Portland Personal Injury Attorney
When individuals sustain injuries caused by the careless or negligent actions of others, they should be able to recover compensation for their losses. Unfortunately, recovering compensation can be challenging, particularly when working with aggressive insurance carriers. At Paulson Coletti Trial Attorneys PC, we are here to help if you need a skilled personal injury lawyer by your side. Our team has extensive experience handling complex injury claims throughout Oregon, and we know what it takes to help clients recover the compensation they are entitled to. Do not hesitate to contact our team immediately so we can get to work.
Portland Personal Injury Resources
To immediately access the resources at any point on this page, click the corresponding links below.
- Why Choose Our Portland Personal Injury Attorney?
- Meet Jane Paulson
- Our Commitment to Assisting Injury Victims
- Areas We Serve
- Benefits of Hiring an Injury Lawyer
- Types of Personal Injury Cases We Address
- Motor Vehicle Accidents
- Bus Accidents
- Medical Malpractice
- Injuries in the Workplace
- Defective Products
- Catastrophic Injuries
- Wrongful Death
- Do You Have a Personal Injury Case?
- Proving Negligence in an Injury Claim
- Portland’s Personal Injury Statute of Limitations
- Potential Damages in a Personal Injury Lawsuit
- Cost of an Experienced Injury Attorney
- What You Should Look for in a Personal Injury Lawyer
- Steps to Follow After Suffering an Injury
- Portland Personal Injury FAQs
- Speak to a Lawyer Today
Why Choose Our Portland Personal Injury Attorney for Your Case?
After sustaining serious harm in the Portland area, you need to trust a legal team with the experience necessary to handle every aspect of your personal injury case.
- We have years of experience handling complex claims throughout Oregon, and our law group has recovered major settlements and jury verdicts on behalf of clients. Our goal is always to secure the maximum compensation possible on your behalf.
- We are focused on putting the client first all the time. You will always have access to your attorney when you have questions or concerns, and you will receive regular updates about your case.
- Our experienced Portland personal injury lawyers use the latest technological advances to help win a case, both in and outside of the courtroom.
Meet Injury Attorney Jane Paulson
Jane Paulson is a Partner at Paulson Coletti Trial Attorneys PC. As a personal injury attorney, she represents injury victims in both Oregon and Washington. A longtime resident of Portland, Jane is an involved member of her community. She was on the board of organizations such as Habitat for Humanity Portland/Metro East, the Campaign for Equal Justice, and the PSU Hatfield School of Government’s Center for Women’s Leadership.
As a Portland personal injury attorney, Jane is known for her commitment to her clients and straightforward communication. Her clients trust her to thoroughly investigate the details of their case, collect evidence, hire experienced expert witnesses, negotiate with insurance adjustors, and build the strongest case possible on their behalf. She has secured numerous significant settlements and verdicts on behalf of injury victims who suffered harm through no fault of their own.
Our Commitment to Assisting Injury Victims
Litigation for a personal injury claim can be incredibly complex, and we recommend anyone in your situation work with an attorney. We are not saying that just because we want your business – to us, it is more than that. We understand that injury victims are going through an incredibly difficult time, and they need assistance. No one should have to do this alone, particularly when fighting against at-fault parties who refused to pay fair compensation.
Areas We Serve
We serve areas across Portland, including but not limited to:
Arlington Heights, Forest Park, Goose Hollow, Hillside, Linnton, Northwest District, Old Town, Pearl District, Downtown, Sylvan – Highlands, Arnold Creek, Ashcreek, Bridlemile, Collins View, Crestwood, Far Southwest, Hayhurst, Hillsdale, Homestead, Marshall Park, Multnomah, South Burlingame, South Portland, Southwest Hills, West Portland Park, Arbor Lodge, Bridgeton, Cathedral Park, East Columbia, Piedmont, Portsmouth, St Johns, University Park, Alameda, Concordia, Eliot, Lloyd District, Cully, Hollywood, Rose City Park, Hazelwood, Parkrose Heights, Pleasant Valley, Woodland Park, Brooklyn, Eastmoreland, Kerns, Laurelhurst, Montavilla, North Tabor, Richmond, Sunnyside, Woodstock.
