Compensatory And Punitive Damages In Oregon Personal Injury Cases

When someone is injured due to another person’s negligence, they have the right to seek compensation for their losses. In Oregon personal injury cases, there are two types of damages that may be awarded: compensatory and punitive.

Compensatory Damages

Compensatory damages are meant to compensate the injured individual for their losses. They can be broken down into two categories: economic and non-economic.

Economic Damages

Economic damages are meant to compensate for the financial losses incurred as a result of an injury. Examples of economic damages include:

  • Medical expenses: This includes any expenses related to medical care, such as hospital bills, doctor visits, physical therapy, etc.

  • Lost wages: If an injury prevents an individual from working, they may be able to recover any lost wages they would have earned during the time they were unable to work.

  • Property damage: If personal property is damaged as a result of an accident, the cost of repairs or replacement may be covered.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages are meant to compensate for losses that cannot be easily quantified. Examples of non-economic damages include:

  • Pain and suffering: This includes any physical or emotional pain and suffering experienced as a result of an injury.

  • Loss of enjoyment of life: If an injury prevents an individual from participating in activities they enjoyed prior to the incident, they may be able to recover damages for the loss of enjoyment.

  • Loss of consortium: If an injury affects a person’s ability to engage in a normal relationship with their spouse or partner, damages may be recovered to compensate for that loss.

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are meant to punish the defendant for their actions and discourage others from engaging in similar behaviors in the future. They are not awarded in every case and are typically only awarded in cases where the defendant’s actions were particularly egregious or malicious.

Caps on Damages in Oregon

Oregon law places limits on the amount of damages an individual can recover in a personal injury case. These limits vary depending on the type of damages being sought.

For non-economic damages, there is a cap of $500,000. However, this limit may be raised to $1.5 million if certain criteria are met, such as if the plaintiff suffered a permanent impairment or disfigurement.

There is no cap on economic damages, meaning that the plaintiff can potentially recover the full amount of their financial losses.

For punitive damages, the cap is three times the amount of compensatory damages awarded or $500,000, whichever is greater. However, this cap may be waived in cases where the defendant acted with malice.


If you have been injured due to another person’s negligence, it is important to seek legal advice as soon as possible. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you understand your legal options and work to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve. Contact a professional law firm in Oregon to begin the process of holding the negligent party accountable for their actions.

Scroll to Top