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Tag: Personal Injury Oregon

What Factors Should I Consider When Hiring Attorneys in Portland?

How do you find the right attorney when you need legal advice or representation? Your first step might be to ask family, friends, neighbors, and coworkers for recommendations. First-hand experience with a law firm or attorney can provide valuable information about how they approach cases, treat clients, communicate, and more. 

You might also do a quick internet search to see what attorneys are in your area. It’s important to find a local law firm for a few reasons. Since laws vary from state to state and in different jurisdictions, a local firm will be the most familiar with the laws and local court system that might affect your case. Secondly, depending on the type and complexity of your case, you might need to consult with their team more than once, which will be easier with a local attorney. 

If you’re looking for attorneys in Portland, Oregon, for instance, the expert team at Warren Allen, LLP, has a wealth of experience representing clients across Washington and Oregon in a range of legal areas. Specialties include personal injury, family law, landlords’ rights, condominiums, estate planning and probate, and wildfire recovery.

Besides location, though, there are several other factors to consider when hiring attorneys in Portland or any other city. The following guide outlines some things to think about in your search.

Area of Expertise

First and foremost, you want an attorney familiar with your type of case. When attorneys specialize in a particular area of law, they are better equipped to provide sound legal advice and represent you in court should that become necessary. Familiarity with your type of case ensures the attorney can:

  • Develop effective legal strategies. They stay updated on changes in the related laws and are familiar with relevant case precedents and rulings, so they know what approach works best, what type of evidence is needed, etc.
  • Capitalize on established relationships. They will likely have established relationships with judges, other attorneys, and experts in the area who can help with your case. For example, in personal injury cases, you need an expert to establish negligence, gather evidence, and assess damages.
  • Work efficiently and confidently. Because these attorneys have already spent a lot of time working with similar cases, they won’t need extra research time, which will be more cost-effective for you. Knowing what paperwork is needed and which steps you need to take can also significantly reduce the risk of missing important deadlines or leaving out pertinent information.

Level of Experience and Reputation

Of course, you would like an experienced attorney with a high success rate, but how can you check? The first step is to contact your state’s bar association or use their online search function to verify the attorney’s credentials. Their online entry should also indicate whether they have faced any disciplinary actions or if there have been complaints filed against them. State bar associations should also have information about the attorney’s track record of cases.

You can also ask the attorney for references or case studies from some of their previous clients. These references can help you gauge client satisfaction and success rate. Read any reviews or testimonials you can find online. Do they have a good reputation?

Professionalism

Another important factor to consider is the level of professionalism of the attorney and the law firm. You want to feel confident that you and your case are in capable hands. When a law office, the attorney, or their team is disorganized, chaotic, or perpetually late, they will likely handle your case the same way. 

Communication

Maintaining professionalism in communication covers a few different areas. When you call or email, do they answer quickly, or do you have to follow up on communication attempts to get a response? Do they listen to you and answer your questions, or are they dismissive? Are they clear in their communication, or do they use many legal terms you might need help understanding? Do they seem genuinely interested in your welfare and your case?

Another thing that communication might clarify is whether or not the attorney has the time and resources to dedicate to your case and focus on your needs. Even if their communication is professional, delays in responses indicate that your attorney is very busy with a heavy workload and may be unable to give your case the necessary attention for success.

Presentation

If your attorney might eventually represent you in court, you want them to have a professional appearance and presentation, which will inspire confidence. You can begin to gauge their level of professionalism by looking at their website and office. Do they have typos on their website? Is the office messy or dirty? Are they dressed appropriately for a business atmosphere? 

Although these issues might be minor, they can give you a better sense overall of how seriously the attorney takes their job and, in turn, how much effort they will put toward your case.

Fee Structure

Some attorneys charge by the hour. Others work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you are only required to pay them if you win the case. Some charge flat fees for specific services. Discuss fees upfront and make sure you have a clear understanding of the billing structure. A good rule of thumb is to avoid any law firm that: 

  • Makes you feel uncomfortable asking questions about the fee structure
  • Cannot provide you with specific information about fees and costs
  • Guarantees you will win your case or will receive a certain amount of financial compensation

Compatibility

Even for a relatively simple case, you will work closely with your attorney and need to trust them. Feeling compatible and comfortable with your attorney is especially important if your case is sensitive (as in many family law or personal injury cases) or complicated. Trust your gut. Considering the above tips, you are in the best position to know whether the attorney you’re consulting with is the right fit for you.

Many reputable law firms offer free initial consultations for potential clients. These consultations are both to make sure you have a strong case and also to allow you to get a feel for the attorney. Take advantage of this service to ask questions and assess your comfort level.

Experienced Attorneys in Portland

Finding the right attorney might take some time. Don’t be afraid to interview multiple candidates before making a final decision. Ultimately, it’s worth the effort to make sure you have the right team on your side. If you are looking for experienced, professional, caring attorneys in Portland and the Pacific Northwest, contact the team at Warren Allen LLP. We would love to discuss your case with you.

What Is the Role of Insurance in Personal Injury Cases?

Personal injury cases are common and can include car accidents, slip-and-fall incidents, workplace injuries, and dog bites. If you have been involved in an accident that caused you physical, mental, or emotional harm because of someone else’s actions or negligence, you might be entitled to financial compensation from the party at fault. 

Insurance companies and their representatives usually work to settle personal injury claims. Depending on the type of personal injury case, different types of insurance policies and companies might be involved. Consulting with a personal injury lawyer in Portland, like the Warren Allen LLP team, who specializes in these types of cases, is often a good idea since they can help you navigate the claims process, negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf, and represent you in court if you are unable to reach a fair settlement. 

For instance, if you are looking for a personal injury lawyer, ensure they are well-versed in providing solid legal advice and working on all types of personal injury cases, which should include: 

  • Vehicular accidents
  • Slip and fall accidents (also known as premises liability)
  • Product liability
  • Animal bites
  • Medical malpractice
  • Workplace accidents

It’s important to remember that the insurance company of the other party involved in the accident will likely try to settle the claim as quickly as possible while minimizing the financial impact on their client. Understanding the different types of insurance policies and companies you might encounter and their role in personal injury claims might help you be more prepared to ensure the best outcome for yourself. The information below provides an overview of insurance in personal injury cases, including things to watch out for.