Benefits of Hiring a Portland Personal Injury Attorney
Our team has built this firm as a way to ensure injury victims are treated fairly. We understand local, state, and federal law surrounding personal injury claims, and we know what it takes to prove the negligence of the other party.
From the moment we get involved in a case, we handle all communication with other parties involved. Your role, as the injury victim, is to focus on recovering from your injuries so you can get back to living a normal life. Our team will ensure that you are evaluated by trusted medical professionals who will not only help ensure your well-being but will also help us calculate total expected losses.
We will use our resources to fully investigate your claim and provide meticulous legal representation because we know that proving fault involves gathering as much evidence as possible. We will vigorously negotiate with insurance companies, legal teams, and at-fault parties to attempt to secure a fair settlement on your behalf. In the event the other party refuses to offer a fair settlement, our team has no problem fully preparing the case for trial. Our Portland personal injury lawyers will absolutely try your case in front of a jury if we think that is the best solution to securing a fair financial recovery on your behalf.
Types of Personal Injury Cases We Address
At Paulson Coletti Trial Attorneys PC, our team has extensive experience handling a range of complex injury cases in Portland and throughout the state of Oregon. We do not shy away from handling complex cases, but we also have no problem helping clients who have sustained even relatively minor injuries. The goal is to help ensure that at-fault parties are held accountable for their actions.
Some of the most common types of injury claims that we help clients with are listed below, but this is not an all-inclusive list. If you have any questions about whether or not your case could move forward toward a major settlement or jury verdict, we encourage you to reach out to a member of our team for a free consultation today.
Motor Vehicle Accidents
Motor vehicle accidents are a leading cause of injuries and fatalities throughout the state of Oregon each year. When we examine information available from the Oregon Department of Transportation, we can see that there were more than 50,000 total vehicle accidents reported during the most recent complete year of data available. Unfortunately, these incidents led to more than 39,000 injuries and 494 fatalities during that same reporting year.
Motor vehicle accidents encompass much more than just incidents involving traditional passenger vehicles. These also encompass accidents involving large commercial trucks, buses, and motorcycles, as well as incidents involving bicyclists and pedestrians. A car accident lawyer in Portland can explain your legal options and fight to secure fair compensation for your injuries or damages sustained.
Accidents involving commercial passenger buses and school buses often result in major injuries for those inside the bus as well as those affected in other vehicles. Bus passengers are typically not restrained, so any type of incident has the potential to result in significant injuries for passengers inside. For those and other vehicles, it is essential to recognize that buses are much larger than traditional passenger cars, so a collision can cause major injuries and extensive property damage. Claims against bus carriers can be challenging, and a Portland bus accident attorney will conduct an extensive investigation into each incident.
We should be able to depend on our medical professionals to uphold the highest standards of care when we become a patient. The doctor-patient relationship is held to a high standard of professionalism, but there are times when medical experts make mistakes due to their negligent actions. When a medical error occurs, patients harmed may be able to recover compensation through a medical malpractice lawsuit in Portland. Medical mistakes can occur in a wide variety of ways, including errors with medication, failure to conduct a patient history analysis, a misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis, and more. This can also include anesthesia and surgical errors as well as birth injuries.
Injuries in the Workplace
Individuals who sustain workplace injuries should be able to recover complete compensation for their medical bills and a major portion of their lost wages. Unfortunately, there are times when workers’ compensation claims become challenging, and insurers or employers may push back. It is imperative to have an attorney by your side after sustaining a work injury so that you have an advocate who can fully investigate the claim, stand up to the insurance carrier or employer, and help recover the compensation you need to get back on your feet.
Many people in the U.S. are affected annually by defective products. Young children, medical patients, and blue-collar workers are at higher risk for injuries due to product defects.
Those who manufacture, design, and sell products are liable for ensuring their products are safe for their consumers. Some products enter the public domain without being safety-tested properly or with known defects. When this happens, it often ends catastrophically for their customers.
