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Joanne Reisman

Joanne Reisman’s Answers

1,995 total


  • Will the car insurance company cover my medical bills if I go to see a doctor and should I hire an attorney?

    I was visiting California and was in a car with a friend when a semi truck backed into her car and the police decided the semi was in the wrong. The ambulance came but at the time I had been drinking and didn't think anything was wrong with me. A ...

    Joanne’s Answer

    Just to be safe on the medical bill side - get treatment through a medical provider that is covered by your own medical insurance. Make an appointment to see a local personal injury attorney. The attorney can help you sort out if there is PIP to cover your medical bills either through your friends auto insurance policy or through your own policy. Even if PIP isn't available, you can safely run your medical bills through your own medical insurance although you will pay your co-pays and deductibles as you normally would. It will still give you a significant reduction on medical costs since the bills will be adjusted to the lower HMO contract rates.

    If and when PIP is available, it can be used to reimburse your HMO and refund your co-pays and deductibles. One advantage of PIP is you will have a wider variety of treatment options as PIP will normally pay for chiropractic treatment, massage, and acupuncture.

    You can contact a local Portland attorney to represent you. They can manage your case and try to negotiate a settlement. At some point, the case may need to be filed. If the Semi Truck is with a national chain that has operations in Oregon, it can be managed as a n Oregon case. However, if it turns out that this case can only be filed in California, a California Attorney may need to be retained. Most trucking companies have nationwide operations so the odds are good that this could all be handled from Oregon. Either way, don't hesitate to contact an Oregon Attorney to get the ball rolling. It shouldn't cost you anything up front to talk to an Attorney as Personal Injury Attorneys almost always offer free consulations and then take cases on a contingency basis.

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  • I need advice on what is type of bankruptcy I can file and what can I file on. What is dischargeable.

    Filling Bankruptcy after divorce. I have to pay $1,750 a month in spousal support and $628 a month in child support. I have a equalizing judgment of $28,000 for distribution of marital property, I owe $3,800 on a $5,700 judgment of remedial contem...

    Joanne’s Answer

    You can only figure this out with a consultation with a local bankruptcy attorney. Generally speaking obligations that are support or in the nature of support are not dischargable in any type of bankruptcy. So the spousal support and the child support will not be dischargeable. Other divorce related debts are dischargable in a chapter 13 bankruptcy unless they are in the nature of support. Sometimes an award of attorney fees can be characterized as being in the nature of support. This is a complex legal question that only an attorney can advise you on after meeting with you, reviewing all the facts, and doing the research as these types of questions are usually guided by prior bankruptcy court decisions in your local jurisdiction. (For this reason I would recommend that you talk to a bankruptcy attorney with several years of experience.)

    If a debt from a divorce is dischargeable, you will need to file a chapter 13. Dissolution related debts are never dischargeable in chapter 7. But if you don't anticipate getting any of your divorce debts discharged, and you still want to file to discharge other non-divorce debts, then a chapter 7 may be the better way to go. At least that way you shave of the debts that you can get rid of and that frees your cash to pay other non-dischargeable debts. Another strategy is to do a both types of bankruptcy in sequence. You do a Chapter 7 first which permanently discharges some debts, then you file a chapter 13 second to make paying the non-dischargeable debts more manageable.

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  • Does an Increase in Income Effect Child Support for Non-Paying Parent?

    I have full legal custody of my child, and shared physical custody with my child's other parent. The other parent has a court order to pay child support. I am self-employed, and had a more successful year. Am I legally obligated to report this,...

    Joanne’s Answer

    No you do not have to report it (unless as Mr. Johnston noted, there is something in your Judgment that requires this type of information sharing, which would be very unusual). As a practical matter people will have variations in their income from time to time and the child support enforcement agencies don't want to deal with constant modifications. Periodically either parent can ask for a review and at that time the agencies will pull up the quarterly reports for the employers and look and see if there have been income changes that merit a modification. I would imagine they would look at your income over time and take an average if it tends to fluctuate a lot. If it is a one time thing, they may not consider it. But in any case, the reviews are not automatic. Someone has to request the review. Also, a modification won't be retroactive.

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  • Ex threatening physical harm to our son- what now?

    My children's father has very limited visitation due to his alcoholism. We have two children together, ages 12 and 13. Every court order and mediated agreement we've had Stipulates that he is not to consume alcohol prior to and during his parentin...

    Joanne’s Answer

    Your only remedy is to go back to court. File a motion to modify parenting time and ask that the parenting time be either completely suspended or limited to supervised parenting time only. The supervised parenting time should be a a facility that supervises the entire parenting time and they remain at the facility. He should be required to blow into a portable breathalyzer when he arrives before the parenting time begins. (The if he fails the breath test, the parenting time doesn't take place and if this happens repeatedly the parenting time is suspended indefinitely,) Alcoholism is a powerful addiction. Even if he can manage to show up sober to pick the children up, he will be planning to start drinking as soon as he leaves your house with the children. It sounds like he is at the level of addiction that he has to have a certain amount of alcohol in his bloods stream just to function. He is probably incapable of keeping a promise to not consume alcohol during visitation. I suspect he will fail the supervised visitation with a breathalyzer, but you can at least give it a shot. It will certainly satisfy any proof issue you need to cover when you ask the Judge to completely suspend his visitation.

    I do recommend however that you hire an attorney to help you do the parenting time modification. You will have to convince a Judge that the extreme measures you are asking for are justified and you will need and attorney to show you how to put on evidence.

