Frequently
Asked Questions.

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  • PIP stands for Personal Injury Protection. If you have a car insurance policy that was issued to you in Oregon, you have PIP on that policy. PIP is important because until you settle your case against the at-fault driver, you may have expenses that need to be covered such as medical expenses, lost wages or earnings, and expenses for necessary services. In Oregon, your own insurance will cover some of these items while you are waiting to get your case settled.

  • It is important to know that there are limits on the amount and/or duration of PIP benefits. But, in Oregon PIP covers reasonable and necessary medical expenses relating to the crash, wage losses after 14 days of continuous disability, essential household services, reasonable and necessary funeral expenses and childcare. Each of these has limits as you will see below.

  • No. PIP covers passengers in a car too. It also covers pedestrians or cyclists struck by a car.

  • In Oregon, PIP covers reasonable and necessary medical expenses up to at least $15,000 or two years whichever comes first.

  • In Oregon, PIP does not start paying for wage losses until you have been unable to work for fourteen (14) consecutive days. Then PIP pays 70% of your usual wage with a maximum of $3,000 per month. PIP wage loss coverage lasts for a maximum of 52 weeks of disability.

  • Yes. You can get reimbursed by PIP for essential services if you: do not normally have paid employment, are unable to perform your household tasks for at least 14 days, had to have someone perform the tasks who is not a member of your household and is unrelated to you, and the tasks are ones you normally do without compensation.

  • PIP benefits are available to the insured, members of the insured’s family or children living in the same household, passengers in the insured’s vehicle and pedestrians hit by the insured.

  • Yes. You could have multiple policies covering you in circumstances where you were a passenger and also had your own PIP policy. You could potentially have coverage on a third policy if a member of your household had PIP. This might be important if you have significant medical bills that will go above $15,000. You would want to try to get as many paid as possible while working on your claim against the at-fault driver. You do not want bills going to collections.

  • Maybe. In Oregon, PIP is not mandatory for motorcycle policies. If you elected to get PIP for your motorcycle policy, it will cover you. If you do not have PIP on your motorcycle policy then you likely will not be able to get PIP benefits from any other policy. You would need to rely on your health insurance until you can finalize your claim against the at-fault driver.

  • Yes. PIP is primary. Your health insurance may deny coverage until all available PIP is exhausted.

  • First, PIP is only the temporary coverage after a crash. Ultimately they will be paid back by the at-fault driver’s insurance company. PIP is there to pay for things while the case is being sorted out. Otherwise, you may not be able to be seen by a doctor or get wages and other necessary expenses paid until the case is resolved.

  • Yes. PIP is no-fault insurance. If it is later determined that you were at fault, you do not have to repay PIP.

  • This is tricky. The short answer is sometimes yes and sometimes no. Consult an Oregon personal injury lawyer familiar with car crash cases to discuss this issue.

  • Yes. If you do not go, they will cut off your PIP benefits. Unfortunately, the reason they are sending you to a so-called Independent Medical Examiner (IME) is to explore cutting off your benefits. They want the doctor to say that your medical care is no longer reasonable and necessary.

  • Yes. You can bring a claim against your own insurance company for wrongfully denying your PIP claim. You’ll want to call an Oregon lawyer with experience handling car crash cases to discuss this possibility.

  • Some people think that full coverage means the other driver (or themselves) have unlimited coverage for any damage that is caused. That is not true. It just means that the policyholder has coverage for damage to their own vehicle as well as liability coverage. The limits of that policy are an amount negotiated between the insured and their insurance company.

  • When a person buys a car insurance policy there are limits to how much the insurance company will pay for the damage the person causes. That is the “policy limit” on the case. In Oregon, the law requires policies have at least $25,000 in coverage per victim or $50,000 in coverage per incident. We call this a 25/50 policy. This means that if you were hurt by someone with Oregon minimum 25/50 limits, the most the insurance company is ever obligated to pay you is $25,000. If there are multiple victims in one crash, the most the insurance company might have to pay is $50,000 for the entire group even if that means each is left with less than $25,000. Many people have higher policy limits because they have assets they want to protect from a lawsuit and judgment.

  • Yes.  In Oregon, every driver is required to have at least a  $25,000 / $50,000 liability policy.

