FAQ

  1. Is there a statute of limitations for personal injury cases?
  2. What is the average Workers' Compensation Case Worth?
  3. What is Permanent Partial Disability?
  4. What is Temporary Total Disability?
  5. If I'm injured on the job, who pays my medical expenses?
  6. Do I need to have an attorney process my Workers' Compensation Claim?
  7. How long does it take to process the typical Workers' Compensation claim?
  8. How long does it take to determine if I have a claim?
  9. If the insurance company wants me to see their doctor, do I have to see them?
  10. My employers insurance company wants me to see their doctor, do I have to see them?
  11. How long does it take to process a Social Security Disability Claim?
  12. How important is it to have my doctors support for my Social Security Disability claim?
  13. If I’ve been injured in an accident do I need to hire an attorney?
  14. Accident Dos & Don'ts
  15. What is a "personal injury" case?
  16. What Does it Take to Be a Good Personal Injury Attorney?
  17. What should I do if I've been in an Auto Accident?
  18. How do depositions work?
  19. What should I do if I've been hit by a Drunk Driver?
  20. What should I do if I've been in a Motorcycle Accident?
  21. What should I do if I've been in an accident with a large truck?
  22. What if I've been in an accident and the other party has no insurance?
  23. What if I was in a rollover accident?
  24. What should I do if I've been bit by a dog?
  25. What should I do if I feel a loved one is being abused by a nursing home?
  26. What should I do if I've been sexually abused or I know someone who's been abused?
  27. Can I keep my case from becoming public knowledge, even if I want to pursue the case in court?
  28. Can I recover damages if I've been sexually abused?
  29. What do I do if I am sexually harassed on the job?
  30. Can sexual comments on the job be a form of sex abuse?
  31. What is Sexual Abuse?
  32. My employers insurance company wants me to give a recorded statement. Do I have to?
  33. What is workers' compensation?
  34. Workers' Compensation Dos & Don'ts
  35. What are an employer's responsibilities under workers' compensation laws?
  36. What if the injury was my employer's fault?
  37. Are there time limits for filing claims?
  38. Why was my claim denied?
  39. Can I go back to work while I am under doctor's care?
  40. If I receive a DENIAL, should I keep seeing a doctor?
  41. What if I don't agree with the doctor's report?
  42. Do I have to attend their IME (Independent Medical Exam)?
  43. Can I see a chiropractor?
  44. Am I entitled to palliative care?
  45. If I return to work or receive other income (Unemployment, Social Security, private disability, etc.) do I need to report it to the insurance company?
  46. Social Security Questions
  47. Social Security Dos & Don'ts
  48. What are the steps involved in filing for Social Security Disability?
  49. What determines if a person is disabled?

Is there a statute of limitations for personal injury cases?

What is the average Workers' Compensation Case Worth?

What is Permanent Partial Disability?

What is Temporary Total Disability?

If I'm injured on the job, who pays my medical expenses?

Do I need to have an attorney process my Workers' Compensation Claim?

How long does it take to process the typical Workers' Compensation claim?

How long does it take to determine if I have a claim?

If the insurance company wants me to see their doctor, do I have to see them?

My employers insurance company wants me to see their doctor, do I have to see them?

How long does it take to process a Social Security Disability Claim?

How important is it to have my doctors support for my Social Security Disability claim?

If I’ve been injured in an accident do I need to hire an attorney?

Accident Dos & Don'ts

If you're involved in an accident:

DO...

  • Take pictures of all vehicles
  • Take names and information of anyone who claims to have seen anything
  • Take pictures of injuries
  • Take pictures of scene, including skid marks or property damage of any kind
  • Keep a diary of symptoms, time off work and doctor's visits
  • File appropriate reports with governmental agencies
  • Report to your insurance company AS SOON AS POSSIBLE

    DON'T...

  • Give recorded statements to the responsible driver's insurance company
  • Argue with police or other witnesses
  • Make threats of any kind to anyone
  • Have vehicle repaired without estimate being done
  • Take time off work without a doctor's "off work" slip unless you can't avoid it
  • If injured, don't discuss settlement until you are released by your doctor

We handle injuries caused by accidents every day, but we know this is not an everyday experience for you. We will guide you through every step in the process. Our Oregon accident attorneys and our professional staff will get to know you and your situation well, because the better we know you, the better we can represent you.

Call Toll-Free 800-525-2099 for a FREE CONSULTATION

Oregon Personal Injury Attorneys at the Law Offices of Black, Chapman, Webber & Stevens represent clients throughout Oregon and Northern California, including residents of Jackson County, Josephine County, Klamath County, Coos County, Curry County, Douglas County, Lane County, Deschutes County, Lake County, Del Norte County, Siskiyou County, Modoc County, Humbolt County, Trinity County, Shasta County Lassen County.

What is a "personal injury" case?

A personal or catastrophic injury case occurs when a person has suffered some form of severe physical or psychological injury as a result of another person or company's wrongful conduct. The wrongful conduct may be simple negligence or intentional, willful, wanton or reckless conduct.

In some instances, a party may be strictly liable for injury to another without the injured person having to show any wrongdoing by the other party.

The most common type of personal injury claims are animal attacks, automobile accidents, burn cases, boat accidents, brain injuries, construction accidents, dog bites, hazardous products, insurance bad faith cases, medical malpractice, motorcycle accidents, motor vehicle accidents, paralysis, personal injuries, premises liability, product liability, professional malpractice, railroad accidents, severe injuries, slip and falls, spinal cord injuries, truck accidents and wrongful death cases.

In most catastrophic injury cases, an injured party may be entitled to monetary compensation for bodily injury and pain and suffering from the person or company whose negligent or wrongful conduct caused the injury. Wrongful conduct by the responsible party that is intentional, willful, wanton or reckless may also allow an injured party to also receive punitive damages which are designed to punish the responsible party. Over the past two decades, we've handled both types of case.

The standard of proof in the United States in a catastrophic injury case is typically by a preponderance of the evidence as opposed to clear and convincing or beyond a reasonable doubt. Because proving a case beyond a preponderance of the evidence (slight tipping of scales) is usually easier than in a criminal prosecution (beyond a reasonable doubt), most catastrophic personal injury cases are handled in the civil court system.

Most states have a strict statute of limitations which means that court proceedings must be properly commenced within a certain period of time after the incident or the claimant will lose his or her right to bring a claim.

What Does it Take to Be a Good Personal Injury Attorney?

Personal injury attorneys gain experience handling personal injury cases one case at a time. It most cases, it can take many years and trials to learn how to properly and persuasively present a personal injury case to a judge or jury.

By their very nature, the available damages in a personal injury case are simply not quantifiable through formulas or expert testimony. The extent of compensation an injured personal injury victim can recover relies in significant part on the preparation and artfulness of the lawyers they hire. Convincing juries of the amount to which the injury victim is entitled to must be done skillfully through the lawyer's capacity for persuasion and advocacy.

Over the years, we've been able to obtain multimillion dollar settlements for our personal injury victims. In some instances, we've even been able to obtain multimillion dollar judgments and verdicts after the responsible party either offered nothing to settle the personal injury case or made such a low settlement offer that trial was our client's only option.

