A Car Accident Lawyer Can Help You
Injured Following a Car Crash? The Advocates Can Help.
A car accident of any kind can be devastating for everyone involved. Whether it’s a head-on collision or a minor fender bender, the aftermath of a car crash is a stressful, often painful time. You may wonder if life will ever feel the same again.
The Advocates are ready to answer any questions you may have about your situation, such as:
How will my medical bills get paid?
Who is liable for my accident?
What will happen if I can’t return to work because of my injuries?
Or do I even have a personal injury case at all?
Our personal injury attorneys can evaluate your case and help you determine how much you are owed. You deserve a peaceful recovery after your accident. You deserve an Advocate!
Our Attorneys Truly Care About You and Your Family
We don’t call ourselves Advocates without reason. We truly care about the clients we represent and will go the extra mile to help them fully recover. As a client of The Advocates, we will treat you as if you are our one and only client. Your needs will always be our first priority. After The Advocates accept your case, you’ll never be just one more case among thousands.
The Advocates and their staff are exceptional. Their attorneys are prepared and dedicated to help you meet your needs. They will communicate with you throughout your entire case. If you’ve been in a car accident, I highly recommend The Advocates.
What Can The Advocates Do For My Case?
Trying to navigate a motor vehicle accident on your own can be a frustrating ordeal. The Advocates’ mission is to help you through all aspects of your recovery, not just the legal process. We will meet with you to discuss your unique needs and find ways we can help. The Advocates are prepared to assist you in:
- Accessing necessary medical care
- Finding excellent local body shops for your vehicle
- Getting a rental car
- Communicating with your employer regarding your accident
- Answering any questions you may have
- Fighting for your right to a fair settlement
- Providing you with a voice in your recovery
- The Advocates are dedicated to providing you with up-front, honest communication throughout the entirety of your case. You will have a direct line of contact with your attorney and the rest of your legal team.
Why You Need an Accident Attorney
Whether you’ve been hit by a drunk driver or involved in a rear-end collision, the aftermath of a car accident is a stressful time. You have a lot on your plate without having to worry about fighting for a fair settlement.
If you attempt to settle your case on your own, the at-fault driver’s insurance company will not make it easy on you. Insurance providers will do whatever they can to avoid giving you the settlement you deserve. You may feel pressured to settle for less, just to bring the claims process to an end.
The Advocates will do whatever we can to get you the maximum compensation you deserve. We will evaluate your case and help you determine what damages you are entitled to. Many car accident cases seek damages for:
- Medical bills
- Property damage
- Rental car costs
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earnings
- Pain and suffering
- Funeral expenses (in the case of a wrongful death claim)
Studies have shown that accident victims who hire a personal injury lawyer can receive settlements up to 3.5 times larger than those who try to settle on their own. Don’t leave money on the table. Contact The Advocates today for a free case evaluation.
The Advocates Car Accident Claims Process
Once you have hired an auto accident attorney, they will begin investigating your accident. Your Advocate will compile police reports, eyewitness statements, photos from the scene of the accident, and any other evidence available to help establish liability.
Your attorney will also keep track of your accident-related bills, such as medical expenses and vehicle repair costs. Be sure to tell your attorney any time you receive medical attention for your accident injuries, so that the costs can be added to your claim.
Once you have finished treatment for your injuries and evidence has been gathered, your attorney will send the other party a demand letter outlining the damages you are seeking. They may agree to pay out the amount listed in the demand letter, but more likely negotiations will begin. Your attorney will fight to get you the best settlement possible.
Most of the time, an agreement can be reached during negotiations. If the other party is unwilling to settle for a fair amount, however, your case will enter the litigation phase. Your attorney will represent you in court, where a judge and/or jury will determine who was liable for the accident and how much money is owed for damages.
How to Handle a Car Accident
Immediately after an accident, it’s normal to be confused, shocked, and upset. It may feel difficult to think clearly. There are important steps to take following a car wreck, however, in order to preserve your right to a settlement. Below are some actions to take at the scene of an accident and in the weeks and months following the collision.
At the scene of the accident
The most important thing you can do while at the scene of an accident is stay calm and stick around. Oregon law requires drivers involved in an accident to remain at the scene if any vehicles are damaged or people are injured. Failure to do so is considered a hit-and-run and is a criminal offense.
While at the scene, what you say and do is important. Your case can be damaged if you aren’t mindful of your words and actions. At the scene of the accident, take the following steps to simplify the claims process and avoid losing any potential settlement.
As soon as you have been involved in an accident, take stock of your own injuries as well as those of any passenger in your car. If anyone has been seriously injured, call 911 and request an ambulance be dispatched to the scene.
