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What Cases Do a Real Estate Attorney Handle?

A real estate attorney is knowledgeable in real estate law and is equipped to help in matters pertaining to real estate transactions. They can handle all of the legal aspects of a real estate transaction or litigate real estate cases. Whether you need assistance with the legal process of buying property or have a dispute you need to settle, a real estate attorney specializes in such cases and is a valuable asset.

Not only does a real estate attorney secure the legal transfer of property from seller to buyer, but they can offer needed assistance to ensure the party’s interests are protected. Buying a home or property is a large investment, and you will want an advocate who best represents your interests at closing. If you are buying or selling property, it may be helpful to work with a real estate attorney in Portland, Oregon. If you’re uncertain if you need an attorney, read below to learn what real estate attorneys do and how they can help with your particular needs.

What Does a Real Estate Attorney Do?

A real estate attorney has in-depth knowledge of all aspects of real estate law and can offer legal assistance with the purchasing process. This includes the land and any structure on it, for residential or commercial property. They can help prepare and review documents, facilitate the transfer of funds, verify the title is clear, and even attend the closing to ensure your interests are protected.

Their scope of expertise is varied, and they are equipped to facilitate document preparation for land purchases, commercial property purchases, financing, leasing, selling, and new construction property. Additionally, if problems arise during a deal, they can litigate any disputes pertaining to the property and work to resolve the issues while minimizing costs.

Buying a Home

Buying a home or property to build on can be an overwhelming process, especially for a first-time homeowner. There are a lot of steps and legal procedures that must be followed to guarantee a legal transfer of the property. This process includes a number of fees and transferring money, as well as negotiating closing costs and any inspections or repairs that are needed.

A real estate attorney can guide you through all the necessary steps to ensure the transfer is legal while working to protect your interests and help negotiate costs. They will evaluate the seller’s offer and make sure the responsibilities of the seller and buyer are clearly defined. Depending on your state of residence, an attorney may be required by the title insurance company or mortgage lender to ensure a secure transaction.

Not only will a real estate attorney help you understand the purchase contract, but they will also prepare and file necessary documents and ensure there are no liens, covenants, or easements registered against the property. They will also evaluate any adjustments prior to closing, review the papers you’re required to sign at closing, and ensure you have received a valid title with no surprise liabilities. They can also secure title insurance should there be any potential problems in the future.

Selling a Home

A real estate attorney can also be obtained by a seller to help prepare the purchase and sale agreement as well as negotiate the terms. Having an attorney on your side during the process can be a valuable asset. They can fix any issues with the title and securely prepare the paperwork while ensuring a smooth transfer of money and deed. This includes preparing the deed, reviewing documents at closing, and arranging both the security deposit transfer as well as insurance certificates. If you’re a first-time seller, an attorney can be the peace of mind you need to make sure you have legally transferred your home and that your interests are protected.

Boundary Disputes

If you own property, it may become necessary to protect yourself from any violation of your boundary line. An easement may allow someone to use your land for limited purposes, such as crossing your land to access a public road or allowing utility companies to access any pipes or electric lines on your property.

While easements give these parties the right to use your land, sometimes, the issue and property line are more obscured. You may be uncertain about the property boundary between a neighbor. Where does the boundary lie? Or maybe you innocently encroached on the adjoining landowner’s property to make an improvement. A real estate attorney can evaluate the boundary dispute and negotiate a settlement or represent you in court to protect your property interest.

Estate Planning

A subset within real estate law is estate planning. This branch focuses on your assets and what happens to them when you pass away. This includes the transfer of property and the creation of wills and trusts. An attorney will ensure your family is cared for and your assets are passed on to the person or organization of your choice with as minimal taxation as possible.

Landlord-Tenant Law

Renting real property affords both the landlord and tenant certain rights. Sometimes, these rights can be violated, and one of the involved parties will require the protection of their interests. However, it can be tricky to navigate whose rights were violated and how to proceed. Landlord/tenant laws are complex and may require expert representation. These laws apply to both residential and commercial property and cover all aspects of renting real property, such as leases and evictions. A real estate attorney is equipped to handle the diverse and various aspects of this branch, from form reviews to fair housing disputes.

No matter what your legal needs are, our real estate attorneys at Warren Allen LLP in Portland, Oregon, are here to expertly guide you. Whether you’re buying or selling a home or looking for guidance or representation in a current dispute, you can put your trust in us. Our skilled attorneys will focus on helping you achieve your legal goals, regardless of the forum. If you’re in Oregon or Washington, contact us today for exceptional service and sound legal advice.

 

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What Training and Certifications Are Required of Attorneys in Portland Oregon?

Whether you’re just graduating from high school and deciding which career path to choose for the first time or have been working in a different profession for years and are ready for a life change, deciding to become a lawyer can be both exciting and daunting. There are many steps to take before you’re permitted to represent another person in a court of law. Figuring out which steps are required and in which order takes some work. Becoming a lawyer requires dedication and commitment through the education and testing process, and it also requires a large financial obligation to pay for the schooling and certifications required by the state.

Many lawyers have decided on this career path because it provides a lot of job satisfaction, as it allows you to use your legal skills to help others and protect those without a voice, such as children, animals, and the environment. Not only is it a meaningful career path, but it also provides financial stability with a large earning potential, and it allows you the flexibility to choose your own law field to specialize in based on which areas of law you’re most interested in. Lawyers can work across multiple fields of law throughout their careers.

Your attorneys in Portland, Oregon, from Warren Allen LLP did the legwork for you, and we’ve listed below the steps to take to start your career journey and become a professional lawyer. If you would like to speak with an attorney in the Portland, Oregon, area, contact Warren Allen LLP for legal advice or representation.