To maximize your chances of success, it's important to be represented by a law firm that has the experience, resources, and reputation necessary to help make sure you get the results you're entitled to. Proving the potentially high worth of a personal injury case requires a great deal of skill and experience.

If you have questions, we'd like to answer them for you. After more than three decades of helping personal injury victims, chances are, we can help you too!

What should I do if I've been in an Auto Accident?

Automobile Accidents

Speeding, traffic violations, distracted drivers, road conditions, drunk drivers, vehicle defects and other preventable factors cause most car accidents. When the negligence of others leads to a car wreck injury or death, Black, Chapman, Webber & Stevens is there to protect your rights and get the full compensation you deserve.

Our automobile accident attorneys understand what a significant impact an auto accident can have on your life. It can range from the somewhat minor inconvenience of being without a vehicle, to permanent injury or even the loss of a loved one. So, if you or a loved one have been involved in a serious car accident, click here to learn more about what to do immediately after an accident and then call the attorneys at Black, Chapman, Webber & Stevens for a FREE CONSULTATION to discuss your rights.

We will work on your behalf to determine what insurance coverage is available through a thorough investigation of the policies involved in the accident including uninsured and/or underinsured policies. We will also hold the insurance companies responsible for the compensation that is rightly owed to you and your family under your given policy.

Our firm responds swiftly to an accident. We send investigators to the scene to photograph evidence and identify witnesses. Our lawyers obtain police reports and may hire accident reconstruction engineers to determine what led to the crash and show how it could and should have been prevented.

Our lawyers and staff will:

  • Monitor your medical care and stay in touch with you as you recover from your injuries
  • Collect the necessary medical records
  • Prepare a demand letter and information package for the insurance company
  • Negotiate a settlement that takes into account all future medical and financial needs
  • Take your case to trial if the insurance company will not treat you fairly

Insurance companies typically want to settle your case as soon as possible — and for as little money as possible. However, it’s important to take the necessary time to determine just how serious your injury is, what medical treatment and/or physical therapy you may need, and how much your lost wages will be. This is important, don’t talk to the insurance company. Talk to an Oregon and Northern California car accident lawyer at Black, Chapman, Webber & Stevens.

We handle car accidents every day, but we know this is not an everyday experience for you. We will guide you through every step in the process. Our auto accident attorneys and our professional staff will get to know you and your situation well, because the better we know you, the better we can represent you.

Call Toll-Free 800-525-2099 for a FREE CONSULTATION

Don't delay. Contact our law firm today to arrange a free consultation and case evaluation. Call our main office toll free 800-525-2099 or feel free to call your local office. With offices located throughout Southern Oregon and Northern California we can serve you no matter where you are located.

Oregon Personal Injury Attorneys at the Law Offices of Black, Chapman, Webber & Stevens represent clients throughout Oregon and Northern California, including residents of Jackson County, Josephine County, Klamath County, Coos County, Curry County, Douglas County, Lane County, Deschutes County, Lake County, Del Norte County, Siskiyou County, Modoc County, Humbolt County, Trinity County, Shasta County Lassen County.

How do depositions work?

How do Depositions Work?

Depositions are an important part of the legal process. A deposition is testimony taken under oath that is taken outside of a courtroom for discovery purposes. Depositions can be used to gather information about a case and the testimony gained during a deposition may be admissible in court during litigation. Depositions are allowed in state and federal cases. The federal rules for depositions are found in Rule 30 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

What to Know Before Your Deposition

There are several important things to know before you are deposed including:

* You are Entitled to Notice: if you are represented by counsel then adequate written notice will be provided to your attorney. If you are unwilling to testify then you may be served with a subpoena compelling your compliance with the deposition request. Notice must be provided to all other parties to the lawsuit and include the name of the person to be deposed and the time and location of the deposition.

* You will be Testifying Under Oath: that means that you may be tried for perjury if your testimony is not truthful about a material matter of the case.

* You have the Right to be Represented by an Attorney: during your deposition.

What to Expect When You Enter a Deposition

Depositions are typically conducted in a conference room or other meeting place and not inside the courtroom. You should expect that, at a minimum, an attorney for each party to the case and a person authorized to take oaths who is known for deposition purposes as an officer. Your testimony will be recorded and often transcribed.

Your deposition will start with the officer stating for the record the officer’s name and business address and the date, time and location of the deposition. Then the officer will ask you to take an oath, similar to the one that you take when testifying in court, to ensure that your testimony is truthful. The officer will also identify everyone in the room during the deposition.

After those preliminary matters have been satisfied, the party who requested the deposition will start asking you questions. We, as your attorney, or an attorney for another party to the lawsuit, has the right to make an objection to any questions asked of you. Generally, you will be required to answer the question despite the objection but your answer may be inadmissible in court if a judge finds the objection to be valid.

At the completion of the deposition, the officer will note the official end time of the deposition for the record. The federal rules limit each deposition to one seven hour day. The party taking the deposition must petition the court if more time is needed for the deposition.

Once the deposition transcript is complete, you will have thirty days to review and to make any necessary changes.

If you have received notice of a deposition then it is important to consult with us prior to the day of the deposition. We'll help you prepare for the deposition and explain in more detail how depositions work.

What should I do if I've been hit by a Drunk Driver?

Drunk Driving Accidents

Every year drunk driving accidents account for approximately 30%+/- of all traffic fatalities in the United States. Despite ongoing ad campaigns and much stricter DUI legislation being enacted, people still continue to drive under the influence. And every time a person who is under the influence of alcohol gets behind the wheel of a vehicle, they are choosing to not only risk their own life but also the lives of others.

If you were injured or lost a family member in a drunk driver accident you are probably facing a mountain of bills, as well as the potential loss of employment or support. Most likely you are also struggling with difficult to understand insurance forms and dealing with financial uncertainty as well as grief.

The attorneys of Black, Chapman, Webber & Stevens can help. We will take on the insurance companies and their lawyers on your behalf. Our personal injury attorneys have years of experience handling cases involving drunk drivers and are ready to put that knowledge behind your drunk driver personal injury case. We can help you with lawsuits involving:

  • DUI accidents
  • Dram shop liability
  • Social host liability
  • And others

Our drunk driving lawyers take vigorous action to see that negligent drivers and other liable parties face up to their responsibilities. The drunk driver should be held accountable for the losses of victims of the crash. We may also pursue punitive damages, as well as compensation for your medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages and property damages. In addition, any person who served alcohol to a visibly intoxicated person can be held accountable under Oregon’s dram shop laws.

Preserve your right to full compensation from all sources. In the aftermath of a drunk driving accident, you need to file certain claims and notices in a timely manner and a thorough investigation must be launched as soon as possible. Our attorneys will explain how your case should be handled to make sure that you receive maximum benefits.

Today, before you make a statement to an insurance company representative or sign any type of settlement agreement, contact us to schedule a free confidential consultation.

Call Toll-Free 800-525-2099 for a FREE CONSULTATION

Don't delay. Contact our law firm today to arrange a free consultation and case evaluation. Call our main office toll free at 800-525-2099. With offices located throughout Southern Oregon and Northern California we can serve you no matter where you are located.

