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When to Hire an Attorney After a Car Accident

Car accidents can be overwhelming. Aside from just ensuring yours and others’ safety, it’s important to know what to do after a car accident. In fact, there are a number of things that you should do. For example, calling the local law enforcement to take a record of the accident. Additionally, you should get the other driver’s insurance information, take photos of the accident, and get medical help if you are injured.

Many people wonder when to hire an attorney after a car accident. We’re giving you the information below for general guidelines on seeking personal injury representation. If you’ve been involved in a car accident in Oregon, contact expert personal injury attorney Ryan Hilts by calling (503) 726-5960.

oregon accident attorney

Why Is It often Important To Hire An Attorney Soon After A Car Accident?

When you get in a car accident, it can be beneficial to hire an attorney as soon as possible. By hiring an attorney sooner, rather than later, the attorney has a better opportunity to investigate and understand the details of the liability portion of your case.

Also, in the state of Oregon, the statute of limitations for a car accident litigation case is two-years.  If certain deadlines are not met within the two year statute of limitations, cases will be lost. There are also additional deadlines for cases against a public body or an officer, or employee or agent of a public body. A personal injury attorney will know which requirements need to be met for each case.

In addition many people get into car accidents and receive injuries that appear to be minor, only to later discover they do not heal and become permanent. Insurance companies often try to settle cases early before the injured victim realizes the extent of their injuries. Once a settlement occurs there is no way to open the case and receive just compensation.

  • In Oregon, the statute of limitations for a litigation case is two-years
  • If two-years have passed since the accident, you can’t take that case to court
  • By failing to hire an attorney, you run the risk of dealing with damages that were far more severe than you realized, or receiving a low settlement
  • Hiring an attorney sooner, rather than later, will enable you to understand what you’re dealing with as soon as possible, and to move your case forward

car accident lawyer oregon

What Will A Good Attorney Help You With?

Knowing when to hire an attorney after a car accident is essential. First, you should know how a personal injury lawyer can assist.

Personal injury cases can be very complex. With a good attorney you’ll be walked through each step of the legal process, allowing you to understand the process and help you work together with the attorney to achieve the settlement that you’re entitled to.

Personal injury cases can be very complex, and they consist of many different factors and variables. If you are unfamiliar with the legal system, and how to navigate within it, then hiring a good attorney will make things significantly easier.

There are a plethora of other situations that you will deal with when moving your case forward. Situations related to determining the damages that took place, receiving the proper settlement, proving fault, etc; a good attorney will walk you through those situations and make the entire process much easier for you. Without hiring an attorney, though, the entire process will be far more complicated.

  • Personal injury cases are very complex, and they consist of many factors and variables
  • By hiring a good attorney, you’ll be walked through the intricacies of the legal process and the entire experience will be much easier
  • A good attorney will help you organize your case and present it to the court
  • With a good attorney, you’ll know when the insurance company is attempting to give you a poor settlement
  • A good attorney will help you navigate any legal situations/challenges that come up while your case is in court
  • Without hiring an attorney, the entire process becomes far more difficult and there’s no guarantee you’ll receive the settlement you desire

hiring a car accident lawyer

How Can You Prepare To Hire An Attorney?

To properly prepare for hiring an attorney, you need to organize every piece of information that pertains to your case. This information includes things like photos of the damages, medical records, pay stubs that prove you lost money, etc. By organizing all of this information, and then finding the right attorney, you’ll make it far easier for you and your attorney to move your personal injury case forward.

The information that you need to organize consists of things like photos of the accident, medical records of the injuries you sustained, pay stubs that show lost time at work, along with any notes regarding what happened during the accident and what you can remember. It also helps to preserve any physical evidence of the accident, such as any dents that are in your car or a broken mirror.

When you have all of that information organized, you can then show it to the attorney that you hire. When to hire an attorney after a car accident, in general, it usually depends on how quickly you can gather the needed information. Alternatively, an experienced car accident lawyer in Oregon can help you prepare with needed materials. This will make it far easier for your attorney to understand your case, and to work with you on taking your case to court and getting you the settlement that you are entitled to.

