be commenced within three (3) years of the date the injury causing death is discovered or reasonably should have been discovered. In any event, an action for wrongful death must be commenced no later than 3 years after the death of the decedent.

UM (Uninsured Motorist) CLAIMS.
A person who has suffered personal injury or wrongful death at the hands of an uninsured motorist must do one of the following within two (2) years from the date of the accident in order to recover under that person’s uninsured motorist insurance coverage: (1) settle the uninsured motorist claim with the insurance carrier; (2) institute an arbitration proceeding with the insurance carrier; (3) file a lawsuit against the insurance carrier; or (4) file a personal injury or wrongful death claim against the uninsured motorist and within two years from the date of settlement with the uninsured motorist or final judgment against the uninsured motorist, the injured party must formally institute arbitration proceedings or file a lawsuit against the uninsured motorist insurer.

ASSAULT AND BATTERY.
An action for assault and battery must be commenced within two (2) years after the cause of action arises.

BREACH OF CONTRACT.
A claim for breach of either an express or implied contract must generally be commenced within six (6) years after the cause of action accrued. An exception to the rule applies in causes where there has been a fraudulent concealment. In fraudulent concealment cases, the statute of limitations does not begin to accrue until the plaintiff discovers, or reasonably should have discovered, the breach of contract.

CONVERSION (Civil Theft).
An action for conversion must be filed within six (6) years after injury. Injury occurs at the time of the conversion. Conversion occurs when a party intentionally exercises control over another’s property in a manner that seriously interferes with the owner’s right to control the property. FRAUD. An action based on fraud or deceit must be commenced within two (2) years after discovery of the fraud or deceit.

LANDLORD-TENANT.
Generally, an action arising under the landlord-tenant law must be commenced within one (1) year.

LEGAL MALPRACTICE.
Actions for legal malpractice must be commenced within two (2) years from the date the cause of action accrues. The cause of action accrues when the harm occurs and it is reasonably probably that the damage complained of was caused by the lawyer’s negligence.

MEDICAL MALPRACTICE.
An action for medical malpractice must be commenced within two (2) years from the date of injury or from when the injury is first discovered or reasonably should have been discovered.

REOPENING AN ESTATE.
An estate can be reopened to admit a will to probate within one (1) year after the estate has been administered in Oregon and closed. The court can reopen the estate at any time to administer newly discovered property.

CLAIMS AGAINST AN ESTATE.

If the statute of limitations has not expired on a claim against an individual on the date that individual dies, the time for filing an action against the individual’s estate will be extended for one (1) year after the date of death.

WAGE CLAIMS.
An action based upon an employment contract must be commenced within six (6) years from the date the wages became due. All other wage actions, including actions for minimum wage, overtime, premium pay, or penalties must be commenced within two (2) years.

OR TORT CLAIMS ACT.
A person with a claim against a public body (i.e. Oregon government agency) must give written a notice of the claim within 180 days from the date the injury, claim, action, or omission occurred. The 180 days does not begin to run until the injured party had reasonable opportunity to discover the injury and identify the responsible party. To be timely, the written notice must actually be received by the government body within 180 days. A notice of claim for wrongful death against a public body must be given within one (1) year after the injury that caused the death.

INTENTIONAL INTERFERENCE WITH A CONTRACTUAL RELATIONSHIP.
An action for interference with a contractual or economic relationship must be commenced within two (2) years from the date the damages actually accrue.

JUDGMENT.
A judgment expires ten (10) years after the judgment is recorded, except for judgments for child support and those arising from criminal actions. The judgment may be extended for ten (10) additional years.

DEFAULT JUDGMENT.
A party seeking a default judgment must serve the party against whom a default is sought with written notice at least ten days before seeking a default judgment. A party seeking to set aside a default judgment must file a motion within one (1) year from entry of the default judgment.

COMPUTATION OF TIME.
The last day of the applicable statute of limitations shall fall on the next business day whenever it falls on a weekend of legal holiday.

Article by Keith R. Shepherd

This article has been prepared by attorney Keith R. Shepherd as means to provide general information regarding personal injury and/or wrongful death claims. Each case should be evaluated individually on its merits by a competent attorney, and in no way should these articles be construed as specific legal advice or as the basis for the formation of a legal relationship with White & Shepherd, LLP. For a free consultation regarding your case, please email Keith R. Shepherd at Keith@lawfirmws.com or call 503-922-2028.

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At White & Shepherd, LLP, we work with clients throughout Oregon, including in Portland, Beaverton, Hillsboro, Lake Oswego, Tigard, Forest Grove, Gresham, Milwaukie, Oregon City, Tualatin, West Linn and Wilsonville, and in the counties of Washington, Multnomah and Clackamas.