If you suffer injuries in a car accident, you may have the right to pursue a claim against the at-fault driver. Oregon is a fault accident state, which means that drivers who are responsible for car accidents must pay for the damages of their victims.
Through an accident claim, you can recover compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages related to the collision. While the car accident settlement process could take a year or longer to conclude, it is important to secure the compensation you need to recover.
In Oregon, you have three options to pursue compensation after a car accident. You can file a personal injury lawsuit in civil court, or you can file an insurance claim against the at-fault party. If you have certain insurance coverage, such as uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage, you can also file a claim under your own policy.
When filing a car accident claim, certain factors can lengthen the amount of time it takes for your case to reach a conclusion. Some of these factors may include the following.
During the insurance process, the company will assign a representative, known as an adjuster, to your case. The adjuster will conduct an independent investigation into your accident and attempt to determine who was responsible for the collision. At the conclusion of this investigation, the adjuster will decide whether you should receive compensation and how much that compensation should be.
At this stage, you can choose whether to accept the settlement or to negotiate for a higher amount. If the adjuster denies your claim, you can appeal the decision or proceed to a lawsuit. You can also file the claim if the adjuster refuses to provide a sufficient settlement. Depending on the complexity of your case, it can take about a month or two for the insurance process to conclude.
If your case does not resolve in the insurance process, or if your attorney believes that filing a lawsuit is in your best interest, your claim will proceed to the litigation phase. Depending on the circumstances in your case, the personal injury process could take a year or longer to reach a conclusion. While filing your lawsuit, you will need to enter a series of important stages.
After a car accident, securing the compensation you need to recover is your top priority. During your case, you need an advocate on your side who can help you navigate these processes. Contact a Portland car accident lawyer as soon as possible after your accident to discuss your next steps.