Category: Uncategorized

Is Oregon a No-Fault State for Auto Accidents

Is Oregon a No-Fault State for Auto Accidents?

Auto accidents are tough under the best of circumstances. However, the more prepared you are, the easier the process becomes. Gaining insight into how your case is handled will better equip you on what steps need to be taken.

Each state has different laws, so it’s important to familiarize yourself with these state-specific auto accident laws. For instance, does your state operate on a “no-fault” or “at-fault” system? If you are a resident of Oregon, which system does it follow? Let’s look at how this could affect your case.

No-Fault vs. At-Fault Systems

What’s the difference between these two systems? Before exploring Oregon-specific auto accident laws, it’s helpful to understand the difference between no-fault and at-fault systems. In a no-fault state, neither party is considered to be at fault for the accident. Regardless of who is responsible for the collision, each driver seeks compensation from their own insurance provider. A party is not required to first prove the other party is at fault before receiving compensation. However, there are some exceptions. If one of the involved parties is suffering from significant injuries or property damage, they can file a third-party lawsuit against the responsible party.

The purpose of a no-fault system is to expedite the insurance process and provide compensation sooner. With a no-fault system, you have to submit a claim to your insurance provider even if you are not at fault.

Most states, however, use the traditional at-fault system. In at-fault states, each insurance company pays for damages measured against the degree of fault with each party involved. If you are the injured party, you will file a claim with the insurance company of the driver that is responsible. The driver who caused a collision is responsible for the damages of the injured party; the insurance company of the party found at fault pays the injured victim.

This means that, after an auto accident, you must first prove who is at fault and to what degree. This is typically handled by an adjuster assigned by your insurance company. If you disagree with the insurance adjuster, you can seek uncompensated damages by filing a lawsuit.

Which System Does Oregon Follow?

For auto accidents, Oregon uses an at-fault system. Since Oregon is an at-fault state, the injured party files a claim with the insurance company of the driver responsible for the accident. If you can prove they are at fault, their insurance company will pay damages for injury or property damage. It’s possible to share liability. In this case, the insurance companies will determine to what degree each party is responsible.
However, Oregon law requires insurance policies to include no-fault provisions. This provision requires insurance companies to provide personal injury protection (PIP) to anyone paying for insurance in Oregon, even if they are considered at fault. PIP pays up to a certain amount by your insurance provider for medical expenses, funeral expenses, childcare expenses, lost income, survivors’ loss benefits, and household services. This payout also extends to passengers of auto accidents.

What Compensation Is Available for At-Fault Auto Accidents?

Each case is different, and compensation is determined by the severity of injuries or property damage sustained. However, there are several types of compensation that are typically covered. These include:

  • Medical Expenses: Reimbursement for your medical expenses includes payments for hospital visits, physical therapy, pain medication, and future medical bills related to the auto injury.
  • Lost Income: This includes payment for times you weren’t able to work while recovering. You can request compensation for these lost wages. If the injury affects your ability to continue your current line of work, you can also sue for future loss of wages.
  • Pain and Suffering: This refers to both physical and emotional pain experienced during the accident and recovery process. It’s intended to help compensate for the impact an accident has on your daily life. This includes anxiety, depression, physical pain, strained relationships, and inability to engage in daily activities.
  • Punitive Damages: This is paid on top of compensatory damages if the guilty party has performed outrageous conduct. It’s meant to deter future misdeeds and help the victim if compensatory damages are not sufficient. In an auto accident, this may be awarded if someone was driving drunk.

Should You Seek Legal Representation?

Often, insurance companies don’t have your best interests in mind. Though a provider may not go as far as to act in bad faith and wrongfully deny coverage, they may attempt to minimize the amount of compensation you receive. Since insurance companies may act in their own interests, it is helpful to seek legal representation. A personal injury attorney acts in your interest and helps you receive fair compensation after an accident.

If you have suffered an accident resulting in injury or property damage, the expert team at Warren Allen LLP is here to help. We provide solid legal advice and representation. If you are attempting to receive compensation after an accident, we are here to help you receive fair compensation and the best resolution possible. Contact our firm today to learn what your options are.
Once you’ve been involved in an accident, immediately begin keeping comprehensive records and documentation. This will help determine fault and increase your chances of receiving compensation. After an accident, collect the names and contact information of any witnesses. Keep records of injuries and damages through photos and writing. Seek medical care and keep copies of receipts. Report your symptoms and keep a written account of your experiences. Make sure to faithfully continue medical treatments.

