A serious car crash in Salem can leave you with grave injuries and significant losses. If the accident happened because of something like road conditions or weather, you can expect to get a decent compensation from your insurer. What if another driver was at fault? Oregon is a fault state, so you can file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurer. That may sound easy on paper, but in the real world, getting a fair compensation from an insurance company is always thorny. The question is – Should you hire a Salem Oregon personal injury lawyer for your case? Below are some facts worth knowing.
Know your injuries and losses
If you have sustained minor injuries and expect to get back to work within a couple of days, you can easily deal with the insurance claim on your own. In fact, you can choose to file a claim with your own insurer. However, car accidents often result in injuries that only show up weeks later. If the injuries are related to back, spine, brain, or neck, the recovery time can be a lot longer. Hire an attorney if you believe that your injuries are severe, or when you have sustained huge losses in vehicle damage.
The modified comparative negligence rule
If you had part role in causing the accident, this can significantly impact the settlement. Oregon follows the modified comparative negligence rule. If a driver had a share of fault, their awarded compensation will be reduced by their fault in percentage. In case the fault of the injured driver is more than the other, they cannot recover anything at all. As you can guess, insurance company can use the modified comparative negligence rule against you. They may try to shift the blame, or try to pay a lower settlement. You need an attorney to handle the negotiation and case.
You have limited time
The statute of limitations in Oregon allows three years, from the accident date, to file a personal injury lawsuit against the other party. If you don’t act in time, your case will be dismissed by the court. Hire an accident lawyer, so that you can use the time effectively to bolster the case. The evidence and info immediately after an accident can help in filing a lawsuit later, if the matter cannot be resolved through negotiation.
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