U.S. News & World Report named Paulson Coletti as one of the “Best Law Firms” in the area of product liability litigation. Our team has a firm grasp of how to approach defective product cases so that we can successfully resolve them on behalf of our clients. We understand fair compensation and how to achieve it for those injured by a defective product.
By aggressively pursuing damages from product manufacturers, designers, and distributors, we can take dangerous products off the shelves before they can injure more people.
Personal injury cases that end in catastrophic injuries can be traumatic for all involved. Some injuries that would be considered catastrophic are listed below:
- Spinal cord injuries that cause paralysis
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Loss of limbs or digits
- Crush injuries
- Back and neck problems
- Lost eyesight
- Disfigurement and Scarring
- Neck injuries
- Back injuries
- Multiple fractured bones
- Internal injuries
- Organ damage or failure
- Persistive vegetative state
These types of injuries can alter the victim’s entire life. Accommodations must be made to help the personal injury victim to recover as much of their everyday lives as possible.
Unfortunately, there are times when individuals lose their lives due to the negligent actions of others. When these tragic incidents occur, family members and the estates of the deceased need legal assistance. Our team helps families and estates with Portland wrongful death claims regularly. We understand what it takes to fully investigate the incidents surrounding the untimely death, and we make sure that families are regularly updated on the status of the case. We know that no amount of compensation will bring a loved one back, but we also know that these claims can help bring closure to survivors.
Do You Have a Portland Personal Injury Case?
In order to file a personal injury claim, you must be able to prove that you were injured because someone else or another entity owed a duty of care and then violated the duty of care they were supposed to provide. This breach of their duty of care caused the victim injuries.
To confirm whether you have a legal case, you must be able to answer these three questions. Your answers to these questions will determine if you have a case or not:
Were You Owed a Duty of Care?
There are many examples of duty of care and who is required to provide it. The following are some common examples.
If you are driving a car, you owe a duty of care to the general public with whom you share the roadways. This implies that you must follow all traffic laws in an effort not to endanger yourself and others.
Another example could be a doctor-patient relationship. When you trust a doctor with your health, you assume they will treat you properly. Your doctor is required to provide you with reasonable care.
Property owners may be responsible for visitors to their property. You owe those who visit your property a duty of care to ensure the property is hazard free.
Was The Duty of Care Violated?
Once it is established that you were owed a duty of care, the next thing to determine when trying to make a case is whether that duty of care was violated. There are several ways to prove that the duty of care has been breached, these will depend on the circumstances.
For instance, broken traffic laws may be proven to show that the motorist did not follow the law. Since they owed you a duty of care because they were sharing a public road with you, they are obligated to abide by all traffic laws.
Another example could be if the owner of a piece of property neglected to do regular maintenance. This could mean a loose step that caused you to trip and fall. Property owners must inspect and maintain their property so that they do not breach the duty of care owed to those visiting the property.
Medical professionals may be in breach of duty of care if they behave differently than other medical professionals would have under the same circumstances and it results in injuries.
Were Your Injuries Sustained Due to the Negligent Action or Lack of Action?
To cement that you have a case, you must be able to prove that you were injured because the person violated the duty you were owed. Your medical records can prove your injuries and how they were sustained.
By showing negligent actions or inactions caused your injuries, you may have a personal injury claim that is worth pursuing. To analyze your case, get in touch with Paulson Colleti Trial Attorneys, PC. Our experienced personal injury attorney can examine the evidence and help you determine whether or not you have a viable case.
Proving Negligence in an Injury Claim
The word “negligence” is one that everyone knows, but they may not quite understand how it applies to a personal injury claim in Oregon. In order for a person to successfully recover compensation through a civil personal injury lawsuit against another party, they have to show that the other party was negligent in some way. There is a precise legal meaning to the word negligence when it comes to these cases. Essentially, our team will be looking to establish four individual elements of negligence in order to ensure a case’s success:
- Duty. The first step towards a successful personal injury claim is showing that the injury victim (the plaintiff) was owed a duty of care by the alleged negligent party (the defendant). Depending on the type of situation at hand, a duty of care will look different. For example, we will not be looking at the same elements for a car accident claim that we would for a premises liability case. The duty of care that drivers owe others on the roadway revolves around the safe operation of a vehicle and following traffic laws. Property owners have a different duty of care. Namely, they must ensure the safety of their premises for anyone who has a right to be there. Looking further, the duty of care owed by a doctor to their patient is vastly different and involves upholding the accepted standard of medical care for a given situation.
