"I got into an accident and was nervous about finding a personal injury attorney after hearing so many awful stories, but from the start, I felt confident with my choice in Kaplan Law, LLC." Read More - Ben
"Matt and Gillian took great care of me during a stressful time of my life. Very caring and knowledgeable group. I would definitely recommend Kaplan Law!" Read More - Kayleigh
"Incredible service and results! Matthew Kaplan and his paralegal Gillian did an amazing job for me. Not only did they resolve my case beyond my satisfaction, they also were very caring and supportive thru my recovery. I couldn't ask for a better attorney." Read More - Jamal
Matthew D. Kaplan
Justia Lawyer Rating for Matthew D. Kaplan

Portland Injury Lawyer

Kaplan Law LLC, is a Portland personal injury law firm focusing on providing powerful and effective legal representation to individuals and families suffering from significant injuries caused by others' carelessness, insurance companies that refuse to live up to their obligations, or corporations that prioritize profits over people's health, safety, and well-being. Our firm has dedicated more than 20 years to successfully leveling the playing field and giving a voice to vulnerable individuals and families, representing clients in the state courts of Oregon and Washington, as well as the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon and the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

During his twenty-six years of practicing law, Oregon attorney Matthew D. Kaplan has achieved the highest peer rating ("AV") by Martindale Hubbell (in 2013,) and has been recognized as an Oregon Super Lawyer by Super Lawyer magazine each year since 2012. You can find our conveniently located office in downtown Portland, just one block from TriMet's MAX stop at SW Oak Street.

At Kaplan Law, we understand that many legal matters are confusing and intimidating to those who may need legal services, and we recognize that the appropriate answer to a question often isn't the easy answer. We seek to provide all serious injury victims who contact us with information, opinions, and advice that is knowledge-based, experience-driven, forthright, and reliable.

That advice and advocacy spans a variety of areas of the law, including:

Motor Vehicle Accidents

Vehicle crashes are the most common cause of serious injuries and wrongful death lawsuits. After a major accident, we know you have many worries and questions. We also understand these cases are often complex and nuanced, which is why our team is well versed in Oregon and Washington's laws regarding insurance coverage issues, legal liability, and the many potential forms of relief available. Our firm understands that the insurance companies' business models are predicated on paying out as little as possible. Kaplan Law has the experience you need, having successfully battled the insurance industry for more than 20 years.

Drunk Driving Accidents

In both Oregon and Washington, you may have multiple means of legal recourse if you have been seriously hurt by an intoxicated driver. Besides suing the intoxicated driver, you may have a claim against the individual/business that served alcohol to the drunk driver. These claims against servers fall under Oregon's Dram Shop and Social Host laws. If your accident caused you to suffer major injuries, a dram shop or social host action may be an essential part of getting fully compensated. In some intoxicated driver cases, you may be entitled to punitive damages, but pursuing punitive damages potentially may be unadvisable even if they're available, which is one reason why Kaplan Law performs a detailed analysis of each client's case to map out the best strategy.

Motorcycle Accidents and Trucking Collisions

Physics tells us when a larger object and a smaller object collide, the larger object exerts a greater force. Experience tells us that, when a commercial truck hits a motor vehicle or a motor vehicle (or semi-truck) hits a motorcycle, the occupants of the smaller vehicles usually bear the brunt of the harm. The reasons these crashes occur are numerous and varied. Many result from the driver of the larger vehicle failing to properly identify the smaller. This may be the result of that driver speeding, driving while intoxicated, driving too long or while drowsy, driving while distracted, or driving an unsafe vehicle. Motor vehicle crashes can vary significantly and involve many types of vehicles ranging from motorcycle collisions to tractor-trailer crashes. Kaplan Law possesses the knowledge and experience unique to each of those areas necessary to advise and represent these clients fully. .

Wrongful Death Actions

The sudden, unexpected loss of a loved one is traumatic, but that pain is only amplified if the death is the result of someone else's negligence. During your time of grief, you also have crucial legal decisions and actions to deal with. You only have a limited time to act and making a misstep could forever bar you from receiving essential compensation. Insurance companies may call you, urgently trying to get you to accept their low-ball settlement offer. As you work to heal, Kaplan Law is here to be your trusted legal representative handling the insurance and litigation issues your case may present. Our firm prides itself on providing client-centered representation that is equal parts compassionate, thoughtful, zealous, personalized, and knowledgeable so you get the justice you deserve.

