Personal Injury Lawyer Portland Oregon http://portlandpersonalinjurylawyeroregon.com Personal Injury Attorney Portland Oregon Mon, 11 Apr 2016 19:22:16 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Rojo the Llama Visits Dawson Law Group http://portlandpersonalinjurylawyeroregon.com/llama-visits-dawson-law-group/ http://portlandpersonalinjurylawyeroregon.com/llama-visits-dawson-law-group/#respond Tue, 24 Nov 2015 01:00:52 +0000 http://portlandpersonalinjurylawyeroregon.com/?p=861 On Thursday morning, our paralegal Michael Dawson was settling down to do some paperwork here in our Portland, Oregon-based law firm. Trying not to think about the fact that Thursday was his own 50th birthday, Michael was glad to be…

The post Rojo the Llama Visits Dawson Law Group appeared first on Personal Injury Lawyer Portland Oregon.

]]>
On Thursday morning, our paralegal Michael Dawson was settling down to do some paperwork here in our Portland, Oregon-based law firm. Trying not to think about the fact that Thursday was his own 50th birthday, Michael was glad to be able to lose himself in one of our clients’ cases for an hour or two.

Minutes after getting into his file, however, there was a big commotion in DLG‘s common office area: “Michael, come out! There’s been a car accident!”

Rushing out to see what was happening, here was Michael’s discovery:

portland-personal-injury-attorney-bryan-dawson-rojo-the-llama

 

That is lawyer Bryan Dawson standing with the morning’s birthday surprise, Rojo the Llama.

Rojo, you see, is a super-fun and completely friendly service animal. Hiring him to visit your home, business, or party is a great way to subsidize his work as a service animal who visits people in need of his cheer.

When you hire Rojo, you get three great things: a tax deduction, a chance to help people in Peru, and someunforgettable warm moments.

After our hour of fun with Rojo, we can fully vouch for Wikipedia’s report that llamas “are very social animals… The wool produced by a llama is very soft and lanolin-free. Llamas are intelligent and can learn simple tasks after a few repetitions.”

Rojo, you are a gem!

The post Rojo the Llama Visits Dawson Law Group appeared first on Personal Injury Lawyer Portland Oregon.

]]>
http://portlandpersonalinjurylawyeroregon.com/llama-visits-dawson-law-group/feed/ 0
Teen Driving Risks http://portlandpersonalinjurylawyeroregon.com/teen-driving-risks/ http://portlandpersonalinjurylawyeroregon.com/teen-driving-risks/#respond Tue, 24 Nov 2015 00:58:30 +0000 http://portlandpersonalinjurylawyeroregon.com/?p=859 Joseph Rose, author of the always excellent “pdxcommute” column at The Oregonian/OregonLive, reports some important and chilling facts about the heightened risks faced by teen drivers and their friends and loved ones: [R]esearch has repeatedly shown teen drivers — especially…

The post Teen Driving Risks appeared first on Personal Injury Lawyer Portland Oregon.

]]>
Joseph Rose, author of the always excellent “pdxcommute” column at The Oregonian/OregonLive, reports some important and chilling facts about the heightened risks faced by teen drivers and their friends and loved ones:

[R]esearch has repeatedly shown teen drivers — especially boys — take more risks when their friends are in the passenger seats.

Last year, a AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety study found that a teen driver’s risk of death per mile increases by 44 percent with one teen passenger in the car and quadruples with three or more teen passengers.

Bruce G. Simons-Morton, a traffic-safety researcher with the National Institutes of Health, said boys are more likely to speed, drive aggressively and run red lights when they’re driving with other boys. “It’s hard for a parent to understand when teens get together on their own, how they can be so different,” said Simons-Morton, whose study on teens driving under the influence of friends was recently published in the journal Health Psychology.

There could hardly be more important insights for teen drivers and those who love them. As your Portland car crash lawyers, we encourage you to be vigilant to the ways in which youth compounds the risks of automotive travel.

[posted February 25, 2015 by Portland attorney Bryan Dawson]

The post Teen Driving Risks appeared first on Personal Injury Lawyer Portland Oregon.

