BOTTINI BOTTINI & OSWALD, PC

BBO was established in 1980. Bruce and John have worked together over 25 years. They are Licensed to practice law in Oregon, California, Washington, and Federal Courts. AV rated.

MOTOR VEHICLE COLLISIONSLogo

FACTS

• The body is instantaneously accelerated in collisions, which may result in injury(s). The State of Oregon keeps injury statistics, which can be viewed at https://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/TD/TDATA/car/docs/2014CrashSummaryBook.pdf
• Weight of cars on the road range from 2,500 to 8,000 pounds and loaded semi truck and trailers can weigh up to 80,000 lbs. When you are hit by another vehicle, injuries may occur whether vehicle damage is apparent or not.

PREPAREDNESS

Coverage for every vehicle is mandated by law, but not every driver carries adequate coverage. Minimum $25,000 policies may not financially protect you from injuries to others or yourself. It is important that you have adequate coverage for your vehicle and any injuries which might occur to protect you, your passengers and/or anyone driving your car with your permission. This includes adequate underinsured and uninsured coverage in the event you are hit by someone with inadequate insurance. To be fully protected, ask your agent what the additional cost will be for you and/or your passengers to obtain coverage for a minimum $100,000, $500,000, or $1,000,000 liability and underinsured and uninsured coverage. It is likely that the additional expense for the extra coverage is minimal and could be critical to you in the event of unexpected disabling injury(s). A recent change in the law allows your coverage to combine with the other at fault driver's policy limits if an insurance policy was issued after January 1, 2016.

CAUTION

Even though you have or will soon purchase more than minimum ($25,000) coverage, be prepared for your own insurance company to question or attempt to limit your medical payments or wage loss by sending you to a doctor of their choice despite what your treating doctor has recommended. You are required to cooperate with your insurance company in providing them with medical and wage loss information and/or possible taped statements (if requested).

TO DO LIST 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 of all involved vehicles
• Exchange insurance information
• Fill out a DMV accident report and file as soon as possible if someone is injured or your property damage is greater than $1,500
•Obtain at least two separate auto body repair estimates for your vehicle from a repair shop of your choice and not necessarily the body shop recommended by either your insurance company or the at fault driver's insurance company
•If frame damage from the collision is found, your DMV title may be tagged and you may be entitled to make a claim for Diminished Value despite the fact your car is fully repaired, as this may affect the resale value of your car in the future
•Contact your insurance company and report your claim to obtain a claim number and an assigned claims representative. Also notify your insurance agent
• You do not have to, and you should not, give a recorded statement to any insurer representing the at fault driver. In addition you should not fill out any medical authorizations for that driver's insurance company

IF YOU ARE INJURED:

• Seek medical attention to address your injuries as soon as possible
• Do not settle your case on your own if you are not sure you are well and fully recovered from your injuries
• Be aware you have 2 years in Oregon and 3 years in Washington to file a lawsuit if necessary, but it is recommended you consult with a lawyer of your choice if your disability is continuing for an extended period of time

SEEKING ADVICE OF AN ATTORNEY:

• You should not have to pay for a consultation
• You should seek help immediately if your medical or wage loss benefits are cut-off by your insurance company
• In both Oregon and Washington, attorneys are paid on a contingency basis, meaning they are not paid if they do not obtain a recovery for your injuries

WORKERS' COMPENSATION

An 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: 

http://www.cbs.state.or.us/external/wcd/communications/inj_job.html

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.  

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.

LAW FIRM EXPERIENCE

We have been handling workers’ compensation claims and liability claims associated with on-the-job injuries over 35 years. Bruce Bottini has handled FELA railroad cases and personal injury cases as well as workers' compensation and is admitted to Oregon, Washington, California, and Federal courts. John M. Oswald is admitted to Oregon, Washington, and Federal Bar and is on the Oregon State Bar Workers' Compensation Executive Committee. The firm handles claims and cases on a contingency basis based on rules established by Oregon law.

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