Personal Injury

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How can we help? Obtaining your best possible outcome is our top priority.

The physical, emotional, and psychological damage from an accident of any kind, including an Oregon personal injury, can be all-consuming. Let us take care of the law. You take care of the healing.

With Pacific Injury Law Firm, you can expect a lot.

1.Talk to Lawyers

In most firms, it is the staff that handles the bulk of your case. You end up dealing with paralegals, assistants, or clerks instead of the lawyer you signed up with. At Pacific Injury, assistants may handle the paperwork and occasional informational calls, but most of the time, you will be working with your actual trial attorney.

2.Streamlined Representation

Our office and injury attorneys have built the firm from the ground up with efficiency in mind. Paperless, custom-built data centers for instant access to all file information, and flexible communication by phone, email, and even secure instant messaging. We want you to be able to participate as part of the team in your case.

3.Honest Assessment of Case

Far too many personal injury "mills" are out to settle your case as fast as possible so they can move on the next. Pacific Injury was founded by lawyers who are used to the courtroom and don't run from it. If getting you top-dollar for your injury means taking the matter to a jury, we will do it. If you are ready for a trial, we won't back down either.

Personal Injury?

The best Oregon personal injury attorney for you is the attorney that gets the outcome you want.

A Personal Injury Can Change Your Life Forever

A distracted driver. A damaged sidewalk. Spilled oil on the grocery store floor. Worn electrical wiring. A dirty windshield. Debris on the roadway. All around us are little facts of life that pose hazards. 99% of the time, we navigate our world without tripping, cutting, being hit by cars, electrocuting ourselves, or generally hurting ourselves. Humans are a tenacious bunch, and we navigate our world, usually avoiding significant injury.

However, sometimes we aren't so lucky, and the odds catch up with us. Something in our world causes us personal injury in any countless number of unexpected (or expected) ways. This is where the law of personal injury can become critical. Personal injury law generally is just the practice of law that focuses on helping injured people recover money (referred to as "damages") from other people who are at fault in some way for causing the injury.

Oregon Personal Injury Lawyers - What do they do?

Oregon personal injury attorneys practice in the area of law known as "personal injury." That is, they focus their practice on helping people injured in any number of ways locate the appropriate responsible parties so that they can compensate for the injury. Generally, this is in the form of money, or damages, to the injured party. The best Oregon personal injury lawyers will be skilled at locating sources of liability and insurance coverage that can compensate a person for their injuries.

Doing What It Takes

Personal injury lawsuits can be and generally are complicated. Accidents can come in endless forms, including work-related injuries, car accident injuries, bicycle accidents, slip and fall cases, or even injuries sustained just walking down the street from a negligent driver. Even a seemingly simple motor vehicle accident with very low speeds and non-life-threatening injuries can result in complicated legal skirmishes with the insurance companies and their defense lawyers. You need the top Oregon injury attorney and resources on your side to get the best possible outcome for your future. While money does not heal the body, it provides a means to obtain the treatment necessary to continue your life before somebody else's negligence caused you harm.

Knowledge and Experience

We have the legal knowledge necessary to negotiate your claim with the insurance companies effectively. We also rely on the latest technologies and case-management to effectively build your case to be compelling. Our goal is the same as yours: to maximize your compensation award. Whether you’ve been injured in a pedestrian accident, car accident, bicycle accident, motorcycle accident, commercial truck accident or other road accident, contact the personal injury lawyers at Pacific Injury Law Firm today so we can put our expertise to work for you.

Every personal injury matter has individualized circumstances and factors, requiring careful evaluation by an experienced personal lawyer to advise on your case . Getting you the best possible recovery is our top priority. Call us for a free legal evaluation today.

Best-rated attorneys in Oregon for personal injury.

Personal Injury
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

Who is at fault in this accident?

Who is at fault in this accident?

Common Law Negligence

Every contested auto accident involves two major issues - "liability" and "damages." Liability simply means that the other party must be legally liable before he or she has any obligation to pay compensation for injuries. (Damages are discussed elsewhere on our blog. Search our blog for damages issues discussed.)

Legal liability in a motor vehicle accident is most frequently based upon the law of negligence. Negligence is a concept that goes back hundreds of years to the English "common law," and it refers to the failure to exercise reasonable care under the circumstances.

The fact that an accident occurred does not necessarily mean anyone was at fault; some accidents are legally considered unavoidable, meaning no one is legally liable. There are four elements of negligence which must be present in every case before the negligent person (sometimes referred to as a "tortfeasor") has an obligation to pay damages:

  1. Duty
  2. Breach of Duty
  3. Causation
  4. Damages

When you are operating a motor vehicle, you have a duty to exercise reasonable care for the safety of others on the road. That usually means that you must drive at speeds that are reasonable under the circumstances, keep your vehicle under control, keep a lookout for what is going on around you, obey traffic laws, etc.

If you do not live up to your obligations, you have breached the duty. For example, imagine a straight stretch of road where normally it is safe and legal to travel 45 MPH. However, on a particular night, the fog is so thick that you can't see ten feet. If you travel 45 MPH that night and run into another vehicle, you have breached your duty to drive reasonably under the circumstances.

However, in order to be held legally liable under the law of negligence, your breach of duty must be the cause of injury or damage to another. Continuing with the same example, if you travel 45 MPH down this foggy road at night but do not strike another vehicle, hit a person, or in any way cause any damage or injury, then you are not negligent. You may have violated the law and could receive a traffic citation, but you are not negligent.

Similarly, you might cause some type of incident but no damage to another person, in which case you still would not be negligent. Let us imagine that in your race through the fog you strike a wall, damaging your car but causing no damage to the wall. You are not legally liable to anyone, since your breach of duty has not caused any damage.

Negligence law can be fairly simple, as when one driver is inattentive and rear-ends another vehicle lawfully stopped at a red light. However, it can also be maddeningly complex, as when several people are involved, eyewitnesses differ in their accounts, and no one can agree on the facts, let alone what the legal obligations were.

Statutory Negligence

If the operator of a vehicle violates one of the rules of the road and the violation causes an accident, that is referred to as statutory negligence. So for example, if the law prohibits passing over a solid line, and you pass over a solid line anyway and hit an oncoming car, the operator of that car would claim that you were negligent for violating the statute.

Not every statutory violation makes you legally liable for an auto accident, however. For example, in most states, the fact that a driver does not have a legal driver's license, or is not insured as required by state law, does not create legal liability for an accident. It may, however, subject the driver to other sanctions, depending upon state law.

Contributory Negligence and Comparative Negligence

Sometimes there is more than one person who is at fault in causing an accident. Whether an injured person can recover damages from a third party depends upon how their particular state applies the law of contributory and comparative negligence.

Let's take a simple example. John and Betty are each driving a car and collide in an intersection where there are no stop signs, traffic lights, or other markings. Each claims the other was going too fast for the circumstances and not maintaining a proper lookout entering the intersection.

Betty was injured in the accident and sues John, alleging that John was negligent. For his defense, John argues that Betty herself was negligent. The case is tried and goes to the jury. Let's assume the jury would award Betty damages for her injuries in the amount of $10,000.

In a contributory negligence jurisdiction, if the jury finds Betty was the least bit negligent and contributed to the accident, then Betty would recover nothing. Therefore, even if Betty is only 5% at fault and John is 95% at fault, Betty recovers $0.

In a comparative negligence jurisdiction, if a jury finds that Betty is 5% at fault and John is 95% at fault, Betty would still be able to recover, but her $10,000 in damages would be reduced by her 5% of the fault, so that Betty would recover only $9,500.

Comparative negligence differs among states. For example, if Betty is found to be 50% at fault, and John 50% at fault, some comparative negligence states would still allow Betty to recover $5,000 (50% of her damages), while other states would prevent her from recovering at all because she is equally at fault with the other driver.

Still, other states draw the line at 51%, following the principle that a plaintiff who is MORE negligent than a defendant should not be able to recover anything. For example, in Oregon, Betty would recover $5,000 if she is 50% negligent, but if she is 51% negligent, she would recover nothing.

Finally, there are about 13 states which have "pure comparative negligence" law. This means that a jury could conclude that Betty is 90% at fault for the accident, and John was only 10% at fault, but Betty would still be able to recover $1,000 (her damages reduced by 90%).

What is an Oregon Letter of Protection?

What is an Oregon Letter of Protection?

Personal injury cases don’t resolve overnight. Depending on the scope of the injuries, a client may treat for weeks, months, or even years before they can obtain compensation for their injuries. During this time of treatment, insurance may or may not be paying the bills, but medical providers still need to get paid. To protect their interests, these medical providers may request a “Letter of Protection” from the personal injury attorney.

