Personal Injury

5 Things People In Car Crashes Should Know About Dealing with the Bad Driver's Insurer:

It seems each time I meet with a new potential personal injury client they express extreme frustration and anger with the insurance companies involved in their case. Most of this anger is directed towards the other driver’s insurance company. I usually refer to the other driver that caused the motor vehicle crash as the “bad driver.”

Much of the frustration and anxiety comes from the misinformation from the insurance adjusters and the insurance industry. Insurance companies have worked hard to soften their images and gain the public’s trust with cute ad campaigns and by sponsoring events. Then when it comes time for the insurance company to do the right thing and honor the terms of the policy, they quickly switch to militant penny pinchers and will use a number of well-calculated strategies necessary to save the insurance company money. Below are some tips to assist people in dealing with the “bad driver’s” insurance company that may help alleviate frustration, anger, and anxiety from dealing with the insurance industry.

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1)  The Bad Driver’s Insurance Company is Usually Not Represented by a Lawyer Until a Lawsuit is Filed:  It is rare that an injured person would be contacted by the bad driver’s insurance company’s’ lawyer. Most likely the person calling on behalf of the bad driver’s insurance company is an insurance adjuster.  These adjusters sometimes like to think they are lawyers or even doctors and often try and act like lawyers. In reality, many adjusters have little formal relevant education and rely on internal policies and spoonfed information generated by computers to assist them with their job of paying the bare minimum on every claim. They will refer to injuries as if they are highly knowledgeable about specific injuries. However, most adjusters do not have any formal medical education and are parroting what was learned in insurance industry seminars.  This is important to remember, so you are not intimidated by them.

2) There is NO requirement that an injured person speaks to the bad driver’s insurance company adjuster or lawyer. For more information on insurance company phone calls read my blog article.  

3) You Do NOT Need to Fill Out Forms or Provide Your Social Security Number to the Bad Driver’s Insurer: The bad driver’s insurer’s goal is to get away with paying the minimum amount of money to compensate you for your injuries. That is how they stay in business. To do this they are going to look for all sorts of dirt and information that they can use to diminish the value of your claim. For example, they are going to request that you sign a “medical release” to allow them to get your medical records. They may claim they need these records to evaluate the claim. This is true, but you can get them fromi the medical provider, review them for relevant records, and then provide them directly to the bad driver’s adjuster.

By signing the “medical release” you give the adjuster the authority to get all of your medical records and sometimes your mental health counseling records. Adjusters will use these records to attempt to find other plausible explanations for your injuries or symptoms. For example, if you went to the chiropractor 2 years before the crash, the bad driver’s insurance adjuster may obtain those records to claim that the current crash is not the cause of your injured back because the records from two years ago say you had a “sore back.” They may also obtain records to make you feel uncomfortable with being involved in the claim. For example, if your medical records describe an incident from a night you wish you forgot, then that inference that other people might learn about that night may be enough for you to accept less to settle your claim. They may want a release to obtain your employment information and claim they need it to evaluate a “wage loss claim.” However, that release will allow them to have access to your entire file and the sensitive information contained therein. The Bad Driver’s Insurance company will also claim that they need your social security number to process the claim or they will get in trouble with Medicare. The medicare issue is only partially true. The SSN is key for the bad driver’s insurer to run you through their computer databases to determine if you have prior insurance claims or crashes. This is more information they can use to devalue your claim. If you may be medicare eligible then you will likely need to either fill out a medicare form regarding your identity or provide the ssn when the case resolves. I usually tell the bad driver’s insurer that they can have my client’s information when I get the settlement check. If you have questions about this call a personal injury lawyer at 503.224.1658.