Oregon Personal Injury Attorneys at the Law Offices of Black, Chapman, Webber and Stevens represent clients throughout Oregon and Northern California, including residents of Jackson County, Josephine County, Klamath County, Coos County, Curry County, Douglas County, Lane County, Deschutes County, Lake County, Del Norte County, Siskiyou County, Modoc County, Humbolt County, Trinity County, Shasta County Lassen County. If you or a loved one has been injured contact our drunk driving accident attorney today.

What should I do if I've been in a Motorcycle Accident?

Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycle accidents almost always result in very serious, often permanent, injury as well as wrongful death. If the actions of another motorist or road conditions caused the crash, contact the Oregon and Northern California motorcycle injury lawyers of Black, Chapman, Webber & Stevens.

The statistics bear out that operating a motorcycle can be risky – more than 5,200 motorcyclists were killed in the United States during 2008 according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, with 48 of those deaths here in Oregon. Accident data also reveals that responsibility for the accident typically lies with the driver of the other vehicle.

The other driver is responsible for the crash in about two-thirds of motorcycle accidents. Failing to see the motorcycle or seeing the motorcyclist too late to avoid the collision are the most common scenarios. The single biggest danger to a motorcycle rider is drivers making left turns when the cycle is proceeding straight through an intersection.

These crashes may also involve traffic violations by the other driver, such as illegal turning, a failure to yield the right of way, failure to obey a stop sign or traffic control signal or speeding.

The attorneys at Black, Chapman, Webber & Stevens offers extensive experience in motorcycle accident cases. We have secured compensation for all types of injuries associated with motorcycling accidents:

  • Road rash, burns and lacerations — Protective riding boots and motorcycle specific clothing can potentially reduce the injuries from a motorcycle crash, but many riders may still suffer severe injuries from sliding on pavement after being ejected from the bike at impact or when “spilling the cycle” in an attempt to avoid a collision. Lacerations are severe cuts, which often lead to nerve damage, dangerous infection and permanent scarring. "Road rash" is extremely painful damage to surface layers of skin caused by skidding on the pavement and compounded by debris that is embedded in the underlying tissues. The heat generated by friction or contact with engine parts can also result in substantial burns to the victim.
  • Broken bones and internal injury —We have seen every type of injury including broken legs, ankles and feet, broken arms and hand injuries. Broken bones can take months or even years to properly heal and can potentially result in permanent disability. Additionally, organ damage or internal injury may go undiagnosed initially.
  • Head injury — Injuries to the face, along with a fractured skull and “closed head” injuries are far more typical in a motorcycle accident than other vehicle accidents. A traumatic brain injury may change the rider's life forever, often resulting in permanent motor skill impairment and mental capacity.
  • Paralysis and spinal cord injury — Injury to the spine (neck or back injury) can also be the result in cycle crashes. The victim may be paralyzed completely or severely limited due to pain or damage to the vertebrae and connecting tissues.

We will send investigators and sometimes accident reconstruction specialists to the scene of a motorcycle accident to determine if the other driver's negligence or hazardous road conditions led to the accident. Black, Chapman, Webber & Stevens aggressively pursues compensation for their clients through negotiations with the insurance company, or if need be, we will take your case to trial. Our attorneys have succeeded on behalf of motorcycle accident victims in obtaining damages for surgery, physical therapy, skin grafts, and all future medical care as well as other treatment.

In fatal motorcycle accidents, we will help families recover wrongful death damages for medical and funeral expenses, the lost income of the loved one, and the loss of consortium.

Although other drivers are often at fault, motorcycle riders can take precautions to reduce the chance of accident and injury. At Black, Chapman, Webber & Stevens, we encourage all motorcycle drivers to take specialized motorcycle safety courses, obey all traffic laws and wear helmets.

Call Toll-Free 800-525-2099 for a FREE CONSULTATION

Don't delay. Contact our law firm today to arrange a free consultation and case evaluation. Call our main office toll free 800-525-2099. With offices located throughout Southern Oregon and Northern California we can serve you no matter where you are located.

Oregon Personal Injury Attorneys at the Law Offices of Black, Chapman, Webber & Stevens represent clients throughout Oregon and Northern California, including residents of Jackson County, Josephine County, Klamath County, Coos County, Curry County, Douglas County, Lane County, Deschutes County, Lake County, Del Norte County, Siskiyou County, Modoc County, Humbolt County, Trinity County, Shasta County Lassen County. If you or a loved one has been injured contact our motorcycle accident attorney today.

What should I do if I've been in an accident with a large truck?

Trucking Accidents

As anyone who has been in an accident involving a tractor trailer or a large truck will tell you, accidents involving trucks are different. There is greater property damage as well as more serious injuries and deaths. The physical, mental and financial toll suffered by people who have been injured by these vehicles is usually devastating.

That is not all that is different. The laws are different when a commercial vehicle is involved. Tractor-trailers and other commercial are governed by special rules, typically involving federal and state regulations. This is not like a typical car wreck case. If you or a loved one has been involved in a wreck with a large truck or tractor-trailer, you need a firm who has successfully litigated these types of cases.

For example, truck drivers and their companies are required to maintain certain records. These records are critical to proving that the truck driver and/or the trucking company were possibly negligent thereby increasing the value of the damages. There are strict rules and regulations that commercial vehicles must follow.  The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) lays out the safe and correct way for commercial vehicles to be loaded, maintained and driven.  Trucks involved in accidents are often in violation of one or more of these regulations and are not fulfilling their duties as responsible drivers. An attorney experienced in litigating these types of cases will know what to request, when to request it, and how to interpret the information contained in those records.

Here’s an example of a few things a trucking company is responsible for:

  • Hiring well-qualified drivers and maintenance staff
  • Providing adequate training for all staff members
  • Purchasing reliable vehicles
  • Properly maintaining the vehicles in the fleet
  • Making sure the cargo is loaded correctly and/or secured to the vehicle properly
  • Installing extra safety features on all vehicles to provide extra protection for the driver and others on the road (including braking systems and under-ride protection)
  • Disciplining drivers for safety violations

Additionally, these types of cases often involve investigations by regulatory and law enforcement agencies other than the local police department. This information can effects your case, as well as the value of the case or can even make the case worthless if it is helpful to the trucking industry. Again, an experienced Oregon trucking accident attorney knows where to go to ask about such investigations, which, once again, often involve both federal and state regulatory authorities.

Another factor in deciding on an attorney who specializes in truck wrecks when you or a loved one has been in a collision is knowing who to sue. Sometimes the trucking company, the driver and the insurance company are based in different states. Sometimes the trucking company’s insurance company can be named as a party. Deciding where to try the case is a critical decision, because it affects the value of the case, whether the case will be won, and whether a judgment against one or more of defendants can be enforced. An experienced truck accident attorney can successfully lead your case through these potential pitfalls.

As a final consideration, an experienced trucking attorney, as well as a firm with considerable resources, will have the financial ability to retain the various experts that are often necessary to prove and present the case in its best light to a jury, These experts may be: trucking industry compliance specialists, accident reconstruction engineers, financial and life care planners, economists, and medical experts. Keep in mind the trucking industry and their insurers have almost unlimited resources to fight the case, and will attempt to intimidate a less experienced lawyer into accepting a settlement that is not the true value of the case. Again, only an experienced truck accident lawyer has the knowledge, financial backing, and expertise to help you get the maximum value of your case.