- Breach. After establishing that there was a duty of care between the plaintiff and the defendant, it must then be shown that the defendant breached their duty somehow. The breach of duty, again, will look different depending on the type of claim. A driver on the roadway could breach their duty of care if they fail to use their turn signal or if they operate their vehicle while distracted by a phone or something else. A healthcare professional could breach their duty of care in a variety of ways, including failing to perform a patient assessment, giving the patient the wrong dosage of a medication, or making a surgical mistake.
- Causation. After establishing that a breach of duty did occur, it must be shown that the breach somehow caused injury to the plaintiff. There may be times when a breach of duty does not cause the injury, but that is rare. Drawing a line from the breach of the defendant’s duty to the plaintiff’s injuries is often not too difficult.
- Damages. The final element of establishing negligence is showing that the plaintiff sustained some sort of loss as a result of their injuries. This can include medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering damages, and other monetary losses associated with the injury and the recovery process.
Actually proving these elements of negligence can be challenging and heavily relies on obtaining evidence. Depending on the situation at hand, the evidence may look different, but it often includes:
- Statements from eyewitnesses to the incident
- Photographs taken at the scene of an incident
- Video surveillance from nearby cameras on homes, businesses, or dashcams
- Accident reports
- Police reports
- Vehicle black box data
- Maintenance and safety records
- Employee training records
- Evidence of past injuries at a certain location
Our team will work diligently to investigate every claim, and we will enlist assistance from accident reconstruction experts if necessary to help prove negligence. These individuals can help fill in the blanks if there are any gaps that the evidence leaves behind. Accident reconstruction experts can thoroughly examine the scene of the incident along with any evidence already gathered and help put together computer 3D models to show an insurance carrier or a jury what likely occurred.
What is the Statute of Limitations for Portland Personal Injury Lawsuits?
Personal injury victims in Portland and throughout Oregon need to be aware that they have a limited amount of time to file their claims in civil court. The personal injury statute of limitations in this state explicitly says that all claims must be filed within two years from the date an injury occurs (Oregon Revised Statutes section 12.110).
In the event an individual fails to file a lawsuit within this two-year timeframe in Oregon, they will be unable to recover any compensation for their losses. We strongly encourage Portland personal injury victims to work with an attorney who can assess their claim and make sure that it gets filed on time and appropriately.
We also want to point out that there is almost certainly going to be an insurance carrier or two involved in a personal injury claim. Insurance companies all have their own reporting deadlines, often within a day or two after the incident occurs. If you know there is an insurance carrier involved in your claim, we encourage you to report the incident to them as soon as possible. Do not go into much detail when you make your initial report with an insurance carrier. Simply let them know the incident occurred and refer any further questions to your Portland personal injury lawyer.
Potential Damages in a Portland Personal Injury Lawsuit
At Paulson Coletti Trial Attorneys PC, our team works diligently to recover various types of compensation on behalf of every client that we assist. Our goal is to recover the compensation needed to make our clients as whole as possible after a major incident. This typically includes recovering both economic and noneconomic damages for every client:
- Economic damages. Sometimes referred to as special damages, these types of losses revolve around calculable expenses that Portland personal injury victims are likely to incur in the aftermath of the incident. Our team will work with economic and medical experts to gather receipts and bills to help adequately calculate the following types of damages:
- Hospital and doctor’s office bills
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation costs
- Prescription medications and medical devices
- The cost of any necessary home or vehicle modifications
- Lost wages if a person cannot work
- Household and transportation out-of-pocket expenses
- Property damage expenses
- Non-economic damages. You may see these referred to as general damages, and these types of losses are not as easily calculable as the economic damages mentioned above. However, just because something is not as easily calculable does not mean it is unimportant. Non-economic damages are crucial because they help pay for the unseen injuries individuals incur due to the incident. This includes a Portland personal injury victim’s:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional and psychological distress
- Loss of quality of life or loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium or companionship with a spouse or other family members
There is no set amount of compensation paid to personal injury victims in the Portland area. However, there are several factors that will influence total compensation amounts, whether that compensation comes through an insurance settlement or as a result of a personal injury jury verdict.