  • You have several options to explore. First, does the person who hurt you have significant enough financial assets to make it worth going after them personally? The answer is usually no. After all, if they had significant assets, they’d probably be protecting those assets with a better insurance policy. Secondly, you want to check your own insurance policy for your UM/UIM limits. This stands for Uninsured Motorist/ Underinsured Motorist coverage. This is additional coverage that can be available to you. Call me at 503-546-8812 if you have any questions about the availability of UM/UIM benefits.

  • UM is Uninsured Motorist coverage. If you are injured by someone without car insurance (or significant assets) then you can make a claim against your own insurance company up to the limits of your own insurance policy. So if you are hit by someone without insurance, you can still recover. UIM in Underinsured Motorist coverage. This applies in a situation where the person that injured you had car insurance but their limits were not enough to fully compensate you. It works like this: you recover policy limits from the at-fault driver’s insurance company, then you go after your own insurance company for your UIM coverage. An example might be helpful: assume the person that hit you has a $25,000 policy and you have a $50,000 UM/UIM policy. You can collect up to $25,000 from them and then up to an additional $50,000 from your own insurance company. If you had a $100,000 policy, you could collect the $25,000 from the other driver and then up to $100,000 from your own insurance company.

  • No. I’ll never ask you for a penny. Many other personal injury lawyers will ask you to advance the case costs. We don’t do that. And my fee is contingent on winning. If we don’t win, we don’t get paid.

  • We take a percentage of the money we recover for you. And this is important to note too – it’s the money we recover for YOU. Many personal injury lawyers base their fee off the gross amount recovered including past medical bills that must be repaid to providers or health insurance. We do not. An example might help you understand the importance. Assume you recover $100,000 but have $25,000 in outstanding medical bills that must be repaid. Many lawyers will take 1/3 (or more) of the $100,000 which means the lawyer gets $33,333.33, the health care providers get $25,000.00 and you get $41,666.67. Using the same facts we would take our fee from the net. This means 1/3 after the past medical bills are repaid. So, we would get $25,000, the health care providers would get $25,000 and you would get $50,000. This means that you take home an additional $8,333.33 more than you would if you hired many other lawyers.

  • In the American legal system, except in very specific circumstances, it doesn’t work that way. In England the loser pays. But their food is awful, so I recommend staying here.

  • Fault is only one of the factors that determine the outcome of a case. You have to establish fault, causation, and damages. For instance, in an auto case, you not only have to prove it was the other driver’s fault, but also that that fault is what caused your injury and that you were damaged in the amount you claim. Oftentimes cases go to trial because the defense disputes the injuries or there is a disagreement about the amount of money they should pay.

  • That depends more on the lawyer who represents the injured party than anything else. Approximately 15% of my cases go to trial or arbitration. That is definitely higher than average. The reason is that I’m focused on getting my clients the most money possible and that I’m not afraid of hard work or the courtroom. You want to make sure you hire a lawyer that has trial experience and has achieved trial results. Why? Well, what happens if the insurance company won’t make a good offer and you hired a lawyer that either won’t go to trial or isn’t very good at it? You’ll be stuck taking far less money than the value of your case. If you are interviewing lawyers, make sure to ask them about their trials. I’m proud to say that I’ve tried over 75 cases to a jury and my personal injury verdicts have exceeded the final offers by more than a 3 to 1 ratio. So if the insurance company isn’t fair, we are willing to go to court and make them pay.

  • Every case is different so it is hard to answer this question. Some cases can be resolved quickly because there isn’t a lot of money at stake or the insurance company decides to act reasonably. In other cases, the insurance company may act unfairly to you. In these cases, the case may result in a long process and even trial. As a rule of thumb, filed lawsuits generally go to trial about a year after they are filed. Medical malpractice cases generally take considerably longer.

  • You will always be the person to decide that. In a typical case, the answer is almost always no. In almost every case the defendant has insurance. The insurance company has a team of lawyers representing the defendant. Any judgment will be paid by the insurance company. You do not need to worry about financial harming the other side.

  • This is impossible to know until a lawyer has more facts and an opportunity to review medical records and speak to your doctors. Factors that affect the value of a case include the degree of injury, pre-injury health, the facts of the incident that caused the injury, whether the injured person is likable, whether the at-fault party is likable, where the case happened and more. Consult with an experienced Oregon personal injury lawyer to see if your case has merit. Beware of lawyers that make any promises of value over the phone. It is unethical and means nothing because their fee agreement will say they have made no promises about any outcome.

