How Much Will My Insurance Rate Go Up After An Accident?

Posted by Sean DuBois on Friday, August 29, 2014

Damaged cars at accident place, view from low angleDamaged cars at accident place, view from low angle

The consequences of getting into even a minor accident are more than just a few bumps and bruises and a dent or two. The consequences of getting into an at-fault car accident can affect your insurance as well. One of the first things someone asks when they are filing a claim with their insurance company is how much is my insurance going to go up because of this?

Your insurance premium is based on one thing; how much of a risk you are. Your insurance company will take into account your driving history, the history of accidents, the circumstances of the accident and who was at fault.

In many states, there is something called comparative negligence. This law allows companies to assess a percentage of blame on both parties. While you wont usually see this in a rear-end collision, it is very frequent in cases involving intersections and lane changes. You might have been only 60% at fault, but when calculating your premium, most insurance companies will assess the accident as simply at-fault.

If the accident was minor and youve had no major moving violations or accidents, it is very likely that your rate increase will be negligible. You might not see one at all. If youve had an accident or moving violation in the past 3 years, then you could see a rate increase of anywhere from 25 to 50%. This percentage will depend on the severity and the circumstances of the accident. If it was an accident with a bodily injury, the rate increase will be much higher than one without one.

If you have a significant history of accidents or moving violations, it is possible that your insurance company could choose to drop you from coverage. While it is easier for an insurance company to drop you in the first 60 days, they could also elect to issue a nonrenewal at the end of your policy period. They usually only do this to the highest of risk drivers.

When determining rates, most insurance companies work on something called experience modifiers. Drivers are grouped with other like drivers, so the insurance company can determine what risk they might pose in the future. How much you pay depends on the group youre in.

While being at fault in an accident might make you a higher risk, sometimes that risk is very small and you wont see any increase at all. If the severity of the accident was bad, if people were injured or if youve had more than a few accidents, you can expect to see a jump in your rate when you renew.

Is Your Childs’ Car Seat Safe Enough?

Posted by Sean DuBois on Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Mother Putting Baby Into Car SeatMother helps her daughter to fasten belt on car seat

For many new parents, the task of getting a car seat can be a bit intimidating. Every year, thousands of deaths and serious injuries are prevented by car seats, so its important to find the right one, based on the childs age, size and vehicle type. For a quick idea of what seat a child should be in, review the below listing;

  • Infant to 2 years Rear facing car seat
  • Preschoolers Front facing seat with harness
  • School Aged up to 49- Booster seat
  • Above 49 Seatbelt

Also, keep in mind that new LATCH rules will take effect in 2014. This requires an anchor system for car seats either through using the vehicles seat belt, or appropriately installed latches. LATCH systems might be easier for parents, as most vehicles are equipped if they were made after 2002. These vehicles will have a latch attachment in the rear window, as well as one between the seat cushions. The car seat can then be latched securely onto the vehicle.

When in doubt, you should have your car seat checked over by a child passenger safety technician. If you go to the National CPS Certification webpage, you should be able to find one in your area.

Volkswagen Ad Campaign Shows Effects of Texting & Driving

Posted by Sean DuBois on Monday, August 25, 2014

As personal injury attorneys, we protect the rights of those that have been wrongfully injured. At the same time it is our professional goal to educate the community and prevent these senseless acts from occurring again.

One of the greatest frustrations that we have as personal injury attorneys is seeing so many new cases of negligent drivers texting while driving. The act of texting while driving is becoming one of the leading causes of accidents that maim or kill other drivers and it is 100% preventable.

Volkswagen created a very powerful ad campaign that shows how quickly this senseless act can injure, kill and devastate the lives of so many in the literal blink of an eye. Please take a moment to share this video with others, the life you save could be that of someone you know.

Portland Makes The List of Top Bike Friendly Cities

Posted by Sean DuBois on Friday, August 22, 2014

10 Best Bike Friendly cities in the US


The cycling communities numbers have increased over the past few years. Many cities across the country are responding by making roads safer for cyclists and creating new paths and trails. Below is a list of the top cities with a passion for pedaling.

