What is an Oregon Plaintiff’s Attorney?
Let’s say you’re living in Oregon and you’ve been badly injured because of someone else’s negligence. You know there are going to be lots of medical bills, and you’ve lost a lot of money already because you’ve missed a couple of weeks work; the boss is making noises about having to find someone else to fill your shoes, even though he’s sympathetic to your situation.
Sympathy won’t put food on the table, but when it comes to suing the negligent party, you don’t even know where to begin, because you were injured because you slipped and fell at a large shopping mall, or when your car’s brakes failed (mechanic or manufacturer—who’s to blame?), or when an unsecured book case fell over on top of you at the public library.
In cases where people don’t know where or how to find justice, they turn to an Oregon plaintiff’s attorney. In simple terms, an Oregon plaintiff’s attorney is a lawyer who represents individuals who have been harmed physically and financially. In more practical terms, a plaintiff’s attorney is someone who will fight for the rights of the “little guy” who finds himself up against a giant corporation, some faceless entity, or an insurance company that just doesn’t want to know. A competent and reputable personal injury lawyer will be willing to challenge:
- The trucking company that insists they’re not responsible for running you off the road
- The pharmaceutical company that manufactured the defective asthma inhaler
- The giant car manufacturer that allowed an unsafe vehicle to stay on the road
- The government department that let created an unsafe intersection by allowing trees to obstruct a stop sign or crosswalk markings to fade
Of course, an Oregon plaintiff’s attorney will also handle the “normal” cases, like when you’ve been injured in a car crash and the other driver changed his mind about admitting liability, or when the insurance company is trying to shrug you off with a settlement that is nowhere near being fair.
In short, Oregon plaintiff’s attorneys represent people who were injured through no fault of their own, and hold those who were negligent responsible, whether the negligent party is an individual, an organization or a large company.
Evening the odds
In many cases, people who have been injured suffer serious, long-term and potentially life-changing damage to their health. They also suffer financially; in some cases to the point of economic ruin. Then, to make matters worse, they are forced to contend with an insurance company, whose sole purpose in life is to pay out as little as possible, in order to keep profits up and shareholders happy.
An Oregon plaintiff’s attorney will even up the sides. The insurance company will certainly have a team of lawyers trying to dispute your claim. In effect, they practically bully the victim into taking an insufficient award. Of course, bullies hate it when anyone stands up to them, and that’s precisely what plaintiff’s attorneys do.
When an injured party has a well-recognized, experienced personal injury attorney on their side, the insurance companies drop the “bullying” act, because they know, quite frankly, that there’s simply no point. It has been proven time and again that someone who hires a good Oregon plaintiff’s attorney is ironically far less likely to end up in court than someone without an attorney. That’s because going to court costs the insurance companies money, and if they think there’s a chance they’ll lose (and lose big), they will do whatever it takes to avoid that scenario. Therefore, settlements are agreed more quickly, and with far more reasonable awards offered.
Won’t it cost me a lot to hire a really good Oregon plaintiff’s attorney? What if I lose my case?
A truly reputable Oregon plaintiff’s attorney would never let their client assume any financial risk. They will assume all the risks and upfront costs of:
- Filing the lawsuit
- Hiring investigators to help prove your case
- Paying accident reconstructionists to appear in court and testify on your behalf
- Hiring medical experts to testify as to your medical condition, the likely long-term consequences of your injuries and the impact on your physical and psychological health
- Hiring financial experts to explain in detail to a jury the likely loss of income you will have to bear if you are unable to work for a lengthy period of time, if ever
As well as paying all the upfront expenses, an Oregon plaintiff’s attorney will sign a contingency fee agreement with their client. This means that only if your lawsuit is successful will the attorney get paid (a percentage of your award). If the case is lost, for whatever reason, it won’t cost you a penny.
Of course, this gives the Oregon plaintiff’s attorney added incentive to win your case, whereas the lawyers for the insurance companies are salary-based or charge by the hour, and they will get paid regardless of the outcome. When a plaintiff’s attorney takes on your case, they are literally risking potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars in expenses, and they get paid nothing for the duration of the process, which can take months or even years. These are powerful underlying factors in your favor, as you can imagine how hard the plaintiff’s attorney will fight to make sure you receive an award.
Making the world a safer place
What many people fail to realize is that by taking an action against a large corporation, or a hospital, or a government department, they are potentially sparing other people from the same injuries they have suffered themselves. This is one of the beneficial side effects of hiring a plaintiff’s attorney. If a corporation finds itself paying out millions in lawsuits and weathering a shower of bad publicity because of an unsafe product or practice, they’re going to change it! Examples of where these things have already happened include:
- Hospitals have changed surgical procedures to prevent errors.
- Large construction companies have improved on-site safety practices.
- Day care centers now run criminal background checks on potential employees.
- Cities have improved or upgraded traffic controls at dangerous intersections.
- Property owners have repaired defects and added security features to rental properties.
These things have frequently come about because someone decided they were willing to take on the giant, and they got a plaintiff’s attorney to stand with them and fight for true justice.
If you find yourself in the role of the “little guy,” and some insurance adjuster is trying to get you to accept a settlement that you know (or suspect) is desperately unfair, tell that adjuster to speak to your attorney. Give them the name and number of your highly successful, vastly experienced Portland personal injury lawyer, and listen to them change their tune.
With a good plaintiff’s attorney on your side, you will give yourself the best chance of receiving the compensation you need and deserve, and of making the world a safer place for others.