Tag: Personal Injury Lawyer

Attorney going over legal paperwork with client. Only hands seen along with gavel.

Describe Three Ways to Narrow Down Qualified Personal Injury Lawyers

If you search for lawyers in your local area, your search results will show dozens, if not thousands, of possible contacts. How do you narrow down a list of potential lawyers to determine which ones are qualified? It’s an important question for any type of lawsuit, especially for personal injury cases. Considering how complicated these can be, clients naturally want to know they can trust a lawyer to look out for their best interests. Read on and we’ll describe three ways to narrow down qualified personal injury lawyers.

1. Identify Potential Lawyers

The first way to narrow down qualified lawyers is to come up with a list of potential candidates. You can start by asking friends and family for any referrals. Even if they don’t have relevant experience themselves, they may know someone who went through a similar legal battle as yours. Have them describe why the names they recommend should be on your narrowed-down list of qualified personal injury lawyers.

One very helpful resource to check out is your local bar association. Because this is a personal injury case, you may also want to inquire for recommendations from certain medical professionals.

The internet can also be an incredibly valuable tool. If you’re really starting from scratch, search for attorneys in your area, and then by personal injury specialty. You may also be able to find some qualified options through the news, mailers, radio, or other media.

See if there are any online reviews or testimonials you can find as well. How do others describe their experience with the personal injury lawyers? Do any of the attorneys come across as properly qualified in the descriptions?

And keep an eye out for any negative reviews. If a lawyer sounds too good to be true, there could be an unsatisfied previous client who is trying to warn others.

2. Do Background Research

Once you have a list of candidates, do some research on their backgrounds. This can be described as looking at their education, how long they’ve been practicing, their general reputation, and so forth.

Now, let’s describe some other effective ways to narrow down qualified lawyers with good reputations.

  • Find out how long they have been practicing law, and personal injury law specifically.
  • See if they have earned certain accolades and/or won awards.
  • See if they have published any case studies.
  • Do they have an online bio that lays out their most impressive accomplishments?
  • Can you find any disciplinary actions that involve the individual lawyer? What about the law firm they work for?

While these are some general ways to narrow down qualified lawyers, don’t forget how important the personal injury specialty is. In case the laws change, you want to make sure to choose a lawyer who stays informed of all the latest developments.

Likewise, you should also make sure that the attorneys are as knowledgeable about the medical field as they are about the law.

Furthermore, you should try to make sure they have plenty of experience, not just with medical-related law, but also with your specific type of personal injury case.

3. Talk to the Personal Injury Lawyers

Recommendations and research are highly effective, but another way to narrow down qualified candidates is to talk to the lawyers themselves. This should be done once you’ve narrowed down the list using the two ways above. You don’t want to waste your time by talking to any lawyer in your area. That being said, however, you should be meeting with at least a few candidates. And be sure to come prepared with the necessary paperwork and information. This can include correspondence, medical bills, and any reports.

Ask questions

Make sure that you are asking the right questions. While you’ve ideally done some research ahead of time, you should still ask some of those basic questions to see how the attorney responds. There could be something important that wasn’t found in your online research.

To make sure the attorney is qualified, ask how many personal injury cases they’ve tried. How many of those cases have they won? Ask them about their most recent personal injury case and what the outcome of it was.

You should also be asking questions about your specific case. These can include:

  • What kind of personal injury law experience do you have?
  • Have you handled a similar case before?
  • Do you typically represent individuals or insurance companies?
  • How long do you expect the timeline of this case to be?
  • What would be your strategy for this case?

Discuss fees

These aren’t the only things you should be inquiring about. While some people get nervous discussing payment, it can be imperative to ask about the fees. Here are some of the questions you can ask about fees to narrow down qualified lawyers below:

  • Is the initial consultation free? If not, how much will I be charged?
  • Will I be provided with a list of fees?
  • How many people will be working on this personal injury case? How many different services will be involved? Will there be individual fees for every single one?
  • What is the ballpark anticipated cost overall, fees included?

If the individual you’re speaking to cannot answer these questions or does not provide satisfactory answers, then consider it another way to successfully narrow down your list of qualified lawyers.