Common Types of Insurance Policies Involved In Personal Injury Cases

Many insurance policies offer some coverage for personal injury claims. The following are a few different kinds of insurance and the costs they might cover.

Automobile Insurance

Most drivers have car insurance that provides liability coverage that helps pay for bodily injury or physical damage you might cause in an accident. Depending on the policy, medical bills, car repairs, pain and suffering, and lost wages might be covered. Some states also require personal injury protection or no-fault insurance as part of your plan. This protection might help pay for medical costs and sometimes lost wages not covered by your regular health insurance, no matter who was at fault in the accident. 

Insurance companies generally use a specific formula and minimum amounts the state sets to determine the settlement amount they offer you.

Business Owner’s Policy And Homeowners’ Insurance

Slip-and-fall incidents most often occur at businesses or on private property. Business owner’s policies combine liability coverage and property insurance; some homeowners’ insurance policies can include personal liability coverage. In both cases, the insurance policy could cover the medical bills of a third party who is injured on the property of the business or home due to negligence, like an icy sidewalk, slippery floor, or a loose board on the porch. 

The insurance company sets coverage limits depending on the plan purchased by the business or homeowner. Any settlement beyond those limits would be paid out-of-pocket by the policyholder. Also, it’s important to remember that claims against insurance policies often raise rates for the policyholder, making them more likely to challenge these claims. An experienced personal injury lawyer on your side is especially helpful if the situation becomes contentious.

Workers’ Compensation Insurance

Any time you are injured while on the job, your employer should have workers’ compensation insurance coverage to help cover any medical treatment or lost wages as you recover. Many workers’ compensation claims are paid in full, even if you are at fault. Typically, when you accept payment, you give up any rights to sue your employer for the incident, including for financial compensation for pain and suffering in the future.

Medical Malpractice Insurance

In the United States, all hospitals have medical malpractice insurance, and many healthcare professionals do as well. These insurance policies provide liability coverage related to claims of medical negligence, products, or services that result in a patient’s injury or death. Medical malpractice cases are complicated, and it’s usually best to consult with professionals before pursuing one. 

What Do Insurance Companies Do In Personal Injury Claims?

As a general rule, when an accident is reported to an insurance company, they assign a claims adjuster who will be responsible for the following:

  • Investigate the accident
  • Gather information and evidence through eyewitness accounts, pictures, police reports, medical records, etc.
  • Assess the extent of damages and injuries
  • Interview and determine the liability of their policyholder
  • Calculate the amount of compensation to be offered
  • Negotiate with you or your representative to settle the claim

Insurance Company Tactics To Be Aware Of

Remember that the insurance adjusters work for the insurance company of the other party involved in your accident, not you. They most likely do not have your best interests in mind. To minimize the financial impact on their employer (the insurance company) and their client (the policyholder), they might employ a few different tactics you should be aware of, including:

  • Offering a low initial settlement amount
  • Pressuring you to settle early, before your medical treatment or car repairs are complete
  • Attempting to shift liability from their client to you
  • Requesting records, reports, or personal recorded statements from you that might be used against you (such as information about pre-existing medical conditions or prior personal injury claims) 
  • Trying to settle your claim before you’ve consulted with a lawyer or pursue litigation

When To Talk To A Personal Injury Lawyer

It’s always a good idea to consult with a personal injury lawyer in Portland before providing recorded statements to an insurance claims adjuster or accepting any settlement offers outright. Many attorneys provide free initial consultations to offer legal advice on protecting your rights. They can also help you assess any settlement offers you might receive and whether you should pursue litigation. 

Negotiating with insurance companies can take time and effort. If you cannot reach a fair settlement agreement with an insurance company, it is in your best interests to work with a personal injury lawyer who can help you file a personal injury lawsuit and represent you in court. When you contact the team at Warren Allen LLP, you will have access to a personal injury lawyer in Portland with a wealth of knowledge and experience representing clients throughout the Pacific Northwest. Dealing with the aftermath of an accident can be challenging. It helps to have a team on your side. Call today to discuss how Warren Allen LLP can help you!

Misdiagnosis & Medical Negligence Law: What You Should Know

Medical negligence is a grave concern that affects numerous individuals worldwide. Within the broader scope of medical malpractice, misdiagnosis emerges as a significant issue that can lead to severe consequences for patients. 

This article will explore the complex world of medical negligence law. We will focus on misdiagnosis, its implications, and the options available to individuals who have been harmed by negligent or inattentive medical professionals.

Understanding Medical Negligence and Misdiagnosis

Medical negligence, which falls under the umbrella of medical malpractice, occurs when healthcare professionals deviate from the standard of care expected in their field and thereby harm the patient. Misdiagnosis is a specific form of medical negligence in which a healthcare provider fails to diagnose a medical condition accurately or provides an incorrect diagnosis. This type of malpractice tends not to be malicious.

Misdiagnosis can stem from various factors, including inadequate examination, misinterpretation of test results, failure to order necessary tests or simply human error. Regardless of the cause, the consequences can be severe, leading to delayed or inappropriate treatment, worsening of the patient’s condition, and sometimes irreversible harm.

Legal Implications of Misdiagnosis

When a patient is misdiagnosed, they may have legal recourse under medical negligence law. To establish a case of medical negligence, the plaintiff must generally prove four key elements: the healthcare provider’s duty, any breach of that duty, the causation of harm, and the damages accrued.

In simple terms, this means that the plaintiff and their lawyer must prove that the healthcare provider owed a duty of care to the patient, generally through an agreement to treat a patient who has asked for assistance or treatment. Once this is proven, they must show that the provider failed to meet the standard of care expected of them in the medical field, thus breaching that duty of care and that duty caused direct harm or injury to the patient. 

