Car Accident Attorneys

Settlement Offer More Than Doubled for Injured Passenger

Our client in this auto accident was the passenger in a car being driven by her daughter.  Their car came to an intersection with a four-way stop and, after stopping, they proceeded through the intersection and were broad-sided by another motorist who had failed to stop at her stop sign.  The other driver claimed to have stopped at the stop sign and adamantly denied that the accident was her fault.  The truth came out at the police investigation that ensued, when the second driver admitted that she had lied at the scene of the accident.

Oregon Auto Accident Injury Attorneys | Oregon Car Collision Injury Attorneys | Oregon Personal Injury Attorneys

After our client completed treatment for her accident-related injuries, the at-fault driver’s insurance company made her an offer to settle.  It was at this time that our client called the experienced Oregon auto accident injury attorneys at Dwyer Williams Dretke PC to see whether or not her offer was fair and to discuss her options going forward.  After an initial consultation, we decided that our client was being low-balled and told her that we could help her get a better settlement.  She hired us on the spot to settle her claim.  We contacted the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier and immediately began settlement negotiations.

After learning that our client had retained the tough Oregon personal injury attorneys at Dwyer Williams Dretke to represent her, the insurance company offered her twice the sum that it had initially offered her.  After several rounds of negotiation, we reached their top offer.  Even after subtracting attorney fees and costs, our client nearly doubled her recovery as a direct result of hiring Dwyer Williams Dretke.  We were glad to have been able to help her resolve this matter.

DWP Settles Case in Favor of Out-of-State Auto Accident Injury Victim

Our client in this matter was an out-of-state visitor to Oregon. He was severely injured while driving his vehicle in Medford. As he passed through an intersection on a green light, another motorist, illegally running a red, entered the intersection and collided with the side of our client’s vehicle. This “T-bone” accident seriously injured our client, who received limited medical treatment in Medford, Oregon, before returning to his home state.

Medford Oregon Auto Accident Injury Attorneys | Medford Oregon Personal Injury AttorneysDue to the severe nature of his injuries, it took our client almost two weeks to return home. During this trip home, he received treatment for his accident-related injuries in several other states. Once safely back at home, he was unsure how to handle the Oregon claim, so he called the experienced Medford auto accident attorneys at Dwyer Williams Dretke PC to counsel and represent him in this Oregon car accident injury claim.

We quickly got to work collecting our client’s medical records, reports, and bills from the various places where he had received treatment for his accident-related injuries on his journey home from Oregon. We were able to thoroughly discuss his case over the phone with him and as soon as he had completed his treatment at home, we sent out a demand package and began trying to resolve his complicated case.

After several rounds of negotiations, this case settled for a fair value much to the satisfaction of our out-of-state client.

How Can You Get an Oregon Auto Accident Injury Settlement?

In the video below, our founder and senior partner Roy Dwyer answers a common question posed by many new clients: how can you get a settlement in your Oregon auto accident injury claim?

As Roy explains, the first thing you have to be able to prove is fault. You must demonstrate that the person who injured you is liable. In other words, if you cannot prove that they have done something wrong, then there is no way that you can recover any damages.

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.

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

Senate Hearing tomorrow on HB 3160A – Amending the UTPA to Cover Insurance Companies

This blog post was written by Erik Kancler, who works on government and media relations and who is writing on behalf of Economic Fairness Oregon. A former BlueOregon contributor, Erik has previously worked as a scientist, journalist, nonprofit director, and as policy adviser to the Oregon Senate Democrats.

There is simply no good reason, principled, pragmatic, or otherwise, for why the goods and services we purchase and investments we make should be covered by the UTPA but the insurance policies that we purchase to protect those goods, services, and investments should not.

Imagine you’ve just purchased a new minivan. Kids are growing up, starting school, and you need a safe way to get everyone around town. Two weeks later the engine blows up and despite purchasing an extended five-year, fifty-thousand mile powertrain warrantee the dealer says tough luck.

Or you’ve recently bought a home only to find out that the roof leaks. To protect your investment you purchase a new 30-year roof and then watch in disbelief as major portions blow off as a result of a product defect. When you complain to the manufacturer, they in turn blow you off.

In cases like these, Oregon consumers can turn to Oregon’s Unlawful Trade Practices Act to seek justice. The UTPA is the backbone of consumer protection in Oregon. It provides consumers and the State Attorney General with the power to challenge companies that fail to deliver on the promises they’ve made and helps to lessen consumer abuse by deterring would-be bad actors.

But if your beef is with an insurance company, you’re out of luck. They can promise the sun, the moon, and the stars, but when they fail to deliver, Oregon law is on their side, not yours.

