Personal Injury Claims Advice – Part Two
In the first blog post, we discussed the “statute of limitations” for many tort claims (not all) in Oregon. The second piece of advice we give to all clients with personal injury claims relates to when someone should settle their claim.
The term personal injury attorneys use to describe someone that is ready to settle their claim is “medically stationary.” This means the individual is back to the physical condition they were before the incident/accident, or they are at a point where they will not get any better.
Before you settle your personal injury claim, you should know the full extent of your injuries. You should also know what the future holds for you – will you have physical restrictions, permanent pain, or be more susceptible to re-injury or premature arthritis? If you settle your claim without knowing this vital information, you will not receive the fair value for your claim.
We have seen time and time again, clients that have wanted to settle their claim while still treating with a doctor, physical therapist, or a chiropractor. Our advice is to wait until your treatment is complete so that we can fully assess the extent of what injures you sustained, the effect it had on your life, and what the future holds.
Numerous times, after informing clients to wait and settle their claim after they are medically stationary, we have seen the client go on to have surgery for ligament tears or complications related to their previous injuries. Had they settled their case early, these medical costs would not have been covered, and the insurance company or jury would not have been able to factor in any permanent restriction, pain, and disruption to their life.
Advice like this is second nature to personal injury attorneys in Oregon. It is not second nature for individuals who have never had to think about things like this. The best advice I can give is to call a personal injury attorney for any question you have. A call does not obligate you to hire an attorney. It does, however, give you important information that will hopefully put you on equal ground with the experienced insurance company.
Dan Rayfield, personal injury lawyer serving Corvallis, Oregon, and surrounding areas.