Even though the effects of an accident can be difficult, taking the proper steps can help mitigate the process and may entitle you to more compensation. Get the help you need so you can receive proper care and compensation. With the right attorney, you can focus on what matters most – healing!

Man with personal injury to foot and crutches on laptop computer.

What Constitutes a Personal Injury?

Hopefully, you’ll never have to deal with a personal injury case. However, you could get caught in an accident and need help navigating how to handle it. That’s where our experienced team at Warren Allen LLP can help. It’s always good to be careful, but when something blindsides you, our representatives are here to get you the compensation you need.

A personal injury case begins when you experience an accident that results in you being injured or in the death of a loved one. So, what constitutes a personal injury?

Here are four facts about personal injury cases to help you get started.

1. Personal Injury Is Not the Same as Bodily Injury

The terms personal injury and bodily injury are sometimes used interchangeably, but they have two different meanings. If you have a personal injury lawsuit, that means you’re a plaintiff looking for compensation because you’re a victim of an accident or a social wrong (as in a defamation of character case). The defendant is the person you’re suing for compensation from. Their negligence caused an injury to you.

For instance, consider a situation where the manager of a store fails to fix a loose railing for the stairs and doesn’t post any signs about it to warn people against using it. While in the store, you use the railing, fall down the stairs, and break your leg. In this case, you can ask for compensation for your medical bills and lost wages while you recuperate.

If you have a bodily injury case, it’s most likely in the context of a car accident. If you sustained bodily injury in a car accident, the at-fault driver’s insurance will pay out compensation to you, whether you’re a pedestrian, another driver, or a passenger in another car. This compensation can be for out-of-pocket medical expenses, treatment procedures (such as x-rays, specialist doctor’s visits, and physical therapy), and transport to the hospital. Other plaintiffs have been known to receive compensation for pain and suffering, but this tends to be rare in bodily injury cases, as insurance companies typically pay out for physical injuries.

2. It’s All About Negligence

Remember the example of the stairway railing? Imagine instead that there had been a prominent sign posted stating not to use the railing or that the railing was going to be fixed soon. If you still used the railing, fell, and broke your leg, you probably wouldn’t have much of a case because the store was not being negligent.

In a personal injury case, you also need to prove that there was negligence on behalf of that company. This railing example would be known as a premises liability lawsuit and can be filed against the person or entity in control of those premises. Personal injury claims come up frequently in cases where there are defective products, professional malpractice, or abuse as a result of nursing home negligence. The most common personal injury cases tend to be car accidents, product liability, dog bites, and slip and fall accidents.

3. Compensation for a Personal Injury Claim

There are two kinds of compensation you can expect from your personal injury claim: economic and non-economic.

Economic compensation is what most of us think of when we think of compensation: money to pay for our actual losses, that is, medical bills, out-of-pocket expenses, and lost wages.

Non-economic compensation is a little different. You’re still being paid money, but it’s to compensate for the damages of pain and suffering, which may not have a monetary value. Some states have a set “cap” for these pain and suffering cases, so you cannot win more than that set amount for your case.

An example of a pain and suffering case would be a medical malpractice claim, such as if a doctor failed to diagnose or misdiagnosed your symptoms. They could have also misread or ignored laboratory results or failed to order the proper tests (or failed to order tests at all). This is negligence on their part and is a violation of the standard of care. In this case, however, it’s not enough to have suffered the malpractice. You also must show that you were injured due to their negligence or that your injury resulted in significant damages.

4. What Is the First Thing I Should Do After an Accident?

The order of operations is important, and you should make sure to have all your ducks in a row. This makes everything move a lot faster (having all of your information ready to go may also lend you a little more credibility) and will get you your compensation faster.
After an accident, make sure to gather information for the other people involved. Gather names, phone numbers, and addresses for the people who injured you and for any witnesses. Keep a careful record of your symptoms, injuries, doctors’ visits, payments you’ve made, wages you’ve lost, and other information that seems important. Take pictures of the space, of the vehicles, and of your injuries, and write everything down as well. Include medical treatments that are recommended for you by medical experts and how much those treatments cost.