  • To prepare for hiring an attorney, it’s very important that you organize every single piece of information related to the car accident
  • This is information such as photos of the accident, medical records of the injures you sustained, pay stubs that show lost time at work, notes regarding what you can remember of the accident, and even physical evidence
  • By having this information and organizing it, your attorney will understand all of the details of your case, and what the next best step is
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What Happens After a Car Accident

Being involved in a car accident can feel frightening and overwhelming. First and foremost, in the event of an emergency, always call paramedics if you’re able, or take yourself or others involved in an accident to be treated for any injuries sustained in the accident. Even with accidents being commonplace on the road, many are still wondering, what happens after a car accident? While the situation may vary depending on the circumstances of the accidents, it’s important to know what to avoid soon after an accident.

car accident avoid these mistakes

If you’ve recently been involved in a car accident in Oregon, contact Ryan Hilts for personal injury representation. We offer guidance on how to address the following mistakes. For a free case review, send us a request here

Failing To Document The Car Accident

When you are involved in a car accident, it’s very important that you or someone else involved knows the details of the accident. When you file a claim, you’re going to need to explain the accident and what took place. If you’ve been injured, first seek medical attention, but try to enlist a witness to help you document for a later date.

Make sure that you or someone who witnessed the accident can:

  1. Take pictures of your vehicle, and any damage that is sustained
  2. Take pictures of the other person’s vehicle, and any damage that their vehicle sustained.
  3. If you were injured, or if there was any other property damage, you should also take photos.

This information will provide the basis for both a DMV Report and any kind of claim or lawsuit. Other items that you should always make note of after a car accident:

  • Record the date and time of the accident
  • Remember the road you were driving on or the address where the accident took place
  • Note the direction you were driving and the direction of the other vehicle involved
  • Pieces of information and details of how the accident took place

What happens after a car accident is that most people are temporarily distracted either by the shock of the accident or from injuries. Things tend to happen very quickly and it’s easy to forget minor, but still very important, details of the accident. For this reason, if possible, it’s best to utilize your phone to take proper documentation.

mistakes to avoid after a car accident

Driving Away

What happens after a car accident? You should call 911. Even if the car accident resulted in no injuries and very little property damage, it’s a good idea to call 911.

When you do that, the police will sometimes come and make a police report. Using that police report, you’ll have access to some very important documentation regarding the accident, which will make it easier to file a successful claim.

Waiting Too Long To File A Report

In the state of Oregon, if you were involved in a car accident where more than $2,500 worth of property was damaged, then you must file an Oregon Traffic Accident And Insurance Report within 72-hours. 

Not Seeing A Doctor

Unfortunately, injuries are a very common byproduct of car accidents. If you have been injured you should see a doctor.

While you’re seeing the doctor, a medical report will be created. If you have been injured, and you would like to file a claim, then you can use that medical report to aid in filing the claim. If an insurance company sees that medical report, and sees that your injuries are, in fact, serious, then they are far more likely to give you the compensation that you deserve.

oregon car accident lawyer

Throwing Away Items That Could Be Potential Evidence

Just as it’s very important for you to document and take photos of the car accident, it’s also important that you keep anything that could be used as evidence for a claim or lawsuit.

Failing To Organize Your Documentation

If you are filing a claim, it is extremely important that you organize all of the documentation you have. Make sure you have all of the basic facts written down and recorded, pictures that are labeled and organized, all of the pertinent insurance information, as well as any records from the doctor, your place of employment, your insurance provider, and the police station.

Without this information being properly organized, it will make the process of filing a claim a lot more challenging. Plus, if you hire an attorney, they will need all of that information organized, so that they can pore through it quickly, and determine the best course of action.

Filing A Claim Without An Attorney

Filing a claim – such as a personal injury claim – without an attorney can be very risky and time-consuming. More often than not, it really doesn’t pay off, due to the complexities and nuances of most car accidents and the intricacies of the legal system.

