What you need to know about Oregon divorce laws

Unfortunately, many marriages end in divorce. In Oregon, there are certain requirements and procedures that a divorce lawyer can help you meet before the dissolution of a marriage can take place.

Generally, at least one of the parties must be living in Oregon and domiciled in Oregon for the six months preceding the filing of their Petition for Dissolution. In addition, Oregon is a “no-fault” divorce state. This means that a divorce can be initiated by either party, for any reason, so long as the party alleges that there are “irreconcilable differences” which have caused the irremediable breakdown of the marriage. Neither spouse is required to allege what those differences are.

Oregon is considered an “equitable distribution” state and that means marital property is divided equitably among the husband and wife. This does not mean an equal distribution, but instead what is considered “fair.” Divorcing couples are encouraged to come to an agreement as to the division of property and debt or they run the risk that the court will make those decisions for them.

When children are involved in a divorce, the courts will do everything to minimize the trauma on them and take actions that are deemed to be in the best interests of the child. Parents are encouraged to mediate out a parenting plan, but if they can’t reach an agreement, the courts will step in and make the decisions for them. Parenting plans spell out in great detail, the days each parent spends with the child, who makes what decisions regarding schooling and healthcare, and other related issues. In some instances, one parent will be required to pay alimony and/or child support to help meet the financial needs of the other parent and the child.

Johnson & Taylor Law proudly serves Marion, Polk, Linn, Yamhill and other surrounding counties.

Seeking damages as part of a personal injury case

When you or a loved one are involved in an accident that was caused by the negligence of another party, you may have the option to sue to recover damages. How much and what kind of damages all depends on the particular circumstances of your case. Another important factor is choosing the right Portland-based personal injury lawyer who can best represent your interests.

If your attorney is able to prove negligence, then they will be able to collect several different types of compensation on your behalf. That will include:

• A current loss of wages and compensation for the future loss of wages, which is especially important where a plaintiff’s injuries are permanent.

• Coverage for medical costs, including hospital and doctor visits, medical equipment and anything else related to the care required to restore you to your former health. This may also include payments for long-term care to assist a person with everyday tasks.

• Pain and suffering, which can lead to multi-million dollar settlements where injuries are extreme or a person dies.

• If a person dies, an attorney will also be able to seek funds for a loss of care, companionship and love.

• Disfigurement and embarrassment, if a person suffers injuries such as burns or has one or more limbs amputated, or the injury results in paralysis and confinement to a wheelchair.

To minimize the impacts on an insurance company, they may attempt to contact a victim and their attorney early in a case and seek a quick settlement. While this might look attractive on the surface, it could be an offer that is well below what you might be entitled to and play into the insurance company’s hands of trying to minimize the impact of a claim on their operations.

In all instances, it is best to let your attorney work with the opposing side to bring about a fair settlement, even if that involves playing hardball and extending the amount of time it takes to reach a settlement.

Johnson & Taylor Law proudly serves Portland, Salem and surrounding Oregon communities.

Understanding Oregon’s negligence laws

If you’re involved in any type of accident in Portland, Salem, or any area in Oregon, and you are seeking compensation for your injuries, lost wages, medical bills, or other damages, then you may need to understand how Oregon’s negligence laws work. If you are involved in an accident outside of Oregon, please give us a call to see if we can still work for you or whether it would be best to hire an attorney in another state.

Negligence is the fundamental legal concept at the heart of all types of accidents, injuries and wrongful death cases. It basically states that in order to collect damages from another party, it must be shown that their actions caused you injury through actions that were not up to a reasonable standard of care.

In some states, contributory negligence means that if a plaintiff is shown to have had any type of fault for the accident, they are barred from collecting any damages in a case. Many states, including Oregon, have moved away from this extreme form of proof to a more reasonable form called modified comparative negligence.

Comparative negligence means that the defendant in a case is only held liable for the percentage of the case they are responsible for. This means if a plaintiff is seeking $1 million, but a jury decides the defendant was only 60% responsible for the injuries a plaintiff incurred, then only $600,000 will be awarded.

Modified comparative negligence means that a plaintiff can only recover damages if it is proved that they are found 50% or less at fault in an accident. If a jury decides that a plaintiff is 51% or more responsible for an accident, then they will not be eligible to collect damages.

Modified comparative negligence is based on the concept that if a person is primarily responsible for their own injuries, then they should not be entitled to any compensation, even if someone else was partly responsible for them being injured.

This means that how a jury apportions blame can have a huge impact on an accident case. In cases where there is more than one defendant, the jury must also decide how much each defendant is responsible. In some instances, a jury may be swayed by the amount of the award in question, and that will have an influence on how much percentage they assign to each party.

If you have questions about an injury accident, feel free to call to talk with a personal injury attorney right away!

Johnson and Taylor proudly serves Portland, Salem and surrounding Oregon communities.

The basic steps involved in a personal injury case

There are many ways a person can suffer an injury through the negligence of someone else. It may involve a slip and fall, a car accident, the use of an unsafe product, or dozens of other ways. Regardless of the circumstances, the process of using our attorneys to help you recover damages usually follows the same general steps.

Initial meeting with an attorney. In an initial consultation with our injury lawyer, we will go over the facts of the incident, what type of medical treatment you received, who was a witness, what contact you have had with insurance companies and healthcare providers, were police involved, followed by an overview of your legal options.

Settlement demands. Before trying to settle with the insurance company, we help you to receive the necessary medical treatment. We work to get the applicable insurance company to pay for any vehicle damages, any wage loss, and medical bills. Once your medical care is complete, we gather all medical records, bills, and other evidence. We then make a settlement demand to the insurance carrier. If the insurance company is willing to be reasonable, then you might decide to settle your claim. If the insurance company is not willing to make a settlement offer that you find to be reasonable, then we will ask you to meet with us to discuss the risks, costs, and timeline associated with filing a lawsuit.

Filing court papers. The first thing our injury lawyer will do is file a complaint with the court, outlining the case against the defendant. This sets the legal framework for the case, including the basis for the filing, facts of the case, and a demand for relief, stating that damages are being sought. The paperwork will be served to the defendant, which will basically require them to respond to the complaint.

Discovery. This is the phase that allows both sides to delve deeper into the facts of the case and may involve depositions and the exchange of documents related to the case.

Motions. Based on discovery, some lawyers will seek to have a case dismissed or certain evidence dismissed for a variety of reasons. It will be up to the judge to decide which motions are valid and which ones are not.

Settlement. Before a trial, there may be attempts to settle the case in a manner deemed acceptable to both parties. If one party has a stronger case than the other, this may be the best course of action to avoid the emotional stress and trauma associated with going to trial.

Trial. Although most cases are settled, some do go to trial. This will involve selecting a jury, opening statements, testimony by witnesses, cross-examination of witnesses, closing arguments, and deliberations by a jury.

Collecting a judgment. If you win your case, you are entitled to collect a judgment, but sometimes we will need to continue to work hard to recover what you’re due.

Appeals. After a trial has been decided, one side or the other may decide to appeal the decision, basically setting into play a new set of legal actions to take place.

Johnson and Taylor proudly serves Portland, Salem and surrounding Oregon communities.