At a larger scale, the injury severity and how long it takes a person to recover play a major role in total compensation amounts. However, whether or not an individual can work and carry out day-to-day activities will also play a role in the compensation they receive. Allegations of shared fault could result in a person recovering less compensation depending on their percentage of fault for the incident.
How Much Does it Cost to Hire an Experienced Injury Lawyer?
Our attorneys understand how these cases can put clients into strenuous financial circumstances. That is why we handle Portland personal injury claims on a contingency fee basis. This means that clients will never have to worry about paying upfront or out-of-pocket costs while their case is ongoing. We pay for every aspect of the case so clients only have to focus on recovering. We will collect no legal fees until after we successfully recover compensation for the case.
In the event our law firm does not win the claim, our clients will pay nothing. If we do recover compensation, then the total legal fees will be an agreed-upon percentage of the final settlement or jury verdict.
What You Should Look for in a Personal Injury Lawyer
You may have established that you have a case, and one of the key factors to determining how successful your case will be is having the right personal injury lawyer. Some important things you should look for when choosing a personal injury lawyer are listed below:
- Pay attention to their peer reviews. Good places to find peer reviews and ratings are Martindale-Hubbell Bar Registry, The Best Lawyers in America, and Superlawyers.
- Inquire about how many of their cases are referrals from other attorneys. If other lawyers are referring a great percentage of their cases, it implies trust.
- Nearly every attorney will offer their services on a contingency fee rather than paying upfront for their services. Since most attorneys offer this service, it should not be considered a selling point.
- Catastrophic injury suits can cost a lot of money to take to court. Therefore, you will want to make sure you hire an attorney who has the resources necessary to take care of the expenses involved so they do not cut corners on your case.
- It is essential to know what type of cases they regularly handle so that you know they have an experience that fits your needs.
- Find out if they are comfortable trying your lawsuit in court before hiring an attorney.
- Another thing that might demonstrate their skills as a trial attorney is whether they are certified by the National Board of Trial Advocacy.
Steps to Follow After Suffering an Injury in Portland
There are various steps that you can follow in the aftermath of sustaining an injury to help ensure a better chance of recovering compensation for your losses. We understand that the aftermath of an injury can be a confusing and chaotic time, and you may not be able to take every one of these steps in this exact order. However, the advice given below can help:
- Seeking medical care. It is important to seek medical care as soon as possible after an injury occurs. Even if you do not think your injuries are very severe, a doctor needs to conduct a complete evaluation. Delaying medical treatment could jeopardize the overall claim. Insurance carriers and at-fault parties will look at any delay and point to that in an attempt to say that your injuries are not as severe as you claim.
- Gathering evidence. It may or may not be possible to gather evidence right away after an injury. Each particular claim is different. Sometimes, individuals can use cell phones to take photographs or video footage of the entire incident. There may be eyewitnesses who saw what happened, and we always encourage individuals to get their names and contact information. In the days and weeks that follow an incident, other types of evidence may become available, and an attorney can help gather all of this. This can include surveillance footage from nearby cameras, further statements from witnesses, company maintenance or safety records, vehicle black box data, and more.
- Reporting the incident. It is crucial to report the incident to the appropriate entity as soon as possible. For a car accident, this includes dialing 911 and letting law enforcement officials come to investigate the incident and fill out an accident report. For a premises liability lawsuit in Portland, however, this typically requires reporting the incident to the property owner or an employee.
