Portland's Snow Is Gone, But Crash Injuries Will Linger...

This week snow blanketed the Portland Metro area down into Eugene and Springfield.  The snowstorm also covered roads from Newport to Astoria.  Many people have become casualties of the storm due to other drivers driving too fast, following too closely, or failing to brake in time.  As a result, there are a lot of people who were in low-speed collisions that are now just starting to suffer the full effects of their injuries.  Below are a few things to remember about these crashes.

See A Medical Provider if You Suspect You Are Injured:  Many low-speed collisions cause what are known as "soft tissue" injuries in the medical field.  Some lay-people and even some medical providers refer to these injuries as "whiplash."  Whiplash is usually a type of soft tissue injury that is synonymous with a neck strain.  These soft tissue injuries occur when the force of the crash tears and stretches muscles and ligaments.  These tears and stretches are commonly referred to as strains and sprains.  

Many times people do not immediately feel the effects of these injuries.  There are various reasons for this because each person is different.  However, after a few days, the pain and discomfort usually set in.  Many people do not see a medical provider because they hope that the pain is going to go away.  In some people it does, but in many people, the pain and symptoms persist.  It is best to get examined as soon as possible.  Medical Doctors, Osteopaths, and Chiropractors can assess you and monitor your injuries. 

You Should Have $15,000.00 of No-Fault Insurance to Pay Medical Expenses:   If you have an automobile insurance policy issued in Oregon then you have $15,000.00 in no-fault insurance benefits.  This no-fault insurance has certain limitations, but it will typically cover up to $15,000.00 of crash-related medical expenses.  However, it only covers treatment for two years from the date of the crash.   These benefits are called personal injury protection benefits, or "PIP."   Read here for more PIP information. If you have insurance questions call Ross Law PDX at 503.224.1658 to speak with personal injury lawyer Jeremiah Ross.  

You Don't Have to Talk to the Bad Driver's Insurance Company:  The bad driver's insurance adjuster is going to be calling to attempt to take recording statements. The insurance lawyer will later attempt to use this statement to justify offering you a low dollar amount.  The day after the crash the adjuster will ask you if you are injured, where you hurt, and if you are going to the doctor.  If you say you are a "little sore" and later need back surgery as a result of the crash, the insurance company will to try and use this statement against you.  The insurance company will try and show that after the crash you had a minor injury that healed.  They claim something else is the cause of your injury that necessitated surgery. Click here to learn more about whether or not you need to speak to an insurance adjuster. Bottom line, if you are unsure if you need to talk to an insurance company call Ross Law PDX at 503.224.1658 for your free case evaluation.

Insurance Companies WIll Make a Low-Ball Offer Right After a Crash: Insurance companies usually attempt to capitalize on these early days after the crash.  If they fear that you may have suffered an injury they will likely try and get you to settle your case as quickly as possible before you realize the full extent of your injuries.  That means that in the next few days insurance adjusters will be hitting the phones, knocking on doors, and emailing injured Oregonians trying to lean on people to take their low-ball offers. 

Lawyers Will Represent People in Smaller Value Cases:  Many people do not call a personal injury lawyer because of two main reasons.  First, injured folks are unsure about how much a lawyer will cost.  This is not a valid concern because the overwhelming majority of personal injury lawyers will give a free case evaluation.  Most personal injury lawyers also work on a contingency fee. 

The other reason people often do not call a personal injury lawyer is that they do not think their case is large enough to warrant representation.   However, Oregon has a small case law that provides economic incentives for attorneys to represent folks in these small cases.  Without these economic incentives, insurance companies would be able to offer little, if anything, because they would be aware that the cost to pursue the case would subsume any award the client would receive.  Click here to read more about Oregon's Small Case Law (ORS 20.080)  

There are too many topics to cover in one blog post.  If you have any questions or are in need of help please call Ross Law at 503.224.1658 for your free case evaluation.  Please remember that this post is for informational purposes only and you should consult with medical professionals and attorneys.  Do not solely rely on this post.  

