Wrongful Death

Our Oregon Wrongful Death Attorneys Can Help

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How can we help? Securing your best possible recovery is our top priority.

The physical, emotional, and psychological damage from an accident of any kind, including an Oregon wrongful death, 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.

Wrongful Death?

The best Oregon wrongful death lawyer for you is the attorney that gets the outcome you want.

Difficult Circumstances, Solid Guidance

The death of a family member, whether a child, spouse, sibling, parent or other loved one, can be almost unbearable. If the negligence of another person caused the death, those left behind to grieve can be torn apart by confusion, grief, anger, and the sense that someone should pay to make things right somehow. The advice of a knowledgeable, compassionate lawyer can be critical to protecting your right to be compensated for the loss of your loved one.

Financial Compensation Is No Replacement

At Pacific Injury Law Firm, we fight to get fair compensation for accident victims throughout Oregon. Money simply cannot stop the hurt, the grief, and cannot speed the emotional recovery from the loss of a family member. However, monetary recovery can serve to protect your family and provide financial stability in the future for years after the injury.

Protect Your Rights

If you have suffered the loss of a family member or other loved one in an accident, contact us to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation to learn about your legal rights and what compensation may be available. We represent survivors throughout Oregon.

We Do What It Takes

There are no two ways about it: wrongful death lawsuits can be complicated. Even cases with clear liability and fault can result in fierce legal battles with the insurance companies and their defense lawyers. You need the best injury lawyer available on your side to get the best possible outcome for your future.

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 by a wrongful death, contact our lawyers so we can put our expertise to work for you.

Every wrongful death case has facts that make it distinct from others, requiring careful evaluation by an experienced wrongful death lawyer to determine what path is best for recovery on your matter. Getting you the best possible recovery is our top priority. Call us for a free legal evaluation today.

Best-Rated Attorneys in Oregon for wrongful death.

Wrongful Death
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

How long do Oregon Wrongful Death cases take to resolve?

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

  • Your Choice of Lawyer: 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 Wrongful Death 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 Wrongful Death 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 an Oregon 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.
How much will I have to pay my attorney in an Oregon case?

All consultations with the lawyers at our firm about your Oregon Wrongful Death case are free. If we accept your case, unless otherwise agreed, we also take on the expenses associated with recovering on your behalf. You pay nothing, and we don't get paid until we recover on your behalf. At that time, we will pay expenses from the recovered amount. Then our firm is paid a percentage of the recovery at the end of the case that is consistent with rules of professional responsibility and local ethics rules (depending on the specific situation and fee agreement, typically about 33%, or 40% if the matter goes to trial or arbitration). The client takes the rest of the recovered amount. This arrangement is known as a "contingent fee" - we don't get paid unless you do as well.

How much is my Oregon Wrongful Death case worth?

Valuing any personal injury case requires consideration of many factors, and Wrongful Death cases are no exception. The first step in valuing an Oregon 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 an Oregon case may be limited by the amount of insurance available by the parties, or the partial responsibility of the victim of the injury.

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 should I do after an Oregon 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 Wrongful Death 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 wrongful death, 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 wrongful death 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 are the 10 most common driver errors that cause injury in Oregon vehicle accidents?

Injuries in any kind of vehicle crash, including injuries from an Oregon, 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
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.

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 attorneys 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 lawyers 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.

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.


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.

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.

Where Our Personal Injury Lawyers Can 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.

Seatbelts Save Lives, But Not Without Risk

Seat belts are an essential safety feature in modern vehicles and have saved countless lives. However, in some cases, seat belts can also cause injuries during a motor vehicle accident. Understanding the different types of injuries caused by seat belts is essential for both individuals and healthcare professionals.

One of the most common injuries caused by seat belts is abrasions or cuts. These are caused by the seatbelt rubbing against the skin, often on the neck and shoulder. They can range from minor to severe, depending on the force of the crash and the individual's body shape. Abrasions can occur when the seatbelt is not adjusted correctly or if the individual is wearing clothing that is too tight or rough. These injuries are usually minor and can be treated with basic first aid, such as cleaning the wound and applying a bandage.