Call Toll-Free 800-525-2099 for a FREE CONSULTATION

Don't delay. Contact our law firm today to arrange a free consultation and case evaluation. Call our main office toll free 800-525-2099. With offices located throughout Southern Oregon and Northern California we can serve you no matter where you are located.

Oregon Personal Injury Attorneys at the Law Offices of Black, Chapman, Webber & Stevens represent clients throughout Oregon and Northern California, including residents of Jackson County, Josephine County, Klamath County, Coos County, Curry County, Douglas County, Lane County, Deschutes County, Lake County, Del Norte County, Siskiyou County, Modoc County, Humbolt County, Trinity County, Shasta County Lassen County. If you or a loved one has been injured contact our trucking accident attorney today.

What if I've been in an accident and the other party has no insurance?

Were You Hit by an Uninsured or Underinsured Driver?

Uninsured motorist (UM) coverage in your own auto insurance policy covers your costs from an accident caused by another driver — one who is uninsured, underinsured or cannot be found.

Many people do not fully understand the provisions in their policy and it is not uncommon for an insurance company to deny a legitimate claim. At Black, Chapman, Webber & Stevens we work to see that our clients get the help they need and we frequently challenge auto insurance companies when our clients' claims are denied or undervalued.

About Oregon UM Law

In the state of Oregon, any car insurance policy must offer uninsured motorist (UM) coverage. Unless you rejected UM coverage in writing, you should have a minimum amount of coverage. (Our lawyers recommend that you carefully consider an increase of your UM coverage to the maximum amount possible.)

If a member of your family suffers severe injuries the basic medical benefit in your automobile insurance policy may quickly be exhausted and it may not provide adequate compensation. By coordinating all available provisions within your policies, including your uninsured motorist insurance and your health insurance, our attorneys will work to see that you recover the maximum possible benefits from your claim. If you lost a family member in a fatal car accident, our lawyers will work to get you the help needed to carry on.

Making the Most of Your Coverage

Uninsured motorist coverage may apply even if you or a member of your household is riding in another car when injured, or is injured in a pedestrian, bicycle, motorcycle or hit-and-run accident. It may also apply to any person driving your insured vehicle with your permission.

Call us before making a statement or signing any settlement form. Before you make a statement to an insurance company representative or sign any type of settlement agreement, contact us to arrange a free confidential consultation with an attorney regarding your car accident injury.

Call Toll-Free 800-525-2099 for a FREE CONSULTATION

Don't delay. Contact our law firm today to arrange a free consultation and case evaluation. Call our main office toll free 800-525-2099. From offices in Medford, Grants Pass, Klamath Falls, Bandon and Yreka, our attorneys serve clients throughout Oregon and Northern California.

Oregon Personal Injury Attorneys at the Law Offices of Black, Chapman, Webber & Stevens represent clients throughout Oregon and Northern California, including but not limited to the residents of Jackson County, Josephine County, Klamath County, Coos County, Curry County, Douglas County, Lane County, Deschutes County, Lake County, Del Norte County, Siskiyou County, Modoc County, Humbolt County, Trinity County, Shasta County and Lassen County. If you or a loved one has been injured contact our uninsured motorist accident attorney today.

What if I was in a rollover accident?

Vehicle Rollover Accidents

If you or a loved one have been injured or killed as the direct result of a vehicle rolling over, there is a significant probability that the vehicle itself may be to blame. In order, to prove that a design flaw or manufacturing defect(s) led to the crash, you will need an experienced attorney. You can count on the vehicle rollover accident attorneys of Black, Chapman, Webber & Stevens to successfully make the case for you.

Now, while any motor vehicle can flip and roll under the right, or wrong conditions, the majority of rollover injuries and fatalities actually occur to the drivers and their occupants of sport utility vehicles(SUV). In 2008, more than 2,800 people were killed in America in SUV rollovers, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

  • SUVs and pickup trucks are the most likely to be involved in fatal rollover accidents. In 2008, SUVs accounted for about 33 percent of fatal crashes, pickup trucks for 27 percent as compared to 16 percent for passenger cars.
  • The majority of injuries occur after the SUV leaves the road.

What Makes SUV’s So Dangerous?

  • Most SUVs have a proportionally shorter wheel base in comparison to the height of the vehicle, making them very top-heavy. In addition, accident avoidance maneuvers such as swerving or collisions can cause the sport utility vehicle to flip.
  • Many injuries and deaths in a SUV rollover occur when the roof collapses. This is a major design defect.
  • Rolling SUVs frequently travel into the path of oncoming traffic, injuring other motorists

If our lawyers determine that a defect caused the crash, we will issue a demand letter to the car manufacturer and their insurance company that outlines the financial needs of the client, including ongoing medical care. If the company won't settle, our trial lawyers will take the case to trial, seeking potential damages for medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering and more.

Call us before making a statement or signing any settlement form. Before you make a statement to an insurance company representative or sign any type of settlement agreement, contact us to arrange a free confidential consultation with an attorney regarding your SUV or truck rollover accident injury.

Call Toll-Free 800-525-2099 for a FREE CONSULTATION

Don't delay. Contact our law firm today to arrange a free consultation and case evaluation. Call our main office toll free 800-525-2099 . From offices in Medford, Grants Pass, Klamath Falls, Bandon and Yreka, our attorneys serve clients throughout Oregon and Northern California.

Oregon Personal Injury Attorneys at the Law Offices of Black, Chapman, Webber & Stevens represent clients throughout Oregon and Northern California, including but not limited to the residents of Jackson County, Josephine County, Klamath County, Coos County, Curry County, Douglas County, Lane County, Deschutes County, Lake County, Del Norte County, Siskiyou County, Modoc County, Humbolt County, Trinity County, Shasta County and Lassen County. If you or a loved one has been injured contact our SUV and truck rollover accident attorney today.

What should I do if I've been bit by a dog?

Dog Bite Attacks

While dogs are typically known to be "man’s best friend," this stereotype can be misleading and inaccurate because it implies that dogs have human-like traits, friendly, non-aggressive, and trustworthy, even to acquaintances or strangers. Yet, in truth dogs are only as friendly and safe as their breed and/or how their owners have taught them to be.

What should you do if a dog bites or injures you or a loved one?

1. Call the police or local Animal Control to report the incident. Give detailed information about the dog, the location of the attack, things that you think may have allowed the dog or caused the dog to become aggressive with you. For example, was the dog in a yard and jumped a ran out to the sidewalk or road to attack? Was the dog leashed and attended by a person at the time of the attack? Remember these details and write them down at home, even if you told these facts to the authorities. Police and animal control officers normally do not write down everything you tell them, so it is important that you do it yourself in case you need to have the information later. This will ensure that you have made a complete record of the occurrence.

2. Immediately have your injuries observed and treated by a physician or hospital. Make sure you tell them exactly what happened so that you reiterate what you told the authorities about the incident. You should be checked not only for injuries, but if the dog has been quarantined by the authorities, you may have to undergo preventative care for rabies infection. In addition, if your injuries cause deep or extensive wounds, you should have a plastic surgeon do any stitching. This can avoid future scars, which can be very costly or impossible to remove.

