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Do I Need a Portland Personal Injury Lawyer?

Posted by Sean DuBois on Tuesday, April 22, 2014

It’s a universal dilemma, and one that thousands of Oregon motorists have asked themselves after being injured because of another road user’s negligence: “Do I really need a Portland personal injury lawyer to look after my claim?”

What kind of answer would you expect to receive on an injury attorney’s blog? Well, it may shock you then to hear that the real answer is you may not need to hire a lawyer in some situations. It depends very much on the myriad of details surrounding each individual’s case.

The main reason people elect not to use the services of an attorney is because they simply don’t want to “share” their compensation. Contingency fees (a fee that is charged only if and when you win your case) of 33% are about average, and that might seem like a lot. However, you should also consider the many reasons you should retain the services of a personal injury lawyer. (more…)

Why File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

Posted by Sean DuBois on Monday, April 14, 2014

When a terrible accident has claimed the life of a loved one, between the grief that you are struggling with and the care that you have to provide to your family, it is undoubtedly a difficult time for you to even consider thinking about wrongful death lawsuits. However, if you wish to hold the responsible party accountable for their actions and obtain justice for your lost loved one, you have a limited time to do so. In Oregon, surviving family members typically only have three years after the date of the injury that caused the death in order to file wrongful death lawsuits, though sometimes the time limit is much shorter, like a year for cases against public bodies. The sooner that you can contact a personal injury attorney with experience in wrongful death cases, the better it will be for your family and your future.

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What to Do After a Portland Auto Accident Death

Posted by Sean DuBois on Wednesday, April 9, 2014

There is truly nothing worse than the experience of losing a family member. These terrible moments in our lives can be made even worse when we realize that that family member had fallen victim to an accidental death or a wrongful death that was not their fault. If your family member has lost their life due to a Portland auto accident death, or other wrongful or accidental death, then there are certain steps that you will need to take in order to ensure that the responsible party is held accountable for their misconduct and the resulting death of your beloved family member from that misconduct.

Understanding the Wrongful Death Lawsuit

After dealing with the loss of your family member from a Portland auto accident death, you will likely consider embarking on a wrongful death lawsuit against the person responsible for the accident. A wrongful death is one that can be described as when a person loses their life due to the misconduct or negligence of a person, business, or other entity.

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What Should I Do When My PIP Runs Out?

Posted by Sean DuBois on Thursday, April 3, 2014

If youve been injured in an Oregon automobile or some other kind of personal injury accident, you may have to rely on your personal injury protection (PIP) insurance to cover your medical bills until the insurance details are all sorted out. This can become quite stressful for victims and their families, especially if the injuries are severe, which could see the coverage provided by your PIP exhausted in a relative short period of time.

What can you do once your PIP run out? There are a number of steps you can take to ensure continuity of coverage once you have reached the limits of your PIP coverage. Its important to follow these steps carefully, however, to be prepared when the time comes that your PIP no longer takes care of the mounting medical bills. (more…)

Help! I Crashed Someone Else’s Car – Will Insurance Cover this?

Posted by Sean DuBois on Tuesday, March 25, 2014

People often contact an Oregon car insurance attorney when they have been in an accident in which someone got injured. Thats common enough. However, considerable confusion and anxiety are often the byproducts of an accident where either the person driving the car didnt own it, or the owner of the car had loaned it to a friend, and the friend caused the accident. What happens then?

The insurance company for the person who is driving should cover damages first

Lets say your friend calls and says his car is in the shop for repairs. He needs to get to work and wonders if he can buy your car. What should you do? The first thing is to check your own policy to see what kind of coverage is in place. The second thing is to find out if your friends insurance will cover him to drive other cars.