Once harm is established, one must draw up a list of quantifiable damages, both bodily and financial, that came about specifically due to the stated medical negligence. In the context of misdiagnosis, proving each of these elements can be a complex process, with the need for many things like expert testimony, a showcase of medical records, and a thorough understanding of the specific circumstances surrounding the case. Misdiagnosis as a legally liable branch of medical negligence is uniquely challenging to prove, as all four of the key elements we named above must be provable and verifiable.

Jurisdictions seem to be more receptive towards claims explicitly based on the idea of informed consent, where an individual thought themselves to be informed when giving consent but later found that they were unaware of the specific risks associated with a medical procedure or prescribed drug. The medical professionals who may find themselves guilty of medical malpractice and misdiagnosis include physicians, surgeons, psychiatrists, and dentists, but can also include nurses, midwives, medical assistants, and a wide range of allied health professionals. 

Those who claim to be particularly skilled or specialists will find themselves operating under a higher duty of care based on the acceptable skill level and the idea of informed consent.

Options for Individuals Facing Misdiagnosis

When facing a misdiagnosis, seeking a second opinion from another healthcare professional is often the first step. Different perspectives may provide alternative diagnoses that better fit or alleviate the pain and symptoms of the previous errors. Often, a misdiagnosis can be remedied with a second opinion, and no further steps must be taken. 

Complaints can be filed with the relevant medical board for individuals who believe they have experienced medical negligence past repair of a second opinion. While this might not result in immediate compensation, it can prompt investigations and any necessary disciplinary actions against the healthcare provider. If the wronged individual and the healthcare provider cannot reach an agreement, it may be necessary to file a lawsuit.

Before resorting to a lawsuit, any parties involved may opt for negotiations or mediation to settle the matter outside of court, which can be quicker and less adversarial. Though maliciousness should not be assumed or unassumed, an unintentional but clearly harmful misdiagnosis may find restitution early during these negotiations. 

If negotiations fail, individuals may pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit with the help of the experts at Warren Allen Attorneys at Law. If necessary, this process would involve filing a complaint against the responsible healthcare provider or any governing board and seeking compensation for damages such as medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. 

It is important to find out and keep in mind the statute of limitations, which will vary by jurisdiction or state. Failing to file a lawsuit within the allotted time frame may bar you or the injured individual from seeking compensation for damages, either caused or perceived.

In a successful medical malpractice lawsuit related to misdiagnosis and medical negligence, compensation may be awarded to the plaintiff for a variety of damages. These include reimbursement for medical bills associated with the misdiagnosis and subsequent treatment, any compensation for income lost due to the inability to work caused by the misdiagnosis, and any pain and suffering caused or experienced throughout the misdiagnosis. Damages can be awarded for the physical and emotional distress experienced as a result of the misdiagnosis. If it leads to long-term consequences, compensation may cover future medical expenses.

Misdiagnosis is a distressing experience that can have profound implications for an individual’s health and well-being. Understanding one’s rights and options within the framework of medical negligence law is crucial when seeking justice and compensation for the harm caused by a healthcare provider’s negligence. By knowing the available legal avenues and utilizing the resources of accomplished law firms like our team here at Warren Allen LLP, individuals can navigate the complex terrain of medical malpractice and work towards holding accountable those responsible for misdiagnosis. Call us, and let us walk you through the process of filing your medical negligence case.

How Do You Know Who’s At Fault in a Car Accident in Oregon?

Getting into a car accident is never a pleasant experience, and when it happens in Oregon, understanding the nuances of determining fault becomes crucial. Oregon follows a no-fault insurance system and at first glance, that system may seem straightforward. However, the intricacies of this system, coupled with exceptions and legal considerations, demand a closer examination. 

This article will break down the fault determination process in Oregon car accidents, shedding light on the state’s no-fault system and the pivotal role of a Portland personal injury lawyer.

The Basics of Oregon’s No-Fault System

The no-fault system in Oregon operates on the fundamental principle that each party involved in a car accident is responsible for their own injuries and damages, regardless of who caused the accident. This particular approach is designed to simplify the claims process, with each driver’s insurance covering their related medical expenses and losses. 

However, this is not a one-size-fits-all scenario, as there are exceptions to the no-fault rule.

Exceptions to the no-fault system come into play when medical expenses exceed a predefined threshold or when injuries are deemed severe. An injured party may be eligible to pursue a claim against the at-fault driver in such cases. At this point, it is in their best interest to contact a lawyer like Warren Allen LLP and schedule a free consultation with one of our Portland personal injury lawyers.

These exceptions acknowledge the limitations of a strict, no-fault approach and ensure that individuals with significant damages have avenues for appropriate compensation.

Deciphering Fault In Oregon Auto Accidents

Understanding the foundations of fault determination is crucial for those navigating the aftermath of a car accident in Oregon. Thre are several factors that come into play with fault determination: 

  • Foundations In Traffic Laws: The cornerstone of finding fault lies in carefully examining Oregon’s traffic laws and regulations. Rules regarding speed limits, right-of-way, and other traffic norms provide the framework for assessing liability. If any party involved in the accident violated these regulations, it can become a critical factor in determining fault.
  • Role Of Police Reports & Witness Statements: Law enforcement officers play a pivotal role in the post-accident scenario by creating detailed reports. These reports encompass the officer’s observations, statements from involved parties, and any observed violations of traffic laws. Additionally, witness statements can either corroborate or challenge the events leading up to the collision. The combination of police reports and witness statements aids in constructing an accurate narrative of the accident.
  • Insurance Adjuster Investigations: Insurance adjusters undertake thorough investigations to determine fault, utilizing resources such as police reports and witness statements. However, individuals involved in an accident must approach these investigations cautiously, recognizing the potential for biases. Seeking guidance from a Portland personal injury lawyer at Warren Allen, LLP will provide valuable assistance in navigating these complexities.
  • The Crucial Role Of A Portland Personal Injury Lawyer: The legal professionals at Warren Allen specialize in deciphering the nuances of Oregon’s no-fault system, ensuring that individuals receive fair compensation for their losses. A Portland personal injury lawyer emerges as an indispensable asset in the intricate landscape of fault determination.

