Oregon City Car Accident Lawyers
When someone hits you with their vehicle, you may suffer injuries like minor cuts and scrapes, or catastrophic injuries. The at-fault driver, or their insurance company, should pay for your medical expenses and other damages. Our Oregon City, OR, car accident attorneys can help you protect your rights and get the compensation you deserve.
After an accident, the at-fault driver's insurance company is usually responsible for paying damages. However, insurance companies will certainly try to avoid paying a claim; and they’re notorious for offering minimal amounts to settle.
If you suffered injuries or lost a loved one in a car accident, contact one of our Oregon City, OR, car accident lawyers at Strong Law at 206-741-1053 for a free case evaluation and assistance in dealing with insurers.
Our Team Gets Results for Our Clients
Find Out Why So Many People Trust Strong Law
Our Oregon City, OR, car accident team works hard to get results for our clients. We take the time necessary to investigate your car accident case fully. We leave no stone unturned so we can represent your interests to the best of our ability.
The legal system is complex, and if your car accident case has more than one person at fault, it becomes even more complicated. Count on our experience, our strategic and negotiating skills, and our knowledge of the law. We make sure insurance companies and other defendants do not violate your rights. We will make sure that you get all the compensation you deserve. Some of our results include:
- A client was rear-ended while sitting at a stoplight. His neck surgery forced him to stay in a rehabilitation center for two months. We recovered $1.1 million for him.
- A drunk driver crossed the center line, causing a head-on collision with our clients. We recovered $1 million for them.
- A vehicle hit our client as the client was crossing the street. His injuries required surgery on his knee and shoulder and caused him to be out of work for over a year. We recovered $900,000 for him.
- Our client was a passenger in the vehicle driven by an acquaintance. Unbeknownst to our client, the acquaintance was drunk. The driver crashed into a tree, causing our client to suffer neck injuries that required surgery. We recovered $875,000 for our client.
- Three young children were riding in a T-boned car while the driver was making a left turn into a parking lot. The three children suffered injuries in the wreck. We recovered $680,000 for the children.
Each matter is unique, and your results may vary.
Proving Liability in an Oregon City, OR, Car Accident
Our Experienced Attorneys Know How to Show Who Was at Fault
In some cases, it is obvious who was at fault in a car accident. In other cases, your attorney might have to retain private investigators to determine who was at fault in the car accident. While the police report can point to liability, it is not the only tool a car accident lawyer in Oregon will use.
To recover damages in a car accident, you must be able to show that the other driver met the four elements to prove liability. Those elements are:
- The driver – also known as the defendant – had a duty of care not to harm you.
- The driver violated that duty.
- The driver’s actions caused your injuries.
- You suffered damages as a result of those actions.
More than one person could meet these elements – if they do, they are also responsible for your injuries and other damages.
To help prove who shares in the liability for the damages you can collect, our Oregon City, OR, car accident lawyers will investigate the accident scene and use expert witnesses to recreate the accident when necessary. Our attorneys will also interview first responders, police officers, and other witnesses at the accident scene.
What to Do After a Car Accident in Oregon City, OR
In many cases, your injuries could prevent you from doing anything after a car accident. However, if you feel that you can move around without causing additional harm to yourself, you should take the following steps after a car wreck:
- Call first responders and check on others involved in the wreck.
- Obtain the other driver’s contact information, insurance information, and registration information.
- Speak to witnesses. First, obtain a good phone number from anyone who witnessed the accident. You can also ask a witness what he or she saw. If you do, be sure to take notes about which witness said what.
- Allow the emergency medical technicians to check you over, even if you believe your injuries are minor. Some injuries will not manifest for hours or even a day or two.
- After the police release you from the scene, seek medical attention as soon as possible. Let the medical personnel know that you were in an accident and that you want to ensure that you do not have any injuries that have not manifested yet.
- Contact our car accident lawyers in Oregon City.
Recoverable Damages after a Car Accident in Oregon City, OR
No one can go back in time, change a driver’s bad decision, and break the chain of events that caused a car crash. However, courts may award monetary damages, which is the next best thing. Victims need financial compensation to pay medical bills and other accident-related expenses. They also deserve this compensation to move forward with their lives.
Compensation in a car crash claim, or any other personal injury claim, usually begins with economic losses, such as:
- Prior Medical Expenses: The medical bills following a catastrophic (life-threatening) often exceed $100,000. This figure does not include other costs, like physical therapy, prescription drugs, and medical devices.
- Future Medical Expenses: Our Oregon City, OR, car accident lawyers usually partner with independent doctors who determine any future medical interventions the victim needs and the likely costs of these interventions.
- Property Damage: Frequently, the amount of property damage is almost as high as the amount of medical expenses, especially if the victim drove an expensive vehicle. Additionally, an item like the family car has an emotional value as well as a financial value.
- Prior and Future Lost Wages: Much like medical bills, prior lost wages are relatively easy to determine. Calculating the amount of future lost wages is more difficult, especially since most recovering victims have bad days.
Most Oregon courts require victims to introduce evidence, usually expert testimony that the requested economic damages are reasonable. A doctor’s bill, by itself, is not evidence that the expense was reasonably necessary.
Generally, noneconomic damages are about two or three times the economic damages. Specific categories include:
- Pain and Suffering,
- Loss of enjoyment in life,
- Emotional distress, and
- Loss of consortium (companionship.)
The multiplication method is just a rule of thumb. It’s very difficult to calculate something like the value of taking a walk with a spouse on a pleasant evening. So, our Marion County car accident lawyers frequently work with psychologists and other outside professionals to determine such losses.
Furthermore, the multiplication method establishes a settlement value, which is basically like an asking price. During settlement negotiations, some give and take is inevitable.
