Portland Personal Injury FAQs
Searching for the right attorney and navigating a legal matter can be quite overwhelming. We understand this, and we work hard to keep our clients as informed and as comfortable with their decision as possible. Sometimes this starts even before you become our client. Below, you’ll find a quick list of some of the most important and most commonly asked questions by individuals looking to seek compensation for their injuries.
If your question is not listed here, and you would like to speak with our experienced Portland personal injury attorney at the Law Offices of Timothy Grabe, call our team today at 503-223-0022 and we’ll schedule your consultation immediately.
- How do I know that I have a valid personal injury case? It’s difficult to say—as every personal injury case arises from unique circumstances—but generally speaking, Oregon law requires wrongdoers to be held accountable for the damages they cause to others. This means that you would have valid grounds to pursue compensation if you can prove that the other party has breached a “duty of care,” that they have acted negligently in some manner and that you have suffered an injury and/or a substantial loss as a result. In order to understand whether or not you have a legitimate case, however, it is highly recommended that you consult with the attorney at our firm. Once we sign a retainer agreement, we can give full and specific legal advice regarding your case.
- Will my case go to court? As a rule, most personal injury cases don’t go to trial. The trend these days is for fewer cases to be tried. Last year, in Multnomah County, only about 90 civil cases ended in trial. Our goal is often to settle, either directly, or through a mediator or settlement judge. This is because we know court cases are long and expensive, as well as risky. Insurers can win, too. But if the other side is not being reasonable and we do go to court, our track record there is good. We are not afraid to pursue a case through trial, if the circumstances warrant it, so you can rest assured that we will take the appropriate steps to acquire the level of compensation that you deserve—whether your case is handled through mediation or trial.
- What legal fees should I expect to pay? Our fees are based on an hourly rate or they are paid on a contingency basis—meaning as a percentage of the settlements we win. We understand that many of our clients are wary of hiring legal representation because of the potential fees that they may be asked to pay, so we have made it our goal to provide top-notch legal service at a truly affordable price. By offering our assistance on a contingency fee basis, we allow our clients the opportunity to pursue their case without the fear of having to cough up outrageous legal fees. It’s simple – if we win the case, you will only be asked to pay us a percentage of the settlement. If we are unable to acquire compensation on your behalf, you won’t be expected to pay us for our help.
- How long do personal injury cases generally take? Every case is different and the time lengths can vary. Generally, our cases take six months to a year to complete. Some last several years, though. Winning a personal injury case can be a lengthy process, but we always keep our clients apprised of where things stand as the case progresses. We believe that the length of the process should not deter you from pursuing your case, however, as it will definitely be worth the wait if we are able to recover a substantial amount of compensation on your behalf. In any case, it is important to understand that we will be upfront with you the whole way through.
- What factors are involved in your decision as to whether to take on a case? We take a limited number of cases. We may spend 50 to 80 hours on a case, but some take up to 500 hours of work or more. For that reason, we look for a good fit. Some factors we consider are whether a client has supportive doctors, whether his or her claim has red flags, and whether he or she is a reputable person. When we take a client on, we view it as forming a relationship, and we want to make sure it’s mutually beneficial. The cases we don’t take, as a rule, include medical malpractice cases, regular workmen’s comp cases, and the cases of people who have several prior injury claims or troublesome criminal histories. That being said, we can’t know until we’ve spoken with you about your particular situation, so feel free to call for a complimentary consultation. If we don’t take your case we’ll be glad to refer you on to a qualified lawyer.
- How long do I have from the time of my injury to initiate a lawsuit? In the state of Oregon, all personal injury cases are subject to a statute of limitations. This means that you only have a certain amount of time to initiate a lawsuit, and subsequently pursue compensation. Each state in the U.S. maintains different time limitations, but in Oregon, a wrongfully injured victim generally has two years from the date of their injury to pursue a case. If the injury was not immediately discovered, however, one may be afforded more time to file a lawsuit. In order to ensure that your ability to claim compensation is not jeopardized, it is highly recommended that you consult with a Portland personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.
- How much is my case worth? Although there are more general ways of assessing the worth of a personal injury case, you will not be able to come up with a reliable figure unless you take the time to review the circumstances of your case with an experienced lawyer. In doing so, your legal representation will be able to evaluate the nature and extent of your injury, the severity of the economic and non-economic losses that you have suffered and a number of other critical factors that will contribute to the value of your case. Even so, however, it is important to understand that the ultimate worth of your claim will only be known once a settlement or verdict has been reached.