Warren Allen LLC’s Portland personal injury lawyers serve as seasoned guides, steering clients through the legal complexities associated with fault determination. Their expertise in understanding the intricacies of Oregon’s no-fault system is instrumental in ensuring that individuals are treated fairly in the aftermath of an accident.

Assessing Damages & Negotiating Compensation

Beyond navigating legal complexities, Portland personal injury lawyers play a crucial role in assessing the full extent of damages incurred by their clients. From medical expenses to property damage, these attorneys meticulously quantify losses, enabling them to negotiate with insurance companies effectively and secure just compensation for their clients.

While the no-fault system streamlines the claims process, exceptions allow for litigation against the at-fault driver. In such scenarios, a Portland personal injury lawyer becomes an advocate, building a compelling case to demonstrate the opposing party’s liability. Their expertise in litigation ensures that clients receive due compensation for the damages suffered.

Prompt Reporting & Documentation

Prompt reporting of the accident to law enforcement and insurance companies is crucial. Documenting the scene through photographs and collecting witness contact information provides essential evidence for fault determination and subsequent claims. 

Avoid Statements That Admit Fault

In the aftermath of an accident, individuals should exercise caution and refrain from making statements that may be construed as admissions of fault. Consulting with a Portland personal injury lawyer before providing statements to insurance companies is a prudent step to safeguard legal interests.

Securing Legal Representation Early

Engaging the services of a Portland personal injury lawyer early in the process significantly influences the trajectory of a case. These attorneys bring a wealth of experience to the table, ensuring that clients’ rights are protected and that they receive fair compensation for their damages.

In conclusion, determining fault in a car accident in Oregon involves a comprehensive understanding of the state’s unique no-fault system. From traffic laws and police reports to the indispensable role of a Portland personal injury lawyer, various factors contribute to this intricate process. By adhering to best practices, promptly reporting accidents, and securing legal representation when needed, individuals can navigate the aftermath with greater clarity and confidence.

The expertise of a Portland personal injury lawyer emerges as a crucial asset in unraveling the legal complexities and ensuring a fair resolution for those affected. As individuals seek to recover from the physical, emotional, and financial toll of an auto accident, the guidance of a Portland personal injury lawyer becomes paramount, providing a sense of justice and a pathway to fair compensation. With the right approach and support, individuals can navigate the complexities of fault determination and emerge with a fair resolution in the aftermath of a car accident in Oregon. If you’ve been in an accident and need legal help, reach out to us at Warren Allen today.

Personal Injuries and Emotional Distress: Understanding Your Claims

After you incur a personal injury, you often experience physical pain and suffering. What you don’t realize is you may also experience emotional distress. Though you may not be able to see it, emotional distress can be just as traumatic as a physical injury, if not more. 

This article will help explain emotional distress, how it can relate to an accident or injury, and how it might apply to your personal injury claim. 

What is Emotional Distress?

When it comes to a personal injury claim, emotional distress is defined as “mental suffering as an emotional response to an experience that arises from the effect or memory of a particular event, occurrence, pattern of events or condition.” 

Emotional distress can manifest itself in many different ways, which may not be evident at first. It could even be brushed aside and attributed to physical injury. Knowing the signs and symptoms of emotional distress can help you understand how it’s affecting your mental health. 

Some common signs of emotional distress include, but are not limited to:

  • subtle personality changes
  • crying spells or bursts of anger
  • increased use of alcohol or drugs
  • changes in appetite or difficulty eating
  • increasing physical distress symptoms such as headaches or stomach pains
  • feeling guilty, helpless, or hopeless
  • avoiding family and friends, isolating
  • trouble keeping track of things or remembering

Since some of these symptoms can be masked by physical injury, it is vital to be aware of any emotional changes you may be feeling, regardless of your bodily injury status. Keep a journal and note the changes in your mental health. If you notice any of the signs above, getting the support you need is vital. 

Understanding the Legal Basis for Emotional Distress Claims

Whether it’s a car accident, a workplace incident, or a slip and fall, the impact of personal injuries can extend far beyond physical pain. Understanding the connection between personal injuries and emotional distress is crucial when it comes to seeking compensation for your suffering. 

Emotional distress claims are a subset of personal injury claims that focus on the psychological harm suffered by the victim. These claims assert that the negligent or intentional actions of another party caused significant emotional distress, resulting in mental anguish and psychological trauma. While physical injuries may be more visible and tangible, emotional distress claims recognize the profound impact that psychological harm can have on a person’s well-being. By understanding the legal basis for emotional distress claims, you can better navigate the legal process to seek appropriate compensation.

How Does Emotional Distress Affect You?

Physical Injuries 

The pain, suffering, and lifestyle changes that accompany physical injuries can encompass a wide range of emotions, including fear, anxiety, anger, depression, loss of enjoyment of life, and even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Our personal injury lawyers in Portland can help you recognize and identify the validity and impact of emotional distress on a person’s mental health and overall quality of life. It’s essential to address these emotional impacts alongside the physical ones when seeking compensation.

Psychological Trauma

Psychological trauma resulting from personal injuries can have far-reaching consequences on emotional well-being. Witnessing a traumatic event, such as a serious accident or violence, can cause severe psychological distress. This trauma can manifest as nightmares, flashbacks, and intense fear, affecting daily life and mental health. Recognizing the psychological impact of personal injuries is crucial in understanding the full scope of emotional distress.

Chronic Illness

Personal injuries aren’t always limited to isolated incidents but can also encompass chronic illnesses and conditions. Coping with a chronic illness can take a toll on a person’s mental health, leading to emotional distress. The constant pain, limitations, and uncertainty associated with chronic illnesses can contribute to feelings of frustration, sadness, and anxiety. Acknowledging the emotional burden of chronic illnesses is essential when seeking compensation for the overall impact on one’s well-being.

