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Victims In Keizer and Throughout All Of Oregon
Accidents happen all the time in Keizer. It is not unusual to see wrecked cars on the side of the road or motorists stopped in a parking lot because they hit each other. Other residents are hurt stepping into stores, government buildings, or even on public sidewalks, while some people are hurt by substandard medical care.
If you’ve been injured in an accident, you probably have many questions. An experienced Keizer personal injury lawyer at Johnston Law Firm, P.C. has answers. We can discuss your legal options, including whether to file a personal injury lawsuit. This is a stressful time, but legal help is available. Please contact us to speak with a Keizer personal injury lawyer.
About Johnston Law Firm
Cases We Handle
Although accidents are unintentional, someone may still be at fault. This means their lack of care resulted in the accident which hurt you. Our firm has helped people injured in many types of personal injury accidents, including:
- Motor vehicle crashes which injure motorists, pedestrians, motorcyclists, or bicyclists.
- Slip and falls caused by a hazard on the floor or ground, such as ice, snow, worn carpeting, trash, or condensation.
- Products liability cases, when defective products fail to work as expected and injure consumers or bystanders.
- Premises liability accidents, where a visitor is injured by a defect or hazard on public or private property.
- Medical malpractice, when medical professionals fail to follow the correct standard of care and compromise patient health.
- Wrongful death, where accidents have fatal consequences.
Most personal injury cases are brought for negligence. Legally, this is the failure to use reasonable care under the circumstances. It is very fact specific. What is negligent behavior in one situation might not qualify as negligence in others.
A lawyer can analyze the facts and determine whether the defendant’s conduct rises to this level. For example, a motorist who breaks a traffic safety law is almost always negligent. But a motorist who is driving under the speed limit could still fail to use reasonable care.
Oregon also recognizes comparative fault. Under this law, a victim can seek compensation provided their fault was “not greater” than the fault of the defendants. Put simply, you can be up to 50% responsible but not over. If you were 51% at fault, you wouldn’t be able to sue.
Accident victims need compensation. Typically, you can sue the person whose negligence injured you, and request compensation to cover damages, like medical bills or lost income.
The personal injury process has several stages:
- Investigation into what happened. This investigation is necessary to uncover fault. An attorney can review the police report and possibly interview witnesses.
- Insurance claim. The defendant might have insurance, such as a driver carrying required liability insurance. An insurance claim might require months of back-and-forth negotiation.
- Mediation. All parties involved in an accident can meet with a mediator to discuss the case. If successful, parties can draft a settlement agreement.
- Trial. When cases can’t settle, each side will head into court to present their case to a jury.
Every case is different, and some cases settle faster than others. Helpfully, most cases settle without any need for a trial.
Don’t miss out on these common personal injury mistakes.
Oregon has deadlines that set the maximum amount of time an accident victim has to sue. These deadlines are found in various statutes of limitations. The deadline depends on the type of claim you bring:
- Negligence action for personal injuries—Two years from the day of the injury
- Medical malpractice—Two years from the day you were injured or the date your injuries were reasonably discovered
- Wrongful death—Three years from the date of the injury which leads to death
Ideally, accident victims will quickly meet with an attorney to review their case. It is possible to lose the ability to sue if you wait too long—even a day over the deadline. An attorney can quickly get a lawsuit filed if necessary in an appropriate court.
Law Firm Can Help
Some accident victims wonder if they really need to hire a lawyer. Why not just negotiate a settlement on your own? We recommend hiring an attorney if any of the following apply to your case:
- You suffered serious injuries. The greater the severity, the more money in play. An insurance company will aggressively defend itself if you are seeking a large sum of money.
- Fault is in dispute. An attorney is a big help with collecting evidence to establish how accidents take place.
- You receive a lowball offer. Insurance adjusters are happy to see someone without a lawyer. They might make a very low offer, and an attorney can help negotiate more favorable compensation.
Do not hesitate to reach out even if you think you can’t afford a lawyer. Our team represents clients on a contingency fee basis. You won’t have to pay legal fees out of pocket unless we win your case. Consequently, you get a seasoned legal advocate in your corner for no upfront cost. We only collect a fee if we win your case.
Compensation for personal injury cases is designed to make up for out-of-pocket and other losses. A victim can seek money for:
- Medical care
- Prescription medication
- Future medical services
- Lost income
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
The amount you receive can be reduced by several factors, one of which is your comparative fault. If you are 33% to blame, you will get only 67% of what you otherwise might receive. As mentioned above, if you are 51% to blame or more, you will receive nothing.
Personal Injury (FAQS)
Accident victims often don’t know where to turn or who they can trust. Helpfully, we answer some of the more common questions below.
Negligence is the failure to act as a reasonably prudent person would when you have a duty to do so. There are some obvious duties, such as a duty to follow traffic safety rules, or to warn someone of a hazard which they can’t see when they come on your property.
Oregon has laws that lay out the maximum amount of time. Generally, someone with personal injuries gets two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. If someone died, then you have three years from the accident which caused death to file. You certainly don’t want to go over the deadline. If you do, you cannot receive any compensation.
Not all accidents are black and white. Sometimes, both sides were negligent. For example, you might have slipped on a snowy sidewalk because a store didn’t shovel it after a storm. At the same time, you were scrolling through messages on your phone and didn’t check where you were walking. In this example, both sides are partially at fault for the accident. Under Oregon law, you can still sue for injuries if you were 50% or less at fault.
There are definite advantages. A lawyer can quickly identify what evidence you need. This is very complicated, especially in medical malpractice or truck accident cases. The evidence might be hard for a lay person to find. An experienced attorney, however, can have the defendant preserve relevant evidence for review later.
A lawyer is also an excellent negotiator. Without a lawyer, your odds of receiving a fair settlement go way down. Some insurers love nothing more than to see a badly injured claimant without a lawyer.
An experienced attorney is also a must if your case goes to trial. Trying to learn civil procedure or the rules of evidence is an exhausting process. Let an attorney present your case.
Contact Us for a FREE Consultation
– Michelle E.
Mr. Johnston and his firm were incredibly thorough in getting us a fair settlement from our insurance company with little to no pressure. We really appreciated having someone who truly cared about us every step of the way. I would highly recommend the Johnston Law Firm to anyone in need of personal injury representation.
Schedule a Free Case Evaluation
To help accident victims better understand their rights, our firm offers confidential and free consultations. We can discuss what happened and how your injuries have limited your life. Johnston Law Firm is committed to protecting the wellbeing of our clients, and we will do everything possible to secure a favorable settlement for your injuries. Contact us to schedule a time to talk.
Contact Us for a FREE Consultation
If you have been seriously injured at no fault of your own, please contact us using the form.
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