Another type of injury caused by seat belts is bruising or contusions. The seatbelt tightening causes these during a crash, which can result in significant pain and discomfort. Bruising can occur on the chest, abdomen, and shoulder areas, and the severity of the injury will depend on the force of the crash. Contusions can be treated with ice, rest, and over-the-counter pain medication, but they may require medical attention in some cases.

Seat belts can also cause whiplash, a neck injury that occurs when the head is suddenly jolted forward or backward. This type of injury can result in chronic pain, stiffness, and headaches. Whiplash is common in rear-end collisions and can occur even in low-speed accidents. It is caused by the sudden movement of the head and neck, which can result in tears or strains in the muscles and ligaments of the neck. Treatment for whiplash typically includes physical therapy and pain medication.

In more severe cases, seat belts can also cause herniated disks, which are caused by the compression of the spine during a crash. These injuries can lead to chronic pain and can even result in paralysis. Herniated disks can occur when the seatbelt restrains the chest and upper body but allows the lower body to move forward, resulting in a twisting motion of the spine. Treatment for herniated disks may include physical therapy, pain medication, and in some cases, surgery.

Seat belts can also cause internal injuries, such as broken ribs or punctured lungs, by restraining the chest during a crash. These injuries can be severe and may require immediate medical attention. Broken ribs, for example, can result in difficulty breathing, chest pain, and even collapsed lungs. Punctured lungs, on the other hand, can cause difficulty breathing, chest pain, and coughing up blood. Treatment for these injuries may include rest, pain medication, and in some cases, surgery.

Finally, seat belts can also cause fractured bones, particularly in the collar bone and rib cage, due to the force of the seatbelt during a crash. Collarbone fractures are common in frontal collisions, whereas rib fractures are more common in side-impact collisions. Injured motorists can treat fractured bones with rest, pain medication, and in some cases, surgery.

It's important to note that these injuries caused by seat belts are rare, and the benefits of wearing them far outweigh the risks. Seat belts have been proven to reduce the risk of death and serious injury in motor vehicle accidents by up to 50%. In addition, wearing a seatbelt can help prevent the individual from being thrown from the vehicle, which can result in more severe injuries or death.

In conclusion, seat belts are an essential safety feature in modern vehicles that can help to save lives and prevent severe injuries in motor vehicle accidents.

Common Injuries Our Lawyers Handle

Oregon Attorneys for Wrongful Death injury recovery.

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

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Useful Oregon Statutes For
Wrongful Death

Statute Of Limitations - Wrongful Dealth

When the death of a person is caused by the wrongful act or omission of another, the personal representative of the decedent, for the benefit of the decedent’s surviving spouse, surviving children, surviving parents and other individuals, if any [...] The action shall be commenced within three years after the injury causing the death of the decedent is discovered or reasonably should have been discovered by the decedent, by the personal representative or by a person for whose benefit the action may be brought under this section if that person is not the wrongdoer. In no case may an action be commenced later than the earliest of:

(a) Three years after the death of the decedent; or

(b) The longest of any other period for commencing an action under a statute of ultimate repose that applies to the act or omission causing the injury [...]

Read Full Text: ORS 30.020(1)

Damages Available - Wrongful Death

In an action under this section damages may be awarded in an amount which:

(a) Includes reasonable charges necessarily incurred for doctors’ services, hospital services, nursing services, other medical services, burial services and memorial services rendered for the decedent;

(b) Would justly, fairly and reasonably have compensated the decedent for disability, pain, suffering and loss of income during the period between injury to the decedent and the decedent’s death;

(c) Justly, fairly and reasonably compensates for pecuniary loss to the decedent’s estate;

(d) Justly, fairly and reasonably compensates the decedent’s spouse, children, stepchildren, stepparents and parents for pecuniary loss and for loss of the society, companionship and services of the decedent; and

(e) Separately stated in finding or verdict, the punitive damages, if any, which the decedent would have been entitled to recover from the wrongdoer if the decedent had lived.

