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Portland Car Accident Lawyer

When someone’s carelessness causes you serious harm, it can change your life. You might need to stop working and then deal with big medical bills. Your injuries could lead to long-lasting problems that make your life quite different. If this happens because of someone else’s actions, you can ask them to pay for your losses. A Portland car accident lawyer can help you understand your rights and get the money you might need.

At Herron Law Firm, our lawyers work on a “no win, no fee” basis. This means we start helping you without asking for money first.

We only get paid if you get money for your injuries. Call us at (503) 367-0928 to find out more about how we can help you.

What Should You Do After a Car Accident in Oregon?

It’s important to stay at the scene of a car accident to avoid being labeled a hit-and-run driver. Leaving the scene would result in arrest and criminal charges with severe consequences, particularly if someone is injured or killed in the accident. Never leave the accident scene. 

If you are physically able, check on your passengers as well as the other individuals involved in the accident. Call 911, especially if medical assistance is needed. Avoid moving anyone who expresses back or neck pain unless their safety is at risk.

Take photos and videos of the accident scene and the people and vehicles involved. Exchange basic information with other parties, such as your name, driver’s license number, insurance information, and license plate number, but avoid admitting fault or apologizing, as this could implicate you legally.

File an accident report with the DMV within 72 hours of the crash. Contact the police to obtain a copy of the police report, which you will need when filing an insurance claim. 

If possible, talk to witnesses and collect their contact information so that your lawyer can use their accounts to support your case for compensation.

Call your insurance company, give them accurate details about the incident, and cooperate with them. You may also want to consult with a personal injury lawyer, particularly if you were injured in an accident. Many law firms offer free initial consultations.

If you’re unsure of your legal rights, consult a personal injury lawyer, Bart Herron, at 503-367-0829, for advice.

What Does an Insurance Company Adjuster Want to Ask You After a Car Accident?

Here is a basic list of questions a liability insurance adjuster will want to ask you when interviewing and recording your statement:

  • On what day of the week did this accident happen? What time of day was it?
  • What was the location of the accident (crossroads, intersection, county, etc.)?
  • Were there any passengers? (names, contact information, children in vehicle, elderly, etc.)
  • What was the weather like when the accident happened?
  • What street or road were you on? What direction were you traveling in? How many lanes of travel were there in each direction? Were there any medians or anything between the lanes of travel?
  • What markings were on the street separating lanes? Is the road straight or are there curves?
  • Which lane were you in? Where were you coming from? Where were you going? How fast were you going? Were you in a hurry? Was the other driver in a hurry? Explain.
  • Do you know the posted speed limit on the road you were on? When did you first see the other vehicle?
  • Did you have your signal on? If so, which one and for how long? Please describe for me, in your own words, how the accident happened. What did you do to avoid an accident? Did the other driver try to avoid the accident?
  • Were police called to the scene? Did the police come to the scene? What is the police department? Were any citations issued? Was there an ambulance at the scene?
  • Do you know if there were any witnesses to the accident? Did you take any pictures or video of the scene?

If you’re unsure of your legal rights, consult a personal injury lawyer, Bart Herron, at 503-367-0829, for advice.

How is the Fault Determined in a Car Accident in Oregon?

A decision to assign a fault in a car accident can be influenced by many of factors. Nevertheless, the below listed elements can make it easier to determine who is responsible.

Were Any Traffic Laws Violated

Breaking traffic laws can be an indicator of fault in a car accident. Lawyers will analyze the circumstances that led to the accident and determine which party violated traffic laws. Some traffic laws are consistent across different jurisdictions, such as running a stop sign or red light, speeding, or driving while under influence. 

Were Any Citations Issued

The investigating police officer will document any traffic violations that occurred before the accident, as well as their opinion on what caused the crash. Insurance company adjuster will always take police reports into account when assessing fault. If the police don’t show up at the scene, you can call the nearest police station to request assistance. It’s important to review the report for any errors.

Type of Collision

While it’s not always the case, the driver who crashes into the back of another car is usually considered at fault in a rear-end collision. Most laws require drivers to keep a safe distance between themselves and the car in front of them to avoid sudden stops. However, if the front driver’s brake lights were malfunctioning, leading to no warning of a stop or brake, the front driver could be partially at fault.

Accident Reconstruction Report

An accident reconstruction expert is a professional who uses scientific and engineering principles to investigate the cause and circumstances of an accident. Their primary goal is to determine the events that led up to the accident, the factors that contributed to it, and the degree of fault of each party involved. Accident reconstruction experts typically work in the fields of civil and criminal law, insurance, and public safety.

Analyzing Physical Evidence

Police investigators, as well as personal injury lawyers, may examine physical evidence, such as tire marks, vehicle damage, and debris, to help reconstruct the sequence of events leading up to the accident. These experts may visit the accident site to assess road conditions, traffic patterns, and other environmental factors that may have contributed to the accident.