The above tips describe three ways to successfully narrow down qualified lawyers, setting you on the path to find one you can fully rely on. But the best way to narrow down qualified personal injury lawyers? Choose one of our experienced, dedicated, and trustworthy attorneys here at Warren Allen LLP. We are sure our attorneys will provide the best legal advice and representation available in the Pacific Northwest, which we’ve served for over 50 years.

You can find more information on Warren Allen LLP, our specialties, and our attorneys on our website. Our blog includes helpful legal tips and expert advice. Have questions for us? Don’t hesitate to reach out. You can find our contact information on this website as well.

Man with brace on wrist working on laptop.

How Do I Estimate a Personal Injury Settlement?

It’s never a good thing when you need to seek a personal injury settlement. By definition, it means you’ve been injured in some way, whether that’s injury to your person or injury by the loss of someone close to you. However, we are fortunate to have a legal system that makes legally and safely seeking personal injury settlements as straightforward as it can reasonably be.

But we regularly find our prospective clients asking us a particular question as they start their personal injury settlement journey: How much money should I be asking for? What’s a fair amount to be seeking as a personal injury settlement that will adequately address my damages and financial need, while not making it look like I’m just trying to get rich quick?

In this blog, we’ll look at the different types of damages typically included in a personal injury settlement and how much you should typically be seeking in your claim.

Important caveat: If you’re at all unsure about how to estimate your personal injury settlement amount, don’t just hazard a guess. There are many factors that go into assessing the amount you should be seeking, and you may not know about many or even most of the categories. For that reason, we highly recommend speaking to an experienced personal injury lawyer before ever putting expected damages down in writing.

That said, let’s look at common wisdom about estimating claims.

The Average Personal Injury Settlement Is Between $3,000 and $75,000

Conventional wisdom in the world of personal injury law is that when you seek compensation for damages in a personal injury lawsuit, you can expect to receive (if successful) anywhere from $3,000 to $75,000. Damages below $3,000 typically aren’t seen in personal injury lawsuits; they’d be more suited for small-claims court.

On the other hand, while it is certainly possible to receive claims above $75,000, and you may have heard about personal injury settlements in the range of millions or tens of millions of dollars, these are extremely uncommon. What’s more, these are almost always not economic damages but rather punitive fines. That is, these are not necessarily reflective of the economic and personal hardship you yourself suffered but rather levied in order to punish the offending party for wrongdoing.

For instance, let’s say you lived downstream from a power plant that was dumping chemical waste in your water supply, leading to health issues for you and your neighbors. A judge or jury might award you money to address your health care costs, but if it found that the power plant company was acting willfully and recklessly, it might impose millions of dollars more in punitive fines as an extra penalty.

Still, punitive fines aren’t something that you can control—and the vast majority of personal injury lawsuits are settled before a trial ever starts—so you shouldn’t consider them as part of the estimate of damages you’re seeking.

Intangible vs. Tangible Damages

In any estimate of personal injury damages, there are always two types of injury to consider. One is much easier to estimate and quantify than the other.

Tangible damages

Tangible, or “hard” damages—sometimes called “special” damages—can include things like:

  • Medical expenses. How much did you spend out of pocket on specialists, medicine, physical therapy, hospital stays, and so on as a result of this injury?
  • Lost wages. How much money would you have made during the time period you were out of work as a result of the injury you suffered?
  • Other bills. If you were in a car accident, how much did it cost you to repair your car—or was it totaled and you had to buy a new one? Did you have to rebuild part of your house when an incorrectly felled tree damaged it? How much did you spend on hotel fees while living elsewhere waiting for your home to be livable again?

These are just some of the most common types of tangible or hard damages that you can expect to encounter as part of a legal settlement. These, in the end, are easy to quantify—you just need to add up all your bills. (Incidentally, this is why it is critical to keep records of all of these expenses so that you can prove you really did pay this money and that it was immediately relevant to the injury.)

Intangible damages

However, there are other damages, as well. Intangible damages, sometimes called “soft” damages or “general” damages, include things like pain suffered, emotional damage, loss of enjoyment, and so on.

