Car Accident And Personal Injury Lawyers
Personal, professional, and proven results for serious injury and car accident claims
Ritchie Reiersen Law – Personal Injury Attorneys in Portland, Oregon
Claims involving auto accidents accidents can be complicated and frustrating. Our car accident attorneys are familiar with Oregon law and can help you achieve the best possible outcome. As a result of fierce determination, we have helped our clients recover over $25 million in damages for injuries they received. At Ritchie Reiersen Law in Portland, our auto accident attorneys are dedicated to the needs of our clients.
We offer a free consultation to all prospective clients. This gives you the opportunity to ask questions while we provide honest feedback on your claim. At Ritchie Reiersen Law, we are staunch advocates for your rights. Call to meet with a Portland personal injury attorney today – (503) 549-6299.
Premier Auto Accident Attorneys in Portland, Oregon
When you find yourself injured after a car accident, life can feel overwhelming. In addition to dealing with transportation and medical challenges, insurance companies have mountains of paperwork for your claim. As a result of all of the demands being made, it is difficult to know what steps to take. However, a car accident attorney has the knowledge and skills to get you the results you need – without the stress on you!
Because the auto accident attorneys at Ritchie Reiersen Law understand the laws in Oregon, we will fiercely protect your rights. Not only will we treat you with compassion and respect, we will fight diligently to get you the compensation you deserve. Insurance companies hire lawyers and analysts and use tricky algorithms to protect their bottom line. In contrast, however, the personal injury attorneys at Ritchie Reiersen Law in Portland will approach each negotiation with your rights and needs as the central focus.
Contact us at (503) 549-6299 for a free consultation with our experienced car accident lawyers in Portland.
What To Do After An Auto Accident In Portland, Oregon
Take Care of Yourself
It is imperative that you receive the medical care that you are in need of. If you need to go to the hospital and be treated – go. If you need to see a chiropractor, or a physical therapist, or even just your primary care physician for a checkup – do those things. Timely medical attention helps prove that the injury you are dealing with is indeed a result of the accident.
Call the Police
Don’t be afraid to call the police, even if the accident seems small. Police reports have a lot of weight when it comes to assigning liability. Even though the other driver may admit fault at the scene, they can later change their mind. A police report can help prove what happened.
Insurance adjusters often attempt to decrease the compensation amount by claiming the accident was a low impact collision. The best way to prove otherwise is by taking pictures of your vehicle and the at-fault driver’s vehicle at the scene of the crime. It is also important to get witness statements.
Get as Much Information As You Can
The process of opening a claim and receiving the compensation you need will be made easier if you have all the information in one place. Before you leave the scene of the accident, get the following:
- Driver’s Information: Name, address, phone number, driver’s license info
- Driver’s Insurance: Take a picture of insurance card with policy number
- Driver’s Car: Get the license plate number and take pictures of the car
- Accident Details: Write down the facts surrounding the accident
- Witnesses: Get contact info for all witnesses and have them talk to police
- Police Reports: Get all police reports and accident records
Frequently Asked Questions
What Does a Personal Injury Attorney Do For Their Clients After a Car Accident?
The job of a personal injury attorney – sometimes called an auto accident attorney – is to successfully guide you through the claims process. We have the tools to help fully evaluate the damage caused by auto accidents; additionally we fight for your right to receive compensation for those damages. Your attorney will make sure the medical bills get paid, while helping to ensure that you are seeing the right doctors and recovering from your injuries. Attorneys also deal with the insurance companies and handle the paperwork, taking that stress off of you. Ultimately your personal injury attorney will help reach a fair resolution for the claim once your medical needs have been met and treatment has been completed. Having a local personal injury attorney in Portland, Oregon can substantially increase your likelihood of being properly compensated after your auto accident.
Why Would I Want an Attorney After My Auto Accident?
Having a personal injury attorney after your car accident will not only increase the likelihood of a fair and full compensation, but it is also much more convenient than trying to do it on your own. Most people have a life – between work, family, and community responsibilities, it is difficult to find the time to fully apply yourself to dealing with the insurance company in a way that will ensure they give you fair consideration. A personal injury attorney, on the other hand, knows how to navigate through the hoops the insurance requires, and can do so efficiently and successfully. Having a personal injury attorney after your car accident will not only increase the likelihood of a fair and full compensation, but it is also much more convenient than trying to do it on your own. Most people have a life – between work, family, and community responsibilities, it is difficult to find the time to fully apply yourself to dealing with the insurance company in a way that will ensure they give you fair consideration. A personal injury attorney, on the other hand, knows how to navigate through the hoops the insurance requires, and can do so efficiently and successfully.
