Portland Car Accident Lawyer

After you’ve been in a car crash, you may be burdened with horrible injuries that make it difficult to move. Auto accidents are dangerous and can put your life in danger. Even if it is a minor auto accident, you may be stuck with a chronic injury that continues for years after you’ve recovered. If you’ve suffered damages at no fault of your own, speak to Portland car accident lawyer for assistance. They can help guide you through the settlement claim process.

Auto accident victims deserve compensation after they’ve been wrongfully harmed. You can get fair compensation with personal injury lawyers on your side. The other party’s insurer may attempt to provide a small lump sum. Speak to your Portland car accident lawyer first before accepting a settlement.

Call Pro Accident Lawyers now for a free consultation.

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Common Causes of Car Accidents in Portland

The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) reports that the state has experienced a dramatic rise in auto accident fatalities in the last ten years. There has also been a rise in non-fatal injuries in auto accidents. The most common causes of car accidents in Portland include:

Driver Distraction

It’s not surprising that driver distraction is one of the most common reasons for car accidents in Portland, as is the case in several other parts of the country. Even a momentary loss of concentration on the road can cause an accident. Driver distractions include manual, visual, and cognitive distractions, so you should avoid engaging in anything that takes your focus from the road.

Reckless Driving or Overspeeding

It’s estimated that one-third of auto accidents in Oregon are caused by reckless driving or driving over the speed limit. When you are speeding, your reaction time to an emergency is reduced. In addition, the force of the impact is significantly increased with a higher-speed collision.

Harsh Weather

Portland is well known for its overcast weather, but it also gets significant snowfall. With an average snowfall of 4.5 inches per year, the Portland roadways can become tricky to navigate for drivers. If they aren’t following safe driving practices or have worn-out tires, it can increase their chance of an accident.

Impaired Driving

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a crime in Portland. Still, many auto accidents happen due to impaired driving every year. Even if a driver is slightly intoxicated, their reaction time, decision-making skills, and concentration are all impacted.

Vehicle Malfunction

Modern vehicles have advanced safety systems such as electronic stability control (ESC) and anti-lock braking systems (ABS). However, even with the most advanced system, a faulty component in the vehicle can cause an accident.

A single malfunction, inoperable part, or system error could be enough to cause an accident. For example, a worn tire tread past its minimum thickness could cause a serious accident in wet conditions.

Car Accident Penalties in Portland

Drivers at fault for the car accident may receive traffic citations. In some cases, a car accident can also lead to points on the driver’s record. When a driver in Portland exceeds a certain number of points on their record, their driving privileges are restricted. If the accident involved serious bodily injury or fatality, it could be considered a criminal offense. The penalties can be significantly more severe.

An often overlooked cost of being involved in a car accident is the rise in insurance premiums. Depending on the insurance provider, you could be paying higher premiums for years after the accident. The at-fault driver can also face lawsuits from the victims of the car crash or the surviving family members of the victim. If found liable, the at-fault driver could be responsible for paying the damages — either through their insurance policy or out of pocket.

Establishing Liability of a Car Accident Lawsuit in Portland

Establishing liability in an auto accident can be tricky, especially if it’s a multi-vehicle crash or there are several liable parties. Along with the drivers involved in car accidents, other liable parties could include government entities responsible for the maintenance of roadways and vehicle manufacturers.

The first thing you need to do is prove that the defendant owed you a duty of care. Drivers have a duty of care to follow traffic laws and regulations to ensure other road users’ safety.

The second element in establishing liability is proving that they breached the duty of care. For example, if they did not yield to right-of-way traffic or did not bring their vehicle to a halt at a stop sign, that could count as a breach of duty of care.

The next element is to show the breach resulted in your accident. With the help of a Portland car accident lawyer , you will need to gather evidence to prove that the negligence or wrongdoing of another party or parties led to the collision.

Finally, you have to prove that the accident caused your injuries or property damage. As mentioned earlier, your share of the fault has to be 50% or less for you to get any compensation for the suffering.

What Is a Good Settlement Offer for a Car Accident?

It’s difficult to determine what a “good” settlement offer is for a car accident without consulting an attorney. Every case is unique and depends on various factors, such as the severity of injuries, extent of property damage, and level of fault. However, a good settlement offer typically includes total compensation for medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering.

