Oregon Government Tort Claims Notice - Arnold Law in Eugene, Oregon – Powerful Advocacy. Proven Results.

Oregon Government Tort Claims Notice

11.30.2015 – by Mike Arnold

Don’t forget to file a Tort Claim Notice against an Oregon government entity, including a city, county, state agency, school district, or public university. Under Oregon law, if a person ever wants to file a tort lawsuit against a public entity, the plaintiff must have first given notice to that entity within 180 days of the incident causing (with certain exceptions).

What is an Oregon government tort claim?

This would include claims such as wrongful death, personal injury, and other negligence claims. If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident with a person driving a government vehicle, give a tort claim notice.

salem-oregon-lawyer

ORS 30.275 requires that a formal notice include a statement that a claim for damages will be asserted along with a description of the details of the incident for them to conduct an investigation (i.e., time, place and circumstances). Also, the claimant must include his or her mailing address.

The deadline for a wrongful death claim is 365 days and all other claims is 180 days.  Don’t miss the deadline or your claim is dead on arrival.

Best Practices for Oregon Tort Claims

The most common error that we see for a tort claim is simply missing the deadline. An attorney or claimant will put it on the calendar for 180 days later or simply forget to calendar it.  There is no time like the present for a tort claim. The minute you think you have one, go ahead and send it unless you see a real and true tactical advantage in waiting for your investigation to be complete (i.e, getting witnesses interviewed before notifying the entity of a claim).

The other common error is failing to notice the correct entity.  The best practice is typically to notice everyone and their brother, including the state, county, city, university, etc.

Here’s an example of where people mess this up: there is a negligently designed crosswalk in a city with a state highway number.  You notice the city and State only but find out later that the county has agreed to maintain it. You lose the claim against the county.

[Government negligence includes crosswalk design.]

[Government negligence includes crosswalk design.]

It’s always better to name too many agencies or government entities than to name too few. That can always be sorted out later and the correct entity sued or dismissed.  It always best to preserve your statute of limitations.

Of course, sending the tort claim early also always the government to get back to you and let you know with proof that they are not involved in the claim. This saves everyone’s time later.

Who do I send the Tort Claim Notice to?

You send it in multiple forms to prove notice. You should mail (first class), Fed Ex (they have better tracking than US Postal Service), fax (keep fax confirmation sheet), and email if possible.  For Oregon, send to the Director of the Department of Administrative Services.  Against a local public body, send to their main admin office, their governing body, AND their general counsel (i.e., county counsel).  Most entities have their preferred location on their website, so send it there too.

Send, send, send.  Don’t worry about sending too many copies.

Oregon Tort Claim Notice Forms for Free Download

There is no magic form for this.  The requirements are in the statute. However, most government agencies have a form. Here is the State of Oregon’s form as of November 2015.

You can easily modify this free form into your own words for free.

Click here for an example for the State of Oregon:

[Download the Oregon tort claim form for free.]

[Download the Oregon tort claim form for free.]

Call the Personal Injury and Civil Litigation Attorneys at Arnold Law

The attorneys at Arnold Law assist clients in tort claims. For more information, call 541-338-9111 or fill out the live chat form to the right or email form to the left. Thank you!

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