1What kind of personal injury cases does your office handle?
We handle a wide array of personal injury cases including:
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Bicycle/vehicle accidents
  • Wrongful death
  • Slip-and-falls
  • Dog Bites/Animal Attacks
  • Property Damage
  • Diminished Value
  • PIP Disputes
2I was injured in an accident. Now I am getting endless phone calls and letters from insurance companies. What should I do?
If you were injured due to the negligence of another person, contact the Wellstone Law Group soon as possible. One immediate benefit of retaining the Wellstone Law Group is that your attorney takes on the headache of responding to all of these phone calls and letters. Prior to retaining the Wellstone Law Group, simply inform the insurance company that you will be retaining counsel, and your attorney will be following up with the adjuster in the near future.
3I was in an accident 48 hours ago and I am already getting letters from attorneys promising to “fight” for me. How did they get my information? Should I call them?
Some attorneys comb through public records and accident reports to learn of who may need an attorney and will reach out to them within 24 hours of the accident. While many in the legal community find this distasteful, it is a legal practice. The Wellstone Law Group does not engage in this behavior and would caution any one receiving these letters to call the attorney who sent the letter. Most attorneys build a client base through word of mouth and building a solid reputation in the community. We will let one draw his or her own conclusions about an attorney who needs to drum up business in this manner.
4I was just in an accident. What should I do?
There are many things you should do if you are involved in a serious (or even minor) accident in order to protect yourself. Those things include:
  • Call police to the scene. In cases of he said/she said, it is very nice to have a police officer’s written account moments after the accident;
  • Take pictures of all injuries and the scene of the accident;
  • Shortly after the accident, make a written record of the accident;
  • If you are injured, seek immediate and consistent medical treatment; and
  • If you have the option of seeking care with a medical doctor (M.D.), obtain care from them, or at the very least, have them oversee your care with a chiropractor or other health care provider.
5What is PIP coverage?
Virtually all motor vehicle policies in Oregon are required to carry PIP coverage, or Personal Injury Protection. This coverage provides you with at least $15,000 in medical bill coverage regardless of whether the accident was your fault. It also will cover 70% of your lost wages & (up to $3,000 per month) if you miss work due to your accident-related injuries. PIP medical benefits are usually only effective for 24 months after the accident or once you reach $15,000 in medical bills, whichever occurs first.
6My accident was 4 months ago, but my medical provider has already used up $15,000 of my PIP benefits and I am not close to being back to my old self. What should I do?
This is unfortunately a question we receive way too often. There are some medical providers who see people injured in a car accident as a cash cow. They will sometimes provide too much of the wrong kind of treatment to quickly get the total medical bills up to $15,000, and then once coverage runs out, the doctor’s office will not see the injured person any more. IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT YOU PROTECT YOURSELF FROM THIS PRACTICE. Here is how you can minimize the chances of this happening to you:
  • Go to a medical provider you trust. Ask family and friends for recommendations;
  • Ask the doctor from the beginning what the treatment plan will be. If your doctor cannot give you at least a preliminary plan of action (i.e., First we will try this. If that doesn’t work, then this. If that doesn’t work then this, etc.), we recommend you find a medical provider who can.
  • Be active in your care. If a medical provider has provided the same treatment every three days for six weeks and you are no better, let your doctor know that. When regular, long-term treatment provides little (or only temporary) relief, this can be a sign that the treatment is ineffective and something else needs to be tried.
  • Monitor your bills. While it is essential that you seek all necessary medical treatment, it is also in your best interest to keep your bills as low as practicable. If one medical provider’s bills seem exorbitant, it is good to know that after 2 or 3 visits rather than 30. Find medical providers who offer competitive rates but still provide effective treatment.
  • Be skeptical. If any medical provider offers treatment plans that sound fishy, be skeptical. Trust your instincts. If the treatment sounds fishy to you, it will likely sound fishy to a jury as well. This goes back to finding medical providers you trust.
  • Don’t be afraid to change doctors. If you have spent three months with a particular chiropractor and your condition has shown little improvement, do not be afraid to seek a second opinion. This is doubly true if the doctor is telling you that you need years of additional treatment, but cannot clearly explain why or how years of additional treatment will help.
  • Have an M.D. oversee your care. Regardless of what kind of doctor you wish to see (e.g., chiropractor, naturopath, acupuncturist, etc.), it is very wise to have that care overseen by a medical doctor (M.D.). While one can debate the medical necessity of this, it is a very wise decision if you expect your medical treatment will later become the subject of litigation.
7Will my case settle?
In our experience, about 90% of personal injury actions settle before arbitration or trial. This number is as high as it is because typically neither side wants to go to trial. Trying a case is expensive and risky for all parties involved. Whether your particular case will settle, however, is a complex determination that will require weighing several factors. Ultimately, it is your decision whether to settle a case. The Lawyers at the Wellstone Law Group will make recommendations, but it is 100% the client’s decision whether to settle. No clients at our firm are ever pressured to accept a settlement offer. If the offers are low and a client wants his or her day in court, we will be happy to provide that service.
8How much is my case worth?
This is typically one of the first questions clients ask, but also one of the hardest to answer at the outset of a case. To give an accurate assessment of your case, we will need to do many things first, including: meet with you; review your medical records; review your wage records; and conduct other fact-finding activities. Our philosophy is that the right answer is always better than the quick answer. As soon as a monetary assessment of your case is responsibly made, it will be communicated to you.
9How much will it cost to hire you?
The Wellstone Law Group works solely on contingency. This means we only collect attorney fees if we collect money for you. If we settle your case, the firm will collect 1/3 of the settlement. If we are able to litigate the case in a manner that awards attorney fees separate and apart from your case, you will likely keep 100% of your judgment.
10What if I have a question that is not answered here?
Give us a call at (503) 446-2508. Consultations are free.