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5 Tips for Determining Custody and Parent Time

When determining custody and parent time, it’s important to consider the best interest of the child. Above all, the well-being of a child is the priority and will be considered when reaching custody agreements and visitation rights. It is meant to protect the mental, physical, and emotional well-being of a child, placing them in the care of a parent or guardian who can provide the best possible environment and upbringing.

Not only should their best interests be your top priority, but it is also a standard used by judges if a custody agreement cannot be reached. A Pacific Northwest family lawyer can help you look at the actions typically considered most beneficial to a child. Read on to learn how to determine custody arrangement and scheduling for parent time, and how it benefits each child so they can receive the best possible upbringing.

1. Develop a Parenting Plan Proposal

“Parenting time” is simply a written agreement on how much time each parent spends with the child, as well as how decisions are to be made for their welfare and education. It is also referred to as a “custody and visitation agreement” or a “time-share” plan. When determining parenting time, it’s important to honestly assess if each parent is fit to provide for the child’s welfare. If so, then a fair schedule accommodating both parents is preferred. The exception is if one parent is unfit and there is good cause to deny visitation. Otherwise, judges look more favorably on parenting time that does not deny visitation or make it difficult for the other parent.

If you can negotiate with the other parent, you can create a proposal that has a balanced and fair plan for time with each parent. Take care to create a plan that is not drastically different from their current schedule, making the transition easier. Remember, as a child ages, the plan will have to change to accommodate their changing needs. If a child is hesitant in spending time with one parent, create a schedule that eases them into spending more time with them.

Include basics such as healthy diet, medical care, proper rest, provisions for holidays, as well as who is in charge of transporting them to activities. It should also include which decisions can be made individually and which need to be made in agreement between both parents. Online resources can help guide you through the process.

2. Track Parenting Time and Related Expenses

Once you have a schedule, keep track of how much time you spend with your child. The court tends to favor the parent who spends the most time with the child. However, if you are proven to be fit and the other parent is blocking your visitation, this documentation can be used as proof of unfair limitations.

Make sure to also keep track of all expenses with receipts of childcare, school supplies, doctor visits, clothing, and other related expenses. This can better illustrate how you contribute to the well-being and care of your child.

3. Create a Safe Space

Creating a stable home for your child is essential to their best interest and well-being. A safe home where your child is comfortable and can thrive helps ensure their physical, mental, and emotional needs are being met. A stable home makes it easier for a child to receive proper rest and creates an environment where they can focus on social and educational development. A safe space also allows your child to speak truthfully about how they are coping with a divorce or separation, without repercussions.

When creating a stable environment, take care to have reliable childcare while at work or during other engagements. This can influence a judge’s decision when determining custody or visitation.

4. Understand the Best Interests of the Child

Each state has a different checklist for figuring the best interest of the child. Contact a Pacific Northwest family law attorney to learn how your state determines the best interests of the child.

Does the judge consider the child’s preference? Does the court disregard socioeconomic background or gender? Can the court task a guardian ad litem to conduct an investigation to figure out the best parenting arrangement?

Though each state varies, some common factors in figuring the best interest of the child include:

  • Parental fitness
  • The parent-child relationship
  • Age of the child
  • Who has been the primary caretaker
  • The mental and physical health needs of the child
  • A parent’s history of crime, violence, substance abuse
  • Any suspected child neglect, abandonment, or abuse
  • Provision of stability for the child

You can also demonstrate you have their best interest in mind by knowing what they like and dislike, as well as their personal interests. Do you know their favorite food, activities, who their friends are, what they struggle with? How well do you know your child can determine custody and visitation rights?

5. Be Willing to Co-Parent

If both parents are fit, then your child benefits most from having both parents in their life. In this scenario, it’s best to co-parent. It will benefit your child and reflect favorably with the judge when determining custody and parenting time.

If the other parent is not fit or they are keeping you from seeing your child, it’s important to document these instances and provide as much supporting evidence as possible. If the other parent is unfit and a danger to your child, you need strong evidence supporting this claim. Do not make false accusations. If you are fit but are being denied visitation, keep a written record detailing the times they denied or limited your visitation.

When it comes to custody and parenting time, it may be in both your and your child’s best interest to partner with a family law attorney, seeking counsel and representation.

Let our attorneys at Warren Allen LLP help you. Our experienced family law lawyers handle each case personally and have extensive knowledge in all legal situations related to domestic relations. Contact us today and learn how we can help your unique needs with solid legal advice and representation.

What Will a Portland, Oregon Car Accident Lawyer Do?

If you’ve been in a car accident, you might ask yourself “what will a Portland, Oregon, car accident lawyer do for me?” A personal injury attorney can offer experienced and knowledgeable legal advice if you or a loved one have been in a car accident, including representing you in communications to your insurance company and the other party’s insurance company. A personal injury attorney provides legal representation for individuals who have been injured in an accident.

An experienced personal injury attorney can help you navigate the uncertainties that come with medical bills, short- or long-term disability, and legal actions. In most situations, attorneys are paid a contingency fee in which they do not receive payment until there is a settlement awarded.

Warren Allan LLP has compiled this great guide to what a Portland, Oregon, car accident lawyer should do for your case:

Determine Fault in an Accident

Any motorist knows that any number of reasons can cause a car accident, like negligent drivers, unsafe road conditions, or vehicle defects. However, the at-fault party after a car accident can be difficult to determine. A personal injury attorney will thoroughly review the circumstances of the accident and analyze the evidence from police or incident reports. In addition, your attorney may procure witness statements as well as evidence such as property damage or surveillance footage.