The Letter of Protection is essentially an agreement between the attorney and the medical provider to withhold further billing of the client until the conclusion of the personal injury case. This allows the client to recover money to pay to the provider from whoever caused the injury. The Letter of Protection does not make the lawyer liable for the medical provider’s bills, but it does give the client some financial breathing room to obtain treatment while their case is pending and until they have the resources to make payment.

When Should a Letter of Protection Be Used?

Attorneys should only issue an Oregon Letter of Protection when the client has approved it ahead of time. If you have a circumstance in your case where you think it might help, you can discuss the facts with your lawyer and see whether they will issue a Letter of Protection on your behalf. Your attorney should not do this without consulting you, because ultimately it is the client (or patient/recipient of medical treatment) that will be liable for paying the bills, either from their pocket or from financial recovery.

Who Can Issue a Letter of Protection?

The only person who can issue an Oregon Letter of Protection is an attorney for the injured party. While the implementation is generally less formal, it is nonetheless the equivalent of a contract between the medical provider and the lawyer. This contract acts as a lien against the funds recovered by the lawyer on behalf of the injured party. That is, if the lawyer recovers money either by settlement or at trial for the injured party, the medical provider will have a right to be paid from those funds. Without an attorney representing them, the injured party cannot issue a Letter of Protection (or enter into this contract) alone. That’s not to say that an individual can’t make a privately negotiated agreement, but it will not be in the form of a more formalized Letter of Protection.

Can I Use a Letter of Protection for All Bills?

After an injury, a party may not be able to work, and may have lots of non-medical bills that need paying in addition to medical bills. While some billers may seek to have a Letter of Protection to get paid later, most lawyers only enter into these agreements with medical providers who are directly related to the injuries from the accident. For example, just because you are expecting compensation from a personal injury case down the road, it doesn’t mean that a Letter of Protection would be used by an attorney to pay your mortgage.

What’s an example of a Letter of Protection in common practice?

Let’s say that James is in a car accident where he was rear-ended by a speeding and negligent driver. James suffers injuries requiring $30,000 in medical treatment. Unfortunately, James just left his employer and doesn’t currently have private health insurance for his hospital bills. While it seems clear that the other insured driver will ultimately have to pay some costs, that driver’s insurance is still investigating and has not paid out any money yet to cover his costs. In this case, James’ lawyer may use a Letter of Protection that provided James’ treatment, indicating that they will get paid when the insurance claim settles. This gives the hospital some security that they are not getting left with an unpaid bill and allows James the time to receive the treatment he needs while his case is pending.

Do I need a lawyer if my damages from a Personal are less than $10,000?

The short answer to this common question is “yes.” You should talk to a lawyer to represent you on these claims because of how insurance companies handle smaller claims. In addition to large claims, insurance companies process a huge number of smaller claims valued at less than $10,000. To do this, they commonly offer injured parties very small amounts of money or no money at all. The insurance companies are betting that small claims will just go away without the injured person seeking legal help.

However, Oregon has created a law (ORS 20.080) which is intended to level the playing field for injured parties with smaller claims and to promote these injured parties’ ability to get legal counsel. Generally, the law accomplishes this by awarding attorney fees to a party who successfully uses a lawyer to represent them in recovering their damages (medical costs, property losses, and other expenses including as lost wages). These fees for your lawyer are awarded if you make a demand for payment under $10,000.00, and the defendant (or their insurance company) declines the offer or offers less than you demand. If you subsequently are awarded more, you are also entitled to attorney fees under the law. Here is an example:

  1. Bill Bicyclist is injured by a motorist and suffers damages less than $10,000. Bill smartly contacts Pacific Injury Law Firm, who serves a written demand for Bill’s damages on the motorist and their insurance company. The demand makes clear that the demand is being made pursuant to ORS 20.080, and provide proof of damages (receipts, bills, etc).
  2. Bill’s Personal a lawyer waits for 30 days, during which time the insurance company responds with a letter denying the claim, and offering Bill nothing._
  3. Bill Files a lawsuit against the motorist.
  4. Because the insurance company offered $0 to Bill, if Bill’s skilled a lawyers recover anything at trial, even a single dollar, the motorist and their insurance company must pay the amount awarded by the court or arbitrator, in addition to paying Bill’s an attorney fees and court costs.
  5. In the event the insurance company offers some amount of money in their initial offer, they would have to receive a better result at trial or arbitration to avoid having to pay a lawyer fees.
  6. The Portland, Oregon Personal lawyers at Pacific Injury Law Firm are skilled at using the leverage that the Oregon legislature has provided in ORS 20.080 to recover for our clients involved in less-catastrophic injury cases.
Arbitration and Mediation - What's The Difference?

Arbitration and Mediation - What's The Difference?

Alternative Dispute Resolution ("ADR") is becoming an increasingly important option in many jurisdictions. ADR refers to efforts to find methods that are outside the court system to resolve civil disputes. These methods may be advantageous to the courts and to the parties involved since they may resolve a dispute in a faster, more cost-effective manner and reduce or eliminate the need for participation by the court system.

In many states, and within the federal court system, the number of civil cases continues to grow annually. However, the resources necessary to handle the increasing caseload - primarily judges and court staff - are not keeping pace. The result is a heavier workload for existing personnel and longer waiting periods between the time a civil lawsuit is filed and the trial of that case.

The criminal caseload continues to grow in most jurisdictions. Since criminal cases generally have priority, based in part on a constitutional right to a speedy trial, the effect on civil cases (such as personal injury claims arising from auto accidents) is to delay them even longer.

The courts have tried employing various methods of ADR. The most common types of ADR are arbitration and mediation. In addition, various private companies have sprung up over the last few years in many areas with active ADR policies to provide these necessary services.

Arbitration

Arbitration is a process by which one or three individuals, often lawyers, serve as "judges" to decide a case. It is a mini-trial, often held in a conference room or other neutral location, in which evidence is presented to the arbitrator(s) much as if in a courtroom. There are many different types of arbitration procedures.

Arbitration can be binding or non-binding. Binding arbitration is one in which the ruling of the arbitrator is final, and often can become a judgment, just as if the case were tried before a judge or jury. For example, many contracts have a provision requiring binding arbitration, so that if a dispute arises between the parties to the contract which cannot be worked out voluntarily, they have agreed in advance to have it decided by arbitration, rather than through a lawsuit.

Non-binding arbitration goes through the same mini-trial procedure, but the ruling of the arbitrator(s) does not eliminate the losing party's right to go to court and have the case decided by a judge or jury. For example, some courts now have a procedure in which "smaller" civil cases (such as cases involving less than a dollar amount, like $25,000) are required to go to non-binding arbitration. Although the losing side can still go to court, in practice the vast majority of cases are resolved by non-binding arbitration do not re-enter the court system.

The number and selection of arbiters differ considerably. Sometimes the parties to an arbitration are required to agree on a single arbitrator. Frequently, however, such agreement is difficult, and so procedures have been established to select a three arbiter panel. For example, in a civil case, the plaintiff might select one arbitrator and the defendant would select a second. The two arbiters selected would then get together and pick a third, or "swing," arbiter. Three arbiter panels typically decide cases by a majority vote.

It is important to note that most insurance policies in which PIP or no-fault benefits are provided have provisions that disputes be subject to binding arbitration. Similarly, uninsured and underinsured motorist disputes arising under auto policies are frequently arbitrated. However, some recent court decisions question whether an individual or an insurance company can be deprived of the constitutional right to a jury trial and forced to arbitrate these issues.

Mediation

Mediation involves the use of a neutral third party to assist in bringing about a voluntary resolution of a dispute. The mediator does not "decide" the case. Instead, a good mediator tries to find common ground in a dispute and encourages both sides to reach that common ground.

Because the nature of mediation is to sit down face to face to try to reach a voluntary agreement, it is usually necessary that everyone involved be present - individuals, attorneys, insurance adjusters, etc. However, it is usually not required that a defendant who has insurance be present if the insurance company has full authority to settle the claim.

For example, in an auto accident case, the plaintiff may be asking for $30,000 for her injuries, but the insurance company is only willing to offer $20,000. The mediator may talk to the insurance adjuster and the insurance attorney and point out the strengths of the plaintiff's case, the risks and costs associated with the insurance company going to trial, and the advantages of settling the particular case. Similarly, a good mediator will talk to the plaintiff and her attorney about the risks and costs of trial and the weaknesses in the case. When parties are open to discussion, often a settlement can be reached on some middle ground which all sides find acceptable.

Because any resolution as a result of mediation is voluntary among the parties, it will be a binding settlement.

