The other driver’s insurance adjuster keeps calling me and asking me to give a “recorded statement,” is this okay?
I recommend you talk to me first, before talking with the insurance adjuster. Most of the time the adjuster will attempt to confuse you and twist your answer in a way that will hurt your claim. Worst of all, they will use your recording as evidence against you when you try to make a claim for monetary compensation. As a former adjuster, I am familiar with many of the tricks these adjusters use. Avoid these traps and call me today. If you did give them a statement, do not worry. Give me a call and we can fix it before any further harm is done.
The first question I always get is, should I hire a lawyer?
You should seek legal representation when you are not familiar with the law. What you don’t know can surprise you and hurt you. The sooner you hire me, the sooner I can file your claim while keeping the insurance companies in line.
Can you help me get my bills paid?
Yes, we can handle that for you. This is paid for out of a coverage called PIP. In Oregon, the insurance company of the car you are riding is required to provide PIP benefits to you. Under this coverage, the insurance company must pay for “reasonable and necessary” medical treatment incurred within the first year following the accident. We can process the bills for you under the PIP coverage with no charge to you.
Can you help me recover my lost wages?
Yes, we can handle that for you as well. This too is paid by the PIP coverage of the insurance policy of the car you were riding in. In Oregon the PIP insurer is required to pay 70 percent of your gross wage loss if you are unable to work for 14 consecutive days, for up to 52 weeks of benefits. We can process your wage loss claim under PIP with no charge to you.
Can I make a claim for monetary compensation?
If you were hurt in a car accident, you were not at fault, and you had car insurance at the time of the crash, then yes, you can make a claim for money compensation for your pain and suffering. With my many years of experience, I can use my knowledge and expertise to maximize your claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
When will you make a claim for monetary compensation for my injuries?
I can make the claim for you at any time. However, the insurance company will require you to sign a release before paying you, thus closing all aspects of the claim. This means you would have to pay for any future treatment out of your own pocket. Therefore it is recommended that you wait until you are considered “medically stationary.” Medically stationary is a legal /medical term. It can either mean, you have returned to your pre-accident condition, (in other words, back to your normal); or where you have reached maximum medical improvement, meaning medically speaking, nothing more can be done for you. While you can close your claim at any time, I recommend waiting until you are done treating. I can still represent you at the early stages of the claim, keeping the insurance companies in line to make sure your bills and wages are paid under PIP.
How much money in compensation can I get? In other words, what is my injury claim worth?
No two cases are alike; each case is as unique as we each are as individuals. Factors to consider are the facts of the crash, the speed of the vehicles at impact, the nature of your injury, the long term consequences – if any, and the manner in which your injury has affected your daily life.
What are your attorney fees?
In a personal injury case I work on a contingency fee basis, meaning I will not charge attorney fees unless I secure a monetary compensation for your injury. If the case settles without the need for trial or arbitration, my fee is 33 1/3%. If it goes to trial or arbitration, my fee is 40%. However, if there is no recovery, there are no attorney fees.
What about my car? Will it lose value now that it was in a car crash?
The legal term for that claim is diminished value. How much depends on various factors such as the cost of repairs, the nature of the damage caused, did the car sustain any frame damage, the age, mileage, condition and market value of your car before the accident. We have experts we utilize whose testimony have given clients positive results.
Will my insurance rates increase?
As long as you are not at-fault for the loss, there should be no impact on your insurance rate. However, it depends on your insurance company and how diligently you communicate with the company to prove you were not at-fault.
How long do I have to file a claim?” Is there a statute of limitations?
It varies by person, and by case. For the typical adult claim, the statute of limitations in Oregon is two years from the day of the accident. This means you need to reach a settlement or file a lawsuit before the two years has expired. For the case of an injured minor, the statute is longer, depending on the age of the child at the time of the crash.
What if I am hurt and the at-fault driver is uninsured…can I still make a claim for my injuries?
Yes, I represent victims of Uninsured Motorist claims as well. I can make a claim for you as long as you have insurance at the time of the crash, you will have a coverage called “Uninsured Motorist coverage.” That coverage pays compensation for your injuries in the same way that the at-fault driver’s insurance would if he or she was insured.
What if I am a victim of a hit and run?
I represent and handle these types of claims as well. This is handled as an “Uninsured Motorist” claim. However, it is extremely important that in a situation such as this, that you immediately report the event to the police and request that they give you a report number. Otherwise you may be barred from recovering any money from the insurance company. Many policies will not pay you unless you report the accident to the police within 72 hours of the event.
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