Case evaluation is, in part, a science, but it is primarily an art, consisting of understanding human nature and knowing how local juries and arbitrators view the concept of fair compensation. Our attorneys have over 500 trial and arbitration awards in their client's favor and in the last 10 years alone, they have recovered over 25 million dollars in settlements and verdicts for their clients. With this experience, they can educate you on the value of your case. Feel free to call us and we will give you free advice on what we think your case is worth.
There are 12 people who know without a doubt what your case is worth. Those are the 12 people that end up sitting on your jury. The best way to understand what a jury is going to do in your case is to look to the past and see what juries have done with similar injury claims in the past. We keep track of all of the relevant traffic accident jury verdicts that have occurred in Oregon during the past 20 plus years.
The following are some of the important factors we consider when determining how much a case is worth:
Will a jury like the victim?
Will a jury like the at-fault driver?
What can we do to help the jury to like the victim and not like the other driver?
How serious was the accident?
Were there any aggravating factors (alcohol, racing, etc.)?
Are there any liability issues—for either party?
What were the nature and extent of the injuries?
What type of medical care was received?
Was medical care reasonable and necessary?
How much are the medical bills?
What type of medical care will the victim require in the future?
How much are the future medical bills?
How did the injuries affect the victim's daily life, and for how long?
In the overall picture of this victim's life, what role did these injuries play?
Did the victim miss work or other activities?
Will the victim miss work in the future or is there a loss of earning capacity?
Did the injuries affect recreational activities?
How strong are the treating medical provider's opinions?
What venue will this case be tried in and what do the venue's juries typically award for this type of claim?
If the case will be arbitrated, are their particular arbitrators that will like the victim?
Applying these kinds of factors to the specific facts of any claim will help lead toward a fair forecast of the likely range of jury verdict or arbitration award for your case. Of course, there is no substitute for experience with actual juries and arbitrators to help understand what they tend to award in given types of cases.
First, we collect your medical records and bills, along with any other evidence that may be relevant to proving what injuries you sustained in your accident and how those injuries have affected you and will affect you in the future. We may order narrative reports from your doctors asking them to state specifically what injuries you sustained in the accident and to give us a prognosis as to your future, including the cost of your future medical care. We then send this evidence to the insurance company with a demand for monetary compensation for your medical expenses, wage loss, pain, suffering and interference with your activities of daily living. Our goal is to get the insurance company to offer you as much money as they are willing to pay without starting a lawsuit. The only mistake that we can make at this time is to say that you are willing to settle your case for an amount that is less than what the insurance company is willing to pay.
After the insurance company makes its best and final offer, we figure out what that offer means to you. Meaning, after everyone gets paid (medical bills, attorney fees, and costs) how much money are you going to walk away with if you settle your case? The term we use is: “money in your pocket.” This is how much money you end up with after everyone else gets their share.
Money in your pocket is an important figure because we compare this figure to what we would have to win at trial for you to end up with more money. We evaluate our wins and losses at trial by whether or not you end up with more money than you could have by just settling your case. As a matter of fact, it has to be enough to justify the added stress and time associated with trying a case. If we go to trial and you only end up with about $1,000 more than you could have settled your case, we really haven't won your case.
You as the client are the boss and our job is to educate you so that you can make an informed decision as to what is best for you. We will never “twist your arm” into settling a case. The case belongs to you and only you can determine whether or not the settlement is fair. Our experience is that if you take a meaningful part in evaluating your case, then you will be satisfied with the result.
The Law Offices of Clayton H. Morrison are Oregon personal injury attorneys who represent people injured in car accidents throughout Southwest Portland and its surrounding areas, including, Beaverton Aloha, Hillsboro, Forest Grove, Tigard, Tualatin, Sherwood, Lake Oswego, Scappoose, Banks, North Plains, Vernonia, Yamhill, Gaston, Carlton, McMinnville, Sheridan, Wilsonville, Woodburn, Kaiser, Salem, Monmouth, Tillamook, Cannon Beach, and Astoria.