Oregon follows a “fault”-based system, which means your attorney will work to determine the financial and legal responsibility of the other party and provide the necessary assistance when filing a personal injury lawsuit. To determine fault on part of another driver, it must be proven that the individual would have acted differently and thereby prevented the accident.

Some common examples of negligence include distracted driving, driving under the influence, or disobeying traffic laws. The person who is determined to be at fault must pay any losses, which can range from medical bills to lost income.

A personal injury attorney will help you obtain several important pieces of evidence such as photographs of the scene, accident or police reports, and witness interviews. Oftentimes, the attorney will visit the scene of the accident to note additional details for their findings. Documentation of your injuries can sometimes be challenging to acquire, but things like medical records and bills are essential in supporting your claim.

To be successful, two things must be demonstrated through medical documentation: specific diagnosis of injuries and that the cause of the injuries was caused by the other motorist. A lawyer will help ensure the physician notes their opinion on how the accident resulted in your injury, as well as a prognosis of temporary or permanent disability.

Negotiate with Insurance Companies

In Oregon, it is illegal to drive without liability coverage. According to Oregon Drivers & Motor Vehicle Services, drivers must have the following coverage:

  • Bodily injury and property damage liability
    • $25,000 per person;
    • $50,000 per crash for bodily injury to others; and
    • $20,000 per crash for damage to others’ property.
  • Personal injury protection
    • $15,000 per person.
  • Uninsured motorist
    • $25,000 per person; and
    • $50,000 per crash for bodily injury.

When it comes to negotiating with insurance companies, most people have little to no experience. On the other hand, insurance companies settle auto accident cases on a continual basis, and their expertise far outweighs that of the average motorist. In theory, insurance plans are in place to protect individuals from excessive costs, but insurance adjusters do not represent injured parties, and if they provided maximum payouts for every claim, they would not be in business for very long.

Unfortunately, most insurers will do what they can to limit their payouts on auto insurance claims. Having an experienced personal injury attorney on your side will help ensure you receive fair compensation when in an automobile accident.

Settlement Guidance

One of the primary goals insurance companies are tasked with is pushing you to settle your claim quickly and for the lowest possible amount, but it is important not to rush the settlement process. Once you accept an insurance company’s settlement offer, they will no longer be responsible for any future liability caused by your accident. If your injuries become more serious as time passes, you will have passed on the compensation you would have otherwise been due.

Overall, the negotiation process with the insurance company can take time. At the beginning stages of negotiation, your lawyer will work with you to determine how much you should receive as payment for your injuries. A personal injury attorney will examine all medical expenses, any lost wages, and any other expenses you may have accrued as a result of the accident. Once this amount has been determined, your attorney will put together a demand letter for the insurance company that details the compensation you are willing to settle for.

It is unlikely that the insurance company will agree to your initial request outright. Often, the insurance company will attempt to negotiate for less than you originally offered to settle for. This counteroffer can vary based on the insurance company’s policies. Some insurance companies may also request an independent medical examination to verify the injuries and how they may limit you now and in the future. When meeting with your lawyer, you will determine the lowest settlement offer you are willing to accept. The expertise and guidance of a personal injury lawyer will ensure you are receiving a fair amount based on your losses.

Representation at Trial

If you need to go to trial over your claim, you can certainly represent yourself, but the odds are not in your favor against an experienced defense attorney. Personal injury attorneys have years of knowing the ins and outs of the personal injury process and representation in court. In addition, having a personal injury attorney representing you in what is no doubt an emotional experience can benefit you with objective thinking and focus on the facts of your case.

Tips for Vetting Law Firms in Portland Oregon

Finding a lawyer during an already stressful time in your life can feel like an insurmountable task. Typically, people don’t have a relationship with a lawyer already in place when something happens to them that requires legal assistance. Usually, when someone requires legal guidance, it’s due to an unpleasant and stressful situation that has happened unexpectedly, such as a car accident, a bad fall or personal injury, or a family law issue like divorce or a child custody disagreement. No attorney will completely eliminate the stress of the situation, but the right attorney can help allay some of your concerns.

When you need legal advice, it’s best not to just accept the very first law firm you find in a random online search for help. You want to make sure you are finding quality legal representation that will represent you and your needs with care and expertise. If you are looking for law firms in Portland, Oregon, or wherever you may live, the litigation experts at Warren Allen LLP list below how to find a law firm that best suits your specific legal needs.

Make Sure You Find a Law Firm That Specializes in the Area of Law You Require Help With

It’s always important to find a law firm that has extensive experience in litigating within the specialty you need. For example, if you are looking for a divorce lawyer, it is not enough to find a lawyer with a website that says they practice family law. You want to ensure your law firm specializes in family law and has a history of representing clients within this field.

Look for blog posts or social media posts from the law firm. Do they talk about the area of law that you need? Are there signs of innovation in the field where you need representation? If the law firm demonstrates authority in that area of law, this is a great sign that they are current and active in that field of law and can be a potentially good fit for your legal needs.

Ensure You Can Afford the Law Firm’s Fee

When choosing the law firm that best fits your needs, one factor that is very important to consider is the cost of legal representation. It is important to ask up front what the costs of representation will be to ensure it is an affordable option for you before deciding on which law firm will be the best fit for you. While your instinct might be to opt for the best attorney money can buy, it’s not actually realistic. You also don’t want to just blindly choose the cheapest service either. The truth is that you need to look at law firms in Portland, Oregon, that meet both your needs and your budget.