Industrial Accidents

In Oregon, "industrial accidents" mean more than just massive disasters, such as major leaks, fires, or explosions that kill multiple workers. After your serious injury at work, you may have deep concerns, fearing that a workers' compensation claim is your sole (and inadequate) form of recourse. That's not necessarily true. If a third party's (someone other than your employer) negligence contributed to your injury, you can bring an industrial accident lawsuit under the Employer Liability Law. These claims can include circumstances like a third-party manufacturer whose defective product contributed to an explosion at your workplace or a third-party contractor responsible for ensuring safety at a job site where you got hurt due to inadequate fall protection. Our firm is specifically knowledgeable and experienced in handling these often highly complex and confusing industrial accident cases (as opposed to workers' compensation matters.).

Jail Deaths / Civil Rights

People held in custody accused of crimes often represent one of the least sympathetic groups in American society, which makes them among the most vulnerable. That reality, coupled with additional problems like rampant overcrowding and understaffing inside jails, often drives those responsible for detainee care to shirk their responsibilities. This is especially true in cases where care duties have been outsourced to private corporations whose chief goal is maximizing profit not patient outcomes. The U.S. Supreme Court has made it clear that depriving an inmate/detainee of proper medical and/or mental health care is a violation of the Eighth Amendment's prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment. The avenue for vindicating those rights is something called a federal "1983 action," an area of the law in which Kaplan Law has significant first-hand experience. That includes successfully representing the family in the notorious case of Jed Hawk Myers, a man who pleaded for medical aid 19 times across five hours before he collapsed and died inside his Yamhill County Jail cell.

Severe / Catastrophic Injuries

In many catastrophic injury cases, the victim has suffered permanently disabling injuries. They will never be able to work again; they may never even walk again. They may require caregivers to meet their needs, even basic ones like feeding and hygiene. These injuries harm victims in a wide variety of ways, which is why victims need the strongest possible legal representation. Injury victims often have racked up massive medical and rehabilitation bills (with more to come) and have lost (and will lose) large amounts of income. They have endured (and will endure) enormous amounts of pain, suffering, and emotional distress. Because these damages often span multiple years or decades, getting justice often demands a very large settlement or judgment. At Kaplan Law, we've spent decades dealing with the insurance industry and the courts, so we understand how to pursue an appropriate outcome for our clients.

Injuries to Children

Children are undeniably our most valuable resource, which is one of the many reasons why a negligence-driven injury to a child is so distressing. Federal data shows that unintentional injuries are the leading cause of death in kids aged 14 and under. These injuries can occur in many ways, including auto accidents, attractive nuisances, and defective products. Attractive nuisances include things like swimming pools, trampolines, old refrigerators, and "project" cars. When the owner doesn't properly secure their property to safeguard against a child's access to that attractive nuisance, the owner may be legally liable. Additionally, products intended for children -- like car seats and toys -- may have defects that cause them to fail to perform as they should. When that happens and your child is hurt, the team at Kaplan Law can help you take the proper steps to obtain fair compensation, even if that means taking on a massive corporation.

Do you have legal questions? We have answers.

Our firm recognizes that each client is our most important client. Whether your case involves a private individual who drove negligently, a mega-corporation that sold defective products to your child plus millions of other kids, or an insurance company that is refusing to pay you the benefits you are owed on the claim you filed, we are here to help. To get the reliable information you need, we invite you to get in touch today by contacting us online or by calling (503) 226-3844 to set up your free consultation.

Client Reviews
Matt knows the system like no other and is the Best choice for exceptional representation when you are unjustly injured and requiring proper compensation for your pain and suffering. Timothy F.
Matt and his staff was very helpful and concerned with my wellbeing and respectful to where I felt comfortable about my case. I recommend them to everyone I know he is great. Monica J.
Professional, compassionate, honest and very informative. I would highly recommend Kaplan Law, LLC to anyone looking for honest and effective representation. Kevin S.
Frequently Asked Questions
I am not the type of person that hires an attorney, makes insurance claims, or sues people. Am I a bad person for doing any of the above?