3. Take pictures of all your injuries. Go back to the scene of the occurrence and take photos or videos of the dog in question. Look for any beware of dog signs, or lack of them. Look for ways the dog was able to gain access to you, particularly if you were attacked while off the owner’s land.This will ensure that there is no mistake about which dog caused the harm. Share this information with the authorities. Keep copies of all evidence you accumulate.

4. If possible, telephone the dog owner about the incident in a non-threatening way. Ask if they have insurance and get that information, including name of insurer, their agent, and claims contact numbers. Also, ask about the dog and whether it has ever done this kind of thing before. This may not result in much information, but many times the owner is so shocked that they will volunteer information that will later prove your case. NOTE. Do not contact the owner if you feel it is unsafe to do so.

4. Do not throw away any torn or destroyed property that may have occurred because of the attack. This evidence will help establish the kind and severity of bite or attack. For example, some dogs bite as a warning and then let go, usually not inflicting much serious harm. Other bites where a dog latches on and shakes you, commonly known as a "kill shake" can leave damage to clothes and your body. Bag the clothes and do not wash them. Take pictures before bagging and take pictures of your wounds.

5. Call a lawyer who has handled dog attack cases. They can explain to you that you do not have to actually have been viciously attacked in order to be compensated for harm done to you. For example, if a rambunctious dog chases you and causes you to fall and be hurt, you may be able to recover money. If a dog playfully knocks you down and you are hurt, you may recover. It all depends on what the owner knows about the character of the dog or any past incidents of a similar nature. Remember, dog owners are responsible for their dog’s behavior, both on and off their properties.

6. A lawyer can explain to you that you may be able to recover money for your medical bills, any time off from work, future inability to work, and pain and suffering, including physical and emotional difficulties incurred from the incident.

7. The law has changed in respect to dog attacks. Some states have strict liability laws that require the dog owner to pay for any harm it causes. Other states require that the owner be negligent in some fashion for failing to restrain their dog. You need the advice of a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer to help you understand your rights.

8. While some homeowner’s insurance covers dog attacks, not all do. In addition, most people who rent homes do not have homeowner’s insurance to pay for your harms. However, a landlord of a dog may be held liable if the landlord is aware of the dog’s character, particularly if the landlord fails to make his or her property safe for persons to come onto the property safely in light of, say, a vicious dog running loose on their land.

9. Do not wait to do all of the things mentioned here. The longer you wait, the less likely you will have the chance to recover money or save yourself from future difficulties.

10. If you are contacted by a dog owner’s insurance company after the incident, and this usually happens within days, you need to know that they will want to take a recorded statement from you which they will use against you if you bring a claim or lawsuit for money against the dog owner. DO NOT give a statement. Simply tell them that until you are done treating, you have nothing to say. Also, they will ask you to provide them with the authorization which would allow them to obtain all your medical files, even those which do not relate to the dog incident. DO NOT do this. Again, simply let them know that you will share information with them when you are done treating. Then, pick up the phone and call a lawyer who handles dog bites and make an appointment in order to determine what rights and remedies you may have.

Call us before making a statement or signing any settlement form. Before you make a statement to an insurance company representative or sign any type of settlement agreement

Call Toll-Free 800-525-2099 for a FREE CONSULTATION

Don't delay. Contact our law firm today to arrange a free consultation and case evaluation. Call our main office toll free 800-525-2099. From offices in Medford, Grants Pass, Klamath Falls, Bandon and Yreka, our attorneys serve clients throughout Oregon and Northern California.

Oregon Personal Injury Attorneys at the Law Offices of Black, Chapman, Webber & Stevens represent clients throughout Oregon and Northern California, including but not limited to the residents of Jackson County, Josephine County, Klamath County, Coos County, Curry County, Douglas County, Lane County, Deschutes County, Lake County, Del Norte County, Siskiyou County, Modoc County, Humbolt County, Trinity County, Shasta County and Lassen County. If you or a loved one has been injured contact an attorney who specializes in dog bites today.

What should I do if I feel a loved one is being abused by a nursing home?

Nursing homes, or long term living facilities as they are now commonly known, were initially created for the purpose of taking care of elderly people who did not need hospitalization but could not be taken care of by family at their own home. Now, long term living facilities take care of the elderly, people of all ages recently discharged from hospitals but who need some medical care, or people with mental or emotional disease processes that render them incompetent to live independently. All of these people have one thing in common: they rely on the doctors, nurses, aides, cooks, cleaning staff and transport staff to ensure their well being.

In fact, all long term living facilities have to comply with state regulations and standards in the conduct of their business in order to stay in business. State inspections are done on a regular basis, but that can mean once a year. Violations of regulations or standards can lead to citations and fines, which are public record. Before placing a loved one or yourself into such a facility, make sure that you check to see if they have been complained about or have been cited by the state or local health department for violations of any kind.

Standards violations can range from physical or verbal abuse by staff, doctors’ failure to periodically visit the patient as needed, nurses’ and aides’ failures to follow standard medical protocols or doctors’ orders concerning patient care, allowing disease processes to go untreated, failing to report and document serious incidents in which injury or other consequence occurs, failing to provide adequate diet or hygiene.

When a patient in a long-term facility has been hurt by neglect or intentional conduct by a staff member, or even another patient who is to blame for what occurred, the facility and its involved employees or agents can be held liable for money damages for the injuries or death caused by the incident(s) that occurred.

As with all cases of abuse or neglect, there can be both civil and criminal remedies. As discussed in other sections of our website, if the abuse or neglect is criminal in nature, the local district attorney usually has exclusive jurisdiction over the case. If the case is not criminal in nature, then the matter potentially belongs in the hands of (1) administrative proceedings before a government agency charged with investigating and determining what sanctions to place on the facility or employee and (2) to a private lawsuit in the civil courts where the injured patient can sue for money damages. This involves retaining a competent lawyer, that is, one who has handled these types of cases in the past.

These cases can be difficult to sort out and require that the lawyer be familiar with medical issues, regulations governing these facilities, and how to investigate and successfully prosecute the claim when no administrative investigation has been done. The longer you wait to consult with a lawyer about one of these cases, the more difficult it is to prove the claim. Files are sometimes ‘lost’, employees quit and move on and are difficult to find, other patient witnesses go home or die, leaving a difficult trail to follow. So, when you think you or a loved one may have been harmed at one of these facilities, consult a lawyer right away. If you do not, you may fail to protect rights to compensation.

As with any other civil case, there are statutes of limitation which will bar your right to money if you do not bring your claim within a certain time period. Lawyers are familiar with these and can make sure the legal process is begun in time. On a similar note, if the claim is against a government run or affiliated facility, there are shortened statutes of limitation which require notices be sent and received by the governmental agency or agent responsible for receiving notices of the claim. Failure to timely present one of these ‘tort notices’ can result in the loss of the right to sue.

What should I do if I've been sexually abused or I know someone who's been abused?

Immediately report the incidents to the police. Insist that a detective trained in sexual assault cases be assigned to investigate. Many police agencies have specially trained sexual assault investigators who are trained to obtain information that a uniformed officer simply is not prepared for. These specially trained officers will be able to provide you with information on who else can help you in these circumstances.