]]>
http://portlandpersonalinjurylawyeroregon.com/teen-driving-risks/feed/ 0
Personal Injury Recoveries and Taxes http://portlandpersonalinjurylawyeroregon.com/personal-injury-recoveries-and-taxes/ http://portlandpersonalinjurylawyeroregon.com/personal-injury-recoveries-and-taxes/#respond Tue, 24 Nov 2015 00:57:50 +0000 http://portlandpersonalinjurylawyeroregon.com/?p=857 Even though there’s almost four months until tax returns are due, it’s officially tax season. And for those chasing a refund from the IRS, you can beat the crowds and get your return processed now. According to the IRS, 40%…

The post Personal Injury Recoveries and Taxes appeared first on Personal Injury Lawyer Portland Oregon.

]]>
Even though there’s almost four months until tax returns are due, it’s officially tax season. And for those chasing a refund from the IRS, you can beat the crowds and get your return processed now. According to the IRS, 40% of all tax return are filed before the end of February. So for you early filers, we are writing to address a common concern among people who have collected money through a personal injury settlement or judgement during the tax year. That concern is whether that money should be taxed as income by the IRS. The answer…it depends.

Generally, if you are being compensated for a physical or emotional injury then those proceeds are not considered income, and thus, not taxable. However, if the settlement includes compensation for lost wages, back pay or lost profits from a trade or business then the settlement or judgment must be reported on line 7 of your 1040. For example, the most common example of this is someone who is injured and is unable to work for certain period of time. Say you make $1000 a week and miss one week of work. You then receive a payment of $1000 in your personal injury settlement. You must now claim that $1000 as income on your 1040.

Another area to be aware of is the collection of medical bills. Generally, if you’ve incurred medical expenses in a settlement or judgment then you don’t have to claim the bills as income. However, if you receive reimbursement for medical bills that you previously deducted on a prior years tax return then you must include as income the medical bills that you previously deducted. This situation is rare as Oregon mandates PIP coverage so most of the medical bills are paid by your insurer within the first year. But if you are involved in a personal injury claim and you’ve paid medical bills out of pocket, be diligent about whether you’ve deducted those medical bills from taxes in prior years.

The treatment of property damage settlements is probably the most confusing when it comes to tax consequences, but are relevant since personal injury claims often involve claims for property damage or diminished value. The general rule is that payment for loss of value to your property is not taxable so long as the payment does not exceed your adjusted basis in the property. I’m not going to get into what adjusted basis is because it exceeds the scope of this blog. However the consequences of receiving a payment for property above your adjusted basis is it creates capital gains.

As you can see from the various rules it’s important to clearly indicate what the settlement or judgement is for. While personal injury attorneys are often times familiar with the tax consequences of settlements, you should still seek the advice of a CPA in complicated settlement scenarios. Clearly itemizing the settlement will help you, your lawyer and your accountant to accurately assess you tax liability as a result of a settlement or judgment.

The post Personal Injury Recoveries and Taxes appeared first on Personal Injury Lawyer Portland Oregon.

]]>
http://portlandpersonalinjurylawyeroregon.com/personal-injury-recoveries-and-taxes/feed/ 0
Distracted Driving in Oregon – part 1 http://portlandpersonalinjurylawyeroregon.com/distracted-driving-oregon-part-1/ http://portlandpersonalinjurylawyeroregon.com/distracted-driving-oregon-part-1/#respond Tue, 24 Nov 2015 00:54:48 +0000 http://portlandpersonalinjurylawyeroregon.com/?p=855 Anyone who stands on a street corner and watches cars pass is soon struck by how many drivers are talking on their phones. Is it one in three drivers? One in eight? Either way, the numbers are too high and…

The post Distracted Driving in Oregon – part 1 appeared first on Personal Injury Lawyer Portland Oregon.

]]>
Anyone who stands on a street corner and watches cars pass is soon struck by how many drivers are talking on their phones. Is it one in three drivers? One in eight? Either way, the numbers are too high and they carry deadly consequences.

