Portland Car Accident Attorney
If you have been seriously injured in an Oregon car accident, you may have a lot of questions and feel like you have no place to turn. The insurance company is making you anxious by calling and sending you letters and forms. Do I have to call them back? What if I don’t send in these forms?
Information on the internet is often not credible. You can’t afford to make a mistake. Do yourself a favor and call for a free consultation and give yourself some peace of mind. We are here to answer your questions and help you get back to focusing on your recovery and the wellbeing of your family.
After we talk, if you decide you need representation, we can discuss that. But that is your choice on your timeline. We will never pressure you. Before making that call, you may want to have some information.
Oregon car accident laws you need to know
Statutes of limitations
The first thing you should be aware of is the statute of limitations. A statute of limitations is a law that places a deadline on when you must file and serve a lawsuit or lose your opportunity.ORS 12.110 Generally, in Oregon, the statute of limitations for car accident cases is two years for an injury. ORS 30.020 The statute of limitations in Oregon is three years in a wrongful death case. ORS 12.160 There are exceptions that can lengthen the time, such as being a minor or mentally handicapped when the injury occurred. ORS 30.275 But be aware that there can be shorter notice deadlines if the at-fault driver is working for a public body. In that case, you must give the public entity notice within six months for an injury or one year for a death.
It is a good idea to consult with an experienced Oregon car accident lawyer well in advance of your statute of limitations. Make sure you do not miss any critical deadlines.
Comparative fault in Oregon
It is also important to understand how Oregon law handles situations where more than one driver may be at fault. Some states have laws that prevent you from recovering any money if you were even one percent at fault for the crash. In those states, the other driver could be 99% at fault but not have to pay anything. Other states use various methods to compare the negligence of the parties.ORS 31.600 Oregon is a modified comparative fault state. What that means is that the jury determines who is at fault for the crash. If the jury finds that more than one driver was at fault, then the jury determines the percentage of fault for each driver. If the plaintiff (person bringing the lawsuit) is 51% at fault or more, then they recover nothing. Put another way, if you are more at fault than the other driver, you recover nothing, even when the other driver did have some fault. If the plaintiff has some fault, but it does not get to 51%, then the plaintiff recovers their damages reduced by their percentage of fault. For instance, if the plaintiff were found to be 10% at fault, the verdict would be reduced by 10% by the court.
Portland Rideshare Regulations
For information about cases involving Uber, Lyft and other rideshare companies go to our Uber page.
Oregon car accident statistics
In 2017 439 people lost their lives on Oregon roads. Of those, 56 were motorcyclists, 10 were bicyclists, 73 were pedestrians, and 314 were car or truck occupants. Multnomah County had the highest number of fatalities at 58. If we look at deaths by month, we learn that the summer months are the deadliest.
Oregon motor vehicle accident injury and fatality map – 2017
Help from an experienced Portland car accident attorney
You have a right to recover for your damages. Your damages include pain and suffering, lost income, past, and future medical expenses, the lost capacity to earn a living, and other reasonable and necessary damages. Our job is to make sure you get a full and fair recovery. We have experience handling automobile accident cases throughout Oregon.
Most motor vehicle accident cases involve insurance. The at-fault driver’s insurance company will be the ones paying any settlement or verdict. Therefore, they will hire a lawyer for their driver and begin preparing the defense case right away. You should have an experienced Portland motor vehicle and truck accident lawyer building your case.
We make sure that insurance companies pay victims fairly by preparing every case for trial. We only advise accepting a settlement when the insurance company offers an amount of money that is fair. Insurance companies only offer fair compensation when they know that the victim’s lawyer is prepared for trial and has experience trying cases. They know we are more than happy to let a jury decide what your compensation should be.
What a good Portland car accident attorney can do
- Get All The Evidence. We find witnesses and get their statements, gather physical evidence, get pictures and video if there is any, talk to investigating officers, and have experts help when accidents have complicated issues we need to understand. We talk to doctors to understand your injuries and future prognosis. We gather evidence of wage losses or lost earning capacity. We get all the evidence ready to present so that a jury can understand it if it comes to that.
- Calculate All Your Damages. We have to prove all your damages. This includes past medical expenses, future medical expenses, lost wages, decreased earning capacity, pain and suffering, and other related costs. We know how to accurately calculate your damages so that you leave nothing on the table. We can discuss pain and suffering with you so that you know what is realistic in your case. We know how to present these damages to a jury if necessary in a way that they can understand and act upon. We have a history of obtaining considerable pain and suffering verdicts in relation to the economic damages awarded.
- Negotiate With The Defense. Once we have all the facts and know what your damages are, it is time to get what you are entitled to. This can be very difficult. Insurance companies will not pay you full value unless you force them to. They often do not negotiate fairly. We generally file lawsuits and start preparing for trial. Only then will the insurance companies take you seriously. Sometimes they still do not. Sometimes mediation is helpful, but there comes a time when negotiations stop, and a trial is inevitable.
- Try Your Case To A Verdict If Necessary. More than ninety percent of all personal injury cases settle. But not every case can be settled unless you want to accept far less than a fair settlement value. Sometimes the defense does not think they are at fault or does not believe the value of the case is what you do. You need to have an experienced and willing trial lawyer. If you hire a lawyer that only has experience settling cases, you put all your hopes on the other side being fair. If they aren’t fair in your case, it may be too late to change lawyers and get someone who is qualified. It is critically important to get a qualified vehicle accident attorney from the very beginning.
We’ve helped many others, let us help you
We’ve helped many motor vehicle accident victims in Portland and throughout Oregon. We are proud of our results and encourage you to review our Results page. You can also look at our five-star Google reviews. If you or a loved one has been hurt in a motor vehicle accident, call Chad Stavley today and get your free and confidential consultation.