DO I NEED A WORKERS' COMP. LAWYER?
Probably! The insurance company knows the system in-and-out, but they don't have your best interest in mind. You need someone on your side that knows as much as they do.
The most common things that happen in a WC case where you should talk to a lawyer are the following:
1. Your case is denied. You were injured, made a claim, and you received a denial in the mail. You have to appeal that denial within 60-days, so time is of the essence! By appealing, you're asserting that the denial was wrong, and you want a judge to decide the matter, so you'll want a lawyer to guide you.
2. Your case has been accepted, but now something else is being denied. Maybe they accepted your claim for a "strain" but denied the more serious injury? Maybe there's some treatment you need that's been denied? There are a lot of things that can happen in a WC case, even if your claim as been "accepted." If the insurance company says they won't do something for you, you should think about talking to a lawyer.
3. Your lost wages stopped coming. There are a LOT of rules about when, and how, lost wages are supposed to be paid. If you were hurt on the job and you're not getting lost wages from the WC insurer, consult an attorney immediately
4. Your claim as been "closed". This is a normal part of the process, and not has permanent as the papers make it seem. However, when it happens there may be good reason to appeal it, and you only have 60-days, so it's a good time to consult an attorney.
WHEN DO I NOT NEED A WORKERS' COMP LAWYER?
If you have general questions about the system and how it works, the Ombudsman for Injured Workers is a State agency created to help. They can't give legal advice, but they are amazing people who work tirelessly to educate and help injured workers. They can be reached at 503-378-3351.
I JUST GOT IN A CAR ACCIDENT. IS IT TOO SOON TO HIRE A LAWYER?
No! There's a lot of Important things that happen quick after a collision, the biggest of which is that you need to start medical treatment. The benefit to calling a lawyer sooner, rather than waiting, is that we can help get you to medical treatment that will actually help and not just drain your PIP/med-pay bucket.
Also, it's not uncommon for insurers to try to get statements, "evidence" and even dangle low-ball settlement offers. If you've just been hurt in an accident, you'll want someone who's clear-headed to advocate for you so you can focus on getting better.
I WASN'T HURT IN MY ACCIDENT, BUT MY CAR WAS WRECKED. DO I NEED A LAWYER?
Maybe, but probably not. Being injured is the key driver for the need for representation. That said, Oregon does allow "diminished value" claims, which is where there's a difference between the value of your car before the wreck, and after it gets fixed. If you have a newish car with substantial damage, consider calling an attorney.
WHAT'S YOUR ACTUAL ADDRESS?
In this modern digital age, I've decided to forego the traditional brick-and-mortar law firm. I practice from my home-office, so that's why the firm has a P.O. Box.
CAN WE MEET IN PERSON?
Absolutely! I love meeting my clients in-person. Before the onset of Covid-19, I met all my clients in-person for their initial consultations, as well as for important events like mediations, hearing/trial prep, depositions, and document signings.
Covid-19 has taught us that much can be done over phone/video conference, however I'd still like to return to meeting clients in-person as long as it's safe to do so.
I maintain access to conference space for that reason, and if you'd like to meet in person just let me know and we see if it's appropriate.