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Gresham Auto Accident Attorney

Just like any other major metropolitan area, in Gresham we see a fair share of auto accidents on our major thoroughfares: Powell, Glisan, Burnside, Stark, I-84. While you can’t always avoid a collision, you can reach out to a Gresham auto accident attorney at Gamboa Law Firm who will fight for compensation on your behalf.

First steps for auto accident cases in Gresham, Oregon

If you are injured and need immediate medical attention, you should get treatment right away. Following treatment, call your insurance company and let them know you’ve been in an accident. If you were able to get the other driver’s license/insurance/license plate at the time of the accident, provide this information to your insurance.

This next tip is key: Aside from making sure the other party is okay, do not discuss the accident—do not make any remarks that can sound like you are taking blame or at fault. These admissions could be held against you later by the other driver’s insurance company.

Types of damages in auto accidents

In Oregon, in order to receive any compensation for your injuries, a jury must find you to be less than 50% at fault for the accident. This is concept is known as comparative fault and it can be very important in determining how much you receive in damages. For example, if you were in an accident and a jury determines damages incurred were $100,000, but you were 20% at fault in the accident, your final award would be $80,000.

There are two kinds of compensations you can receive from an auto accident claim, or any personal injury accident case. These damages are called economic and non-economic damages.

Economic damages include medical bills you incur while seeking treatment for your injuries, as well as lost wages from missing work—and in extreme cases—your potentially impaired earning capacity.

Potentially impaired earning capacity is awarded when you can no longer perform the job you used to because of your injuries. For example, if you’re a mechanic and rely on your hands to perform repairs to automobiles and you injure your hands in an auto accident to the point where you have limited mobility, you could be eligible for the potentially impaired earning capacity portion of economic damages.

The other kind of damages you could receive are non-economic damages. This includes categories like pain, suffering, and impaired activity. Similar to the potentially impaired earning capacity, impaired activity speaks to things you used to love doing but can no longer do because of your injury. For instance, if you love tennis and were regularly out on the courts every weekend, but now that you’re injured, you can’t play tennis ever again, you could be eligible for non-economic damages.

It’s always the plaintiff’s burden to prove their damages. If you go to trial, you would discuss all the activities you no longer can perform. You would call additional witnesses who could verify the loss of activities sustained due to the injuries.

Then of course, there’s the pain, suffering and emotional distress portion of non-economic damages. There isn’t a formula to calculate emotional distress, but in order to prove it, often a psychologist/psychiatrist is needed to evaluate your condition and give their recommendations on the stand. Sometimes people suffer from PTSD or experience anxiety after an auto accident. In these cases, an expert witness would need to testify to your emotional health.

Gresham auto accident case experience

My main priority is getting the maximum, fair amount in damages for my clients, whichever way that has to happen—either through settlement or by going to trial. The most common types of accidents I’ve seen as a Gresham auto accident lawyer are rear-end collisions and intersection crashes. As a former insurance defense attorney, I’m able to maximize what my clients receive in damages because I know how insurance companies value cases.

When insurance companies come back with an unreasonable amount they’re willing to pay out in damages, I recommend going to trial to get a fair compensation for my clients. Your best chances of getting the highest damages possible sometimes requires going to trial. Many of my clients are hesitant at first about going to trial, but I only recommend it when it makes sense from a cost vs risk perspective.

If you’ve been injured in an auto accident and you need expert legal counsel from a professional and experienced Gresham auto accident attorney, please contact me today to get started. Your case evaluation is always free.

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