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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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Do I Need A Personal Injury Lawyer?

Personal injury cases are especially difficult if you are unfamiliar with the law and unsure of how to move forward with your claim. It is important to address the topic that many are faced with: do I need a personal injury lawyer? Depending on your individual accident or the details of your particular case, it may not be as straight forward an answer. Still, there are some key factors in every accident that are important to address.

Hiring a personal injury lawyer is crucial, especially in the beginning, as they will be able to guide you in piecing together all of the items you will need to move forward. It can be overwhelming, initially, so it’s best to speak with an attorney sooner. Below are some important details.

do i need a personal injury attorney

What are common personal injury cases?

In essence, a personal injury case typically involves an injured party filing a claim against another party for negligent conduct that caused an injury. While the basic concept of each personal injury case is the same – someone was injured, either through negligence or an intent to injure – there are several kinds of personal injury cases that are very common.

Essentially, a personal injury case involves one party attempting to receive compensation for an injury that they received. In some cases, this injury was caused intentionally, while in most cases, it was caused through negligence.

Out of all of the personal injury claims that are filed in the United States, the majority of them are filed due to injuries sustained during car accidents. Car accidents are very common across the United States, and this includes the state of Oregon, of which there were 57,726 car crashes in 2017 alone. When someone files a personal injury claim due to a car accident, it’s generally because there was someone who was failing to obey the rules of the road.

Slip and fall cases are also very common, and they often take place when a property owner fails to ensure that their property is kept safe and free of hazards. One example of a slip and fall case is if someone is at a restaurant and slips on a greasy floor, causing them injuries leg. They could file a personal injury claim against the restaurant’s insurance company because the restaurant failed to keep the property safe for the customers.

  • A personal injury case typically involves an injured party filing a personal injury claim against another on the grounds of negligent conduct
  • Generally, wrongful conduct includes negligence, or acting with the intention to cause an injury
  • Most personal injury claims are the result of car accidents

What Does A Personal Injury Lawyer Do?

personal injury lawyer in oregon

A personal injury lawyer provides legal representation to those who have been injured – either through negligence or an intentional act – and are seeking compensation. Personal injury lawyers work with the plaintiff to determine the details of their case, the best way to move forward with the case, and how to get their client the compensation that they deserve.

Personal injury lawyers often work with a variety of different personal injury cases. Medical malpractice cases, car accident cases, slip and fall cases, and wrongful death cases are the most common.

When it’s time for a settlement to be reached, a personal injury lawyer works with their client to ensure that they’re receiving the settlement they deserve, based on the facts of their case. That way, the client isn’t receiving a low-ball settlement that is unbefitting of the injury they’ve sustained. If a settlement can’t be reached, filing a lawsuit against the negligent party is the next step.

Hiring a personal injury lawyer is often the best course of action because a personal injury lawyer understands the law, and how to work within the law to achieve specific results. Without this understanding of the law, it’s much harder to receive an appropriate settlement.

  • Personal injury lawyers provide legal representation to those who have filed personal injury claims and are seeking compensation
  • When working on a personal injury case, personal injury lawyers organize their client’s case and present it during the proceedings
  • Personal injury lawyers help their client receive the settlement that is appropriate for the injury they’ve sustained

What Happens When A Lawyer Is Not Hired?

hiring a personal injury attorney

More often than not, you should hire a personal injury lawyer. If you don’t hire a personal injury lawyer, you’ll have to deal with the complexities and nuances of your personal injury case, and this can be very difficult if you don’t have an in-depth understanding of the law. There are a number of common mistakes that people often make in a personal injury lawsuit, and these mistakes are due to not having an understanding of the law, and not hiring a personal injury lawyer.

One of the most common mistakes is accepting a settlement that is too low. If someone receives a settlement while undergoing treatment, then this is especially problematic as it could lead to that individual receiving fewer resources than they need to continue their treatment, or even not understanding the extent of their injuries and how bad things actually are.

Another mistake that’s often made is the person who filed the personal injury claim failing to organize and present the evidence of their case properly. Most of the time, this occurs when the facts of the case aren’t understood very well, which is often due to not having consulted with a personal injury lawyer.

  • The plaintiff accepting a low settlement is a very common mistake in situations where a personal injury lawyer isn’t hired
  • Another common mistake is the plaintiff failing to organize and present the evidence of their case properly
  • For the best results in a personal injury case, it’s important to hire a personal injury lawyer

Do I need a personal injury lawyer? This is a crucial question to consider and we can assist. For personal injury representation in Oregon, contact leading attorney Ryan Hilts Law Firm. We can help you move forward with your case.

 

 

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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.