Immediately have a hospital or your own doctor examine the victim for any physical signs of sexual contact and to test for sexually transmitted diseases. Do not wait to be medically cleared. If you wait too long, crucial evidence can be lost forever and compromise any claim you may have, whether it is a criminal or civil case.

Immediately contact a psychologist or counselor for yourself or your child. Many cities have specially trained counselors and treatment centers which provide the support needed after such a traumatic event. Failure to seek help can result in lifelong emotional and physical impairments that can affect the victim’s ability to live a normal and productive life. Failure to treat can also lead the victim to begin molesting others as a means of trying to control and make sense out of what happened to them. Many victims of abuse become addicted to drugs and alcohol as a means of burying the deep feelings of hurt and shame associated with being molested. Without early and consistent emotional support and competent professional psychological treatment, sexual abuse victims’ lives can be ruined or greatly impaired. Consequently, the lives of their loved ones are also then negatively affected. In addition to individual counseling, family counseling is often needed to help family members understand how to deal with this extraordinary intrusion into the family unit.

Immediately contact your local Victim-Witness program, which is typically administered and operated by the local county district attorney’s office. Most often, if a police officer is investigating the incident as a criminal matter, he or she can provide you with the contact information you will need. Once you have made contact with the program, they will guide you to counselors, physicians, or any other people they believe may be able to provide you with assistance, including payment of medical bills and lost income.

Immediately contact a civil lawyer who has significant experience in successfully handling these types of cases. The lawyer can help advise you on how the criminal system works although the district attorney is responsible for prosecuting any offender. The civil lawyer also has investigators help develop facts needed to obtain money damages for the victim. The civil lawyer can advise you on when or if it best to sue the offender and/or the offender’s employer. They can help find insurance money which may cover the incident in question. They can also protect your interests in the criminal case by being an advocate for you with the authorities.

Most importantly, they can stand up for you against powerful interests who may resist paying money if the stakes are high. An example of such a situation handled by this firm was the civil prosecution of a case against a church organization whose priest had molested a young boy over several years. The church fought hard to defeat the claim, but eventually was made to pay when we found evidence that the church had concealed its knowledge of the priest’s sexual misconduct with our client and other children.

Can I keep my case from becoming public knowledge, even if I want to pursue the case in court?

Yes and no. In the criminal context, a victim’s name can be sealed, but in the event of a trial, the victim has to be prepared to testify against the offender. And while children can often testify by a video feed from another room outside the courtroom, adult victims will usually have to testify while facing the offender in court. People will see the victim and to that extent, your identity will become public.

Newsmedia will usually keep the victims name anonymous; and some states have privacy laws protecting victims’ identities from public disclosure.

If you make a claim to an insurance company representing the offender, they will know the victim’s identity but will be motivated to keep the information private out of concern for the reputation of the person or entity they insure, if not out of concern for the victim.

In a civil suit for money damages, the victim’s name can be disguised, usually as Jane Doe or John Doe. However, the offender’s attorney and offender will usually know the victim’s identity, either from discovering it during the pendency of the criminal or civil case, or more likely, because they are already familiar with the victim. Remember, many cases of sex abuse are committed by people who know the victim.

Can I recover damages if I've been sexually abused?

Whether money can be recovered depends on a number of factors.

1. Was the sexual encounter or encounters consented to by adults? If so, there is no remedy for that, unless the encounter was made in the context of an unequal relationship. For example, consent is not presumed where a doctor, dentist, counselor, priest, employer, or other person with whom the victim has a relationship of trust with the offender. In fact, there are laws and rules of conduct which prohibit such contact unless consent has been discussed between the parties before hand.

If no such discussion has occurred, the law will presume that the victim has been taken advantage of by virtue of their weaker position in the relationship with the professional.

2. Was the sexual encounter or encounters between an adult and minor child?

It should be noted that a minor child under certain ages cannot consent even if they agree to the sexual encounter. State laws prevent children under 16 or sometimes 14 from consenting to sexual encounters. So, in a situation in which a youngster under the legal age of consent claims to have agreed to the sexual encounter with an adult or even another minor, that fact does not mean that they have not been abused; and it does not mean that they have not been damaged nor that they cannot claim money damages for this type of incident.

Unlike the case of an adult who is in a relationship of trust with a doctor, dentist, priest, scout leader, teacher, or other mentor type of relationship, consent is never presumed when the sexual encounter is between a minor child and adult.

The remedies a minor has vary. They have a claim for all the same damages outlined above. They can recoup money from the offender and sometimes from the offender’s employer, if the sexual encounter was accomplished while the offender was working in the course and scope of his/her employment and the offender’s relationship with the victim has some relation to the work being performed. For example, if a priest works with an altar boy and molests him, the priest and church can be held responsible for the damage if there is a sufficient connection between the sexual encounter and the activities under which the two people came in contact. Similarly, if a teacher molests a student at school, the teacher and school district may be responsible for the child’s harm.

To find out if you have a case, or just to ask questions, please call us. Our sexual abuse attorneys and our professional staff will get to know you and your situation well, because the better we know you, the better we can represent you.Call Toll-Free 800-525-2099 for a FREE CONSULTATION

Don’t delay. Contact our law firm today to arrange a free consultation and case evaluation. Call our main office toll free 800-525-2099. With offices located throughout Southern Oregon and Northern California we can serve you no matter where you are located.

Oregon Personal Injury Attorneys at the Law Offices of Black, Chapman, Webber and Stevens represent clients throughout Oregon and Northern California, including residents of Jackson County, Josephine County, Klamath County, Coos County, Curry County, Douglas County, Lane County, Deschutes County, Lake County, Del Norte County, Siskiyou County, Modoc County, Humbolt County, Trinity County, Shasta County Lassen County.

What do I do if I am sexually harassed on the job?

Immediately let the person harassing you that the actions/statements are unwanted and then report the incident to your supervisor or company owner. Also, have any witnesses give written statements to you of what they witnessed. Keep a journal of the incidents if there is more than one incident. Keep reporting the incidents.

If the employer or owner does not take effective immediate remedial action against the offender, report the problem to either the state or federal labor commissions. In Oregon, it is the Bureau of Labor and Industries, and the federal government operated the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission. Either one of these entities can take your complaint, investigate it, and provide you with their findings which can help you in the event you decide to sue the offender and/or the company for sexual harassment or for maintaining a hostile work environment.

Can sexual comments on the job be a form of sex abuse?

Yes. But this type of sex abuse is called sexual harassment or hostile work environment. There are state and federal laws prohibiting this behavior. Statements suggesting sexual encounters or physical touching with the intent to arouse either person can be sexual harassment.

What is Sexual Abuse?

Sexual Abuse is the unlawful or non-consensual touching of one person’s body, most commonly private sexual parts, by another human being. It includes, but is not limited to actions such as rape, sodomy, oral copulation, fondling private parts, and even kissing.

Sexual abuse of anyone (adult or child) is a crime and is punishable by imprisonment and fines. The type of punishment depends on the nature of the incident(s), the particulars of the facts, and the government’s ability to prove the offender’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Criminal prosecution of a sexual abuser is not the only remedy. There are civil remedies for money damages that the victim suffers. Medical and psychiatric bills, lost income, emotional trauma, the suffering of you and (sometimes your spouse) may be compensable.

