Maximize Personal Injury Claim
Investigating Often Overlooked Ancillary Claims
In this post we discuss how to maximize your personal injury claim. When a negligent driver collides with your vehicle and jeopardizes your health and safety, the worst possible outcome would be if are you left footing the bill for their careless or reckless act. Unfortunately, this is an all too common occurrence as insurance companies are increasingly adept at shifting the financial responsibility for paying for the aftermath of an auto collision onto the backs of the innocent and injured drivers. One way insurance companies do this is by not fully advising claimants of what Oregon law allows them to recover and by getting injured drivers to resolve claims too earlier. A Portland personal injury attorney can explain your rights and ensure you are treated fairly under the law.
How to Maximize My Personal Injury Claim
Every driver in Oregon who carries insurance coverage has what is known as Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Benefits. This coverage is required under Oregon law. The driver’s insurance company is contractually obligated to provide PIP benefits in the event that anyone in the vehicle is injured in an auto collision. Some insurance companies can be very tricky in the amount of PIP benefits they allow their insureds to use. Some insurance companies routinely deny PIP benefits to injured folks who are entitled to them and continue to need medical treatment. This is one way some insurance companies avoid their financial responsibility to pay for all reasonable and necessary medical expenses that result from auto collisions. Knowing how, when, and where to use your PIP will help you have the best physical recovery and help maximize your personal injury claim against the at-fault party.
This is unfortunate, because when a PIP denial occurs the injured person is left having to pay for their medical care. In Oregon, a person does have recourse against their own insurance company in the form of a breach of contract claim. A breach of contract claim allows someone who has been harmed by a wrongful denial of PIP benefits to stand up against their insurance company and pressure their insurance company to do what is right. Wrongful Denial of PIP Benefits Claims are often disregarded, but by bring such a claim an injured person may be able to experience a more complete and full recovery. A Portland Personal Injury Attorney can assist with this claim and assist in your recovery.
Diminished Value Claims
Diminished value claims are another example of often overlooked means of recovery by innocent drivers. If your vehicle was damaged in a motor vehicle collision, then Oregon law is clear: the difference between the pre-loss value and diminished post-repair value of your vehicle is recoverable. In Rossier v. Union Automobile Ins. Co., the Oregon Supreme Court stated “It cannot be said that there has been a complete restoration of the property unless it can be said that there has been no diminution of value after repair of the car. Rossier v. Union Automobile Ins. Co., 134 Or. 211, 215-16 (1930).
This means that the at-fault driver’s insurance company, or your own insurance company if you carry Underinsured/Uninsured Motorist Property Damage Insurance, is potentially liable for any diminishment in value that your vehicle suffers as a result of being damaged in an auto collision. Despite Oregon law being clear, some insurance companies often deny diminished value claims unless they are formally litigated with the assistance of an attorney. The denial of diminished value claims is another attempt by insurance companies to shift the financial responsibility of paying for the aftermath of an auto collision onto the backs of innocent drivers.
Loss of Use Claims
In Oregon, a Personal Injury Attorney can help an individual recover damages for the loss of use of his or her vehicle for the period of time in which it is repaired. “The measure of damages for temporary loss of use of the property is the fair rental value of the property.” Scott v. Elliot, 253 Or 168, 182 (1969). “It is not necessary that plaintiff actually incur expense in acquiring a substitute in order to recover for loss of use…The owner has suffered compensable inconvenience and deprivation of the right to possess and use her chattel whether or not a substitute was obtained.” Graf v. Don Rasmussen, 39 Or App 311, 317-318, rev den 286 Or 521 (1979).
This means that compensation for loss of use does not hinge on whether out-of-pocket rental expenses were actually incurred. In other words, it is not necessary to actually rent a replacement vehicle in order to recover damages for loss of use. Because of this, someone making a claim for damages that resulted from an auto collision should probably include a loss of use claim if they were unable to use their vehicle while it was being repaired and if they were not provided a rental vehicle. This is particularly the case if the property damage was extensive and the repairs take an extended period of time.
Maximize Personal Injury Claim
Many insurance companies increase their profits by paying as little as possible on claims made against their insureds. Because of this, it is imperative that all legally valid claims be identified and brought on behalf of individuals who suffer physical injury and economic injury through no fault of their own with the help of a Portland personal injury Attorney. By doing so, each injured party is increasing their opportunity to maximize their monetary recovery and seek relief for the harms caused by the negligent party.