Why choose us as your personal injury lawyers?
At Kryger Carlson PC, we are committed to providing counsel for anyone who is injured as a result of a negligent party. Our personal injury attorney and staff have over 50 years of combined experience with the Oregon courts. We work tirelessly to ensure the rights and interests of the injured are protected.
We are selective about the number of cases we take on, enabling us to provide personal, undivided attention to each client.
We are aggressive negotiators and experienced trial lawyers. We never hesitate to take a case to trial to seek to recover the maximum possible compensation.
We provide counsel at no risk to you. Your initial consultation is free, and we operate on a contingency fee basis – you do not pay any attorney fees unless we win your case.
What should I do if I was just involved in a car crash?
Evaluate whether anyone in your vehicle needs immediate medical attention. If they do, call for an ambulance. Assuming nobody needs an ambulance, exchange insurance information, drivers license info, and license plate numbers. If it is safe and you are physically capable, take photos of the vehicles involved, as well as any skid marks from the crash. If there are nonemergency injuries, go to urgent care or to your primary care physician and get your injuries evaluated. Once you are physically capable, interview and hire a personal injury attorney you feel good about.
I was just in a motor vehicle collision, what am I required to do legally?
In Oregon you must stay at the scene of the collision and exchange names, addresses and insurance information with the other party involved. If there is a severe injury, then you are required to provide reasonable aid to the injured persons until police and or emergency services arrive. You are required to file an accident report within 72 hours with the Department of Motor Vehicles even if the police made a report. If you are the victim of a hit-and-run or a party involved is uninsured, then you must file a police report within 72 hours. Click on Oregon DMV for your responsibilities after a motor vehicle collision. Click to download the Oregon DMV Accident Report Form.
How do I fill out a DMV accident report?
So when filling out a DMV report, you have to be careful about how you fill it out. We have DMV reports at our office that we give to the client to fill out if they have not already filled one out. We like to speak to the client about the report, things that need to be in the report, because sometimes clients will say things in a report that they think are completely insignificant and an insurance company or the at-fault driver may use that against them.
What information should I get if I get into a car accident?
When you’re involved in a car accident, you need to gather some information at the time that it occurs. You should always get the contact information of everybody that’s been involved in the collision, the person that hits you. If there were multiple cars involved in a car accident, you have to get their information. You also have to get their insurance information, the name of their insurance company and their policy number. If there are witnesses, you need to get the names and phone numbers of all the witnesses that observed what went on. There’s a lot of gathering information that you should do. Sometimes, it’s difficult. If you’ve been injured in that accident or seriously injured, you’re not going to be able to gather that information right away. You need to make sure you contact an attorney or a family member and let them know what has happened so that they can do the investigation.
What should I do after a car or bike accident?
So after an automobile-bike collision, it’s important that the investigation process starts right away. It’s important to find out all the insurance companies that are involved, gather all that information. Of course, the client needs to get the appropriate medical care because often these bicycle injuries are devastating injuries. But a thing that people miss is that bicycle riders can rely on their own auto policy in a lot of cases. So if the bicycle rider has an auto policy too, you need to contact your insurance company because part of what you pay in your premiums is to cover you when you’re on a bicycle, even though it’s an auto policy.
I was hit by a car and injured while on my bike or crossing a street as a pedestrian. Can I still recover for my bills and losses?
If you are on your bike, you are treated as a pedestrian by the law. If you have an auto insurance policy or you live with family that has one, you can get PIP benefits. First try and get your bills paid by your own PIP or a family member; then try your health insurance for your bills; if you fall into the situation where you have no PIP and no Health Insurance, pedestrians (cyclists) can make a PIP claim from the at fault driver’s auto insurance. Once you are medically stationary, we will pursue a case against the at fault driver’s insurance company for all of your harms and losses.
What should I do after a hit and run accident?
