Portland Car Accident Lawyer
An Oregon Car Accident Demands Experienced Representation
Car accidents in Oregon or Washington can happen any time, even to the most cautious drivers. You may drive defensively, but sometimes factors beyond your control can lead to a car accident. An automobile accident may be caused by a distracted driver or someone driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol, to cite just a couple of ways accidents can happen.
According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration, an average of 474 people in Oregon die in car crashes each year. Zbinden & Curtis has experience successfully representing people injured in all types of traffic accidents, including bicycle accidents, rear-end accidents, hit-and-run accidents and accidents involving pedestrians.
If you were injured in an Oregon car accident or injured in a Washington car wreck, you may be entitled to compensation. It's important to take action by contacting an experienced automobile accident law firm promptly to ensure your rights are protected. Call or email a serious injury lawyer at Zbinden & Curtis for a free and confidential consultation.
Insurance companies will put a lot of effort into minimizing the compensation paid to those injured in car accidents. They will employ adjusters, investigators and attorneys to make sure they pay as little as possible for a victim's losses. Always talk to a skilled car accident attorney in Portland before making any statement to the insurance company representative.
Why Do Car Accidents Happen?
Car accidents caused by other drivers often occur because a driver was doing something they should not have been doing behind the wheel. Specific examples of reckless or negligent behavior that result in a car accident include:
- Distracted driving, including texting while driving, which is against the law in Oregon and Washington
- Speeding or driving too fast for road conditions, especially during hazardous winter weather like snow and ice in Oregon, where speed-related accidents have increased by 43 percent in the past decade
- Drunk driving or driving under the influence of marijuana or other drugs, especially in Oregon, where drunk driving fatalities have more than doubled in the past decade
- Falling asleep at the wheel and crashing into another vehicle
- Reckless or aggressive driving, including running a red light, passing on a double yellow line or weaving in and out of traffic
Whatever the cause of your crash, make sure you take your Oregon accident seriously right from the start. Make sure you talk to a lawyer who knows the law and understands how to handle bad car accidents in Oregon. Otherwise, your crash might not get the attention it rightfully deserves.
What Are Common Car Accident Injuries?
Just like there are many different types of car accidents, car accident injuries can cover a wide range. Some of the most common – and most serious – injuries include:
- Head injuries, including concussions and other traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Neck injuries, including whiplash
- Back injuries, including spinal cord injuries
- Internal injuries, including internal bleeding, kidney damage, ruptured spleen and other organ damage
- Broken bones, including broken arms and broken ribs
- Lower body injuries, including broken legs, knee fractures and foot or ankle injuries
Whatever type of injury you sustained in your car accident, seek immediate medical attention. If your injury appears life-threatening, go immediately to Providence Portland Medical Center Emergency Room or another nearby hospital. Your health and well-being must come first after your accident.
Frequently Asked Questions About Car Accidents
Here are questions we are frequently asked about Portland, Oregon, car accidents:
What Should I Do After A Car Accident?
Every accident is different, but there are often certain steps you should take right away after an accident caused by another driver:
- Contact the police and ask them to respond to your accident
- If you or anyone else appears injured, ask the police to send an ambulance
- If you can safely do so, take pictures of your accident
- If someone saw your accident, get the witness’ name and phone number
- Get the other driver’s name, address, driver’s license number and insurance information
- Give the same information to the other driver
- Do not discuss your accident with anyone at the crash site other than the investigating police officer
- Soon after your accident, call your insurance company and tell them you were in an accident caused by another driver
- Schedule a follow-up appointment with your doctor, even if you were already examined by a medical professional immediately after your accident
- If the other driver’s insurance company contacts you, don’t talk to them
- Don’t post anything about your accident on social media
- Don’t discuss your accident with friends or family members
- Contact a lawyer right away to learn more about the legal options available to you
Do I Need to Hire a Portland Car Accident Lawyer?
You're not required to hire a lawyer after a car accident, but pursuing a claim without the help of an attorney could substantially reduce your chances of getting the compensation you deserve for your accident. While some negligent parties take responsibility for their actions, some will deny causing your crash. Insurance companies may try to minimize their liability because they want to keep their payments to a minimum. They may deny your claim and blame you for the accident. An experienced attorney knows how to negotiate with the insurance company to help you get full compensation for your damages.
How Much is My Portland Car Accident Claim Worth?
It depends on the specific circumstances of your car accident. Each accident is unique. Monetary compensation for your injuries may cover your medical expenses, cost of future medical treatment, compensation for lost wages, loss of future earning capacity, and pain and suffering. Sometimes punitive damages are awarded that are meant to punish drivers who acted with gross negligence.
Who Is Liable For My Car Accident?
Each state has its own unique rules when it comes to who’s responsible (liable) for compensating injury victims after a car accident. Many states, including Oregon and Washington, have what’s known as an “at-fault” insurance system. That means the at-fault party is responsible for compensating injury victims after an accident. In the case of a car accident caused by another driver, that often means it’s the responsibility of the at-fault driver’s insurance company for paying for your accident.
Who Decides How Much My Case Is Worth?
Often, insurance companies for the drivers involved in a car accident decide the value of an injury claim. As a result, the at-fault driver’s insurance company is often the first one to decide how much your case is worth. But there can often be disputes between how much the other driver’s insurance company says your accident claim is worth and how much it is really worth. This is where your attorney can step in and make a case for the true value of your accident claim. Your lawyer can also file a lawsuit on your behalf and take your case to court, where a jury can decide how much your case is worth.
How Much Does a Portland Car Accident Attorney Cost?
Lawyers who handle car accident claims usually work on a contingency basis, which means you don't pay unless they win your case. Most law firms also offer free and confidential case consultations. That way, you can learn more about the legal options available to you, free of charge.
What Are My Options After My Accident?
If another driver caused your accident, you often have three options for getting the money you deserve for your accident-related expenses. These three options are:
- Accept a settlement offer from the at-fault driver’s insurance company
- Ask for more money and negotiate a better settlement offer
- File a lawsuit or take other legal action, especially if the other driver’s insurance company refuses to negotiate or denies your accident claim
In each case, your lawyer can help you every step of the way. That’s why it’s critical that you talk to an attorney as soon as possible after your accident.
How a Car Accident Attorney Can Help
At Zbinden & Curtis, we’re prepared to go head to head with the attorneys for the insurance companies. We know how to fight for the maximum compensation our clients rightfully deserve. Depending on the circumstances, we may work with forensic engineers as well as medical professionals, vocational rehabilitation specialists and forensic economists. We also retain psychologists, grief counselors and others who can assess our clients’ emotional losses, pain and suffering, and loss of companionship.
If you were injured, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost earnings as well as other losses.
If you are in a car accident, contact our law firm as soon as possible. An experienced attorney can answer your questions and discuss your legal options.
Contact an Oregon Car Accident Lawyer – Zbinden & Curtis is Ready to Serve Injury Victims
If you or your loved one has been injured in a car accident in Oregon or Washington, contact Zbinden & Curtis today. An experienced car accident lawyer can analyze your case and determine how best to proceed. Your initial consultation is free, and there is no obligation. If you do not need an attorney, we will tell you right away. If you are represented by our firm, you don’t pay us any fees unless you receive a recovery. Call a lawyer today who knows how to protect your rights. Call (503) 287-5000.