Portland Car Accident Lawyer

If you have been injured in a Portland car crash and you believe the collision was caused by another driver, contacting a Portland car accident lawyer to learn more about your legal options can be a step forward in the recovery process.

… I would highly recommend reaching out to Richard and his firm if you require sound legal advice.
– Client of Rizk Law

Rizk Law founder, Richard Rizk, and his associate lawyer, Alex Pletch, have both been seriously injured in automotive collisions. They understand the trauma that accident victims can experience.

The car accident lawyers at our law firm are skilled in handling auto accident cases and boast a proven track record of achievement. Rizk Law lawyers successfully recovered $695,000 for a PDX shuttle driver who was hit by an SUV and $325,000 for a driver injured in a collision caused by a driver making an illegal U-turn.

Mr. Rizk also spent many years as the in-house counsel for large insurance companies. He has a comprehensive understanding of how insurance companies approach claims for damages obtained in car accidents.

There are no upfront fees if you partner with Rizk Law, and we only get paid when we recover money for you.

The Rizk Law office has safe, off-street parking and is conveniently located at 434 South Iowa Street, just minutes from Interstate 5 and the Willamette River.

Free Consultation. Local Phone 503-852-5761.

How Can a Portland Car Accident Attorney at Rizk Law Help with Your Accident Case?

Accident victims who have a legal representative recover more compensation than those who do not have a lawyer.

After a crash, victims are often contacted by the at-fault driver’s insurance company. These insurers understand that accident victims are usually dealing with other issues resulting from the crash, so they will often try to push them into accepting a settlement that is significantly less than the actual value of the claim.

A Rizk Law car accident attorney can help protect your rights and ensure that your interests remain protected while you focus on the healing and recovery process.

A consultation with a Rizk Law  Portland car accident attorney is free, and if we agree to take on your car accident case, you will face no up-front fees.

Need Help? Call 503.852.5761

Do You Have a Case for Injuries Suffered in a Portland Car Accident?

Determining negligence is an integral part of building any personal injury case. Since many factors can contribute to an automotive collision (like driver negligence, weather conditions, vehicle maintenance issues, or defective parts), it is imperative to hire a lawyer that has the knowledge needed to investigate your claim thoroughly.

Many car accident victims in Portland are unclear about the benefits of working with an attorney. Even when they think an attorney might help, they often worry about how much it will cost. Before making a decision about hiring a lawyer, consider why it may be an advantage to have a legal team on your side or how the contingency fee arrangement works. Rizk Law car accident lawyers work under a contingency fee arrangement because it greatly benefits accident victims as they do not have to worry about affording our legal services.

What is Your Portland, Oregon Car Accident Injury Case Worth?

Most car accident victims want to know how much their case is worth. It is important to note that every car accident case is unique, so it can be challenging to determine a value without looking at the specifics of the incident and the total damages you have suffered.

Rizk Law lawyers offer a free consultation to help determine if you have a case and charge no upfront fees.

In Oregon, damages are commonly classified as “economic damages” or “non-economic” damages:

  • ECONOMIC DAMAGES: As the name implies, reflect the actual monetary costs associated with the crash, such as:
    • Past, present and future medical expenses
    • Lost wages
    • Loss of potential earning capacity
    • Household services
    • Property damage
  • NON-ECONOMIC DAMAGES: These damages are more personal and relate to physical injuries sustained in a collision. They include:
    • Pain and suffering
    • Emotional anguish
    • PTSD
    • Inconvenience
    • Physical impairment
    • Loss of consortium

Some accident victims feel that their injuries have taken away what they believe makes life worth living, which can be a significant burden on themselves and family members.

At Rizk Law, our Portland car accident lawyers understand the physical and emotional hardship that victims and their families endure during the recovery process. We aim to recover the maximum amount of compensation available for your case.

Have Questions? We Have Answers. Ph: 503.852.5761

How Long Do You Have to File a Car Accident Claim in Portland, Oregon?

In Oregon, the statute of limitations for car accident victims to file a personal injury lawsuit is two years from the date of the incident. (Oregon Revised Statutes Chapter 12 Section 110(1)).