Hit and run accidents are the type of accidents where, if you can get your attorney involved and the investigators involved right away, you need to do that. There’s something called uninsured motorist coverage that virtually everybody has, and if for some reason that hit and run driver, you never find them, your insurance policy probably covers you for uninsured or somebody that did leave the scene. So it’s very important that you get investigators out right away, you start taking statements from witnesses right away because a lot of times witnesses go away or can’t be found in the future. So if you get involved in those cases or get an attorney involved in those cases early on, you’re going to be better off.
What is the investigation process for a hit and run?
The hit and run process begins with meeting the client and then immediately starting the investigation process: notify any possible insurance companies that are involved, find out all the minute details of what happened in the incident from the client, convey that to the investigator.
Sometimes the attorney and the client will go out to the scene with the investigator so they can get the best explanation. The next thing is making sure every single witness is talked to and questioned about what they saw. And then the third, you got to take care of the medical side of things and the injuries. And, for the most part, the client should focus on getting well and the attorney takes care of all the other matters related to the case.
Drunk Driving Accidents
Drunk driving is not only against the law – it shows a reckless disregard for yourself, as well as other drivers and even pedestrians. Drunk drivers put themselves and everyone else in their path in danger. Car accidents involving drunk drivers are serious and often life-threatening.
Injured by a Drunk Driver? Contact Us
At Kryger Carlson PC, we believe that drunk drivers should be held liable for all of the pain, suffering, and financial losses that they cause in accidents. With the help of an experienced drunk driving attorney, you can obtain the full amount of compensation possible in your case and find a sense of justice. Call our firm at (541) 928.6171 today and schedule a free consultation with an experienced accident lawyer.
Insurance Claims Against Drunk Drivers
When you’ve been injured in an accident caused by a drunk driver, you do have several options in terms of dealing with insurance companies. Automobile insurance company claims involving drunk drivers can be filed either with the at fault driver’s insurance company, as well as with your own. Car insurance will typically cover the following:
- Medical expenses
- Property damages
- Pain and suffering, in some cases
To collect from the other driver’s insurance carrier, they will need to be covered through liability insurance, with no exclusion clauses pertaining to coverage for accidents related to DUI or DWI charges. If the other driver isn’t covered, or if they don’t have insurance, you may be able to collect through your underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage.
Of course, when dealing with an insurance company, be aware that their main concern is not the damages you’ve suffered as a result of the accident; it’s saving themselves money. Before accepting any insurance offer, your best bet is to consult with an attorney who can make sure you are getting the justice you deserve.
Lawsuits Against Drunk Drivers
Oregon is not a no-fault Insurance state, meaning that if you are involved in an accident caused by a drunk driver, you are free to pursue seeking damages from the at-fault driver in court. Oregon State Statutes, Sections 31.700-31.735 detail the types of damages that may be sought from drunk drivers. Under the theory of negligence, you may be able to collect compensation for your injuries for the following damages:
- Economic damages, including medical expenses and lost wages;
- Non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, future medical expenses, and loss of potential job earnings or diminished capacity to enjoy life due to your injuries; and
- Punitive damages, which are meant to punish the negligent party.
Punitive damages are often difficult to obtain, but worth pursuing. Lawsuits for punitive damages in drunk driving cases may be able to be filed both against the driver, as well as any person or place guilty of over-serving the driver, or failing to prevent the drunk driver from getting behind the wheel. These lawsuits can run into millions of dollars.
Drunk Driving FAQs
Everyone should clearly know that drunk driving is against the law in Oregon. However, more than 6,000 people were arrested in our state in a single year for driving under the influence (DUI). Unfortunately, before they are arrested, too many drunk drivers cause serious accidents that leave other motorists or pedestrians severely injured. Many drunk driving victims do not know where to turn and the following are some brief answers to a few drunk driving accident injury FAQs you may have.
What Should I Do After An Accident When I Suspect The Other Driver Is Drunk?
Following any accident, you should call 911 as soon as possible if you believe you are injured. Not only will emergency medical professionals respond, but so will law enforcement officers. If you suspect that the other driver in the accident is drunk, it is imperative to have law enforcement officers on the scene that can investigate the situation and arrest the drunk driver if needed. Officers will also file an official police report that states their observations and suspicions regarding the driver’s level of intoxication.