- Calling an attorney. We always encourage individuals to reach out to a Portland personal injury attorney as soon as possible. The sooner a lawyer can get involved in the case, the better. A lawyer can take over every aspect of the claim and handle all communication on your behalf. Securing the services of a law firm can help ensure that you do not do or say anything that could jeopardize the claim.
Portland Personal Injury FAQs
Going through an accident that causes serious harm to you or a loved one can be an incredibly traumatic experience for you and your family. We answered some commonly asked questions regarding personal injury cases in Portland in the following section to help you navigate the legal aftermath of your accident. If you have a question that is not addressed below, please give our office a call today. We are prepared to discuss the specific details of your unique case to help you make the best possible decision for yourself or an injured loved one.
How Long Does a Personal Injury Lawsuit Take?
Every case is unique, so it is difficult to give an exact timeline for how long the average Portland personal injury lawsuit takes. It generally takes at least several months to gather evidence, bring in expert witnesses, and negotiate with the insurance companies involved in the case. A particularly complex case or situation where the plaintiff suffered particularly severe injuries may take longer to litigate. Some cases can take years.
When is the Right Time to Seek Out an Injury Lawyer?
Oregon’s statute of limitations states that a claim must be filed within two years of a person’s injury or accident. Additionally, as time passes it may be more difficult to create a compelling legal case. Your recollections of the event will likely fade over time and it’s crucial to secure vital evidence as quickly as possible. As soon as you are healthy enough to do so, we recommend contacting our injury attorneys for a free initial consultation. We can discuss your unique case and provide legal advice for your situation.
How Much is My Case Worth?
The value of every unique personal injury case varies significantly. An attorney can evaluate the extent of your injuries, severity of non-economic and economic damages sustained, and additional factors that may play a role in your case. They can then give you an estimate of what they believe your case may be worth. It is important to note that the final valuation of your Portland personal injury case will not be known until a settlement or verdict is reached.
Should You Accept an Initial Settlement Offer?
In the aftermath of a serious accident, it can be tempting to immediately accept a settlement offer from an insurance company. As medical bills and daily expenses pile up, you may feel as though you need to take advantage of the money that’s already available. However, if you choose to accept an initial settlement, you forego your right to pursue a personal injury lawsuit against the party liable for your injuries. Even if you later discover that your wounds are more severe than initially believed after your accident, you will be unable to seek compensation via the legal system.
It is always in your best interests to speak with a Portland personal injury attorney before accepting or rejecting a settlement offer. They will be able to give you a better sense of what your case is worth and whether it would be beneficial to pursue additional actions. An initial consultation with our attorney comes at no cost to you and does not obligate you to use our legal services.
Will My Case Go to Trial?
Not every personal injury case goes to trial. In many cases, both sides will come to an agreement on a settlement amount that adequately compensates the victim for the harm they suffered. Our attorneys are fully prepared to bring your case to trial if that is the best path to securing fair compensation and justice on your behalf.
Notable Personal Injury Case Results
We are proud to have secured multiple noteworthy settlements and verdicts on behalf of injury victims in Portland. Some case results we have secured include:
- $18,000,000 Verdict: Our lawyers were able to secure a significant verdict for the family of a young man who was fatally struck by a Greyhound bus.
- $13,900,000 Verdict: We successfully litigated a case for a pedestrian who was struck by a garbage truck, which resulted in the amputation of one of the victim’s legs.
- $7,000,000 Verdict: Our lawyers were able to successfully pursue a workplace death case for the family of a man who fell to his death. The workers was making repairs to electrical repairs while suspended from a helicopter when he fell.
Call a Portland Personal Injury Lawyer Today
If you or a loved one have been injured due to the negligent actions of another entity or individual in the Portland area, reach out to the team at Paulson Coletti Trial Attorneys PC for help today. We have extensive experience handling complicated injury claims throughout this state, and we know what it takes to help clients manage an aggressive insurance company and at-fault parties. Our goal is to make sure clients recover the compensation necessary to make them whole. When you need a Portland personal injury lawyer, you can contact us for a free consultation of your claim by filling out our contact form or calling (503) 226-6361.