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

5 / 5 stars
Mr. Rizk was assertive, thorough, creative and caring. He helped me through one of the roughest times in my life and in the end I got the benefits and justice I deserved.
 
– A.S

However, there can be exceptions to this rule. For example, if there is a fatality involved, the case may be classified as a wrongful death claim, where there is a three-year limit from the date of the collision.

If you are unsure if you are still eligible to file a damages lawsuit, our lawyers can help to review the details of your incident and provide honest, accurate legal advice. We offer a free, no-obligation consultation, and there are no upfront fees if we take on your case.

Car Insurance Coverage in Portland, Oregon

Like many other states, Oregon follows a fault-based system when assigning responsibility for damages from a car accident, such as medical expenses and lost wages. This means the at-fault party is financially responsible for these damages.

In states with fault-based car insurance systems, such as Oregon, victims have three options for pursuing compensation for their damages:

  • Filing a claim with their own insurance company (who will likely try to obtain compensation from the other driver’s insurance company)
  • Filing a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company
  • Filing a personal injury lawsuit against the driver

However, while filing a lawsuit is an option, many situations are resolved by filing an insurance claim. In Oregon, every driver is required to obtain certain coverages to pay other drivers’ damages in case of an accident, including:

  • Bodily injury coverage worth $25,000 per person and $50,000 for two people who are injured or killed in an accident caused by the policyholder. This pays for the medical expenses of victims.
  • Property damage coverage worth $20,000 to cover damage to the other driver’s vehicle.

Car accident victims can also pursue compensation from certain coverages in their own insurance policies, such as personal injury protection coverage, which covers medical expenses and other out-of-pocket costs.

Injured in a crash while taking an Uber? Learn more here.

If you are involved in an accident with a driver who does not have insurance, you may be able to obtain compensation from your uninsured motorist coverage. However, this coverage does not pay for damage to your vehicle and will only pay for your medical expenses. Under Oregon’s Financial Responsibility Law, both personal injury protection and uninsured motorist coverage are required under Oregon’s Financial Responsibility Law.

Car insurance companies are focused on paying out the least possible amount of compensation to accident victims, including your own insurance company. This is why many accident victims choose to be represented by an attorney who will protect their interests.

If the accident resulted in over $1,500 in property damage or if anyone was injured, the incident must be reported to the DMV within 72 hours. If you are unsure of the value of your damages, report the accident by completing an Oregon Traffic Accident report, a copy of which can be found on the Oregon DMV website.

Rizk Law lawyers understand how insurance companies like to handle car accident claims, and we know how to pursue your best interests. We will not accept unfair offers by insurance companies because we will determine a complete and fair valuation of your damages.

How Will a Car Accident Impact My Auto Insurance?

A car accident can significantly impact a driver’s auto insurance rates, especially if they were at fault for the crash. Insurance companies view drivers who have caused an accident as higher risk and more likely to file accident claims in the future.

Chargeable and Non-Chargeable Accidents

Accidents that increase car insurance rates are known as “chargeable.” Your insurance company will define your accident as “chargeable” if you were found to be more than 50% at fault for the crash and:

  • The accident resulted in property damage, such as collision damage to another vehicle or a broken fence
  • Someone suffered a bodily injury in the crash
  • The accident was fatal

All auto insurance companies have their own methods of determining whether a policyholder is at fault in a crash. However, many will conclude you were not at fault if you were:

  • Hit by a hit-and-run driver and the accident was reported to the authorities within 24 hours
  • Legally parked
  • Not convicted of a moving traffic violation related to the accident, but the other driver was
  • Rear-ended and not convicted of a traffic violation connected to the incident
  • Reimbursed by a party responsible for the crash
  • Reporting damage caused by birds, animals or falling objects

Evidence surrounding the accident will be key in determining who is at fault and whether or not the accident is chargeable.

