Calculating Damages After a Crash
Being involved in a serious crash can be completely overwhelming. In the blink of an eye, you may suffer physical, emotional, and financial losses that set you back and require serious adaptation. While it can be very difficult to think about, understanding the value of these losses is very important. Our McMinnville car accident lawyer can assist you by calculating the value of your economic and noneconomic damages, including damages related to medical expenses, lost wages, property damage costs, pain and suffering, and emotional distress. After our law firm has calculated your damages, we can advocate for you in negotiations with the insurance adjuster to improve your chances of being offered a settlement that’s fair.
Filing Your McMinnville Car Accident Claim
All drivers in Oregon are required to carry three types of insurance:
- Liability insurance, which provides coverage when a policyholder causes an accident that results in damages to others;
- Personal injury protection (PIP) insurance, which covers medical expenses of the policyholder regardless of fault; and
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance, which offers coverage to the policyholder in the event that the at-fault driver doesn’t have insurance coverage or doesn’t have enough insurance coverage.
If you are at-fault for the accident, you can still seek compensation via your PIP coverage; if you are not at fault for the accident, you will bring forth a claim against the other driver’s liability insurance policy or your own insurance policy if the other driver isn’t covered.
You also have the right to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. In order to win a lawsuit, you would need to prove that the other driver owed a duty of care to you, breached the duty of care, and that the driver’s breach of duty of care (negligence) was the proximate cause of your accident and any damages you’ve suffered.
Steps to Take as Soon as Possible
By acting quickly after a crash, you can protect your right to compensation. While it can be very challenging to do for a number of reasons–including logistical reasons, physical disabilities, emotional pain, or a lack of knowledge–there are certain steps that we recommend engaging in as soon as possible:
- Report the accident. If you are physically able to do so, you should report your car accident while you are still at the scene of the accident. Be sure to request a copy of the police report.
- Call your insurer. Don’t give the insurance company cause to deny your claim based on your failure to report within a reasonable amount of time – call your insurer immediately.
- Get medical attention. One of the biggest mistakes a car accident victim can make is failing to get timely medical care. If you don’t get medical care and you later develop injuries that require treatment, your insurer will argue that the injuries aren’t related to the car accident.
- Gather evidence. Perhaps the most challenging thing to do on your own, gathering evidence after a crash that proves the fault of the other driver is critical. If you can, take pictures of the scene, talk to eyewitnesses, and make notes about how the crash happened. An attorney can assist you in this process.
- Call a lawyer. It can be nearly impossible to thoroughly gather evidence, accurately file a claim, and correctly calculate your damages on your own, especially if you are seriously injured. Calling an attorney may improve the outcome of your claim.
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