Every day, Portlanders – from the trendy Pearl District to the hip neighborhoods of St John’s or Southeast Division – suffer personal injuries as a result of someone else’s negligent or careless driving. They are victims of car crashes, bike collisions, untrained commercial truck drivers, drunk drivers and hit and run drivers. The costs of the injury and loss can be significant and affect a victim both financially and emotionally. Paul Galm is an experienced personal injury lawyer that can help.
Paul Galm has handled all types of car crash cases, including rear-end collisions on Marquam Bridge at the I-84 and I-5 interchange; cars turning into bicyclists waiting in the green traffic boxes along Hawthorne Avenue; injured pedestrians on the always dangerous Powell Boulevard; or worst yet the drunk driver at 2:00 a.m. driving along 82nd avenue right after the bars have closed who runs a red light and T-bones an innocent driver. He has gotten car injury settlements or handled wrongful death litigation for clients for many years now. For free legal advice in Portland, Oregon or just to see if you even need a lawyer, make the call – and talk directly with Paul.
- Collect and Exchange Information – Obtain contact information from both other driver and all witnesses. It is not enough to get the license plate of the other driver, as he or she may not be the owner. Your attorney has to name the driver as a defendant, not the car owner, and to do that your attorney needs to know the driver’s identity. Also take pictures of the crash scene, including all cars involved, the road from both directs and the debris field.
- See a Doctor within 24 hours – Even if you initially do not feel that bad or it feels just like a whiplash injury accident, problems may arise later on. It is better to be safe and get checked out. Often insurance companies will argue that if the victim’s injuries were really that painful, the victim would have gone to a doctor sooner.
- Talk to Your Insurance Company – Open a claim with your insurance company so that you can get your personal injury protection (“PIP”) to immediately pay any medical bills. Generally, in Portland, Oregon, a minimum of $15,000 PIP must be provided by your insurance company for medical treatment. It is the law.
- DON’T Talk to the Bad Driver’s Insurance Company – This cannot be stressed enough – the insurance company for the bad driver is not your friend, no matter how nice the adjuster seems. Do not give a recorded statement. Do not sign anything. Do not tell them anything until you have hired an attorney who can deal with the insurance company. Because the insurance company’s main goal is to minimize what they have to pay out.
- Call an Attorney – An attorney will navigate through the bureaucratic and overwhelming insurance process – and protect your rights in the process. Many times clients come in who have already hurt their case simply because they did not talk to an attorney sooner.
Personal Injuries caused by someone’s negligent driving can cause many different injuries, to virtually any part of your body, depending on the circumstances of the crash and the severity of the impact.
Traumatic Brain and Head Injuries
One of the most common and debilitating injuries suffered by drivers and passengers is an acquired brain injury caused by the head being hit or hitting an object violently (called a traumatic brain injury) . Symptoms can be mild, moderate or severe, depending on the extent of damage to the brain and the area effected. Even when there is no visible sign of trauma (i.e. cuts or bruises), the brain may have been jostled inside the skull due to the force of impact causing bruising, bleeding and swelling of the brain. It is important to talk to a traumatic brain injury lawyer.
Another common form of injury from a car crash is neck injuries, which can occur in more mild forms such as whiplash and neck strain/sprain, to more serious injuries like cervical dislocation and disc injury, which may require surgery
Spinal Cord Injuries
The damage to the spinal cord is caused when displaced bone fragments, disc material, or ligaments bruise or tear into spinal cord tissue, destroying axons, the part of our nerve cells that carry signals up and down the spinal cord between the brain and the rest of the body. Damage to the spinal cord often results in a loss of function or feeling.
The lower back is the most common site of back injuries, including sprains and strains, herniated discs and fractured vertebrae. These injuries can cause pain and limit your mobility. Sometimes the symptoms of even the most serious back injuries can take months to show up after a crash. Unfortunately, back injury can cause long lasting pain and discomfort.
In a car crash, injuries to the face are common and can be caused by the steering wheel, dashboard, airbag, windshield, side window, car seats or shattered glass. These injuries range in severity from scrapes and bruises, to laceration and fractures, even serious disorders affecting the jaw and serious dental injuries.
Motor vehicle crashes involving severe injuries and even loss of life, can result in drivers and passengers suffering short or long-term psychological injuries such as emotional distress, post-traumatic stress disorder, persistent anxiety and depression. These psychological injuries can affect every facet of a person’s life and have long-lasting effects.
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“Paul has been such a wonderful help to me. Not only is he kind, personable, and reliable, he is just downright a great guy. I appreciate all of the hard work he does on my cases. I just wish I would have found him years ago! If you need a good Portland personal injury attorney to actually work and do it right, Paul is your guy! Thanks so much, Paul!”
“Paul went above and beyond for us after my husband was injured in an accident. He was thorough, attentive to all aspects of the case, and kept us informed of all of our options. He brought in experts and carefully examined who was responsible for the accident. What I really appreciated was when other lawyers would have given up, Paul continued to fight for us. We would seek Paul’s counsel again if we needed legal representation.”
I was hit by a bad driver while driving on Grand Avenue near I-84 and the Rose Garden after leaving a Portland Trailblazer’s game. My car was totaled and I injured my back. The injury radiated pain down my leg and sapped strength. Despite treatment and physical therapy through Providence Medical Center, I did not get better. I went back and forth with the bad driver’s insurance, but got nowhere for almost a year. Within a month of hiring Paul, the case settled for the full amount available under the bad driver’s insurance policy – a six-figure settlement.