Instead of filing a claim without an attorney, you should contact a good attorney, who will walk you through the process of organizing all of your documentation, filing the claim, and then taking the claim to court and receiving the compensation that you deserve.

what to do after an accident

Accepting A Poor Settlement

More often than not, insurance companies attempt to pay as little money as they can get away with. But, you don’t need to accept a poor settlement. Instead, you can work to reach a settlement that is ideal for you.

To do that, it’s best to work with an attorney. Working with an attorney will make it easier to receive the settlement that you deserve, because the attorney will work directly with you and help you navigate the entire process. In fact, on average, individuals who file a claim while working with an attorney receive $60,000 more.

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Oregon Auto Insurance Laws

Oregon is a state famous for its rapidly changing weather. This is not often good news for its drivers. Unpredictable weather conditions can spell white-knuckle drives. 

Unfortunately, some Oregon drivers have become so accustomed to precarious driving conditions that they have become complacent about the need to exercise caution. The most common cause of Oregon vehicle accidents, according to Oregon auto insurance data, is drivers moving too quickly for road conditions.

It is vital that, as an Oregon driver, you have sufficient auto insurance coverage. Failure to do so could result in license suspension, hefty fines and/or vehicle confiscation.

oregon auto insurance laws

Motor Vehicle Insurance in the State of Oregon

It is important that you have a at least the minimum of coverage specified by the state. According to Oregon law, you must carry no less than

  • Uninsured motorist coverage of $25,000/person and $50,000 per accident.
  • Personal injury protection of $15,000 a person.
  • $25,000/person and $50,000 per accident bodily harm Injury coverage.
  • Property damage coverage of $20,000 per accident.

Personal Injury Claims in Oregon

Personal injury protection insurance in Oregon is a minimum of $15,000. This covers the costs of reasonable and necessary medical, dental, and related expenses as a result of a vehicle accident.

insurance laws in oregon

Who is at Fault for an Accident in Oregon?

Oregon Auto Insurance Laws outline that the state is a fault plus personal injury protection jurisdiction. The insurance is kind of a no-fault/fault combination. This will determine whose insurance pays for which claims.

The auto insurance laws in Oregon mostly follow a “fault” system. The driver considered legally at fault for causing the accident by the investigating law enforcement officers is legally responsible for paying for all damages caused by the accident. 

It is important to know that the at-fault driver’s insurance is not a bottomless pit. It will pay only up to the amount for which the driver is insured. Oregon sets a minimum coverage. Drivers are encouraged to insure for amounts greater than the minimum. Should damages exceed the driver’s insurance coverage, then the driver who was deemed at-fault in the accident is personally responsible for the balance of the damages.

Now, let’s look at the “no-fault” part of Oregon’s automobile insurance. Drivers must carry a minimum amount of personal injuries. This covers your injuries during the first year after the accident. Oregon insurance law will allow you to bring a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. You can do this before your personal injury limits have been reached.

personal injury protection oregon

Does this sound complicated? Let’s look at an example:

A Portland driver was on 205N. Traffic forced this woman to come to an abrupt stop to avoid ramming vehicles in front of her. Unfortunately, the driver following her was not as quick to react. He braked hard and swerved. His car rear-ended hers.

The woman underwent treatment for her injuries but was not making a quick or full recovery.

An MRI revealed that she had herniated disks and needed back surgery.  Faced with these costs, the woman contacted an Oregon law firm that specialized in personal injury cases.

The attorneys got her the full amount allowed by the other driver’s filed a claim against her insurance company for the limit on her personal injury. Eventually, she was able to claim expenses totaling $150,000 from the fault and no-fault part of her and their insurance.

Insurance claims can be complicated. In order to ensure you get the compensation you need and deserve, it’s important to make sure you have a good attorney who specializes in personal injury insurance claims.

Not all Personal Injury Cases Go to Trial

If you are concerned that your personal injury case might be held up in the courts for months or even years, you should know that not all cases go to trial. There are three other ways you might receive compensation in an Oregon personal injury accident case.

That’s why it is vital to hire an Oregon personal injury lawyer. He/she will help you understand your options and guide you through the personal injury claims process. 