Earn a Bachelor’s Degree

The first step in becoming a lawyer is earning your bachelor’s degree from an accredited undergraduate school that’s recognized by the US Department of Education. You aren’t required to select a particular major in order to apply to a law school that’s accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA), and you can graduate with either a Bachelor of Science (BS) or Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree.

However, there may be certain classes that can be completed during your undergraduate degree that will be helpful when earning your law degree, as they prepare you for those lessons that will be required during your post-graduate law program. Taking classes such as criminal justice and political science, business and economics courses, and classes in communications can all help prepare you for the classes required during law school.

Pass the Law School Admission Test (LSAT)

Once you graduate from an undergraduate program recognized by the US Department of Education, you’re ready to study for your Law School Admission Test (LSAT). The LSAT is a standardized exam that must be completed before applying to any ABA-accredited law school. The exam includes multiple-choice questions that test your logic, reasoning, and reading comprehension. You will also be required to submit a 30-minute writing sample that doesn’t count toward your LSAT score but is used by law school administrators to evaluate your qualifications for entering their law program.

The Law School Admission Council’s website is a great resource for preparing for the LSAT, and you can also sign up to sit for the exam on their website. You must apply to take the LSAT online, and the test is only available to take during certain times of the year, so it’s important to visit the Law School Admission Council’s website to find out when the exam will be offered in your area. You should receive your LSAT score about three weeks after completing the exam.

LSAT scores will range from 120, which is the lowest possible score, to 180, which is the highest possible score. Each law school program will require a certain score to be considered a candidate for their law program, and that score will vary with each school. The average LSAT score is around 150. The exam will be around 100 questions, and you will need to get about 60 questions correct to pass with a 150.

Graduate From Law School

After graduating with an undergraduate degree and completing the LSAT, you’re now ready to apply to an ABA-accredited law school. Three ABA-accredited law schools in the Portland, Oregon, area are Lewis and Clark Law School, University of Oregon Law School, and Willamette University College of Law. In order to sit for the Oregon State Bar Exam, you must have graduated with a Juris Doctor (JD) or Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree from an ABA-accredited school.

Most law programs will have students complete internships where they get to put into practice what they learned in the classroom. All ABA-accredited law degree programs offer the same foundational law classes that include civil, criminal, and constitutional law; international law; legal research and writing; contracts, ethics, wills, and trusts; and estate and property law.

Pass the Oregon State Bar Exam

You can sign up to sit for the Oregon State Bar Exam within 120 days of your graduation date from an ABA-accredited law program. The Oregon Bar Exam is given twice a year, in February and July, and is given over two days. You must apply to sit for the Bar exam by November 15 for the one offered in February, or by April 15 for the exam offered in July.

The Oregon State Bar Exam application can be found on the Oregon Bar Association website. The application requires providing six character statements and information on your last five employers. It costs $750 to sit for the bar exam. Oregon Bar Exam results are typically mailed six weeks after completing the test.

Maintaining Your License With the Oregon Bar

Once you pass the bar exam, you’re now an attorney in Oregon. Attorneys in Portland, Oregon, are required to participate in the Bar’s New Lawyer Mentoring Program (NLMP) within the first year of becoming a licensed attorney. To maintain your Oregon legal license, you must complete 45 credit hours of Mandatory Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) courses every three years. Course information can be found on the Oregon State Bar website.

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5 Most Common Car Accident Injuries and How a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help

If you’ve ever been in a car accident, you know how traumatizing of an event it can be. In the best-case scenario, you only need to worry about some damage to your car. It might cost a bit of money to have it repaired, but at least you made it out alright. If you sustain a personal injury, though, things get much more difficult.

After you suffer an injury, your first priority should be healing and recovery. But when it comes about due to a car accident, you may be lacking in both the time and money to do that. There are reports to complete, claims to file, all while you should be focusing on your own well-being. If you find yourself getting overwhelmed in the aftermath of an accident, a personal injury lawyer might be just what you need.
With legal representation, you have an advocate who can take some of the work off your plate while also ensuring you get any and all financial compensation you may be owed. Below you’ll find a few of the most common car accident injuries as well as how a personal injury lawyer can help.

1. Whiplash

A car accident can subject the body to a large and sudden amount of force, leading to injuries that might be less apparent in the first moments after. If some time passes after and you find yourself dealing with neck pain or discomfort, you may have sustained whiplash. It’s a condition resulting from sudden stress or strain put upon the muscles, tendons, and ligaments in your neck.

While whiplash is more often than not temporary, it can take up to a few weeks for it to heal. It’s not a bad idea to have it looked at by a physician. With a personal injury lawyer helping you, you can seek aid to cover any medical bills that might arise from the accident. Should the injury turn out to be more severe, they can also help present this in your claim. That way your claim will stay up-to-date and accurate and you can receive the correct amount of compensation.

2. Back Injuries

Back injuries, like whiplash, may not be noticeable until sometime after a car accident. Unlike whiplash, a back injury can be significantly more serious and end up requiring medical attention. The sudden impact can cause ruptures or herniations along your spine, leading to pain and a loss of mobility.

If you experience persistent back pain after a car accident, it’s wise to visit an orthopedist for a full assessment. Back injuries can worsen if left alone, making an early examination the difference between a few weeks of back pain and a chronic condition. While specialized care can be costly, working with a personal injury lawyer will help you establish what your needs are and secure compensation to cover them.

3. Broken Bones

While not frequently seen in milder accidents, broken bones are a common outcome of many collisions. The bone (or bones) broken, along with the severity of the break, varies depending on the circumstances of a collision. Knee fractures can come about from slamming into the console, arms or legs can break if slammed or pinned against the door, and ribs can even break from the force from your seatbelt holding you in place.