A recent article from the CBC contains chilling statistics for two Canadian provinces: “Of the 269 people killed on the roads in the last year in B.C., distracted driving led to 77 deaths. That was second only to speed, which was a factor in 78 deaths. Alcohol and drugs were blamed for 63 deaths. In Ontario, it’s a similar story, with distracted driving related fatalities in 2013 surpassing the number of people killed due to both impairment and speed.”

The available statistics for Oregon look better, but show that there’s still a serious problem. In 2012, seven people were killed on Oregon’s roads in accidents involving distracted driving, down from 15 the prior year. In the USA, 3,328 people died in accidents caused by distracted drivers in 2012. It’s possible these statistics understate the threat because the cause of an accident may be unclear in many fatal accidents.

In Oregon, driving while using a hand-held phone – probably the major cause of distracted driving – is illegal. Drivers under 18 can’t use any form of mobile communications device. Older drivers can use a speaker phone or wireless system, but can’t text. These are “primary violations” so police can pull over drivers for violations without believing that there are any other illegal conduct.

The post Distracted Driving in Oregon – part 1 appeared first on Personal Injury Lawyer Portland Oregon.

]]>
http://portlandpersonalinjurylawyeroregon.com/distracted-driving-oregon-part-1/feed/ 0
The Party’s Over – Host Liability http://portlandpersonalinjurylawyeroregon.com/the-partys-over-host-liability/ http://portlandpersonalinjurylawyeroregon.com/the-partys-over-host-liability/#respond Tue, 24 Nov 2015 00:53:59 +0000 http://portlandpersonalinjurylawyeroregon.com/?p=853 The holiday party season is over, but hosts could still face liability for injuries caused by guests who have consumed alcohol or drugs. The bottom line is that hosts need to be careful not to provide intoxicants to visibly impaired…

The post The Party’s Over – Host Liability appeared first on Personal Injury Lawyer Portland Oregon.

]]>
The holiday party season is over, but hosts could still face liability for injuries caused by guests who have consumed alcohol or drugs. The bottom line is that hosts need to be careful not to provide intoxicants to visibly impaired guests.

Most people know that bars can be liable if they serve a visibly intoxicated patron who then causes an accident. But it’s less well known that social hosts face many of the same requirements. An Oregon statute says that both bars and social hosts can be liable for serving or providing alcohol to a visibly intoxicated person.

A recent Oregon Court of Appeals decision clarified how the statute applies to social hosts. In Baker v. Croslin, 264 Or App 196 (2014), the court discussed a gun-shot death that happened at a party during the NBA playoffs. Three friends got together to watch a game. They consumed alcohol and one guest shot another by accident as they were acting out a robbery. Experts submitted opinions that the shooter would have exhibited visible signs of being impaired, based on evidence from after the incident.

The court stated that a social host could be found liable if the shooter consumed alcohol either from the host’s home bar or that the host had purchased for him, though the host was reimbursed. In either situation, the host had made the alcohol available.

In many ways, a social host has a tougher job than a bar to prevent liability. In a bar, patrons have to buy each drink, giving a trained server an opportunity to assess whether to provide another drink. At a party, many hosts allow their guests open access to a liquor cabinet or punch bowl. Plus few hosts are trained in how to determine if a guest is intoxicated, and it’s no fun cutting off a friend.

Still, it’s better to avoid a hangover by being vigilant and planning ahead.

The post The Party’s Over – Host Liability appeared first on Personal Injury Lawyer Portland Oregon.

]]>
http://portlandpersonalinjurylawyeroregon.com/the-partys-over-host-liability/feed/ 0
Skiing and Liability Releases http://portlandpersonalinjurylawyeroregon.com/skiing-liability-releases/ http://portlandpersonalinjurylawyeroregon.com/skiing-liability-releases/#respond Tue, 24 Nov 2015 00:53:00 +0000 http://portlandpersonalinjurylawyeroregon.com/?p=851 As many of us buy passes to ski or snowboard, we sign legal releases or see them on the back of our tickets or posted around the ski area. Such releases typically say that skiers and snowboarders cannot sue the…

The post Skiing and Liability Releases appeared first on Personal Injury Lawyer Portland Oregon.