Interviewing Witnesses

A car accident attorney may interview witnesses to get a better understanding of what they saw and heard leading up to the accident.

If you’re unsure of your legal rights, consult a personal injury lawyer, Bart Herron, at 503-367-0829, for advice.

What Happens If It Is My Fault in a Car Accident in Oregon?

If you are responsible for a car accident in Oregon, your chance of collecting compensation for the damage may depend on the state you live in. In Oregon, the injured at-fault party looks for compensation from their own insurance provider through the PIP portion of their insurance coverage, regardless of their fault in the accident. The PIP coverage aims to cover medical costs and select economic losses.

However, as an at-fault party in a car accident, other parties involved in the collision might file a third-party claim against your car liability insurance policy. The other party involved in a car accident may demand that your insurer pay for damages that exceed their PIP coverage limit.

It is important to mention comparative negligence rules that might affect the amount you can recover if you share some fault in a car accident. In many states, “pure comparative negligence” can reduce your compensation by the percentage of responsibility you bear for the collision; “modified comparative negligence” allows you to receive any compensation if you are deemed to be 50 percent or more at fault for the crash; and contributory negligence” rules in some states can bar you from any recovery.

If you’re unsure of your legal rights, consult a personal injury lawyer, Bart Herron, at 503-367-0829, for advice.

What Do You Need to Consider When Accepting a Settlement After a Car Accident in Oregon?

Know this before you settle with any car insurance company: Many injuries from car accidents will affect you for the rest of your life. Therefore, before accepting that car accident settlement offers, always ask the insurance company adjuster the following:

  1. Why am I offered this settlement amount, and what is it based on? 
  2. What is included in the settlement offer?
  3. How will my future medical bills be paid? 

Ask yourself this question: Why have you been paying high car insurance premiums all these years? Is it because you purchased that car insurance to protect yourself and your family in case of an accident? So, make your car insurance company take care of you.

But, when dealing with the insurance company, exercise caution. These days, insurance companies are in business to protect the interests of their shareholders and pay out as little as possible to you. 

Read How to maximize your car wreck insurance company settlement offer” 

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Seriuos Injuury Attorney Bart Herron

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    Hire a Good Car Accident Attorney to Protect Your Future

    You should not just turn to any general practice attorney to help you. Look for an experienced car crash personal injury attorney who has experience handling your type of car accident injury claim.

    But how do you find that type of car accident lawyer? There are several methods to get referrals for good plaintiff’s personal injury attorneys. Once you get some referrals, you should compare them carefully. Get the names of several car accident attorneys and meet, call, text or zoom with everyone to discuss the car accident claim before you decide to hire. 

    *You should also be prepared to be rejected often; good car accident lawyers are often busy, so you may need to have several choices in reserve.

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    Statutes Of Limitations:

    • 6 Months to 2 Years
    • Always Check Statute of Limitations with Lawyer
    • Calendar It Twice

    Other Serious Injury Cases We Handle

    What Damages Are You Allowed To Collect After a Car Accident?

    There are several types of damages to which you are entitled after a car accident caused by another party. Two main categories, economic damages & non-economic damages, should be included in the settlement.

    Economic Damages:
    Medical expenses (past and future): physical therapy, doctors’ visits, ambulance fees, in-home services, permanent disability—past, current, and future.

    Lost wages (past and future): a car accident can cause you to lose the ability to earn a living. This may include your inability to work due to doctors’ appointments, time spent in the hospital, problems with physically doing your job and more. You are often entitled to lost wages both in the past and future, which need to be calculated precisely, usually by a personal injury attorney.

    Non-Economic Damages:

    Pain and suffering: This is for the mental and physical distress of your injuries. This is usually calculated with a multiplier by the insurance company, which will multiply your actual economic damages by a factor of anywhere from 1.5 to 4, depending upon the circumstances.

    Loss of affection or companionship: Your injuries could affect your ability to show affection or be a companion to your partner. This is also referred to as loss of consortium. These types of losses are claimed by the uninjured partner. These types of damages are common when the car accident victim dies and the surviving partner files a wrongful death lawsuit.

    There Are Other Damages Personal to Your Case
    Which of these damages you are entitled to depends upon the exact circumstances of the accident. We recommend that you at least speak to a car accident personal injury attorney at no cost after a serious accident. This is especially true if you have suffered substantial physical injuries.

    What Steps Should You Take to Successfully Settle Your Car Accident Claim?

    7 Steps to Take Right Away After Car Wreck:

    If you have not done the following steps, today is a good day to start:

    1. File the Police or DMV accident report. This should be filed with the DMV within 72 hours of the accident. If the police respond to the scene, they will complete the police report. You should get a copy of this document; if the accident was due to the other driver’s negligence, this will be compelling evidence on your side.