Call us before making a statement or signing any settlement form. Before you make a statement to an insurance company representative or sign any type of settlement agreement, contact us to arrange a free confidential consultation with an attorney regarding your sexual abuse case.

Call Toll-Free 800-525-2099 for a FREE CONSULTATION

Don't delay. Contact our law firm today to arrange a free consultation and case evaluation. Call our main office toll free 800-525-2099. From offices in Medford, Grants Pass, Klamath Falls, Bandon and Yreka, our attorneys serve clients throughout Oregon and Northern California.

Oregon Personal Injury Attorneys at the Law Offices of Black, Chapman, Webber & Stevens represent clients throughout Oregon and Northern California, including but not limited to the residents of Jackson County, Josephine County, Klamath County, Coos County, Curry County, Douglas County, Lane County, Deschutes County, Lake County, Del Norte County, Siskiyou County, Modoc County, Humbolt County, Trinity County, Shasta County and Lassen County.

My employers insurance company wants me to give a recorded statement. Do I have to?

What is workers' compensation?

Every state has passed workers' compensation laws that provide benefits to employees injured at work. These laws have a variety of names, such as workers' compensation, workman's compensation, worker's compensation, or work comp. These laws require that employees suffering on-the-job injuries receive compensation to replace lost wages and cover medical expenses. Most state laws provide that employers must either carry insurance through a private carrier or show that they can self-insure against claims by workers injured on the job. Other states provide that employers must pay into a state workers' compensation fund.

Workers' compensation is a no-fault system. No matter what caused the injury - worker's negligence, employer's negligence, or a combination of the two - workers injured on the job receive benefits under the law.

For the most part, states, rather than the federal government, regulate workers' compensation. However, some workers, such as maritime and railroad workers, are covered by federal, rather than state law. The Federal Employees' Compensation Act (FECA) covers on-the-job injuries sustained by federal employees.

Workers' Compensation Dos & Don'ts

If you are injured on the job...

DO...

  • Report injury immediately to employer
  • File a written claim immediately
  • Seek medical treatment
  • Give your doctor a complete and accurate history
  • Go to your doctor, not the employer's doctor
  • Seek legal advice if:
    • Your claim is denied
    • You do not understand what is happening or
    • The insurance company wants to settle

DON'T...

  • Assume the problem will go away
  • Assume the information you get from the employer or insurer is accurate
  • Provide any false or misleading information to your doctor, employer or insurance carrier

What are an employer's responsibilities under workers' compensation laws?

Employers in all 50 states have to provide workers' compensation coverage according to their state's laws and regulations. The laws in some states provide an exception for some very small employers and allow some large employers to be self-insuring. In addition to providing coverage, however, employers may have additional responsibilities. These include:

  • Posting notices of compliance with the workers' compensation law of the state at each work site
  • Making sure that reports of injuries are made to the appropriate workers' compensation office
  • Providing a written report of all accidents resulting in injury in which a worker loses a certain amount of time
  • Providing immediate emergency medical treatment for employees who sustain on-the-job injuries
  • Fulfilling all requests for further information requested by the state's workers' compensation enforcement agency
  • Furnishing medical attention if the worker is unable or unwilling to find a physician on his or her own

Most state laws prohibit employers from discriminating against employees who file workers' compensation claims. Each state also provides for penalties and fines for employers who fail to fulfill their responsibilities under the law. Each state has an administrative process to make a claim of violation of workers' comp laws against an employer. If the employer fails to defend against the claim, or, after defending against the claim, is found to have violated the law, the law provides for fines and penalties to be assessed against the employer.

What if the injury was my employer's fault?

One of the original intentions for the establishment of workers' compensation laws was to protect employers from the drastic effects of failing to provide safe work environments. Prior to the passage of such laws, employees who were injured due to their employers' negligence sued the employers under traditional negligence or personal injury law. Under that system, if the employer was found negligent, the employee could recover not only medical expenses and lost wages, but also such damages as pain and suffering. The parties had a right to a trial and the awards in particular cases could be exorbitant against the employer.

Therefore, workers' compensation systems, which are considered to be "no fault", were instituted, giving employees a trade-off of guaranteed and supposedly quicker, establishment of benefits. Employers, on the other hand, gained in that they no longer had to defend against numerous lawsuits since they were granted virtual immunity from lawsuits for their negligence. A determination as to whether the employer's or the employee's negligent behavior caused the problem is irrelevant. Some, who find workers' compensation an uneven trade-off between employer and employee, argue that, under most state workers' compensation systems, employers often do not have to worry about the cost of possible consequential injuries, even in cases where they are more than merely negligent. However, under certain circumstances in most states, there are injuries for which the employee may either sue the employer or a third party, as in the case of injuries resulting from faulty or defective equipment. If you feel that you were injured due to your employers negligence and would like a free no-obligation consultation, click here.

Are there time limits for filing claims?

Yes, you must file within 90 days of your injury. You should file immediately because any delay will be used to discredit your claim.

Why was my claim denied?

Usually this is because your employer's doctor said your injury was NOT work-related or was a PRE-EXISTING condition. This is where things can get very complicated and legal advice is important. Remember, your employer and their insurance company want to limit what they pay; they are not necessarily focused on helping you recover.

Can I go back to work while I am under doctor's care?

The workers' compensation system provides very low benefits for permanent disabilities. If you can get a job that will allow you to be financially independent of the system, you should take the job. Since each situation is unique, check with us if you have any questions.

If I receive a DENIAL, should I keep seeing a doctor?

Yes, even though your claim is denied, if you ultimately want time loss, you need to continue going to a doctor and that doctor MUST be authorizing time loss.

What if I don't agree with the doctor's report?

You can select your own treating doctor by just notifying the insurance company. You can change treating doctors two times.

Do I have to attend their IME (Independent Medical Exam)?

Yes. During the life of the claim the insurance company can require you to attend three IME's. If they want you to attend any additional ones they need to request permission through Workers' Compensation Department. If you get an IME notice, we have a video tape that you can watch which will explain the Independent Medical Exam. Call your appropriate Legal Assistant and she will set up an appointment.

Can I see a chiropractor?

Yes, from the time of the first visit for 30 days or 12 visits whichever occurs first. If an M.D. or D.O. refers you to a chiropractor you may be entitled to see one, more times. If you are currently seeing a chiropractor, it would be advisable to consult with him/her to find out where you should seek treatment.

Am I entitled to palliative care?

Palliative care is care not directed toward curing the condition and is rendered after you reach medically stationary status. Palliative care includes physical therapy that makes you feel better but does not cure the condition. For the most part you will not be entitled to palliative care, unless your physician authorizes it as a necessity to keep you working.

If I return to work or receive other income (Unemployment, Social Security, private disability, etc.) do I need to report it to the insurance company?

Yes. You must report any income received while on time loss. If you do not report the income it can result in an overpayment. You could also be subject to criminal prosecution under some circumstances.

Social Security Questions

Q: WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SSD AND SSI?

A: Social Security Disability (SSD) is for people who have worked and paid in to social security 20 out of the last 40 quarters (approximately 5 out of the last 10 years). Social Security Income (SSI) is for those who have not paid in during the relevant quarters.

Q: HOW DOES SOCIAL SECURITY DECIDE IF I AM DISABLED?

