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Car Accident Injury Settlement Offered Prior to Trial

A woman injured in a recent automobile accident in Bend, Oregon, approached Dwyer Williams Dretke PC after a frustrating series of events.  We immediately took this woman on as a client after hearing what she had endured.

Our client was driving her car through an intersection in Bend’s downtown area when she was violently struck from the side by another driver who failed to yield her the right of way.  Our client clearly had legal right of way because she was midway through the intersection when the crash occurred. The recklessly-driven second car struck our client’s vehicle on the driver’s side, crumpling the front end of her car and inflicting both emotional and physical trauma on our client.

Our client received treatment for her accident-related injuries shortly after the collision took place.  At that time, she approached another Oregonian personal injury lawyer to help her negotiate with the at-fault driver’s insurance provider.  However, her experience with that first attorney was disappointing.  She believed that her case was not given the consideration that it deserved and that her lawyer was not handling the matter proactively or aggressively.  She wanted an expert Oregon auto injury lawyer to take her case and settle it as quickly as possible.

There are many personal injury attorneys in Oregon, but as our client in this case witnessed first-hand, not all personal injury attorneys are equal.  Dwyer Williams Dretke PC is a state-wide personal injury law firm whose attorneys possess a collective 75 years of experience and who specialize in serious accidents and injuries.  Our law firm has settled, mediated, arbitrated, and tried over 650 personal injury or accident cases in the past three years and we have obtained settlements in excess of $10 million on behalf of our injured clients in the past twelve months.

Once our client walked through the doors of Dwyer Williams Dretke PC, her feelings and outlook about her case began to change.  We reviewed the file that her other attorney had opened, ordered updated medical records to substantiate the claims we would eventually provide to the involved insurance providers, evaluated her claim, and immediately began settlement negotiations with the at-fault driver’s insurance company.  After several rounds of negotiation, we obtained a fair settlement offer for our client without the need for protracted litigation.  Our client was thrilled not only with our aggressive and efficient handling of this case, but also with the settlement that we negotiated on her behalf.

Insurance Provider Settles Pedestrian Collision Claim

Dwyer Williams Dretke PC recently settled a lawsuit brought against the insurance provider of a driver who backed into a pedestrian in a grocery store parking lot.  This incident occurred several months ago.  At that time, a female customer was returning her shopping cart to the grocery store’s cart return area after shopping when she noticed a van quickly reversing in her direction.  She waved at the driver, indicating her presence and encouraging the van driver to slow down.  Unfortunately, the driver continued to reverse on his trajectory aimed directly at her instead of slowing down or stopping his vehicle.  In the final moments before the van struck her, this pedestrian instinctively extended the arm she had waved at the driver.  When the van collided with her arm, it jammed her arm into her shoulder and severely injured it.

The injured pedestrian contacted our law firm after learning that the at-fault van driver’s insurance provider was refusing to cover the costs that she incurred treating her injuries.  The insurer argued that this pedestrian could not have sustained any significant injury because the van was moving slowly when it hit her, thus the force of impact was minimal and incapable of causing her serious harm.  Dwyer Williams Dretke LLC has vast experience in personal injury law involving automobiles and specific expertise in pedestrian collision injuries.  We were happy to take this client’s case when she approached us and to negotiate with the recalcitrant insurance provider on her behalf.

Our client was not to blame for this collision.  She had done everything in her power to stop the van as it barreled toward her in the store parking lot.  She waved at the van and then, upon realizing that the vehicle was not slowing down to avoid hitting her, she raised an arm to help cushion herself from the vehicle’s blow.  She reacted to the situation efficiently, following her human instinct.  Our client is also not to blame for the injuries that she sustained in this collision.  Our client’s shoulder was severely injured when the van hit her.  The force of the crash tore her rotator cuff and invasive surgery was required to repair this damage.

When we informed the adverse insurance provider of the severity of our client’s injuries and provided them with medical records and physician testimony that confirmed that the injury was proximately caused by the collision, the insurance provider provided a new argument in defense of its refusal to pay our client.  The insurer conceded that our client had been injured in the accident and that the van driver was at fault for the collision, but it claimed that our client was partially at fault for her injuries because she had walked behind the van as it began reversing.  This second claim was as refutable and reprehensible as the first: our client didn’t intend to be hit by a car or to have her rotator cuff torn while walking back to her vehicle after depositing her shopping cart.  Our client was struck unexpectedly and at such an angle that her protective instinct to raise her arm to keep the van away resulted in severe and unforeseeable injury.

After several rounds of negotiation with the insurance provider, we were able to secure a generous settlement for our client.  She was a random pedestrian struck by a driver who failed to take in the environment around him and thus failed to drive responsibly.  The burden of responsibility for this accident and for the injuries resulting from it fell squarely on the van driver’s shoulders.  Our client was ultimately awarded medical expense reimbursement, lost wages, and a lump sum for her pain and suffering.  She was happy to have selected experienced personal injury lawyers to represent her and defend her interests in this unfortunate pedestrian collision claim.

Preexisting Conditions at Issue in Rear-End Collision

A driver in Eugene, Oregon, was recently the victim of a rear-end collision in which her vehicle sustained minor damage and she suffered a serious lower back injury. This driver contacted Dwyer Williams Dretke PC to represent her when her insurance company refused to pay her post-collision medical bills, claiming that her injuries were in fact preexisting health conditions. At the time of this accident, the injured driver had already been in treatment for three years for an existing lower back injury. She realized that she needed an expert in car injury law who could help her prove that her injuries were more than mere preexisting conditions. We took her case immediately.

