Be Safe This Memorial Day Weekend!

39.3 million people are expected to travel in the U.S. this Memorial Day weekend.   These travelers will travel by car, plane, boat, and train.   The vast majority of travelers are going to hit the road and drive to their destination.  This increased traffic is likely to increase the risk of people being injured and killed on Oregon's roads.  However, the roads are not the only dangers people should be aware of.  Every year people (usually children) get seriously injured in incidents involving barbecues and fire-pits.   Many people will also put their boats in the water for the first time this year.   Boat crashes are not uncommon.  It also seems like almost every year people drown in Oregon's beautiful rivers and lakes.   Most of these incidents are avoidable if people exercise common sense, and don't drink too much alcohol. Please exercise common sense and be aware of the dangers that are out there this weekend as you are celebrating Memorial Day.

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If you or someone you know has been injured by the negligence of another, call Oregon personal injury attorney Jeremiah Ross at 503.224.1658 for your free case evaluation.  Ross Law PDX represents people in various types of personal injury cases throughout Oregon.  Please remember this post could be considered personal injury attorney advertising.   

5 Things To Know about Medical Debt and Bill Collectors

Many of my personal injury clients tell me they would have never sought the help of a lawyer if the at-fault person (bad driver, building owner, negligent business) would have simply paid their medical bills.  Medical bills can quickly spiral out of control and it seems that there is no way to ever pay them off.   Thankfully personal injury lawyers and consumer lawyers can often help people with getting their medical bills paid off.  Attorneys may be able to get insurance coverage for the bills, force the negligent party pay the medical bills, or work with the medical provider to accept a reduced amount.   However, sometimes that is not possible, and the debt must be paid.  In that case, there are things you should know.  The National Consumer Law Center (NCLC) has published a great article that has valuable information for anyone that is dealing with medical debt. 

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Below a few highlights from the article:

  1. Pay Medical Debt Last: Don't ignore it, but you may want to pay off your other debt before medical debt.  This is due to the fact that it is on the lowest priority of debt.  Also, do not take out a loan or credit card to pay medical debt.   This is due to the fact medical debt often has little or no interest in it.  Credit cards and loans have interest, so you will pay more to pay off the original debt.
  2. Debt Collectors Powers Are Limited:  Many medical providers will assign your debt to a debt collector.  These are the people that call to annoy and harass you into paying off the debt.  However, there bark is often bigger than their bite.   Medical Debt is unique in that credit reporting agencies will not include it in a credit report until it is over six months old. This is important because debt collectors will often tell people their credit will be trashed if they don't pay up immediately.   If debt collectors continue to call you or attempt to contact you, you also can send them a letter telling them to stop. Federal law prevents them from continuing to contact you after receiving that letter. 
  3. Medical Debt is Often Not Reported to Credit Agencies:  Often, many medical providers do not report medical debt to the three major credit reporting agencies. However, debt collectors may.
  4. You Can Still Go to the Emergency Room If You Owe the Hospital Money: Federal law (Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA)) prohibits hospitals from turning people away from the ER due to their inability to pay. 
  5. You Might Be Able to Correct the Bills:  Medical bills can contain errors.  You can work with the medical provider to correct the mistake or get the bills covered by insurance.   

The article contains a lot of helpful additional information that you should read to help you understand your rights and obligations with medical debt.  If you have incurred medical debt as a result of another person injuring you call Ross Law LLC at 503.224.1658.  Jeremiah Ross represents people that have been injured by the negligence of another and consumers.  Please note the information in this article is for informational purposes only and the law is constantly changing.  DO NOT SOLELY RELY ON THIS POST.  SPEAK WITH A LAWYER to fully understand your rights and obligations on medical debt. This post could be considered attorney advertising. 

Please Drive Safe! 17 People Have Died in Portland Traffic Crashes So Far

This year has been a deadly year on Portland's roads.   According to Oregonlive, as of May, 17 2018 people have died in traffic-related crashes in Portland alone.   Pedestrians are the most vulnerable road users, so far 9 pedestrians have been killed in traffic-related incidents so far.   Motorcyclists are also susceptible to injury or death due to the fact they have minimal protection in a crash.  4 Motorcyclists have been killed in traffic crashes so far.   Three people that were in motorized vehicles have also died in traffic crashes so far.  One cyclist has been killed by a vehicle this year.