A: Social Security is based on your inability to work because of a medical condition. You must be unable to do any sort of work. Your disability must last or be expected to last one year or result in death.

Q: CAN I APPLY FOR SHORT TERM DISABILITY BENEFITS?

A: Social Security pays only for total disability. No benefits are payable for partial or short term disability.

Q: HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO RECEIVE AN INITIAL DECISION?

A: The length of time is takes to receive a decision is from 3 to 6 months.

Q: IF I RECEIVE A DENIAL AND DISAGREE WITH SOCIAL SECURITY’S INITIAL DECISION, WHAT CAN I DO?

A: We can request an appeal within 60 days for Social Security to reconsider their decision.

Q: IF I RECEIVE A DENIAL ON RECONSIDERATION AND DISAGREE, WHAT CAN I DO?

A: We can request a hearing within 60 days to appear before a judge where we can present your case for disability.

Q: HOW LONG WILL IT BE BEFORE I HAVE A HEARING?

A: Generally, we estimate 16 months from the time the hearing is requested.

Q: WHY DOES IT TAKE SO LONG?

A: The time it takes depends upon the number of requests for hearing in the Eugene office of hearings and appeals. Hearings are set based on the date of your request for hearing.

Q: HOW DO I SURVIVE WHILE WAITING FOR MY HEARING?

A: We suggest you contact all sources available to you for help: family, friends, state agencies, churches and food banks may be able to assist you. In many cases, people have to sell their belongings to get by.

Q: HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET A DECISION AFTER THE HEARING?

A: We estimate 30-60 days. Sometimes it takes longer.

Q: IF AWARDED BENEFITS, HOW LONG BEFORE I RECEIVE ANY MONEY?

A: After the written decision is received, we estimate that it will be 90-120 days before you start receiving money. You may receive monthly benefits before you receive any past owing benefits.

Q: DOES HAVING AN ATTORNEY SPEED UP THE PROCESS?

A: Having an attorney does not speed up the process. Hearings are scheduled by the hearing request date.

Q: HOW MUCH SHOULD I EXPECT FOR COSTS?

A: If you are able to obtain your medical records, you may be able to save money. However, if you want us to get them, the doctors will charge us and we will send you a copy of the bill. Costs must be paid whether or not we are able to assist you in obtaining benefits. Costs normally do not exceed $250.00.

If the attorney needs a consultation with a doctor, we will contact the doctor’s office and let you know the estimated cost in advance and ask for payment.

Q: WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN COSTS AND FEES?

A: Attorneys fees are awarded out of your past owing benefits and are determined by the social security administration based on our fee agreement. Costs are monies spent by our firm for obtaining records, reports, consultations, etc. and are paid by the client regardless of outcome.

Q: WILL THE ATTORNEY FEE BE WITHHELD FROM MY PAST OWING BENEFITS?

A: Our attorney fee should be withheld, but there have been times when this has not happened and in that case, it will be your responsibility to pay us.

The best thing to do is contact us whenever you receive any money so we can contact social security to find out what action has been taken or needs to be taken. A notice of award should be issued to let you know your monthly benefits and past owing amount along with information on attorney fees, but it often comes after you receive money.

Q. IF I AM AWARDED BENEFITS WITHOUT HAVING A HEARING, DOES THAT CHANGE THE AMOUNT OF THE ATTORNEY FEE?

A. No, it does not. Our fee agreement states that we are a contingency practice and if we are successful in assisting you in obtaining benefits, we are paid our full statutory fee, regardless of the amount of time spent. Our firm has been very successful in overturning social security denials and we believe that in close cases, because of who we are the and quality of our work, social security occasionally awards benefits without a hearing.

Q: HOW MUCH MONEY WILL I RECEIVE EACH MONTH?

A: If you have an SSI case, it will depend on factors such as household income and assets. Social Security will then determine the amount of monthly benefits.

If you have an SSD case, your monthly benefit is based on the amount you have paid in to social security. Your monthly benefit will be determined by a benefit pay authorizer in the payment center.

Both SSI and SSD cases could be affected if you have received benefits such as unemployment, workers’ compensation, a personal injury settlement, etc..

Q: WILL I RECEIVE MY PAST OWING BENEFITS IN A LUMP SUM?

A: SSD will pay the past owing in a lump sum.

SSI is only allowed to pay past owing benefits in increments of 3 monthly payments with six months between payments. (For example 3 x $500.00 = $1500.00) if your backowing benefits are more than $1500.00, you will receive a second installment in six months and any balance remaining will be paid in the third installment.

If you have received general assistance during this time, social security will pay back the state of Oregon out of your SSI past owing monies prior to sending you any lump sums.

Social Security Dos & Don'ts

DO...

  • Seek necessary medical treatment
  • Give your doctor a complete and accurate history
  • Seek legal advice if:
    • You need help filing your initial claim
    • Your claim has been denied at reconsideration
    • At any time if you do not understand what is happening

DON'T...

  • Provide any false or misleading information to your doctor, or to the Social Security Administration

What are the steps involved in filing for Social Security Disability?

A person who becomes ill or injured and, as a result, is unable to work should take the following steps to apply for disability benefits:
1. First, get medical care and make sure you clearly document your medical condition.

2. File an application with the Social Security office. When to file a claim depends on many factors. The key is that your disability must prevent you from working for at least 12 consecutive months. That year can have passed or be in the process of passing. You can file by phone, mail, or in person.

3. Your application will be sent to Disability Determination Services (DDS). Based on your medical data and your application, DDS will determine if you are qualified. If they need more medical information, you may be asked to undergo an examination. These medical exams can be quick and superficial.

4. Once DDS makes a decision, you will receive a written notice. If you've been denied, the notice will state why.

The Social Security disability benefit system is one of the most complicated and confusing of all the federal bureaucracies. You only have two months (60 days) to take action after you receive your initial denial notice. If you fail to appeal it, you could lose all of your rights. We handle Social Security disabiity claims every day, but we know this is not an everyday experience for you. We will guide you through every step in the process.  Our Social Security disability lawyers and our professional staff will get to know you and your situation well, because the better we know you, the better we can represent you.

Don’t delay. Contact our law firm today to arrange a free consultation and case evaluation. Call our main office toll free 800-525-2099.

Oregon Social Security Disability Attorneys at the Law Offices of Black, Chapman, Webber & Stevens represent clients throughout Oregon, Northern California and the entire United States.

What determines if a person is disabled?

Your inability to work. If you have a physical or mental condition that causes you to be unable to do the work that you are suited for (given your age, education and experience), and the disability is expected to last for at least 12 consecutive months or result in your death, then you can be considered. Obviously, the key debate is around your ability to work.

The Social Security disability benefit system is one of the most complicated and confusing of all the federal bureaucracies. We handle Social Security Disability claims every day, but we know this is not an everyday experience for you. We will guide you through every step in the process.  Our Social Security disability lawyers and our professional staff will get to know you and your situation well, because the better we know you, the better we can represent you.

Don’t delay. Contact our law firm today to arrange a free consultation and case evaluation. Call our main office toll free 800-525-2099.

Oregon Social Security Disability Attorneys at the Law Offices of Black, Chapman, Webber & Stevens represent clients throughout Oregon, Northern California and the entire United States.