Oregon car accident settlements, while presumed to be fair compensation for any injuries you might sustain in an accident, are often difficult to obtain in an amount that truly makes you whole.
The car accident settlement process begins immediately following a car accident and is complete when you receive a check from an insurance company for damages and injuries. Seems pretty simple, doesn’t it? But this process sometimes takes a long time to complete, especially when serious injuries are involved.
Unfortunately, insurance companies, like every other business, exist to make a profit. Consequently, insurers will try to settle a car accident claim for as little as possible as soon as possible after an accident, even when the recipient of the check is the insurance provider’s own client. Should the accident involve a commercial vehicle like last week’s wrong-way, head-on tractor-trailer/vehicle accident on Interstate 205 that could potentially involve multiple insurance providers: the insurance for the driver, his employer, the manufacturer of the truck, and even Portland officials (should it be discovered that some road condition or misplaced sign contributed to the accident).
Insurance companies will usually try to negotiate a settlement quickly so as to avoid high Oregon car accident settlements. Agreeing to a settlement too quickly could prove to be a mistake as many times, serious injury from a car accident may not be evident until long after the incident has occurred. Thus, settling a car accident claim too early could result in some grave financial challenges for car accident victims who require ongoing medical care.
When to File an Oregon Car Accident Insurance Claim
Most Oregon car accident settlement attorneys would advise you to wait to file an insurance claim against an at-fault party’s insurance provider until you have completely recovered from your injuries. Keep in mind, however, that the state law has strict time limits on how long after an accident you can file a claim. And remember to report the accident to the Oregon Department of Motor Transportation within 72 hours of the event as well, if anyone is injured or property damage is over $1500.
Information to Gather When Contemplating Sending a Car Accident Settlement Demand to an Insurance Company
Your first task when you anticipate pursuing an Oregon car accident settlement is to gather as much information about the accident as you can. This includes:
- Facts about how the accident occurred (how it happened, what you saw, who witnessed it, etc.)
- Documentation concerning the accident (the police report, photos, witness statements)
- Medical records of what your injuries were, what treatment you received, and the details of how your recovery is progressing
- Any medical bills pertaining to the cost of your treatment for injuries
- Documentation verifying any income loss you suffered as a result of your injuries
- Documentation of other financial loss you sustained
- Pain and suffering evidence
Once you’ve collected all your paperwork, you’ll submit a demand package to the insurance company of the at-fault driver. This package will include the above-outlined documents verifying your damages, a letter explaining how the car accident happened and your expectation that the insurance company will cover your injury expenses. Then, you’ll negotiate back and forth with the insurance company until a settlement is agreed to. If a stalemate occurs, you may have to file a personal injury lawsuit to get things rolling, or even follow through with a full-blown trial. Just remember that you do have the right to be compensated for your injuries. Calmly state your case, carefully present your side of events, and don’t settle for less than you deserve.
Shulman DuBois LLC Are Experienced Oregon Car Accident Settlement Attorneys
If you have been injured in a car accident and need assistance with your Oregon car accident settlement or need to file a personal injury lawsuit, contact an experienced Oregon car accident lawyer. The personal injury attorneys at Shulman DuBois LLC are highly-skilled, experienced car accident lawyers who offer free consultations. Contact us today for legal assistance, legal representation and an evaluation of your car accident claim.