Long-Term Effects of Emotional Distress on Mental Health 

Emotional distress can have long-lasting effects on mental health if not effectively addressed. Untreated emotional distress may lead to chronic anxiety, depression, and other mental health disorders. By understanding the potential long-term consequences, it becomes evident that seeking compensation for emotional distress is not only fair but necessary to obtain the resources for proper treatment and support.

Establishing Duty of Care in Personal Injury Cases

To pursue an emotional distress claim, it is crucial to establish the legal concept of duty of care. This concept recognizes that individuals and entities have a legal obligation to act responsibly and avoid causing harm to others. Proving that the party responsible for your personal injury owed you a duty of care is essential in building a solid emotional distress claim.

Causation is another critical element in emotional distress claims. It requires demonstrating that the personal injury directly caused the emotional distress suffered. Establishing this link may involve medical records, expert testimony, and evidence of the emotional impact experienced. By connecting the personal injury to the emotional distress, you strengthen the foundation of your claim.

Determining the Level of Emotional Distress

Emotional distress claims often require meeting a threshold to be eligible for compensation. This means that the emotional distress experienced must reach a certain level of severity, causing significant harm and disruption to one’s life. While the exact requirements vary depending on jurisdiction, understanding the severity threshold is imperative in evaluating the strength of your emotional distress claim.

When it comes to proving emotional distress in personal injury cases, documentation is key. Keep a record of any mental or emotional symptoms you experience after the incident. It’s also helpful to track any changes in your daily life, relationships, or work performance attributed to your emotional distress. Save any relevant documents, such as medical records or therapy session notes, that support your claims.

Seeking legal advice is always advisable to navigate this complex aspect of your case. Our personal injury lawyers in Portland can help you understand how your particular injury impacts your emotional well-being. If you believe you or a loved one has sustained a personal injury, contact Warren Allen, Attorneys at Law, to schedule your free consultation with one of our personal injury lawyers in Portland.

Does Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney Mean That I Have to File a Lawsuit?

Filing a lawsuit can be a long, arduous process. It can sometimes take years before the matter is even heard before a judge. The good news is that hiring a personal injury attorney doesn’t mean you have to file a lawsuit. In fact, filing a lawsuit with a personal injury attorney is often the last resort.

Instead, think of a personal injury attorney as your advocate. They’re your champion, fighting to get you a fair resolution to your personal injury claim so that you are adequately compensated and can devote your full attention and energy toward your recovery efforts. Warren Allen LLP has a team of experienced Portland personal injury attorneys who will fight for your rights, both inside and outside the courtroom.

Here’s an overview of what you can expect when you retain the services of a personal injury attorney:

What Does a Personal Injury Attorney Do?

Personal injury attorneys work on your behalf to secure appropriate compensation following a physical injury to you or a loved one, or following the death of a loved one. Most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency basis, meaning they only take a portion of the final compensation amount awarded as opposed to an upfront fee. Since your attorney doesn’t get paid until a settlement amount is agreed upon or you are awarded damages, it is in your attorney’s best interest to fight for you to get the maximum amount possible.

If there’s a dispute as to who is responsible for the injury, a personal injury attorney will collect the necessary records and documentation to establish who is at fault. Even if the other party admits liability, many insurance companies will attempt to pay the bare minimum possible. Having a skilled personal injury attorney by your side will increase your chances of securing an equitable outcome.

What Happens Once I Hire a Personal Injury Attorney?

The first thing a personal injury attorney will do is collect supporting documentation for your case. If you have photos of the scene where the injury occurred, notes about what happened, eyewitness account information, medical records, or anything else that pertains to your case, you should give them to your attorney.

As you recover from your injury, keep a detailed account of any symptoms you experience as well as all of your medical visits. Write down any treatments you are prescribed or recommendations you receive from a medical provider. The more records and details you can provide your attorney, the better.

Your attorney will then get to work on your case. Typically, that begins with serving notice of your intent to file a personal injury claim with the responsible party. Your personal injury attorney will then begin settlement talks and work to secure a settlement that is fair and acceptable to you.

In some instances, settlement talks may be a fairly lengthy process. On average, negotiating a settlement takes about two years. But the length of time can vary considerably based on a number of factors, such as the extent of your injuries. A personal injury attorney often waits until the scope of your injuries, and the necessary medical treatment, are fully understood so that the most favorable settlement can be reached. Of course, this can increase the duration of your personal injury claim.

You may find it difficult to pay for your medical treatment while your personal injury claim is pending. If, for instance, you’re uninsured or your personal injury protection insurance doesn’t cover all your necessary expenses, your personal injury attorney can advise you on your available options. When you retain us, we are by your side throughout the claim process so that you don’t have to navigate these situations on your own.

What Happens If I’m Unable to Settle?

While most cases settle out of court, occasionally a personal injury attorney will need to take legal action. If we are unable to reach a settlement that is agreeable to you, the next step would be to proceed with filing a lawsuit. Once a complaint is filed with the court, there is typically a pretrial discovery process during which both sides collect information and evidence from the other.

While the case is working its way through the courts, there may still be an opportunity to reach an agreement. Both parties may agree to mediation, for instance. If so, a third party would attempt to work out an equitable arrangement for both sides.

However, if the mediation is unsuccessful, the case would proceed to trial. In the event your case does go to trial, Warren Allen’s experienced team of litigators will devote significant time, energy, and effort to ensure the best possible outcome.

That being said, the vast majority of personal injury cases settle out of court. If you’ve been injured and believe someone else is at fault, you should consult a personal injury attorney regarding your available options.

If you’re looking for a Portland personal injury attorney, Warren Allen may be able to help. We provide top-quality legal services in the Portland and Southwest Washington areas, as well as across both Washington State and Oregon. Give us a call to schedule a consultation, and we will answer your questions to the best of our ability to give you an honest assessment of your case.

