Tag Archives: lost wages

Injury Recovery in Reckless Portland Auto Accident

A Portland, Oregon, driver recently contacted Dwyer Williams Potter LLP for legal representation following a rear-end collision in which he sustained physical injuries that prevented him from being able to engage in productive work.  This man was a contractor by trade whose wrists were severely injured when he was struck from behind by another motorist while driving in downtown Portland.  At the moment of impact, our client braced himself against his steering wheel with wrists flexed.  This instinctive protective motion resulted in him jamming his wrists with so much force that he needed bilateral carpal tunnel surgery to correct his injuries.

Our client is a professional contractor who works with his hands for a living.  The injuries that he sustained in this rear-end collision were among the worst imaginable for someone in his profession.  Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition that affects the median nerve in the wrist, which supplies feeling and movement to the hand’s various parts.  For a contractor, carpal tunnel syndrome can limit the types of jobs that one can take on as well as one’s pace of work and overall productivity.  Severe carpal tunnel syndrome, which is the condition that our client had as a direct result of this car accident, can render contracting work impossible because nerve damage is so extensive that some parts of the hand are immobile and others completely lack feeling.  In our client’s case, surgery was absolutely necessary in order for him to guarantee the future use of his hands.

Not surprisingly given the nature of his profession, his injuries, and the invasive surgery required to treat those injuries, our client was not able to work for an extended period of time following the collision.  Prior to approaching Dwyer Williams Potter LLP for expert car accident injury representation, our client’s insurance provider performed a review of the available medical records and determined that his carpal tunnel syndrome could not have been caused by the accident.  Based on this finding, the insurer refused to pay for our client’s medical treatment and for any lost income due to the injuries and surgery.  At this point, our client attempted to settle his liability claim with the at-fault driver, but he was only offered $1,500.  His unpaid medical expenses (consultations, treatment, and surgery) alone amounted to more than $15,000.  It was clear that he couldn’t accept such a small settlement, but he was not sure where to turn or what to do.  At this critical time, our client’s surgeon recognized that his patient needed the help of a professional car accident injury lawyer and directed him toward our law firm.

Once hired by our client, we immediately entered into negotiations with our client’s Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and liability carriers.  The liability carrier, emboldened by the PIP insurer’s refusal to pay for medical expenses, offered only a slightly higher settlement offer than the $1,500 our client was initially offered.  We initially lacked medical verification to prove that our client’s injuries were caused by the accident: causality was not written up in any of our client’s post-accident medical records.  After several conversations with our client’s surgeon, however, the doctor agreed to document how our client’s injuries were related to the collision.  When the liability carrier again offered to make a reasonable settlement offer to our client, we filed a lawsuit for medical costs and lost wages.

The liability carrier began to appreciate the strength of our case when presented with the legal filings including the physician report.   Wage loss was difficult to prove given our client’s self-employed status and the inconsistencies in income reflected on tax returns from one year to the next, but after several rounds of negotiations, the insurance provider offered $40,000 to settle the case.  Our client happily accepted this offer, which reimbursed him for his time loss and pain and suffering.  This offer also maintained our client’s right to pursue his PIP insurer for the unpaid medical bills.  We continue on with the PIP claim and are confident that we will get all of our client’s bills reimbursed soon.

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.

Lost Wages Central Issue in PIP Case

Our client had been an active mother of two small children when she was injured in an auto accident in Portland, Oregon. She sought medical treatment for her injuries and had nearly exhausted the $15,000 policy her personal injury protection (PIP) provided. Auto Accident Lawyers Portland | Auto Accident Attorney Portland | Portland Injury Lawyers | Oregon In addition to her medical treatment and expenses, she found that the result of her injury was that she could no longer perform the duties of the job she had enjoyed up until that point. She found another job, but it paid less than her previous one. Trying to take care of herself and her two children, she filed a claim for wage loss through her PIP carrier to cover the gap and give her time to recover financially.

To her surprise, her PIP carrier declared that she had chosen to pursue a new career and refused to pay her lost wages claim. Furthermore, her PIP carrier demanded that she repay what they had paid for her medical bills with the money she had received in the liability settlement from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. A previous attorney had pursued these issues vigorously but with no success, so she transferred the case to a Portland, Oregon auto accident attorneys at Dwyer Williams Potter.

ORS 742.544 provides for repayment only when the recovery is greater than the financial losses. Considering that our client had to take a job that paid less, her lost earning capacity exceeded her liability settlement. The notion that she had wanted a change in careers was absurd, and we provided documentation from our client’s doctors to prove that the change in jobs was due to the injuries she suffered in the accident. In spite of our arguments, the PIP carrier still refused to pay the wage loss. Undaunted and determined to get our client the settlement she deserves, I filed a lawsuit for the lost earnings and attorney fees.

As usual, filing a lawsuit made the PIP carrier take us more seriously, and the case settled shortly after it was referred to a defense attorney, based on the understanding that attorney fee exposure would be far greater than the amount of lost wages. Our client kept the entire $25,000 liability settlement without repaying the medical expenses, and she received the lost wages from her PIP carrier to which she was entitled. She was very happy that she had transferred the case to Dwyer Williams Potter.

