In Oregon, can we be compensated for new injuries that are a result of an original injury already compensated for? 2 Answers as of December 15, 2010

My daughter was hurt in a car crash three years ago. She won a lawsuit for the injuries and was compensated. Now the doctor told her she has new injuries that are a result of the original crash injuries. Can she get compensation for the new injuries if we sue?

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Harris Law Firm
Harris Law Firm | Paul Vames
The answer to your question depends upon how the first lawsuit was resolved.

If a release of liability was signed as a condition of settlement of the original lawsuit, the answer is "probably not". Under those circumstances, the defendant probably cannot be held liable for the new symptoms.

If the first lawsuit resulted in a judgment, you have a better chance; but you will still have several obstacles to overcome. You will need to demonstrate, probably through medical reports, that the new injuries were completely undiscovered and undiscoverable at the time of the prior litigation. You may also have statute of limitations and statute of ultimate repose issues. If you bring a new lawsuit for the new injuries, you can expect the defendant's attorneys to attempt to knock the case out on legal grounds. However, if no release was signed and if the "new" injuries are truly "new" and if the case is not time barred, then it is possible that your daughter can recover for the new symptoms.

Your best course of action is to obtain the entire file from the prior litigation and then consult with a personal injury attorney. Time is of the essence; if you plan to pursue this, do not wait.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 12/15/2010
Law Office of Travis Prestwich, PC
Law Office of Travis Prestwich, PC | Travis Prestwich
It would depend on whether she settled the original claim. If so, most settlement agreements contain a release that states something to the effect that if new conditions arise that are attributable to the accident, you cannot bring a new claim as the settlement covers those conditions as well.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 12/15/2010
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