Since this can be a difficult situation to navigate alone, the best decision you can make is to partner with an experienced attorney who knows the ins and outs of personal injury legalities. Getting the compensation you deserve can be a long, arduous process but we’ll be by your side the entire way and see your case through to the very end.

Leave it to the expert team at Warren Allen LLP to ensure you get the medical treatments you require, as well as adequate compensation to cover them!

Is Hiring a Personal Injury Law Firm Worth It?

Nobody expects to be injured, but when it happens, it changes everything. Your focus turns to healing and protecting yourself and your family. 

If someone else’s carelessness causes your injury, it can bring on many questions, including:

  • Will insurance cover this? 
  • My injury wasn’t that bad; should I hire a law firm?
  • Can I afford to hire a lawyer?

In the middle of handling all of the things you’re facing as a result of your accident, choosing to work with a law firm and finding the right one to represent you may seem overwhelming. Where should you begin? Read on to learn the benefits of hiring personal injury law firms in Portland, Oregon

Is It Worth Hiring a Personal Injury Law Firm?

Facing a personal injury from an accident or workplace can be life-changing. The more serious the injury, the more beneficial working with a personal injury law firm in Portland, Oregon, will be. No matter what you’re facing, your situation deserves to be handled with care.

If you’re skeptical about how much you can gain, your best action step is to speak with a lawyer, as the one you hire will have a vested interest in your outcome. 

Hiring a personal injury lawyer doesn’t cost you a thing unless you win, and they work hard to ensure a case has merit before moving forward. You’ll get an honest assessment of your situation, and understand what to expect before you move forward. 

6 Reasons You Should Hire a Personal Injury Law Firm

If you’re wondering if talking with a lawyer is in your best interest, ask yourself these questions. 

1. Did I Suffer Injuries in the Accident?

Today’s automobiles are safer than ever before. Still, thousands of people die each year in car accidents, and those numbers are climbing. 

If you’ve been injured in an accident, a personal injury law firm can help you get the compensation you deserve. You should seek legal representation if you:

  • Have a severe injury
  • Have pain and suffering
  • Are temporary or permanently disabled

If you’re suffering from an injury that resulted from someone else’s negligence, it’s time to put the concern back on your needs. A personal injury law firm fights for your rights for fair compensation. 

2. Do I Need Help Dealing With the Insurance Company?

Insurance adjusters have one goal: To save the insurance company as much money as possible. They review cases and handle claims daily. They know the law, and how to settle a case with as little payout as possible. 

That’s rarely in your best interest. Instead of dealing with never-ending phone calls and paperwork, you should focus on your injuries and getting help to receive the maximum compensation. An experienced personal injury lawyer knows how to handle the insurance company, even out the playing field, and negotiate your case to ensure you get a fair offer.

3. Is There a Question of Who Is Liable?

Not all accidents have clear outcomes. Sometimes it’s unclear who the negligent party is. If there is any question of who is liable, it’s in your best interest to seek legal representation. 

By hiring a personal injury law firm, they will work to prove your innocence. If you believe the other party was at fault, it’s up to you to confirm the responsible party’s negligence. A lawyer will look at the evidence, including:

  • Official accident reports
  • Medical records
  • Photos from the scene
  • Police records
  • Eyewitness testimony

They will build up enough evidence to prove you have a legitimate case. If you were partially or fully at fault, you should definitely seek out legal guidance. 

4. Will My Future Be Impacted By a Settlement?

If you’re facing temporary or permanent disability, your future may seem uncertain. Now more than ever, a settlement will help you and your family retain some sense of hope as you move forward. According to studies by the Insurance Research Council, those who filed claims with attorney representation received significantly higher settlements than those without.  

It’s easy to see why. When a law firm specializes in personal injury cases, they work with cases similar to yours daily. They understand the strategy, what to do, and how to approach it to reach an ideal resolution. 

It’s about letting an experienced firm handle what they are in business for. They won’t be overwhelmed because they’ve been through it before. 

5. Can I Manage My Own Case?

At first, it can seem straightforward. File paperwork, communicate clearly, and justice will prevail. However, there are a lot of little nuances that go into a case. Things you might not be aware of. Things that can be detrimental to your case. 

Sometimes people do well in handling their own cases. It might be easy to take on your own if it’s a minor fender-bender in a parking lot without much damage. If you’re a confident negotiator, you might be able to handle all communications with the insurance adjuster and receive a maximum settlement offer. 

When you add in injury and are dealing with the added stress that goes with extensive trauma, that’s where a personal injury lawyer can help. Their effective negotiation skills are the key to maximizing your settlement payout. 

6. What Should I Do Next

Personal injury isn’t something most of us expect to face. It happens suddenly and changes everything in the blink of an eye. Suddenly, you’re left with endless questions. 

Working with a personal injury law firm in Portland, Oregon, gives you the answers to the endless questions. They’re there to guide you through every step of the process and be your negotiator as well as your advocate. They answer questions and provide guidance every step of the way. 

When your world feels like it’s upside down, that can be a comforting feeling. 

Should You Hire a Personal Injury Law Firm? 

A personal injury lawyer can put your mind at ease, and they’ll work hard to get you the compensation you deserve. Because of their vast knowledge and experience working with the law, they are invaluable when you’re faced with the outcome of an accident. Hire one today, and let them go to work for you.

5 Tips for Hiring Personal Injury Lawyers in Portland Oregon

Having to deal with a personal injury is stressful at the very least. If you have a personal injury case, such as a slip and fall accident, medical malpractice, or a car accident, you’ll have much better peace of mind hiring a professional to handle it for you.

You might balk at hiring a personal injury lawyer if your car was totaled but you appeared to have suffered no injuries, and you might think that the insurance company will help you through the claims process. However, liability might be unclear in the accident or incident, in which case the task falls to you to prove your innocence. You’ll need to have evidence to support your claim, and you may have no idea how to do this.

A personal injury lawyer will handle that evidence, but also handle a myriad of other tasks, such as negotiating with the insurance company to perhaps get you a bigger compensation package and handling your court case if it goes to trial.