Due to this variance in injury, a person’s needs after an accident will be unique to their situation. They may need a sling, a cast, or even surgery in order to set the bone in its proper place. With this in mind, it’s crucial you have help establishing the full extent of the injury in the moments after it happens. This will help your personal injury lawyer keep the facts straight when filing claims and getting you the assistance you need.

4. Concussions

If you follow any sports—or have played any yourself—you’re probably familiar with concussions. Caused by sudden impacts to the head, concussions are a common injury resulting from car accidents. If in the aftermath of an accident, you find yourself suffering from a headache, brain fog, memory loss, or just feel like your brain isn’t working like it normally does, you’ve most likely suffered a concussion. Luckily, concussions are easily treatable. The most important thing is that you get medical attention quickly. The sooner you do, the sooner you can start working on getting your brain back in order.

5. Traumatic Brain Injuries

A traumatic brain injury, or TBI, can result from the head sustaining a puncture or high amount of sudden force. Concussions technically fall within the category of TBIs, but while still serious, they are only considered to be mild cases. With a moderate or severe TBI, the consequences can be much more dire. A TBI can alter the way your brain functions, making it hard to properly regulate emotions or think clearly.

While a TBI can be treated, it can also become a lifelong condition or disability.

It’s for this reason that a personal injury lawyer can be massively important should you suffer a TBI in a car accident. A few trips to a specialist along with months of recovery are one thing, but figuring out what kind of care you’ll need for the rest of your life is another. Ongoing medical bills can quickly get expensive, but when you have a personal injury lawyer representing your interests, you can rest easy knowing your needs will be met.

What We Can Do to Help

With any injury incurred from a car accident, a personal injury lawyer can be vitally important to your recovery. From the get-go, they’ll help you get the facts of the accident straight, evaluate the extent and cost of the damages, and stay on your claim to ensure you get the full compensation you are owed. If you’re in need of a personal injury lawyer now or are interested in learning more, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Warren Allen. We’re happy to provide any information you may need.

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How to Find the Best Car Insurance for You

The moment when you realize you’ve been in a car accident can be one of the scariest and most surreal moments of your life. The last thing you want to think about when in a car accident is how much this will cost you financially. After a car accident, you might be worried about personal injuries, injuries to your loved ones and any others involved in the accident, property damage, damage to your means of transportation, and managing the shock of it all. This moment in time is when it’s apparent why you put in the time and effort to find the best car insurance for you and your loved ones.

Finding the best car insurance can be intimidating, as there are many insurance companies to choose from and lots of different options when choosing your car insurance coverage. Comparing car insurance rates can be both daunting and confusing. Warren Allen has some expert advice on how to go about choosing the best car insurance for you.

Shop Around for the Best Rates

When shopping for the best car insurance for your personal needs, don’t just shop in one place. Consider shopping around and comparing what insurance rates are available from multiple insurance companies in your area. Don’t forget about the smaller insurance companies when comparing rates, as the smaller insurance companies often offer a great customer service experience, with easier and faster claims processing and lower insurance premiums.

When shopping for rates from various insurance companies in your area, not all multi-quote websites report prices for all insurance companies, so it’s a good idea to use a few different multi-quote websites to make sure you cover as many potential insurance companies as you can.

Not only is it a good idea to shop around for the best car insurance price quote, but it’s also a good idea to shop around after a major life event, such as getting married or moving to another state, as each life event will potentially change your insurance premium. It’s also a good idea to shop around for better pricing every few years to make sure you are always getting the best price available.

If you have had any major traffic violations, such as a DUI, traffic tickets, or major accidents, it’s best to wait a few years before shopping around for a better insurance premium, as it can take three to five years for the price increase caused from such things to drop off. If you have questions about your driving record and need legal advice or representation, give Warren Allen a call.

Consider the Customer Service Experience and Not Just Price

When choosing which insurance company to insure your vehicle with, price is often considered the most important factor by many. Though the price is a very important consideration, there are other factors to consider when picking which insurance company to go with. For instance, how responsive is the insurance company, how easy is it to file an insurance claim when it’s needed, and how user-friendly is their website when you need to access your information online.

Many larger insurance companies offer online insurance card access and downloadable mobile apps to easily access all of your insurance information on the go. These accessibility features make it much easier to manage the exchange of insurance information at the scene of an accident, and it adds the ability to file claims at your convenience online or through a mobile app or on a website, instead of having to wait until the insurance company’s business hours.

Look for Discounts

Many car insurance companies offer different discounts toward premiums, and all you need to do is ask for them and qualify based on which ones are available. If you’re an A student, for instance, ask for a good student discount. Do you have a clean driving record? If so, ask if they offer discounts based on a good driving history. If your car has certain features such as anti-theft devices installed or certain safety features like anti-lock brakes, that can qualify you for a discounted rate. All you need to do when shopping around is ask your insurance representative for any available discounts and see which ones they offer that you qualify for.

Another discount that you may not have thought of is a multi-policy discounted rate. If you have one or more family members who reside in your home, if you all purchase insurance through the same insurance company, that can qualify you for a discounted rate on each policy. If you have homeowner’s or renter’s insurance through the same insurance company as your car insurance, that too can qualify you for a discount for having multiple insurance policies with the same insurance company. The best way to find out which discounts may apply to your personal situation is to ask your insurance representative when requesting a price quote.

