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Dealing with Insurance Companies After a Slip and Fall Accident in Portland

If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall accident, you might feel overwhelmed, uncertain about your next steps, and concerned about the process of notifying and negotiating with insurance companies. It’s completely normal to feel this way. Navigating legal issues and insurance claims is a frustrating task at the best of times, but handling them after an injury can feel impossible. Especially if the accident is still causing you physical or financial discomfort and you’re unfamiliar with establishing liability or comparative negligence.

Well, you can take a deep breath. You’ve come to the right place.

This article will explain the premises liability laws that apply to slip and fall accidents in Portland, Oregon. You’ll learn what to expect when dealing with insurance companies and how to gather the evidence you need to receive the fair compensation you deserve. At Zbinden & Curtis Attorneys At Law, we want to help you stay informed and empowered as you move forward with your personal injury claim. Call our Portland office today if you have questions about your specific situation.

Slip and Fall Accidents and Premises Liability in Portland

Slip and fall accidents are among the most common types of personal injury claims. They can happen almost anywhere and are common in places where many people use someone else’s property, like grocery stores, public events, or city sidewalks. Slipping, tripping, or falling at one of these locations can cause injuries that range in severity from simple bumps and bruises to fractured bones or trauma to the head, neck, and spine.

In Portland, premises liability laws say that property owners are responsible for maintaining a reasonably safe environment for the visitors they attract. They’re required to actively inspect or monitor the property for any hazards that could potentially cause an injury to an unaware visitor. Once identified, the law states they must address the hazard in a reasonable timeframe, or at least notify their visitors of the danger.

If a property owner neglects this duty and someone is injured as a result, the owner can be held liable for the financial damages the victim suffered. To prove the owner was negligent in their duty, you must provide evidence that their inaction directly caused your injury. To defend against this, the property owner and their insurance investigator will attempt to lay a portion of the blame on you by highlighting any actions you took that contributed to your accident. By arguing that you are partially responsible for your own injuries, the property owner can reduce the amount they must pay. This is known as Oregon’s modified comparative negligence rule.

Comparative Negligence in Oregon

Comparative negligence means that if you are found to be partially at fault for your accident, your compensation will be reduced by your percentage of fault. For example, if you are awarded $10,000 but found to be 20% at fault for the accident, your compensation would be reduced by 20% to $8,000.

Oregon follows a modified comparative negligence rule, which means you can still recover damages if you are not more than 50% at fault. If your percentage of fault is found to be 51% or higher, you will not be eligible to receive any compensation for your injuries.

This is what motivates property owners to disprove the details in your story, and it can drive their insurance company to find ways to deny your claim. Understanding this aspect of personal injury law helps you build a strong case and protect your rights as an accident victim.

Negotiating with Insurance Companies for Fair Compensation

When dealing with insurance companies after a slip and fall accident, it’s important to understand that their primary goal is to minimize the settlement amount they are required to pay. Insurance adjusters are not evil or malicious, but their job is to protect the company’s bottom line by pursuing any avenue to deny or reduce your claim. When communicating with insurance companies:

  • Provide Accurate Information: Be honest and straightforward about the details of your accident. But, avoid giving recorded statements or signing anything without consulting a lawyer first.
  • Protect Your Rights: Insurance companies might try to get you to admit fault or downplay your injuries. Stick to the facts and avoid guessing.
  • Seek Legal Advice: Speaking with one of our experienced slip and fall attorneys can help you avoid the common pitfalls and maximize your settlement amount.

Strategies for Maximizing Your Claim Settlement

Getting the most out of your claim settlement requires a careful plan. First, gather as much evidence as possible. This means taking photos of the accident scene, getting statements from witnesses, and finding any available surveillance footage. Keep detailed records of all your medical expenses, lost wages, and other costs related to the accident. If you need help figuring out what costs are related and which aren’t, The Oregon Department of Administrative Services can provide helpful guidance on handling claims and settlements.

It’s also important not to settle too quickly. Insurance companies may try to offer a fast settlement to close your case before you know the full extent of your injuries. Before accepting any offers, ensure you fully understand your medical condition and future care needs. Zbinden & Curtis can help you evaluate offers to ensure they are fair and they cover all your losses.

Portland’s Personal Injury Professionals: Zbinden & Curtis, Attorneys at Law

Dealing with a slip and fall accident can be challenging, but understanding Oregon’s premises liability laws, gathering evidence for your claim, and firmly negotiating with insurance companies are all effective ways of maximizing your settlement. At Zbinden & Curtis, our experienced personal injury attorneys can provide guidance and support throughout the process while you relax and recover from the injuries you endured.

Remember, the goal is to ensure you are fully compensated for not just your injuries, but also your lost wages, and any other expenses your accident caused. If you need further assistance, don’t hesitate to reach out to Zbinden & Curtis, Attorneys at Law, in Portland, Oregon at (503) 287-5000.

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