We Are Here For You
We hope you are well. We continue to adapt to the Covid 19 siutation to take care of existing and new clients to make good decisions on their personal injury claims in Oregon and Washington, Oregon Workers’ Compensation claims, and Social Security Disability claims.
Here is what we know today, understanding that things are changing quickly.
What We Are Doing
It's been over two years since the "shut down," and like many we have adapted. We continue to offer telephone and video conferences to meet with existing and new clients. If you need to get in touch to set up a time to talk:
Call us: 503-325-8600 or 1-888-306-6910, or
Contact us through our web portal.
We are back in the office, and although we prefer video and phone conferences, offer in person appointments when necessary.
State Courts, the Social Security Administration and Oregon Workers' Compensation Board had limited in person hearings and court appearances, and what we see now is a hybrid system emerging from the pandmic that strive to keep everyone safe, but move cases forward.
Here is the rundown on what is happening in our practice areas:
In person hearings have returned as of August 1, 2022. However, upon request, parties can appear via video conference or by phone. Many of our clients out on the North Coast of Oregon have opted for remote appearance. Many aspects of the "normal" hearing process remain in place. Whether to appear live, by telephone, often depends on the issues before the Administrative Law Judge.
We have conducted some meetings with videoconferencing, and they have worked well.
Social Security Disability
Local offices are open for in person appointments, both scheduled and for walk ins. However, Social Security strongly encourages folks to make a teleophone appontment, or go online to get what they need. Our office is able to access claims files through a Social Security portal account, which allows us to update medical records and submit them to the claims reviewers.
The hearings offices have started to slowly roll out in person hearings for priority cases, but in our experience, most hearings continue to be via telephone, with some via video conference.
We are still able help new and existing clients file their appeals electronically. If you have a recent denial and need help with an appeal, contact us to set up a time for a telephone conference. Remember, you only have sixty days from the date on your denial letter to file an appeal.
Personal Injury Cases in Oregon
We handle Oregon and Washington personal injury and wrongful death claims. These cases are typically filed in state courts, although sometimes a personal injury case will be filed in federal court. Most court appearances are by video conference, and trials have resumed.
Although there is no official word, we expect that because of the potential backlog in criminal cases, civil cases may be pushed further out even when the courts get back to "normal." We will continue to monitor the situation.
We are able to file cases in the courts because all court filings have been electronic for some time.
Until recently, serving summons and complaints were an issue, but service processors are back to regular work getting papers served.
We have found that insurance adjusters (at least most of them) and opposing counsel have been gracious in working through these issues. We continue to move our injury cases forward, starting out with a demand for settlement when necessary. For the most part, everyone seems to know that we are all in this together.
Video conferencing for depositions and settlement conferences is the "new normal," and has proven quite effective. We were initially concerned about privacy with some video conferencing applications, but its more an issue with mastering the privacy settings when using these tools.
We are adapting, and learning about new tools to help our clients move their claims forward.
Personal Injury Cases In Washington
Personal injury cases are a kind of "civil" case. A review of the Washington State Court websites show that each county is issuing its own orders on how it manages its cases. Pacific County Superior Court includes link that allows parties to appear by Zoom, but only with prior court approval. The request form is only one page, and there is a fee for a Zoom appearance in some cases. A request for a telephone appearance is also available. The most recent order we located shows that the court is open to the public, and social distancing and masking requirements are in the judical officer's discretion.
We are here for you, especially if you need help making important decisions about your case. Please stay tuned for more updates.