    2. Take Photos & Videos. If you are physically able to do so, you should take photographs with your cell phone of everything related to the accident: damages, injuries, positions of the vehicles involved, etc.

    3. Record Statements. If possible, record what the other driver or drivers say to you after the crash. It is important to know why the other driver broke the rules.

    4. Talk to Witnesses. Collect the contact information and statements of all accident witnesses. Don’t count on the police. Memories fade with time, get a statement from the witnesses as soon as you can. Write down everything they tell you.

    5. Keep a Diary. Keep a diary after the crash of all expenses, traveling, and the pain and suffering you experience, as well as lost work time and loss of enjoyment of life activities.

    6. Request all Medical Records & Bills. Organize all medical records, bills, reports, handouts, and business cards in a separate injury case folder. There will be hundreds of pages of loose documents, but you must keep them all. Keep all empty medication bottles.

    7. Keep all Correspondence from ANY Insurance Company. Delete nothing. Print each and every email, letter, record, and correspondence from both insurance companies and place them in your injury folder.

    Do you need Herron Law team to take over your car accident case?

    Contact Us 24/7 by calling or texting 503-367-0829

    Any car crash, especially a serious one, is a life-changing event.

    If you don’t have an experienced, aggressive car accident lawyer to guide you, here is a glimpse of 10 issues you will have to face next:

    1. The lengthy process of filling or opening your insurance claims
    2. Determining the liability and fault with your insurance company as well as the other driver’s
    3. Opening Personal Injury Protections (PIP) claim
    4. Getting your vehicle repaired correctly
    5. Finding a good doctor who will actually be able to treat you right away
    6. Getting to your medical appointments 2-3 times a week 
    7. Losing your rental vehicle too soon
    8. Giving recorded statements to both insurance companies without knowing your rights
    9. Signing insurance releases or other legal paperwork that you are not comfortable signing in the first place
    10. Being pressured to settle a personal injury claim within days of the crash before you are even medically stationery. 

    Why Some Failed to Settle Car Accident Claims Successfully

    Settling Insurance Claim Too Quickly

    For most personal injury cases in Oregon, you have from 6 months to two years from the date of the accident to file your claim (six months if you are bringing a claim against the government. Do not allow an insurance adjuster to convince you to settle the claim too quickly.

    Insurance companies want to settle for as little as possible because it is extremely profitable for them to settle for pennies on the dollar. All insurance companies do this today. Do not let this happen to you! Please call a car accident attorney to figure out the exact time to file your claim with the courts.

    You will need to ask: “What is my “Statute of Limitations” deadline”. Once you know your time limits, you will understand that you have plenty of time to get better. Don’t get pushed by the insurance adjuster to settle your case as soon as possible.

    Talk to a good personal injury attorney before you even consider settling the claim.

    Giving Recorded Statementto the Other Driver’s Insurance Company

    At-Fault driver’s insurance company will contact you to get a recorded statement. Be careful of that request.

    Think about why do they want to record your conversation? Do you record conversations with your friends? Everything recorded will be used against you at some point.

    No matter how friendly the adjuster is, remember this: You do not have any obligation to speak to the other driver’s insurance company, and you should not allow them to record anything.

    The best course of action is to have your attorney deal with the insurance company for the other driver.

    Waiting to be Evaluatedby a Physician More than 24 Hours of the Crash

    One of the most frequent problems that lead to a lower settlement and verdicts is not going to the doctor immediately after a car accident. This is a big mistake.

    It is important to be medically evaluated after the crash, so you have a written record from a doctor of all your injuries. Those injuries need to be connected to the accident you just had if you want to obtain fair compensation later.

    Attorneys do understand that some people try to save money because, for many, money is tight. Some people cannot take time off work or afraid to be fired if they do. But your health is the most important thing you have.

    It is important to get better so you can keep earning that money later. If you did not visit your doctor within 24 hours, the insurance company will always use it against you.

    The defense lawyers and insurance companies will likely maintain that your injuries were not serious; after all, you did not go to the doctor immediately, therefore your injuries must be due to another cause.

    Your DoctorDoes Not Find All of Your Injuries

    There are many injuries that you could suffer in a car accident that may not be immediately apparent. For example, a traumatic brain injury (TBI) could be present but the symptoms might not be noticeable upon a cursory medical examination.

    Or, if you are treating with a chiropractic physician, that doctor might not be fully qualified to diagnose that kind of injury. If you feel off, strange, tired, nauseated, etc. you may have a concussion and it is important to be seen by a specialist.

    With minimal symptoms in the first few days; this is easy for some doctors to miss or just disregard your symptoms. Did you know that many injured people end up with depression as a result of a brain injury and pain from the accident?

    It is important to be seen by a good doctor that can diagnose, treat and fix you correctly. Missing these injuries in the initial medical examinations will result in a lower settlement.

