Many accidents do not require a lawyer at all. You may end up with more money in your pocket if you settle the case yourself. But only if you understand the process.
If you’ve done some negotiating before (and almost everyone has – with your boss, your spouse, your parents, or your children), use those skills here. You should use whatever negotiating tactic has worked for you in the past. For some people, that’ll mean being nice and sweet and trying to connect with the insurance adjuster on a personal level – don’t be afraid to ask about their children or their hobbies. But if you’re more comfortable being businesslike, then do that. The key in negotiating is to do it in a way that you’re comfortable with. Because working in a way that makes you comfortable will help you project confidence, which is always helpful in these situations.
Consider hiring a personal injury attorney if any of the following conditions are true in your case:
- You’ve suffered from injuries that have dramatically altered your quality of life
- You are in bankruptcy
- Your PIP has not paid all of your medical bills
- You find that dealing with insurance companies is confusing and overwhelming
- You feel that the insurance company is treating you disrespectfully and/or dishonestly
- You suspect the insurance company won’t pay you full value
In 1999, the Insurance Research Council published a study of over 87,000 auto accident injury claims. It found that the average insurance payout to a person with a lawyer was over 3.5 times higher than the average payout to a person without a lawyer. This study was bought and paid for by the insurance companies so you can bet it is biased in their favor. Our results are typically 5-6 times the insurance companies offer. Our record is 70 times the insurance companies offer.
Still, that figure is an average, and every case is different. We can’t guarantee that you’ll end up with more money in your pocket by hiring an Oregon personal injury lawyer. We can guarantee that if you call our office, we will treat your case with the attention, consideration, and thought that you deserve. Even if we are unable to take your case, we can often recommend a good lawyer who can.
The aftermath of any Oregon car accident is confusing enough – and, unfortunately, being in a minor crash doesn’t make it much simpler. In fact, a smaller case can even be more complex. Why? First of all, if it’s a smaller case, you may be tempted to handle it yourself. And that’s fine. You can absolutely do it without a lawyer, and it may be cheaper. There is an Oregon law that helps you through it. ORS 20.080. You can write a letter to the insurance company and try to get your money that way. And this could be the end of it. If, however, they continue to low-ball you, you can hire a qualified Oregon accident attorney. If you win your case, the insurance company has to pay your attorney fees.
But this is where it gets tricky again – because that law is about to change. Great, that’s just what you need, right? But that’s where we come in. Throughout the process, we are available to answer any questions you may have – and we’re glad to help. Contact us to schedule a free consultation or request a free copy of our book. Believe it or not, you’re not alone out there. Not only do hundreds of victims go through the same thing you’re going through, you also have an experienced Portland attorney who is on your side.