A common mistake made by injury victims in determining a good settlement offer is to underestimate the future costs of the accident. This issue is most common in cases that involve serious, life-altering injuries. For example, injury victims may need medication or treatment for an extended period. Their injuries could also require them to change their line of work, causing major disruption to their earning capacity.

Some experts recommend waiting until you reach maximum medical recovery before determining the true cost of the accident. However, you need to be careful that you don’t approach the statute of limitations for your case. The delay can also cause frustration and a breakdown of communication with the opposing party. You want to assess all your options carefully before deciding your legal strategy to receive maximum compensation.

The Role of a Portland Car Accident Lawyer

To determine a fair settlement offer, consult with an experienced personal injury attorney who can assess the details of your case and provide guidance on what a reasonable amount would be. Additionally, a Portland car accident lawyer can negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf to ensure that you receive fair compensation for your injuries and losses.

How Long Does an Accident Stay On Your Record In Oregon?

In Oregon, accidents stay on your driving record for five years from the date of the accident. This means that any accidents you are involved in, regardless of whether or not you were at fault, will remain on your driving record for five years. The information on your driving record is used by insurance companies to determine your risk level and insurance rates, so it’s important to drive safely and avoid accidents whenever possible.

When Should You Hire a Portland Car Accident Lawyer?

It’s generally recommended to hire a personal injury lawyer after a car crash if you have suffered any injuries or significant property damage. Specifically, you should consider hiring a Portland car accident lawyer if you:

  • Suffered injuries that require medical treatment beyond basic first aid
  • Incurred significant medical expenses as a result of the accident
  • Lost income or earning potential due to the accident
  • Are experiencing ongoing pain and suffering as a result of the accident
  • Are not sure who was at fault for the accident
  • Were denied by the insurance company
  • Are being pressured to settle for less than you believe your claim is worth
photo of crashed car with a person next to it

Do You Need a Portland Car Accident Lawyer?

Whether or not you need a Portland car accident attorney depends on the circumstances surrounding your accident. If you were involved in a minor fender-bender and suffered no injuries or only minor injuries, you may not need an attorney.

However, if you suffered serious injuries or significant property damage, it’s generally recommended to hire a car accident attorney to help you navigate the legal process and ensure that you receive fair compensation for your losses.

Additionally, if fault is being disputed or if the insurance company is denying or delaying your claim, an attorney can help you build a strong case and negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf. Your attorney can help you avoid common mistakes that can harm your case, such as making statements to the insurance company that could be used against you.

Suffering an injury can often be disruptive to your work and personal life. With an attorney on your side, you can focus on getting your life back on track while the lawyer handles all the time-consuming aspects of the lawsuit, including paperwork that needs to be submitted.

Another important reason to involve an attorney early in the process is to stop you from making mistakes that could undermine your case. Being in a car accident is an unnerving experience, and car accident victims can often do or say things they may regret later. For example, you could admit fault to the insurance company or accept the first settlement offer you get even though it’s unreasonably low. With an attorney on your side, you can avoid these common pitfalls of accident claims and lawsuits.

Schedule a consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney who can assess your case and provide guidance on the best course of action.

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What to Do After a Car Accident in Portland

You should begin preparing for your personal injury claim to help you get maximum compensation with the help of your attorney. Here are the steps to take after a car accident in Portland:

Call 911

Check yourself and any passengers in your vehicle for injuries. Call 911 immediately so that the dispatch team can send an ambulance and police to your location. The police will create an accident report, which can be useful for insurance purposes and your settlement claim.

Whether you are at fault for the accident or not, you should never flee the scene as that can be considered as hit and run, which is a serious offense. You want to wait until the police arrive at the scene and have all the information they need before you leave. While your first priority should be to check yourself and your passengers for injuries, you should get others involved in the accident the medical assistance they need.

Seek Medical Attention

Even if you don’t feel injured, it’s important to seek medical attention to ensure that any injuries are properly diagnosed and treated and allow the traffic behind you to pass by. Severe injuries might prevent you from moving. In that case, your best option is to wait until you get assistance. Some injuries can often take a few hours or even days to become evident. This includes whiplash, which is a common neck injury in auto accidents. If you don’t get medical attention in the immediate aftermath of the accident and later claim significant expenses for medical treatment, the opposing legal team could use that against you to argue that your injuries were not serious.