In Oregon, it is common for cases to be settled by negotiation, mediation, or arbitration, thus avoiding the time, labor, and cost of a trial.
Before the arbitration begins, both sides either agree to abide by the arbitrator’s decision or not. In some cases, the arbitration is just a way to get the arbitrator’s view before the trial, to let the lawyers get a sense of how the trial would progress. In most cases, however, the two parties will agree that the arbitrator’s decision is binding.

Why is it wise for all parties to consider other alternatives before going to trial?

Trials take a long time. That means the claimant may wait for months or years for the compensation he/she needs. Not only that, trials are very costly for all parties. Therefore, most cases are settled before a trial is the only alternative. 

If a case goes to trial usually personal injury attorneys receive a higher percentage of claims that are awarded. They must be compensated for their increased time spent on the case if it goes to trial. 

While there is often a bigger settlement if a case goes to trial, the time and expense thus incurred is often not worth it. There is also the possibility that as a claimant you could lose or receive lower settlement than was offered in negotiations, mediation, or arbitration. This is just another reason it is critical to hire a competent and experienced personal injury claims attorney.

Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Claims

Personal injury claims have a deadline for submission. This is called a statute of limitations. In the state of Oregon, personal injury claims must be submitted no later than two years from the date the injury was sustained. In the case of a wrongful death suit, this must be submitted no later than three years after the date of the accident.

oregon insurance claim

Damage Caps in Oregon

Damage caps set a limit on the amount of compensation that a victim can receive in a civil court suit from a personal injury claim. Many states have damage caps. Oregon is one of them. Oregon has a $500,000 limit on personal injury claims. This does not include loss of work and other economic damages which may result from a personal injury.

Seek an Oregon Personal Injury Attorney

Before you file a personal injury claim as a result of an automobile accident where you were not at fault, be sure to consult an Oregon attorney who specializes in personal injury claims. If your lawyer feels you have a legitimate claim he/she will file your case with the Oregon court system.

When dealing with personal injury claims it is crucial to have the services of a law firm that specializes in personal injury claims. Your lawyer will work with you to establish fault and what damages can be claimed. When it comes to making sure you get fair treatment in Oregon Auto Insurance Laws, contact Ryan Hilts Law. For a free consultation or to set up an appointment.

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Driving Uninsured ORS

Driving Uninsured in Oregon

There is no reason to risk driving uninsured in this day and age. Getting insurance for your vehicle should be an utmost priority. The consequences of failing to get insurance for your car can be very costly in the long run, especially in states like Oregon.

Oregon is one of the 22 states that electronically monitors vehicles in order to verify their registration and insurance status. Each state has varied penalties for driving uninsured, but Oregon’s penalties are among the highest.

Oregon Car Insurance Law

In accordance with Oregon’s Department of Transportation, all drivers within the state are required to present proof of liability insurance when they register their vehicle. Oregon goes further than just requiring drivers to have insurance, like most states, they require vehicle owners and drivers to maintain certain types and amounts of insurance coverage. Every state insurance standard is different, but Oregon’s are among the strictest.

Oregon State’s Car Insurance Standards:

Oregon law requires these minimums in insurance coverage:

  • Bodily Injury: $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident
  • Property Damage: $20,000 per accident
  • Personal Injury Protection: $15,000 per person
  • Uninsured Motorist Coverage Bodily Injury: $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident

What Instances Require Proof of Insurance in Oregon?

License Suspension ORS

Apart from accidents such as a collision, there are many other times in which Oregon requires drivers to show proof of insurance. Any time you are stopped by police in Oregon you are required to provide your registration and proof of insurance. This would be for any police checkpoint or any other minor infraction you may be pulled for.

Types of items that prove you have insurance can change from person to person, but these are some of the things that you may show in order to prove insurance ownership:

  • A current insurance ID card
  • A current insurance binder or policy
  • A signed letter from your insurance provider or agent, on company letterhead
  • A certificate of self-insurance from the Oregon Department of Transportation

What Happens if You Fail to Provide Proof of Car Insurance?

