Eugene Car Accident Attorney

Nothing is more dreadful than getting into a car accident. Nobody ever plans on needing to contact a law firm and file a personal injury claim. When you must, it’s good to know that there are resources to help you find the help that you need easily and quickly.

1-800-Injured is a Lawyer & Medical Directory. Your search for a trusted attorney starts at our website, where you enter your name, email address, phone number, ZIP code and a message. You have access to thousands of lawyers in our network ready to help you. You can visit their websites, read reviews and learn more about each one online. 

A personal injury attorney may work independently or part of a large law firm. Regardless, they should be respected among other personal injury lawyers, a track record of successful multi-million dollar settlements and awards and access to helpful resources to help you win. Let an attorney do the work for you so that you can focus on your healing and recovery.

Car Crash

What to Do After a Car Accident in Eugene, OR

Eugene car accident lawyers say that personal injury cases start the moment of the car crash. Every step you take can affect whether you can get the maximum compensation possible for your serious injuries.

Call 911

First, switch your engine off and check on the other driver and any passengers in their vehicle. Move your car out of the way of traffic if you are blocking the road or at risk of further injury by oncoming vehicles. Call 911 to report any injuries, and so that police can arrive and generate a police report. Do not leave the accident scene. Get a safe distance away from the collision site if you smell toxic fumes or if there is any chance of the cars igniting.

What to Say

Exchange information with the other driver: name, address, email address, a valid phone number and insurance information. Ask witnesses of the car accident for their contact information, too. Do not talk about the car accident, take responsibility, blame the other driver or speculate on who is at fault. Anything you say can be used against you later on when you file your claim. In fact, after you have exchanged the requisite information, you are not obligated to talk to the other driver.

Capture Photos

Take photos and videos of the scene of the car accident to show exactly where the cars ended up. Capture as many clear photos or videos as possible using your phone, or ask a witness to capture them for you. When taking photos, you want to get as much footage as possible that tells a story of what happened. You should capture any nearby signs, like the posted speed limit and the street signs. You should take pictures of anything else that is nearby, like a bench or a crosswalk or a median. Take closeup photos of the damage to the cars, your injuries and the license plates. Videos capture the sounds as well as a panoramic view of the entire injury site.

Get Checked by a Doctor

Go to the nearest emergency room to be assessed for common injuries after car accidents. If you are wondering how you will pay your medical bills, then you should speak to a Eugene car accident lawyer about compensation for car accident claims. Unfortunately, some injuries are not apparent to the victim right away, but a skilled doctor will be able to detect them. Brain damage, stomach bleeding, and muscle pain may show up hours later.

Talk to an Accident Attorney

Talk to a Eugene car accident lawyer before you talk to the insurance company. There could be consequences for you if you say the wrong thing to the insurance adjuster. Unfortunately, insurance companies are not as helpful as they advertise and many times they offer plaintiffs settlements that are far beneath what they deserve. The insurance company doesn’t want to pay a lot of money because then they lose money. As for-profit companies, they have less incentive to give you what you deserve.

An attorney gets to know you and learns how much this major event has impacted you, your family, your career and your happiness. They look into your medical records and they get a doctor to explain how bad your injuries are in plain terms. 

Recoverable Damages After a Eugene, OR Car Accident

According to Oregon law, you can recover damages in a personal injury lawsuit against the at fault party. Economic damages are your financial losses related to the auto accident and include

  • Medical expenses 
  • Lost wages
  • Future lost earning potential
  • Property damage

Car accident injuries require medical care that could cost thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars, depending on the severity and permanence of the injury. Therefore medical bills make up the majority of economic losses. 

An accident is not just expensive in terms of medical care. There are so many other costs associated with being injured. If you have required child care services, grocery delivery services and household services to help you because your injuries prevent you from doing things, or if you have had to make structural changes to your home to accommodate your medical condition or a wheelchair, then you may be able to claim these expenses.

Noneconomic damages include subjective losses like emotional distress, mental anguish, anxiety and pain and suffering. Noneconomic damages can be higher in cases where the victim has suffered permanent organ damage, an amputation, permanent scarring or disfigurement or paralysis. 

If the other driver’s fault was aggravated by speeding, drinking or other examples of outrageousness or recklessness, then they may be ordered to pay punitive damages. These are paid directly by the defendant rather than the insurance company, and are awarded in cases of willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property while driving. Punitive damages may be awarded in a fatal accident to be paid directly to the family.  

Damages for wrongful death compensate the surviving family members for the funeral and burial costs in addition to the traditional economic damages. If you lost a loved one in a fatal car accident, then you should speak to an attorney who specializes in these types of claims.

Proving Negligence in Your Eugene Car Accident Case

In order to recover your damages, you must establish the driver’s negligence, or the negligence of a third party. Your Eugene personal injury attorney and the insurance company will conduct an investigation to determine who is the responsible party. 

All Oregon drivers are required to have Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance coverage with at least $15,000 of coverage per person injured in a car accident. Typically, you will file a claim with your own auto insurer, who will then seek reimbursement from the insurance company of the at fault driver. A personal injury lawyer calls in witnesses, expert witnesses and uses other forms of evidence (your medical records, the police report) to establish the driver’s liability.

If the car accident was caused by vehicle defects, like faulty brakes, then your accident attorney will represent you in front of the insurance company for the manufacturer or designer of the car. You may want to work with a law firm that handles car accidents as well as product liability cases. Because these cases involve large multinational companies, you should have an experienced personal injury attorney who has handled these types of cases before.

