Wednesday, December 23, 2009

New cell phone law to take effect soon!

Just a quick reminder that beginning January 1, 2010 it will be illegal to use a cell phone or texting device while driving. As an exception, drivers 18 years of age or older may use the devices if they are utilizing a hands-free accessory. There is no exception for drivers under 18 years old. If a driver is cited for this offense it is a Class D violation. This carries a $142 fine and adds 2 points to your driving record.

-Tim Williams
Your Oregon pesonal injury attorney.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

A change for the better

ORS 20.080 will undergo some big changes beginning January 1, 2009. As a bit of background, this statute makes it economically feasible for persons with smaller claims to hire a lawyer in their case. After a demand for settlement is made, and a certain amount of time goes by, the claimant can file his or her claim in court. If the end result is no better than the last offer made by the tortfeasor, the claimant must pay his or her own attorney fees. However, if the end result is better than the last offer made by the tortfeasor, then the court may order the tortfeasor to pay some or all of the claimant's attorney fees. The claim threshold is set to increase from the current limit of $5,500 up to $7,500 beginning January 1, 2010. Thus, if your claim is worth $7,500 or less after January 1, 2010, you may well get your legal fees paid for should the wrongdoer fail to act reasonably in negotiations. While there are other tweaks to notice and time limitations, the increase in the claim threshold is the most significant change we will see to the law beginning next month.

- Tim Williams
Your Oregon personal injury attorney