  • No. I’m not sure where people get this idea. There is no multiplier such as you get 3X your medical bills. This is a myth. A jury will not be instructed on anything like this. As you can imagine, this would be a terrible thing for someone who lost a limb (potentially minimal medical bills compared to the total harm caused) and a wonderful thing for a person that stubbed their toe and sought ten years of daily treatment. The law doesn’t work that way.

  • Some people think it sounds bad to “sue someone” to recover their losses and they don’t want to do that. Often the person who caused your injuries was nice, did not mean any harm, and felt terrible about what they’d done. So suing them sounds wrong. You do not have to file a lawsuit and ultimately it is your decision how to handle your case – not your lawyer’s. But the insurance companies know you might feel this way and they, unlike their insured driver, are not nice, don’t feel bad and honestly don’t care about you at all. You do not have to sue anyone but if we are going to maximize your recovery, we may have to put pressure on the insurance company by filing a lawsuit and being willing to go all the way if necessary.

  • We have to sue the driver. In Oregon, the lawsuit is against the at-fault driver, not the insurance company. The jury – if it goes that far – never gets to hear about insurance. But it is the at-fault driver’s insurance company that hires the lawyer and, in almost every case, pays for any verdict.

  • I take personal injury cases with merit throughout Oregon and Washington. I handle many motor vehicle cases including bicycle, commercial trucking, car, and motorcycle cases. I also take other types of personal injury cases including cases where people have been hurt due to unsafe property, defective or unsafely designed products, dog bites, nursing home abuse or neglect, medical malpractice and cases for the victims of violent crime.

  • Yes. I spend a lot of time each week speaking to people who have been injured or have family or friends that have been injured or killed. I never charge for these calls and they come with no strings attached. If you would prefer to meet in my office, I’m happy to do that too. I’ll just need a little bit of information first to make sure I can ethically discuss your case with you.

  • I have been a lawyer since 2003.

  • I have tried over 75 cases to a jury and a similar amount tried to a judge alone. This does not include arbitrations. I have done many of those too.

  • I sometimes take over cases when a person has fired their previous lawyer. The biggest complaint I hear is that their lawyer never answered their calls or emails. You can always reach me if you need me. My assistant, Stephanie, is available and can probably answer most questions you might have. But if you want to talk to me I’ll make sure to make myself available to answer any questions you might have.

  • I’ll handle it myself unless we discuss in advance that I’d like to associate another lawyer. That usually only happens in very complicated cases like medical malpractice where having an additional attorney involved is best for your case. It does not cost you anything more. Normally, I handle everything myself. I do not have an associate or partner so there is nobody for me to hand a case off to.

  • It depends. Sometimes a case is too far into the process to switch and you are stuck. That is why it is so important to make a good decision the first time. Sometimes, another lawyer can substitute in and take over the case. Unfortunately, many lawyers do not want to do this because they did not get the opportunity to do the case preparation like depositions etc., and it is too late to be adequately prepared or because the first lawyer is asserting a lien and now the case has become financially unattractive. Call and I’ll discuss your options with you.

