Often a personal injury claim may be small enough that it isn’t within reason to hire an attorney for and pay them by their hourly rates. However, on the other end of the spectrum the attorney may not be willing to take your case on contingency because the overall value is small enough that it is not worth their expense to put on a full trial. The Oregon state legislature recognized this problem and created a solution with ORS 20.080.
HOW DOES 20.080 WORK?
ORS creates a tax for attorney’s fees if the plaintiff in a claim requests a demand of $10,000 or less, and the demand is made not less than 30 days prior to filing the complaint in the case, and the plaintiff prevails on a non offer by the insured or beats the insureds offer by a mere dollar.
This allows the individual that finds themselves with a claim that may not be worth the attorney’s contingency agreement, but they are unwilling to pay hourly, to still obtain counsel. An attorney can take your claim and assist in putting together a demand that the insurance company will have to take seriously. Putting on a full trial can be expensive and insurance companies do not want to have to pay a large amount of attorney fee’s just because they did not take a claim seriously.
WHEN TO APPLY ORS 20.080
I get a lot of phone calls for what insurance adjusters refer to as MIST claims, or Minor Impact Soft Tissue. This is a case where the vehicle damage may not be that extensive and the individuals in the car accident have not broken bones. This does not mean that they were not injured. Whiplash can be devastating and have impacts lasting a life time. If you are involved in what the insurance company is telling you is a small dollar case or they are offering very little, please give my office a call and I will consult with you and give you a consultation on the merits of your case.
Aaron Tillmann is an attorney licensed in Oregon and Utah, with offices in Portland, Oregon and Salt Lake City Utah. Tillmann law services Oregon clients in Multnomah, Clackamas, Washington, Yamhill and Marion counties. Mr. Tillmann also services the Millcreek, Murray, Holladay, Cottonwood Heights, Sandy and Draper areas of Utah. His areas of focus are personal injury, family law matters, bankruptcy, and estate planning and probate matters.