When you or a loved one is injured as a result of someone’ s negligence in Oregon, the situation can feel extremely difficult and overwhelming. In addition to the physical stress encountered, there is often a myriad of overwhelming questions:
When these situations arise, it is important to have a committed, responsive and, above all else, an experienced attorney working on your side to ensure the best steps are taken to arrive at an optimal outcome for you and your family.
The lawyers at White & Shepherd understand the difficulties injured people experience in dealing with insurance companies and the legal process. With experience handling thousands of personal injury cases, our attorneys will handle your personal injury or wrongful death claim with the utmost care, professionalism, and dedication. Your case matters to you, and it matters to us. We pride ourselves on handling all aspects of our clients’ personal injury and wrongful death claims. Practicing law with competence, integrity, honesty, and experience, we strive to provide personal attention and quality service to our clients in an effective and efficient manner. As your personal injury attorney, we will zealously advocate on your behalf to ensure that you and your family recover monetary damages that fully compensate you for your personal injury or wrongful death claim.
Portland and Beaverton Litigation Experts
Unlike many large Portland personal injury lawyers and firms, we do not try to rush or compromise the process in any way. We understand the value and importance of methodical investigation of the case in question and of a personal, committed, and responsive approach to working with clients. We know that every personal injury case is different, and to ensure success, each needs to be handled in its own unique way.
It is this approach that has earned us success and repute as one of the most trusted firms in the Portland metro region. Don’t take our word for it. We are pleased to have been honored with the Clients’ Choice Award 2012 by Avvo.com.
10 Things to Know If You are Involved In a Motor Vehicle Crash
According to Our Experienced Portland and Beaverton Personal Injury Attorneys. Have you recently been in a car accident? Are you prepared when it happens to you? Many people don’t know what to do when they are involved in a motor vehicle accident. The following ten items represent critical information that will help you understand your rights and avoid potential issues or problems in the future.
1. Gather Information
Information is critical to protecting your legal interests and for preserving any personal injury claim you may have arising out of the accident. Make certain you write down vehicle license plate numbers, the names of the parties involved, driver’s license numbers, and insurance policy information. It is very important to your personal injury claim and to your personal injury attorney that you obtain the names and contact information of any witnesses to the accident. A witness statement can often turn a good claim into a great claim. An accident injury attorney can contact witnesses on your behalf to obtain a statement. It is also helpful to take pictures of the scene, the damage to the cars, and of any visible injuries. Immediately write down your recollection of the accident. This is helpful since memories fade. Write down your recollection of how the accident occurred and who said what. This will help refresh your recollection later. Obtain a copy of the police report, if applicable. Our car crash attorneys can help you with obtaining the police report.
2. Call the Police
If anyone is injured or if there is a dispute regarding fault then call the police immediately. Call the police if there is room for ambiguity regarding fault, even if there does not appear to be an immediate dispute over liability. It is not uncommon for an at-fault driver to admit liability at the scene of the car crash only to deny it later.
3. Report to the DMV
Within 72 hours, you are required to report the car accident to the Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles if anyone has suffered a personal injury or if the combined property damage from the auto accident exceeds $1,500.00. You may find the Oregon Traffic Accident and Insurance Report Form 735-32 HERE.
4. Do Not Sign Anything or Give a Taped Statement to anybody except YOUR OWN insurance company
You are required to cooperate with your own auto insurance company, so it is acceptable to sign documents when appropriate and to give statements when required. However, you should first consult with a personal injury attorney. You have no obligation to cooperate with the car insurance company for the at-fault driver. They will often ask you to sign documents and provide taped statements. Do not sign anything or give any taped statements. No matter how nice the insurance adjustor sounds or appears, they only want this information so they can use it against you.
5. You are Covered for your Personal Injury
By law, every automobile insurance policy issued in Oregon is required to contain Personal Injury Protection (“PIP”) coverage. This means that you are entitled to immediate benefits, including payment of medical bills and lost wages, regardless of the circumstance or fault for the accident.
6. Get Help
If you are injured, visit a medical or health professional as soon as possible following the car accident. Be sure to report all injuries, no matter how small. Since PIP provides immediate medical coverage for your personal injury, there is no reason to not to seek help for your car accident related injuries.
7. Personal Injury Statute of Limitations
Oregon has a two-year statute of limitations for personal injury claims. This means that you have two years from the date of the car crash to settle your personal injury claim or file a lawsuit. Our experienced auto accident attorneys can help assure that you timely resolve your personal injury claim.
8. Do Not Settle Your Personal Injury Claim Too Early
Do Not Settle Your Personal Injury Claim Without First Consulting With Our Portland and Beaverton Personal Injury Attorneys
Do not settle your personal injury claim until you are fully recovered, medically stationary, or 100% certain you have no personal injury. With a two year statute of limitations, there is generally no hurry to settle your personal injury claim. Once your personal injury claim is settled, the at-fault party and their insurance carrier are released from all further responsibility for the car accident and your damages or injuries relating to the car accident. If you settle your personal injury claim before your injuries are resolved then you will be stuck paying for medical treatment that should not be your responsibility.
9. Vehicle Repair
You have the right to have your vehicle repaired at any shop of your choosing. Do not allow the insurance company to dictate where you take your car for repairs. It is your right to have your vehicle repaired to pre-accident condition. If your vehicle cannot be returned to pre-accident condition then you may have the right recover the difference between the pre-accident value of your vehicle and the post-repair value. If your vehicle is totaled, you are entitled to recover the fair market value of your vehicle. This means that you are entitled to the amount it would cost you to buy your exact vehicle in the marketplace. Although vehicle valuation services are helpful, such as Kelley Blue Book and NADA, the best measures of your vehicles worth are dealer prices, classified ads, and auto advertisements for vehicles similar to yours. You may be entitled to a rental car while your car is being repaired or evaluated for total loss. If the at-fault party does not have this benefit under their policy then check with your own insurance company.
10. Uninsured Motorist
You can still recover for your injuries even if you are hit by an uninsured or underinsured motorist. Please contact our experienced car crash attorneys for a free consultation to discuss the specific details of your uninsured or underinsured motorist claim.
Consulting with a personal injury attorney following an automobile accident is a good idea since personal injury law can be complicated.
The wrongful death and personal injury attorneys at White & Shepherd can elaborate on the above points as well as assist with protecting your rights and maximizing your recovery. Our accident injury attorneys represent personal injury clients throughout Washington and Oregon, including in Washington County, Multnomah County, Clackamas County, Portland, Beaverton, Aloha, Clackamas, Hillsboro, Tigard, Sherwood, Tualatin, Fairview, Gresham, Troutdale, McMinnville, Seattle, and Vancouver.
Our personal injury lawyers handle personal injury and wrongful death cases on a contingent fee basis. This means that we only get paid once we recover monetary damages on your behalf. Our personal injury attorneys will take over handling your claim and dealing with the insurance companies so you can avoid the time and stress associated with handling your claim. On average, most people find that they recover more, even after paying a personal injury attorney, than they would have received on their own.