Factors Involved in Determining the Amount Your Rate May Increase

The level of impact a car accident may have on your auto insurance will depend on multiple factors, including:

  • Your driving record
  • Your claims history
  • Where you live
  • Who your auto insurance provider is
  • How old you are

Since insurers typically view young drivers as an especially risky group to insure, drivers under the age of 25 tend to see the highest insurance increases after a crash.

Your auto insurance rates will typically remain unaffected if you were not found at fault for an accident. However, some car insurance companies will raise rates regardless of who was at fault for a crash, as some companies will raise rates after almost any incident.

Many auto insurers have found that drivers who have recently caused an accident and made a claim on their insurance are more likely to file another claim. Because of this, if you have recently been at fault for a crash, you can expect higher insurance premiums. The more time that passes since you made a claim on your auto insurance, the less impact it will have on your current rates. Rates will typically rise dramatically immediately after an accident but return to normal within three to five years after the incident.

Accident Forgiveness

Many car insurance companies offer some level of “accident forgiveness,” permitting many of their policyholders to have their first accident overlooked when it comes to raising rates. Accident forgiveness is often offered as either an add-on benefit or a perk accessible after maintaining a clean driving record for multiple years.

After a crash, the same driver seeking insurance might be treated differently by various insurers. Since a single accident can heavily influence your auto insurance rates, it is advisable to compare quotes from various carriers before settling on a policy.

Fill out a Free Case Evaluation form today or call us at 503.852.5761.

What Is Uninsured and Underinsured Coverage?

After an accident, most Oregon drivers can collect compensation from the at-fault driver’s liability insurance. However, suppose the other driver is uninsured or has a policy that cannot cover all of the damages. In that case, it can be nearly impossible to get the compensation you need to properly heal your injuries and repair your vehicle.

This is where uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage comes in. All motor vehicle liability policies in Oregon that insure against a loss for bodily injury or death are required to provide coverage for accidents with uninsured and underinsured motorists under Oregon state law.

Under Oregon Statute 742.02, drivers must carry auto insurance policies that include:

  • $25,000 in uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage per person (up to $50,000 per accident)
  • $25,000 in underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage per person (up to $50,000 per accident)

Anyone who owns a motor vehicle in Oregon must certify that they have valid auto insurance that includes uninsured and underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage before they can renew registration for their vehicle.

What Uninsured Motorist Insurance Covers

Uninsured motorist insurance covers the policyholder’s expenses after an accident if the other driver does not have insurance or does not have a large enough policy to cover the damages. This means that if you hold an Oregon car insurance policy, your carrier should reimburse you for any damages you obtain in a crash with an uninsured or underinsured driver.

Oregon uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage can provide you with compensation for various losses, such as:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Past and future medical expenses
  • Lost wages (as well as future lost income) and benefits
  • Ambulance ride
  • Household out-of-pocket expenses
  • Mental anguish
  • Physical therapy
  • Reconstructive surgery
  • Funeral costs

Drivers are not required to carry insurance for uninsured or underinsured motorist property damage in Oregon, and coverage for damage to vehicles and other personal property must be purchased separately. Although this coverage is not required by law, it must be offered to you as an option when you purchase your policy.

Insurance Company Concerns With Uninsured Motorist Coverage

When choosing a car insurance policy, you hope that the insurance company you choose will support you in the event of an accident. Unfortunately, more often than not, their priorities are in their pockets instead of the interests of their policyholders. Car insurance companies are massive corporations that have been known to habitually put their profits over the people who depend on them, despite what their commercials may suggest.

Auto insurers who withhold compensation for legitimate injury claims make money while their policyholders and injured parties suffer. Car accident victims depend on these resources to get the medical care they need, and unfair claim settlement practices prevent them from sufficiently healing their injuries, replacing their damaged property, and paying their bills.

Filing a Car Accident Lawsuit in Portland, Oregon

Sometimes car insurance companies will not offer fair compensation for damages obtained in a crash. The victim must file a lawsuit to recover their losses when this happens.