Know What You Are Paying For

When comparing premiums with different insurance companies, it’s important to make sure you’re comparing fairly, meaning you’re comparing the same level of coverage from Policy A and Policy B. When insurance companies quote a premium, it includes lots of categories that can vary in the dollar amount covered per incident and the type of coverage offered. For example, one insurance company may quote you $50 less a month, but their insurance premium may only include liability insurance and not collision insurance.

Each state has its own minimum requirements for a motorist to be considered properly insured—you can find Oregon’s requirements here—but one insurance company’s price quote may not be a bare-bones policy and may include extras such as rental vehicle coverage or roadside assistance. The out-of-pocket deductible may be more with one policy compared to the other, causing the premiums to be different. Always know what you’re being offered before considering one policy over another.

If you’re in an accident and have questions or need legal representation, reach out to your legal experts at Warren Allen.

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What Is a Contingency Fee in a Personal Injury Suit?

A personal injury lawsuit is the last thing anyone wants to face. It means you or someone you love has been injured or even died. Now you could be navigating a new reality with medical bills and work loss. A personal injury lawsuit could be a way to recover a settlement that will help relieve some pressure and stress. One phrase you might see connected to personal injury cases is “contingency fee.” This is a way of saying that the attorney will be paid based on the outcome of the case.

In this article, we discuss the contingency fee arrangement in-depth to help you understand what it means and how it might affect you. If you’re considering a personal injury lawsuit in Oregon, consider the experienced attorneys at Warren Allen.

What Is a Contingency Fee?

A contingency fee in Oregon is a payment arrangement based on the results of the case. An attorney does not collect payment for work unless the case is successfully resolved in the client’s favor. In a personal injury case, this means that if a client reaches a settlement or wins in court, the attorney gets paid. If the client loses the case and there’s no settlement, the attorney isn’t paid. The contingency fee arrangement is not allowed in cases where ethical issues are present, such as family law, where a contingency fee could be seen as incentivizing work for something where vulnerable people are at risk.

How Does a Contingency Fee Work?

A contingency fee is a written agreement between a client and an attorney. The written agreement should include expectations for the recovery fee and expenses. According to ORS 20.3040, the agreement must be explained to the client by the attorney, written in a reasonable way so the client can understand, and signed by both parties. The client has the right to in writing to void the arrangement within 24 hours of signing. Here are a few things that you should see in your contingency fee agreement:

  • Fee Structure: The agreement should state that it’s a contingency fee agreement and include the rate charged. Fees are often a percentage of the lawsuit settlement awarded to the plaintiff. Most recovery fees are between 30 and 40 percent of the settlement, but this can vary. A larger, more complex case may have a higher fee. Some attorneys may charge a higher fee if the case cannot be settled outside court and needs to go to trial.
  • Costs and Expenses: Every case will have fees and expenses that come up. The agreement should detail what to expect and how the fees will be handled. Below, you will find some of the possible fees in greater detail.
  • Fee Disputes and Termination: A client has every right to end their representation by an attorney, but this may lead to disputes about fees for the work done. Coming to an agreement on this possibility is an important part of the arrangement.

What Additional Fees Might Come Up?

Additional fees or costs are the expenses an attorney incurs while building a case for their client. Some of the additional fees might include court costs, filing fees, deposition and transcription, expert witnesses, travel, medical filing, and other administrative fees to cover necessary paperwork. In a contingency fee arrangement, these costs could be added to the recovery fee charged by your attorney so they can recover what they spend on building the case.

Talk with your attorney about the fees that might come up. An experienced attorney should be able to walk you through the expected fees for building a case like yours.

What Are the Advantages of a Contingency Fee Attorney Contract?

One of the key advantages is no fees up-front. You may have medical bills, loss of income from missed work, insurance deductibles, or other issues to manage. The contingency fee arrangement allows a client who may not have the financial resources to pay for quality legal representation up-front to still have their case prosecuted.

There’s a low risk for the client, but a high risk for the attorney. The attorney will need to weigh whether the strength of the case is sufficient to justify the time and effort necessary to win. If the case lacks merit, an attorney may turn it down. Remember, when an attorney takes on a case, they may need to turn down other work.

Another advantage is that your attorney is motivated to do their best work for you, as they won’t get paid if there is no settlement.

What Should You Expect When Considering a Contingency Fee?

Navigating a personal injury suit can be stressful and confusing. An experienced personal injury attorney should help you understand your case in a way that relieves some of that stress. A high-quality attorney will consider all areas of the case before advising you how to proceed. You may have a lot of questions as you decide on an attorney and whether you want to build a case. Here are a few things to expect from a personal injury attorney when considering a contingency fee arrangement:

  • An attorney will explain your rights. A personal injury attorney should help you understand your rights, give an honest assessment of how they understand the case including if you might have been doing something that might limit your ability to recover a settlement.
  • They will assess and investigate the accident. Your attorney will need a full understanding of the incident and how it happened. This might include hiring an investigator, taking photos of the scene, interviewing witnesses, and other activities to document what happened.
  • Your attorney will advise you on how to move forward. Once a full understanding of the event is gained, an attorney can advise you on how to proceed. This may include helping you understand what could make it more or less likely you will win a settlement.
  • If necessary, your attorney will represent you in court. Most personal injury cases are settled long before a hearing in court is necessary, but if your case requires a hearing, then you will benefit from an experienced attorney who both understands the law and can navigate the hearing process competently.

For experienced personal injury attorneys, contact the professionals at Warren Allen.

 

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5 Tips for Finding the Best Family Law Attorney in Portland

When you experience a distressing situation in your family that needs potential legal intervention, looking for a family lawyer is the best way to proceed. However, choosing a family law attorney can be stressful. In the absence of adequate due diligence, you may end up with one who cannot give you the desired results.

