Thousands of car accidents occur every year in Oregon, leaving our friends and neighbors scared, injured, and confused about their next steps. In fact, according to ODOT, there were over 57,500 crashes in 2017, with over 400 fatalities reported.
Whether the accident you were involved in was the result of distracted driving, negligence, or inclement weather, hiring a top car accident attorney can provide peace of mind and much needed expert advice.
What to Do After a Car Accident?
Some vehicle accidents, like fender benders or rear-end collisions, may not seem serious enough to prompt you to call the police or ask for medical care on-site. Don’t be lulled into a false sense of security! Injuries often rear their ugly heads after the adrenaline and shock has worn off. Here’s what to do after a car accident.
Step 1: Consider Medical Intervention
The first step after any car crash is to determine whether you need medical care. Obviously, some accidents are severe enough that medical attention will be summoned on your behalf, and you likely won’t be deciding the level of care that you need. However, many car accidents can lead to less obvious or late-onset injuries like whiplash. Err on the side of caution and seek medical treatment early.
Step 2: Report the Accident to the Police
The second step is to report the accident to the police and the DMV. Oregon law stipulates that drivers must submit an official accident report within 72 hours of the accident if it resulted in personal injury or death, property damage totaling $1,500 or more, or a vehicle being towed.
Step 3: Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer
Here’s one of the most common questions we’re asked: should I get an attorney after a car accident? While there isn’t a one-size fits all answer, it never hurts to seek legal counsel if you’ve suffered an injury or extensive property damage. In fact, Portland car accident attorney Paul Galm offers free consultations to help you determine your best course of action.
Step 4: Contact Your Car Insurance Provider
Contacting your car insurance provider can often be difficult, confusing, and time-consuming, especially for more serious accidents. If you need specific strategies for effectively communicating with insurance companies and representatives, a Portland car accident lawyer can help you to maximize your success.
Step 5: Settle Your Car Accident Case
The fifth and final step is to settle your case. Luckily, your car accident attorney will use their law experience to help you navigate the car accident settlement process.
How Can A Car Accident Lawyer Help Accident Victims?
Wondering when to get an attorney for a car accident? An experienced Portland auto accident attorney can help you deal with the aftermath of an accident, whether you were the driver, passenger, a pedestrian, a bicyclist, or a motorcyclist.
You might be tempted to contact your regular family attorney, but that would be a mistake. A car accident lawyer in Portland is better equipped to handle your case than a lawyer who practices another facet of the law, and is more likely to win your case due to his or her education, training, and experience.
An auto accident lawyer can advance your personal injury case by talking to insurance companies on your behalf, so you don’t accidentally reveal detrimental information. Your Portland auto accident attorney also has professional contacts who can help you build a stronger case for court. These contacts include accident reconstruction specialists to help determine which party was at fault, or a mediator/lawyer to help settle the car accident case before it goes to trial.
Finally, an auto accident lawyer can handle medical liens, sort out Medicare, and ultimately win you more money in a lawsuit.
Can Auto Accident Lawyers Help with Accidents for Other Modes of Transportation?
An auto accident lawyer also has the means and knowledge to handle accidents involving pedestrians, motorcycles, bicycles, and semi-trucks. A Portland motorcycle accident attorney can advise you about how long you have to file claims, whether you can file claims if you weren’t wearing a helmet (motorcycle and bicycle), and whether a motorcycle passenger can file a claim. Your lawyer can also help make sense of federal trucking regulations that affect semi-truck accident lawsuits or advise you to open a car accident claim if you were a pedestrian hit by a car or motorcycle.
If you have been in an auto accident and need legal advice before speaking with your insurance, or if you wish to file a car accident claim, contact Paul Galm Law today for your free consultation.