There have been some famous cases of auto manufactures being held liable for their negligence. One of those common cases is of the Ford Pinto. Because of the design of the car and the position of the gas tank, it was more likely to cause death from fire in the case of an accident. When this happened in California, Ford was required to pay damages. 

If the accident was caused by the employee of a company who was working within the scope of their employment, then you may be able to file a claim against their employer. Due to the legal doctrine called respondeat superior, the employer is held liable.

The bulk of car accidents usually involve two drivers, but when there is a multi car pile up, then you need an attorney who works on these types of cases. Although they are similar to other types of car accidents, they require a different set of skills and strategies. There may be multiple parties that have a valid claim to damages.

Causes of Car Accidents in Oregon

Anything can happen when a driver is not paying attention. A pedestrian can enter a crosswalk or a car could change lanes, for example. Distracted driving takes nine lives a day in the US. Distracted driving involves taking your hands, eyes, or mind off of driving. Some of the most common examples of distracted driving include:

  • Using a GPS
  • Answering an email
  • Putting on makeup
  • Texting
  • Eating or drinking behind the wheel

A drunk driver can cause a dangerous car accident. Drunk drivers are incapable of understanding how their speed and lowered inhibitions affects their driving. With that inflated sense of confidence behind the wheel, a drunk driver may not pay attention to the road the way they should. They are therefore less likely to be able to respond to changes in the road, like when somebody changes lanes in front of them. Drunk drivers account for 28% of American traffic fatalities.

Aggressive driving describes several behaviors behind the wheel. Almost everyone has experienced drivers rushing up behind them, weaving in and out of lanes, and generally acting as if they were the only driver on the road. They aren’t the only driver on the road, though, and their excessive speeding and disregard for others can make them liable for damages in a car accident.

In the state of Oregon, all drivers are required to carry personal injury protection (PIP) no-fault insurance. The victim of the injury accident can recover compensation by filing a claim with their own insurance company. Their insurance company can then pursue a subrogation claim against the insurance policy of the at fault driver. 

Common Types of Injuries Resulting From Car Accidents Include:

The most common cause of injury is, of course, from the impact of the collision itself. The force of one vehicle hitting another can cause damage to multiple parts of the body. Additionally, victims may experience secondary injuries, which are additional injuries as a result of the primary injury. This is a risk with TBI and spinal cord injuries.

Auto accidents also lead to catastrophic injuries like traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and spinal cord injuries. 

Back and spine injuries are some of the most severe and costly after a car accident. The back is broken up into three parts: the cervical spine at the top, the thoracic spine in the middle, and lumbar spine at the bottom. Damage to any one of these parts affects muscle control and sensation from that area down. Depending on the age of the victim, their lifetime medical expenses to care for them with their injury can cost over $1 million.

Because the brain is a powerhouse in the body, TBI causes neurological, psychological and cognitive changes in the victim. 

Soft tissue injuries include internal bleeding, ruptured spleen, lower back strains, sprains and bruises. Soft tissue injuries limit range of motion and are extremely painful due to swelling and inflammation. An X-ray can determine if the victim needs emergency surgery or other medical interventions. 

How to File a Claim in Eugene

The first step is to talk to an auto accident attorney. During your free consultation, you will learn more about your rights, what you should do, what you should not do and what legal deadlines you need to meet.

Your attorney gathers evidence in your case to prove what happened and who is at fault. They present this information to the insurance company along with a demand for an appropriate settlement amount. Usually the insurance company comes back with a low offer, so attorneys are prepared to negotiate. 

If neither side can agree, then the case will go to trial. Most attorneys try to settle cases rather than go to court because a trial case could take years to resolve and many accident victims need money now, and want to move on. Your attorney should discuss with you their recommendations for moving forward in your case. 

Eugene Car Accident Attorney

A personal injury lawyer represents victims of motorcycle accidents, workplace accidents, slip and falls, and other types of tort claims. Personal injury lawyers specialize in specific practice areas, such as workers compensation claims. 

1-800-Injured is a Lawyer & Medical Directory helping you find the best lawyers when you need help after your auto accident. Enter your name and contact information to get connected to a large network of lawyers near you. Find a personal injury law firm in Eugene today.

If you have medical bills piling up or getting phone calls, then you deserve full compensation to make you financially whole again. An experienced attorney puts together a legal strategy for you after a car wreck so that you can get fair compensation for your lost wages, medical expenses and more. An auto accident attorney represents you in settlement negotiations. If you have been injured in an automobile accident, then 1-800-Injured is available 24 hours a day seven days a week to help you.

Finding the right auto accident lawyer is the first step in the entire process. There are many accident lawyers in Eugene, and most of them offer a free consultation. During your consultation you will get to know the entire staff at the personal injury law firm. You can also find out where they went to law school, the history of their practice and if they are members of invitation-only, elite organizations within the law profession, like recognition by the National Trial Lawyers or Super Lawyers.

Most car accident attorneys offer a free consultation to potential new personal injury clients to answer their questions and explain both  the insurance process and the legal process. Also, most car accident lawyers work on a contingency fee basis which means that you pay nothing unless they win for you. Get access to Eugene car accident attorneys through 1-800-Injured to learn more about the legal services each law firm offers.