Oregon has some severe penalties if you are unable or do not have proof of insurance. The law says failure to provide coverage is equal with a class B driving violation. These violations are the same as if someone had exceeded the speed limit over 21 to 20 mph or fails to obey a traffic signal. The penalties associated with this are hefty fines which can be up to $1000 and even can lead to a suspension in your license. Just like getting a ticket these violations can add up to even bigger fines and longer suspensions in the future.

Fines for Driving Uninsured ORS

The fine for driving uninsured ranges from a massive $1000 to a $130 slap on the wrist. Like most tickets the fine changes based on the situation in which you were caught without coverage. A minor speeding infraction would show a lower penalty than if you were caught without insures after running a red light or caused a traffic accident. These fines are always situational and can vary depending on how many time you have been pulled over as well.

Note: If you are required to go to court, the court may decide to impose heavier fines.

Oregon’s Presumptive Fine Option

Oregon insurance

In most cases, people take the presumptive fine option in order to resolve the violation. This option shows you have decided to enter a Plea of No Contest meaning you acknowledge you were at fault and will not need to go to court to plead your case. The fine when you take this option requires two things:

  1. You will send a written explanation to the court
  2. Pay a flat fee of $260

Note: In some cases, the court may that the presumptive fine option is not enough, often because of the seriousness of the accident or insurance violation, This may require you to show your presence in the court and pay a higher fine. Going up to $1000.

Suspensions for Driving Uninsured in Oregon

Fines are not the only form of punishment Oregon has for driving without insurance. Like many other states, call B driving violations can lead to suspension of your license, and Oregon is no different. The time of the suspension can vary from situation to situation. The max suspension can be up to a year and can be applied even if you didn’t directly cause the accident.

Depending on the severity of the situation you could be facing a $1000 fine, suspension of your license up to a year, and the impounding of your vehicle.

How to Reinstate Driving Privileges in Oregon After Being Suspended

Insurance Oregon Driving

After you have served your suspension time in Oregon you can start the process of applying for your license again. Before you do anything else your insurance company will need to file an SR-22 which will be proof of you having insurance and be considered evidence that you can provide financial responsibility in the future. The SR-22 has to be maintained for the 3 years without defaulting of any kind. If at any point during these 3 years it defaults your license will be suspended again and you will need to start this process all over again.

With the SR-22 that is filed with your insurance company, you will have to pay a $75 fee to Oregon. This fee is a reinstatement fee and its used to file all the proper paperwork and get you a new license.

If your car was impounded the next step would be to recover your vehicle. The first step will require notice from the police officer that ordered the impoundment of the vehicle. By law, they must send within 48 hours a release notice to both you and the impound lot. This will add additional fines such as a storage fee, for the time your car was heald, and a towing fee, of course, to pay for your car being towed. There also may be some impoundment administration fees. The grand total will be found on that notice sent by the officer.

Monthly Verification

To help prevent drivers from continuing to not having insurance in Oregon, their Department of Transportation has implemented an insurance verification program. This program is for those who have already had a suspension and have filed the SR-22. This monthly verification is part of that 3 year period which you are not allowed to have your insurance lapse. If it does your license will be suspended again.

This monthly verification works by requiring you to submit proof of compliance (a receipt that shows you are paying and maintaining coverage since recovering your car and license).

Note: if you fail to make premium payment quickly, there is a likelihood that your insurance company could end up canceling your policy and SR-22. In the end, your license will end up being re-suspended, until it’s done right.

Conclusion

Although Oregon is restricted on its insurance policies it is not the only state which views drivers insurance as a necessity. Driving uninsured in Oregon can be time-consuming and costly. With all the fines and potential of suspension, one would think it would be easier just to have insurance. It pays to have coverage, and if you follow the insurance coverage Oregon requires, and that was laid out above you can stay on the open road with peace of mind.

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Personal Injury Claim Letter

While there are many types of personal injuries, most personal injuries in the United States are from vehicle accidents .

Injuries from vehicle accidents can lead to lost wages, medical bills, and, in some cases, permanent physical damage.

Who Is At Fault?

