Automobile (car) Accidents (crashes)
We have many names for the same thing: car accident, car crash, auto accident, truck crash, auto collision, accident, crash, automobile collision, etc. But, it all means the same thing.
Now, if you are involved in an accident, then everything starts to be different. First, if you are injured, you need to seek treatment if you did not already. Secondly, then you have to look at who is going to pay for everything, from the medical bills, to the car damage, to your lost income, to even replacing your child’s car seat.
Normally, this is where insurance comes into play, assuming everyone involved had adequate auto insurance. If you have comprehensive insurance coverage, then you can go through your own insurance company to fix your car (or replace it if it is a total loss), or you can file a claim with the other driver’s insurance company if the accident was the other driver’s fault.
Everyone also then looks to their own insurance company to pay for their medical bills via personal injury protection (PIP). PIP is required in Oregon, but the minimum limits are only $15,000. Not much given the costs of healthcare, so it is often a wise choice to raise that minimum if you can afford to do so. PIP will also cover some lost income, but it is limited.
Once you have your car fixed and you are healed, then the question becomes, who is going to pay for any other damages, for any medical bills beyond the PIP limit, and for the pain and suffering and inconvenience of dealing with the accident (this assumes the accident was not your fault). This is where you go after the other driver and their insurance company, assuming they have enough insurance.
If they do not have enough insurance, then you might get some amount from the other driver, and then seek more from your own insurance through what is called underinsurance. If the other driver had no insurance at all, then you use your uninsured motorist coverage from your own insurance carrier.
Confused yet? You should be, as there are a lot of moving parts, and you likely do not deal with these sorts of issues every day. Meanwhile, the insurance adjuster does, and they will use that to their advantage, even those claims adjusters who work for your own insurance company. You see, their goal is to pay as little as possible, not to pay you as much as possible. In fact, they will stall and try to drag out the claim as long as they can, with the hope that eventually you give up or miss the statute of limitations. Inertia is on their side, since if even only one percent of people gives up, that is a win for them.
Do not let them win. Hire an attorney who knows how the system works to guide you through the process so that you get as much as you deserve. Claims adjusters know you do not know how to work the system and it shows in the settlements they make with unrepresented people as compared to those injured people who hire an attorney.
They will even try to settle the claim within a week or so of the accident to take advantage of you by offering you what sounds like good money. They do this to take advantage of you, as you do not even know what your injuries are yet, let alone how long and how much it will take to get back to normal.
And while the above seems like a lot to think about, this is only the tip of the iceberg of all of the pieces of knowledge you need to navigate your case to a successful conclusion. Again, unless you deal with this day in and day out, you simply are not equipped to handle your own case and expect to get a good settlement.
Just like you can sell your house on your own, you tend to get a better price for it if you hire a professional. Not only that, but it saves you time, and time is money. Plus, even if you hire an attorney, the value gained almost always far outweighs what you have to pay the attorney when your case settles.
So call Stevens & Legal today for a free consultation. We will give you our honest opinion as to what type of case you have, and what steps to take, even if you do not retain us.
Motorcycle accidents are basically the same as any other car accident. Of course the injures tend to be more severe for the motorcyclist, but the rest of the process is mostly the same.
The one big difference though, is that many auto policies do not include PIP on motorcycles. This means, that if you are injured, you may have to pay for all of your bills yourself (or through your health insurance). You might want to check your policy now, and add PIP coverage if you ride.
What this means is not accidents involving pick-up trucks, but commercial vehicles. When dealing with commercial vehicles, there are extra considerations involved. Foremost is that physics comes into play, in that the damages and injures from being hit by a semi will be more severe.
Other than more forceful impacts, you then get into a variety of legal issues that will determine if the truck driver was at fault, or maybe their employer did something wrong too. You also get into issues regarding special laws many truck drivers have to follow, which usually applies to the interstate drivers. These include that Federal DOT laws can require log books be kept, special markings on the sides of the truck, restrictions on how much the driver can work, as well as annual medical examinations.
As with anything, it is best to find an attorney who has this sort of experience. Stevens & Legal has this experience, from simple fender-benders to wrongful death.
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