Whether you go to the hospital or remain on the scene, you should write down–or dictate to someone else–everything you remember about the circumstances of the accident. Did you see the driver swerving before the crash? Were their headlights on? Were they driving erratically? Any details that you can write down can only help you later in your case.
What Damages Can I Seek In A Drunk Driving Accident Case?
When you file a claim for personal injury after a drunken driving accident, you must specify the financial recovery that you are seeking. Such recovery is referred to as “damages.” Damages include compensation for many different losses, which may include the following:
- Past and future lost wages and benefits;
- Past and future medical expenses;
- Physical suffering and pain;
- Emotional distress;
- Permanent disfigurement or disability;
- Loss of enjoyment of life;
- Punitive damages.
Determining past financial losses can be quite straightforward as you can use pay statements or medical bills to prove your expenses. However, proving future losses or intangible losses such as pain and suffering can be complex. In many cases, you may need an expert to come in and testify to support the limitations you claim, such as your inability to work, or the ongoing medical care that you may require for many years.
How Do I Prove That A Driver Was Drunk To The Court?
Following a drunken driving accident, some of the most important evidence may be gathered by law enforcement officers. Officers’ conduct tests to determine whether a driver is impaired, including field sobriety tests, breathe tests, or blood tests. The results of these tests are often used in any subsequent criminal case against the driver for DUI.
While the criminal case is a completely separate matter from your personal injury claim in civil court, if you can establish that the driver violated a safety law–such as the law against drunk driving–you can establish negligence per se. This means the court will not require any additional evidence for a finding of negligence and you will only have to prove your damages and losses.
Can I Sue The Establishment That Sold Alcohol To The Driver?
In some situations, Oregon “dram shop” laws may give you the right to sue the bar, nightclub, or restaurant that over-served the driver who caused the crash. However, you can only hold the establishment liable for your losses in certain situations, including the following:
- The establishment sold alcohol to the driver even though they were visibly intoxicated;
- The establishment sold alcohol to the driver who was under the legal drinking age of 21.
If either of these situations occurred, you may be entitled to additional compensation for your losses. However, there are different procedural requirements for dram shop claims, including a much shorter time limit to file the claim. Therefore, never wait too long to discuss your drunk driving accident with an attorney familiar with Oregon law.
What does it mean to file an insurance claim?
When you have been injured or a family member has been injured in some sort of incident, some sort of collision, accident, the first thing that is generally done is an insurance claim is filed. And what that means is that the insurance company is contacted and told that there has been an incident either your insured person caused an injury or you’re contacting your own company to let them know that you’re making a claim. That’s the majority of what we do, is that somebody who has been injured because of the fault of somebody else and then an insurance claim has to be made. If the insurance claim or the insurance company is not addressing it properly or refuses to pay a fair amount for the damage that’s been done, then we file a lawsuit and the lawsuit process will begin. But the important thing is to file your insurance claims early and do the investigation early. And that’s what we do.
Do I need to give a statement or sign any medical releases from an insurance company?
Do not give another party’s insurance company a statement. They are only interested in protecting themselves and will try and find ways to deny or minimize your case. They will also send you a release and other paperwork hoping you will sign off your right to privacy. Do not sign anything from another party’s insurance company without an attorney looking it over.
If you are injured your insurance company will require you to fill out a PIP Application and sign a medical release. They may also require you to give a taped statement. Part of your contract with your insurance company requires you to cooperate with them. If you want PIP benefits, you will need to cooperate and fill out the application and give the taped statement. I typically like to listen in on my client’s taped statement via a conference call. I also review all of my client’s PIP applications prior to submitting them.
What is a personal injury claim?