Our Portland car accident attorneys know that going to court is anxiety-inducing for most people. We keep our clients’ minds at ease by keeping them informed throughout the legal process. We explain what to expect and what they can do to help their case, like continuing treatment or keeping a daily journal documenting their pain and suffering. We will handle building a solid case as we try to prove the other side was negligent, which directly led to your injuries and damages.

Our auto accident attorneys can handle all legal filings on your behalf, represent you in the courtroom, and negotiate for compensation if the other side is willing to do so.

What if You are Partially to Blame for a Crash in Portland?

Sometimes, victims are partially at-fault for their accidents, but this does not necessarily disqualify them from recovering compensation.

Your ability to obtain compensation for a Portland car accident depends on the amount you were at fault for the crash. Under Oregon’s contributory negligence law, if your percentage of fault is 50 percent or less, you can still receive compensation. Your compensation award will be reduced according to your percentage of fault. This means your compensation award would be reduced by 40 percent if you were 40 percent at fault.

This law is applied in the courtroom but may also be applied by insurance companies. This is why it can help to have an attorney representing you. An experienced auto accident lawyer in Portland can work to ensure the law is applied fairly in your case, and you are not assigned more blame than you deserve.

Our car accident lawyers want you to receive all the compensation you deserve. We understand how important it is to be compensated when you are injured because of another driver’s negligence.

Types of Car Accidents in Portland, Oregon

Many car accidents occur in Portland because of one driver’s negligent or careless actions behind the wheel. According to the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), there were 12,588 car accidents in Portland, resulting in 8,767 injuries and 42 fatalities in 2016.

Some of the more common crashes that we see in Portland include:

Head-On Collisions

These are often deadly accidents, particularly when they occur at high speed on busy roadways, like interstates. Head-on crashes occur when one vehicle crashes into the front of another vehicle, sometimes by a wrong-way driver. No matter who causes these accidents, the occupants of both vehicles are at risk for severe injury or death because of the force of the impact.

Multi-Car Pile Ups

These are accidents involving multiple vehicles. Occupants of these vehicles can sustain various injuries because these crashes often involve multiple impacts. These accidents are often a chain reaction from one collision – one car hits another, hits another, and hits another. Often, once the first impact occurs, other drivers in the area are unable to avoid a collision.

Side-Impact Accidents

These are accidents that occur at intersections, whether there are stop signs or traffic lights. One car slams into the side of another, often as the car with the right of way is passing in front of the car without the right of way. These are often caused by drivers running stop signs or red lights because they are speeding or simply not paying attention.

The sides of cars are not as capable of protecting occupants from impact as the vehicle’s rear or front, which is why these accidents could cause devastating injuries like broken bones, internal bleeding, or organ damage.

Rear-End Collisions

These types of accidents often happen at intersections when one car crashes into the back of a stopped car. Rear-end crashes are sometimes referred to as fender benders because people believe the injuries from these accidents are usually not that serious.

However, these injuries can be more serious than people realize. When a car gets hit from behind, the driver’s head can be jolted forward. This forward motion to stop can result in cervical strain, affecting the victim and causing considerable pain for weeks or months.

Drunk-Driving Crashes

Despite increased awareness of the dangers of drunk driving, it still happens far too often and often results in dangerous crashes. Here in the Beaver state, there were a total of 437 alcohol-related fatalities in 2017 (NHTSA). Drunk drivers have impaired judgment, reaction time and vision, making them increasingly likely to operate their vehicles in a dangerous manner that increases the risk for accidents.

Distracted-Driving Crashes

There has been increased attention on distracted driving in recent years because so many drivers operate their vehicles while distracted. Common distractions include:

  • Texting and driving
  • Talking on the phone while driving
  • Using GPS devices
  • Talking to passengers
  • Adjusting settings on the radio or air conditioning

Taking your eyes off the road even for a second puts you at risk of hitting another car or driving right into danger without realizing it. From 2013- 2017 there were 12,906 car accidents caused by distracted drivers in Oregon that resulted in 95 fatalities. Our state takes distracted driving seriously, and law officials are taking measures to crack down on distracted drivers. In 2017, 7,208 individuals were convicted for using mobile electronics while driving.

