Auto Accident Attorney Resolves Case Involving Pre-Existing Conditions

Pre-existing injuries and health issues can complicate a liability claim, but these obstacles can be overcome with the help of a medical expert, as they were in a recent case of ours. Our client, a nineteen-year-old young woman, was on the way to visit family in Portland, Oregon with her mother. In a frightening chain of events, another driver ran a red light and hit the passenger side of the car, where she was sitting. Auto Accident Lawyers Portland | Auto Accident Attorney Portland | Portland Injury Lawyers | Oregon In addition to the usual auto accident injuries, the wreck aggravated a pre-existing condition. Since infancy, our client had suffered from seizures. Prior to the accident – and for the first time in her life – her seizures were under relatively good control, due to a new medical treatment and a strict diet. She was even studying to get her own driver’s license. After the accident, unfortunately, her seizures came back and happened more frequently and with more severity than they ever had before.

In the midst of her and her family’s distress at having the seizures return, the at-fault driver’s insurance company fought the claim aggressively, arguing that she had always had the seizure disorder and that the wreck hadn’t contributed to its worsening. To complicate matters even further, our client’s long-time doctor told her that he believed the seizures were exacerbated by the accident, but he didn’t want to put it in her official medical records or support her legal claims. At this point, unsure of where to turn, our client decided to contact a Portland, Oregon auto accident attorney to help her fight the insurance company.

After taking her case, I searched out and reviewed the medical literature at length and contacted several experts regarding epilepsy and whiplash injuries. We eventually located a seizure expert who was willing to review her records and consult on her case. We were able to go into mediation with a medical expert on our side. After mediation, the insurance company offered a sizeable settlement for our client – likely a direct result of our efforts to secure a medical expert. Our client was very happy that she had made the decision to contact a Portland, Oregon Personal Injury Attorney at Dwyer Williams Potter.

Auto Accident Attorney Wins Settlement in Challenging Claim

Our client was driving home from his last physical therapy session treating a previous auto accident injury when he was t-boned by a car coming out of a parking lot in Portland, Oregon. In this new accident, he sustained severe injuries to his neck and back and aggravated the knee injury he suffered in the previous accident. His medical bills – after neck surgery – came to about $100,000, an amount far beyond his $50,000 policy limit.

Two accidents in quick succession and minimal policy limits presents a special challenge in an injury claim. Oregon Auto Car Accident Attorneys, Accident Attorney Oregon | Dwyer Williams Potter LLP | Oregon Personal Injury Attorneys In our client’s case, the insurance company made an extremely unreasonable offer, not even offering policy limits. Worried by the insurance company’s paltry offer, he decided he needed the expert help of a Portland, Oregon auto accident attorneys.

After reviewing his case and the insurance company’s reason for their low offer, I filed a lawsuit and pursued an excess exposure claim. The excess exposure doctrine, developed through case law in Oregon, allows for a recovery greater than the policy limits under certain circumstances. When an insurer has opportunity to recognize that damages brought by their insured driver’s liability exceed the policy limits but doesn’t readily offer the entire policy limits, this can result in excess exposure. Since 1956, courts in Oregon have held that an insurance company must not act in bad faith in these situations. An insurer cannot expose their insured to the probability of a verdict that could not be satisfied by the policy limits, leaving them personally liable to pay the additional sum.

Our case went to mediation, and after several rounds of intense negotiation, the insurance company offered a settlement beyond policy limits, ultimately agreeing with our excess exposure argument. Our client was able to pay his medical providers with some money left over for other accident-related expenses. He was very happy with the result and believed that the expert representation he received from the Portland, Oregon Personal Injury Attorneys at Dwyer Williams Potter made all the difference.

Auto Accident Claim Settlement Bridges Financial Gap

Portland, Oregon is known for its iconic bridges. Unfortunately, the Freemont Bridge became iconic to the client in this story for another reason. He was driving on the bridge one day when a tow truck driver cut him off. He had nowhere to go to avoid the accident and crashed hard into the side of the bridge. Not only was this very frightening but he was also seriously injured. His neck injury was diagnosed as a permanent condition. Auto Accident Lawyers Portland | Auto Accident Attorney Portland | Portland Injury Lawyers | Oregon In addition to the pain and cost of medical injury, he also found out that he could no longer work as a mechanic at the local school district, a job he had held for the past 25 years.

One of his major concerns during all of this was how he would continue to care for his family. He knew he needed to learn a new skill that would allow him to work, even with his neck injury. However, the cost of retraining and time required left him and his family in a financial lurch. He filed a claim with his insurance company for his lost wages and retraining costs. When the company denied his claim, he called an experienced Portland, Oregon auto accident attorney to help him fight for his claim.

It ultimately became necessary for me to file a lawsuit in the case, as the insurance company refused to budge on their decision to deny the claim. As is often the case, filing a lawsuit made the insurance company take another look at the claim under dispute with more serious consideration. After reviewing it with their legal counsel, they reversed their decision and offered our client policy limits. This compensation gave our client the means to pay for retraining in a new profession. Thanks to the representation of an experienced Portland, Oregon Personal Injury Attorneys, our client was able to learn a new profession and continue to do what was most important to him – care for his family.

New Car Accident Case Resolved in Arbitration

Our client had just purchased a new car and, having owned it for only three days, had not yet added it to his insurance policy. Auto Accident Lawyers Portland | Auto Accident Attorney Portland | Portland Injury Lawyers | Oregon In a chain of events that is every car buyer’s worst nightmare, our client was involved in a car accident in Portland, Oregon and injured. After getting home from the doctor’s, he added the car to his insurance policy and was told that he would have personal injury protection (PIP) coverage for reasonable and necessary medical benefits up to $25,000. This was a relief to him, and he continued his course of treatment for his auto accident injury.

His treatment was complete in six months, and he felt much better, but he had $7,000 in medical expenses. The insurance company, claiming an exclusion based on the fact that the new car had not yet been on his policy at the time of the accident, denied the claim he filed. Although this denial was counter to the information he had gotten on the phone, the insurance company refused to pay his medical expenses, so he called an experienced Portland, Oregon auto accident attorney.

Despites aggressive negotiations, the insurance company refused to change their position. We do all we can to get our clients’ claims paid, so I filed a lawsuit to recover our client’s medical expenses and attorney fees. The lawsuit forced the insurance company to deal with our client’s claim, and they agreed to arbitration, a non-trial method of resolving lawsuits. As in a trial situation, clients need an experienced personal injury attorney to represent them in arbitration.

After arbitration, the insurance company agreed to pay all his medical bills and attorney fees. Our client was very pleased with the result and satisfied with his choice to have a Portland, Oregon Personal Injury Attorney help him fight his case.

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