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Does Having a Prior Auto Accident Injury Affect Your Settlement?

We have made it to the end of the week again. Happy Friday! In this week’s video, our founder Roy Dwyer answers a common question that clients bring to our firm – whether or not having a previous auto accident injury will affect the value of a current Oregon auto accident injury claim. Here is Roy’s answer:

As Roy explains in this video, having been involved in previous auto accidents will indeed affect the value of your Oregon auto accident injury claim. The insurance company will the take the position from the get-go that your injury today is not a new injury. What we need to do when we represent you is to make sure that your doctor indicates that at the time of your accident your precondition or existing injury was better and that the accident aggravated it.

If you have been injured in an accident in the state of Oregon, call an experienced personal injury attorney right away. Call us for a free consultation at 541-617-0555 or visit our website for more information: roydwyer.com

To view additional informative videos about personal injury law in the state of Oregon, visit Dwyer Williams Dretke PC’s You Tube channel.

Generous Insurance Settlement Reached Despite Low Policy Limits

The details of another successful Dwyer Williams Dretke PC car accident injury settlement are as follows: our client, a young and able-bodied Central Oregonian woman, was having trouble starting her car.  She popped the hood and manually opened it while waiting for another motorist to pull forward and help her jump-start the car.  This motorist accidentally stepped on the gas pedal, which caused his vehicle to lurch forward and pinned our client’s leg between the two cars.  As a result of this incident, our client was seriously injured and she sought immediate medical attention for her accident-related injuries.

The at-fault driver’s insurance provider offered to pay the full policy limit toward our client’s injuries, but unfortunately the at-fault driver was only insured for the minimum amount required under Oregon law.  Under Oregon law, all vehicle insurance policies must carry at least $15,000 in Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage.  This meager amount was not enough to cover our client’s prohibitive medical bills.

Our client sought the help of Dwyer Williams Dretke PC because we are experienced auto accident injury lawyers with a track record of success throughout the state of Oregon.  She knew that she could entrust her legal situation with us and that we would secure her the fairest possible settlement given the facts and parties involved in this case.

After reaching out to the health providers that provided services to our client following her accident, we were able to get several to significantly reduce their bills.  We also convinced our client’s insurance provider to waive its lien on the $30,000 in medical expenses that it covered for our client.  Once these arrangements had been made, the case settled and all of our client’s accident-related medical expenses were taken care of.  Our client also received a reasonable settlement to compensate her for her pain and suffering.

Personal Injury Claim Settled after Multiple Car Collision

Oregon’s roads can be treacherous in the fall and winter months.  Whether you are driving along the overcast coast with its slick roads or in the mountains and high desert on snowy roads, Oregon’s roadway hazards are as high as its accident rates in the fall and winter.  Reduced visibility and dangerous driving conditions are primarily to blame for the spike in auto accidents and auto accident injuries this time of year.  Oregonian drivers need to be especially careful commuting and traveling during the colder months and their short days.

Dwyer Williams Dretke PC recently settled a personal injury claim stemming from a complicated multiple-vehicle car accident.  This accident occurred on a day when it had been raining heavily. There were puddles of water all over on the roadway where this accident occurred.  A man driving an east-bound vehicle lost control of his car after skidding in the standing water.  He rolled several times before his car came to rest in the westbound lane, blocking traffic in that direction.  At the same time as the driver of an east-bound motor home stopped to ask the first driver if he needed assistance, a third driver came around a bend in the road, saw the blocked lanes, and quickly swerved in an attempt to avoid hitting either of these vehicles. Despite swerving, this third driver was unable to completely avoid the collision.  She drove into the side of the motor home before her pickup truck came to rest in the opposite lane of traffic.  She was sitting in her car, stunned by the accident, when she was rear-ended by a fourth vehicle.

Not surprisingly, this driver was seriously injured by the two moments of impact.  In the first moment of impact, her forehead struck the steering wheel and she was knocked out.  In the second moment of impact, when she was struck from behind, her head flung backward and smashed out the rear window.  Ambulances transported her to the nearest Emergency Room where she received treatment for her accident-related injuries, but on the way she slipped into unconsciousness several times.

This driver was diagnosed with chronic neck pain, persistent headaches, and nerve damage to her hands.  There were many insurance companies involved in this multiple-car collision and all argued about which impact caused which of this driver’s injuries while individually denying liability for her injuries.  The driver’s own car insurance claimed that her carpal tunnel injury could not have been caused by the accidents.  She contacted Dwyer Williams Dretke PC because she knew that she needed the counsel and guidance of an experienced and competent Oregon auto accident injury lawyer.

After carefully reviewing our client’s medical records we agreed to have our client undergo an independent medical examination (IME) requested by her insurance company.  The physician who examined her during the IME determined that the carpal tunnel syndrome was a direct result of this multiple-car accident and the two moments of impact that our client experienced.  This physician further recommended that our client have immediate carpal tunnel surgery on one of her wrists but unfortunately, by this time, our client’s medical benefits through her own insurance had been fully paid out.

Dwyer Williams Dretke PC successfully negotiated a policy limits settlement with one of the involved insurance companies that covered our client’s accident-related medical injuries including the recommended future carpal tunnel surgery.  We simultaneously convinced our client’s insurance company to waive its right to Personal Injury Protection (PIP) reimbursement.  Our client was thrilled with the final settlement offer that we were able to secure for her and with her selection of Dwyer Williams Dretke in this complicated auto accident injury claim.

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.