Our Portland car accident attorneys have seen many different kinds of accidents in the Portland area. No matter what happened, if you believe negligence was involved, you should consider contacting us to find out how we can help you.

Complete a Free Case Evaluation form today to learn more about what we can do for you.

Most Dangerous Intersections in Portland, Oregon

Intersections are one of the most dangerous places for collisions and injuries. The Portland Bureau of Transportation has identified 30 intersections with the highest number of reported collisions between January 2012 and December 2016. The top five from most dangerous intersections in Portland, Oregon to less are:

  • Southeast 122nd Ave. and Stark St.
  • Southeast 82nd Ave. and Powell Blvd.
  • Southeast 122nd Ave. and Division St.
  • Northeast 122nd Ave. and Glisan St.
  • Southeast 92nd Ave. and Holgate Blvd.

A known trouble spot may be a factor in a car accident lawsuit. Having evidence of similar collisions over time at the same intersection may help bolster your claim for damages. A Portland car accident lawyer at Rizk Law is ready to review your accident to determine the factors involved.

Call 503.852.5761 now for our free consultation.

What Should You Do After Getting Injured in a Portland Car Crash?

When a car accident occurs in Portland, Oregon, do you know what to do?

Many accident victims are unsure about the appropriate steps to take. Even if they have an idea about what to do, they are so shaken up from the crash that they struggle to think clearly and handle the situation.

Rizk Law car accident lawyers understand how victims feel after an accident because we have spoken with many car accident victims. While our legal team can obtain the information that we need to build a strong lawsuit, some post-accident tasks may help to reinforce your claim:

Seek Treatment

Your accident may have been caused by negligence, and you may be entitled to compensation. While it is crucial to deal with that aspect of the accident quickly, the first priority is to get your injuries treated by qualified, competent medical professionals at one of our city’s hospitals. This is the only way you will have a chance at making a full recovery if a full recovery is possible. Medical professionals are the only ones who can accurately diagnose your injuries and provide the appropriate treatment.

Getting medical attention right away is part of the process of pursuing compensation. This documentation will not only help you heal, but will also help link your injuries to the accident. This will make it more difficult for the insurance company or at-fault parties to suggest that your injuries were caused by something other than the crash.

Make sure to get a copy of your medical records that detail your treatment and your recovery progress, as they are essential pieces of evidence. Without them, you could have trouble getting the compensation you deserve.

Search for and Gather Evidence

One of the advantages you have over accident victims in years past is that you have a cellphone with a camera that allows you to take high-quality pictures at the scene. Try to take pictures of your vehicle’s damage, the other driver’s vehicle, your visible injuries, property damage, and anything else you think could be relevant to your case.

There is no such thing as taking too many pictures after an accident because you never know what might be helpful later.

Look for witnesses to the crash, such as other drivers, pedestrians, or passersby and ask what they saw. Take notes or record a video on your smartphone (with their permission). Make sure to get their names and contact information so you or your Portland car accident lawyer can contact them in the future.

Work With Law Enforcement

In some instances, police will be dispatched to the scene without the victim or at-fault driver calling them. Other times, it will be up to the victim or other driver to contact the police. Even if you do not think the accident is that serious, you should call the police.

The Portland Police Bureau will investigate the accident if it involved one or more of the following:

  • Fatality or possible fatality
  • Serious physical injury
  • Hit-and-run incidents
  • Hazardous material spills
  • Drivers under the influence of drugs or alcohol

Beyond the above criteria, you are also required under Driver and Motor Vehicle Services (DMV) reporting requirements to notify the police about any accident that resulted in:

  • More than $2,500 in damages to any vehicle
  • A vehicle being towed away
  • Death or injury
  • Property damage of more than $2,500

After surveying the scene and talking to you and the other driver, the officer who comes to the scene will complete an accident report. This is vital evidence in your personal injury claim because it is an official record of what occurred, including any traffic citations issued to the other driver. The report may also have the officer’s opinion on who is at fault.