Representation

Individuals can represent themselves in cases like this, but it’s not really recommended. Besides, you’re still recovering from an accident that’s probably sapping your energy and causing anxiety. It may cost some money to hire a personal injury lawyer, but having a professional in your corner who knows what they’re doing, who can investigate your claim, who knows your rights, who can speak with your insurance company, and who can argue your case in court will give you great peace of mind. You’ll feel a lot better than if you were trying to handle it yourself.

The more information you can assemble about your situation, the easier it will be for one of our personal injury lawyers to argue your case and help you with your recovery, both mentally and physically. A good personal injury lawyer will also know which questions to ask and how to further investigate and gather other evidence to help your claim, such as gathering surveillance camera footage, finding additional witnesses, and obtaining police reports.

If you’ve been in an accident, the Warren Allen team can help you get back on your feet as soon as possible. Insurance companies will try to minimize the payments you receive, but we’ll fight for your fair compensation after an accident or injury. Contact us today.

Incapacity Word Cloud Concept

Planning for Incapacity

A. Incapacity. As a general rule, each person has the authority to make decisions concerning himself or herself and no other person automatically has that authority. As long as a person has the capacity to make decisions, this rule for decision-making works. If a person becomes legally incapable of making decisions, however, the general rule does not work. In that case, authority to make decisions concerning the incapacitated person or his/her property must be transferred to another person.

Continue reading

financial growth

How to Protect the Financially Challenged Child

It is increasingly common today for parents to have concerns about one or more of their children’s money management skills and judgment. These concerns may arise from a variety of factors including substance abuse, gambling, a spouse that is perceived to be untrustworthy, and sometimes just plain run-of-the-mill immaturity. Regardless of the source of the concern, many parents desire to impose certain controls so that a child’s inheritance will not be squandered or mismanaged.

Continue reading

Toy family on top of Will Testament Document

How Property Gets Distributed After Death

A. “Survivorship” Property Is Property That Passes to Another upon the Death of One of the Owners by Operation of Law Without the Need of Probate or Other Process.

  1. Survivorship real property is most commonly found among husbands and wives who own property as tenants by the entirety (as husband and wife). Other arrangements may include certain types of joint tenancies which also have provisions for survivorship. When one party dies, the other automatically owns the property.

Continue reading

Couple talking with lawyer about Estate Planning

What is Estate Planning and Why is it Important

Every person who has money or owns property that will not be expended or disposed of during his or her lifetime has an estate. Estate planning is simply the process of deciding how such assets will be distributed now or after death. It includes taking steps to insure that decisions are carried out effectively and economically. These steps may involve titling assets, naming beneficiaries, and creating such documents as wills and trusts. In complex situations, more is involved.

Continue reading

Family Law Action Plan

Family Law Action Plan

Divorce can be one of the most stressful ordeals a person can experience. It has been compared to the death of a close family member, but in some ways, it is worse. The problems seem overwhelming. The interpersonal conflicts, the loss of control, the feelings of insecurity, both emotional and financial, and the process seems to go on and on and on. So how should a lawyer approach the divorce?

Continue reading

What do I Need to Bring to my First Family Law Meeting

What do I Need to Bring to my First Family Law Meeting

If you are seeking a divorce or to establish initial custody and parenting time, you generally do not have to bring anything to your first meeting, unless you were served with papers. If you were served with papers, bring those papers with you. At the conclusion of your initial meeting, your lawyer may give you a list of documents to locate and bring back. This may include common papers, like tax returns, recent pay stubs and statements from retirement plans.

Continue reading

What is “Family Law” or “Domestic Relations Law”?

What is “Family Law” or “Domestic Relations Law”?

When lawyers say they practice “family law,” they are telling you that they have a specialty in working with clients in all the legal aspects of family relations: generally the spousal relationship, the domestic partner relationship and the parent-child relationship. Family law for spousal relationships includes prenuptial agreements, separations, divorces and modification proceedings.

Continue reading

© All Rights Reserved.