If you have been in an auto accident and have medical expenses and have lost wages as a result, we can help you get the financial reimbursement you deserve. Even if you’ve already consulted with another attorney, we often get results where others have failed, as in this case. One of our expert Portland, Oregon Personal Injury Attorneys will be happy to discuss your Portland, Oregon Personal Injury case with you. Call us now: 888-700-4337

No Stop Signs on the Road to Settlement

One lovely Saturday in Portland, Oregon, our client had decided to take his dog to the dog park so they could both enjoy the fresh air and sun. Just as he was almost to the park, another driver ran a stop sign and crashed into the front driver’s side of his car. Auto Accident Lawyers Portland | Auto Accident Attorney Portland | Portland Injury Lawyers | Oregon He didn’t seem hurt, but his car was too damaged to drive. He got the other driver’s information and called a tow truck and a friend to give him and his dog a ride home. He woke up the next morning with neck pain that he realized must be from the accident. He got to his doctor’s office and found out that he would need medical treatment to fully heal the injury.

Thirteen months later, his treatment was complete, but he had lost over $10,000 in wages due to the restrictions on his physical movement because of his injury and had $5,000 in bills for the damage done to his car, plus medical expenses. When he filed an insurance claim with the at-fault driver’s company they offered only a paltry $7,000. Extremely dissatisfied with that offer and suspecting that he should – and could – get better, he called us, experienced Portland, Oregon auto accident attorneys.

After taking the case, I opened negotiations with the insurance company, using his medical records and car repair bills to demonstrate the $7,000 was too little. After several rounds of intense negotiation, they didn’t bring their offer up to what I considered a fair amount. Because we stop at nothing to get our clients the settlements they deserve, I filed a lawsuit on my client’s behalf. An attorney for the insurance company took his deposition, and we set up mediation to try again to resolve the claim. After meeting with the mediator, the insurance company offered the policy limits and the case was settled for a fair amount. This settlement offer pleased our client and, with his injury healed, he was able to resume his normal life.

If you’ve been involved in a car accident that has resulted in medical expenses, lost wages, or pain and suffering that the insurance company won’t reimburse you for fairly, we can help. One of our expert Portland, Oregon Personal Injury Attorneys will be happy to discuss your Portland, Oregon Personal Injury case with you. Call us now: 888-700-4337

Low Impact Crash, High Impact Settlement

Our client was stopped at a stop sign in a residential neighborhood on his way home from work in Portland, Oregon. Before he could enter traffic again, another car rear-ended him, causing what appeared to be a minor fender bender. Becase of the low speed and low impact of the crash, the damage to his car was minimal. Auto Accident Lawyers Portland | Auto Accident Attorney Portland | Portland Injury Lawyers | Oregon Our client went on his way, thinking everything was more or less fine. Unfortunately, the next day, he realized that he had neck pain that he had not had before the accident. It’s not at all uncommon for injuries related to low-impact car accidents to take a day or two to manifest.

He sought medical treatment, and his recovery plan included physical therapy. He also had to take several unpaid days off from his food service industry job for his injury to heal completely. When he realized the grand total of his medical expenses and lost wages was $8,000, he filed a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. He was annoyed and worried when they offered him only $1,000, arguing that the speed had been too low and the property damage too minimal to warrant such costly injuries. Feeling like he was getting the run-around from the insurance company, he decided to call an expert Portland, Oregon auto accident attorney to help him recover his expenses and lost wages.

After taking his case, I obtained his medical records from the accident and attempted to negotiate the case with the insurance company. They wouldn’t budge on their low-end offer, so I filed a lawsuit under ORS 20.080 to force the issue. Oregon Statute 20.080 allows a plaintiff to recover attorney fees from the insurance company on claims of $10,000 or less, so filing under this statue usually gets the insurance company’s attention. It worked this time, too, and the case was transferred to a litigation adjuster, who took our client’s case more seriously than the initial adjuster. The insurance company reviewed the case and came back with a settlement offer of $8,000 plus attorney fees. Our client was quite happy with this offer and accepted.

If you’ve been injured in a car accident – even a low-impact one with little property damage – and need help getting the insurance company to pay attention to you and your claim, we can help. One of our expert Portland, Oregon Personal Injury Attorneys will be happy to discuss your Portland, Oregon Personal Injury case with you. Call us now: 888-700-4337

Lost Wages Regained in Successful Personal Injury Lawsuit

After years of hard work, our client had established a successful contracting business in Portland, Oregon. His upcoming jobs included a 6-month long remodeling job at a local apartment complex, and he was glad to have secured a half year of steady work. Shortly before the job was scheduled to begin, he was rear ended by another driver while waiting at a downtown red light. He sustained serious back and neck injuries and he could not work while undergoing medical treatment. Auto Accident Lawyers Portland | Auto Accident Attorney Portland | Portland Injury Lawyers | Oregon The owners of the apartment complex couldn’t wait for him to get better and gave the job to another contractor. Our client lost $30,000 of income in the few seconds it took the auto accident to happen.

When our client filed a claim with the insurance company for his lost wages, he was very frustrated when they responded with an offer of only $5,000. He decided to hire an experienced Portland, Oregon auto accident attorney to help him recover his lost wages.

Upon taking his case, I collected the documentation necessary to prove that his lost income added up to $30,000 and submitted that to the insurance company. They still refused his claim. I took the next action available and filed a lawsuit for our client’s injuries and lost income. Then, I took my client’s deposition – basically establishing a legal record of the facts in the case – and the court ordered mediation for his case. During the mediation process, the insurance company finally offered him all of his lost wages plus compensation for his medical expenses and pain and suffering. Our client was extremely happy with the results.

If you’ve been injured and are losing wages because you can’t work – even if you’re self-employed – we can help. One of our expert Portland, Oregon Personal Injury Attorneys will be happy to discuss your Portland, Oregon Personal Injury case with you. Call us now: 888-700-4337


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