WISE & ASSOCIATES, P.C.

800 Jackson Tower
806 S.W. Broadway
Portland, Oregon 97205

Phone: 503-224-8422
Fax: 503-546-2200

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Michael Wise & Associates

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What Is a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
what are the Types of Personal Injury?
I’ve just been in an accident, what do I do now?
do i need to hire a personal injury lawyer?
Do I get a free consultation?
How much is my case worth?
How do I pay my medical bills?
Do I have to pay attorney fees up front in my case?
How will my lawyer be paid? What is a contingent fee agreement?
What other costs will there be in addition to the attorney fees?
How long will this process take?
What is the likelihood that my case will settle versus going to court?


What Is a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
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Understanding exactly what counts as personal injury can be confusing. On the surface, the phrase “personal injury” is pretty broad and can cover a lot of ground especially if you’re wondering if you’ve got a situation that could be a lawsuit. Personal injury is an injury not to property, but to your body, mind or emotions.

A personal injury lawsuit is a legal case where someone sues another person or company for compensation to cover physical and mental damages. A personal injury lawyer will tell you that a lawsuit can be filed whether the injury is intentional, accidental or a result of a faulty product.

If you are injured because of someone else's negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages, including auto repair, car rental, personal property damage, medical expenses, lost wages, physical impairment and your pain and suffering.

If death or serious injury results, contact an experienced Oregon personal injury lawyer immediately. An experienced personal injury lawyer will be able to help you preserve your claim while you focus on getting better. Working hard to return to health gives you credibility.

If you are injured by an uninsured driver, you have certain protection and benefits under your own auto insurance policy.
Your rights to compensation will disappear if your claim is not brought within strict time limits. Consult an attorney immediately.

What are the types of personal injury?
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While the following are examples of potential personal injury lawsuits, they do not include all the potential types of personal injury cases.

1. Bodily Injury is the most commonly understood type of personal injury case where the victim has been injured due to the behavior of another person, property owner or company.

2. Economic Injury - Certain personal injury cases come from economic damages instead of physical injury. For instance, if someone's negligent behavior reduces the value of your home or other property that counts an economic injury.

3. Injury to Reputation – Slander and Libel claims fall under this category of personal injury lawsuit. In this situation the plaintiff has suffered harm to his or her reputation which led to actual physical or economic damages.

4. Intentional Injury - This is an area of personal injury law where the injury was done on purpose. An example of personal injury lawsuits that come under this classification would be assault and battery.

5. Product Liability – If the design or assembly of a product injures you, you may have a product liability lawsuit. Breach of warranty is another type of product liability lawsuit which refers to the failure of a seller to fulfill the terms of a promise or they make false claims about the quality or type of product they sell you.

I’ve just been in an accident, what do I do now? [return to top]

If you or a member of your family has been involved in a serious auto accident, trucking accident, or motorcycle accident, there are some steps you should take to protect your current and future ability to maximize auto insurance coverage compensation and benefits you are entitled to for any injuries you may have sustained.

do i need to hire a personal injury lawyer?
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Since so many types of injuries fall under the category of “personal injury”, it’s especially important to talk with a lawyer. If you have a lawyer negotiate with an insurance company it’s entirely possible they will offer you a larger settlement than if you negotiate directly with the insurance company. A lawyer will also know what documentation you will need to help build the strongest case possible.

Another benefit of hiring a lawyer is that they know what questions to ask such as:

A lawyer can also help you decide if you should file a lawsuit. Once a lawsuit has been filed your attorney is now dealing with another attorney instead of an insurance adjustor. Also, once a lawsuit has been filed the court is involved in the supervision of the case. Now your case has deadlines for the filing of various documents, depositions of witnesses may be taken and important documents may be subpoenaed. Having your lawyer file a lawsuit doesn’t guarantee a larger settlement but you are more likely to get a settlement that reflects the true value of your case.

Do I get a free consultation?
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Yes. There is no cost for the initial consultation with our attorneys.

How much is my case worth?
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The value of your case is dependent on the specific factors of the accident or incident. Each claim is unique and the value is determined by a number of variables including, but not limited to, how much medical treatment is necessary, how much lost wages or lost earning potential is determined, how much projected future medical treatment is necessary, and how much pain and suffering or loss of enjoyment of life was caused by this accident or incident. Our attorneys can only give an estimate of how much they believe your case is worth after fully reviewing all medical records, employment records and the individual facts of your specific situation.

how do i pay my medical bills?
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I will discuss the payment of your medical bills in detail with you when you contact me for an initial consultation. One of the following methods for payment may be available:

Oregon law requires that every automobile policy pay up to $15,000.00 (for a period of up to one year) for medical costs, including, but not limited to, chiropractic, physical therapy and massage providing the treatment is reasonable, necessary and a result of the accident.

Do I have to pay attorney fees up front in my case?
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No, cases are taken on a contingency fee basis meaning that the attorney fees are taken out of any settlement that we effectively negotiate for you or award won at trial. If we do not settle your case before trial, or are not successful at trial, you do not have to pay any attorney fees.

how will my lawyer be paid? what is a contingent fee agreement?
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In almost all personal injury cases, your attorney will be paid a percentage of the final settlement or judgment resulting from your injury. The percentage will be discussed with you and will be the subject of what is called a contingent fee agreement. The law requires for your protection and that of you lawyer a written contract, which specifies the fee so there will be no misunderstanding about how much your case will cost. The agreement will provide that your lawyer will work diligently on your case in exchange for the percentage in the agreement. If there is no recovery, you owe no attorney fees.

what other costs will there be in addition to the attorney fees?
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The fee for your attorney is based upon the lawyer's work, time, effort and expertise. In addition, your attorney may advance costs specific to your case. Your attorney will make decisions necessary to obtain the reports, opinions or records needed to present your case. Examples of these advanced costs include:

How long will this process take?
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This depends on how much medical treatment you are getting and how quickly we are able to come to an agreement with the insurance company on an acceptable settlement. Usually cases are completed between 6 and 18 months after our involvement.

What is the likelihood that my case will settle versus going to court?
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Not all cases are taken to trial. The majority of cases are settled before a trial is necessary. Wise & Associates, P.C. has a reputation among insurance companies for taking cases to trial if a reasonable offer is not made by the insurance company. If a reasonable settlement is not offered, and you have a strong case, our attorneys will aggressively pursue the matter in court. If your case is going to trial, we will make sure you are fully prepared to testify and are educated on how the process works.



For a confidential discussion of your legal needs, call Michael Wise & Associates at (503) 224-8422