Read Full Text: ORS 30.020(2)

Limitations On Liability Of State For Injury And Death

(1) The limitations imposed by this section apply to claims that:

(a) Are subject to ORS 30.260 (Definitions for ORS 30.260 to 30.300) to 30.300 (ORS 30.260 to 30.300 exclusive);

(b) Are made against the state, or against an officer, employee or agent of the state acting within the person’s scope of employment or duties;

(c) Arise out of a single accident or occurrence; and

(d) Are not claims for damage to or destruction of property.

Read Full Text: ORS 30.271

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)

Personal Injury Protection - Vehicle Liability Policies

(1) Every motor vehicle liability policy issued for delivery in this state that covers any private passenger motor vehicle shall provide personal injury protection benefits to the person insured thereunder, members of that person’s family residing in the same household, children not related to the insured by blood, marriage or adoption who are residing in the same household as the insured and being reared as the insured’s own, passengers occupying the insured motor vehicle and pedestrians struck by the insured motor vehicle.


Read Full Text: ORS 742.520

Contents Of Personal Injury Protection Benefits

(1) Personal injury protection benefits required by ORS 742.520 (Personal injury protection benefits for motor vehicle liability policies) consist of the following payments for the injury or death of each person:

(a) All reasonable and necessary expenses of medical, hospital, dental, surgical, ambulance and prosthetic services incurred within two years after the date of the person’s injury, but not more than $15,000 in the aggregate for all such expenses of the person. Expenses of medical, hospital, dental, surgical, ambulance and prosthetic services are presumed to be reasonable and necessary [...]

(b) If the injured person is usually engaged in a remunerative occupation and if disability continues for at least 14 days, 70 percent of the loss of income from work during the period of the injured person’s disability until the date the person is able to return to the person’s usual occupation. [...]

(c) If the injured person is not usually engaged in a remunerative occupation and if disability continues for at least 14 days, the expenses reasonably incurred by the injured person for essential services that were performed by a person who is not related to the injured person or residing in the injured person’s household ...

(d) All reasonable and necessary funeral expenses incurred within one year after the date of the person’s injury, but not more than $5,000.

(e) If the injured person is a parent of a minor child and is required to be hospitalized for a minimum of 24 hours, $25 per day for child care, with payments to begin after the initial 24 hours of hospitalization [...]

Read Full Text: ORS 742.524


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 lawyer about your case for no cost.
Car Accident Injury Top Oregon injury Attorneys for car accident injury
Commercial Truck Accident Injury Top-Rated Oregon injury Attorneys for commercial truck accident injury
Wrongful Death Best Oregon injury Attorneys for wrongful death
Bicycle Accident Injury Best-Rated Oregon injury Lawyers for bicycle accident injury
Personal Injury Best-Rated Oregon injury Attorneys for personal injury
Pedestrian Accident Injury Top-Rated Oregon injury Lawyers for pedestrian accident injury
Motorcycle Accident Injury Top-Rated Oregon injury Attorneys for motorcycle accident injury
Premises Liability Top 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 Attorneys 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!

Seatbelts Save Lives, But Not Without Risk | Top-Rated Oregon Injury Lawyers

Seatbelts Save Lives, But Not Without Risk

Seat belts are an essential safety feature in modern vehicles and have saved countless lives. However, in some cases, seat belts can also cause injuries during a motor vehicle accident. Understanding the different types of injuries caused by seat belts is essential for both individuals and healthcare professionals.

Read More
How much is my Oregon Wrongful Death case worth? | Top Oregon Injury Lawyers

How much is my Oregon Wrongful Death case worth?

Valuing any personal injury case requires consideration of many factors, and Wrongful Death cases are no exception. The first determination in valuing an Oregon 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
The Darker Side of Cycling - Bicycle Injuries from Accidents | Top Oregon Injury Lawyers

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. However, failure to take necessary safety precautions can unnecessarily expose you to bicycle injuries from accidents.

Read More

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