That’s because unlike the auto dealer or the manufacturer/installer of your roof (or every single other company in every single other industry doing business in Oregon) your insurance company is exempt from the UTPA’s requirements.

This isn’t the case in Washington. Most other states, in fact, include the industry in their unlawful and deceptive practice acts. That the industry presently enjoys such an exemption in Oregon is a direct result of its political influence in Salem. This session alone there more than 50 lobbyists defending the industry’s stance on the issue and opposing Oregon House Bill 3160A, which would add insurance to the State’s UTPA.

That any one industry would be exempted from a regulatory framework as important as the UTPA is unfair. That of all industries it would be the insurance industry – which itself represents an essential backbone of consumer protection – is especially troubling. If anything, given the unique and crucial role insurance plays in people’s lives, and that in many cases we’re actually required by law to purchase it, insurance should be the first industry covered.

In 1994, David Killion’s Warrenton home lost major portions of its roof during a winter storm with winds nearing 90 miles per hour. Afterwards, his insurance company sent out a claims adjuster who offered $3,000 for damage that local contractors estimated at over $20,000. Killion had no choice but to fight.

It took him over four years and considerable expense to get the insurance company to cover the damages. In the meantime, his house began to stink, black mold grew everywhere, his wife developed asthma, and he and his family were too embarrassed to invite friends or family over for get-togethers.

In 2004, a fire devastated Michael Mckeon’s potato packing factory in Merrill – a factory that his family had owned and operated since World War II. His insurance company not only failed to pay but dragged his family’s name through the mud in the process. It took nearly six years to reach a settlement and clear his family’s name, and the business was never able to re-open.

When Portland-based Zidell Industries received a cleanup notice from DEQ related to industrial contamination in 1997, its insurers balked. Eventually vindicated by court victories and settlements with all but the most obstinate of its insurers, Zidell has spent $20 million over multiple decades in an effort to receive coverage.

“If Zidell had been able to assert claims and seek penalties or unfair claim settlement practices, the insurer would have perhaps been compelled to settle the case years ago,” a representative from Zidell recently told the Oregon Legislature.

Among those who testified in support of HB 3160 is former Oregon Governor, Supreme Court Justice, and Insurance Commissioner, Ted Kulongoski:

Years ago, when I served as Oregon’s Insurance Commissioner, I testified against adding insurance companies to the UTPA in a similar piece of legislation. But times have changed—and I have changed my mind. The financial services meltdown in 2007 and the recent recession, which cost many Oregon citizens their jobs, their homes, their retirements, and their futures, must be a wake-up call for public officials to provide greater consumer protection against fraudulent business practices in the financial services markets.

Although the insurance industry disagrees with this perspective, there is simply no good reason, principled, pragmatic, or otherwise, for why the goods and services we purchase and investments we make should be covered by the UTPA but the insurance policies that we purchase to protect those goods, services, and investments should not.

Oregon House Bill 3610A would end the insurance industry’s unfair exemption from the UTPA and provide Oregon consumers and businesses much-needed consumer protection. The Oregon House of Representatives did its job in passing the bill over to the Senate. Now its time for Senate leaders to ensure that this bill gets to Governor Kitzhaber’s desk.

Oregon House Bill 3160A is scheduled for a public hearing in the Senate Committee on General Government, Consumer, Small Business Protection On May 8th from 3-5pm at the State Capitol, Hearing Room B. For more information on this issue, please visit Economic Fairness Oregon’s website.

Settlement for Passenger Injured in Collision With Telephone Pole

Our client in this Central Oregon auto accident case was the passenger in a car being driven by a friend.  His friend was driving above the posted speed limit and, due to his excessive speed, failed to successfully negotiate a corner, hit a curb, and drove directly into a power pole.  Our client was seriously injured as a result of the accident; his most significant injury was a fractured left leg.

Oregon Auto Accident Injury Attorneys | Oregon Car Accident LawyersOur client had no health insurance and was unable to pay for his accident-related treatment.  Although our client’s friend was clearly the party responsible for this accident and although he had insurance, he initially refused to turn the claim over to his insurance company or to provide our client with his insurance information.

Our client was reluctant to involve a legal representative since the at-fault driver in this scenario was a personal friend, but once he made the decision to do so he contacted Dwyer Williams Dretke PC.  He knew our reputation for success and vigilant representation of our clients and was encouraged that our Oregon auto accident attorneys collectively have more than 80 years of experience in personal injury law.

We immediately contacted the at-fault driver and were able to get him to turn over the claim to his insurance company.  We ensured that the insurance company paid for all of our client’s accident related medical bills.  As soon as he had completed treatment for his accident-related injuries, we submitted a demand for to the insurance company to compensate him for his pain and suffering.  In the end, the insurance company made a full policy offer to settle our client’s claim.