Portland Personal Injury Lawyers Worry That Corporate Settlement Tactics Show a Disregard for Accident Victims’ Injuries

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Corporations have learned, like auto insurance companies, that offering low settlement sand delaying cases can save money - but they do these things at the expense of injury victims, according to the Portland personal injury lawyers at Shulman DuBois LLC.

To a huge corporation like Daimler AG, which owns Merecedes-Benz, ninety-eight thousand dollars is NOTHING. (I wonder how much they paid their lawyers to fight this for three years?) But they fight claims anyway.

Vancouver resident Denise Dale’s Oregon car accident case was concluded earlier this month after almost three years of repeatedly low settlement offers and delay tactics from Daimler Trucks North America, a member of one of the nation’s largest automotive corporations, Daimler AG. Dale’s case is a good example of how large companies sometimes treat car accident injury victims poorly, said the legal partners at Shulman DuBois LLC.

During mediation on Feb. 3rd, Portland personal injury lawyer Sean DuBois won his client over ten times the original settlement offer – making it apparent the extent to which corporations will lowball injury victims, he said.

Dale was injured in a March 2009 accident caused by a Daimler employee who was on the job. After the accident, Daimler Trucks North America, which is self-insured, offered her $7,500. Not wanting to be taken advantage of during her recovery, Dale hired DuBois, a partner at Shulman DuBois LLC, to represent her (Case No. 1103-03507 filed with the Circuit Court of the State of Oregon, Multnomah County).

By the time mediation began, Daimler Trucks was offering Dale $25,000 – an amount that did little to cover her medical bills and continuing pain and suffering. The mediator agreed, and Dale received $98,000 to settle her case.

“People like Denise don’t mean anything to these big companies,” DuBois said, after the case settled. “To large companies, ninety-eight thousand dollars is nothing. (I wonder how much they paid their lawyers to fight this for three years?) But they fight claims anyway.”

It is common knowledge to personal injury attorneys that a common defense litigation tactic is to delay a case as much as possible, and Dale was bombarded by discovery requests that delayed her case until February 2012.

First she was subjected to an independent medical exam (IME) in accordance with ORCP 44A – an exam that claimed she was not injured and therefore not entitled to any compensation. Then, according to a request for production, she was subjected to an invasion of privacy as the Daimler attorneys (hired by Daimler Trucks) subpoenaed her boyfriend (who was not even present during the accident) and requested all her Facebook comments and posts from before and after the accident.

In fact, although both of these pieces of evidence were produced at the mediation, the expert testimonies and medical records produced by Oregon personal injury law firm Shulman DuBois LLC made a stronger impression – eventually ensuring that Dale had the settlement money to pay her medical providers and compensate her for her injuries.

“Big corporations need to take responsibility for their employees and stop defending them when their actions have caused injuries,” DuBois went on to say, “Like auto insurance companies, some corporations have learned how to use the system to save money.”

In cases like this, it can be beneficial for the accident victim to hire a personal injury attorney to serve as their advocate. Large companies, said DuBois, whether they are trucking companies, insurance companies, or even retail stores, do not like to pay personal injury settlements and often offer injury victims much less than their claims are worth. Personal injury lawyers can fight these tactics and help ensure justice after an accident.

About Shulman DuBois LLC:
The Portland personal injury law firm of Shulman DuBois LLC, is based in SE Portland, OR. Partners Joshua Shulman and Sean DuBois have experience helping people who have been injured in car, truck, bicycling, pedestrian, and motorcycle accidents. For a free consultation, call 503-222-4411 or contact us at our Portland Injury Law website.

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