Three Things You Must Know About Oregon Auto Insurance:

Full Coverage Does Not Mean What You Think it Does:  All too often I meet with clients who tell me, "Don't worry, I have full coverage."  Some of these clients have been heartbroken when they learn that their "full coverage" only included the state-mandated minimum bodily injury limits of $25,000.00. There is not an insurance policy that is sold that states it is "Full Coverage."  This term usually means that the policy meets the state mandatory minimum requirements.  These requirements merely are that the policy has a minimum bodily injury coverage of $25,000.00 per person or $50,000.00 per crash; personal injury protection benefits that include $15,000.00 to pay reasonable and necessary medical bills for up to two years after the crash; and $20,000.00 property damage coverage (to pay for damaging another's property). All policies must also have an uninsured motorist provision and an underinsured motorist provision (used when the bad driver doesn't have enough insurance.)

Your Insurance Company May Refuse to Pay Crash Related Medical Bills:  Oregon law requires that the insurance company pays your crash related bills for two years.  However, this amount the insurer will pay in total varies depending on the personal injury protection coverage you have purchased.  If you have the minimum personal injury protection benefits then your insurer will stop paying crash related bills once they have paid $15,000.00.  That amount can go quickly especially if there is surgery.  The other game insurers play is they will claim your injuries are not crash related, so they refuse to continue to pay your personal injury protection benefits.  They may even send you to a medical provider that works exclusively for insurance companies to give an "opinion" that your injuries are not crash related.   If that occurs call Ross Law at 503.224.1658.

The Minimum Bodily Injury requirements are a Mere $25,000 per Person:  This is usually shocking to most people.  This means that if you are injured in a car crash and you have the minimum limits that you will likely only have $15,000.00 from your insurance policy's  personal injury protection benefits to pay for medical bills, and then an additional $25,000.00 from the bad driver's insurance policy to pay for medical expenses and pain, suffering, and all other harms and losses.   When a person is dealing with a severe injury, these amounts are very low considering the cost of medical care these days. There may be other ways to obtain additional coverage, including "Stacking" your underinsured motorist coverage, or umbrella coverage, but usually, an attorney will be required to navigate these issues.

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 Insurance is a complicated issue, but the bottom line is you can never have enough insurance.  If you are injured in a crash and you need assistance in dealing with insurance companies call Ross Law LLC at 503.224.1658Jeremiah Ross is a Portland Personal Injury Attorney who will do his best to fight to obtain full compensation for your injuries. 

LEGAL STUFF:  Please remember the law is constantly changing.  This post only applies to insurance policies written in Oregon.  It is important to remember that insurance policies and Oregon law control the types of benefits you may receive and what insurers are permitted to do.  Please rely on the policy language and the law and not solely on this educational post.

 

 

Jeremiah Ross Selected As Super Lawyer, Again....

Jeremiah Ross has been named as a Super lawyer for the third year in a row.  Super Lawyers is a peer-rated group that has recognized Jeremiah Ross for the work he has done for his Personal Injury Clients throughout Oregon.  Only 5% of attorneys in Oregon receive this distinction.

Uber Fined for Allowing Felons and Disqualified Drivers to Drive Passengers

Uber has proven it is a convenient and reliable source of transportation.  However, safety has always been a concern.  Many Uber drivers are involved in traffic crashes because they are distracted by the passengers or their mobile device they rely on to drive for Uber.  Uber has also hired many drivers that have criminal histories that are a cause for concern. [Click here for the previous article] Last week Colorado fined Uber $8,900,000.00 for violating driver qualification laws.[Click here to read article].

The fines are a result of Uber hiring 57 drivers with criminal convictions that should have disqualified them from working.  Some of the questionable drivers had felony convictions that should have disqualified them.  Hiring drivers with felony convictions or other disqualifying theft related or assault convictions puts passengers at risk.  It also violated Colorado's laws, resulting in the fines.   

Mr. Clown says, "Trust me!  I passed the background check."

Mr. Clown says, "Trust me!  I passed the background check."

Although the State of Oregon has yet to audit Uber.  Uber drivers have done some terrifying things here  here in Oregon.  There are instances of Uber drivers being involved in road rage, stalking, and assault in Oregon.  Allowing a convicted felon to act as an Uber driver may increase the likelihood that driver will be involved in illegal activity.  If a driver is involved in unlawful activity Uber should be held accountable for all of the victim's losses.