A personal injury claim is when somebody’s been injured in some way. It can run the gamut to an injury that is something that’s going to get better over a short period of time. It can be a death claim that, because of the negligence or because of the fault, somebody did something wrong, it caused an injury to another person. Under our system of justice, we want people to be compensated or reimbursed if somebody wrongfully injures them. One of the principal reasons is we want a society that is safe and if people understand that if you wrongfully injure somebody, you’re going to be responsible for their harm, the mindset is that we’re going to have a safer society. We represent people that have been injured by the fault of another, whether it’s another individual, a corporation, or any type of entity that is responsible for that injury.
I have been injured in an automobile collision, who will pay my medical bills?
There are many different insurance coverage issues that are involved in automobile collisions. If you or any family members in your household have an auto insurance policy, more likely then not, you will be covered under Personal Injury Protection benefits. Another source for coverage is your own health insurance.
I do not have health insurance, how can I get treated by a doctor if I can’t afford it?
In Oregon all personal auto insurance policies have Personal Injury Protection (PIP). PIP will pay for reasonably related treatment up to a year or $15,000.00 in medical payments, whichever comes first. You can increase the amount by paying for more than the minimum of $15,000.00, which I recommend.
In Washington, you can elect to not purchase PIP. If you do not have PIP as part of your policy and you have no health insurance, you are probably going to have to find a provider that will allow you to make payments until the case resolves.
If you are in a crash, you should contact your own insurance company and open up a PIP claim even though the crash is the other driver’s fault. Your insurance company will give you a PIP claim number. For all of your treatment you should give the medical provider your PIP claim number as the primary source for billing.
What happens if I use all of my PIP benefit or I need to treat longer than a year?
Hopefully you have health insurance that will step in and cover your treatment. If you do not have any health insurance, my office will try to work with your treating physicians to set up a lien so that you can continue treating with the promise that the medical providers will be paid out any recovery.
I have not been able to work for a couple of weeks due to my injuries; can I recover some of my lost income?
If you miss more than 2 weeks of work due to crash related injuries, your PIP will pay you 70% of your wage loss or up to $3,000.00 a month, and whichever is less. The wage loss benefit will not exceed $15,000.00 or more than 52 weeks. If you have missed less than 2 weeks, then you will have to wait until your case is resolved to be reimbursed.If you do not have auto insurance, but someone in your household does, then their auto insurance policy may be responsible for your lost wages.
How long does it take to resolve an auto collision case?
In Oregon, there is a two year statute of limitations to file a lawsuit. If the liable party is a governmental entity, then the injured party must file a tort claims notice within six months.
Resolving a case properly depends upon the injuries suffered and the treatment course required.
Once a case gets filed, it can take over a year for a trial date. That means it could take three years before a case is resolved. Most cases resolve within 18 months, depending on the injuries. Smaller claims can be resolved within a few days of acquiring all of the medical records. Remember, it is in the client’s best interest to wait until they are medically stationary before resolving a claim.
How do I find a bicycle accident attorney?
What does somebody look for in a bicycle injury lawyer? In the state of Oregon, and Portland, in particular, it seems everybody rides their bike and it’s not just for recreational purposes. A lot of people rely on their bike to get to work, to and from every day. It’s important to know that you’re unprotected when you’re on a bicycle and so the injuries that we see from bicycle injury cases, they’re just devastating. So it’s important that an attorney be familiar with the bicycle laws within the state. It’s important that the attorney knows what the automobile laws are within the state and what protections automobile drivers need to take for bicycle riders. And so it’s a very important area and an area where we have a lot of knowledge.
What does a personal injury attorney do?
What does a personal injury attorney do? We represent people who have been seriously injured, have lost their jobs, and can’t afford to pay their medical bills. That’s what we do. We interview you, witnesses, expert witnesses, medical providers, and conduct research to present your case in the best light to maximize the recovery for you. In addition to your attorney, it’s important for you to bring the expertise of other people to the case. You’ve got to bring experts at accident reconstruction. You’ve got to bring experts with human factors, and that means studying the way humans react to certain things. The medical professionals are critical. You need to bring those types of experts to the case. And so you gather all of this information from these various different experts and, from that, the personal injury attorney puts together the case, the case that will eventually go to trial, or the case that is made to present to the insurance company to settle the case.
