Experienced Portland OR Car Accident Attorneys Ready To Serve You
If you are offered a quick settlement after an auto accident in the Pacific Northwest, beware. Some insurance companies will attempt to settle serious injury claims before your injuries are healed and before the full extent of your injuries are known. A quick settlement is for the insurance company’s benefit, not yours. We can help you understand your rights and avoid settling for less than you deserve.
Auto accidents happen every day. While we never expect them to happen to us, statistics show that the average driver will be involved in about three accidents during his or her lifetime. While most of these accidents are relatively minor, many involve serious injury or wrongful death. Each year, millions of people suffer traumatic injuries in motor vehicle collisions.
Oregon is an “at-fault” state, meaning the driver who caused an accident is responsible for the resulting damages. Under Oregon auto accident laws, modified comparative negligence limits a victim’s recovery if they are partially responsible. In no-fault states, drivers file a claim with their carrier, regardless of fault.
If you have been injured or lost a loved one in an auto accident in the Pacific Northwest, it is important that you discuss your legal rights with an experienced Portland OR car accident attorney. Most accident victims only have a very basic understanding of the insurance claims process, and they do not realize the full extent of the compensation and reimbursement they are entitled to recover. Depending on liability, you could be entitled to reimbursement for your economic and noneconomic damages in a car accident. Economic damages can include vehicle repair or replacement costs, medical expenses, and lost wages. Future medical expenses and loss of earning capacity also fall under economic damages. Your noneconomic damages include pain and suffering, loss of consortium, emotional distress, and more. Did you know:
- You are entitled to have a Portland car accident lawyer deal with the insurance companies on your behalf.
- The insurance companies do not have to offer you full compensation. In fact, the insurance company’s objective is to offer you the least amount of money to settle your case.
- You are entitled to recover your financial and non-financial losses. Non-financial losses include personal harm done to you or your family.
- You are entitled to compensation for the current and future effects of your injuries.
- If the insurance companies do not offer you a fair settlement, you have the right to take them to trial.
Unfortunately, far too many people settle their auto accident claims without a clear understanding of their legal rights. As a result, they end up settling for far less than they should. At D’Amore Law Group, we do not want this to happen to you. We are passionate advocates for auto accident victims and families who have lost loved ones in Oregon and Washington, and we have decades of experience fighting for those who deserve better. We can make sure the insurance companies treat you fairly, and we can help you understand your non-financial and long-term losses so that you do not unknowingly settle for less than you deserve. Don’t hesitate to call us or to contact us online today.
“D’Amore Law Group has done more for me than I thought possible, and I am really grateful for their help. I was severely injured and needed surgery on my spine after I was hit by a car. When you’re in pain 24 hours a day it’s hard to focus on both getting well and handling the insurance chaos. Tom D’Amore and the lawyers and staff went above and beyond what I expected, and I would recommend them to anyone.” – D. Odom, Oregon
Aggressive Legal Representation for Auto Accident Claims in Oregon and Washington
With decades of experience representing injured auto defect and auto accident victims and families in wrongful death cases, we have seen it all when it comes to driver negligence and other causes of vehicle collisions. We handle all types of auto accident claims throughout Oregon and Washington, including those involving:
- Alcohol intoxication and drug impairment
- Changing lanes, turning, and merging without looking
- Driving into oncoming traffic
- Drowsiness, fatigue, and falling asleep behind the wheel
- Failure to yield and right-of-way violations
- Inexperienced and unlicensed drivers (including teen drivers and commercial truck drivers)
- Running red lights and stop signs
- Speeding, following too closely, and other forms of aggressive driving
- Talking, texting, sending emails, and using social media
- Other forms of distracted driving
- Improper passing
- Head-on crashes
FAQs: Seeking Financial Compensation for Auto Accidents in Oregon and Washington
Q: What mistakes do I need to avoid when dealing with insurance companies?
While it is important to promptly file a claim with your insurance company after an auto accident, it is equally important to avoid spending more time on the phone than is absolutely necessary. You should not let the insurance adjusters talk you into accepting a settlement before you know the full extent of your accident-related losses. To protect your claim for full compensation, it is also critical that you avoid mistakes such as:
- Giving a recorded statement
- Unknowingly say things that will hurt your case
- Admitting or questioning your own fault in the accident
- Minimizing your injuries
- Letting the insurance company tell you where to go for repairs or medical treatment
- Providing the insurance company with information about your diagnosis or medical care
- Signing anything before you have it reviewed by a legal practitioner
Q: What types of losses am I entitled to recover?
As an auto accident victim in Oregon or Washington, you are entitled to just compensation for your current and future financial and non-financial losses. This includes:
- Current and future medical expenses
- Other current and future out-of-pocket costs
- Current and future loss of income
- Loss of Enjoyment of Life
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Loss of society, loss of support, loss of companionship, and other intangible losses
Q: How do you calculate future and non-financial losses?