    Remember to ask for a specialist referral and make sure to follow up with all suggested tests like MRI or X-Rays.

    Not Properly DocumentingYour Damages & Injuries

    (Read above Important Steps…)

    Failing toComplete Medical Treatment

    After a car accident with injuries, you will be prescribed a medical treatment plan from your medical professionals. It could involve multiple appointments, physical therapy sessions, X-Rays, MRIs, chiropractic treatments and manipulations as well as other medical treatments. In more serious accidents, you could have medical treatment going for months or years.

    If you want the insurance company to consider your injuries fully you must complete ordered treatment every time. If you do not do so (for any reason – good or bad), the insurance company will argue that you were not as seriously injured as you claim.
    In fact, they might even blame you for still having those lasting health problems because if you did complete the treatment then you wouldn’t have any health problems left.

    *If you are going through the treatment, but not getting better, please ask your doctor to refer you to a specialist for a reevaluation.

    At-Fault Driver Has Limited or No Insurance Coverage

    Some drivers carry minimal auto insurance or no insurance at all to save money. This is sadly very common nowadays.  It is for that reason that you should carry additional uninsured or underinsured (UM/UIM) motorist protection on your own policy. That way, you are protected if you are injured by a driver with minimal or no insurance coverage.

    Make sure that you actually use your own policy’s UIM coverage, so you can get compensation for your injuries. Remember that you paid and still are paying to the insurance company those really high premiums. This is a time to use your insurance coverage.

    *Your attorney can work with you to uncover all possible in effect insurance policies for everyone involved in the accident to maximize your settlement. 

    Not Reviewing Your Case with a Personal Injury Attorney

    Most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency basis: They are not paid unless you are.

    Attorneys usually offer a “Free Consultation” to review your case to see what are your damages and how much money you must ask to be fairly compensated.

    It is nearly always a good idea to have any personal injury case reviewed by an experienced personal injury attorney in your area.

    2 Points to Remember When Negotiating a Settlement:

    Point 1:

    Properly Value | Future Medical Costs | Future Wage Losses

    Oregon Law required accident victims that may have serious future medical costs to be compensated fully. Most injured people are unaware of this fact. If you settle too soon and for too little, you could be saddled with huge medical costs down the road.

    There are debates going on in our government about preexisting conditions almost on a regular basis. Think of the law changes what it might do to you as you will be a person with a preexisting condition from now on. In addition, you could also have injuries that prevent you from working for many months in the future or even retiring much too early and therefore losing a lot of money you would have otherwise made.

    Remember to get your case reviewed by a personal attorney, you could be under-compensated for your future earnings losses. *Once you sign the settlement papers, the case cannot be reopened. 

    Point 2:

    Properly Calibrate ALL Non-Economic Damages

    Economic damages in a personal injury case are easy to quantify. They include medical expenses, lost wages, and out of pocket costs after the accident, etc. Oregon Law states that injured people must recover non-economic damages if economic damages are awarded. In determining the amount of non-economic damages, if any, consider each of the following: pain, mental suffering, emotional distress, or humiliation that you have sustained from the time you were injured until the present and that you probably will sustain in the future as the result of your injuries; Any inconvenience and interference with your normal and usual activities apart from activities in a gainful occupation that you find have been sustained from the time you were injured until the present and that you probably will sustain in the future as the result of your injuries;  etc. *It takes an experienced personal injury attorney to understand what the potential is for your non-economic damages. 

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      • “Honest, intelligent and strong attorney”

        I was badly injured in an auto accident. Bartley Herron persuaded the insurance company that they needed to give me the maximum settlement of insurance coverage. The money was and is very important to my family. I recommend Mr. Herron to anyone needing an honest, intelligent and strong attorney to represent them and to fight hard for them. That is what Mr. Herron did for me.

      • “The settlement your people obtained for me was much better than anything the insurance company had offered me”

        I recommend Herron Law to everyone. I was hurt in a car accident and the insurance company tried to get me to settle without talking to an attorney. I am glad that I talked with you instead. The settlement your people obtained for me was much better than anything the insurance company had offered me. It turned out that I went through an unexpected hardship right after the car accident. I ended up really needing the extra money. Thanks for all of your help and concern.

      • “You gave me the drive to fight”

        Thanks to you for your hard efforts and support, you gave me the drive to fight. I actually miss you guys. We think about you often. Even when things were tough you always made me smile. I can never thank you enough.

      • “Your firm… got more than three times the money the insurance company was wanting to pay”

        I contacted your law firm for help after being hurt. I had been talking with the insurance company. The adjuster wanted to settle. But I was concerned that I should talk to a lawyer. Your firm represented me and got more than three times the money the insurance company was wanting to pay. I’m very thankful for the money and what you did for me.