Liability insurance follows the driver, not the car, so if your friend has this kind of policy and is in an accident in your car, then his policy should cover any damages, not yours. Therefore, you need to check what kinds of coverage are in place for both you and your friend. These types of cover could include:

  • Liability coverage Oregon, like most other states, requires liability coverage as a minimum. This is the cover that should allow your friend to drive your car, provided your friend actually has a policy in force when you hand him the keys. Oregon car insurance attorneys recommend phoning your own insurance company to get a rundown of your own coverage features, just in case.
  • Comprehensive and collision As the name suggests, comprehensive cover will pay for all damage done, but this type of cover applies to a car and not to a person. This type of cover is also typically more expensive than straight liability coverage.
  • Other drivers Only your insurance company can tell you precisely what level of cover will be in place if you allow someone else to drive your car and an accident occurs. Oregon car insurance attorneys say there are no definitive yes or no answers, regardless of whether you have comprehensive cover in place, so its best to ask first. (more…)

Investigate a Truck Accident: Guide to Proving Your Case

Posted by Sean DuBois on Saturday, March 15, 2014

When trucks and cars collide on Oregon highways, one thing is certain and another thing is likely, but neither is good. First, the car is certainly going to lose in the battle between a 3,000-pound vehicle and an 18-wheeler with a cab that can weigh up to 23,000 pounds and which can carry a load of up to 80,000 pounds without special permission. The second thing is that injuries sustained in a car vs. truck collision are far more likely to be serious, traumatic and even life-changing, if not life-ending.

Making a personal injury claim in an Oregon truck accident is not the same as when two cars collide, and as such, its a good idea to hire a good truck accident attorney to investigate a truck accident for you. Truck accident investigations include obtaining one very important piece of evidence which most people don’t even know exists, the Driver Qualification File.

As well as claiming against an at-fault truck driver, you might also have a claim against his employer and the trucking company as well. While much of the evidence you will need to prove your case will be obtained at the scene of the accident, the Driver Qualification File (DQF), can provide information that is often quite successful in helping to win an Oregon truck accident case.

Ok, then, whats a DQF?

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations require every trucking company to maintain a DQF for every driver it employs. Some of the information in these files can prove invaluable when establishing grounds for your case. Items in the DQF must by law include:

  • All employment applications
  • Driving records, including any and all accidents the truck or driver has been involved in
  • Copies of valid licenses
  • Road test results
  • Annual review records
  • Vehicle maintenance records
  • Personnel records
  • Medical certifications
  • Hours of service records
  • Alcohol and drug test results
  • The drivers employment history
  • Any recognized training certificates (more…)

Slip and Fall Accident Cases: Staircases

Posted by Sean DuBois on Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Heres the scenario: Youre in someone elses building, either public or private, and youre walking down a flight of stairs. No one else is near you; no one else is involved. Suddenly, you trip and fall, and realize right away youve done some serious damage to yourself. Whos at fault?

This is the question frequently faced by Portland personal injury lawyers when trying to determine liability in staircase accidents. In some cases, the liability is relatively clear, but in others it is less so. Listed below are the factors to take into consideration when determining liability in a staircase accident.

Who or what caused the fall?

Property owners are liable for staircase accidents in pretty much the same way as they would be responsible if visitors to their property were injured in a slip and fall incident. In both slip-and-fall and staircase accidents, liability can be proven if any one of the following can be proven to be true:

  • The person who owns or manages the property caused a spill, worn or torn floor covering or other slippery or dangerous surface underfoot conditions.
  • The owner, manager or even an employee of the property knew about dangerous underfoot conditions but did nothing to remedy those conditions.
  • Even if the owner, manager or employee didnt know about the dangerous surface conditions, if it can be proven that any reasonable person taking care of the property would have discovered the perilous surface and taken remedial action, then liability can be established.

How much are you to blame?

Whenever someone makes a claim against a property owner for a staircase accident, questions will be asked by both the insurance company and, if it gets that far, the courts regarding what is known as your comparative negligence in the case. In other words, how much of the accident (and therefore the injuries sustained) were contributed to by you going where you did and how you did in the moments leading up to the accident?

If your accident was caused by something being spilled or dropped on the stairs, how long before your accident did this occur? Could the owner or manager have been reasonable expected to do anything about it, for example, if the spill happened two minutes before you fell? These are the issues faced by personal injury attorneys in staircase accident cases.

Hidden defects

Up to this point, slip-and-fall and staircase accidents are virtually identical in nature. However, stairs also present additional difficulties, because in many cases, there are flaws in stairs that arent even apparent immediately after an accident. This can involve detailed investigation on your part, and is one of the areas of the case where the help of a good personal injury lawyer can prove invaluable. (more…)

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