These damages can be much more difficult to quantify than hard damages can, but they’re often the bulk of a settlement amount, and for good reason. After all, you can quantify being out of work for three months recovering, but how much money does it cost to have an aching body for the rest of your life due to the accident? If you had a car accident, what price can you put on anxiety every time you drive? Or if you had a love of skiing but the injury to your legs means you may never ski again, how much is “may never again do a beloved activity” worth?
For these reasons, you can see why intangible damages are both much harder to calculate than hard damages and often the more sizable part of any personal injury settlement estimate.

While it’s impossible to just put a price tag on things like loss of enjoyment or physical and emotional pain, one handy rule of thumb is this: take whatever your hard damages total is and multiply it by four or five to get the amount you should estimate for your intangible damages.

Setting Expectations

The reality is that you likely won’t get the full amount you seek in a trial, mainly because settlements are negotiated out of court to prevent it from going to trial in the first place. You can also only expect to recoup, in general, what the other party has in assets or insurance. It may not be possible for the person or entity you’re suing to pay the amount you ask.

However, working with an experienced personal injury attorney, like those at Warren Allen LLP, will increase your odds of getting the settlement you deserve. We know how to handle negotiations and estimations to maximize your settlement. If you’re looking to file a personal injury settlement, contact the experts at Warren Allen today.

 

African American man holding neck with personal injury after car rear-ended.

5 Most Common Car Accident Injuries and How a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help

If you’ve ever been in a car accident, you know how traumatizing of an event it can be. In the best-case scenario, you only need to worry about some damage to your car. It might cost a bit of money to have it repaired, but at least you made it out alright. If you sustain a personal injury, though, things get much more difficult.

After you suffer an injury, your first priority should be healing and recovery. But when it comes about due to a car accident, you may be lacking in both the time and money to do that. There are reports to complete, claims to file, all while you should be focusing on your own well-being. If you find yourself getting overwhelmed in the aftermath of an accident, a personal injury lawyer might be just what you need.
With legal representation, you have an advocate who can take some of the work off your plate while also ensuring you get any and all financial compensation you may be owed. Below you’ll find a few of the most common car accident injuries as well as how a personal injury lawyer can help.

1. Whiplash

A car accident can subject the body to a large and sudden amount of force, leading to injuries that might be less apparent in the first moments after. If some time passes after and you find yourself dealing with neck pain or discomfort, you may have sustained whiplash. It’s a condition resulting from sudden stress or strain put upon the muscles, tendons, and ligaments in your neck.

While whiplash is more often than not temporary, it can take up to a few weeks for it to heal. It’s not a bad idea to have it looked at by a physician. With a personal injury lawyer helping you, you can seek aid to cover any medical bills that might arise from the accident. Should the injury turn out to be more severe, they can also help present this in your claim. That way your claim will stay up-to-date and accurate and you can receive the correct amount of compensation.

2. Back Injuries

Back injuries, like whiplash, may not be noticeable until sometime after a car accident. Unlike whiplash, a back injury can be significantly more serious and end up requiring medical attention. The sudden impact can cause ruptures or herniations along your spine, leading to pain and a loss of mobility.

If you experience persistent back pain after a car accident, it’s wise to visit an orthopedist for a full assessment. Back injuries can worsen if left alone, making an early examination the difference between a few weeks of back pain and a chronic condition. While specialized care can be costly, working with a personal injury lawyer will help you establish what your needs are and secure compensation to cover them.

3. Broken Bones

While not frequently seen in milder accidents, broken bones are a common outcome of many collisions. The bone (or bones) broken, along with the severity of the break, varies depending on the circumstances of a collision. Knee fractures can come about from slamming into the console, arms or legs can break if slammed or pinned against the door, and ribs can even break from the force from your seatbelt holding you in place.

Due to this variance in injury, a person’s needs after an accident will be unique to their situation. They may need a sling, a cast, or even surgery in order to set the bone in its proper place. With this in mind, it’s crucial you have help establishing the full extent of the injury in the moments after it happens. This will help your personal injury lawyer keep the facts straight when filing claims and getting you the assistance you need.