So hiring an attorney to handle your case is the most beneficial path to take. There are a lot of personal lawyers in Portland, Oregon, so how do you decide who to go with?

Here are five tips to keep in mind when hiring a personal injury lawyer:

1. Experience

The first thing you want to know about any lawyer you’re hiring is what kind of experience they have. Many lawyers will handle many different kinds of personal injury cases, but none of them will have handled every single kind. The umbrella of personal injury can be very wide. For example, medical malpractice cases can subdivide into traumatic brain injuries, misdiagnosis, and surgical errors. Make sure to ask whether they’ve handled cases like yours before, how many, and whether they won those cases.

When asking about experience in personal injury cases, also ask what kind of experience they have in a courtroom setting. Most civil cases don’t go to trial, so if your case is one that does, you want to be sure you have someone who knows their way around a courtroom.

2. Expectations

When asking about the procedure for personal injury cases, make sure you understand what is expected of you as well. Your lawyer may not want you to speak with other witnesses, and if you do, you could end up jeopardizing the work your lawyer and their team will be doing on your behalf. If your lawyer gives you homework, such as filling out forms, taking pictures, or otherwise documenting your injury, make sure you do it!

Some questions you can ask your lawyer include: what do you need from me in order to be sure my case is as strong as possible? Is there anything I should do or avoid in order to win my claim?

Asking about how long the process should take will also help manage your expectations. It’s probably known that your personal injury case won’t be solved overnight. In fact, the average personal injury claim can take from six months to two years. There are many variables that factor into the timeline, including how long your treatment takes.

3. Money

Be certain of any fees your lawyer is going to charge you and what you can expect as far as the outcome. You may not receive a precise answer here. Lawyers may hesitate to give you a specific number because they may not want to create unrealistic expectations. Even if they won’t know the outcome at the start of the process, they should still be able to tell you whether you have a chance of winning your case and maybe a rough prediction of your compensation.

When you’re interviewing lawyers, keep track of their answers to this question and see if they’re all in the same general ballpark. If one of them promises you a significantly higher amount, take it with a grain of salt, unless they have a particularly persuasive piece of evidence that pertains to your case.

4. Team Effort

Oftentimes, you may meet with one lawyer, but they may have a team they work with to handle their personal injury claims. This might include a junior partner, another attorney, or a paralegal (or some combination of these three). While you may prefer having one lawyer handle all aspects of your case, a setup like this is fairly common.

The other team members will help gather the basic information and then your lawyer will handle the parts that require their specialist training. The team will let you know who your point of contact will be if you have any other questions or if you need to turn in paperwork. Make sure you understand who is going to handle the settlement, compensation negotiations, or the court case, so you know who to ask which questions.

One other question you can ask here is how often you can expect updates, and how you will receive those updates (whether it’s an email, a phone call, or an in-person meeting).

5. Priorities

No matter where you live, the legal system is definitely overburdened, so you can expect any lawyer to handle more than one case at a time. You might worry that if your lawyer is handling more than one case, your case won’t get the attention to detail it deserves. There is something of a deadline for you – once you’ve suffered the accident, you have two years to file the suit.

As mentioned above, a personal injury lawyer will probably tell you that it’s best to take some time to heal or recover from the event. This is partially so that you know how much compensation to ask for when settling with the insurance company. So since you have a deadline, make sure to get someone who has the ability to work on more than one case at a time. Ask how many cases the lawyer is handling at a time, and ask how big their team is if that number is larger than you expected.

Finding representation with a personal injury lawyer shouldn’t be a convoluted process! The team at Warren Allen will help you find compensation for your personal injury with grace and the highest degree of professionalism. Contact us today.

Tips for Vetting Law Firms in Portland Oregon

Finding a lawyer during an already stressful time in your life can feel like an insurmountable task. Typically, people don’t have a relationship with a lawyer already in place when something happens to them that requires legal assistance. Usually, when someone requires legal guidance, it’s due to an unpleasant and stressful situation that has happened unexpectedly, such as a car accident, a bad fall or personal injury, or a family law issue like divorce or a child custody disagreement. No attorney will completely eliminate the stress of the situation, but the right attorney can help allay some of your concerns.

When you need legal advice, it’s best not to just accept the very first law firm you find in a random online search for help. You want to make sure you are finding quality legal representation that will represent you and your needs with care and expertise. If you are looking for law firms in Portland, Oregon, or wherever you may live, the litigation experts at Warren Allen LLP list below how to find a law firm that best suits your specific legal needs.

Make Sure You Find a Law Firm That Specializes in the Area of Law You Require Help With

It’s always important to find a law firm that has extensive experience in litigating within the specialty you need. For example, if you are looking for a divorce lawyer, it is not enough to find a lawyer with a website that says they practice family law. You want to ensure your law firm specializes in family law and has a history of representing clients within this field.

Look for blog posts or social media posts from the law firm. Do they talk about the area of law that you need? Are there signs of innovation in the field where you need representation? If the law firm demonstrates authority in that area of law, this is a great sign that they are current and active in that field of law and can be a potentially good fit for your legal needs.

Ensure You Can Afford the Law Firm’s Fee

When choosing the law firm that best fits your needs, one factor that is very important to consider is the cost of legal representation. It is important to ask up front what the costs of representation will be to ensure it is an affordable option for you before deciding on which law firm will be the best fit for you. While your instinct might be to opt for the best attorney money can buy, it’s not actually realistic. You also don’t want to just blindly choose the cheapest service either. The truth is that you need to look at law firms in Portland, Oregon, that meet both your needs and your budget.

Typically, law firms that specialize will cost more than a generalist firm that tends to deal more in volume of clients rather than focusing on each client in depth. Most law firms charge hourly, ranging in price from $300 to $1,000 per hour.

Ask About the Attorney’s and the Law Firm’s Experience

It’s crucial to ask prospective lawyers how many years they have practiced and, in particular, how many years in the field of law you need before deciding on which law firm is right for you. Training and specialization are important, but years of experience in practicing law means they have been through trials and have lost some, won some, and learned from each experience. Go ahead and ask if they’ve handled cases similar to yours and how those turned out.