Experienced auto accident attorneys deal with car accidents every day. Not only do they know what is a fair offer from insurance, but an experienced auto accident attorney knows and anticipates the tactics that the insurance system will use to try to decrease your settlement. You certainly do not have to have an attorney helping you after a car accident, just like you do not have to have a mechanic to fix your car. It can, however, make your life easier – and in a lot of cases you get a significantly better outcome with an attorney on your side. If you have been in a car accident in Portland, Oregon and you want to receive fair consideration from insurance, consider getting a personal injury attorney on your side – you don’t have to fight on your own.Experienced auto accident attorneys deal with car accidents every day and that is all they live and breathe. They know what is a fair offer and how to get the medical bills paid. You certainly do not have to have an attorney, just like you do not have to have a mechanic to fix your car. It just makes your life easier and in a lot of cases you get a lot better outcome. If you have been in a car accident in Kennewick, WA you should at least consider getting a personal injury attorney on your side.
How Much Does it Cost to Get a Personal Injury Attorney?
Almost all personal injury attorneys work on what is called a contingent fee. Put simply, this means they do not get paid unless they win the case for you and you agree to accept the terms of the settlement. Additionally, most personal injury attorneys offer a free, no-pressure consultation to answer your questions. Rather than requiring a large amount of money up front and charging an hourly rate for their services, most personal injury attorneys have found the contingency fee system serves their clients better. When an individual is injured and suffering, the last thing an attorney wants to do is add increased financial stress on a client. Almost all personal injury attorneys work on what is called a contingent fee. Put simply, this means they do not get paid unless they win the case for you and you agree to accept the terms of the settlement. Additionally, most personal injury attorneys offer a free, no-pressure consultation to answer your questions. Rather than requiring a large amount of money up front and charging an hourly rate for their services, most personal injury attorneys have found the contingency fee system serves their clients better. When an individual is injured and suffering, the last thing an attorney wants to do is add increased financial stress on a client.
Contingent fees are somewhat risk-free in the sense that you pay nothing up front and the attorney only gets paid if you agree to accept a settlement offer. The attorney’s fee is typically thirty-three percent of the settlement. If you have questions regarding specific costs of personal injury attorneys in Portland, Oregon set up a free consultation and get those questions answered.
What to do After an Auto Accident?
TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF:
After an accident there are a lot of things going on, but most importantly, take care of yourself. If you need to go to the hospital, go. If you need an ambulance, get an ambulance. If you need to see the chiropractor, physical therapist, family doctor or whatever medical provider you need, go. Do not wait. The longer you wait, the longer you will suffer. Also, the longer you wait, the more “ammunition” the insurance company has to try to discredit your injuries.
CALL THE POLICE:
Always call the police. Police officers have a lot of weight in deciding liability. Additionally, people seem nice and cooperative initially and often even admit fault to you; however, their stories often change. This creates the “he said, she said” scenario that will likely result in you having to pay your own expenses and pay for your own medical bills even though the accident was no fault of your own.
The number one comment I hear from every insurance adjuster as I try to settle claims is “this is a low impact accident.” One of the easiest ways to mitigate that claim is to show pictures of the damaged vehicle. It is also very helpful to take pictures of the other person’s vehicle as well as pictures of the scene of the accident in case the person who hit you tries to deny liability later. Also, get statements from all witnesses as this will validate the facts of the accident.
How Can I Get My Car Repaired After a Car Accident?
The first step to take is to call your insurance company and open a claim with them. You will also likely need to open a claim with the other person’s insurance company. You will need to take your car to a professional auto body shop in order to have them assess the damage and put together an estimate. There are many very good auto body shops in the Portland, Oregon area that are experienced with handling insurance claims. It is helpful to ask friends and family members for recommendations. Because auto accident attorneys work with many different businesses in the area, your attorney can also give you a strong recommendation for a reliable auto body shop.
Choosing an Auto Body Shop After Your Car Accident
After your car accident the insurance company will likely try to direct you to one of their “preferred” shops. However, do not be fooled into thinking that is where you have to take your car. There are a lot of auto body shops in the Portland area who are very experienced handling vehicles after a car accident. Ultimately you have the right to choose any auto repair shop you want. There are many reasons why it may be wise to choose a shop that is not “preferred” by your insurance company; your attorney can help you decide how to best handle this decision.