The details of this collision are straight-forward. Our client was sitting in the left-hand lane of a two-way street, waiting to turn as soon as there was a break in oncoming traffic, when she was struck from behind by another driver. She was able to drive away from the accident and physical damage to her vehicle was minimal. The complicating factor that required the attention of an expert car accident injury lawyer was that at the time of the accident our client was already being treated for an injury in the same area of her back that was hurt in the collision.

Even though the property damage that our client sustained was minor and even though she already had lower back pain at the time of this collision, the amount and the nature of the pain and suffering that she experienced after the accident was different than what she experienced before being rear-ended. Medical examinations proved that a difference existed between our client’s preexisting lower-back condition and her post-accident back injuries. Despite this irrefutable proof that our client’s injuries were the result of the collision, her insurance provider did not want to pay her medical bills.

Once our client completed treatment for her injuries, which included doctor visits and extensive physical therapy, we obtained all relevant medical records. We then provided this documentation to the adverse insurance carrier, which ultimately accepted that our client’s need for treatment was related to the negligence of their insured and not to any prior accidents or on-the-job injuries. It took determined negotiation for Dwyer Williams Dretke PC, but we were eventually able to secure a fair settlement for our client that included reimbursing her medical providers and compensating her directly for the pain and suffering that she had endured in this painful rear-end collision.

Generous Injury Settlement for Uninsured Bicyclist

Thousands of bicyclists are injured every year in collisions with moving vehicles and many suffer catastrophic injuries.  While drivers inside of motor vehicles are protected during accidents by the steel barrier that forms the frame of their car, truck, or SUV, bicyclists are not shielded from the impact of collisions.  Uninsured bicyclists are an especially vulnerable population because in addition to being physically unprotected in accidents, thus at a high risk of serious physical injury, they also face potential bankruptcy every time they climb onto their eco-friendly two-wheelers.

This fall, Dwyer Williams Dretke was contacted by an uninsured bicyclist seeking an experienced bike accident attorney.  This new client had been in an accident and suffered injuries that required medical attention which he could not afford to pay for.  He had been riding his bike downtown when a motorist suddenly exited a driveway, without yielding or even examining the roadway for the presence of any oncoming bikes.  The driver collided with our client, crumpling the bike’s front side and throwing our client off of his ride.

There was no question of fault in this accident: the driver who struck our client failed to look in our client’s direction before proceeding into the street and colliding with him.  Oregon’s Rules of the Road explicitly require motor vehicle drivers to yield to bicyclists who are on a bike lane, as our client was when the driver exited his driveway.

The question of legal responsibility may have been simple, but a larger issue remained: our client was completely uninsured at the time of this accident; he had neither health nor car insurance to mitigate the cost of his injury and resulting surgery.  Because our client was uninsured and not at fault in this accident, responsibility fell to the driver’s insurance company to pay for our client’s medical treatment.  However, due to the severe nature of his injuries and the invasive treatment that was required to rebuild his shoulder, our clients’ expenses easily exceeded the driver’s insurance policy limits.

Our client faced bankruptcy because of the cost of treating an accident-related injury that was no fault of his own, simply because of policy limits on the at-fault driver’s insurance.  This dire situation called for immediate expert negotiation with our client’s medical provider.  Dwyer Williams Dretke PC was able to significantly reduce the outstanding amount owed by his client, thus increasing the amount of money our client was able to recover from his settlement with the insurance company.  Not only did we deliver the full measure of financial compensation to which our client was entitled, but we also reduced what our client owed, leaving an uninsured bicyclist more financially secure post-accident.

Negligence Found in Dog Attack Injury Claim

Several months ago, Dwyer Williams Dretke PC was contacted by the mother of a young girl who was attacked and bitten by her neighbor’s dog. The girl’s mother sought an attorney well-versed in dog bite liability to represent her injured daughter and to seek damages against the dog’s owner. After hearing the details of the attack, we immediately took the case: our client is a young girl who was suddenly attacked by an unleashed dog roaming in her quiet Eastern Oregon neighborhood. The dog approached our client and bit her while she was riding her bicycle near her home.

Dog bite injuries have the potential to be very serious, especially because the majority of dog bite victims are young children like our client. Dogs attack children instead of adults because children are less commanding and less threatening than adults: dogs treat children like playmates or prey, not masters. Children also move quickly and erratically, which can trigger dogs to herd and attack them according to their natural canine instincts.

This case was a reminder that dog bite injuries have the potential to maim, disfigure, traumatize, and even kill the most vulnerable members of our society with little if any provocation on the victims’ part. In this case, our client did absolutely nothing to encourage the wayward dog’s attention or aggression. She was the quintessential victim, who suffered physical as well as emotional trauma as the result of her neighbor’s failure to contain a potentially aggressive pet.

Interestingly, in this case the dog’s owner assumed responsibility for the accident right away yet she adamantly refused to turn the matter over to her insurance company. As our client’s expert dog bite attorneys we obtained copies of all documents related to the injuries sustained by our client and disseminated them to all interested parties. These documents included the girl’s medical records, the bills that her family incurred during her treatment, and the report our client filed with Animal Control.

The case settled for a generous sum after determined communication with the dog owner. We urged that she turn over the claim to her insurer several times, both in writing and on the telephone, to no avail until we threatened a personal lawsuit. The matter was then quickly resolved by the insurance company. Our client received a favorable settlement that covered her medical bills and compensated her for the pain and suffering that she endured as the victim of a dog owner’s negligence.