Portland Legal Services - Joanne Reisman, Attorney at Law
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Why you need a lawyer to help you settle your Personal Injury Claim

In most accidents, like when you are rear ended, it is not going to be an argument about who is at fault.  The argument is going to be about the amount of damages.  Insurance companies have a deliberate and carefully orchestrated plan to minimize how much they will pay out and it starts with the adjuster from the insurance company for the other driver car calling you and saying she or he is so sorry to hear about your injuries and they will take care of you - all you need to do is give them a recorded statement and sign some documents so they can view your medical records.

Get ready Oregonians for Real ID starting October 2020!

You will need to upgrade your driver's license to a Real ID to use it for traveling when the new Real ID laws go into effect on October 1, 2020.  On that date, the Transportation Security Administration, or TSA, begins requiring a new type of identification to board a commercial aircraft. The new ID must be compliant with something called the Real ID Act.

Oregon plans to start issuing real ID driver's  licenses as of July 6, 2020 but to fulfill the demand of nearly one million Oregonians, who will want the Real ID option, DMV would have to issue 32 licenses a second every business day from July to October.

Avoiding or Reducing Medical Bills Not Covered by Insurance

The first thing to check for is to be sure that the medical location and the medical providers are in your Network.  Be careful with the myriad of convenient urgent care clinics that are springing up all over the place in shopping malls, in pharmacies, and at other suburban locations.  If the care facility is not specifically contracted with your medical insurance network it is not likely to be covered.

Medical Services that aren't covered are often billed at the highest prices for medical services.

Getting a Creditor to Report That You Paid or Satisfied a Judgment Against You!

Judgments can be entered against you for debts you owe and even if you have paid the Judgment it can still show up in public records as owing. The court needs to enter a document which states that the Judgment has been satisfied.  Otherwise this will still be reported as a Judgment that is owed and will adversely effect your ability to apply for loans and get credit.

A creditor who has fully collected the Judgment has a duty to file a Satisfaction of Judgment with the court under Oregon Law.   Not all creditors understand this duty, especially creditors like ex-spouses who are not professionals.

Public Bodies, The Invisible Defendants in Auto Accident Cases and the Importance of Tort Claims Notices

There can be situations where some or all of the blame is unjustly placed on an injured driver for causing an accident and the conditions of the roadway, where the accident happened, are not fully considered.  A thorough accident investigation should identify all parties who might share the fault, including whether a public body, charged with building and maintaining the particular roadway, failed to perform some act that they had a duty to perform.  Public bodies have a lot of discretion as to how they build and maintain roadways so it is not automatic that they will have liability for their lack of preemptive action.

Recreational marijuana and child custody

Now that Marijuana is legal for recreational use in Oregon we need to discuss considerations that parents should make about their use of Marijuana and disputes this might lead to in Custody and Parenting time matters.  Just like alcohol use, the court is going to want to know that a parent's use of any substance when they have children in their care, doesn't impair their ability to parent their children and does not put their child at risk. 

It should be common sense that you don't want to be intoxicated when driving or otherwise supervising the transportation of your minor children.

PROPERTY DIVISION AND UNMARRIED COUPLES - A CAUTIONARY TALE!

The case ofStavelandvs. Fisher, 25 OR App 210 (2018) demonstrates the disparity in the results between a trial court dividing property for an unmarried couples as compared to property division in a divorce. Under Oregon Law, by virtue of being married, there arises a presumption of equal contribution.  ORS 107.105. Accordingly, for married couples, it doesn’t matter what the parties say their intent was with respect to the property. It also doesn’t matter if only one spouse’s name is on the title.

Tax Refunds and Bankruptcy - updated 2016

Tax time is here again and this is also the time of year that people struggling with debt consider bankruptcy.  It is important to understand the interrelationship between taxes and Bankruptcy.

First, filing and collecting your tax refund can give you the money you need to hire an attorney to file your bankruptcy.  So consider this if you are plagued with debts before you spend your refund check.

Second, if you are thinking about filing bankruptcy, it is usually best to have already filed your taxes and collected any tax refunds due to you before you file.

New Oregon Law improves UM UIM Auto Insurance Coverage IF your policy is issued or renewed on or after January 1, 2016!

Very Very Important - All Oregonians will want to make sure their automobile policy is technically renewed or issued as close to January 1, 2016 as they can get it done.  Why?  

Well there was a new law passed this year that goes into effect as of January 1, 2016.   Known as Oregon Senate Bill 411, or referred to by us attorneys as the "UIM stacking legislation", this new law will actually improve your auto insurance coverage if your policy is  issued or renewed on or after January 1, 2016.

Modifying Child Support

Anyone paying or receiving child support can seek a review and modification at no charge through the Oregon Child Support Program.  This link will explain how to request a review and modification and when you are eligible to get a review: http://www.oregonchildsupport.gov/services/pages/modification.aspx

You can request a review if it has been 35 months since the date the last order was entered or reviewed.  You don't have to wait 35 months if you can show proof that there has been a significant change of circumstance since your order was finalized.

Grandparent Visitation Rights under Oregon Law

There is really no such thing in Oregon as visitation rights solely based on the relationship of being a grandparent.  Oregon had attempted to create Grandparent visitation rights in the past, but the statute creating those rights was repealed after the landmark decisions inTroxel v. Granville,530 U.S. 57(2000).  In theTroxelcase the United States Supreme Court determined that parents have a constitutional right to rear their children free from the intervention of the State or a third party under normal circumstances.

Scam Calls and Emails - how to avoid being a Victim!!

To avoid becoming a scam victimregard any call or email that asks any personal, business or financial  information including a request to verify information as a possible scam!

Any legitimate callers or emailers will be willing to assist you in verifying that their calls or emails are legitimate.  If they are pushy,  anxious, evasive, or demanding when you ask questions or don't want to help you verify their identity or business legitimacy - they are scammers!

Here are the steps you need to take right from the start.

More options for Oregon Debtors: Oregonians can now elect to use Federal Exemptions When Filing Bankruptcy

Some really good news for Oregon Debtors facing bankruptcy.  Governor Kitzhaber has signed SB396 into law and Oregon debtors now have the opportunity to elect federal exemptions or Oregon exemptions when filing bankruptcy.  SB396 reversed the 30 year ban on use of federal exemptions in Oregon bankruptcy cases.  The bill can be used in all bankruptcy cases filed after July 1, 2013. 

In addition, there has been added to the already existing Oregon exemptions a new exemption for Health Savings Accounts in an unlimited amount.

Tips regarding Oregon's Minimum Liability Insurance Coverage

Oregon driver's insurance policies must offer a minimum of:
Bodily injury and property damage liability​
$25,000 per person;  $50,000 per crash for bodily injury to others; and
$20,000 per crash for damage to others property​
State law also requires every motor vehicle liability policy to provide:
Personal injury protection (for reasonable and necessary medical, dental and other expenses
incurred up to 1 year after the crash)​ $15,000 per person.  (Coverage for lost wages up to $3,000 a month for up to one year is also part of PIP and is in addition to the medical coverage.

Auto Insurance - Important to Know!

Let's talk about Auto insurance and three of the most important things to know:


1.  Don't drive without insurance, even if you are a good driver:If you get into an accident and don't have insurance, and the accident wasn't your fault, an attorney would have a very hard time representing you to help you recover for your damages because Oregon law prevents uninsured driver's from recovering pain and suffering damages. (There is an exception if you were insured and the insurance has just recently  lapsed.
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