4) YOU Control Your Case Against the Bad Driver, NOT the Bad Driver’s Insurer:   I regularly hear people complain that the bad driver’s insurance company is going to “close their case” if they do not communicate with the adjuster or accept an offer to settle the case against the bad driver. People get concerned that if the bad driver’s insurance company closes their file then they will not be able to be compensated for their injuries. This could not be further from the truth. Insurance adjusters speak as if many internal insurance policies are the law and will affect the claim against the bad driver. For example, they may claim you have to return their call. However, as previously mentioned that is not the law. They may also claim that if you don’t accept an offer they are going to close their file. That may be true, but you have the option of filing a lawsuit as long as it is within the statute of limitations. That will force them to reopen the file (or whatever they call that in insurance land.) The bottom line is that you control the amount of the offer you will accept, when you communicate with the bad driver’s insurance company, and if you are going to sue the bad driver if the bad driver’s insurance company won’t make a fair offer.

5) They Are Going to Play Good Cop Bad Cop and Re-Assign Adjusters: Many people get extremely frustrated because their claim with the bad driver gets bounced around from adjuster to adjuster. Usually, the bad driver’s adjusters will be nice at first and kill you with kindness. They will try and gain your trust in an effort to convince you that you should settle for pennies on the dollar. If that does not happen, they may start to ignore your calls and their tone will usually become more adversarial. Then the adjuster may try and bully you into settling. If that does not occur, the insurance company may transfer the case to a new adjuster who will try and start over with the same routine above. The new adjuster may even tell you the former adjuster was “new” or was terrible at their job. This again is an attempt to gain your trust with the new adjuster. The new adjuster may offer a little more money in an effort to resolve the claim. If the claim doesn’t resolve then they will continue the cycle and get grumpier and grumpier until they transfer the file. This is a good tactic the bad driver’s insurers use to grind you down. They want to wear you down and have you tired of telling the same thing over and over. They want to frustrate you and find that weak moment when you finally say, “OK, I’ll settle?”

PRO-TIP: HAVING A LAWYER CAN REDUCE YOUR STRESS IN DEALING WITH INSURANCE COMPANIES: As a personal injury lawyer I look at it as my job to alleviate my client’s stress related to their bodily injury claim. In doing so, I communicate with the bad driver’s insurance company and there is no need for the client to fill out their silly forms or be bounced around on the phone for hours. If you have more questions about your car crash case call Ross Law at 503.224.1658. Jeremiah Ross is a Personal Injury Lawyer that represents clients throughout Oregon, including the Portland Metro Region, Eugene, Pendleton, Hermiston, Astoria, Cannon Beach, Scappoose, Medford and places in between.

Please remember to call a lawyer and not rely solely on this article. Please also remember that rules in states may be different than Oregon. Also, please remember that this article is based on the experience of a personal injury lawyer, and not an insurance company insider or employee. This post could be considered ATTORNEY ADVERTISING.

Jeremiah Ross Named Super Lawyer for Oregon Personal Injury Cases!

Jeremiah Ross has been recognized as a “Super Lawyer” again for his outstanding work in Personal Injury Cases. Jeremiah Ross has been recognized by Super Lawyers for the past four years. Jeremiah Ross has received the following awards:

  • 2019 Oregon Super Lawyers

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Jeremiah is honored to be rated as a “Super Lawyer” in the personal injury category by his peers. According to Superlawyers, "Super Lawyers selects attorneys using a patented multiphase selection process. Peer nominations and evaluations are combined with independent research. Each candidate is evaluated on 12 indicators of peer recognition and professional achievement. Selections are made on an annual, state-by-state basis. The objective is to create a credible, comprehensive and diverse listing of outstanding attorneys that can be used as a resource for attorneys and consumers searching for legal counsel. Since Super Lawyers is intended to be used as an aid in selecting a lawyer, we limit the lawyer ratings to those who can be hired and retained by the public, i.e., lawyers in private practice and Legal Aid attorneys."

If you would like to have a free personal injury case evaluation by Jeremiah Ross call Ross Law at 503.224.1658

E-Scooters Are BACK! Six Statistics That May Keep E-Scooter Riders Safe.