Typically, law firms that specialize will cost more than a generalist firm that tends to deal more in volume of clients rather than focusing on each client in depth. Most law firms charge hourly, ranging in price from $300 to $1,000 per hour.

Ask About the Attorney’s and the Law Firm’s Experience

It’s crucial to ask prospective lawyers how many years they have practiced and, in particular, how many years in the field of law you need before deciding on which law firm is right for you. Training and specialization are important, but years of experience in practicing law means they have been through trials and have lost some, won some, and learned from each experience. Go ahead and ask if they’ve handled cases similar to yours and how those turned out.

Choosing local law firms, like Warren Allen in Portland, Oregon, can also be important to the outcome of your case. They’ll be familiar with how the court systems work in the area and have experience working with different judges and attorneys. They’ll also be up to date on all county and state laws, procedures, and policies, better ensuring you get the highest level of representation.

Check Online Reviews and Get Personal References

If you are unsure where to begin your search for a trusted lawyer in your area, start by asking around. If you know a friend, family member, neighbor, or professional who has been through your situation before, it could be helpful to ask if they have a referral to a lawyer who they trust. If you happen to have an existing relationship with a lawyer in another field of law, consider asking them for a recommendation to a lawyer in your area of need. You can even ask your doctor or other professional if they have a trusted lawyer they would recommend.

You should also read reviews online to see what people are saying about their experiences with various law firms in your area. It’s always a good idea to read reviews and ask around before signing a contract with a new law firm.

Consider Your Attorney’s Availability and Ease of Communication

When you first meet with your new attorney, this is your time to interview them as if you were hiring them for a new position at your company. This is a great time to ask about their availability when you have follow-up questions, as they will most definitely arise, and not all lawyers are available at the same rate. Some law firms have paralegals who can answer your questions more readily than the lawyers, who may frequently be in court and unavailable to field your various questions. It is always a good idea to make sure you can communicate with your lawyer or their staff when needed.

If you are looking for law firms in Portland, Oregon, consider hiring the legal experts at Warren Allen LLP. Our team specializes in personal injury, family law, and more. Reach out today.

How To Find the Best Personal Injury Car Accident Lawyer

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, finding the best personal injury accident lawyer will help you handle both personal injury and monetary losses. They will help prepare your case for small claims court or arbitration.

Not just any lawyer will do when it comes to a personal injury case. You want to retain a lawyer that specializes in personal injuries, one you can trust to help you get the most to assist you as you move towards recovery.

Where do you begin?

Finding an Experienced Lawyer Who Specializes in Personal Injury

The practice of law is highly specialized. When law students enter school, they quickly narrow their focus for their coursework. From bankruptcy and finance law to civil rights or constitutional law, there’s a niche for every lawyer.

Once a lawyer focuses on a specific field of law, they begin to dive deeper into their chosen area of study. A tax lawyer would know little about personal injury and car accidents because they spend most of their time working on business and taxes.

So your first step is finding a lawyer with experience representing claimants in vehicular accident cases. They will have experience working with insurance companies and will be best equipped to stand by your side through the process.

Why Should You Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?

Technically, you can file a claim with the car insurance company yourself for your accident. People do this routinely when they’ve suffered minor injuries and have the time to work through the process themselves. Moving forward on your own without a lawyer can avoid lawyer fees.

But how you stand up to big insurance companies and their lawyers will ultimately determine the outcome. Not everyone is prepared to handle this on their own.

A personal injury lawyer will have experience handling sticky situations when it comes to car accidents and the resulting claims. A team of lawyers for an auto insurance company will have the knowledge and experience to fight hard against every type of claim. How well you stand up against them is determined by the experience you bring to the table. Hiring a personal injury lawyer is best if you’ve:

  • Suffered severe injuries
  • Received extensive medical bills
  • Experienced significant loss of wages due to your injuries
  • Have a complicated situation, not cut-and-dry
  • May be at fault

When Consulting With a Lawyer Makes Sense

When personal injury and monetary loss are at stake, it almost always makes sense to speak with a lawyer. Specifically, personal injury lawyers are often hired in the event of:

Severe Injuries

The severity of a personal injury is measured in one of three ways:

  • The type of injury sustained
  • How much time it takes for recovery
  • The cost of medical bills incurred or that will incur in the future

Long-Term or Permanent Disability

A long-term injury is one that impacts you for a year or more of your life; a permanent disability will affect you for life. Both can impact the quality of your life as well as your ability to return to work and remain employable.

The legal process can be complicated. It may be well worth hiring a personal injury accident lawyer to help you navigate the legal work necessary to prove your injury was a direct result of your car accident.

How Do You Choose the Right Lawyer?

Finding a personal injury lawyer who meets your qualifications is essential. You’ll be working with them until the close of the case. There are many ways to find a potential personal injury lawyer.

  • Ask friends and acquaintances
  • Ask for referrals
  • Search online
  • Look for someone in your local community

When you’ve settled on a few prospects, it’s a good idea to sit down and meet to discuss your potential claim. Bring copies of all documentation you have on file. This includes:

  • The police report
  • Medical bills
  • Income loss information
  • Correspondence with the insurance company

Most personal injury lawyers don’t charge for this initial interview because they’re interviewing you as much as you are interviewing them. This is the proper time to find out things like:

  • How long they’ve practiced personal injury law
  • How many personal injury cases they handle per year
  • How often they represent plaintiffs
  • How much experience they have working with insurance companies
  • If they’ve handled cases like yours before

This is where it’s important to learn who will handle your case. Lawyers and their staff often work together. Paralegals and less experienced attorneys will do routine tasks, which offers you a break in costs.