Move to a Safe Location

If possible, move your vehicle to a safe location off the road to avoid any additional accidents.

Exchange Information

Exchange contact and insurance information with the other drivers involved in the accident. This includes your contact information and insurance policy information. The police at the site might need even more information, such as the title of the vehicle and your driver’s license.

Document the Scene

If you are in stable condition at the accident site, you should start gathering evidence. Take pictures of the accident scene, including any damage to the vehicles and any injuries. It also helps to take photos of any skid marks on the road as that can be used by experts to reconstruct how the accident happened, and who was at fault.

Contact Your Insurance Company

Contact your insurance company as soon as possible to report the accident and provide them with the information you collected. However, you need to be cautious about what you share with the insurance company. Don’t admit fault or share unnecessary information with them. You have to remember that it’s in the best interest of the insurance company to minimize their payout. They will likely try to downplay your expenses or divert liability.

Consult a Portland Car Accident Lawyer

If you suffered serious injuries or significant property damage, consult a Portland car accident lawyer who can help you navigate the legal process. They will ensure that you receive fair compensation for your losses. While no attorney can guarantee results, an experienced and skilled car accident attorney can fight for your rights to receive fair compensation for your losses.

Navigating Insurance Claims

To ensure you get maximum compensation for your insurance claim, you need to plan how you will navigate the insurance claim process. The first step is to contact your insurance company. A common reason for a denied insurance claim is a lack of proper information, so check with the agent what information is needed.

Once the insurance company has the information it needs, it will likely initiate the claims investigation process. In most cases, an insurance adjuster will be assigned to your case with the duty to determine the damages that are covered under your insurance policy. Portland has an at-fault system, so the motorist is required to pay for damages that were caused as a result of their wrongdoing or negligence. The adjuster may also contact other liable parties to help with the process of providing witness information or other evidence for them to conclude their investigation.

The insurance adjuster will share the results with the insurance company, and they will review your policy to determine if they will accept or deny your claim. If they accept, they will send you an offer. If the claim is denied, you have the right to appeal the decision. In some cases, it can help to involve a higher-level decision-maker in the process.

In any case, you should never show desperation to get compensation as insurance companies can sense that and might delay the process to make you accept an unreasonably low offer.

The Role of a Portland Car Accident Lawyer

A Portland car accident lawyer can play a key role in navigating insurance claims. Using their experience and resources, they can guide you through each step of the way to ensure you don’t make mistakes that can jeopardize your case. Additionally, they handle the paperwork and communication with the insurance company so you don’t have to stress about that. Oftentimes, just having a reputed attorney on your side is often enough to force the insurance company to play fair.

photo of a car crash

Common Types of Car Accident Injuries in Portland, OR

Here are some common types of car accident injuries:

Whiplash

Whiplash is a soft tissue injury that occurs when the head and neck are suddenly jerked forward and then backward. Symptoms include neck pain, stiffness, and headaches.

Broken Bones

Car accidents can cause fractures and broken bones, especially in the arms, legs, and ribs.

Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal cord injuries can result in paralysis or loss of feeling in the limbs. These injuries can be severe and life-altering.

Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)

TBIs occur when the head hits an object or when the brain is jolted within the skull. Symptoms include headaches, dizziness, confusion, and memory loss.

Internal Injuries

Internal injuries can occur when the body is subjected to blunt force trauma. These injuries can include internal bleeding, organ damage, and other internal trauma.

Burns

Burns can occur if the vehicle catches fire or if chemicals are spilled in the accident.

Emotional Trauma

Car accidents can also cause emotional trauma, such as anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Oregon Car Accident Laws

Here are some important car accident laws in Oregon:

Statute of Limitations

In Oregon, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims resulting from a car accident is two years from the date of the accident. There may be exceptions to this deadline depending on the circumstances of your collision.

Comparative Negligence

Oregon follows a comparative negligence system, which means that damages may be reduced in proportion to the plaintiff’s degree of fault in the accident. As long as you don’t contribute to more than 50% of your damages, you can still be compensated for your injuries.

Mandatory Insurance

Oregon law requires all drivers to carry liability insurance with a minimum coverage of $25,000 per person for bodily injury, $50,000 per accident for bodily injury, and $20,000 per accident for property damage.

