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Passenger Injury – Car Accident Insurance Claims

Passenger Injury Car Accident Claims

Car Accident Injury Attorneys – Hillsboro, Beaverton, and Portland OR

Passenger injury car accident claims are known as “third party” claims because they are filed against an insurance policy/company not owned by the plaintiff. If you were a passenger, it can make the claim a bit smoother since the issue of liability is not usually in play since you were not the driver. Liability will always be put on one of the drivers. If you were a passenger of an auto accident in which the driver was at fault and hit some other car and you were hurt, then the driver would likely be found liable.

Generally, as a passenger injured in a car accident, you are rightfully entitled to compensation for medical bills and pain and suffering. Read further for more information on passenger auto injury claims.

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When filing a passenger injury claim, and liability is not obvious, the plaintiff will make the claim against both drivers in a two vehicle accident. However, if liability for the accident is evident then the passenger would only file a claim against the negligent party. If liability is determined to fall on both of the drivers, then the injured passenger would try to recover compensation from both insurance policies.

The amount of compensation awarded depends on many factors, including the extent of the injury, who is determined to be liable, and the size of the insurance policy of the at fault party. Even if your claim is worth more than the at fault party’s insurance policy, you will only get as much as the policy itself is worth if the at fault driver has no other assets to pursue.

Passenger Injury Claim Considerations

In the case that multiple passengers are injured in an accident, all of those injured will be filing against the same at fault policy. This means that with more people injured, there may be less money available to compensate everyone fairly. If you are involved in a car accident in which multiple passengers were injured, chances are you may get less than you deserve.

No matter what your situation, you should always consult an experienced car accident attorney to assist you in getting what you deserve.

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What to do in the event of a car accident in Oregon

BE PREPARED BEFORE AN CAR ACCIDENT EVER HAPPENScar accident oregon attorney hillsboro beaverton

No one can predict when an accident might occur, so it’s important to plan ahead. Always carry your insurance card, drivers license and vehicle registration form. The scene of an accident or a traffic stop can be chaotic and very stressful.  Keep required documents readily accessible and check them on a regular basis to make sure nothing has expired. Read more

Pedestrian and Vehicle Related Accidents

The Dangers of Being a Pedestrianpedestrian and vehicle related accident sin portland oregon hillsboro or beaverton oregon

Vehicle & Pedestrian Accidents – Hit and Run Accidents

In a 2010 report published by the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration, 4,280 pedestrians were killed and an estimated 70,000 were injured in traffic crashes in the United States. On average, a pedestrian was killed every two hours and injured every eight minutes in traffic crashes. Read more

Car Accidents & Oregon Personal Injury Protection (PIP)

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How Does PIP Insurance Work?

According to the Oregon Department of Transportation, in 2012 there were 49,798 car accidents. Approximately half of the reported car accidents in 2012 resulted in non-fatal injury crashes with 39,085 persons injured as a result. The consequences from car accidents are many and they can result in physical injury, emotional distress, stress, pain, suffering, lost wages, medical bills and much more. Read more

Auto Insurance Independent Medical Exams

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Those who think our system is out of control should really look no further than the insurance company efforts to shaft their own insureds. It is common practice now for certain auto insurance companies to send their own insureds for “independent medical exams” after they have been hurt in auto crashes in order to cut off their treatment. Read more

Oregon Dog Bite Attorney

Oregon Dog Bite Attorney

Dog attacks and bites often can cause extreme personal injury, disfigurement and mental anguish for the victims of these attacks.  A dog owner who knows that their dog is likely or has a history of attacking people, or knows the dog could cause injury to a person, has a responsibility to properly restrain the dog at all times.  However, all too often these dog owners fail to responsibly control their animals ending in devastating results.

Proving Liability in Dog Bite CasesOregon dog bite attorney

Oregon has outdated laws regarding dog bites, and is considered a “One Bite Rule” state.  In Oregon, the owner of a dog is strictly liable for injuries caused by a dog “only if” the dog’s owner knows or has reason to believe the dog is dangerous.  The problem with this outdated law is the wording “only if”.  What this means is if a dog bites someone visiting a home, and the dog had no previous history of biting anyone, the dog’s owner technically isn’t legally liable for the damages caused by the animal.  This makes it tough in many dog bite cases in Oregon, but an experienced Oregon dog bite attorney will explore exceptions to the “One Bite Rule”, a few of which are outlined below:

  • The dog’s owner was negligent in restraining or preventing the attack
  • The dog trespassed onto private property when the attack occurred
  • The owners actions caused the dog to bite and attack

In Oregon it can be difficult for an attorney to prove that a dog’s owner knew in advance that the dog was dangerous.  Oregon’s law is more severe for owners of dogs with a prior history of attacks, in these types of cases, a dog’s owner can be held liable even if they took precautions to prevent the dog from attacking someone.

Oregon Dog Bite AttorneyChoosing an Experienced Dog Bite Attorney in Oregon

Coming to a successful closure on a dog bite case in Oregon can be an uphill battle.  Unfortunately there is no specific precedent that an attorney can use to show that a dog’s owner had enough prior knowledge in advance of a dog bite or attack to hold the owner liable for injuries caused.  Typically these types of cases are handled as they occur and largely left to a jury to decide the outcome.