4. Concussions

If you follow any sports—or have played any yourself—you’re probably familiar with concussions. Caused by sudden impacts to the head, concussions are a common injury resulting from car accidents. If in the aftermath of an accident, you find yourself suffering from a headache, brain fog, memory loss, or just feel like your brain isn’t working like it normally does, you’ve most likely suffered a concussion. Luckily, concussions are easily treatable. The most important thing is that you get medical attention quickly. The sooner you do, the sooner you can start working on getting your brain back in order.

5. Traumatic Brain Injuries

A traumatic brain injury, or TBI, can result from the head sustaining a puncture or high amount of sudden force. Concussions technically fall within the category of TBIs, but while still serious, they are only considered to be mild cases. With a moderate or severe TBI, the consequences can be much more dire. A TBI can alter the way your brain functions, making it hard to properly regulate emotions or think clearly.

While a TBI can be treated, it can also become a lifelong condition or disability.

It’s for this reason that a personal injury lawyer can be massively important should you suffer a TBI in a car accident. A few trips to a specialist along with months of recovery are one thing, but figuring out what kind of care you’ll need for the rest of your life is another. Ongoing medical bills can quickly get expensive, but when you have a personal injury lawyer representing your interests, you can rest easy knowing your needs will be met.

What We Can Do to Help

With any injury incurred from a car accident, a personal injury lawyer can be vitally important to your recovery. From the get-go, they’ll help you get the facts of the accident straight, evaluate the extent and cost of the damages, and stay on your claim to ensure you get the full compensation you are owed. If you’re in need of a personal injury lawyer now or are interested in learning more, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Warren Allen. We’re happy to provide any information you may need.

Older man in neck brace meeting with personal injury lawyer

5 Reasons Having a Personal Injury Lawyer Is Important

If you’ve experienced an accident that has resulted in an injury to yourself or a loved one, obtaining fair compensation may be critical for the recovery process. Though recovery is the primary concern, it can be costly. The added financial stress of medical bills, repairs, and work missed can be overwhelming. Additionally, the insurance company may try to minimize the amount of compensation you receive.

Rather than settling a claim on your own, you may want to hire a personal injury lawyer to be your advocate. Legal representation can be extremely beneficial when attempting compensation, helping to ease the financial and emotional burden so you can focus on getting better faster. Below are just a few of the reasons it’s important to have good legal representation.

1. Prevents Errors

Personal injury claims are contingent upon getting the facts straight. Though the accident’s details may seem straightforward, it’s easy to miscommunicate the facts or make small errors. In a system where your best interests aren’t always the priority, something you say can be turned against you. Even if you have done a diligent job of keeping records and documenting the injury, symptoms, or proof of damage, a simple mistake such as a paperwork error or a missed deadline can cost you the case.

A personal injury lawyer equipped with the knowledge of how these claims work can protect you and your case from simple errors. Keeping track of all the details can be complicated, especially when managing your own recovery with doctors’ appointments and any insurance claims also involving damage to property, such as your car or house. Good legal representation will keep track of what you need when you need it, presenting your case in the best way possible. This will better ensure fair and full compensation.

2. Protects Against Insurance Companies Trying to Withhold Money

Though there are good insurance companies, most are businesses that will have their own interests in mind. When it comes to providing compensation, an insurance company may try to minimize how much you receive. There are insurance laws that regulate these companies, but they will also have a team of attorneys representing them that will understand these laws and how to use them in their favor or find possible loopholes. It’s important to have representation on your side who also understands these laws and can protect you from losing out on money you may be entitled to.

3. Evaluates Damage Accurately

Evaluating damage properly is twofold: whose fault is it and how much damage was sustained? It’s important to identify fault. Establishing that the accident isn’t your fault and having the proof to back these claims will help your case establish liability. A good personal injury lawyer will eliminate any doubt of how these injuries occurred and who the responsibilities lie with. They will also help compile the evidence needed to document the extent of the injury and any damage to property.

However, the full damage may not be limited to visible damage. Depending on state laws, some claims may entitle you to pain and suffering compensation or loss of consortium. A good personal injury lawyer can better assess the extent of damage in addition to reimbursement of medical bills and have a better understanding of what your claim is actually worth.

