In the US alone, a person dies in a car accident or motor vehicle collision every twelve minutes; every 42 seconds, another person will suffer permanent impairment from a car crash. Approximately 40,000 people die each year from motor vehicle collisions.
- Car accidents are the sixth leading preventable cause of death in the United States.
- More than 25% of all car drivers were involved in car accidents in a five-year period.
- On an average, there are more than 6 million car accidents on US roads every year. More than 3 million people get injured in car accidents, with more than 2 million of these injuries being permanent.
Of these cases, we accept a very small percentage of cases. According to Insurance Industry statistics 80% of all auto injury claims are settled for $5,000 or less. 90% are settled for $15,000 or less. DeShaw Trial Lawyers does not accept these cases.
Only 0.7% of all auto cases settle at $100,000 or more. These generally involve mild to severe brain injury cases, multiple fractures, cervical ligament injury cases with permanent pain, surgical cases, and other catastrophic type injuries such as amputations, quadriplegia, or death. These are the type of personal injury cases DeShaw Trial Lawyers accept. We tend to only accept a few cases designated as the top 0.3% of all auto claims, with an expected value of over $250,000. Many of our cases have expected values in the millions of dollars, and involve significant long term health consequences and financial damages for our clients.
While DeShaw Trial Lawyers hope we beat those odds, our best defense is to be physically and financially prepared for a serious vehicle collision. The good news? It is surprisingly simple to be among the well prepared. The bad news? It is too late to prepare after you’ve had a serious injury. Unfortunately, too many of the injury victims we see don’t find out about (and follow) these easy steps until it is too late to do them any good.
How can I reduce and avoid physical injuries?
- Practice defensive driving.
- Drive well-maintained vehicles equipped with proper safety devices including front & side airbags, seatbelts, etc.
- Wear your seatbelt and whenever possible, don’t be distracted while driving.
- If you have an adjustable headrest, be sure that it is properly fitted. This one adjustment can potentially make a world of difference.
How do I become financially
prepared in case of injury?
Financially, the best way to be prepared is to maintain proper health and disability insurance. After that, the most critical thing you can do today is to call your auto insurance company and:
- If possible, raise your Personal Injury Protection (“PIP”) or Medpay limits. Both Oregon & Washington require all auto insurers to provide no-fault medical benefits with every standard policy - $10,000 of Medpay in Washington, or $15,000 of PIP in Oregon. In some cases, these limits can be raised. Given the rapidly rising cost of medical care, seriously injured victims are running out of the standard limits faster and faster.
- Raise your Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (“UM/UIM”) limits as high as you are comfortable raising them – we recommend no lower than $100,000 per person limits on this coverage. UM/UIM benefits ensure that if someone with little or no insurance hits you, you will not be left on the hook for your own care. Let’s face it: while responsible people cause their share of collisions, financially irresponsible people cause a disproportionate amount, and you don’t want to be left out in the cold when this occurs. For less money than the cost of dinner out for two, you can be much better prepared by raising your yearly limits on this coverage.
- As attorneys who regularly fight and litigate against insurance companies, DeShaw Trial Lawyers is not shilling for them: we receive zero incentive for recommending that you raise your coverage level. It is the result of experience (bitter for some of our clients) that we recommend raising your individual limits to appropriate levels as the absolute easiest and best way to make sure that you are financially prepared for a serious collision.
How can I get help?
For more information, please contact us or call our office at 866.THE.FIRM (866.843.3476) for a free consultation.