Austin, TX A cool cycling scene has emerged in this vibrant city. Many bike routes including Veloway, a three-mile course in South Austin, McKinney Falls State Park earn Austin a spot on the list.

Boulder, CO The city has over 300 miles of dedicated bike paths, lanes and roads with shoulders. Valmont Bike Park is the largest free urban bike park with 40 acres of off-road fun for everyone.

Hayward and Cable, WI These duo cities are the epicenter of biking in the Midwest with a trail system designed for everyone. The Chequamegon Fat Tire Festival is a three-day bicycling adventure with the countrys largest mass start point-to-point race.

Jackson Hole, WY Road and mountain bikers will find copious options for biking in the beauty of the city and surrounding area. Some popular trails include Jenny Lake in Grand Teton National Park, Granite Hot Springs and the Jackson Hole Community Pathway.

Louisville, KY The lively city center and picturesque scenery makes Louisville a great cycling backdrop. The eight-mile Louisville Riverwalk is one of the most popular rides.

Minneapolis, MN With 92 miles of on-street bikeways and 85 miles of off-street bikeways, Minneapolis is always on the list. Locals and visitors enjoy trails around the Grand Rounds Scenic Byway and Midtown Greenway.

Portland, OR Urban rides in the compact downtown area and scenic trails in the parks nearby make Portland a hub for cycling enthusiasts. Some of the best trails include the Vera Katz Eastbank Esplanade and the Aufderheide National Scenic Byway.

Roanoke Valley, VA With more than 2,500 miles designated as scenic byways in Virginia, this boasts excellent cycling opportunities. Lightly traveled roads and a temperate climate make this city bike friendly.

San Diego, CA Year-round mild weather, decently flat terrain and beautiful beaches make San Diego one of the most beautiful cyclist friendly cities in Southern California. The Silver Strand on Coronado Island has stunning views of the bay and the Pacific Coast Highway passes through gorgeous beach towns for a fun ride.

Tucson, AZ Plenty of bicycle events and multi-use trails make this city a favorite for cyclists. Take in the beauty of the five mountain ranges surrounding Tucson during your rides.




What to do During a Recall

Posted by 11 Bridges on Thursday, August 14, 2014


Date: July 31, 2014
Name: What to do During a Recall

Vehicle recalls are at an all time high. Last year, nearly 22 million vehicles were flagged for recalls. Based on that figure, you might have been one of those people affected by a vehicle recall notice. That can be a major concern, not just because its an inconvenience, but also because you could be driving a vehicle thats not safe. So how do you handle that recall notice when you get it in the mail?

First of all, keep in mind that recalls are often just precautionary. It doesnt mean that your car is dangerous or its about to break down. It just means that a problem in the manufacturing process has been identified and might become a problem for you. The recall might be a completely voluntary measure by the automaker, or it might have been mandated by the federal government.

Next, youll want to confirm that its your year and model car that was actually affected. Check out your vehicle at to verify. Recalls are often busy times for automakers and it is possible that your car is not actually subject to the recall notice.

If it is under recall, you need to find out if youre eligible for free repairs or replacement. If your vehicle is less than 10 years old from the date of purchase, then the automaker must repair, replace or provide a refund for the purchase price. If its older than ten years, you might be expected to pay for the repairs out of pocket.

After that, the automaker will have a grace period with which to create a plan of action for your recalled vehicle. Many dealers will do this right away, but keep in mind that they arent required to do anything until the official cut off date.

Finally, if youre having a problem getting the company to handle your recall, you should contact the dealers service manager and give them a copy of the recall notice. If they refuse to act, you should contact the manufacturer directly. You can also file a complaint with the NHTSA if you feel you are not being treated fairly.

Keep in mind that this recall information only applies before you have problems with the vehicle. However, if a defect in the manufacturing process causes you to get into an accident, you might want to talk to an attorney regarding product liability.