How long do Oregon Personal cases take to resolve?

The length of time it will take to conclude and resolve your Oregon Personal case is dependent on a number of factors, only some of which are within your control. These include:

  • Your Choice of Attorney: Selection of an experienced lawyer to handle the legal hurdles in your Oregon personal injury case, including insurance company negotiations and potential litigation (should it become necessary), dramatically can change the timeline of your case.
  • Severity of Injuries: The scope of your injuries as well as the medical treatment necessary for you to adequately proceed with an accident claim.
  • Negotiations: In a large number of Oregon Personal cases, the insurance company will “lowball” the early settlement offers to an accident victim, often attempting to pressure the victim into taking a lesser amount then the claim is worth. An experienced Oregon Personal lawyer will anticipate the “stall and delay” tactics commonly used by insurance to wear down clients. The attorneys at Pacific Injury Law Firm won’t be bullied, stalled, or intimidated by insurance companies.
  • Accident Investigation: Preparation for trial or even negotiations requires knowing exactly what occurred in an accident. A lawyer working on your case may need to use one or several investigators or specialists to reconstruct the facts, depending on the type of accident in which you were involved. Further investigation may be needed to identify all the potentially liable parties or witnesses.
  • Litigation: Sometimes negotiations fail, or an insurance company simply is unwilling to pay what a Personal claim should be worth. If a settlement cannot be obtained, your attorney would likely need to file a lawsuit and proceed to trial. In that event, the time of resolution is controlled by issues including the evidence discovery process, mediation, depositions, and further negotiations with the defendant's insurance company.
The Non-Lawyer's Quick Guide to Depositions

Having Your Deposition Taken

Please note: while this summary of a deposition is directed toward a personal injury case arising from an auto accident, you will find the general information applicable to many types of litigation.

What Is a Deposition?

A deposition is an oral testimony taken under oath before a trial or arbitration. It is customary that depositions be taken of the parties to a lawsuit. Often depositions are also taken of witnesses and others who might testify at trial. Even though it often takes place in a conference room or office, and the setting is somewhat informal, it is a very important event in any lawsuit.

The questions you will be asked pertaining to information relevant to your automobile accident case. For example, you will be asked about your medical, employment, and educational background, and about the accident and your injuries. Your deposition will probably take between one and two hours, although the length can vary considerably.

Your attorney will review your testimony before the deposition and will be there with you when you are questioned by the other attorney. There will also be a court reporter present, taking down everything you say, so it is important that you be as accurate and truthful as possible.

Purpose of a Deposition

A deposition is a part of what is called the "discovery" process of a lawsuit. The deposition allows the lawyer on the other side to "discover" all the facts a witness may know which will assist that lawyer in preparing for the trial or arbitration of a case. It may also be the only opportunity the other lawyer has to evaluate you as a witness. Once both sides are fully aware of all the relevant facts, it is often possible to settle a case.

If your case goes to court, all the lawyers will have a booklet prepared by the court reporter which contains the questions and answers from your deposition. Those answers may be read back to you and to the jury. It is essential that your testimony at your deposition be just as complete and truthful as if you were testifying in a courtroom.

Your Appearance

You should remember that this deposition is probably the first opportunity the other attorney has to meet you. A claims adjuster from the insurance company may also be present as an observer during the deposition. You will be judged upon such things as your appearance, demeanor, honesty, frankness, and possible jury appeal.

It is important that you make a good impression. Therefore, you should appear for your deposition dressed as you would expect to dress if you were actually going to court to appear before the jury.

Remember to:

  • Be clean.
  • Wear neat clothing.
  • Treat all persons in the deposition room with respect at all times.

Some Do's and Don'ts of Being An Effective Witness

DO:

  • Tell the truth.
  • Never attempt to lie to protect yourself or enhance your case by exaggeration.
  • Be humble and respectful: "Yes, sir" or "No, sir" is not required, but you may find such responses helpful in setting a polite tone.
  • Speak slowly and clearly.
  • Answer out loud and with words, not by shaking your head meaning "yes" or "no," or saying "uh-huh" or "uh-uh." The court reporter must be able to understand you to make an accurate record.
  • Wait until the lawyer finishes asking the question before you begin to answer. The court reporter can only record one person talking at a time!
  • Be certain you understand the question before you answer. If you don't understand the question, it is perfectly all right to ask that it be repeated or explained.
  • Take your time and give the questions and your answers as much thought as necessary.
  • Stick to the facts and testify to only that which you personally know.
  • Answer all questions directly and as concisely as possible. When you have answered, stop talking.
  • Testify only to basic facts, and do not attempt to give opinions or estimates unless you have a good reason for knowing such matters.
  • Be as positive as possible. Try to avoid "I think," "I believe," "I guess," "possibly," or "perhaps." It is better to say "As I recall," or "In my judgment." For example, "I was going 40 miles per hour" is preferable to, "I believe I was going 40 miles per hour."
  • Admit candidly if you do not know or do not remember. Some clients think they should have an answer for every question asked. You cannot know all the facts, and you do yourself a disservice if you attempt to testify to facts with which you are not acquainted. It is important that you be honest and straightforward in your testimony. Sometimes "I don't know" is the perfect answer.
  • Remember that if you start to feel tired or need a break, the deposition can be stopped briefly. Just let your lawyer know.

DON'T:

  • Guess.
  • Argue or lose your temper. Leave your temper at home. You may not like the question or the other lawyer, but arguing or losing your temper will almost always hurt your case.
  • Volunteer information. Wait until the question is asked, answer it, and stop. If you can answer "yes" or "no," do so and stop. Explain your answer if necessary, but don't make speeches.
  • Say "I can't," as in "I can't play tennis now," unless you mean it. Instead, say that you "are not able to do something as well as before." Can't means physical impossibility; you may be able to play tennis but only with great difficulty and pain.
  • Look to your lawyer for help in answering a question. Your lawyer cannot answer for you; just do the best you can.
  • Try to memorize your story. Justice requires only that a witness tell the story to the best of his or her ability. Rehearsed stories often sound false.
  • Say "That's all I know" or "That's all of my injuries." Later, you may remember something else, so it is more accurate to say, "That's all I recall at this moment." If the other lawyer asks for you to tell him or her all the injuries you have, or tell him all of your activities affected by your injuries, explain all you can remember and then add, "There may be more, but that's all I can think of right now."
  • Smoke or chew gum.

Makes Lists on Paper

Certain areas are sure to come up during your deposition, and you should be prepared to talk about them as accurately as possible. Some people find it helpful to make lists to refresh their recollection or put dates in order. Feel free to do so, but if you do, bring the lists with you to the deposition and give them to your lawyer before you begin.

Remember, these lists are to help you and your lawyer, but you may not be able to refer to the lists or testify from them during your deposition.

  • List all of your injuries from this accident, from the top of your head to your feet. Also list psychological trauma, headaches, sleep problems, fear of driving, etc. (if they apply).
  • List all past employment you have had by date (going back at least 10 years).
  • List all significant injuries, illnesses, and medical treatments you have had before and after this accident.
  • List all activities you cannot do now, or have limitations doing now, that you used to do before the accident. Include how the injuries affected day to day activities, recreation, relationships, and sports.

Review of Documents

You may find it helpful to review certain documents prior to the deposition. You may review the police report and any medical records and reports you may have.

However, DO NOT review your Injury Diary or other material your lawyers have provided to you in preparation for your deposition unless you are instructed to do so. The reason is that the other lawyer may have a right to see the material you review prior to the deposition. It may not be in your best interests to be required to provide documents subject to the attorney-client privilege to the other lawyer.

Other Things to Remember

  • Come prepared to show any and all scars or physical signs of an injury to the other attorney.
  • Have with you all the facts and figures with respect to your time lost from work, the amount of wages lost, and medical bills.

Your deposition can be an important tool in enabling your attorneys to obtain a fair settlement of your case, so come well-rested and well-prepared. If you have any questions, be sure to write them down and discuss them with your attorney before your deposition begins.

The Darker Side of Cycling - Bicycle Injuries from Accidents

For many in Oregon, bicycling is a way of life. It appeals equally to families out for slow rides and serious athletes alike. It's great exercise, easy on the environment, and has a reasonably inexpensive bar to entry once you acquire the basic equipment.

Unfortunately, bicycle accident injuries are all-to-common as well. Many bicycle accidents are caused by the negligence of other cyclists or motorists. However, bicycle injuries are all-to-often the result of an inexperienced rider, who is either insufficiently skilled at maintaining control of the bicycle, or does not wear the appropriate safety equipment.