]]>
portland-personal-injury-skiing-and-liabilityAs many of us buy passes to ski or snowboard, we sign legal releases or see them on the back of our tickets or posted around the ski area. Such releases typically say that skiers and snowboarders cannot sue the ski area operator for injuries caused by the operator’s negligence. Are these releases enforceable?

In a recent decision, the Supreme Court of Oregon ruled that a release used by Mt. Bachelor Ski Resort could not be enforced against a skier injured in its terrain park. Mt. Bachelor’s release, in other words, did not get the resort out of legal liability in this precedent-setting case.

Everyone in the case agreed that the release language was conspicuous and clear. Lawyers for the ski area noted that plaintiff and his father had agreed to the anticipatory release, and that the release was valid because skiing is not an essential public service and it always involves some risk of injury. Still, the court based its ruling largely on its findings that the parties had unequal bargaining power and that public policy considerations should focus on property owners’ duty to maintain reasonably safe conditions for their customers.

This ruling will affect those of us who enjoy the sport. We won’t be legally out of luck, for instance, if a snow-cat driver isn’t paying attention as he runs us down on the slopes. On the other hand, ticket prices will go up even further and operators may restrict access to terrain parks or to expert slopes.

Releases by Oregon ski areas and other businesses may still sometimes be valid. But the court narrowed when.

At Dawson Law Group, we have won skiing injury cases for plaintiff clients. If you or somebody you know needs to inquire about such a case, here are links to our homepage and our firm history. Here is our sitemap, if you’d like to explore other aspects of our Portland, Oregon law practice.

You might also enjoy reading some of our Oregon attorneys’ other blog posts, including this popular one about the impact of Oregon’s legalization of marijuana on personal injury law.

[Posted December 30, 2014 by Portland injury attorney Bryan Dawson]

 

The post Skiing and Liability Releases appeared first on Personal Injury Lawyer Portland Oregon.

]]>
http://portlandpersonalinjurylawyeroregon.com/skiing-liability-releases/feed/ 0
Risks of Ridesharing Services http://portlandpersonalinjurylawyeroregon.com/ridesharing-risks/ http://portlandpersonalinjurylawyeroregon.com/ridesharing-risks/#respond Tue, 24 Nov 2015 00:51:55 +0000 http://portlandpersonalinjurylawyeroregon.com/?p=849 One thing that often shocks people who don’t see a lot of medical records is how quickly medical bills add up in car accident cases. Things like emergency room visits and diagnostic imaging scans are typically well over a thousand…

The post Risks of Ridesharing Services appeared first on Personal Injury Lawyer Portland Oregon.

]]>
portland-accident-lawyer-risk-of-ridesharingOne thing that often shocks people who don’t see a lot of medical records is how quickly medical bills add up in car accident cases. Things like emergency room visits and diagnostic imaging scans are typically well over a thousand dollars. Even relatively routine ambulance rides, where the patient is not at risk of dying or suffering some permanent catastrophe, can be in that ballpark, too. And, despite the Affordable Care Act, doctor bills are still typically very high, sometimes mind bogglingly so. In Oregon, trial testimony fees by specialist M.D.s, for instance, can be as high as $4,000 an hour.

This is one of the reasons we often tell people that buying more insurance coverage is almost always a good idea.

Well, it turns out that all this might be a pretty big new problem with the growing use of commercial ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft.

According to BuzzFeed News:

Uber is steering drivers to purchase auto insurance that leaves them uncovered when they’re trolling for fares and that often forces them to flout the law by lying when they register their automobiles, according to documents, interviews, and an Uber presentation attended by a BuzzFeed News reporter.

Apparently, at both Uber and Lyft, even when the services’ between-rides coverage does apply, the policy limits (the maximum amount an insurer has to pay out for any one claim) for these drivers trying to find customers is only $50,000. If you were injured by one of these “trolling” ride-share drivers, your medical damages could easily run way past that amount of insurance, forcing you back onto your own under-insured motorist coverage. Worse, you could be injured by an uninsured ride-sharing driver!

One answer to it all would be for legislatures to require Uber or its drivers to carry commercial automotive liability insurance. In most states, anybody who uses a vehicle to make money is already supposed to carry such coverage. But enforcement of this requirement is extremely difficult for state DMVs.

