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General FAQ

Why should you hire DeShaw Trial Lawyers?

Dr. DeShaw is a nationally recognized trial lawyer, who is widely published in the field of insurance claims practices - the way insurance companies actually handle personal injury insurance claims. He is the author of the only legal text on the topic of Colossus - the computer system used by the majority of all auto insurers in the US to calculate auto injury settlement values. We use that expertise in handling personal injury claims resulting from auto accidents and other injury cases where these programs may be used.

An experienced trial lawyer makes a difference: Which is why insurance companies may try to convince you that you don't need a lawyer.

What insurance company adjustors don't tell you is that they are trained to steer you away from getting a lawyer, because they know that if you hire a lawyer you will get more money for your injuries. The insurance industry's own research (through the Insurance Research Council) demonstrates that in claims worth between $1,000 and $15,000, the value of claims represented by a lawyer is more than 100% higher than those not represented by a lawyer. So, even with the lawyer's contingent fee taken out, insurers know that you will get more for your injuries by hiring a lawyer.

But, the lawyer you hire makes a difference. That is because the insurers know that if the claim is worth more than $15,000 the value of having a lawyer becomes 2x - 3x or more, than the amount you would get if you tried to settle the claim yourself. And, certain trial lawyers (those who actually go to court for our clients) command much larger settlements because insurers know that juries will recognize that our clients are legitimately injured. At our Portland Oregon personal injury law firm, we don't want to represent every person who calls our office, or even those who are referred to the office. We don't take the 80% of claims that the insurance industry settles at or below $5,000. Instead, we take a small number of cases where people's lives have been changed by the carelessness or recklessness of a person who has seriously injured them.

Unfortunately, Oregon is one of two states in America without "bad faith" laws that require insurance companies to treat injured people appropriately.  This allows insurers to abuse those who have been injured, making little or no offer on serious injury cases, and forcing the injured person to go to court in order to get fair compensation for their loss.  If you are seriously injured, finding a lawyer willing to go all the way to trial is critical if you want any chance of getting a reasonable settlement offer for your injuries.  If you have injuries that have or will impact the rest of your life, you will find that our trial experience critical to the success of your case.

All of our clients have serious injuries that compromise their ability to handle every day life events in a normal way.   Many find dealing with repeated calls from insurance adjustors to be overwhelming.  Handling a personal injury claim is difficult and time consuming. Once our Portland personal injury law firm takes your case, you can stop worrying about dealing with the insurance companies and focus on recovering from your injuries. Doctors know that there is a window of opportunity for your body to heal properly from your injuries. We want you to take full advantage of that time, rather than expending energy dealing with insurance companies. Once we take the case, our personal injury law firm takes care of all of the paperwork, phone calls, collection and organization of your medical records and medical bills, and communication with insurers, so you can concentrate on getting better.

Rather than bill you hourly like most lawyers, we handle cases on a "contingency fee basis."   This means: You don't pay us for our time unless we recover money for you. The initial phone consultation is free.  The first appointment in our office is also free.  After that, you have no obligation to become a client if you don't feel comfortable with us.

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of personal injury claims do you handle?

A: Here are a few of the roles Aaron DeShaw accepts in personal injury cases:

Oregon traumatic brain injury case lawyer

Oregon birth injury lawyer

Oregon cerebral palsy lawyer

Oregon amputation lawyer

Oregon wrongful death lawyer

Oregon quadriplegia lawyer

Oregon paraplegia lawyer

Oregon paralysis lawyer

Oregon nursing home sexual abuse lawyer (on behalf of seniors)

Oregon child sex abuse lawyer (on behalf of children)

Oregon car crash settlement lawyer

Oregon car crash trial lawyer

Oregon trucking crash settlement lawyer

Oregon trucking crash trial lawyer

Oregon plane crash lawyer

Oregon bicycle / auto collision settlement lawyer

Oregon bicycle / auto collision trial lawyer

Oregon pedestrian / auto collision lawyer

Oregon burn injury lawyer

Oregon electrocution injury lawyer

Oregon medical malpractice lawyer

Oregon defective product lawyer

Oregon bad faith lawyer (involving insurance company underpayments or fraud)

How soon after personal injury event should I call you?

There are some reasons why you may need to contact us soon after an injury:

Some types of legal cases require that you provide notice very shortly after the event.  If you wait, you can be prevented from making a claim at all.

Bad insurance company tactics are often the reason people call us for legal representation.  Some insurers have programs set up to cut people off from the care they need to recover, and Oregon law does not penalize them when they do it. The practice has spread throughout the insurance industry.  Insurers have doctors who make their living off insurance companies who will do "paper reviews" or "IME"s to say that you don't need treatment that is clinically necessary.  Even though you may not want to hire us immediately, it is helpful to call us to ensure you don't do something that could jeopardize your ability to get the health care you need.