Because of the high level of physical exposure on a bicycle versus when driving a car, failing to take appropriate safety measures when riding a bike can easily result in severe injury or even death when an accident occurs. Failure to wear the correct safety gear is a common cause of injury. The National Highway and Safety Administration has an excellent resource to help newer and younger cyclists avoid Oregon bicycle injuries.

Safety precautions for children that can lessen bicycles injuries**

According to statistics, most fatal bicycle accidents are children riding a bicycle without wearing proper protective equipment. To avoid the chances of getting injured in a bicycle accident, all riders, but especially children, should follow some basic safety guidelines. The most critical piece of safety equipment any rider has is a helmet. When riding a bicycle, a helmet should be worn every single time. A correctly fitting and adjusted helmet can greatly lessen the chances of a child sustaining a traumatic brain or another head injury, which is the most common cause of death in bicycle accidents.

Second, a child’s bicycle needs to be correctly adjusted for size and re-adjusted as the child grows. A bike that is adjusted as being either too large or too small may prove difficult to control, leading to a bicycle accident or injury.

Finally, children should only ride during daylight hours, even with appropriate safety equipment, unless accompanied by an adult rider with appropriate lights. Even with lights, cyclists are just not as visible, and small riders are even less-so. The chance of an impact with a vehicle or encountering unseen obstacles in the road increase dramatically at night. Following these safety precautions can dramatically reduce the number of Oregon bicycle injuries or deaths.

Additional Tips to Avoid Bicycle Injury for Adults

Children should not generally be riding unattended in traffic. However, when adults ride in traffic, those riders need to be constantly aware of their surroundings and follow all traffic rules to avoid bicycle accidents. Watching the road carefully at all times, being aware of surroundings, and maintaining an active lookout for parked cars in important for every rider to avoid becoming a bicycle accident injury or death statistic.

Bicycling doesn’t have to be overly dangerous and following common-sense guidelines can greatly reduce the chance of a bicycle injury, or even prevent an injury if an accident does occur. As many riders like to say, “keep the shiny side up!”

Pacific Injury Law Firm | Best Oregon Personal Injury Lawyers | Top Oregon Accident Attorneys

Pacific Injury Law Firm represents people across Oregon and the Pacific Northwest in injury-related law. Whether your injury was from a car accident, motorcycle accident, a wrongful death, a bicycle accident, or even a pedestrian injury, our top Oregon personal injury attorneys will help you recover. Speak with a skilled Oregon injury lawyer today about your case for no cost.

https://pacificinjurylawfirm.com

Pacific Injury Law Firm | Top Oregon Personal Injury Lawyers | Best Oregon Accident Attorneys

Pacific Injury Law Firm represents people across Oregon and the Pacific Northwest in injury-related law. Whether your injury was from a car accident, motorcycle accident, a wrongful death, a bicycle accident, or even a pedestrian injury, our top Oregon personal injury attorneys will help you recover. Speak with a skilled Oregon injury lawyer today about your case for no cost.

Pacific Injury Law Firm | Oregon Personal Injury Lawyers

Reporting Oregon Car and Truck Accidents - What are my duties and timelines?

Reporting Your Oregon Car Accident is a Must

Your day has just been upended. You’ve been in a car or truck accident. Your vehicle is damaged, and maybe you are injured. Occupants might be injured. Other drivers may have injuries. Most people have a flood of worries and questions at the time of a car accident. Am I ok? Are others ok? How much will it cost to repair or replace my car? Do I need a personal injury lawyer? How will I pay for this?

Chances are, after a car accident you aren’t thinking about filing paperwork. Still, Oregon law has reporting requirements after a car crash or truck crash that can impact your ability to recover for your injuries and property damage later.

Reporting to the Oregon Department of Transportation

The first is the requirement to report the Oregon car accident to the Department of Motor Vehicles and Department of Transportation. Generally speaking, an accident occurring on a public road resulting in damage to the property of any person in excess of $2,500 is must be reported to the Oregon Department of Transportation. The general that trigger the need to report are: - The cost to repair damage to any motor vehicle is over $2,500, even if your vehicle was the only one damaged; - The car crash results in a vehicle being towed from the scene; - Injury or death is caused by the motor vehicle accident; or - Damage to any person’s property other than the vehicle involved in the accident is more than $2,500. Generally, this car accident report to the DMV must be reported within 72 hours of the accident. A reporting form from the DMV is available here. The failure to report an accident. Failing to report an accident can result in a traffic citation, and can also be used as evidence against you when trying to recover for injuries in the accident.

Reporting the Oregon car or truck accident to law enforcement

In addition to reporting to the Department of Transportation, the same requirements for reporting an accident to the DMV apply to report the accident to law enforcement (damage over $2,500, injury or death, etc.).

Liability for Not Investigating

In addition to the reporting requirements, Oregon law requires drivers to perform specific duties when the driver knows or has reason to believe that the driver has been involved in an accident. Such requirements include, but are not limited to: - Immediately stopping the vehicle at the scene of the collision or as close as safely possible to the scene of the collision and reasonably investigating what the driver’s vehicle struck. - Exchanging (or providing such information to an unattended vehicle): - The driver’s name and address, - The name and address of the owner of the driver’s vehicle - The name and address of any other occupants of the driver’s vehicle; and - If the driver’s vehicle is a motor vehicle, the registration number of the motor vehicle, - The name of the insurance carrier covering the motor vehicle, - The insurance policy number of the insurance policy insuring the motor vehicle - The phone number of the insurance carrier. When a person is convicted for failing to perform duties of a driver when property is damaged failing to perform duties of a driver to injured persons, a violator may be required to pay damages caused by the person as a result of the incident or accident.

Let Our Car Accident Lawyers Report For You

Reporting your accident, although probably low on your priorities after a car accident, is still a fast and necessary part of building a recovery after being injured in a motor vehicle accident. If you need help with this process, the Oregon car and truck accident lawyers at Pacific Injury Law Firm can not only complete the report for you if you (assuming you call quickly enough), but can also help you build your case towards financial recovery. Call or use your online scheduler to set up a free consultation today.

What should I do after a Personal injury?

Document the Accident

As soon as possible you should document the facts of the accident. Begin a folder to keep all the information together. Be sure you have the information you need about any witnesses. You might want to take photographs of the cars involved, the location of the accident, and your injuries. Draw a diagram of the accident scene with sufficient detail as to locations of landmarks and vehicles to assist your recollection later on.

The insurance company for the driver at fault may want you to give them a statement, either in person or on the phone. We recommend that you not give such a statement, at least without first consulting with an attorney. You do want to talk with your own insurance company, however, so that you can receive any medical payment or personal injury protection benefits that may be available.

Keep An Injury Diary

People either forget or repress many of the problems they suffer after a serious injury. You should begin keeping your diary up-to-date immediately. This information can be invaluable at the time of settlement negotiations or trial. You should record the following information in your diary:

  1. A list of your injuries. Explain your pain and discomfort
  2. Explain how your injuries have affected your job performance. Explain how your injuries have affected your day-to-day activities.
  3. Do you have any trouble getting dressed, driving a car, sleeping?
  4. Have you been unable to ski, dance, garden, golf, or participate in your other hobbies?
  5. Have you missed any family outings, vacations, or church activities?

Recovering From Your Injuries

The most important matter to keep in mind is that you recover fully, or as much as possible, from all your injuries. You should faithfully follow any instructions from your doctor, and be sure to keep any appointments with specialists, physical therapists, etc. In our view, legal issues should be secondary to your full recovery.

Doctor Reports

Please be aware and assume that everything stated and/or observed by your doctor may be taken down in detailed notes. These notes, or a report made from them, are later read by the insurance company when it is time to negotiate the value of your personal injury claim. The value of your claim largely depends on your doctors' reports. If your doctor is not aware of your limitations, pain, etc., he/she will not provide that information in the report. If your doctor feels an injury is exaggerated, it may be put in a report.

Give Complete Information To Your Doctor About Your Personal Injury

Remember to tell your doctor about all your pains, discomforts, and limitations. Your doctor will determine whether the complaints are related to the accident. Some problems may seem minor but relate to another injury in another part of your body. Your doctor will need this information in order to properly treat you. Try to be as accurate and objective as possible; under no circumstances should you fabricate or exaggerate any problems. Include the following information:

  1. Complaints of pain immediately after the accident and symptoms developed within the first few days.
  2. Describe how the accident happened and what caused your injuries during impact (connect your injuries with what happened to your body during impact). For example, your head struck the windshield causing head injury.
  3. Symptoms that developed later and what symptoms you are presently having.
    • How long each symptom lasted.
    • Tell your doctor about any job-related activities that affect your injuries and if your job performance is adversely affected. Your doctor then can determine whether your injuries prevent you from performing your job for a certain amount of time or permanently.
  4. If you return to work and find that your injuries are aggravated, return to your doctor. Your doctor may recommend you stop work for a while, or reassure you that working will not interfere or prolong your recovery.
  5. If your doctor recommends that you not work for a while, the insurance company will require something in writing from your doctor indicating the time period that you are to remain off work.