If you have experienced an accident and need advice on what your claim is worth, contact the expert team at Warren Allen LLP. We are here to help you deal with the aftermath of an accident and provide solid legal representation and advice to help you receive compensation. Contact our firm today so you can learn what your options are for the best resolution possible.

4. Manages Claim Details

Personal injury claims can be quite complex. Each state has different laws and different rules you must comply with. There are required documents and paperwork and deadlines to be met, and your claim must be substantiated with strong evidence. With obtaining all the documents, filling out the paperwork, acquiring proper evidence, following protocol properly, and meeting all your deadlines, this can be a lot to manage. Not to mention balancing all of this with continuing your recovery and any emotional damage sustained as well. Legal representation will manage your case so you can focus on getting better, without the risk of compromising your claim or the payout you receive.

A skilled attorney will have the knowledge of what you need to build your case so you can have the best possible outcome. This could include accident reports, eyewitness statements, photographs, medical records, insurance information, and financial records.

Legal representation will also understand the procedures you must follow. Do you have to schedule a damage inspection? What paperwork do you need? Is there a statute of limitation? Which state you live in will determine the maximum amount of time a person has from the date of injury to when they file their claim. An attorney will help you meet deadlines and follow proper procedures so you don’t miss out on potential compensation.

5. Help Prepare You for Deposition

You may be required to give a deposition. If you’re unprepared, this can be intimidating. A deposition is a sworn, out-of-court testimony of a witness involved in a civil lawsuit. Though it may seem simple enough to give an honest account of the accident and how the injuries were obtained, it can be difficult to recall these events later with accuracy and detail.

A personal injury lawyer will help you gather the facts and compile a clear and accurate account of what you remember. They will also make sure that it’s as comprehensive as possible. If you’re nervous, you will be able to practice with your attorney until you feel confident you can retell the events with accuracy, clarity, and honesty.

This is a difficult time in your life, and it can be emotionally and financially draining. Having an experienced attorney is important because they will focus on the details of helping you win your claim so you can focus on your health, making recovery your top priority.

 

Woman shaking hands with male attorney.

5 Questions to Ask When Choosing Personal Injury Attorneys in Portland Oregon

Most of us hope that we’ll never have reason to hire a personal injury attorney in our lives. By definition, you only need the services of a PI attorney when something has gone wrong and you (or someone you love) has suffered an injury or even death. However, not wanting to ever have to hire an attorney to represent you when seeking compensation for injury doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t prepare for the possibility.

Here are some questions that you should ask when looking for personal injury attorneys in Portland, Oregon—or, really, anywhere.

What Does a Personal Injury Attorney Do?

Before you know what questions you should ask a hypothetical PI attorney in the Portland, OR, area, you should know what the purpose of a personal injury attorney is.

An attorney who specializes in matters of personal injury is an attorney who will help people who have suffered a wrong or an injury, typically in an accident of some kind. Given that medical expenses in the United States can often be dire, one of the most critical purposes of a personal injury lawyer is helping you recoup money that will help you pay these bills—so that you aren’t staring down the barrel of medical bankruptcy at a time when you should be focused on healing. The damages you and your attorney will seek can also go toward covering living expenses while off work, and so on.

Whether in Portland, Oregon, or elsewhere, personal injury attorneys will:

  • Explain your rights. The best lawyers will give an honest assessment of your case as they understand it. What rights do you have that might have been violated? Alternatively, were you doing anything at the time that might make seeking damages more difficult?
  • Assess and investigate the incident. Some law firms specializing in personal injury may carry out their own investigations of an accident, hiring professional investigators to do things like interview witnesses, take photos of the scene, and other activities to document what happened to you. Your attorney and their staff want to make sure they have a full understanding of the events that transpired.
  • Advise you as to how to proceed. The legal system can be a tricky, arcane beast even when you aren’t recovering from injury. It’s often tremendous help to have an objective voice that can give professional, experienced advice as to how you should proceed and what steps will make it more or less likely for you to receive the damages you deserve.
  • Represent you in court. The majority of personal injury claims are settled long before anyone ever steps into a courtroom, but should that step occur, you’ll be well served by having experienced legal counsel to handle the case for you. A trial requires expert knowledge not just of the law, but also of how it is applied—and how to argue it—and that’s why you want a seasoned personal injury attorney to argue your case, whether in a Portland courtroom or anywhere else.