These tragic deaths highlight the need for Portland's drivers to remain attentive.  Drivers need to get off of the phone, stay alert, look for pedestrians and cyclists, and slow down.  We all know we need to do this, but the consequences of a driver's "mistake" are tragic. 

If you or someone you know was injured by another driver's negligence call Ross Law LLC.  Portland Personal Injury Attorney Jeremiah Ross represents cyclists, pedestrians, motorcyclists and drivers who have been injured in Oregon traffic crashes.  Call Jeremiah Ross at 503.224.1658 for your free case evaluation.   

The "Wave Through" That Causes a Crash

When I drive to work I often find myself making a left across Eastbound Powell near the Ross Island Bridge.  Eastbound traffic is pretty heavy and is usually stopped or crawling.  However, traffic is clear in the far right lane.  Cars regularly speed through in the far right lane as the two other lanes are stopped.  In classic PNW style, the good citizens of Portland will stop on Powell with enough room to allow me to make a left turn across Powell.   

The stopped drivers will often use their hands to wave me across in front of them.  This welcome signal is greatly appreciated.  However, it can also be disastrous if the Eastbound driver waves a person through and a car traveling Eastbound in another lane fails to stop.  A serious collision will result if that is the case.    

I have represented people in "wave through' crashes that have sustained serious injuries.   These crashes are heartbreaking because the person waving the vehicle across was simply trying to help. However, their actions caused someone to be injured.   As a result, they may be responsible for causing the crash.  

The bottom line is, do not wave a vehicle across in front of you until you confirm that it is safe for the crossing vehicle to actually cross.  If you do direct a vehicle to come across and a crash is caused as a result, you may end up being responsible for the crash.   

If you or someone you know has been involved in a crash where a driver or pedestrian waved you across the street then call Oregon Personal Injury Lawyer Jeremiah Ross. Ross Law will give you a free case evaluation if you call 503.224.1658.   Please remember everyone's situation is unique and that results may vary.  Please do not solely rely on this post for information and contact an Oregon Personal Injury Lawyer if you have questions.     

Ross Law PDX is Proudly Sponsoring Sellwood Baseball

Ross Law PDX is proudly sponsoring the little ball players at Sellwood Baseball.   As a local personal injury and consumer law firm, Ross Law believes it is imperative to give back to the community.  

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If you or someone you know need a lawyer, feel free to call Portland Personal Injury lawyer Jeremiah Ross at 503.224.1658.  Ross Law PDX also represents crime victims and consumers in various cases.    Please note that this post could be considered attorney advertising and the views espoused on this blog do not reflect those of Sellwood Baseball in any way. 

Jeremiah Ross Named Member of Oregon's Autonomous Vehicle Task Force

Jeremiah Ross was named by the Director of the Oregon Department of Transportation to serve on Oregon's Task Force of Autonomous Vehicles.  The Task Force is comprised of 31 members with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and interest.   Jeremiah and other task force members will work toward the goal of drafting legislative recommendations that address Autonomous Vehicles and issues of licensing and registration, insurance and liability, law enforcement and accident reporting, and cyber-security.     Click here for more information on Oregon's Autonomous Vehicle Taskforce.   

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If you or someone you know have been injured in an Oregon Car Crash please call Jeremiah Ross at 503.224.1658 for your free personal injury case evaluation. 