You should also discuss lines of communication. Ask questions. You can usually determine how willing a lawyer is to answer your questions in the future by looking at how well they handle the initial consultation. If you’re working with the right team, you should feel it in your gut.

Other Considerations

Communication is important. Don’t forget to get a general understanding of the settlement goal. The lawyer may give you a general opinion of how much the case is worth and how difficult it may be to see results.

If you have questions, ask. This is your time to get comfortable with the process. Sometimes, this is the best way to determine how well-suited you are at working together. Use this time to decide if you’ve found the lawyer who is best equipped to work with you through the end of your case.

This is about you. You’re the one who’s suffered personal injury and monetary loss due to someone else’s negligence. Using these tips, you’re sure to find the best personal injury accident lawyer you can trust.

If you’re searching for a personal injury lawyer in the Portland area, give Warren Allen a call. Let’s schedule a consultation and see if pairing with us is right for you.

5 Tips for Finding a Qualified Family Law Attorney in Portland Oregon

If you’re getting married, going through a divorce, or in the midst of a custody battle, you know how important it is to have a good family law attorney by your side. You want to find someone who will protect your assets and fight for your interests. But where do you begin?

Warren Allen LLP is experienced in all types of family law matters, and we have some great tips for finding a qualified family law attorney in the Portland, Oregon, area.

1. Ask for Referrals

The best place to start is with your own personal network. If you know anyone who has hired a family law attorney in Portland, Oregon, recently, ask them about their experience. Were they satisfied with their representation? Did they receive a favorable outcome? If so, ask questions about whether they settled the matter out of court or if litigation was involved. What was it about the attorney that made them particularly effective at handling this particular family law matter?

If the person was unsatisfied with their representation, find out why. Getting information about which attorneys to avoid is just as helpful as getting a recommendation for who to hire. If you don’t personally know anyone who has retained a family law attorney in the Portland, Oregon, area, there are other ways to find a reputable attorney.

2. Check Professional Associations

Another option for locating a family law attorney is to check professional membership associations. For instance, the American Bar Association (ABA) has a lawyer referral directory. You can also search your local and state bar associations to find a family law attorney near you. For instance, the Oregon State Bar has both a lawyer referral service and a searchable membership directory.

If you decide to choose an outside lawyer referral and information service, make sure it has the ABA logo. The use of the logo ensures the service meets ABA public service standards.

Whether using your own personal network, checking professional membership organizations, or paying for a lawyer referral service, be sure to properly vet the attorneys you are considering by doing your due diligence in researching their backgrounds and credentials.

Choosing a family law attorney is an important decision. Never make a decision to hire a family law attorney solely based on a recommendation or referral. Instead, gather as much information as you can before making a final decision.

3. Conduct an Internet Search

You can uncover a lot of information about an attorney through a simple internet search; think of it as doing a background check for free. When you’ve narrowed your search for a family law attorney down to a select few, do some internet sleuthing and see what you can find out about each. At a minimum, most lawyers will have a website bio that outlines their background and experience.

You may also be able to find online reviews that will tell you whether the attorney has a favorable track record with former clients. You should also check both their personal and professional social media profiles. LinkedIn, for instance, may provide a breakdown of their employment history and professional accolades. Other social media platforms could give you a glimpse at how they conduct themselves in their personal lives as well.

4. Verify Track Record

Be sure to verify an attorney’s track record beyond a simple Internet search. If you’re using the Oregon Bar Association lawyer referral service (LRS), you can be confident LRS attorneys “are in good standing with the bar, have no current disciplinary proceedings pending, carry malpractice insurance” and agree to abide by customer service standards.

On the other hand, if you find an attorney through another means, you may need to do your own research. If you’re based in Oregon, you can obtain information regarding a state bar member’s current status, past complaints, and history of disciplinary action by calling 503-620-0222, ext. 394. If you’re based outside of Oregon, check your own state bar association to confirm whether the attorney you are considering is in good standing.

5. Schedule a Consultation

Once you’ve narrowed your search, the best thing you can do is schedule an in-person consultation. Some attorneys charge for a consult, while others do not. Contact the firm to see if there is a charge and if so, inquire about the cost.

If there is a fee for an in-person consultation and you’re trying to save money, ask if there is a fee for a phone consult. Whenever possible, you should try to meet in person with any family law attorney you’re considering. At your consultation, ask them about their background and experience, whether they specialize in your particular family law matter, how many similar cases they’ve worked in the past, and for an overview of your options.

Be as detailed and specific as possible with your questions. Take notes. Get a sense of the attorney’s communication skills and whether you feel you could foster a strong attorney-client relationship with them. The impression you get when meeting an attorney face-to-face can go a long way in helping you decide if they’re the right one for you.

If you’re looking for a family law attorney in Portland, Oregon, area, add Warren Allen LLP to your list. We have experienced attorneys skilled in an array of family law matters, from prenuptial agreements to separations and paternity issues. Whether a marriage, civil union, or domestic partnership, we handle each case personally and with the utmost integrity.

As we’ve discussed, first do your due diligence by conducting some research and then schedule a consult with us. We’ll provide you with an honest assessment of your case and if you choose to retain us, we’ll provide you with top-notch legal representation at every stage.

What Is the Medical Malpractice Case Process in Oregon?

A medical mistake can be devastating for everyone involved. You have certain rights if you or a loved one has been injured due to a medical professional’s carelessness or neglect. There are time limits and constraints, and you have to file within a certain amount of time in order for the lawsuit to be considered valid. It’s essential to understand the medical malpractice process in Oregon to ensure you get the relief you and your family need and deserve.

