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Do I need to get a lawyer after my MVA to handle the pain & suffering. negotiations? It has been 5 months since accident.

Milwaukie, OR |

I was in the 4th & last car of an accident. I was on the passenger side in front seat, which got the most damage. I had injuries from the seat belt that were quite painful for the first 2 months. I went to the emergency room and my PCP and orthopedic specialist. . I have fallen 4 times. I have to use a walker. I have been having headaches, dizzy spells, and sometimes, extreme nausea since the accident, almost every day. I had physical therapy, one at a regular clinic ,the other at a specialist for head injuries. I am unable to do the special exercises without having severe headaches, dizziness & nausea. No medication seems to help. The PT specialist states she can't help me unless we can handle the headaches. The insurance person calls me to settle for pain & suffering. Do I need a lawyer?

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Attorney answers 11

Best Answer

Yes - you should have gotten a lawyer immediately. There are all sort of issues that you are probably not aware of. First of all, your injuries have not settled down and you have ongoing medical bills - it sounds like you have had enough medical bills already that your $15,000 pip coverage may be used up or getting close to used up. If you have used private insurance or may be using private insurance in the future, you may be faced with a lien that needs to be reimbursed from any settlement you get. You are entitled to both your pain and suffering past and future and your past and future medical bills. Because it is hard to prove future medical bills and pain and suffering it is usually wise to wait until your medical condition has healed, or stabilized or at least long enough to have a prognosis of something long term. 5 months? That is way too soon to be settling this case - you don't have to settle or file a suit for accidents in Oregon until you reach the two year anniversary. Although you may have to consider filing sooner if there insurance policy of the driver that cause this accident is limited - you don't want it to run out because they are paying other claims so there is nothing left when it's your turn. Also it is important to investigate the driver that caused your accident. If that driver has a criminal history or was driving drunk or was driving without a license, any of these factors might increase your settlement value since a jury would not be very happy to hear these facts if the case went to trial. All in all, studies show that people without attorneys only get a fraction of what their case is actually worth and even though you may end up paying a percentage of your recovery to your attorney, you should come out ahead overall. If nothing else, your attorney can help you make mistakes like not knowing you have a lien from your HMO that needs to be reimbursed out of your settlement - leaving you with nothing. Get an attorney ASAP!

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Joanne Reisman

Joanne Reisman


Correction: If nothing else, your attorney can help you AVOID MAKING mistakes like not knowing you have a lien from your HMO that needs to be reimbursed out of your settlement - leaving you with nothing


Yes; at a minimum you should consult with local and qualified personal injury litigation counsel. Proceeding on your own is likely to give you failed results. That's why the insurance companies let you believe you don't need us.

Personal injury cases only; I'm good at it; you be the Judge! All information provided is for informational and educational purposes only. No attorney client relationship has been formed or should be inferred. Please speak with a local and qualified attorney. I truly wish you and those close to you all the best. Jeff


Only an experienced personal injury attorney can evaluate what you have been through and properly pursue a claim on your behalf with your absolute best interest in mind. Do not call the insurance company yourself as you may unwittingly be forced to make statements that could damage your claim in the long run. Here are ten reasons to retain an attorney after an accident: [Blue-Link-Blue]

Law Offices of Andrew D. Myers, North Andover, MA & Derry, NH provide answers for informational purposes only. Actual legal advice can only be given by an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction, thoroughly familiar with the area of the law in which your concern lies. This creates no attorney-client relationship.


Definetely get an experienced personal injury attorney ASAP in order to get maximum compensation. Good luck.

The above is general information only and is not legal advice. The information provided does not form an attorney-client relationship, and should not be relied upon to take or refrain from taking any action. I am not your attorney until we sign a retainer agreement.


Yes, you need an attorney. You should make finding an attorney your top priority. Have no further communication with the at fault insurance company and work with your attorney going forward. I recall that Oregon has a shorter statute of limitations than Washington, so act promptly to protect your rights.

This response does not create a lawyer client relationship. Each case is determined on its specific facts and this reply is intended for a general audience and facts particular to your case may affect the answer. Consult with an attorney in person for specific answers to your questions.


Your symptoms sound similar to a traumatic brain injury - a serious type of injury that makes getting a lawyer very important. Please read more about traumatic brain injury symptoms:

Do not settle this claim until you've spoken with an attorney who specializes in head injuries - you may be entitled to more than you think. And most Oregon personal injury lawyers do offer free consultations.


Not much to add but for my agreement with a very important point made by others - Do not compromise your claim before you are medically stationary and are aware of the nature and extent of your injuries. Your symptoms could be related to any number of issues. Hopefully you get good medical care and get better soon. However, you need to be sure of your condition before considering any settlement. You can never go back and re-open the claim once it is compromised.

Please note that I am not giving legal advice, just offering thoughts on what you and your daughter may do in this situation. If your daughter wishes to pursue a legal claim she should contact a lawyer. In Oregon there is a two year statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim. This means a law suit cannot be file more than two years from the date of injury. Therefore, if she wishes to pursue a claim she should speak to a lawyer at least six months prior to that deadline to give the lawyer a chance to evaluate the circumstances. If your daughter has any trouble finding a lawyer she can always contact the Oregon State Bar Lawyer Referral Service at 503-684-3763.


Without a lawyer, you would likely get 1/10th of the true value of the claim. Retain a local personal injury lawyer to get maximum compensation.


Yes you need an attorney.You should obtain needed medical care and treatment immediately and follow the doctor's advice. Do not give any statement to the adverse party or insurance company nor grant them access to any medical records. Photograph the injuries and the damage done to any property. Contact a personal injury attorney in your area as soon as possible so that you can protect your rights. You may also find it helpful to review the Legal Guides I have published on dealing with many of the issues you are now facing. The Guides can be accessed through my profile page on

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Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.

This ans. does not create an attorney/client relationship.



Your case needs professional handling. You may have sustained a head injury. Your type of case should be addressed by a competent attorney.


Yes you should seek an attorney. Insurers simply are not motivated to pay fair value for unrepresented persons. Why? Because insurers know unrepresented persons have a slim chance of obtaining a significant award. (As a former insurance lawyer, I am very sure of this). Pain and suffering is the easiest part of the claim for an insurer to skimp on as pain and suffering is subjective by nature. That is why you will probably walk away with more money in pocket with an attorney that going alone.

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