If you, or someone you know, are involved in an incident with an Uber or other rideshare driver please call Portland Oregon Attorney, Jeremiah Ross for your free case evaluation.  Call Ross Law PDX at 503.224.1658 to discuss how the Uber driver and Uber can be held accountable.  Please remember this post is for advertising purposes.   Also, this post does not create an attorney client relationship.

Five THANKSGIVING TRAVEL TIPS FOR OREGON DRIVERS

It is hard to believe Thanksgiving is already here in Oregon.  This means that hundreds of thousands of Oregonians are going to hit the road to spend Thanksgiving with friends and family.  The surge in traffic can cripple Oregon's roads especially around Portland, Salem, Woodburn, and Eugene.  The increased traffic not only can cause frustration and delay, but it can also cause more vehicle crashes.  Here are some tips to help reduce your stress and chances of being in a vehicle crash:

Uploaded by Roham on 2013-07-08 who is not affiliated with Ross Law.  Youtube clip is directly from a Youtube link.

  1. Travel during a less congested timeTravel and Leisure Magazine states that Portland's traffic will be at its worse this Wednesday and then again on Friday at 4 p.m.  They suggest driving on Thanksgiving day or early Sunday morning to avoid the traffic.  Also, leave a little earlier than you think you should.  This will build a buffer time, so you won't be in a rush to get to your destination if you encounter unforeseen traffic.
  2. Be Prepared for Traffic: If you get hangry, or have little ones you should be prepared for a trip that may take a couple of hours longer than usual.  Throwing some snacks in a bag, bringing some toys for the kids, or other things to entertain them will help relieve a lot of the frustration of sitting in traffic.  As a father of a toddler and a baby, I know this isn't always feasible, but it can help.  This may help you remain more alert and focused on the road.  
  3. Leave extra room between you and the car in front of you:  Rear end crashes are going to be common this weekend. People will be traveling too close to the vehicle in front of them.  It happens every year.  These crashes are easy to avoid if drivers simply pay attention and leave extra room between them and the car in front of you.  This can be hard in bumper to bumper traffic, but it can also mean the difference between staying safe and being in a crash.
  4. Cut Down on Distractions:  Phones, Ipads, in-vehicle movies, and rowdy kids can all create unnecessary distractions that can lead to a crash.  Drivers should do whatever they can to reduce these distractions.  The new iPhone update has a "Do not disturb"  option that allows the phone to not communicate while you are driving.  This is a handy feature but should be unnecessary if you simply remain off of the phone.   Keeping devices away from the driver and keeping the kids happy are two ways to prevent distractions. Also, remember the stiff penalties for holding a mobile device while driving.
  5. Ensure Your Vehicle is Mechanically Sound:   When was the last time your windshield wipers were replaced?  When was the last time your tires were inspected?  What about that noise under the hood?  These mechanical issues can result in a crash or an unnecessary delay.   It is supposed to be rainy all week in Northwestern Oregon so wipers, headlights, and tires are important on a long trip.  Good tires prevent you from hydroplaning so ensure you have ample tread on them.  Many crashes are a result of poor visibility so good wipers and headlights are a necessity.  Also, you don't want to be stranded on the side of the road with a serious mechanical issue that could have been avoided by a quick inspection.   If you think something is wrong with the vehicle, have it looked at before you leave.

Of course, there are other tips to keep you and your family safe on the road, but these should get you thinking about it.  You don't want a relaxing holiday to turn into a nightmare scenario.  If you, or someone you know, have been in a traffic crash please contact Jeremiah Ross at 503.224.1658 for your free personal injury case evaluation.  Ross Law LLC is happy to represent personal injury clients in Oregon.    

Happy Veterans Day! Veterans day events in Portland

I usually work most holidays, but tomorrow Ross Law will be closed in honor of veterans day and the Marine Corps Birthday.  Over the next couple of days, I will be remembering the good and bad times I had in the Marine Corps and National Guard. I will also reach out to those that I served with, and take time to remember those that paid the ultimate price of freedom.   Please thank a veteran this weekend and remember all they have done for us. 