Choosing local law firms, like Warren Allen in Portland, Oregon, can also be important to the outcome of your case. They’ll be familiar with how the court systems work in the area and have experience working with different judges and attorneys. They’ll also be up to date on all county and state laws, procedures, and policies, better ensuring you get the highest level of representation.

Check Online Reviews and Get Personal References

If you are unsure where to begin your search for a trusted lawyer in your area, start by asking around. If you know a friend, family member, neighbor, or professional who has been through your situation before, it could be helpful to ask if they have a referral to a lawyer who they trust. If you happen to have an existing relationship with a lawyer in another field of law, consider asking them for a recommendation to a lawyer in your area of need. You can even ask your doctor or other professional if they have a trusted lawyer they would recommend.

You should also read reviews online to see what people are saying about their experiences with various law firms in your area. It’s always a good idea to read reviews and ask around before signing a contract with a new law firm.

Consider Your Attorney’s Availability and Ease of Communication

When you first meet with your new attorney, this is your time to interview them as if you were hiring them for a new position at your company. This is a great time to ask about their availability when you have follow-up questions, as they will most definitely arise, and not all lawyers are available at the same rate. Some law firms have paralegals who can answer your questions more readily than the lawyers, who may frequently be in court and unavailable to field your various questions. It is always a good idea to make sure you can communicate with your lawyer or their staff when needed.

If you are looking for law firms in Portland, Oregon, consider hiring the legal experts at Warren Allen LLP. Our team specializes in personal injury, family law, and more. Reach out today.

How Does the Personal Injury Claim Process Work?

If you have experienced a personal injury due to an accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Recovering from an injury takes time and can be costly. These hardships can range from monetary loss to physical and emotional pain and suffering. Medical bills, lost wages from missing work, repairs to damaged property—the costs can be overwhelming. However, you may have a right to recouping these losses.

Filing a personal injury claim gives you the opportunity to receive compensation for injuries sustained in an accident. This can be the help you need to recover physically, mentally, and emotionally as well as recover any financial loss. But how does the claim process work? If you live in Oregon and are filing a Portland personal injury claim but are uncertain of how it works, below is a simple breakdown of the process. Understanding how it works can alleviate added stress so you can have peace of mind knowing you are on the road to full recovery.

Seek Medical Treatment

The first step in the claims process is getting necessary medical treatment. If you don’t receive treatment immediately for any injuries sustained, it suggests these injuries were not that serious, and it will be difficult to prove otherwise to an insurance adjuster or jury. It is also the most important step in regard to your own health and recovery. Do not delay treatment because you are worried about how much it will cost or if you can afford it.

Keep careful documentation of treatment received as well as copies of all bills. These records are important to building your case and receiving fair compensation.

Consult With a Personal Injury Attorney

Though it’s possible to file a claim without legal representation, it isn’t advisable for more significant injuries or if you’re receiving opposition from the other party involved. An attorney will fairly represent you and your interests while advocating for the compensation you are entitled to. This is especially true if you have lost more than a couple of days of work or have costly medical bills. Insurance companies often attempt to minimize how much you receive, so an attorney can be a powerful ally in making sure you receive the full compensation you qualify for.

If you’re in the Portland area and looking for an experienced attorney for your Portland personal injury, Warren Allen LLP offers legal advice and representation for those who have been affected by these accidents. Whether you have experienced a car crash or other type of accident that has resulted in an injury, we are here to help you every step of the way. Contact our firm today and learn what your best options are. We’ll work to the best resolution possible and help you receive compensation.

Open Claim and Submit Demand Package

A personal injury attorney will then investigate your claim and gather all details pertaining to the accident, injury, and treatment. This includes all medical records and bills related to the accident. Once you have been interviewed and obtained all necessary documentation, a claim is filed with both parties’ respective insurance companies.

Most personal injury cases settle without filing a lawsuit in court. A demand package is a comprehensive collection of all medical bills and documents detailing the accident, injury, treatment, wage loss, and any other financial damage. This package is prepared during the pre-litigation stage and begins negotiations with the insurance company. At this stage, a favorable settlement may be reached.

If the insurance company agrees to fair financial compensation and you accept, a lawsuit will not have to be filed. However, if the insurance company offers a low settlement in hopes you will want to quickly settle, it may require more arbitration. If they are unwilling to offer a fair settlement, the next step is litigation.

File a Personal Injury Lawsuit

If a settlement is not reached, litigation begins when your attorney files a personal injury lawsuit in court. This step should only take place after you have reached “maximum medical improvement.” Your medical treatment should be completed before submitting a demand package or filing a lawsuit because it helps an attorney determine what your case is worth.

After the complaint (the court action that begins the lawsuit) is filed, both you and the defendant will complete an “interrogatory” (a written document comprised of questions that have been answered to gather information regarding the accident) and a “deposition” (verbal questions).

Trial

As mentioned previously, most personal injury cases don’t make it to trial and can be settled out of court. And a very few instances require mandatory arbitration instead of court. This is usually limited to situations involving medical malpractice.

Once both parties of the claim have as much information regarding the claim as possible, an objective arbitrator reviews the evidence and will suggest a resolution, though, it is non-binding. If mediation and negations cannot result in a settlement, then your attorney will represent you and your interests in court and help you receive the compensation you deserve. If at no point in time you or the other parties involved are able to come to a voluntary agreement and reach a settlement, your case will be decided by a jury verdict and judgment.

Another reason your case may have to go to trial is if the statute of limitations on your claim is about to run out. If this is true with your claim, your attorney will have to file a lawsuit in court so they are able to continue your claim. This will, in turn, maintain your right to seek compensation for your injuries and not lose out on such claims because you missed the deadline by which your claim was to be filed within the proper court.

If you have suffered an injury and are seeking compensation, knowing the process of your personal injury claim and having the right team in your corner can help mitigate uncertainty and undue stress so you can focus on what matters most: recovery.