- Injury and Death Cases
- Auto accidents
- Professional Malpractice
- Gov. Misconduct / Civil Rights
- Aviation Accidents
- Bicycle / Motorcycle / Pedestrian
- Insurance Settlements
Veralrud & Fowler handles a variety of cases generally included under the "personal injury" or “accident” area of legal practice.
Even relatively commonplace injuries (automobile accidents, slip-and-fall accidents, professional malpractice--either legal or medical) can often have devastating consequences for the injured party and family members. We have access to excellent medical experts, accident reconstruction experts, rehabilitative experts and vocational experts to assist us in maximizing the amount of compensation and restitution that we can bring to our clients when we represent them on an injury case.
Insurance companies can be frustrating and occasionally bewildering to deal with. An injured claimant trying to represent him or herself with an insurance company has an experienced and formidable adversary across the table. Insurance companies highly train their personnel toward one goal: to minimize the amount of money the company has to pay out on any given claim. You need your own professional expert to make sure you "maximize" the compensation available. Veralrud & Fowler provides just that expertise.
Mr. Veralrud generally oversees all of the injury and death cases in the firm. We also handle some types of on-the-job injury cases if it involves negligence on the part of a third party other than the employer. In on-the-job injury cases, we occasionally associate expert attorneys in workers compensation areas where there is a question as to whether it’s the employer or a third party who has the liability. There is no extra cost to the client for the involvement of other experts in this area.
We’ve handled and generated large verdicts and settlements in the area of government misconduct and civil rights (excessive force and abuse in police and other law enforcement cases, failure to provide protective services, abuse at the hands of child services protective agencies, and abuse by caretakers and others in the position of authority such as church workers, child care providers, children youth activity leaders, etc.). The firm has also generated substantial settlements in airplane accidents and legal / medical malpractice matters.
Legal costs in personal injury cases:
Generally, if we feel that a case has value, we will take the case on what is called a "contingent fee basis." The terms means just that: our collection of an attorney fee is "contingent" on us securing a financial settlement in your case. If you don't recover, we don't take an attorney fee. Generally speaking, Oregon law permits us to take these contingent fee cases and allows us to "front" the legal costs of bringing the case so that the client, in most cases, is not required to pay money out of pocket until they actually have the claim resolved. These costs are paid out to third parties for expert witness reports and testimony, court filing fees, service fees, deposition costs and other expenses generally incurred in the course of litigating a lawsuit. Some cases are obviously more risky than others. If the law firm is not willing to advance costs or wishes to limit the amount of costs that will be advanced prior to resolution of the case, that will be fully disclosed to the client before we take the case--these types of cases, however, are by far the minority.
Contingent fees can vary, depending upon the anticipated value of the claim, the point in time in which the claim is ultimately resolved, and the complexities or difficulties presented in pursuing the claim to the best possible result. Many of the more common types of injury claims (automobile accidents, slip & fall cases, for example) can be resolved with percentages as low as 25% if we can get the matter resolved without actually having to initiate formal litigation. Generally, if formal litigation is started (ie. an actual complaint is filed with the court), the percentage goes to 33 1/3%. If the case actually proceeds through trial or arbitration, that fee can rise to 40%. However, in cases that will likely involve substantial settlements or verdicts (those cases where the injuries are significant and the wage loss and/or medical expenses are severe), the firm is generally willing to discuss a lesser percentage or a reduction in percentage after a certain dollar amount of recovery. This can provide substantial extra benefits to the client in the right case.
We discuss fees and costs thoroughly with our clients before any retainer agreement is reached. We are happy to spend the time that the client needs to make sure they have a complete understanding of what will occur.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly to the potential client looking for competent, expert legal advice, Veralrud & Fowler offers free consultations on all personal injury matters. In short, we invite you to contact us if you have an injury that you feel needs representation, knowing that you can spend some time and not be responsible for legal costs. We want you to get to know us before you make any hiring decision or incur any legal costs. We are more than happy to discuss your case with you.