If you are in Portland you are in luck as there is plenty to do this weekend in honor of Veterans Day. 

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  • The Oregon Zoo gives military veterans, active duty service members, and family members a free day at the zoo on November 11.
  • There is a Veterans Meetup on at 3:30pm on November 11, 2017, at Rontoms lounge in Portland. 
  • The Trailblazers are having Military Appreciation Night on November 10, 2017. 
  • The Portland's Veteran's Day Parade will be kicking off at 930AM on November 11, 2017 in the Hollywood neighborhood.

For a complete list of Veterans Day events throughout Oregon click here.  For a list of businesses that have chosen to honor veterans by providing discounts, free services, or discounts, click here.

 If you are a Veteran in need of legal help, please call me at 503.224.1658.  If I can't assist you, I will do my best to find you someone that can assist you with your legal issue.

Oregon's Most Dangerous Hosptials

Patient Safety is a huge issue in today's medical world. As many as 440,000 people die every year from preventable errors in hospitals.  When hospitals put profits over safety patients may get seriously injured or die.  A recent survey by Leapfrog Hospital Grades has been published and reported on by Oregonlive.  The survey gives grades designating Oregon's safest and most dangerous hospitals . Leapfrog measured the hospital's overall performance in keeping patients safe from preventable harm and medical errors," (Oregonlive) The results are surprising and worrysome.

The good news is many of Oregon's hospitals received an "A" rating.  Here are some of Oregon's safest hospitals that received the highest "A rating":

  • Portland Adventist (Portland)
  • Asante Three Rivers Medical Center (Grants Pass)
  • CHI Mercy Health Mercy Medical Center (Roseburg)
  • Kaiser Sunnyside Medical Center (Clackamas)
  • Kaiser Westside Medical Center (Hillsboro)
  • Legacy Meridian Park (Tualatin)
  • Providence Milwaukie Hospital (Milwaukie)
  • Providence Portland Medical Center (Portland)
  • Providence Willamette Falls Medical Center (Oregon City)
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Surprisingly some of Oregon's larger more well-known hospitals received the lower "C" score.  These scores are much lower than some of the lesser known rural hospitals.  Some other well-known hospitals received an average "B" rating. For example:

  • Legacy Good Samaritan Medical Center (Portland) received a "B"
  • Legacy Mt. Hood Medical (Gresham) received a "B"
  • McKenzie-Willamette Medical Center (Springfield) received a "B"
  • Legacy Emanual Medical Center (Portland) received a "C"
  • Oregon Health and Science University (Portland) received a "C" (Click for report)
  • Providence Saint Vincent Medical Center (Portland) received a "C"

The bottom line is that if you have an opportunity to choose your medical care you should consider patient safety in your decision on where you will receive treatment.  Hopefully, the hospitals that received the lower ratings will strive to get better.  Only time will tell. 

If you or someone you know has been injured at a hospital due to the Hospital's negligence or medical provider's malpractice call Portland Oregon attorney Jeremiah Ross for your free case evaluation at 503.224.1658.  Please remember Ross Law LLC is not affiliated with The LeapFrogGroup and the results above are not independently verified.  Please remember this post may be construed as attorney advertising.

Ross Law Jury Trial-Attorney Fees Awarded to Jeremiah's Client

Jeremiah's personal injury client was recently awarded attorney fees and costs in addition to the thousands of dollars the Jury Awarded his client.   The Jury sided with Jeremiah's injured client who had suffered muscle strains in a motor vehicle crash.  Then it was up to the Judge of whether or not to award attorney fees and costs. 

The Judge's separate award of attorneys fees is a great outcome for the client.  This means Ross Law will not be paid Attorney Fees and Costs out of the the Jury's Award.  GEICO (The Bad Driver's Insurance Company) will have to pay Ross Law's Attorney Fees and costs incurred on behalf of his injured client.   That means more money goes to Jeremiah's injured client.

If you or someone you know have a personal injury case call personal injury lawyer Jeremiah Ross at 503.224.1658.  Ross Law LLC provides free personal injury consultations.  If you have questions about attorney fees call Jeremiah Ross at 503.224.1658.  Please remember results may vary.