Before you decide to file a medical malpractice lawsuit, there are a few things to keep in mind. This is a complex and time-consuming process: medical records will be analyzed in-depth, expert witnesses may need to be contacted and hired, and all of this must be done within the standards established in Oregon.

Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations in Oregon

Every state establishes its own rules and regulations to follow in the event of a medical injury. In Oregon, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice lawsuits statesthat the lawsuit must be filed within two years of the date of the injury or when knowledge of the injury should have been discovered. Once two years have passed, you no longer have the right to commence action.

There is an exception to this particular time limit, however. If the defendant uses fraud, deceit, or misleading representation to hide the malpractice, the clock starts ticking once the fraud is uncovered, rather than the date of injury or knowledge of injury.

Last but not least, if the injured individual is under the age of 18 or has a “disabling mental condition that bars the person from comprehending rights that the person is otherwise bound to know,” according to Oregon Revised Statutes section 12.160, the clock is paused for up to five years, or one year after the person turns 18 or the disabling mental condition ceases to exist.

In most cases, if you attempt to file a lawsuit after the allowed timeframe, your lawsuit will be contested. The doctor or medical facility will seek to dismiss the case, and without extenuating circumstances, the judge will most likely grant that request.

What Is Considered a Medical Mistake?

Before you move into the medical malpractice process and file a lawsuit in Oregon, it’s important to educate yourself as much as you possibly can.

Currently, as many as 251,000 deaths occur annually in the United States from medical malpractice, making it the third leading cause of death. Error rates are significantly higher in the US than in other Western societies, such as Australia, Canada, or the United Kingdom.

Medical mistakes occur in myriad ways:

  • Misdiagnosis
  • Failure to diagnose
  • Surgical errors
  • Anesthesia mistakes
  • Infections
  • Prescription medication errors
  • Obstetrical errors

Where Do You Start?

Most healthcare providers swear an oath to provide their patients with the highest level of care, but sometimes, things can go gravely wrong. If you or a loved one has been injured by poor medical care, misdiagnosis, or medical errors that have resulted in injury, you may be entitled to medical malpractice recovery.

There will be many steps in the process, and some of the first steps include:

Contacting the Medical Professionals and Organizations Involved

One of the first steps is to return to the medical professionals or organizations involved in the case, with the end goal of determining what went wrong and if the injury or illness is something that can be remedied. In most cases, most medical professionals are willing to perform any necessary services to reach a satisfactory solution.

Contact the Medical Licensing Board

If you can’t reach a solution by working with the professionals involved in the case, escalating it to the medical licensing board in your state can add another layer of resolution. While the licensing board can’t force monetary compensation for you, it can start disciplinary actions and may be able to provide further guidance and direction.

Review Claim Details

Filing a claim means you’ll need thorough documentation in place. Do you have appropriate files and medical information? Are you within the limits of the statute of limitations? What other resources are available for you to corroborate your story? The more support you gain before you move forward, the easier the process may be.

Get Medical Assessments

Some states will require patients to file a Certificate of Merit to help determine if the injuries you or your loved one suffered resulted from a medical practitioner’s negligence. While Oregon and Washington don’t currently require it, it can be included within your case if you have backup data. The attorney you hire will file it with the necessary paperwork to help further prove harm.

Consider Settling Out of Court

Medical malpractice cases can be costly, dragging on for months or even years. This can be a tedious process. Because medical malpractice insurance companies reject many cases, it may be in your best interest to settle out of court. This is where working with a lawyer well-versed in medical malpractice can help you understand the process and help you make an informed decision.

Hiring a Lawyer

Finding the right lawyer can be a difficult decision. It’s essential to do your research early, find someone who will fully represent your interests, and provide guidance on your path to recovery. You should find a lawyer that you can trust, one that you feel comfortable with, and one that comes well-recommended.

If you’re in Oregon and have been medically injured, understanding the medical malpractice process can ensure your path to restitution. With these few steps in mind, you can learn more about what you’ll experience if you decide to move forward.

Whether you’re just beginning the medical malpractice process in Oregon or just have a few questions about your case, sound legal advice is the best place to start. Contact us at Warren Allen today and let our legal experts answer your questions.

What Kinds of Cases Does a Medical Malpractice Attorney Cover?

Medical professionals are supposed to provide the best care possible to those who seek out their expertise, but that isn’t always the case.
In some instances, mistakes made by medical professionals can lead to lifelong injuries, worsening symptoms, or even death. Depending on your situation, these mistakes can be considered medical malpractice and may be handled by a medical malpractice attorney in Oregon. The medical malpractice attorneys at Warren Allen LLP work specifically on cases where medical professionals cause individuals harm or a negative medical experience.
Here are a few of the cases that are commonly covered by medical malpractice attorneys:

Misdiagnosis

Misdiagnosis is when a medical professional examines a patient and either fails to diagnose the correct illness or says that the patient doesn’t have an illness when they actually do.
When this happens, a patient may be diagnosed with a condition that they don’t have and, as a result, take medication and treatment that is unnecessary. A “missed diagnosis” can cause a disease or ailment to worsen, preventing a patient from having the opportunity to treat it in a timely manner.
Misdiagnosis is one of the most common reasons people hire a medical malpractice attorney, and make up a majority of medical malpractice lawsuits.

