Oregon Law Helps in Smaller Cases
ORS 20.080 is intended to help someone who has suffered more modest injury or property losses by encouraging wrongdoers and their insurers to fairly and quickly settle their claims, or suffer attorney fee consequences. The 2011 Legislature raised the amount subject to ORS 20.080 to $10,000. Under that statute:
- The injured person (or their attorney) writes a demand, with supporting documentation, for an amount of $10,000 or less to the responsible party, and if known, their insurer;
- The responsible party has 30 days to tender an amount;
- If the responsible party tenders less than the damages later awarded to the plaintiff, the defendant is liable for the plaintiff’s reasonable attorney fees.
ORS 20.080 has two benefits to the injured person. First, because the responsible party may have to pay the attorney fees in February 2012
Insurance Company’s Unfair Offer Rejected by Arbitrator
Our client was injured in a crash that resulted in neck surgery and permanent injuries affecting her past and future income as a doctor. The bad driver’s insurer settled for $100,000. The Farmers Insurance company had offered our client only $50,000 in additional money on her underinsured motorist policy. The facts were simple and the insurance company had very weak evidence to counter the overwhelming evidence that our client indeed suffered serious medical, physical, and financial losses. The arbitrator fairly evaluated the claim at $380,000.