Income Loss Verification

If you lost any income because of your personal, either through employment or odd jobs, those losses must be documented. You may also have wage benefits available under your auto policy, or another auto policy, such as the driver or owner of the car. In addition, if you were employed there might be wage loss benefits available through your employer or union. If you are going to be off work for any length of time, it is important to explore every avenue.

Medical Bills

Be certain to contact all your own insurance carriers immediately regard payment of bills. You may have Personal Injury Protection or Medical Payments coverage available through an auto policy. You might also have health insurance that can help.

Out of Pocket Expenses

Keep receipts from any prescriptions or medications that you have had to purchase from your personal and any other out-of-pocket expenses. Also keep track of mileage to see medical providers, particularly if you are required to travel significant distances to get treatment for your injuries. Some of these expenses may be reimbursable at the time of settlement with the insurance company.

What is Oregon underinsured motorist (“UIM”) coverage?

What is Oregon underinsured motorist (“UIM”) coverage?

Insurance can be confusing because there are many components to any policy. Some are mandatory; some are not. You may have heard the term “underinsured motorist” coverage or “UIM coverage.” Though close in name, it’s different from uninsured motorist coverage, or UM coverage. Underinsured motorist (“UIM”) coverage will exist as part of your policy if your uninsured motorist (“UM”) policy is higher than the minimum amounts covered by Oregon law. In Oregon, the statutory limits are $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident.

How is it the amount of uninsured motorist (“UIM”) coverage calculated?

With UIM insurance coverage, should it be available, you would get coverage equal to the difference between the policy limits on your UM policy and the policy limits carried by the insurance policy of a negligent driver who caused an injury (the at-fault driver) in a car accident, motorcycle accident, or bicycle accident. Stated differently, you can calculate the amount of UIM benefits you have available by subtracting the amount of the at-fault driver’s liability limits from the amount of UM coverage you have on your policy. For example, if an at-fault driver carries the legal minimum amount of liability insurance of $25,000, and your policy has $75,000 of UM coverage. Your policy would provide you with up to $50,000 in UIM insurance. See ORS 742.504 - Required provisions of uninsured motorist coverage, for the full statutory details.

Make sure you get the uninsured motorist (“UIM”) details right.

Every situation is unique, and calculating Oregon auto insurance can be tricky. Despite the generalities, there are times when the full amount of the at-fault driver’s liability insurance policy does not have to be used entirely before UIM coverage will take effect. Oregon's best personal injury lawyers will help you access the most coverage in these circumstances. This includes obtaining consent from your UIM carrier's before settling with the adverse driver’s liability policy carrier. Simple mistakes like this can result in a waiver and loss of your UIM benefits. To complicate matters further, time limits for making a UIM claim exist, which should be discussed with an experienced Oregon personal attorney to ensure that you get all coverage from your policy that you paid for.

What is Oregon uninsured insurance?

What is Oregon uninsured insurance?

In Oregon, every driver must carry insurance to operate a vehicle, whether a motorcycle, car or commercial truck. Those insurance policies carry different parts some mandatory, some as add-ons. These components include uninsured motorist, underinsured motorist, personal injury protection (“PIP”), liability coverage, comprehensive coverage, collision coverage, and medical payments coverage.

Uninsured Motorist (“UM”) - Oregon Minimum Requirements

In Oregon, every policy carried by a driver is required to carry Uninsured Motorist (or "UM") coverage by Oregon law as part of their policy. By law at ORS 742.502, the minimum amount of coverage under an Oregon UM policy is $25,000. (Note that while the law does not put a specific number on the amount at ORS 742.502, it must be at least the amount of bodily injury coverage, for which the minimum is $25,000). In the event of a car accident, truck accident, or motorcycle accident that causes you injury because of the negligence or other fault of an uninsured driver, this uninsured motorist policy will provide coverage up to the limits of the UM policy terms. In fact, your auto policy for uninsured motorist coverage will even cover you in you are injured as a pedestrian or are in a bicycle accident caused by an uninsured driver. Essentially, uninsured motorist (“UM”) coverage provides insurance coverage when the negligent, at-fault driver fails to follow the law and carry minimum insurance. The best Oregon personal injury lawyers will make sure that you access all sources of coverage, including UM policies.

How does Uninsured Motorist (“UM”) coverage help?

When uninsured motorist policies come in to play after a car crash, bicycle injury, or even pedestrian injury, it functions just like the insurance that the other driver should have carried. You can recover economic damages and non-economic damages just like you would receive from the negligent driver, all the way up to the limits of your uninsured motorist policy. Economic damages are the types of injuries that cost money, including wage loss and medical bills. Noneconomic damages include things like loss of enjoyment of life because of physical pain and suffering, permanent injury, and interference with the ability to go about normal daily routines.

Uninsured motorist (“UM”) insurance is helpful in other circumstances. This includes hit-and-run accidents, where the identity of the other vehicle causing injury is unknown. UM insurance might be available when an accident is caused by an unknown driver, or “phantom vehicle” that is not involved in a physical car crash but is still the cause of the injury. In both of these cases, UM coverage may also be available when a "phantom vehicle" causes an accident, even though no actual contact was made between the vehicles. In the case of a "hit-and-run" or "phantom vehicle," the injured party must report the accident to the police or Motor Vehicles Division within 72 hours after the accident. The injured party then has 30 days to notify their own insurance company of the injury to put them on notice of the uninsured motorist claim. Note that in the event of a “phantom vehicle” claim, insurers are likely to require evidence that supports the claim beyond a mere allegation. Oregon's top injury attorneys will help you properly demonstrate this so coverage is triggered.

Do I have to buy Oregon Uninsured Motorist (“UM”) Coverage?

Note that although by default your uninsured motorist policy will be the same as your liability limits (minimum $25,000 in Oregon), you can choose to purchase less, so long as you maintain the minimum. To do this, you must elect in writing with your insurance company when you create the policy. By way of example, if your liability policy covers $150,000 to other drivers, your UM policy must also be $150,000 unless you elect in writing to lower the limits (with the lower limit still being $25,000). Like everything else in purchasing insurance, this is a risk. While your premiums may be less, a lower UM policy limit may leave you with insufficient coverage if you are involved in an accident with an uninsured driver.

Extra Uninsured Motorist Coverage

Finally, insurance companies offer optional add-on uninsured motorist (“UM”) coverage that provides for damage to your own property (your damaged car, for example). While this coverage is not mandatory under Oregon law, it can help pay for the full spectrum of your damages if injured by an uninsured motorist.

What Is Oregon Personal Injury Protection (PIP)?

PIP provides a source of payment for YOUR medical bills and some of YOUR wage loss following an auto accident. Further, PIP is no-fault, meaning that it will begin paying on your injuries immediately, rather than waiting for liability to be determined. Similarly, Med Pay provides some coverage for YOUR medical bills. These are called "no-fault" coverages because they pay even if the accident is your fault.

By law, every auto insurance policy sold in Oregon must include personal injury protection (PIP), which is called "no-fault," providing coverage if you’re injured while either operating or maintaining a vehicle. PIP can also provide coverage if you are injured by a vehicle on a bicycle or as a pedestrian. Because it is "no-fault," no matter the at-fault party for an accident, personal injury protection will pay for your injuries. PIP insurance provides coverage for:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost income and wages
  • Funeral expenses
  • Other expenses arising from your injury

The minimum coverage under Oregon law for PIP coverage is $15,000. However, buyers may always buy a policy with higher limits if desired. PIP policies vary depending on carrier and cost, sometimes having a deductible (which can reduce your premium). However, the maximum deductible allowed in Oregon is $250, so it is unlikely to substantially reduce your premiums.

What is an Oregon wrongful death case?

Oregon Wrongful Death Basics

Coping with the loss of a loved one after an accident can be a long, traumatic process. In addition to the emotional loss of the person, there are often ballooning, unexpected costs that appear after the initial event. Medical bills, emergency responder costs, and the costs of funerals add heartache at the most inopportune time. If the passing of your loved one was caused by another person's actions, receiving compensation to offset the bills can help mitigate the burden of loss. Speaking with an Oregon wrongful death lawyer at Pacific Injury Law Firm can help you understand what your rights to recovery are, and what the timelines to recover may entail.

