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Law Offices of James F. O'Rourke Jr. and Associates

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James F. O'Rourke Jr. and Associates duii defense attorneys
  Oregon Lawyers & Attorneys - Law Offices of James F. O'Rourke Jr. and Associates


Information about the Personal Injury Claims Recovery Process In Oregon

The following is intended to provide a brief description of the major elements of the personal injury claims recovery process in Oregon.

When people are injured due to the fault of others in Oregon, they are entitled to make claims to recover compensation (damages) for their injuries.  As an Oregon Personal Injury Attorney, Mr. O’Rourke develops, pursues and recovers upon the claims of his clients.

The personal injury claims recovery process starts when someone is injured due to the fault of someone else and ends when the claim is resolved by settlement or some kind of adversarial proceeding including trial.

Most Oregon personal injury cases are resolved through negotiation and without trial.  

Mr. O’Rourke assists his clients through the various stages of the personal injury claims recovery process.  When Mr. O’Rourke is hired to represent someone as their Oregon Personal Injury Attorney he reviews the case with his staff and they make a plan for how to establish the claim and to help the individual client get through the particular problems they are facing and to get through the claim recovery process.


Investigation is a process of gathering facts.

From the moment of the injury incident forward various people make records about the facts of the incident including statements from the people involved in the incident, statements from witnesses, police, fire and ambulance reports, photographs,  medical and other treatment, treatment bills, medications, lost wages and income, disability etc.                 

These records become the basis for determining who was at fault and the amount of compensation persons will receive for their injuries.

One of the important tasks for an Oregon Personal Injury Lawyer is to develop an adequate and accurate record to support the client’s claim.  As an experienced Oregon Injury Lawyer, Mr. O’Rourke knows how to gather and preserve the evidence necessary to prove his clients’ claims.  He and his highly skilled staff work with experienced investigators and others to complete the investigation and documentation process. 

It is much more efficient and effective to gather and analyze evidence right after the incident and during the course of medical treatment and recovery from injuries than to try to piece it together later.  

In order to make an accurate and complete record of the effects of the injuries upon the ability of the client to contribute to and enjoy family life and activities, work and live we help our clients make a record of these experiences.  We stay in constant communication with our clients to make sure that we stay informed of their problems and progress and to answer their questions and concerns.

We explain and assist our clients through each stage of the claims recovery process.  Our goal is to take care of all the details of the claim while the client recovers from his or her injuries.

Very soon after the incident, clients will be asked to give recorded statements to insurance companies.  We prefer to be present during those statements.   It is important to understand the significance of the questions being asked and the implications of the answers.  We decline to have our clients give statements until the proper time and under the proper circumstances.  Often insurance adjusters will attempt to get statements from persons still in shock or under medication from their injuries.  That is not the time to give a statement.   

We want everyone involved to know the truth about the incident, our client and our clients’ injuries and damages.  We do not want there to be confusion about any of the important factors in determining fault or the value of the claim.


Negotiation is a process of communicating detailed information and obtaining agreement on the important factors in a case: fault, damages and compensation.

Negotiations begin with the first word we say to anyone about our client or the claim and continue throughout the claims recovery process.  Some cases settle without filing a lawsuit and others settle during trial.  Although most cases settle without trial, the best way to get a good settlement is to make sure the insurance company knows you are ready to go to trial if that is what it takes to resolve the claim.

Effective negotiation requires knowledge of the law, the facts of the case, the subject matter of the case including injuries and treatment issues and the value of claims such as the one under discussion with the insurance company.

Mr. O’Rourke is very skilled and effective in negotiating good settlements for his clients.   Please see the testimonials from his former clients and their families describing the results he obtained for them and what it was like to be represented by Portland Personal Injury Lawyer James F. O’Rourke, Jr.

Settling a personal injury claim should not be an emotional decision.  We see cases where people have settled their claims on their own to make their lives more simple or to be nice and find out later that they gave up important and valuable rights when they need them most.  We see unfortunate cases where people make verbal and written statements to insurance companies and damage their claims.

Please obtain the services of an Oregon Injury Lawyer before entering into any agreements or giving any statements to any insurance companies.

Settlement Demand Package

After the client has become medically stationary, that is after all the medical and other treatment providers have done all they can to help the client heal from his injuries, we complete writing the Settlement Demand Package, which is a letter which sets out important information about the client’s claim and states our legal and factual theories regarding all aspects of the claim.

We show the insurance company on paper what the case would look like if it went to trial based on our and their experience with jury trials.  This is a crucial element of an effective Settlement Demand Package and the entire Negotiation process.

For example, a Settlement Demand Package in an Oregon Automobile Injury Claim will most often include the following:

  • Information about our Client.
  • Information about the Defendant (party at fault)
  • The facts of the accident
  • The Plaintiffs legal theory of liability
  • How our client was injured in the collision (bio-mechanics of injury)
  • A summary of the injuries suffered by our client
  • A detailed summary of all of the medical and treatment records
  • A detailed summary of all of the costs of treatment
  • A statement summarizing the treatment providers’ opinions about any permanent limitations caused by the injuries
  • A summary of any needed future medical treatment and expense
  • A summary of any lost wages or income
  • A summary of any future or ongoing lost wages or income
  • A summary of the effects upon the client caused by the injuries in all dimensions of the client’s life

Attached to the Settlement Demand Package are copies of all of the documents and records mentioned in the letter together with photographs of important factors mentioned in the letter such as scarring or vehicle damage.

After the insurance company or defendant receives the Settlement Demand Package, negotiations about the settlement value of the claim begin.

Often we are able to reach an agreement on value and settle the case at this point.

In many cases we obtain the assistance of a Mediator to achieve a settlement.


Mediation is a process where the claimant and defendant(s) agree on a knowledgeable person to help them settle the case.


Litigation is the formal process of resolving a disputed claim in Court.

Time Limitations

In Oregon there are various limitations on the times to file different kinds of personal injury lawsuits.  The exact amount of time is determined by the nature of the claim and a number of other factors.

Identifying the Proper Defendant

Commencing Litigation - Filing the Lawsuit

The Discovery Process

  • Document Discovery
  • Depositions
  • Independent Medical Examinations

Judicial Settlement Conference