Portland Car Accident Lawyer
The purpose of this page is to help you understand the process, costs, and what benefits you may gain from hiring a car accident attorney. If you are not familiar with how a car accident personal injury case works, this is a good place to start learning.
The most important things to know is that the insurance company is already working to make sure they pay very little or nothing on your claim. You will never be taken seriously until you have a good attorney. Insurance companies respond when they feel threatened. You are not threatening to them. You should get a Portland lawyer with expertise in car accident cases. Your divorce attorney or the guy that represented your cousin on a DUII is probably not the person you want. You want Portland car accident lawyer with results and trial experience. If things get tough you want a lawyer who has been in the fight. Ask any potential lawyer about their trial experience.
What Makes Us Different
- Guaranteed No Fee Unless We Win – If we don’t win your car accident case we don’t take a fee.
- Results – Our results have far exceeded the offers made to clients before hiring us. Our verdicts have been more than five times the amount of offers made. See our Results.
- Fair Fee Structure and Costs Policy – Unlike many lawyers we advance the case costs and court filing fees. This can be thousands of dollars. And we take our fee off the net and not the gross. This saves you money.
- Satisfied Clients – Read our testimonials.
- Recognized Expertise – Chad Stavley has been rated by SuperLawyers as one of the top lawyers in Portland and the state for personal injury cases. He has been picked by Martindale-Hubbell to receive their AV – Preeminent rating for ability and ethics.
- Ethics – Chad Stavley has an AV Preeminent ethics rating by Martindale-Hubbell.
- Responsive – One of the biggest complaints I hear about lawyers is they did not return the client’s calls or emails. Some even refuse to sit down and meet with clients. We take pride in being ready to answer your questions when you need them answered. If you want to meet to talk about your case, we will make it happen.
What We Must Prove To Win
Fault / Negligence
You must prove that the car accident was the other driver’s fault – they were negligent. In other words they did something a reasonable driver wouldn’t do or failed to do something that a reasonable driver would do. In Portland these things happen every day. It can be not paying attention, running a red light, driving drunk, texting while driving, not stopping in time, driving too fast, tailgaiting or many other things.
The defense may allege that you were also negligent for similar reasons. In Oregon you can recover if you were at-fault too but only if the jury determines that your fault was 50% or less of the reason for the damages. In the event you are determined to be some percentage at fault (but 50% or less) the damages award will be reduced by that percentage.
You must prove that the car accident was a cause of your damages. Sometimes this is misunderstood. You don’t have to have been in perfect health before the crash to recover. Maybe you had a bad knee already but the crash made it worse. You can still recover for the amount it was made worse. For instance, if you were able to live with the bad knee before and now you need surgery then you can recover for that. But you must be able to prove it.
These are the amounts explained in the damages chart below. You have to prove your damages. A good car accident attorney will be able to maximize the amount you can collect. If the case goes to trial the jury literally pencils in numbers onto the verdict sheet and that is the end of it.
Damages in a Car Accident Case
You are entitled to recover for all the medical bills that are for reasonable and necessary care that is related to your car accident. If you have health insurance or PIP that is for your benefit and not the driver that hurt you. You can recover the billed amount and not just the amount left after reductions made by your health insurance or by PIP. If you will require medical care in the future you are entitled to recover for that too.
If you were unable to go to work because of your injury, or had to work reduced hours you can recover for those losses. You can also recover if your ability to earn a living in the future has been damaged.
You may have already settled with the insurance company for your property damage. If your car was fixed it may not be worth what it would have been had never been in a crash. You can recover for the loss in your vehicle’s value.
Pain & Suffering
The law refers to these damages as non-economic damages.They are hard for some people to understand because they are not set like the price of medical care or a car. There is no chart or multiplier. The amount is mostly determined by the skill of your attorney. If your case went to trial a jury of 12 community members would listen to all the evidence and decide what is fair compensation based on everything you went through and may go through in the future. This can often be the largest portion of your damages.
If you had to hire someone to do the basic domestic chores you normally do for yourself then you can recover for this. This applies to future needs too.
These may apply in situations where the other driver was driving drunk or in some other way showed outrageous indifference to a highly unreasonable risk of harm. The law says that the purpose of punitive damages is to “give bad actors a legal spanking.”