Historically, recovering compensation - generally financial - was all but impossible. However, with the modern requirements and prevalence of insurance in Oregon and other states, today there is often financial recourse for the wrongful death of a loved one. Insurance is carried to cover exactly the type of circumstances wrongful death attorneys help clients to recover. Negligence of a person covered by such an insurance policy can provide money to those injured by the wrongful death of their loved one.

In recent decades, many state legislatures have passed a patchwork of laws and limitations on the ability of injured parties to recover. This movement - often referred to as "tort reform," - is an attempt to limit open-ended litigation and exposure of insured companies or people. With the laws varying greatly from state to state, the process can be confusing without consulting with a skilled wrongful death attorney. The Oregon wrongful death lawyers at Pacific Injury Law Firm are familiar with important time limitations and pathways necessary to economic recovery, so acting quickly on a potential claim is important.

Wrongful Death Lawsuit Requirements

The vast majority of states, including Oregon's wrongful death laws, share some common requirements to bring a successful lawsuit, including:

  • The negligent, or "wrongful act" of another person or entity must have caused the death.
  • Another person with legal "standing" (a term for an injured party with the right to file a lawsuit), must file a lawsuit to recover for the death. In practice, the people with standing generally include children, spouses, or parents of the deceased.

When filing an Oregon wrongful death claim, the amount and type of compensation received depends greatly on the specific facts of the loss and the state in which the claim was filed.

The types of damages (financial compensation) is evaluated by juries in a number of ways. Some states require the defendant to pay the plaintiff (the person bringing the lawsuit) money that the loved one would have earned had they not passed away. In other states, the judge or jury will attempt to place a monetary value of the lost love, companionship, and other non-physical benefits the deceased provided. In more select circumstances, damages called “punitive damages” can be awarded to punish the defendant for particularly bad conduct. This is usually conduct that was extremely reckless, dangerous, or even intentional.

No one should have to navigate a wrongful death lawsuit alone. Reaching out to a skilled personal injury lawyer focused on getting you the best result for your case, and who has extensive experience with wrongful death cases can provide much-needed help and support. Call an Oregon wrongful death attorney at Pacific Injury Law Firm today to discuss your circumstances and protect your rights.

How much is my Oregon Personal case worth?

Valuing any personal injury case requires consideration of many factors, and Personal cases are no exception. The first step in valuing a Personal accident claim is determining fault. Who is at fault for the accident? Sometimes the answer is not entirely clear. Even though there may be shared fault by the victim (comparative negligence), you still may be entitled to compensation.

Second, the scope, severity, medical expenses, and permanency of the injuries must be evaluated. After an accident, treating doctors will try to make predictions about how long injuries will take to heal and how they will impact your life in the future, but there is no certainty until actual healing takes place. For example, an injury to a joint might heal but result in loss of motion. In other instances, physical therapy will improve healing and you will regain a full range of motion. In still other situations, surgery may be necessary, or a limitation to the range of motion may never fully recover.

The severity and degree of permanency of your injuries, along with any loss of wages, earning capacity, "pain and suffering," and general loss of life enjoyment of life will impact the value of the case. For instance, if you lose the ability to pursue a loved hobby, like a leg injury that prevents cycling, it could also affect the claim’s value.

Finally, the amount of financial recovery from a Personal case may be limited by the amount of insurance available by the parties, or the partial responsibility of the victim of the injury.

Will my insurance pay my bills if I am hit by a car and injured while riding my bicycle or walking?

Q: Will my insurance pay my bills if I am hit by a car and injured while riding my bicycle or walking?

A: It depends on what kind of insurance you carry. IIf you have your own car insurance, an Oregon bicycle accident injury lawyer can help you use your automobile's PIP ("personal injury protection") insurance to immediately provide coverage even if you injured while riding a bicycle or walking. Additionally, assuming you have health insurance, that coverage will begin to pay medical bills after PIP is exhausted, or to the extent that any procedure is not accepted by PIP for some reason.

After that, unpaid claims or co-pays can be submitted to the insurance of the driver who injured you. Your insurance may then try to seek reimbursement from the driver's insurer behind the scenes, assuming the car involved in the accident was at fault in the accident. This recovery of funds between insurance companies is called "subrogation."

Pacific Injury Law Firm Opens Its Doors

An opening video for Pacific Injury Law Firm's Grand Opening in January 2020.

Law Firm Rising

Pacific Injury Law Firm is excited to be assisting people across Oregon.

What can I do to protect myself and minimize injury in a motorcycle accident?

Among the most effective ways to protect yourself is to wear appropriate safety gear. Safety equipment can lower the probability of harm in the event of an accident substantially. In Oregon, a helmet is required equipment. Additionally, consider a jacket designed for motorcycling with integrated skid plates, goggles, a mouthpiece, gloves, knee pads, hip pads, and a helmet when you ride your bike. A helmet that covers your whole face will safeguard you against traumatic brain injury, and goggles or visor can protect your eyes from the elements as you ride and make sure your eyesight is not restricted. Motorcycle riding gloves will stop or minimize lacerations to your palms if you're thrown during a crash. If the motorcycle skids on the roadway, a quality jacket designed for motorcycle riding, typically with bright colors, will safeguard your upper body against injuries in an accident and make you visible to other drivers on the road or street.

Because Oregon law requires motorcycle riders to wear helmets, failure to do so may drastically impact your ability to recover financially in a claim should you sustain injuries during a crash.

Is there bias that a motorcyclist must be at fault or "deserve" inuries in a motorcycle accident?

Juries, insurance adjusters, judges, and even attorneys representing motorcycle accident victims sometimes maintain the subtle bias that motorcyclists "deserve" injuries because they forego the safety of a four-wheeled, enclosed vehicle. At Pacific Injury Law Firm, we recognize such biases and refuse to minimize the claims of the motorcycle accident victim. If a motorcycle accident victim is not able to obtain complete and fair compensation, we will take the case to trial.

When insurance companies know that you will take a claim to trial and not take the first offer thrown your way, they negotiate more reasonably and fairly upfront. A reputation of fighting for fair compensation for our clients in motorcycle accident cases provides an advantage over other "settlement mill" law firms. When we insist on getting just compensation for our clients, insurance carriers know we are serious.

Who will pay to repair my bicycle after an Oregon bicycle accident?

Q: I was injured after being in an Oregon bicycle accident, and my bicycle was damaged. Who will pay to repair my bicycle?

A: Property damage, including damaged or totaled bicycles after a bicycle accident or injury, should be covered by the insurance of the negligent driver. Since all Oregon drivers are required by law to carry a minimum level of insurance to be on the road, there should be a policy to cover this type of property loss. After an accident, you would need to obtain the insurance information of the driver that hit you and file a claim with their policy.

Once you have a claim number, you can take your bike into a shop to have it evaluated for repair or replacement. Most bicycle shops will be happy to provide you with an estimate for parts and labor to repair the bike. Because of their design, some frame damage will make the bike unsafe to ride even after an expert repair, leaving replacement as the only option. In this case, the shop should be able to provide you with an estimate of the value of the bike before it was damaged, or the replacement value. Essentially, this value is that of the bike

What are the 10 most common driver errors that cause injury in Oregon vehicle accidents?

Injuries in any kind of vehicle crash, including injuries from a Personal, occur because of recurring driver errors. Each year, the Oregon Department of Transportation compiles statistics for the most common reasons for vehicle injuries. As of 2017, according to the most recent data available, the following are the 10 most common driver errors that cause injury:

  1. Failed to avoid stopped or parked vehicles ahead
  2. Failed to yield the right-of-way
  3. Ran off the road
  4. Driving too fast for conditions (not exceeding posted speed)
  5. Failed to maintain lane
  6. Following too closely
  7. Inattention
  8. Failure to decrease speed for a slower-moving vehicle
  9. Left turn in front of on-coming traffic
  10. Disregarded traffic signal
Traits of the Best Oregon Personal Injury Lawyer

Hallmarks of the Best Oregon Personal Injury Lawyer

Anybody who has been injured in an accident likely needs the assistance of a lawyer who practices in injury law. If the accident occurred in Oregon, you’ll no doubt want the best Oregon personal injury attorney you can find working on your side, helping you through the process. But what traits are common in the lawyers that qualify as truly “excellent,” versus those who are just average. After having worked with hundreds of clients and thousands of client consultations, we’ve distilled the most common traits that clients are seeking when they mean they go looking for the best Oregon personal injury attorney for their case.