Cascade Auto Inc.'s Arbitration Agreements May Be Unenforceable

We currently represent a client against Portland Oregon Car dealer Cascade Auto Inc.  Our client attempted to initiate arbitration against Cascade Auto Inc. under the "Arbitration Agreement" that Cascade forced him to sign.  However, Cascade Auto Inc. refused to pay for the arbitration and refused to comply with the American Arbitration Association's ("AAA") rules. As a result, the arbitration case was closed. This allows our client to pursue his matter in Court. This letter is also important to future consumers as AAA specifically noted:

"Further, because the business' failure to remit the foregoing constitutes a failure to adhere to our policies regarding consumer claims, we may decline to administer future consumer arbitrations involving Cascade Auto, Inc. The AAA's consumer policies can be found on the AAA's website, www.adr.org. We request that the business remove the AAA name from its consumer arbitration clause so that there is no confusion to the public regarding our decision." 

Oregon Auto Fraud Letter Regarding Arbitration

"Further, because the business' failure to remit the foregoing constitutes a failure to adhere to our policies regarding consumer claims, we may decline to administer future consumer arbitrations involving Cascade Auto, Inc. The AAA's consumer policies can be found on the AAA's website, www.adr.org. We request that the business remove the AAA name from its consumer arbitration clause so that there is no confusion to the public regarding our decision." 

This letter may affect future consumer's rights and remedies against Cascade Auto Inc. The language of the letter may provide sufficient facts for another consumer to avoid arbitrating a matter with Cascade Auto Inc. If you or someone you know has been ripped off by a car dealer, or believe you purchased a lemon, please call Portland attorney Jeremiah Ross.  Please call Ross Law PDX at 503.224.1658. 

Please remember that all cases are different and case results may vary.  The April 24, 2018 letter may or may not be beneficial to your case in the future.  Please consult with an attorney if you have questions about your rights, remedies, or arbitration against an Oregon Car dealer.  

Investigating a Car Dealer's Reputation Before You Buy a Car

Purchasing a vehicle is stressful.  It is usually one of the largest purchases a person can make. That is why many people do their homework prior to purchasing a vehicle.  Many consumers will research a particular car and visit blog posts (like my recent blog post) to obtain information on how to research a particular vehicle.  However, many people fail to investigate the reputation of the dealership that they are dealing with.  This is usually pretty easy, but you would be surprised at how many people that were ripped off by a car dealer call me and say after the purchase they learned the dealership had numerous consumer complaints.  Here are some places to look for information about an Oregon car dealership before you purchase the vehicle.  Please remember the list is not exhaustive.  Also, Ross Law does not have any affiliation with the businesses or entities below.

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Do an Internet Search for the Dealerships name and the Dealer:  Whether you use Google, Yahoo, Bing, or some other search engine, you should always search the dealer's name for information about the dealer.   These internet searches will reveal good reviews, bad reviews, and any other information about the dealer that may reflect on the dealer's reputation.

Search the Oregon Department of Justice's Website for Consumer Claims:  The Oregon Department of Justice keeps an on-line database for consumer complaints against a particular dealership.  It is not complete, and sometimes there are issues with whether the complaint is filed under the proper name, but it is a very useful tool to determine if another person has had a negative experience with the car dealer.  Click here for access the database to review consumer complaints.

Search the Better Business Web-Site for Complaints: The Better Business Bureau (BBB) also has an online database that will provide limited information regarding the dealership.  It is not complete or comprehensive, but it may provide information regarding a particular dealership and the types of complaints the BBB receives about that dealership. Click here to access the Better Business Bureau website

Review old issues of the Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles Dealer Details Publication:  The Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles publishes a newsletter that has a section that reports sanctions imposed against a dealership.  Click here to access the Dealer Details Publication.

Please remember that Ross Law does not have any affiliation with the above businesses or entities.  Also, please note the data and the information on the websites may not be complete.  Also, be aware that some businesses and dealerships will post fake reviews, or provide an incentive for a person to post a positive review that may not accurately reflect the transaction.  Also, even if you research the dealership you may get ripped off.  In the event, you, or someone you know, are ripped off, sold a lemon, or have been defrauded by an Oregon car dealer call Ross Law PDX at 503.224.1658. Jeremiah Ross is an Oregon Consumer Lawyer that regularly represents consumers who have been ripped off by car dealers or other businesses.  This post is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. Please consult with an attorney.  This post and blog could be considered ATTORNEY ADVERTISING.