Portland’s E-Scooters are back. The E-Scooters were taken off the streets over the winter, but the City of Portland recently permitted them to return. The return of the E-Scooters brings with them another convenient but dangerous mode of transportation. It is no secret that E-Scooter riders have suffered broken bones, muscle strains, head injuries, and even have been killed. A recent study of E-scooter crashes found that:

  1. 37% of riders claim they were going too fast on the scooters at the time of the crash;

  2. 24% of riders were travelling downhill while injured;

  3. 55% of riders were injured in the street;

  4. 33% were injured on the sidewalk;

  5. 16% were injured when colliding or swerving to avoid a car;

  6. 15% experienced a traumatic brain injury.

The statistics say a-lot. Speed and control seem to be large contributing factors to E-scooter crashes and injuries. Riders can likely reduce their chances of being injuries if they simply reduce their speed. The study also came to a rather obvious conclusion, “Studies have shown that bicycle riders reduce the risk of head and brain injuries by wearing a helmet,” the report stated. “Helmet use might also reduce the risk of head and brain injuries in the event of an e-scooter crash.” It is not only a good idea to wear a helmet on an E-Scooter, but it is also the law.

The study conducted by The Centers for Disease Control and the Austin Public Health Department concluded that almost half of the injured riders had a severe injury. This included bone fractures, nerve , tendon, and ligament injuries, severe bleeding , and organ damage that required an extended stay in the hospital. These types of injuries, especially fractured bones, likely happen when the rider is traveling at a higher rate of speed, so they can be avoided if the riders slow down.

The recent Austin Texas study also claimed that the there are roughly 20 injuries per 100,000 trips taken on E-Scooters. This does not seem like that many injuries, but the report acknowledges, that it “likely underestimates the prevalence” of scooter'-related injuries.

If you or someone you know has been injured on an E-Scooter please call Portland Oregon personal injury lawyer Jeremiah Ross at 503.224.1658. Ross Law PDX is happy to provide a free personal injury case evaluation to persons that were injured while riding a e-scooter. Also, please remember that Ross Law PDX is not affiliated with the City of Austin or the Center for Disease Control.

6 Fatal Traffic Crashes In 4 Days in Portland! WTH Portland Drivers?

SIX fatal traffic crashes have occurred in the past FOUR DAYS in Portland Oregon! As an Oregon wrongful death and personal injury lawyer this is extraordinarily alarming. Each and every one of these heartbreaking deaths were likely preventable if people used common sense and simply followed the law while they were driving. Portland Police Bureau Chief Outlaw is warning, “Drivers [to] slow down, don’t drive impaired/distracted. Bikes and peds use caution-don’t assume drivers see you.”

Chief Outlaw also warned that the PPB is going to stepping up traffic enforcement. Portland drivers take note that you may be ticketed for what you perceive as a minor traffic violation (driving 10 miles over the speed limit, rolling through a stop sign, failing to stop while a pedestrian is waiting at a cross walk.) Hopefully increased enforcement will work to change Portland driving behavior.

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Law enforcement are not the only folks out there trying to change Portland’s driver’s behavior. Here at Ross Law, we believe that it is our duty to use the civil justice system make our community a safer place by holding wrongdoers accountable and hopefully deterring people from driving negligently, carelessly, or recklessly. We do this by filing lawsuits against the bad drivers that injure our clients. This will hopefully force the bad driver, their family, and their friends to change their driving behavior. We know that it is not easy to be sued and explain your actions that injured or killed someone. We use the civil justice process to attempt to force bad drivers that injure our clients to own up to what they did, and be held responsible by having to explain their actions, and admit they were at fault. Additionally, their insurer will have to pay to compensate the person they injured. We wholeheartedly agree with Chief Outlaw that drivers need to slow down, don’t drive impaired or distracted, and cyclist and pedestrians should be cautious on the roads.

If you or someone you know have been injured or killed in a Oregon motor vehicle crash, call Jeremiah Ross at 503.224.1658. Call Ross Law for your free personal injury case evaluation. We proudly represent people injured in car crashes, bicycle crashes, and pedestrians that were struck by a vehicle.