1. Experience

There’s no substitute for plain old experience when it comes to litigations and client satisfaction. Experience can only occur through the handling of large numbers of cases, working with opposing attorneys, and lots of time in the courtroom. You wouldn’t want a doctor who was about to perform their first surgery on you even if they had read and memorized every book on the subject. Sometimes there’s no substitute for just having done it many times before. The lawyers at Pacific Injury Law Firm have handled hundreds of cases over the years, and been in court countless times. From motion hearings, jury trials, bench (judge only, no jury) trials, and even successfully arguing before the Oregon Court of Appeals and Oregon Supreme Court, our injury attorneys aren’t new to litigation and the fight for clients.

2. Accessible to the Client

This might sound obvious, but anybody who has worked with attorneys for any length of time is certain to have encountered the complaint that “I can never reach them” or they “are way too busy to talk to me.” It’s an unfortunate fact that many personal injury attorneys actively avoid their clients, or even pride themselves as being “too important” or “too busy” to actually meet with their own clients. Clients end up speaking with assistants or paralegals most of the time. This is not the case at Pacific Injury Law Firm. We know that your case is one of the most important things in your life, and we make every effort to make sure we take care of you and show you the respect that you deserve. While we are no doubt busy, the vast majority of the interaction with our firm will be with the lawyer actually handling your case. We believe that we can’t fully get behind you until we work directly with you. We also always remember that we work for the client, not the other way around. When you hire Pacific Injury Law Firm, you become part of our team.

3. Courtroom, Negotiation, Mediation, and Arbitration Skills.

Not every case is settled in the courtroom by a jury. Statistically, most are not, by a huge margin. The ability to negotiate on behalf of your client is every bit as critical - if not more oftentimes - than being an effective courtroom advocate. The truth is, juries are unpredictable and a trial is uncertain even with the strongest cases. When you go into a courtroom, you are handing over the final decision maker to people to whom you have no real insight or background. Because of this, both plaintiffs and defendants are incentivized to negotiate to a known settlement. To do this, the best injury lawyers are skilled at recognizing the weaknesses of their clients’ cases, as well as the strengths that can be leveraged into great settlements. With backgrounds in several areas of law - from criminal to family law to personal injury - our Oregon injury attorneys have experience negotiating and obtaining great results for hundreds if not thousands of clients.

4. Thorough Investigators

Not all Oregon personal injury cases are obvious on the face who is at fault or how an accident occurred. Sometimes seemingly straight forward cases become muddied or confused as to legal causation once discovery starts coming in and we start evaluating the evidence in the case. There might be multiple parties at fault which require investigation, or the cause of a car or truck accident (for example) might require expert witnesses to reconstruct the scened. Medical conditions or injuries almost always require testimony or other evidence by expert medical personnel. The best Oregon injury lawyers need assistance from experts in an array of fields to build their case effectively. To do this, they first need to thoroughly investigate the case themselves and familiarize themselves with the evidence. Then, if necessary, they will need to use other expert investigators to gather more information to put the case together. Building a personal injury case takes time. At Pacific Injury Law Firm, building that successful case starts with a thorough investigation.

5. Organization

Personal injury cases are paper and information-intensive. Between medical records, client and opposing counsel letters, notes, email and text communications, photographs, videos, and the massive amount of other information that becomes part of the file, modern personal injury cases are a virtual firehose of data and potential evidence. Sometimes a key piece of evidence might be a single page of chart notes buried among thousands of pages of medical records? The best personal injury lawyers need to find a way to consistently organize and parse this information, and keep it organized so that it is useable. The lawyers at Pacific Injury Law Firm are fastidious about maintaining organization of client files. In fact, founder Adam J. Brittle, as a former electrical engineer, has a penchant for seeking out new and innovative ways to stay at the forefront of legal technology. To this end, he is constantly leveraging and building new tools to make use of emerging technologies like Amazon’s machine learning tools, AWS pattern matching, and document processing offerings. Our office seeks to stay at the forefront of all law offices, ensuring that every text, email, document, message, legal research, or piece of medical discovery is automatically associated with your file to be put to best use in your case. At Pacific Injury Law Firm, we believe that organization is key to providing you a formidable platform from which to advocate your case.

6. They Listen

Sometimes the goal that a lawyer thinks is the best for a client is not actually what the client themselves wants. Clients sometimes want to settle a case earlier than their attorney would like to. Sometimes a client feels it is necessary to “have their day in court” to be heard by a judge or jury, to tell somebody about how an accident has impacted their lives. The top Oregon personal injury attorneys are the ones that will actually listen to their client’s goal and remember that they work for the client. As lawyers, our job is to try and achieve those outcomes that work best for our clients and their families, not the outcome that is best for our public image or ego. At Pacific Injury Law Firm we treat this duty seriously. We will give you candid advice about your case. If a client has unrealistic expectations, we will try to listen to their goals and explain to them why it might not be feasible. If a client has goals that are realistic but different than our own, our job is to educate about the client's options and then follow their instructions. It goes without saying that this is all done with strict adherence to Oregon’s Rules of Professional Ethics.

7. Compassion and Empathy For the Client

There’s no avoiding it, cases involving injury are hard. Clients come to see us in terrible circumstances. Whether it is a car or truck accident, death from the negligence of another driver, motorcycle accident, or other injuries, our clients come to us when they have been hurt and need help. Recognizing the pain, fear, and even anger that our clients often are experiencing having had their life disrupted - often dramatically - is normal and expected. Compassion and empathy for this circumstance is a trait that often can’t be taught, and is found in all of the very best personal injury attorneys. At Pacific Injury Law Firm, we know that injuries are frustrating, and we feel for your loss. One of the joys of working with injured people is that we know we get to help people who generally have done nothing wrong. Our injury lawyers are respectful and honored to be hired to help individuals in their time of need, and remain cognizant of our duty to help.

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What is an Oregon Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

What is Oregon wrongful death?

A "wrongful death” lawsuit primarily occurs when an accident causes the death of another person because of negligence. Under Oregon law, ORS 30.020 defines "wrongful death" as a ”death caused by the wrongful act or omission of another." This usually is because of the reckless, negligent, or intentional act of someone else. Mainly, if it weren’t for the actions of another person, the deceased would still be alive.

When this kind of tragic loss occurs, it is most often the family of the person killed who would file a lawsuit against the negligent party. In an Oregon wrongful death case is typically submitted by a child, a surviving spouse, or a parent of the deceased person. However, a [skilled Oregon wrongful death lawyer] may also be able to find other family members who are qualified to bring wrongful death claims on behalf of the deceased. These might include surviving stepchildren, stepparents, or even grandparents.

Is a wrongful death lawsuit the same or similar to a criminal case?

In a word: no. There are two different sides of US law: criminal and civil. Criminal claims are those brought by the government, whether state, federal, or municipal. Criminal claims are brought by a prosecutor and can result in jail upon conviction of a crime. By comparison, a civil lawsuit is a claim brought by an individual (not a government entity) against another. The result of a civil suit is almost always money.

A [wrongful death claim] is a type of civil lawsuit. The practical result is that the wrongful death lawsuit must be initiated by a member of the surviving family. A criminal claim, if any arises from the case, would be filed by a prosecuting attorney in the jurisdiction where the accident and death occurred. Additionally, liability in a wrongful death case is money damages against the party who caused the death. In contrast, a criminal case might result in a criminal conviction for homicide or other crimes. Those penalties can involve restitution, prison, or other sanctions.

Damages awarded in wrongful death cases in Oregon are dependent on the specifics of each case, but can include each of the following: * Loss of companionship, comfort, care, and loss of parental or other guidance experienced by surviving family members arising from the loss of a family member; * Burial and funeral expenses; * Medical and hospital bill and other expenses arising from the deceased’s injury or resultant illness; * Lost income, wages, and benefits, including the value of total wages or compensation the deceased would have earned, had they survived; and * Damages for the pain the decedent consciously suffered after the accident until death.

Where the case involves intentional acts or extreme negligence by the defendant, punitive damages may also be awarded. Punitive damages are money damages that are meant to punish the defendant for their behavior. They are also generally awarded as a public message indicating that that certain types of egregious wrongdoing will are not socially tolerable and are more severely punishable. Punitive damages can be in addition to criminal convictions and sanctions arising from the same facts.

What are the time limitations to bring an [Oregon wrongful death lawsuit]?

Like all other civil claims, Oregon has a finite amount of time within which to bring a claim, called a "statute of limitations.” This time limit is the window within which an injured party (the survivor) must file a wrongful death case into court. An Oregon wrongful death suit must be initiated with the court within three years of the date of the injury resulting in death.