How to Get a Rental Car after a Car Accident
If you are unable to use your vehicle due to an accident, the negligent driver is required to either pay for a rental car or pay you for the loss of use of your vehicle. The unfortunate news is that they do not have to rent you a car equivalent to your vehicle; however, that is usually something that you or your attorney can negotiate. An experienced car accident attorney in Portland, Oregon can help direct you in not only getting a temporary rental car, but also getting your car fixed or replaced.
How Do I Open a Claim with an Insurance Company After an Auto Accident?
The initial step in getting the insurance companies to take action is to open a claim. This can be as simple as calling them and letting them know what happened. Be aware that this usually also requires a lot more information including multiple phone calls, emails, faxes, etc. It is likely that you will have to open a claim with both your insurance company as well as with the other insurance companies involved. The initial step in getting the insurance companies to take action is to open a claim. This can be as simple as calling them and letting them know what happened. Be aware that this usually also requires a lot more information including multiple phone calls, emails, faxes, etc. It is likely that you will have to open a claim with both your insurance company as well as with the other insurance companies involved.
Initially all insurance companies will want to ask you questions about the accident in order to open the claim and figure out liability. During these initial conversations the insurance companies will ask you many questions both about the car accident and about your injuries. Often it is very beneficial to do these recorded statements in the presence of your attorney. Even if it is not your fault, it is almost always beneficial to open a claim with your insurance as well as the at-fault driver’s insurance. Most personal injury attorneys in Portland, Oregon will actually open the claim for you and walk you through the entire process.
Should I Accept the Settlement Offer from the Insurance After My Car Accident?
Insurance companies often try to communicate with you after your car accident to try to get you to settle your claim. Oftentimes this occurs very early in the claim, and well before you may even have had the opportunity to assess the full extent of your injuries. We strongly advise you not accept any offers until you know for certain that the offer is fair. An experienced car accident attorney deals with settlements daily and is likely your best source in figuring out if the settlement is fair or not. There are many personal injury attorneys in the Portland, Oregon area who are experienced in accepting and negotiating offers and who will sit down with you for free to answer your questions.
How Do I Get Medical Treatment After I Am Injured in a Car Accident?
After a car accident, especially if you are injured, your physical recovery is your top priority. Although it is nice to get a little bit of money from a settlement after a car accident, no amount of money is worth it if you do not have your health. If you are hurting after your car accident – even if you think it will go away – seek medical treatment.
Do not wait to receive medical treatment:
It is important to seek medical treatment right away because the only way to prove that your injury is a result of the accident is by providing medical records documenting such.
Get the Right Team of Doctors:
Having the right doctors on your team will make a huge difference in your case. Although most doctors are more than competent to treat you for your injuries, there is a huge difference in how different doctors document their notes – and those notes are what prove the severity of your injuries. Attorneys are not doctors, but they work with them every day. Experienced personal injury attorneys know which doctors in the Portland area are not only going to help you get better, but also which ones work better with car insurance.
How Do I Pay for Medical Treatment After a Car Accident?
There are many ways to pay for medical treatment after an auto accident. Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage is generally $10,000, $35,000, or $50,000 in medical coverage and PIP pays the medical bills up front. Secondly, health insurance can also pay for your medical bills – even if they are related to an accident. Thirdly, if you do not have PIP or health insurance, there are also some medical providers who will provide medical treatment on condition that the client, and most likely the client’s attorney, sign a lien. If you have questions about how to pay for medical bills after your car accident, consult with a local personal injury attorney in Portland, Oregon as they can explain all of your options and ensure that your medical bills get paid.
How Do I Get Paid If I Can’t Work After A Car Accident?
A huge complication with getting in a car accident and being injured is that even menial tasks become hard. This means that working your regular job can quickly become an impossibility. To ensure you will be reimbursed for lost wages after a car accident, there are a few things you should do. First, get a doctor’s note excusing you from work. Second, it is your responsibility to prove actual wage loss. The only way to prove that you have missed work is to prove that you actually did work in the first place. Finally, check your insurance coverage – some policies have coverage that can pay you a portion of wage loss prior to settlement. If you do not have wage loss coverage, you likely will not be compensated until the case resolves.
We strongly encourage anyone who has a wage loss claim due to injuries caused by a car accident to consult with a personal injury attorney in Portland, Oregon. Not only do you have the right to be compensated for your medical expenses, but you should also be reimbursed for your lost wages due to the injury from the accident. An experienced auto accident attorney will fight to protect your rights and ensure you are being treated fairly.
