RECOVERY LOSSES FROM INJURY
VEHICLE COLLISIONS/WORKERS' COMPENSATION/RAILROAD REPRESENTATION
• Body motion inside the vehicle is accelerated more than the speed of the crash in a matter of seconds.
• Weight of the vehicles on the road range from 2,500 to 15,000 pounds. When you are hit by a vehicle, you can be injured.
Coverage for every vehicle is mandated by law, but not every driver carries adequate coverage. Minimum $25,000 policies may not pay all the bills. Do you have good underinsured coverage? Ask your agent what the additional cost is to cover you and/or your loved ones with a $100,000, $500,000, or $1,000,000 policy. You will probably find the additional expense is critical to you in the event of unexpected disabling injury.
Even though you have or will soon purchase better than minimum coverage, insurers
are prepared to defend all claims from the beginning. You should be aware that not only the other driver’s insurance company but also your own may become adversarial. They have been known to disallow medical payments, wage loss payments, property damage payments, disability recovery, etc.
You may not need an attorney if you have not been injured or if you receive a fair recovery on your own. You should be aware of the following, however, to protect against not receiving what the law provides.
List of Things to Do Immediately Following a Motor Vehicle Collision:
• Pull your vehicle out of traffic if possible
• Get names and address of witnesses if any
• Ask the driver and/or witnesses if they were texting, on the phone, otherwise distracted or why they did not see you
• Ask how fast they were going
• Take photos at the scene if possible
• Exchange insurance information
• Fill out an accident report and file as soon as possible
• You do not have to, and you should not, give a recorded statement to any insurer
In the Event You are Injured
• Seek medical attention
• Do not settle your case if you are not sure you are well
• Be aware you have 2 years in Oregon to file a lawsuit if necessary, but consult with a lawyer within a year if your
Consultation with a Lawyer
• You do not have to pay for a consultation
• A good lawyer will tell you if you don’t need legal help in your case
• You should seek help immediately if your benefits are cut-off by any involved insurer
• In Oregon, attorneys charge contingency fees, meaning they are not paid if you don’t obtain a recovery
WORKERS' COMPENSATIONAn injury or disease caused by your work activity or environment can often be very disruptive in your life. The Oregon workers’ compensation system is designed, in theory, to provide a quick resolution for certain benefits due to work related injuries and diseases. Often, however, the “system” is not quick and efficient. The Oregon workers’ compensation laws can be highly technical and complex to navigate alone without representation.
Under the Oregon workers’ compensation law, an injured worker is potentially entitled to 4 benefits: medical services, wage loss, permanent disability awards, and vocational assistance. An excellent online resource for any questions about Oregon law, an injured workers’ rights and responsibilities and an insurance company’s responsibilities can be found at the following link at the Oregon Workers’ Compensation Division:
It is important to be aware that there are certain time limits to appeal actions taken by an insurer/employer in your workers’ compensation claim (i.e. 60 days to appeal denials, 60 days to appeal Notices of Closure, etc.). If you do not timely appeal within the time provided, you lose the right to contest the insurer/employer's action and this will probably adversely affect any benefits you may be entitled to in your workers’ compensation claim.
We have been handling workers’ compensation claims and third party liability claims associated with on-the-job injuries for over 40 years. John M. Oswald has been handling workers' compensation claims for over 22 years and is on the Oregon State Bar Workers' Compensation Executive Committee. Our firm handles workers’ compensation claims on a contingency basis based on rules established by Oregon law.
Again, in Oregon workers' compensation, attorneys are not paid if you don’t obtain a recovery. If you have been injured on the job, you should seek a free consultation in order to find your possible legal remedies.