Visit the Portland Public Records Request website to find out how to obtain a copy of the police report on your accident. Unfortunately, it could take up to four weeks to obtain a report, and there is also a fee for all records requests.

File an Accident and Insurance Report

Even if an officer files a report, drivers are still required to file an Oregon Traffic Accident and Insurance Report with Driver and Motor Vehicle Services within 72 hours of any accident that had the results mentioned above. If you do not report this type of accident, your driver’s license will be suspended.

Continue Your Treatment

You must follow the doctor’s instructions about your treatment and recovery. Attend follow-up appointments and avoid any activities the doctor tells you to avoid. If you do not continue your treatment as ordered, your personal injury claim could fall apart. The insurance company could argue that you are not actually hurt or try to devalue your claim.

Our car accident attorneys in Portland, OR can explain your options and the steps you should take after an accident to pursue compensation. We have been through this process many times and know what to expect and how to build a strong car accident injury claim.

What to Do If You Are Injured as a Passenger in a Portland Car Accident

Passengers are just as likely to be injured in a road traffic accident as drivers. Therefore, passengers injured in Portland vehicle collisions could be able to claim compensation for their injuries.

If you have been injured as a passenger in another person’s vehicle, seek medical attention to assess the severity and extent of your injuries. If another vehicle was involved in the crash, make sure that the other driver’s information is recorded, including their vehicle and insurance information.

Afterwards, contact an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible after the crash. In general, passengers tend to have a better chance at winning a personal injury case than drivers. Drivers must prove that another party was negligent, but passengers are rarely found to hold any fault. Understanding your rights as a passenger in a Portland car accident will help to get you adequate compensation for all medical bills, lost wages, or other accident-related expenses accrued. 

Additionally, suppose the driver of the host vehicle directly caused the accident due to their own negligence. In that case, any passengers riding in the vehicle can file a claim against the driver to recover their damages.

Contact an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer in Portland, OR Today

Car accident injuries can be devastating, causing long-term health problems that some victims may never fully recover from. Rizk Law lawyers understand what you are going through because we have helped numerous car accident victims in the Portland area and throughout Oregon.

We offer a free, no-obligation legal consultation to review your accident and discuss your legal options. If your accident resulted from negligence, we are prepared to represent you on a contingency fee basis to pursue the justice and compensation you deserve.

Rizk Law car accident lawyers have detailed knowledge of the legal process and what it takes to prove negligence in Portland car accident cases. We will launch a comprehensive investigation to determine precisely what happened and the value of the damages you suffered.

Contact Rizk Law today to speak to a trusted car accident attorney.

Local Phone 503-852-5761.

Frequently Asked Questions About Car Accidents in Portland

Why should I hire a car accident lawyer?

Trying to resolve one’s own car accident claim is like trying to play chess with the skills of a checkers player. The board looks familiar but a few moves in, “checkmate” and the game is over. Insurance companies are extremely experienced in getting unrepresented claimants to make statements that will forever undermine the claim. You need an insurance expert on your side to even the playing field.

What type of information should I gather in support of my car accident claim?

Gather the following information after a car accident in Portland, Oregon:

  • Photos of the vehicles involved, the accident scene, and your injuries.
  • Names and contact info for all witnesses.
  • Report numbers for police, fire, and other emergency responders.
  • Name and address of the at-fault driver.
  • For catastrophic losses, the actual cars involved.
  • A list of medical providers.
  • All insurance claims and policy numbers.
  • Names and phone numbers of all claims examiners.
  • MRI, X-rays, and other testing results.

Who will pay my medical expenses while my case is pending?

Oregon law requires every insurance company to provide at least $15k in so-called “PIP” medical coverage to Oregon motorists. This PIP coverage is primary meaning that it is the first level of coverage for motorists with Oregon policies. If and when PIP coverage is exhausted or if the PIP carrier has denied coverage for a medical bill, submit the bill to your private health insurer for payment. If you live in Oregon and do not have health insurance, sign up for Oregon Health Plan so you have a way to pay for medical bills. Here is a link where you can apply for Oregon Health Plan.