Ross Law Has Been Busy Fighting on Behalf of Eastern Oregonians

We are often asked if we represent clients that live outside of the Portland Metro Region. The answer is yes! In the last year Ross Law PDX represented Eastern Oregonians in the following cases:

  1. Jeremiah Ross represented a man that was brutally assaulted while in the custody of law enforcement officer in Milton-Freewater Oregon. Ross Law filed a lawsuit in Federal Court alleging 28 USC 1983 claims for the violations of the victim’s civil rights and state law claims, including negligence. The case resolved after filing the lawsuit.

  2. Jeremiah Ross represented a client from an Eastern Oregon town in a patient safety case. The client went to a medical provider who negligently performed a procedure. The provider’s negligence fractured the client’s ribs. Ross Law attempted to settle the malpractice claim with the provider’s insurer. The chiropractor’s insurer failed to make a reasonable offer. Ross Law filed a medical malpractice lawsuit on behalf of the man against the medical provider. The insurance company then promptly settled the lawsuit for virtually every penny that was asked for, plus costs and attorney fees.

  3. Jeremiah Ross has represented multiple people who have been ripped off by car dealers in Pendleton, Hermiston, and Ontario, Oregon.

  4. Jeremiah Ross and another law firm represented a truck driver who was severely injured at a loading dock near Nyssa, Oregon . The truck driver was walking through the loading area when a fork-lift violently struck him and dragged him for several feet. The crash caused serious injuries to the man’s chest, low back, and knees, pelvis, feet and shoulders. We alleged the forklift driver wasn’t properly trained, supervised, and was not following the law. The matter was initially set for trial, but the parties chose to proceed in private arbitration after the Court re-scheduled the initial trial date. The arbitrator awarded our client a significant amount of money.

Ross Law is also currently litigating a wrongful death case in Umatilla County. If you are an Eastern Oregonian who needs legal representation in a personal injury case, wrongful death case, civil rights case, or a auto fraud or lemon law case, call Jeremiah Ross at 503.224.1659. Please call Ross Law PDX for your free case evaluation. If we are unable to assist you with your legal matter we are happy to attempt to find someone that is able to. Please remember this blog post could be considered ATTORNEY ADVERTISING.

The Snow Is Coming! Things To Know if You Are In a Car Crash In the Snow.

Virtually the entire of State of Oregon is under a winter storm warning at this time. Forecasters are doing their best to predict how much snow is going to be on the ground when we all wake up tomorrow. It is no secret that the folks in the Willamette Valley, Portland, and the Metro Area struggle with driving in the snow. Portland and the Metro area grinds to a halt usually when there is a threat of snow. People abandon their vehicles, cars slide off the road, cars also slide into each other and into pedestrians. This can result in serious and catastrophic injuries to people involved in these crashes. Oregonlive has posted some great driving tips for people that will venture out in the snow. However, what do you do if you are involved in a crash in the snow?

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At the Scene: Once the area is safe, USE YOUR CELL PHONE to gather evidence: Take pictures of the car damage, the scene, the bad driver, witnesses, and the bad driver' driver's license, the bad driver's license plate, and the bad driver's insurance card. Photos of the scene are important in snow and ice crashes, because many times the parties will dispute what caused the crash. Also, have witnesses text or email you their contact information from their phones. This way you can locate them later if needed. If it is safe enough to move the car to the side of the road do it AFTER you take a couple of photos of the crash scene. Moving the vehicle permits traffic to flow through and will permit an ambulance, police officer, or other emergency responders to get to the crash if someone is injured.


If You or Someone Is Injured in the Crash and Needs Immediate Medical Attention: Call 911 if there is an injury and relay what the injuries are.

Seek Medical Care: Immediately seek treatment if you are injured. Your Oregon issued auto insurance should pay $15,000.00 for up to two years of crash related medical treatment. This does not mean you need to go to the Emergency Room, but you should schedule an appointment with a Doctor or Chiropractor to ensure you have not suffered serious injuries. The sooner the better. From a medical standpoint, you may be harming yourself if you wait to seek treatment. From a legal standpoint, insurance companies will likely give your claim less value if there is a “gap in treatment.” Insurance companies will not accept the justification that the snow prevented you from seeking treatment. This means you will likely have to fight harder to obtain maximum compensation for your losses and pain and suffering.