Whether you decide to consult with our law firm or another, we suggest that you should not give the insurance companies a recorded statement until you have consulted with a lawyer.

There is one other reason that it may make sense to call early.  It is important to know right away if there is insurance coverage available to cover your medical expenses and lost wages.  If you are seriously injured in a car crash and have expended all of the "Personal Injury Protection" insurance, there may be additional health care coverage that we can help you obtain.

Ultimately, it is our #1 goal to ensure people get the health care necessary to give them the best chance at recovering from their injury.

Will I meet the lawyer when I come in for my case intake?

Yes. We limit the cases we accept to only those clients we feel really need our unique skills.  If we meet with you, we have interest in taking your case and forming a strong relationship with you.  In all personal injury cases, Aaron DeShaw does all of the client intake interviews personally.  At many law firms you will get a 15 minute interview with someone who is not a lawyer.  At our firm, you will be with the Aaron DeShaw for between 30 minutes and 5 hours depending upon the complexity of your case.

What is my claim worth?

The value of your injury claim depends on the severity and permanency of your injuries, the location where your injuries took place, the lawyer you hire, and many other things. Contact us for a free consultation so we can discuss your personal injury claim.

Should I accept the offer the insurance company has given me?

Many of the insurance companies provide different adjustors with different levels of "authority" (the insurance term for money) for people without lawyers.  What we commonly see is that people who get offers before they come to our office get offers that are a fraction of what they end up getting with us.  Take a look at our list of settlements and verdicts to see the difference between the initial offer and the end outcome.

There is another reason you shouldn't simply take the money offered.  This is something of critical importance for those with serious injuries; there may be more insurance available to you than they are telling you. And, even if one party is telling you the truth, you may have more insurance for your own injuries in what is called "Uninsured Motorist" or "Underinsured Motorist" insurance coverage.  If you settle the claim with the other person's insurance even for what they say is the “full amount,” you may waive other insurance available to you if you don't go through the correct procedure with your own insurer. Since our firm deals with many large personal injury claims, we assists people in finding additional insurance that helps with getting medical bills paid, or additional insurance that will cover your injuries, wage loss, and future treatment.

Can I get compensation for personal injuries if the other driver had no insurance, or didn't have enough insurance to cover my injuries?

Yes. In Oregon, and many other states, insurers are legally required to provide you “Uninsured Motorist” and “Underinsured Motorist” coverage as part of every auto policy.  What is often abbreviated "UM" and "UIM" insurance, may provide insurance even when the person that hit you has no insurance. If you have uninsured motorist coverage, you can recover money for your medical bills and pain and suffering even if the other driver had no insurance.

In the event that the other person has insufficient insurance to cover the full extent of your losses, DeShaw Trial Lawyers can usually make a claim for “Under-Insured Motorist” coverage.  The amount is determined by your own auto insurance policy.  This is where our in-depth knowledge of insurance company law becomes critical to our seriously injured clients.

Does my auto insurance cover injury accidents when I am a pedestrian, or on my bike?

Some auto insurance policies will cover you if you are injured in a bicycle accident or while on foot. We will need to read your individual policy.

How long does it take to settle or resolve most personal injury cases?

It depends on the nature of your claim, and usually this is dependent upon the insurer involved. We have settled “policy limits” auto cases ($25,000 or more in Oregon) within a matter of days when the facts are bad for the defendant, and there is too little insurance. However, larger personal injury cases typically take longer to settle. Many insurance companies will force the injured person to file a lawsuit against the at fault party to recover compensation over $100,000.

Insurance companies want to hold onto the money as long as possible to gain the additional interest on their money. Since the State of Oregon provides no penalty for these delays, or improper claim denials, insurers string out settlements as long as possible.

We take a select few cases, and accept those cases knowing that we are in the case as long as it takes to do what is best for the client, including going to trial. In summary, we are not a "high volume, quick settlement" type of law firm. We believe our clients deserve better treatment because of their serious injuries.

For other types of legal cases like defective products, negligent doctors, class action cases and those requiring thousands or millions of documents, the cases take much longer.

Will I have to go to trial?

Insurance companies track lawyers and know which ones will go to trial for their clients, and which ones will not.  It is clear from unprotected insurance company manuals that they will not pay the same to lawyers who don't go to trial as those who will.

The vast majority of personal injury cases don't go to trial. However, our law firm treats each case as if it is going to be a trial, as we have to be willing to go to trial to ensure our clients get appropriately paid for their actual injuries.

Why is it so important to hire an experienced Oregon trial lawyer?

As discussed above, insurance companies track lawyers and know which ones will go to trial for their clients, and which ones will not. Most personal injury cases settle before trial. The question becomes, how much do they settle for?