Additional punitive damages are available if there is clear and convincing evidence that the tortfeasor intentionally disregarded a known risk. Such damages are only available in extreme cases, like a driver with a very high BAC level or a commercial operator who fell asleep at the wheel. Punitive damages encourage tortfeasors to prioritize other peoples’ safety above their own convenience or preference.
There Is No Fee Unless Our Oregon City, OR, Car Accident Lawyers Win
Many lawyers charge more than $1,000 an hour. But our Oregon City car accident lawyers charge no fees upfront. We also cover all litigation-related costs, like expert witness and deposition fees. Furthermore, the aforementioned litigation partners, like doctors and psychologists, normally charge nothing upfront as well.
As a bonus, attorneys negotiate with providers and often convince them to lower their fees. That process could mean the victim gets to keep more settlement money, under Oregon’s complex collateral source rule.
To win the compensation you deserve, contact our Oregon City, OR, car accident attorneys at 206-741-1053 for a free case evaluation as soon as possible.
Oregon City Car Accident FAQs
When should I contact a car accident lawyer in Oregon City, OR?
You should contact our Oregon City, OR, car accident lawyers as soon as possible after the accident. Even if you are in the hospital, we can still meet with you for your initial case evaluation. We can visit you in the hospital or conduct a case evaluation over the phone or via video call.
If you cannot meet with us due to your injuries, a loved one may contact us on your behalf. We will let your loved one know what steps to take.
My accident was not in Oregon City, and the at-fault driver and I live in another city. Do I have to use your Sammamish office?
No. You can work with our car accident lawyers in our office in Tacoma, WA, or even in Portland or Eugene, OR. We also have an office in Salt Lake City, UT. Because of jurisdiction and venue laws, you should visit the office closest to where you or the defendant lives or where the accident occurred.
The insurance adjuster for the defendant’s insurance company keeps calling me. What should I do?
Ask the adjuster to contact our office. If you have previously given the insurance adjuster this information, tell the adjuster not to call you again. Also, let our office know that the insurance adjuster continues reaching out to you. We will also inform the insurance adjuster that he or she should not contact you.
I need to have my car fixed before my case settles. How do I get it fixed?
We will contact the insurance company on your behalf to get information about repairing your vehicle. Once an investigation has been completed, you can take your car in for repairs. Insurance companies often have separate departments for property damage and personal injury claims. You can discuss getting your vehicle repaired with the property damage department or ask us to obtain the information you need for the repair shop to submit expenses.
If the driver who hit me was on the job, can I also collect from his or her employer?
If the employer is found to have some fault in the accident, you can also sue the employer’s insurance company. For example, if the investigation finds that the brakes failed on a delivery car and the employer knew that the brakes were malfunctioning but told the driver to drive the car anyway, the employer could share in the responsibility for your damages.
If I caused an accident because of a defective part on my vehicle that the manufacturer would not recall, can I sue the manufacturer?
Yes and no. Generally, manufacturers are strictly liable for the injuries their defective products cause. However, if you knew about the defect and did nothing to make your vehicle safer, the manufacturer could use that inaction as a defense.
Strict liability is a higher standard than negligence. A defective product, like a defective tire or an ignition issue, could seriously injure thousands of people. There are two kinds of product defects in Washington law:
- Design Defect: The 1970s Ford Pinto is an example of a design defect. To make the car lighter and cheaper, designers put the Pinto’s unlined gas tank behind the rear axle. As a result, it was overly prone to rupture and explosion, even in a relatively low-speed accident.
- Manufacturing Defect: 1990s Takata airbags are an example of a manufacturing defect. To cut costs, the manufacturer replaced a stable and expensive chemical propellant with ammonium nitrate, which is unstable and cheap. Ammonium nitrate is the same compound Timothy McVeigh used in the Oklahoma City truck bomb.
The unforeseeable use doctrine is the only legal defense in a defective product claim. Manufacturers are not liable for damages if individuals misuse a product and that misuse causes injury. The misuse must be extreme, like using racing tires to go off-roading in the Cascades.
Is it possible to suffer post-traumatic stress disorder after an accident?
Absolutely. It’s also possible to suffer from PTSD-like symptoms, and obtain compensation for them, even if you were not otherwise injured.
About half of car crash victims suffer from PTSD. Going through a stressful event, like a car wreck or combat firefight, alters brain chemistry. The amygdala (part of the brain that controls emotional responses) enlarges, and the cerebral cortex (logical responses) shrinks. This imbalance causes depression, anger, flashbacks, and other symptoms that make it difficult or impossible to function in everyday life.
Furthermore, the additional stress parents feel when they see their children injured triggers a special legal doctrine called the zone of danger rule. Therefore, parents in these situations are entitled to compensation for bystander injuries. This compensation could include both the economic and noneconomic damages mentioned above.
What if the accident was my fault?
Tragedies like car crashes often have multiple causes. Both drivers could be partially responsible for the wreck. However, there are two important things to remember in this area.
First, there is a difference between fault and legal responsibility (known as “liability”). An insurance adjuster, who will have the insurance company’s interests as their focus instead of yours, usually determines fault based solely on the immediately available evidence. If your case goes to trial, a jury or judge determines liability based not only on the evidence at the scene but also on electronic and other subsequently available evidence.
Additionally, compensation is still available even if you were partially responsible for the accident. Oregon is a modified comparative fault state. So, even if the victim was 49 percent responsible for the collision, the negligent driver is liable for a proportionate share of damages.
“Excellent attorneys and staff!! My attorney, Peter, and his paralegal, Katrina, went ABOVE & BEYOND to get me a settlement that was even higher than my own personal bottom line. I highly recommend Strong Law for all your personal injury claims. I would not have been able to navigate this 3-year long journey without them! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!”