An estimated 4.6 million Americans suffer an injury in car accidents every year. The injuries in these accidents range from mild to severely disabling. The number of Car accidents in Oregon State has reached above 55,000 each year, which results in the injuries or death of more than 42,000 people.
While Bobadilla Law Firm often represents clients suffering from injuries as an outcome of careless driving of another person, these car accident cases are not simple. We have extensive experience and in-depth knowledge of laws related to car accidents in the region, issues of insurance coverage, and getting complete recovery for the losses you suffer.
Whether you suffered injuries in a car accident in commuter traffic or a head-on collision on the road, through our expertise and experience we help you in optimal recovery.
What to Do After a Car Crash in Oregon
The following are some helpful suggestions on what to do when involved in a car crash:
• Stop Immediately: At the scene of the crash, stop as soon as you can without endangering others or obstructing traffic.
• Take Photos Of Your Vehicle: If it is safe to do so, take photos of all the vehicles showing where each vehicle came to rest immediately after the crash.
• Move Your Vehicle To Safe Area: If you need to move the vehicle, pull over to a safe area.
• Immediately Call 911: If anyone is hurt and needs medical attention, immediately call 911 and let them know that you need medical help. Do not move the injured unless it is necessary. Stay with the injured person until help arrives.
• Warn Passing Traffic: Protect the injured from oncoming traffic. Place flares or other signals on the road to warn oncoming cars that a crash has happened.
• Stay at the Scene of the Crash: Unless you suffer an injury and must seek immediate medical attention, do not leave the scene of the crash until you exchange information with the other driver(s). This information includes auto insurance information, names, and addresses of everyone in all vehicles, name of the owner of the vehicle (assuming the owner is not involved in the crash).
• Gather Information From Witnesses: Obtain their names, addresses, and telephone numbers. If possible, try to obtain a summary of what s/he saw.
• Cooperate with Police: If the police is called stay until they arrive. Cooperate with the police, however, do not mention blame at all to the other driver or talk about fault. What you say can be used against you.
• Do Not Leave The Scene Of The Crash: Until you until you exchange information with the other driver, stay on the scene. Otherwise, you may face charges for Failing to Perform Duties of a Driver, also known as "hit and run." If convicted, you could face suspension or revocation of your driving privileges.
• Gather Evidence: Even if the police arrive at the scene and assists with the crash, you can gather evidence with your smartphone of the crash scene, of all vehicles involved, of the damages to all cars, of anything causing an obstruction (a tree, a sign). Photos of skid marks can disappear after a night's rain.
• File a Report with DMV: If (a) damages to any vehicle total $2,500 or more; (b) a vehicle requires towing from the scene of the crash; (c) injury or death resulted from the crash; or (d) damage to anyone’s property is more than $2,500, you need to file a report with the DMV. If you do not, the DMV will suspend your driver’s license.
• Seek Immediate Medical Care: Even if you do not feel pain right away, you should still get examined. It is common that because of the adrenaline and shock that you may not feel any pain at that moment.
• Speak with a Personal Injury Attorney: This is the best time to speak with a personal injury lawyer regarding your legal options if you feel the other driver caused the crash and/or the other driver contributed. Even if the crash was partially your fault, you may still be able to file a claim against the other driver.
• Report the Claim To Your Insurance Company: If more than one person is on the policy, it is best that the other person report the claim for you or if you hire an attorney, the attorney can report it for you. Immediately after a crash, a lot is going on in your head, and if you are hurt, you may not be mentally well to answer the numerous questions the insurance company will be asking. For this reason, if someone else opens the claim the interrogation by the insurance company will have to wait, but you need to take the necessary steps to file a claim.
Do not trust an insurance company’s advice. Seek counsel from an experienced attorney that regularly practices personal injury law. It is highly recommended that you do not sign any paperwork from any insurance company without first consulting with an attorney. Do not trust the person that caused the crash to pay you privately for the damages, once she/he sees how quickly expenses add up including repairs to a car she/he will more likely than not refuse to pay you personally.
At Bobadilla Law, we deal with the insurance companies. We handle all the paperwork and communication. We take that stress away because when you are involved in a crash getting better takes priority and a lot of time, that is stressful in of itself. We assist our clients in navigating the insurance process and legal process that comes with being involved in a crash. Being involved in a crash is time consuming, stressful, and results in a loss of money from losing time away from work, incurring medical expenses, to needing your vehicle repaired all because someone else was negligent and careless. At Bobadilla Law, we handle these kinds of situations on a daily basis. We can help you navigate the process and guide you whether your case takes two months or years, we can help.