Contact Insurance and the DMV: Call your insurance company to set up a claim. Cooperate with them, but be cautious of their motives. If there was an injury or more than $1500.00 in property damage submit the proper Accident Report to the DMV ASAP. Here is a link to the form: DMV Accident Form.

If you were in a hit and run you must make a police report or notify the DMV within 24 hours and notify your insurer within 30 days. I advise reporting the matter to law enforcement as soon as possible. This is important as you may not be able to make a claim in the future if you were a victim of a hit and run.

Pro Tip: Call A Personal Injury Lawyer at 503.224.1658: Calling Ross Law PDX won't cost you anything to chat, and you can learn about what you need to do next.

Please be safe out there. Please remember that as an Oregon Personal Injury lawyer, Jeremiah Ross may be able to help you obtain maximum compensation for your personal injuries caused in the snow. The roads are still treacherous and there is more snow and ice on the way. Please do not hesitate to call if you have any questions. Please remember this blog and web-site may be considered attorney advertisement AND IS NOT CONSIDERED LEGAL ADVICE. REMEMBER ALL SITUATIONS ARE DIFFERENT, and this post is merely a guide.

5 Things To Know if You Were In a Crash with a DUII Driver

Ross Law PDX recently resolved a case where our client was hit by a DUII driver. The driver was out drinking and decided to drive home. While he was driving his blood alcohol concentration was well over the legal limit. The speeding drunk driver ran a stop sign and T-Boned my client’s car. The crash totaled my client’s vehicle. The DUII driver then attempted to flee, but pulled over minutes later. The DUII driver was then arrested and charged with DUII and Reckless Driving. While the DUII driver was spending the night in jail, our client was at Urgent Care getting treatment for his injuries. The crash caused ourclient to suffer soft tissue injuries (neck and back strain) which thankfully healed in a short amount of time. Our client brought Ross Law on board and we were able to obtain the DUII Driver’s $25,000.00 policy limits very shortly after letting them know of our representation. This is not an unusual scenario in DUII crash cases. However, these cases are unique and many victims of DUII drivers are often getting less than they are entitled to simply because of confusion about their rights and obligations. The following five things should assist DUII victims in ensuring they receive maximum compensation for their losses:

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1) You Have a Right to Receive A Police Report & Other Information: One of the first things that victims want to know is what happened to cause their injuries. Clients often say, “I don’t understand how he/she could have been so drunk and still driving.” Getting a police report helps victims learn what happened. It also helps them evaluate a civil case against the DUII Driver. The vast majority of the time the District Attorney will not release a police report while the case is pending under any circumstances. This is one exception to that rule. The law mandates that the District Attorney’’s Office must provide a report to victims or their lawyers if it is requested. See ORS 135.857.

2) The District Attorney Does Not “Represent” The Victim: The District Attorney’s job is to prosecute the DUII driver. This means that they will ensure that the DUII driver is either convicted of DUII or brought to trial for DUII. If the DUII driver is convicted of DUII, then the District Attorney may ask all victims involved if they are seeking restitution. This does not mean that the District Attorney is the victim’s lawyer. It simply means that the District Attorney (“DA”) is doing their job to ensure that the victims receive criminal restitution they are entitled to. This distinction is important to remember, because many people believe that the DA is also helping them with an “insurance claim” or getting compensation. Simply put, that is not he District Attorney’s job. That is what personal injury lawyers and crime victim lawyers such as Ross Law PDX do. This must be clear because the victims may limit their compensation if they do not exercise all of their rights. Click here to learn more about the difference between the district attorney and a civil attorney.