Now that we know the role a personal injury attorney typically holds, what should you look for and what should you ask when you hire one?

5 Questions to Ask a Prospective Personal Injury Attorney

Hiring a personal injury attorney isn’t like hiring a painter or a web design firm, where if the result is subpar, you’re only out time and money and can easily try again. Many times, your first attempt to recover damages over an injury is the only attempt you get; judges frown on repeated attempts to file lawsuits over the same offense. (Setting aside appeals, but we’ll get to that later).

Because of this, you need to make sure your personal injury firm is the best in the business at what they do. Always ask at least these questions, and do your research to get to know the law firm and its staff.

1. Have You Handled Cases Like This Before?

The most brilliant attorney in Portland today might be a fresh-faced young lawyer hot off the bar exam, but that’s not a smart gamble to take. Even veteran attorneys might be fishes out of water when faced with a case that isn’t quite their expertise. Would you trust even an accomplished podiatrist with your eye surgery? Of course you wouldn’t.

Ask your prospective attorney whether they’ve represented clients like you before—and what the outcomes were. If the law firm has handled dozens of cases like yours but hasn’t won any, that might mean you should keep looking.

2. What Do You Think the Outcome Will Be?

On the other hand, a losing record might indicate that cases like yours rarely succeed. Lawyers aren’t psychics or fortune-tellers, but they do understand the law, and when you lay out the facts, they can often give an honest prognostication of where they think this case might go. This isn’t an ironclad guarantee, of course, but it might help you decide your next steps. For instance, if the attorney says you’ll be more likely to see money in arbitration, rather than in a courtroom, you can pursue that avenue.

3. How Will the Billing Be Handled? What Fees Do You Have?

Outside of pro bono lawyers—who may handle your case in certain circumstances—your attorney and their firm will, of course, expect to be paid for their hard work. It’s important to understand the fees that your representation will be seeking and to understand how and when they expect to be paid. Nobody likes talking about money, but it’s critical to ensure you’re all on the same page.

4. What Work Will You Need from Me?

When you sign the contract to officially hire a personal injury attorney, sometimes your work is done and you can leave it all up to your law firm. Other times, the attorney will need you to provide documents, other information, or anything else they can use to build your case. However, most of them will probably tell you not to do any work, like talking to witnesses, on your own—that can backfire.

5. What’s the Strategy for an Appeal?

If you lose a case, you’re usually allowed to appeal it to a higher court. (As are the defendants if the court rules in your favor). It’s important that you assess how prepared a law firm and its attorneys are when it comes to appellate courts. Ideally, you’ll win the case at the first level, but planning ahead is never a bad thing.

These are just some of the many questions you should ask a personal injury attorney when looking for representation in Portland or around Oregon—or the country. You should always consult multiple potential attorneys to ensure that you have the right personal injury firm to represent your case.

To find top-notch representation in the Portland area or for legal consultation, contact Warren Allen.

 

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.

Man and woman exchanging information after car accident.

You’ve Been in a Car Accident: Now What?

Ever heard the saying, “Hope for the best, expect the worst”? That’s the approach you have to take when it comes to car accidents. You need to prepare for the worst because the unexpected can certainly happen.

We never want to imagine ourselves or our loved ones in a car accident. But if we prepare ahead of time, we’ll have a better sense of what to expect if it ever occurs. That makes dealing with what comes next a little easier.

Warren Allen LLP has worked with many clients who have been involved in car accidents. Here’s what you need to know on-scene and what to expect afterward.

Check If Anyone Is Injured

The first thing you want to do if you’ve been involved in a car accident is to make sure everyone is okay. Check those in the car with you and any other people involved in the crash. If someone appears injured and you’re able to call for help, seek medical attention. If the situation is an emergency, call 911 right away.

Even if you don’t feel injured and decline medical attention at the time of the accident, it’s a good idea to consult with your doctor afterward. Some injuries are not immediately apparent, and some people don’t feel pain until a day or two after the accident. That’s why it’s important to get checked out on-site or to schedule an appointment with your doctor as soon as you’re able.