In the state of Oregon, if there is an automobile accident and someone was injured, the person who is responsible for causing the accident is liable to pay for any damages if they are at least 51% at-fault for causing the accident.

Personal Injury Claim LetterVery often an insurance company or their insured driver will admit fault in causing an accident. In other cases it is often easy to determine the fault of the other party because they were driving-under-the-influence, or they were speeding, or they failed to stop at a light, etc.

If there is no evidence that the other party violated their legal duty then it becomes more difficult to determine fault. If you can’t prove that the other party is more than 51% responsible for causing the accident, your claim can be lost.

Proving fault is a process that is conducted based on the evidence that is available. In automobile accidents, there are often witnesses, as well as sometimes security camera footage. These two pieces of evidence are exceptionally useful and make the facts of the case much easier for the attorneys to parse.

What Happened?

When writing a personal injury claim letter it is important to convey all of the facts of your injury, how the injury has affected you and how it continues to affect you.

Accident Letter Format

If you missed work and lost out on wages that you would normally receive, you need to provide the proper documentation.

In Oregon, you can also receive compensation for pain and suffering, emotional anguish, and loss of enjoyment. Pain and suffering can be shown through medical documentation that describes the treatment of the symptoms of the injury.

sample demand letter for car accident

The letter should consist of your description of what took place, the medical documentation, photographs, police report, wage loss documentation, out-of-pocket expenses, medical bills, and any other relevant damages.

What’s Next?

Once you have finished drafting the personal injury claim letter, settlement negotiations will begin once the insurance company has a chance to review the claim and get authority to make an offer.

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Car Accident with No Insurance in Oregon

There are many drivers in Oregon who don’t have car insurance. Here’s what you need to know if you’re involved in an accident and the other driver didn’t have insurance coverage.

Oregon No Insurance Car Accident

Oregon is a “Fault” Car Accident State

Like most states, Oregon is a “fault” car accident state.

This means that whoever is found to have caused the accident is responsible for any harm that results.

Penalties for Driving Without Insurance

If a driver is driving without insurance in Oregon there are fines that can range to thousands of dollars, their license can be suspended, their vehicle towed, and convictions can result in having to file proof of insurance with the DMV for three years.

No Pay, No Play Rule

Oregon is also a state with a “no pay, no play” rule.

If you do not have auto insurance at the time of an accident and if you’re struck by another motorist, you are limited in what you can recover.

You cannot collect “non-economic” damages like pain and suffering. However, economic damages such as medical bills and lost wages will be covered. There are also exceptions to this rule which allow for recovery of non-economic damages, including the defendant driving while intoxicated or driving recklessly.

Oregon Accident Automobile

If you’ve been struck by an uninsured driver you’ll likely want to retain a personal injury lawyer.

The personal injury lawyer can review the facts of the case, collect information and support for the damages you’ve suffered and build a case against the Uninsured Motorist Coverage policy.

No Car Insurance Oregon Accident

What to Do if You’ve Been Struck By an Uninsured Motorist in Oregon

If you’ve been involved in an accident, the first step is to call the police and exchange insurance information with the other driver.

As with any accident, but especially when dealing with an uninsured driver, you’ll want to collect hard copies of as many facts of the accident and subsequent damages as possible. Medical bills, visits with therapists, counselors, physical therapists, and other service providers, lost wages from work and any evidentiary support that can be used to collect damages.

Finally, you’ll want to retain a personal injury lawyer to review the case and assess what you’re entitled to. All Oregon Insurance policies contain Uninsured Motorist coverage. This means if you are struck by someone who is uninsured, you have insurance coverage through your own policy.

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Oregon Auto Insurance Claim Laws

Oregon is a “Fault” State

In Oregon the at-fault insurance company will cover pain and suffering, loss of wages, vehicular damage, medical bills, counseling and more.

You Must Report An Accident Within 72 Hours

The first step you must take after being involved in an accident is to report it. You’ll need to notify the Department of Transportation within 72 hours of the accident. This is found in the Oregon Revised Statutes, Section 811.725. At that time, you’ll also provide evidence of insurance and other necessary forms as required.

