Based out of Portland, Oregon, Jennie L. Clark, Attorney at Law, handles personal injury and property damage cases primarily in Multnomah, Clackamas and Washington Counties but also anywhere in the state of Oregon or Washington.
Most plaintiffs personal injury cases are accepted on a contingency fee basis. Smaller cases worth less than $10,000.00 may qualify for attorney fees under ORS 20.080 after a lawsuit is filed. If you need a defense attorney for a case, you should inquire about whether or not your insurance company will provide you with an attorney, if you have insurance. Otherwise, for defense of civil cases I charge my normal hourly rates.
The Litigation Process
Approximately half of all cases settle prior to litigation based upon a demand package. A demand package includes a demand letter which outlines the facts, theories of liability and an outline of what the at-fault party should pay and why. Included with the demand letter are supporting documents. Usually after a demand package is sent to the insurance company of an at-fault party, a settlement offer is made or an explanation is given for denying liability. A decision is then made whether to settle the case for the amount offered, decide not to litigate if is determined the case is not worth pursuing or file a lawsuit. Shortly after a lawsuit is filed, sometimes a mutually acceptable settlement is negotiated.
If a case cannot be settled, it is prepared for either arbitration or trial. Depositions, sworn statements taken under oath and recorded by a court reporter, are taken. Evidence is exchanged between the attorneys of the parties in response to formal or informal Requests for Production. Sometimes after depositions are taken and evidence is more fully exchanged, the case settles. Otherwise the case goes to arbitration or trial. All cases in the tri-county Portland, Oregon area that are filed for $50,000.00 or less go to mandatory arbitration, while cases filed for more than $50,000.00 are scheduled for trial.