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Law Office of Chad Stavley
5.0
Based on 5 Reviews
Debbi T.
2017-03-05 15:14:24
I live out of state and reached out to Chad for help with a pedestrian accident that I had while in Portland. Chad took the time to listen and communicate...
Libby S.
2017-11-03 09:05:05
I don't ever write reviews, but this is one I wholeheartedly recommend to my community and family in need of a Personal Injury Attorney. Navigating a...
Kate F.
2014-11-12 13:35:31
I feel fortunate to have Chad on our side to handle an accident a couple of years ago. I'd had zero experience in lawsuits. He is knowledgeable,...
Alana S.
2015-06-12 16:12:28
As someone without any experience in the legal realm, it is daunting to navigate the aftermath of an auto accident. Chad is both knowledgeable and...
Russell Charley
21:18 15 Nov 17
I have to thank Chad for his time and compassion when working with my Mom and l. When I initially called Chad I was full of fear and anger about the wreck and how my civil case was being handled. My former attorney had just notified me, by mail, that he couldn’t do anything for me, and to come pick up the paperwork. Chad listened and talked with Me. Giving him hope and a path forward. This is what I needed at this very low point in my life. Chad met with Mom and I in person, later emailing us detailed instructions. Which we followed. He provided support and was available when we got stuck and had questions. Chad’s help and support have been invaluable to our family. And has help put closure to this catastrophic event in my life. I high recommend Chad.read more
Trudy Corrigan
16:29 25 Oct 17
Chad helped us walk the difficult path of victims of a violent crime. He was experienced and reassuring through tough times.
James N
22:11 14 Jun 17
Chad is the real deal, truly out to help the less powerful and not in it just for a paycheck. Heres proof: I called him because my insurance adjuster was BS'ing me around with medical coverage, telling me I wasn't eligible. Chad went out of his way to three way call my insurance company with me, talk to the adjuster, and voila! Now i have medical coverage and I can get my back fixed. The best part? He didn't charge me a dime! He did it out of the kindness of his heart for somebody of lower status. Call it 100% magnanimous. If you're looking for a personal injury attorney, Mr. Stavley is your guy. read more
Abby K
14:52 31 Mar 17
Chad and his staff were extremely helpful with my case. I contacted his office after being injured in a car accident and he was able to produce a very nice outcome. He and Stephanie were always available and responded quickly to any questions or help needed in a friendly way. I highly recommend him!read more
Milton Pareta
05:16 17 Nov 16
I was in a major car accident in Eugene, Oregon back in June 2015. Resulting in numerous of injuries. Hospitalized for a couple of weeks and rehabbing for a couple of months after that. I was referred to Chad and he even came out to see me in Eugene from Portland. Our first discussion wasn't about any legal actions but how I was healing from the accident. Chad actually cares about his clients and will make sure you're taken cared off. He makes sure he is prepared for his cases and always is in communication with me. He even calls to see how I am doing or if I needed anything. He made my lawsuit really easy to handle. He will give you the best result one can ask for. Very easy and cool to work with. He will make sure that you are taken cared off. I highly recommend Chad Stavley for any personal injury case. You will be very pleased from the results.read more
sarah
00:04 01 Aug 18
After being rear ended by an impaired driver that left the scene, I contacted Chad Stavley because of his reputation for doing the right thing for the right reasons when he was a Deputy District Attorney with Multnomah County. Not only did he make the personal injury and damage portion of the collision simple, Chad also very quickly understood that I hoped for an outcome that was fair and reasonable for the person that hit me. Because of his prior experience and background, he was able to easily navigate the criminal aspect of this case with a resolution that held the driver accountable in a meaningful way, made me feel as if my input truly mattered, and most importantly, identified and acknowledged community stakeholders affected by impaired drivers. I cannot imagine navigating this sometimes very unpleasant process with another attorney. It is Chad's integrity and sincere compassion that guided and positively impacted this process for me and everyone else involved. I will recommend Chad Stavley to everyone I know.read more
Ying Zhang
03:10 30 Jul 18
I sought out Chad after a personal injury and he was extremely helpful in helping me understand my rights and advocate my case. He was always very professional and supportive throughout this difficult time. I am extremely happy with the outcome of my case and was also able to receive much needed closure after my accident. I highly recommend Chad!read more
Kyle Turner
01:07 22 Aug 18
Chad took my case after I was in a severe car accident in which an impaired driver with no insurance was at fault. After a year of Chad working on my case, he was able to not only significantly reduce my medical bills, but as a result, was able to get some settlementment money for me. He was always great about staying in contact and I never felt rushed. Chad took the time to explain the case clearly and was even complimented by the D.A. office handling the criminal side of the accident. After everything was settled, he waived his fees, leaving me with a bit more money than I had originally thought.read more
Mackenzie Andrews
05:36 01 May 18
I was in an auto accident right after I turned 18. After a year of battling my case by myself I decided to finally look for legal help. I met with a few other attorneys before meeting Chad. Chad was understanding of my situation. I felt at ease signing over the case to him knowing everything was in good hands. I will be recommending him to all family and friends.read more
QB Oregon
22:49 28 Aug 18
Chad is a great guy to work with, very down to earth and easy to talk to. He worked with me on the wrongful death case of my husband, and I couldn't be happier with his quick responses and approach. I highly recommend him to anyone who wants an attorney that is knowledgeable and willing to go the extra mile for his clients.read more
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