trial and civil litigation


Should You Settle Your Car Accident Claim With Insurers?

By Marc A. Johnston, posted in Car Accidents on August 3, 2020

Car accidents in Portland can leave you suffering serious personal injuries. These can prevent you from working while resulting in a mountain of medical expenses. In many cases, reckless actions of other drivers on the road are to blame. Why should you have to pay for something that is not your fault? Automobile insurance coverage may cover some of your costs, but there are important considerations you need to be aware of before accepting a settlement. 

Tactics Insurance Companies Use In Downplaying Your Claim

Under Section 806.010 of the Oregon Revised Code, all drivers in the state are required to maintain a mandatory minimum amount of car insurance coverage. This helps to protect others on the road in the event of accidents in which they are to blame. While seeking compensation through an insurance settlement is often the first course of action after a car accident, it is important to be aware of tactics insurers use to downplay your claim. 

Insurance companies are multi-million dollar businesses and, as such, their bottom line is protecting profits. One of the ways they do this is by undervaluing claims. Common tactics they employ include: 

  • Disputing how the accident happened and who is to blame;
  • Disputing the property damages you suffer;
  • Disputing the severity of your injuries;
  • Disputing lost wages and other costs you are likely to incur, both now and in the years to come. 

Another common tactic insurers use is offering an immediate settlement. By approaching you before you have a chance to uncover the full extent of your injuries, they can get you to settle for far less than you deserve. 

Getting the Compensation You Need to Recover After a Car Accident

An additional problem in accepting insurance settlements is that even the maximum amount may not be enough to compensate you for your damages. Oregon Driver and Motor Vehicle Services (DMV) requires drivers to carry a minimum amount of $25,000 in coverage for bodily injuries and property damage. Even in relatively minor car accident cases, this is likely to cover only a portion of your costs, leaving you to pay out of pocket for the rest. 

Filing a personal injury lawsuit through the Multnomah County Civil Court against the at-fault driver is often a better option. Additional types of compensation available in this type of claim include: 

  • Reimbursement for current medical costs and any future treatment expenses you are likely to incur;
  • Coverage of current lost wages and future losses in income due to ongoing disabilities;
  • Compensation for pain, suffering, and any loss of enjoyment in life your car accident injuries result in;
  • Punitive damages, which is an additional amount designed to punish the at-fault driver for particularly reckless behavior. 

Let Us Help You Today

At the Johnston Law Firm P.C., we act as a strong ally on your side, helping you get the maximum amount for car accident injuries. To request a consultation, call (503) 546-3167 or contact our Portland car accident attorneys online today.

Marc Johnston
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