Move Your Car to a Safe Place

You should also make sure that if you’re in harm’s way and you’re able to move your vehicle, you do so. Always make sure you’re in the safest place possible and use your hazard lights to alert other drivers to the presence of your car. If you’re unsure whether you should move your car, ask the dispatcher for advice. Which leads us to the next step.

Call the Police

Once you have checked for injuries and called for help if necessary, you should contact the police. You will need to file a police report to start an insurance claim and to establish who is at fault for the accident.

Once an officer arrives, they will ask questions to determine what happened. Answer them to the best of your ability. If you’re unsure of the answer, it’s okay to tell the officer that.

Try to avoid making assumptions about what may have happened. Provide what details you remember, and be sure to inform the officer of any statements provided by other people that you believe to be untrue.

Also, remember to never assume responsibility for the accident on-scene. Even if you believe the accident to be your fault, stick with the facts and avoid taking the blame until the accident can be properly investigated.

Take Photos

It may take the responding officer some time to arrive. But there are things you can do while you’re waiting.

First, take photos of your car and any other cars involved in the accident. Documenting the scene may help provide evidence to bolster your claim if a dispute arises later.

You may also want to jot down a few notes about what happened in case you’re asked to recall something about the accident later on. You should also take photos of any visible injuries you have as a result of the accident.

Exchange Information

Once the officer arrives on the scene, they should collect insurance and ID information from everyone involved and help facilitate its exchange. However, you can also gather this information yourself as you’re waiting for the officer to arrive.

If you collect this information yourself, be sure to ask for the names and contact information of all the drivers and passengers involved in the accident, including driver’s license numbers. Ask for their insurance companies and policy numbers and jot down information about the cars involved, such as make, year, and model. Also, make note of the license plate numbers.

If there are any witnesses on the scene, be sure to get their contact information as well. The responding officer should provide you with a copy of the police report with the officer’s name and badge number on it, but if not, jot it down. Finally, make note of the accident location with the exact address if you have it.

Contact Your Insurance Agent

You should contact your insurance agent to file a claim as soon as possible, but you’ll want to complete the other steps first because your insurance agent will need this information to process the claim. For instance, your agent will likely ask you for the police report number and for the insurance information of the other people involved in the accident.

Your insurance agent will then go over the claims process. For example, if you require medical attention, your insurance agent will let you know if your medical expenses are included in your coverage. Your agent will also inform you of any deductible you need to pay or any other out-of-pocket expenses for which you’re responsible.

If your car is damaged and needs to be towed, your insurance agent should be able to contact a tow company for you. Your insurance agent will also have a list of repair shops for you to choose from for your repair work. And if you need a rental car, your insurance agent can make a reservation for you.

Keep a Record of Receipts

Be sure to keep a record of all receipts for expenses made as a result of the accident. For instance, if you need to take a ride share service to the rental car company, be sure to retain that receipt.

Keep a record of all expenses you incur related to the accident. Your insurance company may reimburse you for them, which is why it’s important you keep a detailed record.

Contact an Attorney

Hopefully, the above steps are the only ones you’ll need to complete. However, sometimes disputes arise over who is responsible for the car accident, and you’ll need to obtain legal representation. Or you may have suffered serious injuries as a result of someone else’s negligence, and you will need to retain a personal injury lawyer.

If either of these situations occurs, you’ll want to have an advocate on your side to help you navigate them. That’s where Warren Allen can help. We can provide advice, help you resolve disputes, and ensure you get the compensation you’re entitled to receive.

A car accident is a terrible thing to experience, but we want to make what follows go as smoothly as possible. That’s why we work to get you the best resolution we can.

 

Personal injury attorney shaking hands with male client and his wife.

What Are the Responsibilities of a Personal Injury Lawyer?

When you experience a personal injury, which can be an injury to the mind or body, it isn’t always easy to get the compensation you deserve. Figuring out who will pay for your expenses can be a huge hassle, and finding a way to get it resolved may seem impossible on your own. Though it may seem simple enough to prove your injury, this process can often become more complex and require a professional eye to investigate, prove, and argue your case.