Common car accident injuries include:
- Head trauma, including traumatic brain injuries and concussions
- Back, neck, and spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones
- Internal damage
- Lacerations and bruising
If no one appears to be seriously injured, you may not need to summon an ambulance. However, everyone involved in the accident should seek medical attention as soon as possible after the accident to ensure that no hidden injuries go untreated.
Move your vehicle to safety
If your vehicle is operable and you are physically able, move your car to the side of the road or into a nearby parking lot. This will help keep you, your passengers, and everyone else on the road safe from further harm.
Don’t admit fault
After an accident, apologizing or accepting blame for part/all of the crash may feel like the natural thing to do. However, this can seriously damage your case.
In most cases, an investigation will be done after the accident in order to determine who was at fault for the crash. If you apologize or admit fault, an investigation may not be done. Even if you believe the accident was your fault, the investigation may find that you were not completely liable.
Oregon is a modified comparative negligence state, meaning that all parties involved in an accident may be found partially liable. However, as long as your liability for the accident is found to be less than 51%, you can still collect damages. Your settlement will simply be reduced by how large a part you played in causing the accident.
If you accept blame for the accident before an investigation is ever done, you may be assigned greater than 51% responsibility for the accident, and lose all grounds for your claim.
Do not apologize or admit fault to police officers, insurance adjusters, the other driver, or anyone else involved in your case.
Whether the accident resulted in serious injuries or simple property damage, you need to exchange information with the other driver. Failure to do this will make filing a claim much more difficult. Be calm and professional when speaking to the other driver– anger or hysteria will make it harder to get the information you need. Be sure to ask the other driver for their:
- Full name
- Phone number
- Insurance information
- License plate number
Be sure to get contact information from witnesses to the accident as well. Their statements may be used later when building your case.
File a police report
Many insurance companies require a police report in order to file a claim. Even if you do not require emergency services after the accident, call the local non-emergency line and request that a police officer come to the scene.
When the officer arrives, give them the facts regarding the accident. Avoid speculating or giving opinions about who or what caused the collision.
This police report will likely be used as evidence when you file a claim against the other party’s insurance. Your own auto insurance will likely require it for you to use your own coverage as well.
Document as much of the scene as you can. Your own account of the accident can be argued against, but photo and video evidence can provide hard proof of the circumstances of the collision.
While at the scene, take pictures or videos of:
- All involved vehicles from multiple angles
- Your injuries and those of your passengers
- Marks on the pavement
- Weather and traffic conditions
- The scene as a whole
Even if something doesn’t seem important or relevant at the time, document it anyway. Your attorney can help you determine what evidence can be used in your case later on.
After your accident
You may leave the scene after police have cleared you to go, but there is still more to do. Follow these steps to give yourself the best chance at physical and financial recovery.
Seek medical treatment
Even if you did not require an ambulance or immediate medical attention after your crash, it’s crucial that you see a medical professional as soon as possible. You may have hidden injuries that you are unaware of, but that could become a problem later on.
Tell your doctor that you were involved in a car accident so that they know what to look for. They will be able to find and document your injuries so that you can be treated. Any treatment you receive as a result of the accident can be added to your claim.
Pay close attention to your body in the weeks after the crash and seek treatment for any new pain or symptoms that develop. Inform your attorney of all medical treatment you receive.
File a car accident claim
Your own insurance policy may cover some of the damage to your vehicle immediately following the accident. File an insurance claim with your own provider, even if you plan to file one against the other party’s insurance.
As long as you are insured under your own policy or the driver of the car you are riding in is insured, you are entitled to Personal Injury Protection coverage, otherwise known as PIP. PIP coverage will pay up to $15,000 for reasonable medical services received within one year of your accident.
If the other party does not have insurance coverage that will cover all of your damages, your own insurance may make up some of the difference. Oregon requires insurance policies to include Uninsured Motorist or Underinsured Motorist coverage. This coverage can help pay for what the other driver’s insurance will not.
Personal injury cases can take years to settle. Your insurance company can be reimbursed later using the funds from your eventual settlement.
In order to file a claim with your insurance provider, you will need the following information:
- Your policy number
- Your address
- Your license plate number
- The date and location of your accident
- A description of your accident
- The police report number
- The other driver’s insurance information
Hire a Car Accident Lawyer
If you’ve been injured in an accident with a negligent driver in Portland, Eugene, or elsewhere in Oregon, The Advocates are ready to help. Our experienced attorneys will provide you with competent legal representation and thoughtful, compassionate care throughout your entire recovery. Don’t go through the recovery process alone. The Advocates have your back.