So how do you go about choosing one? To make the process easier for you, here are Warren Allen’s five tips for finding the best Portland family law attorney without any hassle.

1. Always Go with an Expert

Family law is complex, as the interpretation of the law can change with every new case. Your attorney should be able to identify the core issues right away and provide tailored advice. They should also know the various practices and legal procedures followed by family law courts in the region.

The best way to narrow down your options to the most qualified experts is by browsing through attorney profiles available online to assess the experience of each lawyer, their educational qualifications, and the types of cases they have dealt with. You can prepare an initial shortlist and start a deep dive to assess each of the profiles in-depth.

You can start reading the blog posts and articles published by such lawyers to know more about their work. There may be a lot of general practitioners in the market, but your goal should be to find someone who specializes in family law.

You can look up their social media handles to see the type of posts they have. You can assess your lawyer by asking questions. For example, if you’re approaching a Portland family law attorney for a divorce case, ask them about the recent cases they have dealt with and the outcomes. You can also ask if they’re willing to take on difficult matters for representation. Moreover, an expert attorney will keep track of recent developments in the field of family law. So the more questions you ask, the better it will be to assess their expertise. While this may sound like a lot of work, it can give you a clear sense of whether you want to work with a particular attorney.

2. Make Sure Your Lawyer Is Easily Accessible

Your Portland family law attorney should be someone you can contact easily and receive quick responses. With many family matters, things can go from bad to worse very quickly. Having an attorney who is prompt with turnarounds can go a long way in helping you navigate through complex legal issues.

Your attorney must be able to simplify legal jargon and explain it to you in layperson’s terms. If your lawyer is bombarding you with too much jargon or doesn’t make you feel at ease about your issues, it’s probably a huge red flag. After all, family law involves a lot of complex emotions, and that’s why your lawyer must make you feel comfortable.

In addition to that, also take into consideration the location of the attorney’s office. If it is too far away from where you live, it can be immensely stressful to keep traveling for in-person meetings. Having a local attorney who is closer to home also means you can schedule more face-to-face appointments to discuss the challenges you face.

3. Know What You Want

Too many begin on a wild goose chase to hunt down a Portland family law attorney without knowing what they expect as an outcome. Plus, unsolicited advice from family and friends can make it even more overwhelming for a person to have clarity about the end goal.

If you find yourself in a similar situation, it’s time to take a step back and think. Write down the problem that you’re facing and the outcomes you’re expecting. You should also spend time thinking about the best alternative to your hoped-for outcome.

Doing this will help you find a lawyer who’s more suited to your needs. For instance, if you’re engaged in a custody battle but you don’t want things to get too heated up in the court, choosing an attorney who’s known to be too aggressive in the court may not be ideal, even though such a lawyer may have many years of expertise under their belt.

4. Be Clear About the Costs

Hiring a family law attorney doesn’t come cheap. To avoid any last-minute surprises, it’s best to iron out costs and fees right in the beginning. Usually, attorneys like to charge a retainer fee and then work by the hour, but you may have the option to work out alternative arrangements. Also, make sure to ask about any out-of-pocket or overhead costs (such as travel expenses, postage charges, filing charges with the court, etc.) that you may need to bear as the client.

Asking for discounted rates is also a common practice in the industry. Don’t hesitate to have a conversation if you think you may not be able to work with the fees quoted by your attorney.

5. Ask People Around You

Word-of-mouth references are a great seal of approval for an attorney. You can always ask your friends and family members to pass on references of lawyers they have worked with. Moreover, if you’ve worked with other attorneys, such as a personal injury attorney for another matter, you can also ask them for referrals.

However, be mindful that when it comes to legal problems, there is no one-size-fits-all approach you can take. Ensure that the lawyer you choose is the right fit for you.

Working with an experienced family law attorney can help you get through challenging legal issues and give you the results you deserve. If you’re looking for a Portland family law attorney, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. Our team of experienced family law lawyers at Warren Allen is here to help you overcome any challenging situation in the field of family law.

 

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What Can a Medical Malpractice Attorney Help Me With?

Medical professionals like doctors, nurses, and nurse practitioners are some of the hardest working people in America, a fact that has become all the more clear during the pandemic. The vast majority of the time, you can trust that your healthcare provider is doing their best for your benefit. However, there may be a time when, through negligence or personal error, a medical professional winds up causing great harm instead.

In that unfortunate instance, if you or a loved one is the victim of medical malpractice, you should always consult medical malpractice attorneys, such as the professionals at Warren Allen, for help. In this blog post, we’ll look at how a veteran medical malpractice attorney can help you in your time of need.

What Is Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice refers to harm done by a medical practitioner, such as a doctor, nurse, nurse practitioner, or healthcare institution as a whole, to a patient under their care. Colloquially, it may be used to refer to any medical treatment or interaction perceived as substandard. However, from a legal standpoint, medical malpractice must meet several criteria to suffice:

1. There Must Be an Extant Doctor-Patient Relationship

To put it plainly, a medical malpractice suit can only be brought against a doctor or medical professional who had direct involvement in treating the patient in question. For instance, if a doctor published a paper suggesting a new treatment for an illness and following that treatment caused injury or death, that doctor cannot be hit with a malpractice suit. The doctor who used that new treatment on the patient could potentially be vulnerable to malpractice lawsuits, however, but there are other constraints on this.

2. The Medical Provider Must Have Acted in Negligence

One of the most critical facets in any medical malpractice suit is this: the doctor or other healthcare professional must have acted in a negligent manner. It’s not enough that the victim of the possible malpractice be unhappy with the care they received. Their medical malpractice attorneys must be able to demonstrate that this was truly a case of negligence.