At-Fault State

Oregon is an at-fault state. This means that whoever caused the accident is responsible for paying damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages to the other parties involved in the collision. The at-fault driver’s insurance company is typically responsible for paying damages up to the policy limit. If the damages are more than the policy limit, the injured party could use their underinsured motorist coverage or directly sue the at-fault driver.

Seat Belt Law

Oregon law requires all drivers and passengers to wear seat belts while driving or riding in a motor vehicle. The Oregon seat belt laws apply to all types of vehicles, including pickup trucks, passenger cars, motor homes, etc. The penalties for not obeying the seat belt law include fines of up to $250.

Distracted Driving Law

Oregon law prohibits the use of handheld devices while driving, including texting, making phone calls, and using social media. Hands-free methods of communicating are required.

Portland, Oregon Car Accident Facts and Statistics

Here are some recent car accident statistics you can review:

Compensation Available for Car Accident Victims in Portland

If you’ve been involved in a car accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses and injuries. Here are some examples of the compensation you can recover:

Economic Damages

These are damages that have a specific monetary value, such as medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage. Economic damages are designed to compensate the victim for actual financial losses they have suffered as a result of the accident.

Medical Expenses

This can include costs associated with emergency medical treatment, such as diagnostic tests, consultations with specialists, and any necessary procedures. You may need inpatient hospital care, including room and board, medications, and other medical supplies.

You’ll possibly have costs such as medical treatment and care, including doctor visits, prescription medications, physical therapy, and rehabilitation. Transportation to and from medical appointments, including ambulance services, taxi fares, and gas and mileage expenses can also be included.

Lost Wages

In a personal injury case, the injured person may be able to recover the wages that they would have earned during the time that they were unable to work due to their injury. This can include the actual time missed from work and any future lost wages that the person may incur as a result of their injury.

For example, if the injury is severe enough to prevent you from returning to your previous job or career, you may be able to recover compensation for the future lost wages that you would have earned if not for the injury.

To recover lost wages in a personal injury case, you will need to provide documentation of your income, such as pay stubs or tax returns. This includes records of the time that you missed from work as a result of your injury. Documents that can help include doctor’s notes, medical records, or other documentation of medical treatment and recovery.

Property Damage

You can pursue compensation for any property that was lost as a result of someone else’s negligence or intentional actions. In the context of a personal injury case, property damage can refer to any property that was damaged in the accident, such as a car, a bicycle, or other personal belongings.

Non-Economic Damages

These are damages that do not have a specific monetary value, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life. Non-economic damages are designed to compensate the victim for intangible losses they have suffered as a result of the accident. This is estimated based on a multiplier that is ranged between one and seven, depending on the severity of your injuries.

Punitive Damages

These are damages that are designed to punish the at-fault party for their actions and to deter similar conduct in the future. Punitive damages are only awarded by a judge or jury in cases where the at-fault party’s conduct was particularly egregious or reckless.

Car Accident Prevention Tips for Portland Drivers

The easiest and most effective way to prevent car accidents in Portland, OR, is to drive within the speed limit. Even a slight decrease in speed can help you react to any situation on the road that needs you to brake or maneuver around an obstacle. Another key component of safe driving is to ensure your vehicle is properly maintained. Your vehicle needs regular maintenance to be in safe driving condition.

Visibility can be an issue in Portland, especially when there is inclement weather such as fog or snow. Remember that high beams make visibility worse in mist or foggy conditions. You also need to ensure there is enough space between you and the vehicle in the front so you have enough time to stop if the vehicle in the front comes to a sudden stop.

Avoid engaging in distracting behaviors while driving. This includes eating food, using your phone, or trying to reach something that is too far. Drivers often overestimate their ability to multitask while driving. Even a single error can have devastating consequences for you and other road users.

Why Choose Our Portland Car Accident Lawyers?

We provide a personal touch throughout your legal journey. An experienced Portland car accident lawyer can help you understand your rights and options for recovering damages in a personal injury case. We can help you gather the necessary documentation and negotiate with insurance companies or the at-fault party to ensure that you receive fair compensation for your losses.

In a personal injury case, the injured person will need to provide documentation of their damages, such as repair estimates or receipts for medical bills, to the other party’s insurer. The types and amount of damages that you can claim will vary based on your specific situation.

Our law firm works on a contingency-fee basis, which means you won’t have to pay us unless we win. We believe there should not be any additional hurdles on the way to financial recovery.

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