Well, I have some good news and some bad news. The good news is yes, you can get rich from a Portland personal injury lawsuit. The bad news is that you may not be able to enjoy that wealth.
A friend of mine practices personal injury law in Chicago. Several years ago he won a $23.5M verdict for his young female client, injured in a car accident with a large semi-truck. She is now a quadriplegic and the money pays for her full-time care. I asked my friend if she had any ability to enjoy her wealth. He told me no, she is not healthy enough to enjoy it or even realize she has it.
In a personal injury lawsuit, damages are for past and future medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages and lost future income. The largest cases have huge future medical bills and lost income—because the injuries are so severe and are permanent.
But, if your injuries are not so severe, you ought to be able to enjoy the money you receive. I have had surgery on both knees and twice on my right shoulder. Nobody paid me anything for these injuries, as they were caused by sports and not by an accident. Since I had to go through these surgeries anyway, how nice it would be if someone paid for them and gave me some money for my pain and suffering as well! As it was, I and my medical insurer paid for these surgeries.
So, keeping in mind that many people live with injuries that nobody will ever pay them for, and keeping in mind that for thousands of years people suffered through their injuries with little or no recompense (i.e., before the advent of modern, American, personal injury law), I believe the right attitude toward a settlement or verdict is that it is “pennies from heaven.”
That’s not to say I won’t be fighting for the highest possible settlement or verdict. Of course that’s my goal and my duty. However, a good and thankful attitude toward your settlement will ease your mind through the process and better enable you to be satisfied once the matter is over. In truth, although money can never remove your injuries or your pain and suffering, but it can be a very nice balm and bandage.