In our hypothetical case earlier, the doctor who treated the patient with this new treatment might be able to successfully argue that they thought they were using the most advanced, cutting-edge treatment possible and that they had clearly notified the patient or their family that this was experimental. This would be a strong argument to fend off a medical malpractice suit.

Context is also critical here. For example, if a neurologist was on board an airplane and called upon to help care for a person suffering a heart attack with only basic medical supplies, it would be difficult to sue them for malpractice given the context, their lack of resources, and their lack of specific training. They could well argue that they did the best they could in the circumstances.

3. The Negligent Behavior Caused Specific Injury

There are two parts to this third and final criterion: first, that this negligence directly caused a specific injury, and second, there were specific damages incurred by the victim as a result of this injury.

For the first part, it can be understood as this: if the doctor was in fact negligent, did this negligence cause the harm in question?
In other words, if a doctor was giving an eye exam, and perhaps was doing so sufficiently poorly so as to be considered negligent, and then their patient suffered a fatal heart attack, is there actually a link between the two events? If the eye doctor’s negligence led to blindness, on the other hand, that would be a prime candidate for a medical malpractice suit.

The second part is equally key: did this injury cause damage to the victim in a real, tangible way? If you believe that your doctor erred and prescribed you the wrong medication, but you were not harmed by taking the medication, then you would not likely have a successful malpractice suit.

Some of the most common types of damages listed in a lawsuit for medical malpractice are:

  • Physical pain and emotional distress
  • Loss of wages due to lack of work
  • Extra expenses due to further medical treatment to correct the potential malpractice
  • Death

If your incident involves all three of these medical malpractice elements, then you could stand a good chance at prevailing in a medical malpractice lawsuit.

What Services Do Medical Malpractice Attorneys Offer?

If you think you or a loved one potentially has a viable medical malpractice suit based on the above criteria, then you should consult with a medical malpractice attorney. An experienced malpractice lawyer can help you through the following services:

  • Assessing your case. Especially in the emotionally charged period following a medical mishap, it may be difficult to maintain an unbiased mentality as you try to work out whether you have a viable, valid malpractice suit to bring forward. A medical malpractice attorney can give an experienced, unbiased assessment of your situation and whether you will be likely to prevail.
  • Helping you understand all your legal rights. It’s unlikely for any one individual to understand all the labyrinthine facets of federal, state, and local law, especially one who isn’t an experienced attorney. If your rights have been violated in any way, the attorney can let you know just what the injury was and what your recompense might be.
  • Handling necessary paperwork and red tape. Filing a lawsuit in any situation can be daunting, especially if you’re dealing with pain from medical malpractice or are caring for someone who now needs it. The medical malpractice attorney can take care of all the filing for you, taking this off your plate.
  • Arguing cases as needed. Most lawsuits are resolved out of court in settlements, but should your lawsuit need to be argued before a judge, you will be glad you have an experienced medical malpractice attorney representing you.

To help your medical malpractice attorney help you, it’s often a good idea to get a medical assessment by another doctor (i.e., not the one you might possibly sue) to have a professional evaluation of your condition and the harm that has been done. However, if you aren’t sure where to start, you can always contact your malpractice lawyer for a consultation.

 

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Responding to Client Trauma After Personal Injury

Suffering any kind of injury is incredibly difficult. The recovery process afterward can be daunting. And you’ll surely have many, many questions about your next steps. It’s not a situation you should have to handle on your own. That’s why it’s so important to surround yourself with people you can count on. This includes a reputable personal injury attorney. If you’re on the fence about hiring one, you should know they are also a support system if you’re experiencing trauma. Read on below to find out some of the ways personal injury lawyers support and protect their clients.

Safe Environment for Client

A personal injury lawyer will work to keep you safe both physically and psychologically. This includes creating a safe, structured environment for you throughout the process. From the start, they will know how to form a trusting attorney-client relationship. You can count on personal injury lawyers to be patient, compassionate, and willing to go above and beyond to accommodate clients’ trauma.

There are a number of ways your attorney can adapt the environment to best suit you as well. For instance, you can meet in quiet, private settings. If you’d feel better having multiple shorter meetings instead of one long meeting, they can try to accommodate that. For many people, predictability helps. If that’s the case for you, meetings can be held at the same times and/or on the same days. You can discuss options and see what makes you feel most comfortable.

Avoiding Potential Triggers

Personal injury lawyers, especially those with a lot of experience, are familiar with the signs of trauma. And they should know how to avoid further exasperating you. Due to the many unique factors that come with these cases, they will come to you with the education needed to handle it.

Another way your attorney keeps you safe is by protecting you in potentially triggering situations. They are experts at handling the difficult conversations that can bring back traumatic memories of the accident. Interacting with those responsible for your injury is too emotional and upsetting to go through on your own. And negotiations with insurance companies can be incredibly stressful. Your attorney has the knowledge, experience, and skills to be a great negotiator. A client doesn’t necessarily have that expertise and should not be expected to.

Supporting Client Throughout Process

After a traumatic event, it’s understandable that you’d need to focus on healing instead of immediately thinking about your financial situation. But the financial stress, from medical costs to how long you may be out of work, can really take a toll. That’s why it’s so important to have a personal injury lawyer looking out for your financial well-being. They will help to make sure that you receive a sufficient amount. Without a lawyer, you may wind up receiving little to nothing.

A personal injury lawyer will also serve as a great source of support. In addition to fighting for your right to compensation, they’re also there to listen. The confidentiality agreement can help people feel more at ease to open up about their feelings and lingering trauma. Effective communication is a core value of personal injury lawyers.