Calculating future and non-financial losses after an auto accident is a process that requires complete and accurate information about the nature, extent, and effects of your injuries. In order to determine how much you are entitled to recover, we work closely with your doctors and trusted medical experts to assess your injuries and your long-term prognosis. We will work closely with you as well to understand all of the ways that your injuries impact your life.
Q: Is it okay if I did not seek legal representation immediately?
Yes. However, if it has been a while since your accident, it is important that you contact a lawyer promptly. You have a fixed time under Oregon’s and Washington’s statutes of limitations to bring your claim or your claim can be forever barred. However, it is important to take action as soon as possible to ensure that the evidence needed to prove your claim is promptly gathered.
Q: What if the driver who caused the accident was uninsured or underinsured?
If the driver who hit you claims to be uninsured or uninsured, the first thing you need to find out is whether this is in fact the case. He or she may simply have been trying to avoid having the accident reported to his or her insurance company. But, if the at-fault driver was in fact uninsured, you may still have several options for securing just compensation. Most of us have “Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Coverage” on our policies. This means that if we get injured by an uninsured or underinsured motorist, we have coverage that will pay for losses under our own policy. Your attorney should also consider other sources of recovery. Were road conditions a factor in the accident? Was there an issue with road signage or traffic signals? Did someone’s brakes fail? There are numerous factors besides driver negligence that can cause and contribute to vehicle collisions. Our legal team can help you explore all potential sources of financial compensation.
Q: What if I had a pre-existing condition before the accident?
If you had a pre-existing condition before the accident, you can still receive compensation from the at-fault driver. However, this type of case does tend to be a bit more complex as the pre-existing condition is a factor that is taken into consideration when negotiating a settlement. You will not be able to be compensated for your pre-existing condition, but you can certainly recover for any exacerbation of your condition that resulted from the other driver’s negligence. Even if a “normally healthy” person would not have been as injured by the accident as you ended up being (due to your condition), this does not get the culpable driver “off the hook” in any way. They are still responsible for any aggravation of your condition and any other injuries that resulted from the accident.
The more severe your injuries are, the higher your potential settlement might be. However, if you have no injuries, car accident compensation will likely be nominal—a small amount for the inconvenience you suffered. The potential value is based on how much it costs to repair or replace your vehicle if it’s totaled.
Q: After getting my settlement, can I go back for more money later if my injuries get worse?
No. That is precisely why it is so important to hire a lawyer for your personal injury case. Future expenses are difficult to calculate, and only an experienced Portland OR car accident lawyer knows how to calculate future damages so that you do not end up short-changed years down the road.
What to Do After an Auto Accident in Oregon or Washington
When you are involved in an auto accident, there are some steps you should try to take as soon as possible. If you are still at the scene of the accident, you should:
- Call 911 – Call 911 to report the accident, and let the dispatcher know if you or anyone else needs immediate medical attention. Wait for the police and EMTs to arrive, and be polite and cooperative when they provide instructions or ask you for information.
- Take Photos – Take lots of photos of the scene of the accident. Take photos of the damage to each of the vehicles involved, and be sure to capture the other driver’s license plate.
- Collect Insurance Information – Collect the insurance information from each of the other drivers involved in the accident. You can either write down the other drivers’ insurance information or take photos of their insurance cards (both sides) with your phone.
- Collect Witnesses’ Contact Information – If anyone witnessed the accident and stopped to help, ask for their name, phone number, and email address to give to your attorney.
- Stay Calm and Be Patient – Do your best to stay calm. And no matter what happened, do not act aggressively toward any of the other drivers. Be patient while waiting for the police and EMTs to do their jobs. If you need a tow truck, make sure you know where your vehicle is being taken before it gets towed.
After an accident, contact the police. Request medical assistance if anyone is injured. Exchange contact information, including with witnesses. Take scene photos if possible. Report the accident to your insurance company, and call a lawyer to discuss legal options.
If you are at home or in the hospital recovering after the accident, you should:
- Follow Your Doctor’s Advice – After an auto accident, one of the most important things you can do is follow your doctor’s advice. Rest, recover, attend your follow-up appointments, and do everything you can to get better as soon as possible.
- Write Down Everything You Can Remember – Write detailed notes about everything you can remember from the accident. Where did the other vehicle come from? Did you have a green light or the right of way? Which lane were you in? Even the most minute details could be critical to your claim for compensation.
- Call Your Insurance Company – You should call your insurance company shortly after the accident. Report the facts, but as we mentioned above, do not give a recorded statement. Once you report the accident, you should let your Portland car accident attorney deal with the insurance companies on your behalf.
Whether you are at the scene, at home, or at the hospital, it is important that you speak with a Portland OR car accident lawyer, promptly. You can reach us 24/7, so call or text now.
Speak with a skilled Portland OR Car Accident Attorney for Free
If you have been injured or a loved one has been killed in an auto accident in Oregon or Washington, we want to hear from you. We will provide you with an honest and straightforward assessment of your legal rights, and we will help you make informed decisions about protecting your claim for maximum compensation. Contact us today.
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To get started with a free, no-obligation consultation, please call or request an appointment online today.