A Statute of Limitations Applies to Accident Cases

A statute of limitations relating to personal injury in Oregon applies here. If you’re filing a lawsuit relating to personal injury from an accident, you must do it within two years. If you don’t meet this deadline, you’ll lose the ability to sue.

The Insurance Company Does Not Choose Where You Get Your Vehicle Repaired

During negotiations and proceedings with the car insurance company, they may strongly imply that you must get your car repaired at a shop in their network. Please note that this is not true, and while you can work with a preferred shop of theirs if you are so inclined, you ultimately have a say in where your car is repaired.

What Minimum Coverage Policies Mean For You

In Oregon, you must carry minimum coverage of $25,000 per person, $50,000 per claim with your insurance.

This ensures that if you get into an accident, your insurance company will pay out up to $25,000 per person injured in the other car, with a maximum of $50,000 paid out to any occupants for the accident. However, if you’ve ever been in a serious accident you know that $25,000 doesn’t usually cover a car repair or replacement, medical bills and loss of wages.

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DUI Personal Injury Settlements

Insurance companies know that the courts look very harshly on driving under the influence, which increases the chance that either the driver’s insurance company or lawyers will attempt to settle out of court. Insurance companies will also do their best to whittle this settlement amount down to the lowest figure they can manage to save money. Because of this, it is very important to retain an experienced personal injury attorney to make sure that the settlement figure will adequately cover your tangible and intangible damages.

What to Know About DUI Personal Injury Settlements

What is Included in a Personal Injury Settlement

When you agree to a personal injury settlement, it’s important not to leave any money on the table. Ideally, all your financial losses pertaining to a car accident should be recouped. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Repair or replace for the cost of your vehicle
  • Hospital bills and bills for follow-up visits
  • Therapy and counseling bills in the case of mental or emotional distress
  • Physical therapy costs
  • Lost wages from not being able to work

Financial losses from a car accident don’t just apply to the scene of the accident. After all, the damages from a car accident can be felt for months and even years after the incident.

Do Not Settle Right Away

Because the full damages of a car accident can take months or even years to assess and be fully realized, it is important that you do not settle soon after the accident. Most insurance companies will attempt to pressure you into accepting a settlement immediately. This settlement will often include some type of release of liability. The release of liability will prohibit you from pursuing further injury claims after accepting the settlement. The release of liability form is final, which makes it doubly important that a personal injury attorney looks over the settlement agreement before you sign the document.

It’s also important not to settle right away so that you can assess your health and financial setback from the asset in the months after the accident in case long-term injury manifests itself after your initial treatment.

Begin Preparing Yourself As Soon as Possible

Whether you intend to settle with the insurance company or go to court, it’s important to prepare for either outcome as soon as possible. Collecting detailed records of all incidents, injuries, and bills as soon as you are able will help you and your attorney negotiate for an appropriate amount of damages. 

 

 

Drunk Driver Totaled My Car

An accident involving a drunk driver that leaves your car totaled is devastating. Not only are your health and wellness affected by the accident, but your livelihood as well. We depend on our vehicles to get to important places like school and our job. Because of this, being faced with the cost and time of replacing your vehicle can seem overwhelming. Thankfully, you have legal options on your side to deal with your car being totaled if you were hit by a drunk driver. It’s important to consult with a personal injury attorney before beginning the process, to ensure you receive the damages that you are entitled to.

What to Do If You’ve Been Hit By a Drunk Driver

If you’ve been in a car accident and you suspect the other driver is drunk, call 911 immediately. You’ll want to call emergency services anyway if you have or think you have been injured. However, the police will also arrive, and be able to assess and administer tests to prove whether the other driver was intoxicated.

It is important to get police on the scene, as their report will be valuable documentation for your claim. A police report of the suspected level of intoxication and subsequent arrest will help you pursue the damages you deserve.

Collect All the Details

Finally, be sure to obtain the insurance information of the other driver. If you’re unable to at the scene, the police documentation will contain this information.