Delayed Diagnosis

A patient may also suffer from not being diagnosed with a health condition, ailment, or disease in a timely manner, also known as receiving a delayed diagnosis. In order to be classified as malpractice, the patient must seek out professional medical help and fail to be diagnosed properly.
When this happens the patient doesn’t receive the treatment they need in the correct time frame and typically will have further health complications as a result. In worst-case scenarios, a delayed diagnosis can result in harm or even death.
Some instances that occur and are considered to lead to delayed diagnoses are as followed:

  • Dismissing symptoms reported by the patient that would lead to a correct diagnosis
  • Lost or mishandled lab work or results
  • Failure to refer the patient to a specialist when signs indicate they should be
  • Not doing further tests when there are abnormalities in routine bloodwork<

If you have experienced an issue that resembles one of these scenarios and have suffered medically because of it, you may wish to speak with a medical malpractice attorney to see what legal options are available to you.

Surgical Errors

A surgical error is a preventable mistake that occurs during a surgical procedure. While all surgeries come with their own risks, there are some mistakes that can be prevented with proper care and procedure.
Some examples of surgical errors are incompetence, poor communication, insufficient planning, neglect, fatigue, or drug and alcohol use. The most frequent surgical errors include operations on the wrong body part, nerve damage, the administration of too much or too little medication, and wrong incision location.
If a surgical error was caused due to one of the above reasons, it could be handled by a medical malpractice attorney. It’s best to consult with an attorney in your state to see if your unique situation qualifies for these kinds of lawsuits.

Birth Injury

Birth injuries are sustained during the labor and delivery process and include injuries such as nerve damage, broken bones, or even death. This occurs when health professionals involved in the birthing process, such as midwives, nurses, or doctors, fail to uphold quality medical care and an injury is sustained to either the mother or the infant.
Common mistakes made during the birthing process can include not performing a C-section when medically necessary, not properly monitoring for signs of fetal distress, improper use of forceps, and exercising too much force. When a birth injury is sustained to an infant or mother during labor or delivery, it may be handled by a medical malpractice attorney in Oregon.
Birth injuries that are commonly cited in malpractice suits include cerebral palsy, brain damage, and paralysis. Injuries like this can significantly impact the child’s quality of life and cause lifelong medical issues. For these reasons, they and other birth injuries are often handled by medical malpractice attorneys.

Failure to Treat

Another frequent cause of malpractice claims is failure to treat. The phrase “failure to treat” may seem cut and dry, but more situations fall into this category than you’d expect. Some examples of failure to treat include failing to provide follow-up care, not ordering necessary medical tests, and releasing a patient too soon from the hospital. Doctors handling a larger caseload or patient roster than they are capable of dealing with is another form of failure to treat. These scenarios and more may be covered by a medical malpractice attorney.

Medication Error

Taking too much, too little, or the incorrect medication can come with some serious consequences. If you are prescribed the wrong medication, the wrong dose of a medication, or prescribed medication that is unnecessary, it may be considered medical malpractice.
When a doctor chooses to prescribe a medication for you, it is their duty to check for other prescriptions you’re already taking, to ensure they’re choosing the correct medication, to check for proper dosing, and to prevent any drug interactions. Failing to inquire about your current medications could result in severe symptoms or side effects and, in worst-case scenarios, could result in death. This could be caused by a mistake on your doctor’s part, but it can also be the fault of a pharmacist. Medication error is a serious mistake to make, which is why it’s often covered by medical malpractice attorneys.
If you or someone you know has experienced a medical issue that resembles one of the above cases, it may benefit you to reach out to a law firm like Warren Allen LLP. The medical malpractice attorneys at Warren Allen LLP can look into your case and determine whether you have any legal standing to file a lawsuit against the medical establishment that has wronged you. The damages from these types of lawsuits often include recovery for pain and suffering, medical bill coverage, or recovery for reduced quality of life.

Avoid These Common Divorce Mistakes in Oregon

Understanding common mistakes people make during their divorce can help you avoid the same traps. Your Portland divorce attorney will be your ally and can advise you during the divorce while offering advice specific to your individual situation.
Going through a divorce is stressful, and the resulting emotions are not unexpected. It’s helpful to be aware of how these emotions may impact decision-making during this time. Whether you are working through a collaborative and civilized divorce or one that is fueled with difficulty and conflict, the approach should be the same. What’s important is to not allow stress or confusion to overwhelm your decisions during the process.
Though this may be a difficult time, keep in mind that there are certain pitfalls you need to watch out for while negotiating and filing for divorce.

Rushing to Settle

It’s understandable to want to finalize a divorce quickly and move forward to end this chapter and start a new one, but this can compromise a fair outcome. Full information is essential in settling on a proposal that is the best resolution for all parties. Though it may be tempting to accept the first settlement proposed or settle before all pertinent information is available, it may leave you with an unfavorable result. Sitting down with an experienced divorce mediator may be best for both parties to work toward a solution.
It’s helpful to take your time and think through these decisions carefully while consulting your Portland divorce attorney. Once an agreement has been signed by a judge, it cannot be reversed or changed unless you go through additional court proceedings, and often only if there were assets omitted (either intentionally or unintentionally). Take the time to carefully consider settlement proposals before accepting them and work toward a resolution that is best for your situation.

Not Setting Appropriate Boundaries for Your Children

Age-appropriate communication with your children is crucial during a divorce. It can be a confusing time, and it’s important they work through their feelings and have a safe place to ask questions. It’s also essential to clarify that it’s not their fault and to provide reassurance.
Healthy communication with your children about the divorce should include balance. It’s important to not overshare or fail to prepare them by not discussing it all or avoiding the subject. Keep the conversation age-specific and avoid speaking negatively about the other parent.
Before discussing the divorce with them, take time to think about what is appropriate and what is inappropriate for them to know and set healthy boundaries. There are several books available that cover how to speak to your children about divorce, or a family therapist may be a viable option.