When Should I Settle My Car Accident Claim?
It is very important to know that this is your case and it is your right to close your claim at any time. However, there are certainly things to consider before closing your case. These factors include the status of your injuries, statute of limitations, settlement offers, and ultimately your overall well-being.
Still Injured? Don’t be talked into closing too early:
One of the biggest regrets we see people make is accepting a settlement offer when they are still suffering. Once the claim is closed, the insurance company is no longer responsible for any additional medical bills – even if the injuries are a direct result of the accident. While it feels like it might take a long time, make sure you have completed your medical treatment before you accept any settlement offers or close your claim. This will help ensure you are fully compensated for the injuries you sustained.
Statute of Limitations:
Car accident cases have a limited time that the claim will remain open. If the settlement is not accepted – or a lawsuit is not filed – on or before that date, the claim becomes null and you lose out on any settlement the insurance may owe you. Each state has its own statute period, so it is important to understand and close your case or file a lawsuit prior to that date. Oregon and many other states only have a two year window for settling your claim; in Washington state, most car accidents have a three year time period. It is wise to consult a personal injury attorney in your local Portland, Oregon area who is experienced handling car accident claims to make sure you don’t lose out on the opportunity to be compensated for your suffering.
Process of Closing Your Claim:
Once you have decided that you want to close your claim there are a couple of things that happen. The car insurance company for the responsible party will need to acquire a copy of the medical bills and records in order to evaluate your claim. If you have a car accident attorney, the attorney will usually acquire these records and put together what is called a demand packet outlining all medical bills, out-of-pocket expenses, and wage loss this accident has caused.
The next step is typically having the insurance company giving you an offer as to how much they are willing to pay to settle your claim. Unfortunately, it is the insurance company’s job as a for-profit business to pay as little as they can when settling a claim. It truly is difficult to put a value on claims, as each situation and outcome is unique. This is one of the primary reasons why having a personal injury attorney who is experienced settling car accidents in your local Portland, Oregon area is vital.
If you are unable to get an acceptable offer from the insurance company, your options are very limited; however, litigation is often your best option. This includes arbitrations, mediations and also the traditional “take them to the court house.” It is important to note that just because a lawsuit is filed, it doesn’t necessarily mean you are going to have to sit in front of a judge. The insurance company can make new settlement offers at any point.
How Do I Choose an Attorney After a Car Accident?
Choosing the right attorney after your car accident is crucial. Like any profession, there are a lot of really good personal injury attorneys in Portland, Oregon – and there are some that are not quite as experienced. You are likely going to be in better hands with an attorney who focuses primarily on auto accident cases to resolve your car accident, instead of someone who spends ninety percent of their time helping people get divorced.
Also, remember your attorney and her office staff are all on your team. You are going to be dealing with the attorney’s paralegals a lot, probably even more than you do with the attorney, so you need to make sure that you not only trust your attorney but also their staff. One of the best things to do is ask for referrals. Ask your doctor, family, coworkers, and your friends. Read online reviews and study their website. However, there really is no better way to decide if you will work well together than to talk to them either by phone or in person.
Experience matters – but do not be fooled into thinking that the number of years a person has been an attorney means they have a lot of experience. Find out how many auto accidents they have represented and dig into their successes. Look at your attorney’s biography and be sure that he is as passionate about your case as you are. Find an attorney who not only loves to help people, but who finds joy in their daily work. This is an attorney who will fight to protect your rights and help you on the road to recovery.
Car Accident Question Videos
Ritchie Reiersen Auto Accident Lawyers Are Experienced in Many Types of Car Crash Cases, Including:
What Can We Do For You?
The personal injury attorneys at Ritchie Reiersen Law have helped hundreds of car accident victims with their claims. As your local car accident lawyer, Ritchie Reiersen Law handles the medical bills, insurance companies, and all legal paperwork. While we take care of the work, you focus on healing. Most importantly, are dedicated to ensure you get a fair settlement. If you have been injured in an auto accident, call to meet with a personal injury lawyer in Portland, Oregon for your free consultation at (503) 549-6299.
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Figuring out the best course of action after a car accident can be intimidating. Without taking the correct steps to protect your rights, you could miss out on a significant sum of money. Our attorneys will go the extra mile to secure the maximum compensation you deserve. Get our free e-book on car accidents. You’ll learn everything you need to know about choosing the right auto injury attorney, dealing with insurance issues, getting medical coverage and more. To discuss the specifics of your case during a free consultation, get in touch with our office.