When should I hire an attorney after a car accident?
When you’ve been involved in a car accident or a family member has been involved in a car accident where they’ve been injured, you should talk to a lawyer. A lawyer is going to be able to help you go through the process, deal with insurance companies, deal with medical personnel. Maybe even advise you on the type of medical personnel that you might want to talk to.
Here at Kryger Carlson PC, we represent many victims that have been seriously injured in car accidents. One of the things that we try and do is get involved in the case early, so we can help out the client, whether its financial issues, help them with their medical issues, and just help them through the process. A lot of times people have lost their ability to earn an income because of their injury and those are the things we focus on here at Kryger Carlson PC
How can I pay for an attorney?
I handle all personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis. That means that you do not owe me any legal fee unless I recover money for you. Once I have successfully completed your case, I will take a percentage of the fee recovered.
How long after an accident can I sue?
The length of time to bring a lawsuit after you have been injured, it’s called the ‘statute of limitations’, it varies from state to state. It’s very difficult to say exactly how long a person has to bring a claim. You need to hire a competent attorney that is well-versed and experienced, that knows when the statute of limitations on a case will run.
The statute of limitations or time limit to bring the claim is extremely important because if you don’t bring that claim within the time limit, your claim is forever barred and you can never bring that claim no matter how justified it was. It’s very important that your attorney and you know about the statute of limitations or the time limit. For us here at Kryger Carlson PC, our goal is to get the claim and the case filed as early as possible.
Don’t wait for the statute of limitations. Get the claim filed. Get the claim done if you can. If the other side’s not being reasonable then you have to file a lawsuit.
What do I do if the at fault driver does not have enough insurance coverage to cover my losses?
A good injury attorney is going to review the case carefully and make sure that anyone else at fault will be held accountable. Assuming there are no other parties involved, we need to look at your Under Insured Motorist (UIM) coverage on your policy. In Oregon, if the at fault driver has the minimum $25K in coverage and you have $100K on your UIM, you can only get $75K from your own policy because of a horrifically bad law that lets insurance companies off the hook for paying the $100K you paid for. This is another reason to review your policy and make sure you have adequate UIM limits to protect yourself and your family from drivers that have minimal policies.
Can I recover even when the liable party had no insurance?
Yes, you can recover if you have uninsured/under-insured motorist coverage. All insurance policies come with Uninsured Motorist (UM) coverage, unless you specifically sign an election to not have this coverage. UM is on your policy and protects you when you are hit by someone driving without insurance. You will need to open a UM claim through your own insurance company. I strongly recommend retaining an injury lawyer to do this for you because now your own insurance company is your adversary. They will revert back to their desire to pay as little as possible. I also encourage you to review the amount of your UM coverage. Most people do not carry enough to protect their families from a serious injury crash. I see a lot of families that are driving around with 100/300 UM coverage. If a family of 4 is in a substantial crash and there is hospitalization involved, the policy will only pay up to $100K for any individual, but if there are 4 people involved with injuries, the policy will not pay more than $300K for the entire family. With both past and future medical bills, lost wages, lost enjoyment of life, tutors, any vocational rehabilitation, this $300K very quickly becomes grossly inadequate.
Can I sue my insurance company?
If your insurance company has acted in bad faith or improperly refuses to pay a claim, yes, you can sue your insurance company. Sometimes, that does happen and here at Kryger Carlson PC, we handle a lot of those types of claims where the insurance company, for a variety of reasons, just decides that they’re not going to pay a claim, or they’re not going to pay a fair value on a claim.
I would recommend hiring an attorney early. Don’t wait until late in the process, because like every one of these claims, you have to a thorough investigation, you need to do an investigation early so that evidence doesn’t go away so that memories don’t fade. Any time you’re going to bring an insurance claim, I would recommend speaking to an attorney first, to make sure that you’re doing all the things that you need to do. Hire that attorney if they’re experienced in that area. It’s typically going to make your life easier for your bringing the claim. Also, it may increase the value of your claim to have expertise early on.
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