FAQs

If I am hurt in a vehicle collision and I go to the hospital or the doctor, who is going to pay my bill?
Your auto insurance is required to pay all reasonable and necessary accident related medical bills for the first year after the accident, generally up to $15,000, depending on your policy, even if the collision is your fault. This is called Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage. If the collision is the fault of someone else, your insurance company will look to the at-fault driver to pay back the benefits they pay to you under your PIP coverage.
What about any time off from work as a result of injuries in a vehicle collision, can I get paid for the time I miss from work?
Yes, your PIP coverage also covers time off from work. If you are unable to work for 14 consecutive days, your insurance policy will pay you 70% of your lost wages up to a maximum of $3,000 per month for a maximum of 52 weeks. You can receive these lost wages even if the collision was your fault.
Should I talk with the insurance companies?

If is OK to speak with your OWN insurance company and tell them about the injury and what caused the injury. If you choose to speak to the insurance company for the person who caused the injury, you should be aware that the insurance company is not looking out for your best interests. It is best to call an attorney before you decide whether you want to talk to the insurance company for the person who caused the injury.

My car is wrecked, what do I do?

If your car has been damaged, the insurance company for the person who caused the collision is required to either fix the car or buy the car from you at fair market value. If the car is going to be repaired, you may have it repaired at the repair shop of your choosing. Many times there are questions about rental cars, fair market value of the car and what type of parts may be used in repairing a car. The answers are not simple, so you should talk to an attorney for advice. Also you may have your own car insurance which can help pay for fixing the car or buying the damaged car from you.

I have injuries, do I have a claim and what is it worth?

No magic formula determines the value of your claim. Just because an insurance adjuster tells you your claim is worth a specific amount, what the adjuster tells you is not necessarily correct. You do not have to accept what the insurance company is willing to pay you.

The first and most important thing you can do is get good medical care and get well. Until your doctor determines that you have recovered from your collision injuries, or you are as well as you can expect to be, it is not possible to accurately value your claim.

I can't afford a lawyer, what can I do?

In our office, we only take cases on a contingency fee basis. That means you do not have to pay for our legal services on an hourly basis. Our fees start at 1/3 of the recovery. Our fees are paid out of the money we recover for you. If we recover no money for you, you owe us nothing for the work we have done for you.

Do I need a lawyer?

It is up to you. An insurance company is willing to deal with you directly. Many times the insurance adjuster will suggest that you will be better off if you do not have an attorney. The truth is the insurance company knows exactly what it is doing. The primary objective of the insurance company is to protect the insurance company. If you do not have an experienced attorney, you are at a disadvantage. You have to rely on the insurance company to treat you fairly. Since you may not have any prior experience in this area, it is difficult to know whether the insurance company is being fair to you. An experienced attorney can help determine and fight for what is fair for you.

Who pays for the costs involved in investigating and pursuing my claim?

Oregon law requires the client agree to be responsible for the costs of pursuing a claim. If you are unable to pay for the costs of the claim, we will advance the costs and deduct them at the end of the claim from your share of any recovery. If there is no recovery, we will ask you to repay the costs, to the extent you are able to do so without financial hardship.

What costs or expenses are likely to be incurred?

Every claim is different. Based on the nature of your claim and the particular facts, we will give you an estimate of the costs that might be involved for such things as medical reports and records, investigators, expert reports and testimony, deposition costs and court fees. Costs increase the closer we get to and go to trial because of the higher costs associated with a trial.

Will my claim have to go to trial?

Most cases settle before trial, over 90%. However, there is no way to know which cases will settle and which will require a trial. Every case has to be prepared for trial. We need to let the other side know we are prepared to go to trial. This is the best way to obtain a reasonable settlement. If a settlement offer is made by the insurance company, we will give you our advice whether to accept it, continue to negotiate or go to trial.