Monday, October 3, 2011

Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Benefits - Neal Peton

Almost every automobile insurance policy sold in Oregon contains benefits known as Uninsured Motorist Benefits and Underinsured Motorist Benefits.  Uninsured Motorist benefits provide coverage when the person who hits you does not have insured, is a hit-and-run driver, or is something called a phantom driver.  Underinsured Motorist benefits provide coverage when the person who hits you has insurance, but does not have enough to cover all your injuries.  This second type of benefit is far more used than the first, and is what I will discuss more in this article. 
In the years I have been practicing as an attorney, I cannot remember how many times I have helped someone who was serious injured in an accident, and the at-fault driver’s insurance benefits were not enough to cover my client’s injuries.  In the last month I have dealt with several cases, where, sadly, the at-fault party did not have enough insurance to cover my clients’ injuries and my clients did not have enough underinsured benefits. 
Under Oregon law, to collect underinsured motorist benefits, you, the insured, need to have more coverage than the at-fault party.  Under a recent Oregon Supreme Court decision, Mid-Century Insurance v. Perkins,, in order to be eligible for underinsured benefits the person seeking underinsured benefits must have more insurance coverage than the at-fault person.  For example, if you have $100,000 in uninsured motorist benefits, and the person who hits you has $100,000 in liability limits, there cannot be an uninsured motorist claim.  You would have to have more than $100,000. 
Why is this all important?  Because if heaven forbid, you have a bad accident, you may be underinsured for you injuries, especially if you have a job that pays well and you miss a significant time of work, or even worse, if you can never go back to work again.  In cases like those $100,000 goes far too quickly, and you are left in a situation of not having enough to insurance benefits to cover everything.  

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

PIP Benefits - Kimberly Condon

PIP, otherwise known as Personal Injury Protection, is a benefit you receive from your insurance company following a motor vehicle collision.   This benefit is available to you whether you were at fault for the accident or if someone else was at fault.  On average, the minimum PIP benefits available are $15,000.00 or the benefit is good for one year, whichever comes first.  Following an accident where you have suffered an injury, you need to report the injury to your insurance company and they will open up a PIP claim for you.  All of your medical bills need to be sent to YOUR insurance for payment.  This includes ambulance, ER, MD, chiropractic, PT and any other providers you see for your injury.  Some people don’t understand this, wondering why their own insurance company pays the medical bills when someone else was at fault and caused their injury.  In Oregon, this is how it works.  Once you are done treating (you will require no further treatment for your injuries) your insurance will subrogate the amount they have paid out for you to the at fault insurance carrier.  Meaning, your insurance company will get their money back.   I think one of the reasons the laws are geared this way is sometimes investigating an accident can take 30-60 days and in the meantime you are incurring medical bills.  Instead of letting these medical bills go unpaid, the law states that your’ insurance will pay the medical bills and get paid back later.

PIP benefits also include lost wages.  The lost wage benefit has a maximum of $3,000.00 per month or 70% of your average monthly wage, whichever is less.  Unfortunately you will not be paid at 100% from PIP.  The unreimbursed amount should be included in any settlement you receive from the at fault insurance company.  In order to receive lost wages from PIP you have to have missed 14 consecutive days from work to begin with.  You will also need a doctors’ disability slip stating you are unable to work.  PIP will review this information and contact your employer to verify employment, hours worked and how much you make per hour.  Once you have missed 14 consecutive days and are receiving lost wages the benefit continues for 52 weeks.  So let’s say you missed 3 weeks of work and then you were able to return to work, but once you’ve returned to work you find that working is hurting you more, so your doctor puts you back off work for another week; you will still be eligible for benefits.  You only have to miss the first 14 days and the benefits will begin.  This also applies if you are put back to work with restrictions, such as only 2 hours a day.  PIP will continue to pay lost wages less the 2 hours per day.  PIP wage loss is there to help you out in the meantime.  Make sure you read your policy to learn about  your PIP benefits.

My job as a paralegal for Olsen Daines is to help take the headache away.  You are already under enough stress and dealing with pain.   I will work with you and your PIP carrier to make sure your medical bills are being paid and that you are receiving your lost wages.   

Friday, May 13, 2011

UJ Trading Recalls Knight Hawk Toy Helicopters Due to Fire Hazard

WASHINGTONMay 11, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed.  It is illegal to resell or attempt to resell a recalled consumer product.
Name of product: Danbar Knight Hawk Toy Helicopters
Units: About 18,500 (previously recalled in January 2010).
Distributor: UJ Trading, of Houston, Texas
Hazard: The battery housing under the helicopter canopy can overheat while charging, posing a fire hazard.
Incidents/Injuries: None reported by UJ Trading.
Description: This recall involves Danbar Toys Knight Hawk remote control helicopters. The helicopter can be identified by model number 006047 marked on the back of the controller and the Knight Hawk logo on the front of the controller. The body of the helicopter also contains the markings: "AH-64" and "helicopter."
Sold at: Toy, hobby and other stores, including mall kiosks, nationwide and online at from April 2010 throughApril 2011 for about $36.  
Manufactured in: China
Remedy:  Consumers should immediately take the recalled helicopters away from children and contact UJ Trading to receive a full refund. UJ Trading will provide consumers with a postage paid label to return the product.
Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact UJ Trading at (800) 536-2691 between  9 a.m. and 5 p.m. CT Monday through Friday, or visit the firm's website at
CPSC is still interested in receiving incident or injury reports that are either directly related to this product recall or involve a different hazard with the same product.  Please tell us about it by visiting
Firm's Recall Hotline: (800) 536-2691
CPSC Recall Hotline: (800) 638-2772
CPSC Media Contact: (301) 504-7908
SOURCE U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission