What is personal injury?
Personal injury is the area of law that is concerned with both physical and emotional injury to a person due to the wrongful act of another. Car accidents are the most common type of personal injury case, but there are countless other ways people accidentally or intentionally hurt one another.
The goal of personal injury law is to ensure a fair result between the two parties when accidents and other unfortunate events happen.
What kind of personal injury cases do you handle?
In a nutshell, I handle most cases where the person was harmed through the negligence of another. This includes:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Dangerous and defective products
- Premises liability
- Wrongful death
- Dog bites
What is your fee?
My fee is contingent. This means that I only take a fee if I am able to acquire compensation for you. Then, I simply keep 33% of the proceeds. I have found that clients typically prefer contingency fee agreements because they don’t have to pay anything out of pocket.
Do you offer a free consultation?
Yes. I’ll even meet with you in your home.
How long do these cases usually take?
I’m afraid I have to give you a classic attorney answer here – it depends. I’ve had cases that I’ve been able to resolve within a month or two, and I’ve also had cases that took years. Of course, there are some factors that tend to prevent cases from settling quickly. This includes:
- Severe injuries
- Lengthy recovery time
- The victim was partially at fault for the accident
- Stubborn insurance adjusters
What is my case worth?
I’ve heard various theories and formulas that claim to be able to predict a case’s value, but I haven’t found most of them to be very useful. One theory out there is “Your case is worth two to three times your total medical bills and wage loss.” While that could be true, there are a lot of times when adhering to such a rigid formula would end up being really unfair, both for the victim and the negligent party.
A better formula, in my opinion, simply asks a jury “How much would someone have to pay you each day to endure this person’s same injuries for (x) amount of time?” So if the victim suffered a minor concussion and whiplash, it took them three months to recover, and a jury valued the pain and suffering as $100 a day, that case’s value might look something like this:
Medical bills: $5,000
Wage loss: $1,000
Pain and suffering: $9,000 (90 days x $100)
Even though this formula helps to “ballpark” your case’s value, there is no telling whether it will be accurate. This is because it’s ultimately a jury who decides what the victim should get for their injuries, and juries are inconsistent and impossible to predict.
What if I was partially at fault?
Oregon allows accident victims to still recover for their injuries, even if they are found to be partially at fault. However, if the victim is more than 50% at fault, they will be denied all recovery.
In jury trials, it is the jury who decides the fault of the parties. The judge then reduces the victim’s final award by the percentage of fault that was assigned to them.
The insurance company has offered me a settlement. Should I take it?
Probably not. Insurers typically open up negotiations with very low settlement offers, especially when the victim is not represented by an attorney. These lowball offers won’t even cover the cost of the victim’s medical bills, let alone their pain and suffering. Insurance companies do this because many people just take the money rather than go through the hassle of speaking to an attorney.
Don’t allow yourself to be taken advantage of. You deserve to be fairly compensated for your injuries. If you’ve recently been made an offer by the insurance company, I will gladly review it for you for free and advise you on whether or not it’s reasonable.
You can learn more about this and other topics in my free book Top 10 Ways Accident Victims Sabotage Their Own Case.