3) Criminal Restitution is Not the Same as Compensation in a Civil Case: Many times the District Attorney will send DUII victims a letter requesting if they are seeking “restitution.” Many people are confused about these letters and notices. Additionally, some DUII victims believe that seeking restitution is the same as pursuing a civil claim against the DUII driver. These are very different things. Criminal restitution is very limited. Criminal Restitution only covers “economic damages” caused by the defendant. Economic damages are defined as “objectively verifiable monetary losses.” These are often referred to as “out of pocket expenses.” Things like medical bills, burial expenses, lost income, costs to repair property, and insurance deductibles are routinely covered. See ORS 137.106(1) and ORS 31.710(2)(a). However, things like pain, suffering, frustration, anxiety, interference with activities of daily living are not recoverable as criminal restitution. These are non-economic damages. The DA has to make a claim for restitution within 90 days of sentencing, so it is important to communicate with the DA promptly if you are seeking restitution.

4) Insurance Companies Will Still Cover A DUII Crash: There are many instances when an insurance company refuses to provide coverage for an incident due to the insured’s conduct. However, the vast majority of the time an insurance company will still provide insurance coverage for a DUII crash. This is important because it allows the injured victims to receive compensation for pain and suffering in addition to their economic losses.

5) A DUII Crash Case is Worth More than a Regular Case: Insurance companies evaluate make their money by evaluating risk. They do their best to attempt to figure out what a Jury may award the victim of a DUII driver. This can be difficult because of the risk of punitive damages and the fact that the Jury may simply award the victim a substantial amount of money because the driver was impaired at the time of the crash. As a result, insurance companies will usually pay more to a victim of a DUII driver.

If you or someone you know has been injured in a crash with an Oregon DUII driver or impaired driver you should call Ross Law PDX at 503.224.1658 for your free personal injury consultation. Oregon Personal Injury and Wrongful Death attorney Jeremiah Ross is happy to discuss your options. Please remember that case results vary and the law is constantly changing. Please contact a personal injury lawyer rather than relying on this post. Also this post could be considered ATTORNEY ADVERTISING.

Can You Be Sued for Over-serving Alcohol to A Person that Causes a Car Crash?

‘Tis the season for holiday parties, which means it is also the season for DUII crashes. Many of these crashes cause catastrophic injuries or deaths. When that occurs it is likely that the injured person’s family will want to hold all negligent persons responsible for causing the injuries or death. Most people think that simply the impaired driver is solely responsible for causing the crash. However, that may not be the case if the DUII driver is leaving a residence or bar where he was over-served alcohol. In Oregon you can be sued if you are a social host and over-serve a visibly intoxicated person who causes a car crash. This means that you may be responsible for the injured person’s losses which can be millions of dollars in some cases.

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To put it another way, homeowner’s can be held responsible for serving alcohol to a person that is visibly intoxicated and later injures another in a DUII crash. (See ORS 471.565). Oregon courts have determined a person who receives guests in a social setting, in which the host serves or directs the serving of booze or beer to guests can be held accountable if the overly intoxicated person later injures another in a DUII crash. Don’t believe me? Check out the Court’s opinion in Deckard v. Bunch, 358 Or 754 (2016).

Social Host liability is important because home owner’s and renter’s insurance policies may cover DUII crash injuries and provide tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands of dollars, in additional insurance coverage. This money can be used to pay medical bills, physical therapy, vocational rehabilitation, and to compensate the injured person or their family for their harms and losses. More importantly, social host liability will hopefully act as a deterrent to over-serving intoxicated people who may get behind the wheel.

Social Host cases can be complicated and there are other theories an attorney can use to attempt to obtain maximum recovery for a person’s wrongful death, injury, or loss. Please contact Portland Personal Injury Attorney, Jeremiah Ross, at 503.224.1658 for a free personal injury consultation. Please remember this post is for informational purposes only and you should rely on the current statute and case law when considering a dram shop claim. These laws constantly change and the theories of liability are not as clear as they were in the past. Please consult with an attorney if you believe you have a dram shop claim, social host claim, or have been injured by a DUII Driver.