Oregon, manufacturers, distributors, and retailers are all responsible for the safety of their products. If you or a loved one has experienced an accident due to a defect in the manufacturing process, contact an Oregon product liability attorney to protect your rights.

You can seek compensation for injuries from:

  • Design defects: when the poor or flawed design of a product makes it dangerous
  • Manufacturing defects: when a problem is introduced during manufacturing that makes a product dangerous
  • Marketing defects: when the warning labels or instructions are not sufficient or appropriate to protect consumers from injury

By pursuing damages from companies that allow unsafe products to be created, distributed, and sold in Oregon, you may be helping others who have had similar experiences. According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, over 30 million people are injured every year in the United States due to defective products.

Do not wait to get help: contact a Portland product liability attorney for a free consultation as soon as possible. In product liability cases, it can be imperative to get pictures and start investigating what happened as soon as possible, because product liability cases have their own special (and very difficult) statutes of limitations (ORS 30.905), which can be much shorter than the more common statutes.

Bicycle Accident Insurance Coverage

Posted by 11 Bridges on Friday, July 25, 2014

Date: July 24, 2014
Subject: Bicycle Accident Insurance Coverage

Its summertime again and while lots of people in Portland bike all year round, there are many more people biking or walking to work than usual thanks to the season. So I always like to remind everyone this time of year, there is a wonderful Oregon law just for bicyclists and pedestrians. Im amazed at how many of my avid biking friends dont event know this.

The Oregon Law says if youre hit on a bike or on foot, your car insurance will pay for everything, if the at-fault driver doesnt have enough insurance or if they have no insurance at all. Thats wage loss, medical bills, pain and suffering and non economic damages. Your car insurance will pay for all of that. So what should you do?

You should call your insurance company and buy as much Underinsured and Uninsured motorist coverage as you can. UM/UIM is often how youll see it abbreviated on the declarations page of your insurance policy.

Buy as much as your can afford. Believe it or not, once you get above the minimums, its really, really cheap. If you have home or renters insurance, you can often even link those two together in whats called an umbrella policy. For very little money, you could get up to a million dollars in coverage.

If you get hit on a bike, by someone driving a car, medical bills add up quick. Believe me; we see a lot of people seriously injured in these accidents. When a car hits a person on a bike, the person on the bike always loses. So buy as much underinsured and uninsured motorist coverage as you can afford and youll be covered when youre riding your bike to work in the summer.

4th of July Fireworks Safety

Posted by 11 Bridges on Friday, July 4, 2014

It’s the 4th of July and, while I hate to be the wet blanket on your 4th of July party, Id like to take the opportunity to warn you about fireworks. The rules in Oregon are pretty specific about what kind of fireworks you can buy, but lets face it, lots of people drive over the bridge in Portland and get bigger better fireworks in Vancouver. Fireworks can be fun, but they take a lot of supervision, especially with children.

Every summer I see otherwise totally safe parents letting their children run wild with fireworks, and it always gives me pause. As an example, there is a sad story about a young man that Id like to share with you.

A middle school aged minor I represented had legal fireworks, and went to a friends house to use them. Unbeknownst to him, the boys at the house had used some gasoline in an empty water tank the day before just goofing around and the gasoline didnt burn off all the way. My client lit a tiny firecracker and dropped it in the water tank. Then the whole tank exploded, severely burning his face. Fortunately, he recovered pretty well. They got him to the hospital and he was in the burn unit for 7 weeks before he was released.

This story is a reminder that with fireworks, the potential for serious injury is huge, so enjoy them carefully this 4th of July.

If you or a loved one has a burn injury you should seek medical attention immediately. And if the burn was caused by the actions or negligence of another person or company, you may be able to get compensation.

If the thought of navigating the legal claims process seems overwhelming, consider hiring a compassionate Portland burn injury attorney. They can give you a free consultation to assess your potential claim, and then guide you through to recovery.

We hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable 4th of July. Happy 4th of July!


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