I have heard this a lot from some pretty wonderful people that I have helped over the years. This is what I say to them. If some person or some corporation broke safety rules and caused you harm and injury, then they need to fix it and make it right. Unfortunately insurance companies and corporate defendants often try to avoid taking responsibility for their actions and fixing what they broke. Instead of duels and anarchy we have a system in place that allows jurors from our communities to decide what is fair. Any person has a right to their day in court to have their grievances heard. It is not a perfect system, but I will take it over any other system out there. If you are injured and are doing everything you can to get healthy and move on with your life the best you can, then I want to help you tell your story to a jury so that the rule breaker can be held accountable for their careless actions and make amends for what they have taken away from you.

How can I hire an attorney when I cannot afford it?

Most injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. That means the attorney gets paid a percentage of what he is able to earn for his client. He does not get paid until he recovers something for his client. The percentage of the fee can vary depending on the type of case and what the attorney and client agree to in the contract. If there is no recovery, then there is no attorney fee. The risk of success or failure is carried by the attorney.

Contingency fees are a way to level the playing field for everyday people. Most of us could not afford to pay an attorney $400.00 an hour to help us when we are injured by someone’s careless conduct. It is hard enough to pay for the medical treatment, even with health insurance. Without contingency fee agreements large corporations and insurance companies could just say “sue me” to most people and get away with it. Insurance companies and large corporations can afford to employ in-house attorneys or they can pay armies of lawyers $400-$800 an hour without thinking about it. Contingency fee agreements allow me to represent teachers, nurses, contractors, mechanics, welders, and janitors against any defendant, no matter how big and powerful they are. They can still be brought before twelve people from the community for justice.

All of my clients retain me through a contingency contract. At our initial meeting we will go over your case and the financial paperwork. I will answer any questions about the contract. If you decide you want to take the paperwork home, read it again, and think about it; that is encouraged. While it is important to hire a lawyer as soon as possible, it is more important that they are the right lawyer for your case. You have to feel comfortable and trust them.

How are attorney fees calculated?

In most of my cases my fee is calculated on one third of the net amount if the case settles without any litigation. Once litigation starts, my fees go up to 40%. I do not go above that amount. There are certain types of statutory cases where I am able to collect attorney fees from the liable party or in work place injury cases where my fee is capped at one third of the gross settlement. On almost all of my negligence cases I take my fee after the medical bills are paid. This means more money in your pocket. For example, if you have a case that settles for $100,000.00 and there are unpaid medical bills of $10,000.00, my fee comes out of the remaining $90,000.00. If you are considering hiring an injury attorney that takes a smaller percentage on their fees, ask them about their qualifications and how they calculate their fees if there is unpaid bills. I have never taken a contingency fee where my attorney fees were more than the amount my client received. I believe that is wrong and should not happen.

Are there any hidden fees?

No. When we close your case we will meet with you to go over all of the costs and how all of the funds are being disbursed. This is a completely transparent process so there are no hidden fees. While my office fronts most costs on behalf of the client, we do expect the client to reimburse us upon recovery out of their share. Cases that settle pre-litigation typically have under $200.00 in costs. Obviously if the case requires retaining experts early on, that can change. If this is the case, my office will be open and communicate with you what these costs are, so that you are not blindsided at the end.

Why do I need an attorney to help me? Seems like I can settle this on my own.

There is that old saying that an attorney that represents himself has a fool for a client. It is even worse for someone not experienced in law. When a case is personal our judgment is clouded. We might focus on things that are really not that important.

Getting past the emotion of an injury case, there is also the practicality that Insurance companies are only interested in settling cases for the least amount possible. Their interests are directly adverse to yours. Every time you speak to the person from risk management or the insurance adjuster they are taking notes of everything you say. They are going to probe you for information that they can exploit to their advantage later on down the line. It could be facts about the case or even trying to get you to discuss settlement numbers before you even know what the extent of your injuries are. Kaplan Law, has the expertise in building cases from the ground up, evaluating cases in terms of liability, and what they are worth, and dealing with insurance tactics designed to make most injury victims want to quit. Just remember that your only leverage to being treated fairly is to file a lawsuit and take your case to either an arbitrator or a jury. If you are not represented by a lawyer, the other side knows that you have no leverage so why should they treat you fairly.

When should I retain a Portland injury lawyer?