A personal injury lawyer will assist you in receiving compensation after suffering from such an injury by doing the handwork, which involves more steps than you’d expect. Our lawyers at Warren Allen LLP serve Oregon and have experience with many types of personal injury cases. We can provide the help you desperately need during situations like this. A personal injury lawyer takes on a variety of tasks to ensure that you get the compensation you deserve. Here are a few of the responsibilities that personal injury lawyers have.

Be Qualified and Educated

Not everyone is qualified to represent you and your personal injury case. A qualified personal injury lawyer will have completed extensive education to receive their title, giving them the knowledge to navigate your situation in the smartest way possible. This includes obtaining an undergraduate degree and then going on to complete training at an accredited law school.

After obtaining both degrees, an individual will also have to take a series of tests to prove their knowledge of the law. The Law School Administration Test (LSAT), Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE), and the bar exam are all tests that personal injury lawyers are required to pass. Depending on the state you live in, there may be even more examination requirements for your lawyer. A professional personal injury lawyer will have made these qualifications their responsibility before providing services.

Investigate the Claim

Once you hire a personal injury lawyer to take on your case, that person will be responsible for gathering the information needed to prove your right to compensation. This goes much further than a simple “he said, she said.” A personal injury lawyer will collect significant evidence to support your case. This can include acquiring surveillance footage of your accident, finding witnesses, hiring an investigator to further look into the situation, and obtaining police reports.

These lawyers will gather all the necessary information and examine it as evidence to support your case. Gathering all of this evidence can be a difficult task, but having enough of it can make the difference between winning and losing your case. A good personal injury lawyer will take this responsibility seriously and do everything in their power to gather as much evidence as they can.

Explain Your Rights to You

Not everyone is as well-versed with the law as a personal injury lawyer, and that’s okay. The education that a personal injury lawyer receives gives them more knowledge than the average person about the law, which can be a relief when you aren’t sure about what rights you have regarding your personal injury. The law was created to protect individuals in situations like this, but it’s up to your team to know which laws can protect you.

It’s your lawyer’s job to explain to you what rights you have regarding your personal injury as well as the compensation you’re eligible for. Once they fully understand your case and have collected the proper evidence, your lawyer will be able to tell you what you should expect from your injury and what you’re entitled to receive because of it.

Communicate with Insurance Companies

Depending on how you sustained your personal injury, you may have to deal with an insurance company that’s in charge of your compensation. Insurance companies may not have your best interests in mind, and they may try to offer you compensation lower than you deserve. These situations can become difficult, and knowing how to properly interact with an insurance company is important.

When you have a personal injury lawyer on your side, you won’t have to worry about having discussions with insurance companies, as your lawyer will handle those interactions. They take on the responsibility of speaking on your behalf and conversing in a way that’s in your best interest. With their knowledge from other cases and education, they can work to negotiate a payment that’s fair for you. This can take a lot of stress off you and allow you to avoid potential manipulation from an insurance company.

Prepare the Client for Deposition

In many cases, a deposition is required. A deposition is the process of giving sworn evidence and can often be an intimidating aspect of a personal injury case. It’s the personal injury lawyer’s job to prepare clients for this deposition, by getting all of the facts together in an effort to produce the most honest portrayal of the events that led to injury.

Though the truth isn’t hard to tell, knowing and remembering all of the details necessary to give a full telling of your situation may take practice. Your lawyer will both prepare you for and allow you to practice giving your deposition so that it’s as complete as possible.

Represent You in Court

No one wants to have to go to trial for their case. A lawyer will do everything possible to have your case settled before it gets to that point. Many personal injury cases can be settled much earlier in the process, such as during litigation or mediation or through negotiations. Still, sometimes coming to an agreement can be a challenge and your case will have to go to trial.

If this is the case, your personal injury lawyer will have the responsibility of representing you at trial. This includes presenting the evidence they’ve obtained to a judge and maybe jury and preparing you beforehand for this experience. This situation and the instances that come beforehand are why hiring a personal injury lawyer is so important. Their expertise can get you through this process and lead you to the compensation you deserve.

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