Car accidents in Portland happen on a regular basis and are often due to negligence on the part of other drivers involved. In the aftermath, you will likely be dealing with insurance companies involved, who have a financial motive for either denying or downplaying your claim. Our Portland car accident attorneys share five tips for negotiating a settlement.
Car Accident Insurance In Oregon
Under Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) guidelines, all motorists are required to maintain a mandatory minimum amount of auto insurance coverage. This helps to protect them and others involved in the event a car accident occurs.
Mandatory auto insurance includes personal injury coverage, protecting you and your passengers, and property damage liability, protecting other motorists. Whether dealing with your own insurers or representatives for the other driver, remember that the companies they work for are for-profit businesses. Be on your guard and take the steps needed to protect yourself in negotiating any settlements.
How To Protect Your Rights When Negotiating A Car Accident Settlement
The Insurance Information Institute (III) advises that insurance companies make billions of dollars through premiums each year. One of the main ways they protect profits is by avoiding payouts on claims. To protect your rights in a settlement, our Portland car accident attorney recommends following these tips:
1. Gather the evidence needed in filing a claim.
Police reports, witness statements, surveillance footage from nearby stores or traffic lights, and videos or photos you take at the action scene provide important evidence in filing a claim.
2. Get a firm diagnosis for your injuries and prognosis for recovery.
Make sure to get a firm diagnosis of your injuries from your doctor, along with a prognosis for recovery. Broken bones and soft tissue injuries could take months to heal while injuries to the head, back, neck, or spinal cord could result in long-term disabilities.
3. Substantiate financial costs.
Get an estimate on the damage to your vehicle and the cost of repairs. Find out the blue book value of your car and what a comparable replacement might cost.
4. Avoid saying too much to insurance representatives.
Be aware that anything you say to insurance representatives can and will be used against you. Avoid speculating on the cause of your accident, downplaying your injuries, or admitting liability.
5. Avoid accepting any immediate settlement offers.
Insurance representatives may surprise you with an immediate payout offer. Unfortunately, the amount is likely to be far less than what you deserve. Before accepting any offers or signing any documents, speak with our Portland car accident attorney first. .
Discuss Your Options With Our Portland Car Accident Attorney
As experienced Portland car accident attorneys, the Johnston Law Firm P.C. can help ensure you get the maximum amount you are entitled to in any insurance settlements. If your claim is denied or disputed, we can guide you in taking the at-fault driver to court. To discuss your options, give us a call at (503) 546-3167 or contact our office online to schedule a consultation.