Frequently Asked Questions
If someone else caused a collision and you suffered any kind of injury, then of course you have a claim or a case against the other driver and their insurance company.
We get this question more than any other. And really, most folks don’t need a lawyer. However, all of our clients have chosen to hire a lawyer anyway.
This business is complicated and people are faced with multi-billion dollar insurance companies. These companies have spent significant funds and decades of time training their employees to take advantage of innocent victims. It makes the insurance company money if they don’t pay you what they owe.
You do need a lawyer if your case is complicated, either because the other side denies they are at fault or because your injuries are not straightforward. We always recommend that you get a lawyer in complicated cases.
Another great question – our payment is contingent on the money we get for you. We are paid a percentage (typically 1/3) of the money we get. We have every incentive to get you the most money to which you’re entitled.
We do it all. You never have to talk to insurance company representatives (about this case) again. We handle all the paperwork, all the phone calls and all the money.
Once hired, we become the center of your case and make sure you are getting the medical care that you need, that your insurance company has the paperwork they need. Then we go to the other driver’s insurance company to get the money that you deserve, even if it means filing a lawsuit or a jury trial.
We take cases large and small. Whether it is “worth” our time or yours is only a question that you can answer. We believe in helping people with their claims because they can be complicated and we have LOTS of experience. So we are willing to handle your case all the way through a jury trial if you choose to hire us and that is what’s required.
We believe in the civil justice system and could do nothing different. We stand by our beliefs!
The Oregon legislature requires that every car insurance policy has to provide Personal Injury Protection (called PIP) benefits to pay your medical expenses. There are limits to PIP benefits – the typical policy provides only $15,000 in total payments and they are only good for 2 years. But this benefit is sufficient to cover medical expenses in many collisions.
Lost wages are also covered by your PIP insurance. However, PIP will only pay 70% of your wages (which is roughly the average take-home) up to $3,000 per month and will only pay for 52 weeks. You should almost certainly have a lawyer if your wage-loss is greater than $3,000 per month or goes on for more than 52 weeks!
The other driver (and their insurance company) is ultimately responsible for your medical expenses, lost wages and compensation for your pain & suffering. However, their insurance company will never pay those expenses as they arise – they will only write one check and that comes at the end of your claim.
Your medical providers are not going to wait for payment until the claim settles. Therefore, your insurance will pay the charges as they are incurred and will then go get their money from the other driver’s insurance company.
Probably not. Most cases do not require a lawsuit and can be resolved directly with the other driver’s insurance company. But if they don’t believe you were injured or the severity of your injuries, then we are always willing to file a lawsuit to protect your right to complete and fair compensation.
A lawsuit is simply a way to begin the road toward a jury trial where who is at fault and what compensation is owed will be decided. Once a lawsuit is filed we move from the insurance company to whichever lawyer they hire. That lawyer will gather all your medical records, interview you (this is called a deposition) and evaluate the case for the insurance company.
The precise steps during a lawsuit depend on the other lawyer, the extent of your injuries and your prior medical history. Rest assured the Gresham Injury Law Center has been through hundreds of lawsuits and we are very familiar with the process. That’s why you hired us. Feel free to ask us any questions you have about the process – our job is to answer your questions.
Not likely as most cases settle. There are surprisingly few civil jury trials these days (fewer than 150 civil trials per year in Portland, Multnomah County). Most people don’t want to have a trial and most insurance companies are too afraid of juries to go all the way. But we at Gresham Injury Law Center live by the phrase that preparing for trial helps to avoid trial.
If you are ready for trial, the insurance company won’t push you there. If you are not ready, then the insurance company is more likely to push you all the way.
The right to a trial by jury is a fundamental right in the US Constitution. This right does not apply only to criminal matters (the criminal justice system). It also applies to disputes between people (the Civil Justice System).
Knowledge & Experience in downtown Gresham
Contact your own personal injury lawyer right here in Gresham.
If you have suffered an injury from an auto or truck accident, please contact me at the Gresham Injury Law Center for a no-cost consultation.
424 NE Kelly Ave.
Gresham, OR 97030
Telephone: (503) 492-1100