Trial experience is now rare in the legal profession.  While the U.S. Department of Justice and the Oregon Supreme Court have recognized the substantial decrease in the numbers of civil trials, lawyers don't want to admit the problem to the public. Some of the judges elected to the bench have never done a trial.

If you hire an Oregon personal injury attorney who has little or no trial experience, they may refuse to file your case just before the deadline for filing, leaving you with no claim. Others will refuse to go to trial out of fear of losing. Others will ask you to front the costs, or hold back on hiring the investigators and expert witnesses necessary to understand and win your case.

Insurance companies know who these lawyers are, and they offer them much less than the case is worth.  Dr. Aaron DeShaw, Esq., writes and lectures nationally on these insurance tactics. As a result, we know that we must be prepared to take every case we accept to trial, and fully present it to a jury. That is the only way that a reasonable settlement offer will be made before trial.

Do I need a lawyer who focuses on personal injury law?

In order to settle your personal injury claim you will have to deal with insurance companies. To get the best outcome, you need to know their culture, the management methods they use, and their negotiation methods. Their goal is to pay you (or your lawyer) as little as you (or your lawyer) will take. It is tough for someone who is not familiar with personal injury cases to know what a fair settlement amount is, or even have a clue about how insurance companies evaluate these type of claims. Again, our law firm handles insurance claims in a particular way, due to Dr. DeShaw's extensive history litigating against the insurance industry. He literally “wrote the book” describing the way that most U.S. insurers evaluate injury claims. We use that knowledge to your advantage.

How do I pay your legal fees?

We almost always handle personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis. This means you do not owe us a legal fee for our time, unless we recover money for you. DeShaw Trial Lawyers does not ask for any attorney fees up front for fees, and we do not charge you by the hour, unless you choose that method.

Will it cost me any money up front for filing fees, court costs, expert witness fees, and any other costs?

Filing a lawsuit, paying court costs and expert witness fees can be extremely expensive. We know that most people cannot afford these costs up front, so we forward these costs in nearly every case we take, interest free, until the end of the case. Since the recession, fewer law firms do this for clients.

Before you hire a lawyer, make sure that they are willing to forward the money to fully finance your personal injury case, including getting the necessary evaluations to understand your claim, and hire the necessary expert witnesses to testify in a trial. If the law firm you hire is unwilling or unable to do this, you may be forced into taking a minimal settlement if you cannot afford to spend the money necessary to pursue your personal injury claim.

What parts of Oregon & Washington do you handle cases in?

Although our office is located in Portland, Oregon, we accept serious injury cases throughout the States of Oregon and Washington. Here are just a few of the cities where we accept cases:

Oregon Personal Injury Cases: Portland, Oregon; Lake Oswego, Oregon, West Linn, Oregon; Beaverton, Oregon; Gresham, Oregon; Salem, Oregon; Silverton, Oregon; Keizer, Oregon; Bend, Oregon;  Wilsonville, Oregon; Tualatin, Oregon; Tigard, Oregon; Oregon City, Oregon; Hillsboro, Oregon; Gladstone, Oregon; Milwaukie, Oregon; McMinnville, Oregon; Troutdale, Oregon; Sherwood, Oregon; Aloha, Oregon; Albany, Oregon; Corvallis, Oregon; Woodburn, Oregon; Eugene, Oregon; The Dalles, Oregon; Pendleton,  Oregon; Sandy, Oregon; Newberg, Oregon; Keizer, Oregon;  Forest Grove, Oregon; Estacada, Oregon; Canby, Oregon; Newberg, Oregon; Medford, Oregon; and many others.

Washington Personal Injury Cases : Seattle, Washington; Bellevue, Washington; Kirkland, Washington; Redmond, Washington; Lynnwood, Washington; Kent, Washington; Federal Way, Washington; Auburn, Washington; Bothell, Washington; Woodinville, Washington; Kenmore, Washington; Shoreline, Washington; Mercer Island, Washington; Renton, Washington; Tacoma, Washington; Olympia, Washington; Everett, Washington; Vancouver, Washington; Camas, Washington; and others.

I'm outside the states of Oregon & Washington, but want to hire you as my lawyer.

Due to Dr. DeShaw's national reputation, we have a wide list of high quality lawyers who we can work with, likely including one in your state. Many times we can find the right lawyer for you to handle your case.  In other cases where we have unique knowledge, that requires our personal involvement, Aaron DeShaw can associate with that law firm in your state as “co-counsel” through a motion called "pro hac vice" as long as the State Bar in your state will allow it. Dr. DeShaw has previously been admitted in other states for litigation cases.

How can I get help?

For more information, please contact us or call our office at (503) 227-1233 866.THE.FIRM / (866) 843-3476 for a free consultation.