It comes to when to get an attorney for a car accident in Beaverton Oregon, Hiring a personal injury lawyer after you’ve been injured in an accident is always an option. If the accident was the other person’s fault, you may have a legal right to recover for your losses, and a lawyer will help make that happen.
Unless you have experience and expertise in handling an auto accident claim, you can spend significant time and effort and still end up with a mediocre settlement for your damages that does not represent reasonable compensation for your injuries.
You Can’t Work Because Of Your Injuries And Need Ongoing Care
If you were hurt so badly that you can’t return to work after a car accident, a lawyer can make sure that you maximize the compensation you receive. Some people are injured so severely in car accidents that their earning capacity is impacted for life.
In case of personal injury claim an experienced lawyer will know how to calculate the amount of compensation to which you’re entitled under law. This compensation will take into account any missed work and the cost of medical treatment you need now or in the future.
Multiple Parties Were Involved in the Accident
If you were an accident victim involving three or more vehicles, this can complicate the insurance claim settlement and negotiation process and lead to multiple lawsuits. Some accidents involve other parties such as pedestrians, property damage owners, or commercial entities.
For example, the driver of a commercial delivery truck may fail to stop at a red light and enter an intersection illegally. A driver of a passenger vehicle may swerve to avoid the delivery truck in the intersection and hit a motorcycle in the neighboring lane. This type of multi-vehicle accident would likely result in a complicated lawsuit or even multiple lawsuits.
If you were hurt in a car accident and more than one other party is involved, contact a lawyer to talk about the case. A car accident lawyer will fight to get you the compensation you deserve and keep your liability to the other parties as low as possible. An attorney can also help communicate with the lawyers for the other parties and their insurance companies.
An Uninsured Motorist Was Involved in the Accident
If one or more of the parties involved did not have insurance at the time of the car accident, you should search for a car accident attorney right away. Law requires people who drive in the state of Oregon to pay for the accidents they cause. Although most drivers are responsible and carry insurance that complies with the financial responsibility law in Oregon, some people drive without insurance.
Unless specifically rejected, auto insurance policies include uninsured motorist coverage, but this might not be enough to cover the cost of your damages and treating your injuries. An experienced lawyer can help you evaluate your options and, if appropriate, file a civil lawsuit for money damages against the uninsured party.
You Need to Collect Evidence About the Accident
If you were hurt in a car accident, you may need a lawyer to help you collect and analyze evidence that establishes who was at fault and what your injuries are worth. For example, most newer vehicles are equipped with a piece of recording technology known as a “black box” that records critical information during a car accident.
This information may establish how fast the car was going at the time the accident occurred, or whether the driver was wearing a seatbelt. In order to access the other driver’s data recorder, you may need a court order for this type of data, and a lawyer can help you request one as part of file a lawsuit.
You Have Upcoming Settlement Talks
Most car accident lawsuits settle before going to trial, which means that you’ll probably receive a settlement offer from the at-fault driver or his or her insurance company. Usually, an unreasonably low settlement offer.
Settling a lawsuit before trial can save a person money, but you should only settle if the amount offered is fair based on your injuries and damages. Settlements require you to give up certain rights and, thus, you must understand your rights and the extent of your injuries and damages before engaging in settlement negotiations.
In most instances, an experienced car accident lawyer can negotiate a higher settlement than you can on your own. You should hire a car accident lawyer who has experience negotiating favorable settlement agreements for clients. Don’t be afraid to ask your lawyer to about past results.
Deciding to Hire a lawyer
Whether the attorney represents you is your decision as much as it is the attorney’s. You need to find an attorney you feel comfortable with, and who you can trust. You also want to ensure your attorney will effectively and capably gives you legal advice and represent your legal interests.
Here are a few questions to consider:
- Does this attorney have experience handling car accident cases like yours?
- How much trial experience does this attorney have? Most car accident cases settle. But in order to obtain the best outcome possible, your attorney must have the ability to take your case to trial and win.
- Who will actually handle the case? Some attorneys may give the impression that they’ll handle every aspect of your case, but many have inexperienced associates handle most of the work surrounding the case, with your attorney stepping in only when there’s a trial or during settlement negotiations.
- What is the attorney’s legal fee and who pays for litigation costs? Most car accident attorneys work on a contingency fee basis.
If you decide to hire an attorney, you will need to sign a fee agreement, representation agreement, or some other document formally establishing the attorney as your legal representative. You may also need to sign other documents, such as medical releases, which will allow your attorney to access your treatment records on your behalf.
HOW LONG SHOULD IT TAKE?
It’s hard to give an estimate of how long a personal injury case takes. There are underlying factors that help determine the amount of time. One is your injuries and the amount of damage to your vehicle and personal property. That all has to be estimated, which can take weeks. The insurance adjuster may need to submit the estimate to upper management for approval.
Once that estimate is given, a personal claims attorney may want to talk to the insurance company as the settlement offer is too low. There can be back and forth calls to reach a settlement. The settlement offer may never be good enough and get delayed further while waiting for court dates and hearings.
The reality is that some car accident cases are resolved in a few months. Others can take two or three years to resolve. You need to stay in touch with your attorney and make sure you’re being updated on where things stand. If there’s a chance you could speed things up by providing additional information, it’s worth the discussion before you give up and switch to a new law firm.
Car accident statute of limitations in Oregon
If you met with a car accident in Oregon and face injuries or your vehicle suffers damages, you must consider your options for getting compensation. A “statute of limitations” is a set of norms determined by a state, and it refers to the strict time limit for bringing a lawsuit to the court. According to the state of Oregon, an injured person must file a claim within two years from the date of the crash. You might have a slightly more extended deadline if someone died in the accident. In such cases, you must file a wrongful death lawsuit within three years from the date of the underlying injury.