Get Legal Help

If you were injured in the accident, get a personal injury lawyer. Do not sign anything from the insurance company or take any settlements before talking it over with a personal injury attorney. 

Make Contact with Insurance

If the other drivers’ insurance company is difficult for you to reach, it’s possible for your insurance company to step in. In many cases, they will pay out the cost of replacing your vehicle, and sue the other insurance company to get their money back.

Keep meticulous records of anything relating to the accident that you could be awarded damages for. This includes hospital bills, specialist visits, the value of your vehicle, and the cost of rentals where applicable. If your vehicle was paid for under a lien, make sure to get documentation of the original loan amount and the amount still owed on the vehicle at the time of the accident.

Keep in mind that insurance companies are not personally invested in your injuries or inconvenience. They want to pay the least amount that they can get away with on the claim. This is why it is important to have all documentation and offers looked over by a personal injury attorney.

If the Drunk Driver is Not Insured

If the drunk driver you were struck by is not insured or is underinsured, you most likely will need to establish an Uninsured Motorist or Underinsured Motorist Claim to get the damages you need for pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost wages, etc. Review your auto insurance coverage as soon as possible to determine your Uninsured Motorist Coverage or Underinsured Motorist Coverage. This determines whether your insurance company will shoulder some or all of the cost of your expenses and if you’ll need to go to court to collect further damages.

Oregon Auto Accidents

Auto accidents can happen to anyone. Following the rules, being prepared, and using caution can help prevent accidents, but sometimes there’s nothing that can be done to stop them.

Also, they can happen at any time. In 2015, the most common time was on Fridays between 5:00 and 6:00 PM. However, many accidents were at all other hours of the day and night.

If you’ve been involved in a car accident, it’s usually a wise choice to seek legal assistance.

Driving and Accidents in Oregon

Driving in Oregon

Oregon is a beautiful state with a wonderful road system. There are more than 8,000 miles of state highways, and over 700 miles of the Interstate Highway System. When you combine this with all of the smaller city and country roads, it’s clear that you can easily get around the state while traveling in a vehicle. The only downside is that many people drive often, so statistically there will be many accidents.

Accident Statistics in Oregon

In Oregon in 2015 there were:.

  • 28,647 non-fatal car accidents
  • 410 car accidents with fatalities
  • 41, 675 car accidents with injuries

Car accidents might include one driver who only injured himself when going off the road, or can be a 50-car pileup, such as this recent accident caused by the slippery roads in the freezing rain.

Auto Accidents in Oregon

Accidents Don’t Just Include Those Inside of Cars

Car accidents can include pedestrians, cyclists, and anyone else on or near streets.

Pedistrain Caused Auto Accidents

Main Pedestrian Mistakes

Pedestrians are often seriously injured when hit by a car, but it’s not always the fault of the driver. There are of course cases where drivers break the rules and injure or kill a walker, but pedestrians themselves can be at fault because for failure to use a crosswalk, not paying attention to traffic signals, and many other situations.

Common Causes Made by Cyclists

As with pedestrians, cyclists can be victims of auto accidents. Cyclists are also required follow traffic signals and stop signs, and they should also ride in the direction of traffic while on the shoulder of the road.

Know What to do Immediately After an Accident

If you’re involved in an auto accident, there are many things you should specifically do. The most important is to get out of the way of any more danger, and check on the health of everyone involved. Next, you should alert the authorities, and make it clear if anyone desperately requires medical attention.

Before leaving the scene, file a report with the police to help determine who is at fault. Also, you need to get contact and insurance information from anyone else involved.

Get Legal Help After an Accident

No matter who was at fault or what happened, it’s a good idea to get the assistance of a legal expert after an auto accident. They can help prevent others from taking advantage of you, and they can fight to get you any compensation that you deserve.

Also, even if you think the accident was your fault, you shouldn’t say this at the time. A legal expert may be able to prove otherwise, but this is much more difficult if you’ve already said the opposite.

Here to Help

If you or someone you care about has been involved in a car accident, I encourage you to reach out to me. As a firm that specializes in personal injury and car accident cases, we can help you get your life back on track with as little difficulty as possible.