And, according Buzzfeed News’s report, there’s a reason the services don’t just comply and provide or require commercial insurance for drivers:

The high cost of commercial insurance creates a dilemma for Uber, which has been aggressively recruiting UberX drivers in order to flood markets with thousands of drivers and win market share from competitors. Simply put, advising drivers to purchase commercial insurance could lead many of them to decide against working for Uber in the first place.

So, from the perspective of Oregon personal injury law, whether you are a ride-sharing driver or simply somebody walking, cycling, or operating your own car around them, things aren’t as quite simple as they seem in much of the adoring press coverage.

[posted December 23, 2014 by Portland car accident lawyer Ben Larson]

The post Risks of Ridesharing Services appeared first on Personal Injury Lawyer Portland Oregon.

]]>
http://portlandpersonalinjurylawyeroregon.com/ridesharing-risks/feed/ 0
Top Five Trial Testimony Tips http://portlandpersonalinjurylawyeroregon.com/top-five-trial-testimony-tips/ http://portlandpersonalinjurylawyeroregon.com/top-five-trial-testimony-tips/#respond Tue, 24 Nov 2015 00:50:26 +0000 http://portlandpersonalinjurylawyeroregon.com/?p=847 A majority of personal injury claims against insurance companies settle before a complaint is filed in court. Then a large majority of cases in court settle before trial. Thus, the vast majority of people who have been injured will never…

The post Top Five Trial Testimony Tips appeared first on Personal Injury Lawyer Portland Oregon.

]]>
personal-injury-lawyer-portland-97209-nw-lovejoyA majority of personal injury claims against insurance companies settle before a complaint is filed in court. Then a large majority of cases in court settle before trial. Thus, the vast majority of people who have been injured will never face testifying in court in front of a jury. As your Oregon injury lawyers, we always make a strong effort to get your case settled before your trial date arrives. But, trials are sometimes certainly needed in order to obtain fair and just results.

For those fortunate few who do face testifying at trial, we have some advice:

1. Talk to your trial attorney about what to expect and to get your attorney’s advice. No general information in this blog or from any other source can substitute for talking with your attorney. Some attorneys want their witnesses to keep answers short while others want their witnesses to show the jury how likeable and forthcoming they are. Either approach can work in different situations. What you and your attorney don’t want, however, is for the attorney to expect one approach and for you to expect the other. These issues should be worked out well before you testify.

2. Be honest. We’d hope this one would be so obvious that it wouldn’t need to be said. Our experience shows that it does need repeating. You’re under oath so you have a legal and moral duty to tell the truth. It also helps your case because – put plainly – juries hate liars and treat them very harshly, which is appropriate. You should be honest for the sake of honesty, but it’s always easier to remember the truth.

3. Also be honest about what you don’t know or don’t remember. No one expects you to have a super-human memory in the face of the stress of testifying at trial. It’s perfectly fine to not remember details like what day of the week it was or when you woke up two years before.

4. Look at the jury as you testify. It’s generally best to look at the jury at least sometimes as you answer questions. You want to establish eye contact because the jury wants to be able to assess you as a person. They can’t do this as well if all they see is the side or even the back of your head as you describe what has happened.

5. Pay attention and control your reactions throughout trial. The jurors pay as much attention to the parties as they do to the attorneys, though the parties sometimes only testify for a few minutes. This means as you’re sitting at the table during the trial jurors will notice if you’re looking bored, rolling your eyes . . . or are engaged and mature. We know that our clients can’t control their emotions – so you’ll feel something if another witness is lying or degrading you – but parties need to do their best to control how they react in the courtroom.

Top Five Trial Testimony Tips
1. Get advice and feedback from your lawyer.
2. Be honest.
3. Be honest about what you’ve forgotten.
4. Look at the jury.
5. Don’t get too emotional or angry.

 

The post Top Five Trial Testimony Tips appeared first on Personal Injury Lawyer Portland Oregon.