This means that the date of death is not used for purposes of calculating the statute of limitations under Oregon law. If there is a substantial time lapse between the date of the injury that caused the death and the decedent's passing, it may result in an unexpectedly short time within which to file the wrongful death claim. You should [consult with an experienced wrongful death attorney] as soon as possible to ensure that you don’t miss your opportunity to recover.

Wrongful death cases can occur from all types of accidents. These include: - Oregon Car Crash Injuries that cause death and Oregon Motor Vehicle Crash Death - Oregon Motorcycle Injuries and Motorcycle Crash Deaths - Oregon Bike Crash Deaths - Oregon Trucking Deaths and Oregon Truck Crash Cases - Death to Pedestrians or Pedestrian Death Caused By Negligence

Causes of Oregon Pedestrian Injuries and Pedestrian Accidents

Oregon Pedestrian Accidents on the Rise

Increasingly, Oregon sees an increased number of pedestrian injuries or even deaths from being struck by motor vehicles. Every 88 minutes, a pedestrian dies in a car-related accident. Every year, roughly 6,000 pedestrians lose their lives or are injured in accidents where they are hit by motor vehicles. Additionally, an estimated 137,000 pedestrians across the US were treated for nonfatal crash-related injuries in emergency rooms in 2017. The most common location for these accidents is at intersections or crosswalks when motorists don't yield the right-of-way or stop for traffic devices like stoplights or stop signs. Because of the massive difference in size and weights, pedestrian-on-vehicle accidents nearly always result in the pedestrian's significant personal injury or death. It will surprise nobody that a large, fast-moving vehicle is no match for a comparatively fragile and exposed. Injuries to pedestrians anywhere, including Portland and other cities around Oregon, are most typically the result of:

  • Drivers failing to follow speed limits (speeding)
  • Distracted or inattentive and drivers
  • Negligent drivers
  • Intoxicated drivers
  • Reckless drivers
  • Inexperienced or new drivers

See also What are the 10 most common driver errors that cause injury in Oregon vehicle accidents?

Without a doubt, distracted drivers - whether from fatigue, cell phones, radio, intoxication, or other distractions - are the primary cause of pedestrians' injuries. Poor weather and visibility, often in low-light or nighttime conditions, exacerbate this problem and reduce drivers' ability to both see and avoid pedestrians. Every driver must maintain a proper lookout and maintain control of their vehicles under all conditions. These conditions place a further duty on drivers to maintain speeds and distances that allow them to account for others' safety in their surroundings.

Pedestrians Who are Hit By Cars or Trucks Can Result in Death or Serious Injury

Pedestrian accidents result in several injuries that include broken bones, brain injuries, skull fractures, burns, skin lesions, spinal cord injuries, burns, sprains, lost limbs, or other catastrophic injuries, including death. A pedestrian accident victim may require costly and extensive medical care, rehabilitation, treatment, and physical therapy. All of these expenses may be collectible in the form of damage compensation from the wrongdoer and their insurance company.

If you or a loved one has been hit by a vehicle as a pedestrian in Portland or anywhere else in the state of Oregon and have suffered an injury, Pacific Injury Law Firm can help you recover financially from your pedestrian injury. Our firm is committed to helping people who have been injured from accidents of all types, including pedestrian injuries. The attorneys at Pacific Injury Law Firm are experienced Portland, Oregon pedestrian injury lawyers you can trust for dependable legal representation and to guide you through the process of financial recovery.

Contact us for a free consultation and an evaluation of your pedestrian injury claim or other personal injury cases.

Common Injuries Our Attorneys Handle

Oregon attorneys for Personal Injury injury recovery.

  • Emotional Injuries
  • Burn Injuries
  • Internal Injuries
  • Hip Injuries
  • Spinal Cord Injuries
  • Broken Bones
  • Joint and Limb Injuries
  • Paralysis
  • Neck Injuries (Whiplash)
  • Scarring/Disfigurement
  • Wrongful Death
  • Head and Brain Injuries
  • Soft Tissue and Muscle Injuries



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Useful Oregon Statutes For
Personal Injury

Statute Of Limitations - Personal Injury


An action for assault, battery, false imprisonment, or for any injury to the person or rights of another, not arising on contract, and not especially enumerated in this chapter, shall be commenced within two years; provided, that in an action at law based upon fraud or deceit, the limitation shall be deemed to commence only from the discovery of the fraud or deceit. -ORS 12.110(1)


Read Full Text: ORS 12.110

Attorney Fees For Certain Small Tort Claims


(1) In any action for damages for an injury or wrong to the person or property, or both, of another where the amount pleaded is $10,000 or less, and the plaintiff prevails in the action, there shall be taxed and allowed to the plaintiff, at trial and on appeal, a reasonable amount to be fixed by the court as attorney fees for the prosecution of the action, if the court finds that written demand for the payment of such claim was made on the defendant, and on the defendant’s insurer, if known to the plaintiff, not less than 30 days before the commencement of the action or the filing of a formal complaint...


Read Full Text: ORS 20.080

Comparative Fault


(1) Contributory negligence shall not bar recovery in an action by any person or the legal representative of the person to recover damages for death or injury to person or property if the fault attributable to the claimant was not greater than the combined fault of all persons specified in subsection (2) of this section, but any damages allowed shall be diminished in the proportion to the percentage of fault attributable to the claimant. This section is not intended to create or abolish any defense.

[...]


Read Full Text: ORS 31.600(1)

Sharing Of Liability By Defendants


(1) Except as otherwise provided in this section, in any civil action arising out of bodily injury, death or property damage, including claims for emotional injury or distress, loss of care, comfort, companionship and society, and loss of consortium, the liability of each defendant for damages awarded to plaintiff shall be several only and shall not be joint.

[...]


Read Full Text: ORS 31.610(1)

Services

We practice almost exclusively in vehicle-related injuries. Whether your favorite mode of transportation involves four wheels, two wheels, 18 wheels, or even walking, our experienced attorneys will thoroughly evaluate the facts and help you if you or a loved one are injured (even fatally) in an Oregon accident. Additionally, we help ensure public space safety by holding those responsible for injury in public areas accountable. Talk with a skilled Oregon attorney about your case for no cost.
Car Accident Injury Top-rated Oregon injury lawyers for car accident injury
Commercial Trucking Accident Injury Top Oregon injury attorneys for commercial trucking accident injury
Wrongful Death Best-rated Oregon injury attorneys for wrongful death
Personal Injury Top-rated Oregon injury attorneys for personal injury
Bicycle Accident Injury Top Oregon injury lawyers for bicycle accident injury
Pedestrian Accident Injury Top-rated Oregon injury attorneys for pedestrian accident injury
Motorcycle Accident Injury Top-rated Oregon injury lawyers for motorcycle accident injury
Premises Liability Top-rated Oregon injury lawyers for premises liability

Oregon Personal Injury Law Blog

We work hard to stay up to date on the law and developments in Oregon injury law that may help our clients. Our firm maintains a policy of "information first" for the client, so we make every effort to share information with the public and clients. Our blog covers topics from the frequently asked questions (FAQs) that Oregon injury lawyers encounter to news headlines that impact attorneys who help injured people. If there is a topic you would like to see covered, let us know, and we'll add it to our list of subject matter!

How much is my Oregon Personal case worth? | Best Oregon family law lawyers

How much is my Oregon Personal case worth?

Valuing any personal injury case requires consideration of many factors, and Personal cases are no exception. The first determination in valuing a Personal is determining fault. Who is at fault for the accident? Sometimes the answer is not entirely clear. Even though you may share fault (comparative negligence), you still may be entitled to compensation.

Read More
Causes of Oregon Pedestrian Injuries and Pedestrian Accidents | Top Oregon divorce lawyers

Causes of Oregon Pedestrian Injuries and Pedestrian Accidents

Increasingly, Oregon sees an increased number of pedestrian injuries or even deaths from being struck by motor vehicles. [Every 88 minutes](http://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/pedestrian_safety/), a pedestrian dies in a car-related accident. Every year, roughly 6,000 pedestrians lose their lives or are injured in accidents where they are hit by motor vehicles. The most common location for these accidents is at intersections or crosswalks when motorists don't yield the right-of-way or stop for traffic devices like stoplights or stop signs.

Read More
Arbitration and Mediation - What's The Difference? | Best Oregon divorce lawyers

Arbitration and Mediation - What's The Difference?

Alternative Dispute Resolution ("ADR") is becoming an increasingly important option in many jurisdictions. ADR refers to efforts to find methods that are outside the court system to resolve civil disputes. These methods may be advantageous to the courts and to the parties involved since they may resolve a dispute in a faster, more cost-effective manner and reduce or eliminate the need for participation by the court system.

Read More

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