Are there additional costs? How much does it cost to retain a personal injury attorney?
There is no upfront cost to retain a personal injury attorney. We do not get paid unless we win. Almost all personal injury attorneys operate on a contingency fee basis, but that does not mean they charge the same fee. If we settle prior to trial or arbitration we take 33.3% of the recovery as our attorney fee. This is after your medical bills have been paid. Many personal injury attorneys take their 33.3% fee before the medical bills have been paid. This can result in the client receiving little or no compensation. If we go to arbitration or trial, our contingency fee is 40% of the recovery, again after the medical bills are paid. This results in our clients being fairly compensated with higher financial recovery.
The insurance company has already offered me a settlement – should I take it?
Not before consulting with an attorney. Insurance companies have an interest in getting you to settle your claim as quickly and as cheaply as is possible. By settling your claim, you are releasing the insurance company from any future liability stemming from the incident. It takes time for medical professionals to identify all of your injuries. If you settle your claim to quickly and then realize later on that you are suffering from a more serious injury, it is difficult, if not impossible, to hold the insurance company accountable and receive the proper amount of compensation. Also, insurance companies generally do not offer fair settlements to people who are not representing by an attorney.
When should I consult with a personal injury attorney?
As soon after you are injured as possible. The sooner you contact and retain a personal injury attorney, the sooner they can start working for you by building your case. In order to maximize the value of your case, you need to have an attorney preparing it for trial or arbitration. In order to do this, an attorney needs to gather facts and evidence while the case is fresh. Remember, the Oregon personal injury attorneys at Kroll & Johnson, P.C. offer free consultations. By talking with them for just a couple of minutes, you will have a clear understanding of your legal rights.
Will I have to pay any costs or fees if I retain an attorney?
We do not charge our clients any costs or fees until after we have received settlement proceeds or have taken the case to trial and received a verdict. Many personal injury attorneys charge their clients for expenses like filing case in court or paying for expert witnesses. We do not.
Does your fee increase if you have to go to court for my case?
We expect to go to court for our clients a number of times before a reasonable settlement will be negotiated. Our fee only increases if we go to trial or arbitration on your case. This is the last step in a long sequence of events. While we enjoy going to trial or arbitration, it does not happen in most cases. Most cases settle before trial or arbitration. Many personal injury attorney charge a higher fee if they file the paperwork to begin a lawsuit. We do not. Again, our fee only increases if we actually have a trial or an arbitration.
How do I know if I have a good case?
Often, people who think they have a good personal injury case do not, and people who think they do not have a good personal injury case do. This is why it is vital to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. Unfortunately, many people look at the initial offer from the insurance company and use it to gauge the value of their case. This is a horrible way to value a personal injury case. Insurance companies often offer pennies on the dollar to unrepresented victims that have been injured through no fault of their own. Please take advantage of the free consultation offered by the personal injury attorneys at Krill & Johnson, P.C. In just a couple of minutes we can tell you whether we think you have a good case or not.
I have heard that attorneys are hard to get a hold of, do you communicate with clients?
. Yes. We answer our phones all day every day. Even on the weekends. We believe that it is imperative that we keep clients informed of all aspects of their cases. This keeps confusion to a minimum. We can answer most questions in a minute or less, and the last thing we want is a client spending a weekend wondering about the status of their case when we can answer their question so easily.
What types of cases do you handle?
We handle a number of different types of personal injury cases. Auto accidents, because of their frequency, are the most common type of personal injury case we handle. But we also assist victims of bicycle or pedestrian collisions. We handle cases involving slip and falls, dog bites, and construction site accidents. If you have been injured from medical negligence, we can assist you. If a loved one passed away as a result of another person’s recklessness or carelessness, we litigate wrongful death claims. Finally, we assist clients in receiving compensation because of dangerous or defective products. We represent plaintiffs (victims) in a number of other contexts as well.
If I’m injured in an auto accident, who will pay for my medical bills and wage loss?
If you are the driver of a vehicle involved in an auto collision, your own auto insurance will pay for your reasonable and necessary medical expenses for up to a year from the date of the accident. How much your insurance company will pay depends on the size of your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) policy. The minimum PIP policy in Oregon is $15,000.00. Your PIP policy also must include coverage for some of the wage loss that you suffer as a result of being injured. PIP will cover 70% of your wage loss, up to a maximum of $3,000.00 per month. However, you must miss 14 consecutive days of work before your PIP policy will pay for you wage loss.
Can you help keep the medical bills from going into collection?
Yes. Often medical providers will accept what is called a “Letter of Protection” in return for not submitting outstanding medical bills to debt collectors. Letters of Protection can be a great service that personal injury attorneys can offer to their clients, but they are not necessarily needed or warranted in every circumstance. Please contact the attorneys at Kroll & Johnson, P.C. to see if they can assist you in corresponding with medical providers to whom you owe an outstanding balance.
My PIP adjuster is demanding that I attend an Independent Medical Exam (IME). Should I?
It depends. Your insurance company has an interest in cutting off your PIP benefits as soon as is possible. One way they do this is through IMEs. IMEs are neither independent nor medical exams. They serve one purpose, to justify cutting off your PIP benefits. IMEs should be called defense medical exams or compulsory medical exams. Please contact an attorney at Kroll & Johnson, P.C. to discuss whether you should attend a scheduled IME. It is not always in your best interest to attend an IME.
I do not want to sue someone. Will I have to if I retain a personal injury attorney?
We sue insurance companies that hide behind their insured. Many cases settle before a lawsuit must be filed. In some circumstances you can directly sue insurance companies, but sometimes you must name the negligent individual in a lawsuit. This is only done so that we can sue their insurance company. We do sue individuals to go after their personal assets. We only sue individuals to access their insurance policies so that we can obtain fair compensation for our clients. If we have to sue the negligent driver, we will not bankrupt them. If we get a verdict or award above their auto insurance policy, their insurance company will be on the hook for the excess verdict, not the individual.
What counties in Oregon do you represent folks in?
We represent plaintiffs in the Portland metro area. This means we regularly practice in Multnomah County, Washington County, Clackamas County, Columbia County and Marion County. But we also assist victims in other parts of Oregon.
We represent plaintiffs in the following counties in Oregon: Polk County, Hood River County, Yamhill County, Clatsop County, Wasco County, Linn County, Benton County, Lane County, Clatsop County, Tillamook County, Sherman County, Jefferson County, Linn County, and Benton County.
We represent plaintiffs in the following cities in Oregon: Portland, Salem, Gresham, Hillsboro, Beaverton, Tigard, Lake Oswego, Milwaukie, McMinnville, West Linn, Tualatin, Troutdale, Sherwood, Molalla, Aloha, Albany, Corvallis, Cascade Locks, Astoria, Wilsonville, Woodburn, the Dalles, Fairview, Oregon City, Silverton, Sandy, Rainier, Monmouth, Newberg, Keizer, Gladstone, Forest Grove, Estacada, Canby, Philomath, Newberg, Parkdale, and Seaside.