Frequently Asked Questions
- Who pays my medical bills (after an auto accident)?
- Who pays for my damaged car?
- What about Pain and Suffering damages?
- Who pays my lost wages?
- Injury Claim Loans?
- What about property damage claims?
- How long will it take to settle my claim?
Who pays my medical bills (after an auto accident)?
In Oregon, the responsible party rarely pays your medical after an accident. The reason is that Oregon requires every auto policy to have what is called Personal Injury Protection insurance (PIP). See ORS 742.524 et seq. If you are a passenger in another person’s car – the driver’s insurance pays for your initial medical bills. If you are driving your car, your car insurance pays for the bills. If you are a pedestrian, and you have auto insurance, your auto insurance pays the medical bills. If you are a pedestrian, and you don’t have auto or health insurance, the insurance of the driver who hit you pays your medical bills (regardless who was at fault). If no PIP applies, then your health insurance will pay (but they will want to confirm that there is no PIP coverage).
Although this seems confusing, PIP insurance benefits the injured party. Without PIP, many people would be in debt to medical providers while they are trying to get a fair settlement from the responsible insurance company – giving the insurance company an unfair advantage in negotiating (as if they don’t have enough anyways).
Who pays for my damaged car?
If your car was damaged and you are at fault, you can only get it repaired if you have collision coverage. If you are unsure about your coverages, call your insurance agent or check out the insurance agents who have helped our clients.
If someone else was at fault, you have options. If you have collision coverage, you can use your insurance company (who may be easier to work with and may give you a better result) or you can use the other insurance company.
If you use the other insurance company they will be evaluating the cost of repair of your vehicle. If the cost of repair is more expensive than the value of your vehicle, they are required to “total” your vehicle and offer you the fair market value of your vehicle.
What about Pain and Suffering damages?
“Pain and Suffering” damages is a term used to describe all of the emotional damages resulting from the trauma and recovery of an injury. It is a term in our society which is volatile and ripe with misunderstanding. Many people, reasonably, object to the idea that people should recover money for their mental anguish. This belief is often based on people’s experience with people who over exaggerate their injuries or complain excessively to people who also have suffering in their life. In the context of personal injury attorney, the term is used to describe the greediness and the overreaching of personal injury attorneys to enrich themselves and their client’s through a lawsuit.
A lot of society’s view on this term is based on fact. A lot of it is not. The reality is that recovering for pain and suffering damages hardly ever enriches anyone associated with an injury claim. People whose lives have been changed do not end up “on top”. Rather, they are merely trying to get back to zero. Based on years of experience, we request damages on behalf of our clients, that they may be compensated as they are entitled.
Who pays my lost wages?
The liable party is ultimately responsible for any wages you have lost as a result of an accident. If you have a question about that contact a Eugene Injury Attorney. That amount, however, is NOT paid until the conclusion of your claim. Short term help can come in a number of forms. First, through your own PIP insurance. If you have questions about this call your insurance agent. Second, through any short term disability policy you may have (For example, AFLAC). Third, through a loan against your injury claim.
Injury Claim Loans?
If you are in a situation where you are considering getting a loan on your claim, you should contact a Eugene Injury Attorney immediately.
What about Property Damage?
If you are involved in an accident or injury claim that involves damage of property other than an automobile, you should contact your insurance agent for information about coverage and terms of liability. If personal injuries are incurred, contact a Eugene Injury Attorney to assess your claim.
How long will it take to settle my claim?
Length of time to reach settlement of a claim depends on several variables. Negotiations can take as little as weeks to months, and in some cases, span across years. Some factors include degree of severity of injury and/or claims, access to information, access to witnesses and/or testimonials from involved parties, and more.