How Car Accidents Can Change Your Life
In the blink of an eye, your whole world can be turned upside down. When a car crash occurs, you may experience tens of thousands of dollars of damages before you really even understand what’s happening. When a car accident is especially severe, it can change the course of your life long-term, affecting everything from relationships to education, recreation and hobbies to employment, and more.
If you have been in an auto accident, our lawyers will aggressively advocate for your right to compensation for the harm you’ve suffered. We know that a car accident can reach into all corners of your life, affecting your:
- Finances. A car crash can be a very expensive thing, especially when a crash is severe. Our lawyers will advocate for your right to compensation for the full value of damages to your vehicle, medical expenses, lost wages, and more.
- Physical and psychological wellbeing. Not only will you suffer financial harm after a crash, but you’ll also likely suffer physical and psychological harm, too. A car crash can result in painful and debilitating injuries, such as spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, internal injuries, soft tissue injuries, bone fractures, and more. Sometimes, injuries are not only disabling, but also disfiguring. Injuries and the trauma of a crash can also lead to psychological harm, such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and anxiety.
- Relationships, recreation, and future opportunities. The combined toll on one’s finances, physical health, and psychological wellbeing often mean that relationships are damaged, recreation and extracurricular activities are limited, and future opportunities are stymied.
Who Pays for Damages After a Crash?
In Oregon, the at fault party who causes a crash is responsible for paying for it. That means that if your accident was caused by another driver’s negligence–such as speeding, failing to yield, drinking while driving, driving while distracted, etc.–you can file personal injury claims for damages directly against that at-fault party’s insurance, or you can file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver. Typically, insurance claims are resolved via negotiations with insurance companies out of court.
Regardless of fault, you should also be able to turn to your own insurance company for some compensation via your personal injury protection (PIP) coverage, which is mandated in our state. If the other driver was at fault for the crash and doesn’t have insurance or doesn’t have enough insurance, you can bring forth a claim against your policy’s underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage. If negotiations with an insurance firm are unsuccessful, you may file a lawsuit against the party responsible for your damages.
Note that while most car accidents are caused by drivers’ negligence, some car accidents are the result of dangerous road conditions, defective vehicles or vehicle parts, and more. You bring forth a claim against any party who’s responsible for your crash, not just another driver.
If you are not sure if your individual car accident cases fir any of these situations, you can give our personal injury lawyers a call and we will give you a free consultation and share exactly what we can do to help get you your fair compensation!
Personal Injury Protection Law in Gresham Oregon
Oregon is a very unique state when it comes to auto insurance. Some states in the country follow no-fault auto insurance laws. In these states, drivers must file a claim with their own insurance company after an accident. This allows them to collect compensation right away after an accident, regardless of who was at fault or even if the insured caused the accident. However, in no-fault states, it is not usually possible to file a lawsuit against a negligent driver unless the victim suffered extremely serious injuries.
Other states follow a strictly tort model for auto insurance and car accidents. In these states, drivers must file a lawsuit against the at-fault party. They must also prove that the driver acted negligently and caused the accident that resulted in serious injury. Through a successful lawsuit, victims can recover more than they typically can in no-fault benefits.
Oregon follows a combination of tort and no-fault laws. The law requires drivers to purchase personal injury protection (PIP) when they purchase their auto insurance policy. This means there are benefits available shortly after the accident that can help the driver pay for their medical expenses. However, Oregon law also allows accident victims to file a lawsuit against negligent drivers to recover their remaining losses. Under these laws, accident victims get the best of both worlds because they can claim compensation right away and still pursue additional damages.
Call Our Gresham Car Accident lawyers Today
At the office of the Johnston Law Firm, our Gresham car accident attorneys know how serious car accidents are. We also know how much support you need in the aftermath of a crash, especially when it comes to navigating the claims process. As you recover, please reach out to our Gresham car accident attorneys for the support and counsel that you need. We will handle your claim from start to finish, and will always put your best interests first. Please call our law firm at (503) 546-3167 today for your consultation with our team.
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