Being injured is stressful enough; suddenly you are missing work, feel less than 100%, not having your normal vehicle, and going back and forth to medical providers, all while trying to juggle your everyday family issues. That is quite a bit to deal with, especially if this goes on for some time. While I cannot take away all of the above, I can keep the insurance adjusters from calling and sending you letters. I can let your medical providers know that I represent you and request they not send you to collections. This will give you some peace of mind so that you can focus on feeling better and not which insurance adjuster said what over the phone.

If your case is going to need some investigation and gathering of information you need someone to do that right away. Some evidence “disappears” soon after the incident. A spoliation letter from attorney is a good deterrent to the destruction of valuable evidence. I have had a few serious inadequate security cases over the years and it is amazing how the security camera footage at the location either malfunctions or is taped over.

How long do I need to wait before you can settle my case?

The length of a case depends on a number of factors. When did the injury causing incident occur? In Oregon there are different statutes that govern when a case has to be filed. If you are close to the deadline, your case has a chance of going to trial or resolving faster than a case that just occurred.

Are you medically stationary? That means that you have fully recovered or your treatment providers believe they understand your injuries and have a plan laid out for future care should it be necessary. Kaplan Law is not a factory that rushes the clients through the mill. We will not attempt to settle a case until we know what is going on medically. Once a client is medically stationary, we will request their bills and records from their medical providers. Getting medical records is an inexact science. This can take two days or six months. I can tell you that my office will be thorough and work diligently in our attempt to get all of your records so we can make an accurate assessment of your case. Once we have all of your records, I read the records and evaluate the case. We will either have an in office meeting or a phone conference to discuss my evaluation. Upon your approval and input I will send out a demand on your behalf. The defense will take time to evaluate the settlement package we sent and eventually contact my office. If an agreement does not occur, then it is time to file a lawsuit. Trials typically take place within 13 months of filing. This can be delayed much longer depending on the county and the complexity of the case.

As you can read, there are a lot of factors that determine timeliness of resolution. Another factor is my schedule and caseload. We have to prioritize cases by deadlines. So it is possible we might have everything we need to evaluate your demand, but we are slammed preparing another case for trial. Assuming your case does not have a pending deadline, we have to give the other case priority. When we have time we are always looking to move cases forward toward resolution. The patience of all of our clients is greatly appreciated.

Do I have to go to trial?

No. If you want to accept a settlement offer that you are comfortable with, then I have done my job. Before you make that decision you will get my counsel. Just keep in mind that most insurance companies are banking on that fact that you will give up and take a lesser offer. It takes real courage and determination to fight on through trial.

I have just been injured what should I do?

If you have been injured you should go to see a medical professional and let them know exactly what are your injuries. We want our clients to be accurate in telling the doctors what is hurting them, in order to help the provider run the necessary diagnostic tests and give the proper treatment.

It is also important to photograph any physical injuries as well as any evidence of what caused the injury. This can be difficult if you had a serious injury and are hospitalized, so it is helpful to have your partner help out in coordinating this effort. If you do not have someone to help, do not stress about it. Get an attorney on board and focus on treating your injuries.

What areas of the Northwest do you take on cases?

My office is located in Portland, Oregon so the majority of my clients come from Multnomah, Clackamas, and Washington Counties. I really enjoy traveling throughout the far reaches of Oregon and Washington in order to help people. I am fortunate to have represented families and injury victims as far east as Pendleton, John Day, Hermiston, and Milton Freewater; as far south as Roseburg, and Medford and Ashland in Jackson County; and on the coast in Tillamook, Lincoln City, and Astoria. Because of the proximity to Portland, I find myself being retained quite a bit for cases in Lane County (Eugene and Springfield), as well as Corvallis in Benton County and the Salem Kaiser area in Marion County. I am now licensed in Washington State so I have represented some families in the Tacoma area as well as throughout Clark County.

Matthew D. Kaplan - Attorney
Matthew D. Kaplan matthew@mdkaplanlaw.com
Oregon Injury Lawyer Blog
Contact Us
FREE CONSULTATION (503) 226-3844
50 SW Pine St #302 Portland, OR 97204 Telephone: (503) 226-3844 Fax: (503) 943-6670 Email: matthew@mdkaplanlaw.com
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