]]>
http://portlandpersonalinjurylawyeroregon.com/top-five-trial-testimony-tips/feed/ 0
Car Accident Reporting in Oregon http://portlandpersonalinjurylawyeroregon.com/dmv-reports-oregon/ http://portlandpersonalinjurylawyeroregon.com/dmv-reports-oregon/#comments Tue, 24 Nov 2015 00:49:25 +0000 http://portlandpersonalinjurylawyeroregon.com/?p=845 DMV Reports: A Very Important Step After Getting in an Accident We’ve discussed Oregon’s DMV accident reporting requirements on other pages, but since it’s such an important and often overlooked step, we want to take the time to remind people…

The post Car Accident Reporting in Oregon appeared first on Personal Injury Lawyer Portland Oregon.

]]>
DMV Reports: A Very Important Step After Getting in an Accident

portland-car-accident-dmv-reportWe’ve discussed Oregon’s DMV accident reporting requirements on other pages, but since it’s such an important and often overlooked step, we want to take the time to remind people about this requirement.

We find a lot of people aren’t even aware of the reporting requirement, much less aware that, under ORS 811.725, failing to report an accident as required is a Class B Traffic Violation, so could itself really harm your Oregon driving record and privileges.

The reporting requirements are fairly straightforward. If you’ve been in an accident that involves injury or $1,500 in property damage to either vehicle, you need to submit a DMV accident report form. Keep in mind that it doesn’t take much to do $1,500 of damage in a car accident, so if you are unsure, it’s better to err on the side of caution and file a report. The statute mandates you fill out the report within 72 hours of the accident. And don’t forget this caution:

A police report does not satisfy or remove your requirement to file an accident report with DMV.

Oregon law also allows local jurisdictions to adopt their own reporting requirements for car accidents, so it’s always best to check if your local jurisdiction has its own special requirements. The City of Portland, by the way does NOT have additional reporting requirements, so if you are in a car accident in Portland you only need to file the standard DMV report, which you can download by clicking this link.

Finally, to encourage maximum honesty, Oregon law also says that your DMV accident report can’t be used as evidence in any legal proceeding relating to the crash. As always, being honest is crucial. In this case, it’s also especially easy.

Feel free to call us at 503-919-1315 for help filing your accident report.

The post Car Accident Reporting in Oregon appeared first on Personal Injury Lawyer Portland Oregon.

]]>
http://portlandpersonalinjurylawyeroregon.com/dmv-reports-oregon/feed/ 2
Thanksgiving Driving Danger http://portlandpersonalinjurylawyeroregon.com/thanksgiving-driving-danger/ http://portlandpersonalinjurylawyeroregon.com/thanksgiving-driving-danger/#respond Tue, 24 Nov 2015 00:48:01 +0000 http://portlandpersonalinjurylawyeroregon.com/?p=843 Guess what, Portlanders! We are projected to have the nation’s second worst traffic complications on Thanksgiving, the busiest driving day of the year. According to Inrix research, our driving times will expand by 35% this Thursday. All the extra cars…

The post Thanksgiving Driving Danger appeared first on Personal Injury Lawyer Portland Oregon.

]]>
Guess what, Portlanders! We are projected to have the nation’s second worst traffic complications on Thanksgiving, the busiest driving day of the year. According to Inrix research, our driving times will expand by 35% this Thursday.

All the extra cars on the road also mean it’s certain there will be more car crashes and injuries. Historically, you are about 12 percent more likely to experience an auto accident on Thanksgiving. That, of course, pales in comparison to New Year’s Day.

Holiday Heightened Crash Risk
Thanksgiving 12%
4th of July 26%
New Year’s Day 50%
[Source of car crash data]

The Thanksgiving problems will be located in a place familiar to those who have explored Dawson Law Group’s website. The Oregonian reports:

The worst place to be? Interstate 5 northbound from the Macadam Avenue exit to the Interstate Bridge (exits 299 to 308).

That stretch is home to 3 of Portland’s 10 most dangerous places to drive.

The post Thanksgiving Driving Danger appeared first on Personal Injury Lawyer Portland Oregon.

]]>
http://portlandpersonalinjurylawyeroregon.com/thanksgiving-driving-danger/feed/ 0