Losing Focus

At the time, every detail may seem critical to take to court. In the interest of not dragging out the process, select which issues are worth taking to court and which ones can be negotiated. Your Portland divorce attorney can help decide which issues fall into which category if you are struggling.
Keep the end goal in focus when making these decisions so you can secure a positive future.

Refusing to Negotiate

A common mistake in divorce is rushing the process, but the opposite can be true as well. Negative feelings or a desire to make a spouse “pay” for their shortcomings in the relationship can unnecessarily drag out a divorce.
This may not be true in each divorce, but unresolved issues or anger in some separations may lead to attempting to use the legal process as an opportunity to get even. Refusing to compromise and insisting on going to court or dragging out court appearances can cost time and money. The court may not view this favorably and it could cost you. It’s natural to be angry, but do your best to stay focused so you can focus on the best outcome for yourself.

Listening to Misinformation

Everyone has advice and opinions when it comes to a divorce, whether it’s your family, friends, or the internet. Though some of this counsel may be wise, especially from someone who has previous experience with divorce, keep in mind that a legal process requires the services of an attorney local to you who specializes in family law and how it relates to your situation. With the internet putting a lot of sources at our fingertips, there can be a lot of misinformation that will lead you astray.
An experienced attorney specializing in family law will have detailed knowledge in divorce, as well as other areas of legal practice, and can help you reach the best resolution possible. They will be your ally, help mediate, and help advise you in obtaining the best possible outcome in your divorce.
Whether you need help with legal representation or advice in separation, divorce, custody, or establishing parenting time, Warren Allen LLP is here to help. Our experienced attorneys have detailed knowledge of family law and other areas of legal practice that may arise in domestic relations. Contact us today and let our attorneys help you secure a positive future and the best resolution possible.

Forgetting to Keep Long-Term Goals in Mind

It’s easy to get stuck in the past and forget to create a plan for your future. There are a lot of factors to consider that can be overlooked when dealing with the overwhelming and immediate details. Receiving helpful counsel from professionals like a Portland divorce attorney, counselors, or financial experts may be helpful in staying grounded and creating a plan for the future. This can include protecting the future well-being of children, your mental health, property, and finances.
You may need to make a plan for parenting time, keeping your children’s best interests in mind. You may need to account for financial changes such as a change in income, the differences in separate property and marital property, as well as changes in income tax post-divorce.
Seeking the counsel of professionals, family, and friends can help you create a support team for your family, so you don’t have to go through the process alone. Having help from a knowledgeable and supportive team will help you avoid some of the common divorce mistakes.
Going through a divorce can be a difficult time, but making careful decisions and accepting the correct types of help can guide you to a more favorable future.

What Is the Role of a Personal Injury Lawyer in a Claim?

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury due to someone’s negligence, you need a personal injury lawyer to represent you should you decide you initiate legal action. Instead of engaging a general practitioner, having a specialized lawyer who is an expert in handling matters relating to the negligence of a third party can make a difference to the outcome of your case.

If you’re wondering about the specific role of a personal injury lawyer in such matters, here’s what you need to know:

Gathering Evidence

Gathering the right evidence is central to the success of your claim. The law has strict requirements about what can be accepted as evidence. Any oversight at this stage can completely change the outcome of your case.

A personal injury lawyer is trained to understand the fine print of the law and ascertain the type of evidence needed to raise a claim successfully. Physical evidence, medical reports, photographs, and witness and expert statements are all critical to establishing your case. Moreover, if not preserved or photographed properly, physical evidence can get destroyed within a few hours or days after the incident.

This is where a personal injury lawyer can help, as they ensure the evidence is gathered properly. They also make sure all witness and expert statements are recorded, as per the requirements of law.

Evaluating the Merit of Your Case

Until the case is settled or heard and decided by a jury, no one can guarantee the outcome. But it’s of no use to pursue legal remedies if the outcome is destined to go against you. A personal injury lawyer will evaluate your case by considering all aspects of your claim and tell you what your chances of success are. Moreover, it works in their favor to do an initial assessment since most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee model.
Since they are familiar with the burden of proof, it’s their responsibility to tell you whether it will be too difficult to meet the requirements. And this examination goes beyond simply looking at the immediate facts of the case. Personal injury lawyers look at the entire incident comprehensively to determine how it has changed your life.

Help Negotiate a Settlement

Often, cases can be settled to achieve the best outcome. In fact, trials are riskier, expensive, and may go against you even if the odds are in your favor.
As an aggrieved party, you may hardly be in a position to negotiate with the party at fault. Even if you do it on your own, you may end up overlooking critical aspects of the case and negotiating a much lower amount than you deserve.
Luckily, that’s one of the advantages of getting a personal injury lawyer on board, as they can negotiate on your behalf. Armed with knowledge and years of experience, a lawyer knows the ins and outs of dealing with all other parties to ensure that you get a fair outcome.
Preparing Arguments
If your case is going to trial, you will need solid arguments. Even a single misstep here can impact the outcome of your case. A personal injury lawyer knows how to draft the pleadings based on tested strategies that appeal to the audience. They know how to present their arguments persuasively and succinctly so that both judge and jury are likely to rule in your favor. They also manage the finer details of the pleadings, such as using the correct format and filing the motion on time.