While trust and communication with a lawyer can greatly help, they are also not the only people you should consult. Your lawyer should also have a number of references for psychologists, psychiatrists, specialists, counselors, and more. These resources will further aid your recovery.

Filing a Claim

When you’re injured in an accident, it’s best to gather as much evidence for your claim as possible. However, this is understandably another step that can be traumatic to handle on your own. Your attorney can work to confirm your claims and find more evidence to support them. In fact, they often have ways of collecting significant evidence that you would not have access to, such as police reports and surveillance.

Without a lawyer, even just filing the initial personal injury report can be very difficult. The expertise your personal injury lawyer has means they’ll provide you with excellent advice along the way. Their experience will be helpful for analyzing your case, determining the best steps to take, and predicting potential outcomes. This takes a lot of stress off your shoulders.

At the same time, they will still leave decisions up to you. A lawyer is there to help you, not steamroll your wishes. And they know the balance between sheltering you from triggering situations and making sure your voice is heard.

Preparing Client for the Case

If necessary, your lawyer will thoroughly prepare you for a deposition. When clients experience trauma, it can sometimes affect memory. And one of the trauma responses is to suddenly shut down. So, ahead of time, you can put your side of the story together. And you can go over it as many times as you need to remember which important details you want to include.

Lawyers know that going to trial could hurt and trigger a traumatized individual. That’s why they will go above and beyond to avoid a trial in your case. If you do end up needing to appear in court, your lawyer will make sure to extensively prepare, protect, and support you. Preparation can include role-playing and thoroughly going over the whole process as many times as necessary. Sometimes, your lawyer can give you an idea of the type of questions you will be asked so you won’t feel blindsided. Usually, knowing what to expect will help ease your nerves. They will also be aware of the behaviors that stem from trauma and can explain them to the judge and jury as needed.

To find out more, don’t hesitate to reach out to the professionals at Warren Allen. We have been providing excellent service to the Portland and Pacific Northwest area for five decades. The extensive experience and expertise of our staff will be incredibly beneficial. You can find more information about our personal injury law services on our website. You can contact us via the website as well.

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5 Reasons Having a Personal Injury Lawyer Is Important

If you’ve experienced an accident that has resulted in an injury to yourself or a loved one, obtaining fair compensation may be critical for the recovery process. Though recovery is the primary concern, it can be costly. The added financial stress of medical bills, repairs, and work missed can be overwhelming. Additionally, the insurance company may try to minimize the amount of compensation you receive.

Rather than settling a claim on your own, you may want to hire a personal injury lawyer to be your advocate. Legal representation can be extremely beneficial when attempting compensation, helping to ease the financial and emotional burden so you can focus on getting better faster. Below are just a few of the reasons it’s important to have good legal representation.

1. Prevents Errors

Personal injury claims are contingent upon getting the facts straight. Though the accident’s details may seem straightforward, it’s easy to miscommunicate the facts or make small errors. In a system where your best interests aren’t always the priority, something you say can be turned against you. Even if you have done a diligent job of keeping records and documenting the injury, symptoms, or proof of damage, a simple mistake such as a paperwork error or a missed deadline can cost you the case.

A personal injury lawyer equipped with the knowledge of how these claims work can protect you and your case from simple errors. Keeping track of all the details can be complicated, especially when managing your own recovery with doctors’ appointments and any insurance claims also involving damage to property, such as your car or house. Good legal representation will keep track of what you need when you need it, presenting your case in the best way possible. This will better ensure fair and full compensation.

2. Protects Against Insurance Companies Trying to Withhold Money

Though there are good insurance companies, most are businesses that will have their own interests in mind. When it comes to providing compensation, an insurance company may try to minimize how much you receive. There are insurance laws that regulate these companies, but they will also have a team of attorneys representing them that will understand these laws and how to use them in their favor or find possible loopholes. It’s important to have representation on your side who also understands these laws and can protect you from losing out on money you may be entitled to.

3. Evaluates Damage Accurately

Evaluating damage properly is twofold: whose fault is it and how much damage was sustained? It’s important to identify fault. Establishing that the accident isn’t your fault and having the proof to back these claims will help your case establish liability. A good personal injury lawyer will eliminate any doubt of how these injuries occurred and who the responsibilities lie with. They will also help compile the evidence needed to document the extent of the injury and any damage to property.

However, the full damage may not be limited to visible damage. Depending on state laws, some claims may entitle you to pain and suffering compensation or loss of consortium. A good personal injury lawyer can better assess the extent of damage in addition to reimbursement of medical bills and have a better understanding of what your claim is actually worth.

If you have experienced an accident and need advice on what your claim is worth, contact the expert team at Warren Allen LLP. We are here to help you deal with the aftermath of an accident and provide solid legal representation and advice to help you receive compensation. Contact our firm today so you can learn what your options are for the best resolution possible.

4. Manages Claim Details

Personal injury claims can be quite complex. Each state has different laws and different rules you must comply with. There are required documents and paperwork and deadlines to be met, and your claim must be substantiated with strong evidence. With obtaining all the documents, filling out the paperwork, acquiring proper evidence, following protocol properly, and meeting all your deadlines, this can be a lot to manage. Not to mention balancing all of this with continuing your recovery and any emotional damage sustained as well. Legal representation will manage your case so you can focus on getting better, without the risk of compromising your claim or the payout you receive.

A skilled attorney will have the knowledge of what you need to build your case so you can have the best possible outcome. This could include accident reports, eyewitness statements, photographs, medical records, insurance information, and financial records.

