In a single instant, a major car accident can push your entire life off course and leave you with long-term injuries. When you’ve been involved in a traumatic crash, our Clackamas & Portland auto accident lawyers can help you pursue a legal claim against the negligent party. With over four decades of legal experience and a passion for serving our community, The Gatti Law Firm is ready to help you secure proper compensation for your accident injuries.
Put your mind at ease for the future. Schedule your free initial consultation with our team when you call (503) 543-1114 today.
What Causes Car Accidents?
From distracted driving to drunk driving to bad weather, there are any number of reasons why you might get into a severe automobile crash – and any number of vehicle types, from trucks to rideshare vehicles that could cause you to sustain life-threatening injuries. Despite better car safety features and decreased accident rates in recent years, auto accidents continue to cause a shocking number of fatalities,
Once you’ve been involved in a crash, your first step should always be to use emergency services or visit a medical care provider as soon as possible. After that, it’s critical to discuss your case with a qualified lawyer, particularly if you believe the other driver was at fault.
Here are some of the most common causes of car driver negligence:
- Texting and talking on the phone
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Failure to secure loose items
- Breaking traffic laws
- Failure to properly maintain the vehicle
- Road rage
- Failure to signal a lane change
- Eating or engaging in other distractions
Although all of the behaviors above are illegal, careless, or a combination of both attributes, drivers still choose to persist in unsafe driving every day across America. In Oregon, car accident fatalities have actually slowly increased in recent years, with 2016 bearing witness to an 8.88% crash rate increase.
How Can I Maximize My Car Accident Settlement?
As you work through the car accident claims process, you will need to have a solid strategy in place. Here are some tips to help you pursue the best possible outcome for your case. These should help you understand the process and feel confident moving forward, but we do encourage you to work through each one with an attorney at your side who can tailor the strategy to your specific circumstances:
- Have a specific settlement goal in mind - Work with an attorney to know a range of what your claim is worth. Although this number is not one you will openly share with the adjuster, it is good to have for reference when offers are presented.
- Do not jump at the first offer - It is standard for an insurance adjuster to begin negotiations with a very low amount. The adjuster is trying to determine whether you know what your claim is worth and whether it is worth it to you to pursue the full amount.
- Ask the adjuster to justify their low offer - If the adjuster attempts to make an offer much lower than what you know your claim is worth, ask them to provide you with the reasons for the low offer. That way, you and your attorney can better understand their perspective of the case.
- Wait for a response before you reduce your demand - Until you have an offer or counteroffer from the adjuster, do not reduce your demand. This is not a good bargaining tactic.
- Make sure everything is in writing - Make sure that all details are in writing immediately. You should confirm the agreement in a letter once you, alongside your attorney, and the adjuster has come to a final agreement.
- It is important to discuss your case with an attorney if you or a loved one has suffered serious injuries and need to seek present and/or future damages. Our team can help you get the full and fair compensation you need
Is it Worth Getting a Lawyer for a Car Accident in Portland?
If you were injured in a car accident and you need to recover compensation from the liable party to cover medical bills and other expenses, it is always a good idea to work with an attorney.
If you were not hurt and are not filing a claim, however, you probably don’t need an attorney. If the accident was the other person’s fault and you are pursuing your right to recover for losses, a lawyer can help make that happen.
In some circumstances, injuries do appear later on and then require the assistance of an attorney. For that reason, it is always important to obtain a medical exam following an accident.
When Should I Hire an Attorney for a Car Accident?
It is important to hire an experienced personal injury attorney immediately after the accident. Your attorney can assist with the investigation and provide you with guidance on how to handle the opposing party. Once you enlist the help of a law firm, they will handle communication with the insurance company and any other party involved. Overall, working with an attorney from the start can help increase the compensation you are entitled to receive.
How much should I ask for pain and suffering from a car accident?
There are numerous factors that can impact the amount awarded from an injury settlement for pain and suffering. Some of these include:
- The severity of the injury
- Type of medical treatment received
- Length of recovery time
- The long-term impact of your injuries
There are a number of methods out there on how to put a dollar value on your pain and suffering settlement, but the best method is to speak with an attorney. Your lawyer will know your case better than any calculation you can find on the internet.
Steps to Following a Car Accident
The aftermath of a car accident can be frightening and overwhelming. As you consider the physical pain, mental suffering, and financial stress, you will want to ensure that you take appropriate action to protect your rights. After you or a loved one have been involved in a car accident, there are several crucial steps that you should take. These are:
Exchange driver information even if the crash was minor
Take photos of all vehicles involved in the accident
Check for injuries and get medical attention immediately
Contact a car accident attorney as soon as possible
Seeking Recovery for Your Crash Damages
After you’ve reached a stable medical condition, you’ll need to either file an insurance claim with your provider or discuss your case with a qualified personal injury lawyer. Because Oregon is a modified comparative negligence state, you can still bring a lawsuit even if you were partially responsible for the accident: However, your damages will be adjusted based on your percentage of the blame.
At The Gatti Law Firm, we can provide tailored legal strategies to help you secure recovery for medical bills, lost wages, car damage, pain and suffering, and other losses. Dedicated to each of our clients, we’ll go the extra mile to investigate your case and give you a transparent understanding of your options.
Contact us today at (503) 543-1114 for more information.