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10 Tips for Maximizing Compensation in Your Portland Personal Injury Case 

Posted on November 27, 2023 in

Oregon state law governs Portland personal injury claims. Nevertheless, personal injury cases work much the same way in Oregon as they do in other states, and the same can be said about strategies for maximizing compensation. Following are 10 of many possible strategies for maximizing the value of your personal injury claim. 

Preserve Evidence

In law, if you can’t prove it, it didn’t happen–or at least it might as well not have. Furthermore, evidence grows stale over time. That is why you need to act quickly to interview witnesses, photograph the scene of the accident, and gather other important sources of proof. 

If your case is complex enough to require the services of an expert witness, don’t be too stingy to spring for one (your lawyer might front you those expenses anyway).

Seek Immediate Medical Treatment

The key word here is “immediate.” After all, anyone will seek medical treatment sooner or later. A problem arises, however, when symptoms are delayed for hours or days, as often happens in soft tissue injuries and head injuries. 

If you suffer an impact from an accident, seek medical treatment just in case. If you don’t, you can be sure that the defendant will use it against you.

Seek Assistance To Calculate the Value of Your Claim

Your compensation should include all of your losses, both tangible and intangible, that you suffered as a consequence of your injury. They might include (but are not necessarily limited to):

  • Medical bills;
  • Lost earnings; 
  • Out-of-pocket expenses;
  • Pain and suffering (physical or mental);
  • Estimated future medical expenses; and
  • Diminished earning capacity (estimated future lost earnings).

The value of your claim is not necessarily limited to these items. It all depends on the specific facts of your case.

Let Your Lawyer Do the Negotiating For You

Insurance companies pay most personal injury claims. That means that to resolve your claim on your own, you will be facing an insurance adjuster. In other words, a professional negotiator. If your claim is small (a non-injury fender-bender, for example), it might not be worth it for you to hire a lawyer. 

The more your claim is worth, however, the more you’re likely to need a lawyer to negotiate for you. A seasoned personal injury attorney is also a professional negotiator, and they cannot accept a settlement offer without your permission.

Exercise Patience

You can expect the opposing party (probably an insurance company) to issue you a ‘lowball’ offer at first. Wait it out, even if you’ve got bills to pay. And fight it out with the help of your lawyer. Don’t let the other side take advantage of the desperation that they themselves produced in you by causing the accident that injured you in the first place.

Explain Why the Offer Is Inadequate 

If a settlement offer is too low, provide clear explanations backed by documentation on why it’s insufficient​​​​. “No, because…” is much less likely to lead to the breakdown of negotiations than a flat “no.” Send your refusal in writing, and document any claims you make.

File Your Claim Promptly

Yes, it is critical that you file a lawsuit before the statute of limitations deadline expires (typically two years from the date of the accident). It’s best, however, to file your claim as soon as you can. The sooner you get started, the better your chances will be in most cases.

Stay Off Social Media

Did you know that the opposing party can introduce your social media posts as evidence against you in court? Stay off social media while your case is pending, and tell your friends not to talk about your case either. 

Try Mediation

Mediation can often result in settlement even when negotiations fail. This is particularly likely if negotiations have stalled because of personal animosity between the parties. A mediator cannot force a settlement, but most of them are trained to. If the opposing party is just being stubborn, a mediator can help them see the light. 

File a Lawsuit If Negotiations Stall

Filing a lawsuit sets the clock ticking for trial, although you can always withdraw your lawsuit in the event of a settlement. Suing gives you access to the powerful pretrial discovery process, whereby you can demand access to evidence that the other side is holding. This new evidence might give you leverage to settle on your own terms.

The same claim could net you $5,000, or it could net you $50,000. You might even end up with nothing. If your claim is sizable, there is no substitute for the assistance of a personal injury lawyer. Contact one today to schedule a free initial consultation.

Contact Our Personal Injury Attorneys in Portland, OR at Tillmann Car Accident & Personal Injury Lawyer

If you were injured in an accident in Portland, OR, please contact our Portland personal injury lawyers at Tillmann Car Accident & Personal Injury Lawyer to schedule a free consultation today.

Tillmann Car Accident & Personal Injury Lawyer
101 SW Main St. #1905
Portland, OR, 97204
(503) 773-3333

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