Legal representation will also understand the procedures you must follow. Do you have to schedule a damage inspection? What paperwork do you need? Is there a statute of limitation? Which state you live in will determine the maximum amount of time a person has from the date of injury to when they file their claim. An attorney will help you meet deadlines and follow proper procedures so you don’t miss out on potential compensation.

5. Help Prepare You for Deposition

You may be required to give a deposition. If you’re unprepared, this can be intimidating. A deposition is a sworn, out-of-court testimony of a witness involved in a civil lawsuit. Though it may seem simple enough to give an honest account of the accident and how the injuries were obtained, it can be difficult to recall these events later with accuracy and detail.

A personal injury lawyer will help you gather the facts and compile a clear and accurate account of what you remember. They will also make sure that it’s as comprehensive as possible. If you’re nervous, you will be able to practice with your attorney until you feel confident you can retell the events with accuracy, clarity, and honesty.

This is a difficult time in your life, and it can be emotionally and financially draining. Having an experienced attorney is important because they will focus on the details of helping you win your claim so you can focus on your health, making recovery your top priority.

 

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What Do Probate Lawyers Do?

One of the most loving actions a person can take while alive is to give time and careful thought to estate planning. This planning can ensure your assets are passed on as you want them to be and taxed as little as possible, making the decisions after death much easier and simpler for a grieving family. Even with careful planning, questions can still arise after your loved one dies, and it can be necessary to have a probate lawyer help you through the process of settling an estate.

When considering Portland probate lawyers, education, background, and experience are critical. Warren Allen LLP is a full-service local firm with a long history of deep community roots and exceptional client service. Our lawyers have the professional credentials and depth of experience to help you know your rights and responsibilities in the probate process.

At this point, you might be asking if you even need a probate lawyer. In this article, we’ll walk through what probate is, what a probate lawyer is, and what they do. Understanding their important role in how an estate is settled can help you make the best decisions for you and your loved ones’ future.

What Is Probate?

If someone dies owning property, the question of who will own the property next needs to be answered. Probate is the legal process of determining the person or people who will own the property after the decedent, the person who died, assessing assets, debts, and taxes, and distributing what’s left to beneficiaries. This can also be a lengthy process lasting from a few months to over a year. Statutes guiding the process may vary from state to state.

What Is a Probate Lawyer?

A qualified probate lawyer in Portland is an attorney who specializes in estate law to assist clients in all matters related to property, inheritance, and estate planning while still alive and to help administer or oversee the estate after death. A qualified probate lawyer should have successfully accomplished an undergraduate degree and a Juris Doctor, or law degree, from an accredited law school. They also need to have passed the bar exam to practice law in their state. Depending on the state, additional certifications could be needed. Not every lawyer specializes in probate, so understanding a lawyer’s background and experience can help you make the best decision for you and your loved ones.

When Is a Probate Lawyer Needed?

A Portland probate lawyer is needed when an executor or personal representative decides they need legal support to successfully administer the estate they’re entrusted with and avoid any liability should mistakes happen in the process. In many cases, it comes down to personal comfort level. Generally, the more complicated the estate, the more likely a probate lawyer could be necessary. Establishing a probate lawyer as part of your estate planning can make this decision easier. The probate lawyer could be the same lawyer who helped with the estate planning.

It’s possible to act as executor without an attorney, but it does take time, attention to detail, and organization. Executors often have their own full lives to manage in addition to settling the estate. While some estates can be settled without issue, it can be helpful to have additional support during a stressful time to take away guesswork or simplify complicated processes.

Additionally, if the estate is quite large or the debts exceed the value of the estate, a probate lawyer could be necessary to sort out the priorities and obligations. A Portland probate lawyer could also be needed when someone dies without a will and interested parties want their interests represented through the court-supervised probate proceeding.

What Does a Probate Lawyer Do When There Is a Will?

The simplest situation is when the decedent leaves a will that can be authenticated and is uncontested. When this happens, an estate may not need a court-supervised probate proceeding to be settled, and a probate lawyer can help you understand if this is the case. Their work can also look like a consultation, where they only help the executor understand legal definitions and deadlines or answer questions when unexpected issues arise.

In other circumstances, the probate lawyer could provide comprehensive services that provide support at every step of the process, from filing death certificates to the final distribution of assets to heirs or beneficiaries. Should conflicts arise between parties, the probate lawyer could be critical to mediating and resolving issues. A probate lawyer could also interact with the probate court when court permission is needed for various actions.

Here is a list of some of the most common things probate lawyers do:

  • Locate and secure assets such as insurance or retirement plans
  • Appraise and sell estate property, including real estate
  • Retitle for heirs or beneficiaries if the property isn’t sold
  • Communicate with creditors and settle debts
  • Determine final income tax returns and file
  • Understand potential state or federal estate taxes or inheritance taxes
  • Oversee the distribution of assets to heirs and beneficiaries
  • Validate or dismiss claims against the estate
  • Interact with probate court when necessary
  • Manage the flow of paperwork and deadlines
  • Mediate conflict between interested parties

What Does a Probate Lawyer Do When There Is No Will?

If the decedent died intestate, meaning they did not have a will or trust, the state statutes will determine how the estate is settled through the probate process. States have laws that govern intestate succession, or how assets are distributed in the absence of a will. Certain assets, such as insurance or a 401(k), will likely have a beneficiary named and will pass directly to the named beneficiary.

For assets that don’t have an established direct line of succession, concerned parties might benefit from a probate lawyer as they navigate the probate proceedings that determine the appointment of a personal representative or estate administrator, learn the legal heirs, and understand how the assets, debts, and taxes will be settled. Even when there’s no will, a Portland probate lawyer will still do many, if not all, of the actions in the list above.

 

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