ORS 20.080

Portland, Oregon Injury Lawyer

ORS 20.080 Overview

Think you have a case too small to bother hiring a Portland attorney? Never fear, because there’s a statute in Oregon that addresses this exact problem. Our lead Portland accident attorney, Bryan Dawson, sheds some insight one this important statute, ORS 20.080: “Attorney fees for certain small tort claims”. This key law is so well known among Oregon personal injury attorneys, it is often just referred to as “20.080.”

How 20.080 Works

personal-injury-lawyer-portland-97211-north-williamsSo what is 20.080 and how can it help it you? It’s a procedure to demand $10,000 or less in order to leverage the threat of attorney fees. Sounds confusing, but keep reading to see the outline of the procedure. We think the outline will help you understand how it works and why it can be useful.
The 20.080 procedure is as follows:

  1. As your Oregon lawyers, we send a demand letter for $10,000 or less to the defendant in your case. In personal injury claims, we send this letter along with your accident related medical records and bills to the at-fault party and their insurance carrier.
  2. The defendant’s insurer then has 30 days in which to make an offer before we file a lawsuit.
  3. If you like their offer, you accept it and the case is over.
  4. If you don’t like their offer, we file a lawsuit on your behalf and proceed with litigation.
  5. If you go on to collect more in arbitration or trial than the highest offer you received before suing, they will have to pay your attorney fees.

This law applies not just to car accident cases and other types of personal injury disputes. It can also be used in small contract cases and property damage claims.
The benefit to you is that 20.080’s threat of potential attorney fees forces the other side to make fair offers early on in the process. If they don’t make a fair offer and you are forced to litigate, then they may have to pay your attorney fees.

The Logic Behind 20.080

This statute was passed with the purpose of encouraging settlements in smaller disputes and to give Oregon attorneys an incentive to take cases that otherwise might not be economically viable.
personal-injury-lawyer-portland-97204-sw-thompson-rdThis is very important, because, despite the large numbers of car crashes that cause major injuries and death, the fact remains that most car accidents injuries are fairly minor. If your recovery requires only a moderate amount of medical treatment, the bills still add up very quickly. Without 20.080, you might be left in a quandary about how to get enough negotiating leverage to get a settlement big enough to compensate you for all your actual damages.
We have successfully handled hundreds of Oregon 20.080 cases, so call us today at 503-919-1315 to discuss whether this little-known Oregon law applies well to your own situation. This one little Oregon law, when used skillfully, really is a great asset.