As you drive around Portland, you do so under the assumption that other drivers will take the same care you do when driving. Unfortunately, people act negligently in many different ways when they drive, and their negligence can cause you to experience an accident.
You also assume as a driver that other drivers on the road abide by Oregon laws requiring auto liability insurance. The Insurance Information Institute (III) reports that in 2017, nearly 13 percent of the country’s motorists did not carry auto insurance.
When you suffer injury in an accident with an uninsured motorist, a Portland uninsured car accident lawyer can fight to get you the compensation you need to cover medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages.
At Ben Crump Law, PLLC, our lawyers do not shy away from tough cases. For your free consultation, call (800) 598-7557 today.
Oregon’s Uninsured Motorist Coverage Requirements
The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) requires that insurance companies offer uninsured motorist coverage (UM) to individuals who are purchasing auto insurance. Your UM should cover your damages when you suffer injury in a car accident with an uninsured driver.
Because Oregon also requires that drivers carry minimum liability coverage of $25,000, UM coverage must equal or surpass this amount. If your auto liability insurance exceeds the $25,000 minimum, your UM coverage limits must match the amount of your policy.
If your insurance company tells you that you waived your UM coverage, they must provide a written waiver, signed by you, that supports this waiver. In the absence of such a waiver, you can file a claim against your UM coverage to pay the damages for which the negligent driver would have been liable had they been insured.
For a free legal consultation with a uninsured car accidents lawyer serving Portland, call (800) 598-7557
Your Insurance Company No Longer Sees You as a Customer
The moment you file a claim against your UIM policy, your insurance provider stops seeing you as a customer that enriches the company with monthly premiums. Now they see you as a financial liability—someone trying to cut into the company’s profits.
Your insurer will not make the task of receiving compensation for your car accident easy. They will draw from a bank of well-developed and time-proven strategies to stall you, intimidate you, confuse you, or simply wear you down. Without knowledge of the inner workings of the law and insurance companies, you stand at a great disadvantage.
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Seeking Compensation Through a Lawsuit
Hopefully, your car accident injury expenses do not exceed your UM coverage limits. If they do, or if you do not carry UM, you can try to recover your losses by filing a personal injury lawsuit against the other driver or at-fault party. Because the driver does not carry auto liability insurance, a court award in your favor will draw funds from the defendant’s cash and assets.
Filing a personal injury lawsuit requires great attention to detail. You must understand what arguments the court expects you to prove and the types of evidence courts will consider valid and compelling. Furthermore, you will need to adhere to the court’s deadlines.
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Elements of a Personal Injury Claim for a Car Accident
In order to receive compensation in a personal injury claim, you must prove what the law refers to as a “duty of care.” This legal doctrine serves as the basis and framework for your case, and it consists of the following four elements:
- Duty: The defendant had a duty to take reasonable care to protect you from harm or injury.
- Breach: The defendant failed to fulfill their duty to keep you from harm.
- Causation: The defendant’s breach of duty caused your car accident.
- Damages: You suffered physical, financial, and psychological losses from your injuries.
When you hire Ben Crump Law, PLLC, we can work to establish each of the above criteria to form the framework for your personal injury case.
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Your lawyer will pay close attention to evidence supporting causation, as Oregon applies the rule of modified comparative negligence. Under this premise, if your negligence contributed to the cause of the car accident, you can still recover a court award, but the amount will deduct the percentage to which your negligence caused the collision (so long as that percentage does not exceed that of other at-fault parties).
Investigating Your Case
Our lawyers will support your case with any evidence we obtain from an investigation of your car accident. Our efforts in this investigation will include obtaining evidence of breach and causation, including:
- Visiting the scene of your car accident to gather evidence
- Obtaining a copy of the police accident report
- Interviewing witnesses
- Reviewing videos from nearby surveillance cameras or phones
- Reviewing photos of the scene
- Working with accident reconstruction specialists
We can also gather evidence that proves you suffered damages, including:
- Your injury-related medical records
- Wage statements from your employer
- Reports from a variety of experts (medical, economic, occupational therapy, and psychological)
We will use the damages-related evidence to calculate the value of your case.
Although every car accident case is different, plaintiffs in such cases may recover certain types of damages, including:
- Medical expenses
- Emergency transportation
- Prescription medicines
- Physical therapy
- Lost income and benefits
- Replacement services
- Diminished future potential earnings
- Pain and suffering
If your loved one suffered an injury in a car accident, and their injuries caused their death, you may be able to pursue a wrongful death action against the at-fault party. Our lawyers stand ready to represent you in this action.
Statute of Limitations in Oregon
Oregon enforces a state law that restricts the amount of time you have following your car accident in which to file a lawsuit. The state’s deadline for taking legal action is two years, according to the Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS) §12.110. If you plan to file a wrongful death lawsuit, you must do so within three years of the date of your loved one’s underlying injury.
A Portland Uninsured Car Accident Lawyer Can Represent You
Do not add financial concerns to the physical and emotional burdens you already suffer from your car accident injuries. Let a Portland uninsured car accident lawyer from Ben Crump Law, PLLC relieve you of the fight for compensation. Remember, you pay legal fees only if and when we win you an insurance settlement or court award.
Call us today for a free consultation at (800) 598-7557.
Call or text (800) 598-7557 or complete a Free Case Evaluation form