Preparing Deposition Strategies

The examination of witnesses, claimants, or defendants plays a pivotal role in your claim. How each participant narrates the events leading to the injury you have suffered is essential to making your case to the jury and judge. But in the absence of thorough preparation of plaintiffs and their witnesses, there is a chance that the case may get dismissed on summary judgment.
A personal injury lawyer helps their clients craft a compelling story and present it clearly and so the weaknesses aren’t highlighted. They also work out how to depose the defendants during cross-examination and poke holes in their statements to strengthen your case.

Negotiating With Insurance Companies and Sending Demand Letters

Insurance companies are key stakeholders in most personal injury claims, and dealing with them is often challenging. Personal injury lawyers are experts when it comes to negotiating with insurance companies. Not only do they go over the details of the policy statement to determine the exact compensation available, but they can also ensure regular communication with the insurer to avoid any untoward circumstances where the claim gets rejected or jeopardized.
A personal injury lawyer may also send demand letters to the insurer detailing the facts and the estimate of the claim amount payable on account of the injury. In fact, they also ensure that the insurance companies pay up the maximum amount possible following the policy terms, as insurers attempt to find loopholes in the claim to reduce their liability.

Are you looking for a personal injury lawyer to give you solid legal advice?

Now that you’re familiar with the role of a personal injury lawyer, make sure to approach one if you or a loved one has experienced an accident that has resulted in injury or even death. Suitable legal representation can help you obtain the compensation you deserve.
If you are looking for a personal injury lawyer in Portland and Pacific Northwest, reach out to Warren Allen LLP. Our attorneys are licensed to practice in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho courts and can help you litigate your personal injury claims successfully. Contact us to learn more.

Your Portland Attorneys Should Be Experts in What You Need

When selecting a Portland attorney to represent your interests, it’s important to choose someone who can meet your specific legal needs. Having just any attorney isn’t enough. You need an attorney who has expertise and experience in the field in which your case falls. In short, you want to hire a personal injury attorney to manage your car accident case or a family law attorney to handle your divorce.
When faced with legal problems, many people run to the first lawyer they can contact, hoping to solve the problem quickly and cheaply. This puts them at risk of overlooking quality advice from expert attorneys, and they can end up with complicated cases, wasted time, lost cases, and hefty legal fees.
You can easily avoid this if you keep one thing in mind: your Portland attorney should be an expert in what you need.
Law is an extensive practice with many technicalities, some of which are under constant change or review. You should, therefore, not expect a general legal practitioner to grasp the essentials of all branches of law fully. By selecting an attorney who specializes in what you need, you can better ensure your case is handled properly.

The Necessity of Specialization

When in need of legal representation, you have three options:

  1. You can go it by yourself.
  2. You can go with an attorney who has legal experience but in another field or as a general practice attorney. They may have dabbled in the law you require, and they understand the constructs, but they’re limited in their knowledge.
  3. You can choose to go with an attorney who is experienced and knows the ins and outs of the relevant legal field. This expert has worked in the field for years, has handled many different cases, and is prepared to deal with all circumstances.

Advanced societies thrive on expertise. This is reflected everywhere, from medicine to business to the justice system and beyond. Law is interwoven into every aspect of our society to provide justice and order.
It’s likely that, at some point, you will need to contact a Portland attorney for specific legal services, whether it’s for an injury, estate planning, or other areas. Every field of law has its own terminology, evidentiary requirements, procedures, and so forth. A legal practitioner who specializes in another field may know the basic legal implications involved, but they won’t necessarily understand the finer points of the process. That comes with training and experience. This could ultimately hurt the results of your case.
Clearly, of the options above, the best is number three. It helps to have an expert Portland attorney with a wealth of experience who engages actively with the field of law that fits your case. Let’s take a closer look at why this is your best choice.

1. The Technicalities of Law

This is why experts dominate over other professionals in the legal field. Law is a broad body of knowledge, and the better educated an attorney is in a particular area of law, the stronger the case they can make for their client. Knowledge of the technicalities of law does not come from general study. It takes years of practice to establish oneself as an expert in any area of law. During this time, the attorney gathers a wealth of knowledge, from both within and outside the field, that they can continually apply to new cases.

2. Speed

The longer an attorney spends practicing, the easier it is for them to handle new and more significant cases. Complications that could arise from a case are anticipated and dealt with even before there is a need to go to court. Unlike a general attorney, an expert does not have to take a refresher course to prepare for your case, as they are constantly engaging with that particular field of law.
In fact, often, general legal practitioners would still request the services of an expert attorney. Cut out the middleman and reduce costs by choosing a qualified expert Portland attorney for your case.

3. Legal Advice

Expert Portland attorneys are adept at providing the information needed to make your case. They can tell you what you need to gather or overlook; sometimes, it can be the smallest of details that you may consider insignificant. Because they are constantly working in their field, they have seen details from previous cases that could either make or destroy a case. They can point out areas where you need redress and weed out anything that would make your case appear weak. Non-experts do not have that level of knowledge and can mishandle your case by missing small but otherwise significant details in a case.

4. Command of Power

Expert attorneys command respect because of the record of expertise behind their names. Communication written by an expert Portland attorney carries more weight than one from a general legal practitioner, just as a recommendation from a neurosurgeon on brain surgery carries more weight than that of a general medical practitioner. An expert attorney is also easily recognized and more respected in professional circles than general attorneys. Expert attorneys have the benefit of belonging to a network of other expert legal professionals.
Each field of law involves many technicalities. When you choose to use the services of an attorney who has established a record of experience and training concerning the area of law where you need help, you are putting your case in the hands of an expert who can help you get the results you deserve. If you’re looking for a personal injury or family law attorney, look no further than Warren Allen. Within our team, you’ll work with an expert Portland attorney who suits your specific needs. Contact us today.

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