In dog bite cases, most people will need the help of an experienced dog bite attorney to recover full damages caused by the attack.  Understanding Oregon’s “One Bite Rule” and how to successfully argue the case even if the dog’s owner had no reason to believe was dangerous is paramount to proving liability and ultimately securing a favorable verdict.

Free Oregon Dog Bite Attorney Consultations

If you or a loved one has been bitten or attacked by a dog in Oregon, The Law Offices of Matthew H. Kehoe offers free legal consultations to answer questions you may have regarding your injury.

For over 20 years, The Law Offices of Matthew H. Kehoe has successfully litigated many dog bite and attack cases.  Get expert help on your side, call and schedule your free consultation today.

Passenger Injury in Car Accidents – Oregon

Car Accident Injuries and Passenger Rights in Oregon

What if you’re a passenger in a vehicle, and your vehicle’s driver causes an accident with another driver?  Many people wonder who they can recoup damages from for injuries sustained during such an accident since you cannot legally sue the driver of the other vehicle since they were not at fault.  In instances such as this, the insurance company of the vehicle you were in may cover the costs of injuries, lost wages, pain and suffering and other damages.

Passengers in Oregon have the right to be compensated for injuries and damages sustained in accidents where they were not at fault.  Whether the passenger was in a car, truck, boat, or motorcycle, injured passengers have the right to pursue compensation from the insurance company of the vehicle operator and/or the right to recover damages directly from the operator of the vehicle.

As a passenger, what if the driver is a friend or family member?is it right to sue as a passenger in a car accident

Often times people will avoid trying to recover compensation for damages out of some sense of loyalty to their friends or family. In reality, the fact of the matter is that the injured party is not suing the friend or family member, but the insurance company that has been paid to insure the vehicle and its occupants. People often overlook the fact that insurance has been purchased to protect the assets of their friends or family, just like people purchase home insurance to protect from events such as a home fire.

What to do if you have been injured as a passenger in a vehicle?

Obviously the most important concern if you have been injured as a passenger in another person’s vehicle is to seek medical attention to assess the severity and extent of your injuries. If another vehicle was involved in the accident, make sure that the other driver’s information is recorded, as well as their vehicle and insurance information.

Using a cell phone with a camera or video capabilities is an excellent way to document the scene of an accident; you can read an earlier article on how to document the scene of a car accident using a cell phone.

Should you let your friend pay for your injuries out of pocket?

No. Anyone who has been around for awhile has heard of stories of letting people pay for damages caused in an accident out of pocket, rather than reporting the claim to the liable persons insurance company. The idea with this line of thinking is to allow the liable party to pay out of pocket for damages, thus keeping their insurance rates low.  More often than not these stories end negatively.  You may have injuries that take a long time to heal or require expensive medical imaging studies to determine the cause and no one wants to pay these out of pocket.  They also do not want to have to rely on a friend’s word to pay something that could run into the thousands of dollars.  This is what PIP or personal injury protection benefits are for.  PIP is the “no fault” medical coverage that all Oregon auto insurance policies must provide.

Oregon Law and reporting a Car Accident to DMV

In Oregon it is law that car accidents must be reported to the Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles if any of the following are true:

1)      Damage to the vehicle you were driving is over $1,500;

2)      Damage to any vehicle is over $1,500 and any vehicle is towed from the scene as a result of damages from this accident;

3)      Injury or death resulted from this accident; or

4)      Damages to any one person’s property other than a vehicle involved in this accident is over $1,500.

Taking a friend’s word that they will pay for your medical expenses, time lost from work and other damages is very risky. With the high costs of health care these days, lost wages stemming from the accident, time off work, and long term complications that may result from the accident, your friend may decide that they can’t pay in the future. Costs associated with even minor injuries can mount significantly over time, causing a great burden on all parties involved. Most times when you weigh the“perceived” rift of opening a claim with your friend’s insurance company versus the strain of asking them to cover your expenses over what could be months, or even years, the right decision is clear.

So, what should you do if you’ve been injured as a passenger?car accident settlement

If you or someone you know has been injured as a passenger in a vehicle, it is wise to contact an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible, especially if the driver of the vehicle you were in was at fault. The other driver’s insurance company and/or law firm will want to document the details of the accident quickly for their client. Securing a free consultation with an experienced attorney will let you know your rights up front, as well as recommended actions that should be taken to protect your rights and ensure that your needs are taken care of.

If an insurance adjuster contacts you before you have had a chance to meet with a qualified and experienced injury attorney, postpone giving a statement regarding the accident until you have met with a Personal Injury Attorney. Insurance adjusters will try and persuade you to give a statement quickly as they are trained to ask questions and get responses that will favor the insurance company. It is advisable to never give a statement, or answer any line of questioning from an insurance company without the knowledge or presence of your attorney.

Experienced Oregon Personal Injury Attorney

The Law Offices of Matthew H. Kehoe is experienced in dealing with insurance companies when it comes to injury cases.  For over 20 years, our firm has helped injury victims throughout Portland and all of Oregon. Our firm has proven that we have the experience and tenacity to aggressively pursue and obtain full compensation for injuries sustained by the fault of another.

We offer Free Consultations for injury cases, and all cases we accept are on a contingency fee basis, meaning we don’t get paid unless you win your case.

Call our office to set-up your Free Consultation today, and put our years of experience to work for you.