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  • S there legal recourse for this?

    I found out my sister changed beneficiaries on my parent's IRA's. I

    Joanne’s Answer

    You need to clarify how this happened. Your sister can't literally make the change by herself. She would have to have had your parents sign a form that changed the beneficiaries, or acted under a power of attorney (and even then the financial institute might not have allowed this as they don't trust Power of Attorney forms generally), or perhaps she pressured your parents to make the change. You really haven't given us enough information.

    Suffice it to say that pressuring or influencing an adult over the age of 65 or otherwise lacking good health and full mental capacity, may constitute financial elder abuse and may be actionable under Oregon Law. But there simple isn't enough here to comment more specifically. You should talk to an experienced elder law attorney, one that knows about Oregon's elder abuse laws. This is of course assuming that your parents live in Oregon.

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  • How do I take away my daughters dad's parenting rights?

    I am wanting take away all parenting rights from my daughters biological father. He is involved in illegal drugs, prostitution, tried to kill himself, and misses his visitations all the time. It is an unstable environment for her to be in and u...

    Joanne’s Answer

    It sounds like the court would sympathize with you and make some adjustments to the parenting time to lessen the impact of these problems on your daughter. The attempted suicide makes my very concerned for your daughter's safety and the court's have heard plenty of murder- suicide tales that I don't think it will take much to convince them to make some changes. I suspect that the court will be willing to switch the visitation to supervised visitation and then with some so requirements that the father confirms the visits ahead of time so you don't waste your time. Maybe the court will set a limit to how many skipped visits there can be before all parenting time is cut off.

    The court cannot terminated the father's rights - but the court can terminate parenting time or severely restrict it. The rights remain, but probably will only be in the form of an obligation to pay child support with little or no visitation, but subject to modification in the future if father gets his act together.

    If you get remarried and your new husband agrees to do a step-parent adoption, that will terminate the biological father's rights. But it may be hard to put the adoption through if the father won't agree to it. It all depends on the specific facts.

    I suggest you consult with an attorney for more specific ideas that fit your situation. It is not a good idea to discuss things on a public webpage.

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  • Can you sue for patient profiling or discrimination? How is malpractice different than discrimination or pain and suffering?

    I am seeking advice and possibly a paid consultation with an attorney regarding medical issues. I feel I am a victim of patient profiling. I have been lied to, verbally insulted, and discriminated against. I had the same doc for five solid years i...

    Joanne’s Answer

    I have had medical problems where I was not properly diagnosed and had to cope with pain for many years. The reality is that despite all the progress we have made in medicine, doctors still have trouble figuring out what is wrong with patients so they have to make educated guesses that can often be wrong. But once a doctor puts his guess in the medical records, another doctor is not likely to change this unless the next doctor has more training and can see a different diagnosis and treatment option.

    As the patient the only thing you can do is do your own research and seek out other doctors with other specialties. It is a long frustrating process. After 25 years of chronic neck pain and a lot of misinformation and lack of specific treatment I went in for neck surgery to open up the nerve path to my arm. While the surgeon was working on me he noticed a spur on my cervical bone and shaved it off. 25 years of chronic neck pain literally disappeared when that spur was removed. I had had many MRI's before that and although the spur was probably visible, there was no way to tell that this was the cause of my pain and the fear was that the trauma of neck surgery might make me worse, so no surgeon wanted to operate until I had a more serious problem.

    However, during the years prior to my surgery I did find a way to make my life bearable. I used acupuncture and massage. I got the greatest amount of relief from epidural injections, but only when I had them done by a doctor trained in anesthesiology that was a pain specialist (Dr. Kaur at Providence St. Vincent in Portland.) I had actually had the same injection done by another doctor and didn't get good results. So I learned that even if you identify the right procedure, which doctor performs it can still make a big difference.

    So the bottom line is don't waste your time trying to sue someone. Take charge of your own care and explore every and any option you have to manage your pain that will help. Also recognize that you have to take care of your body and this may mean making a commitment to exercise and watch your diet. (I have used swimming all my life to to deal with muscle skeletal issues and I swear by it - any type of water based exercise should make you feel better, but you have to commit to doing it every day.) Seek a doctor that specializes in pain treatment - Dr. Kaur is great but up in Portland, but maybe her office can refer you to someone closer to Medford. Good luck.

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  • How can I stop being harassed and get on with my life?

    I have been in court (probate) going on four years over the death of loved one (I am the defendant). The plaintiffs are on their 3rd set of lawyers. Every time I am asked for documents, they are given, and the defendants lawyers resign from the ca...

    Joanne’s Answer

    Since we have no idea what the conflict is about we can't begin to suggest how to extricate yourself. Why don't you get back to engineering and pay a lawyer to do this legal work for you. At a minimum, talk to a lawyer about what is going on and how to get out of it. As my colleagues have stated, don't go into more detail on this website where you have no privacy. Even if your name is not attached people can figure out who is posting and the public post may be used in court against you.

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  • Do we have a claim to this estate? Should we see an attorney?

    Hello, my name is Jan Patterson and I have a question. Our close friend and neighbor of 20 years passed away without a will, he has no spouse or children. We found hin deceased after the police told us to enter into his house after he missed an ap...

    Joanne’s Answer

    Absent a properly executed will, people that are not blood relatives or a spouse have no legal claim on another person's estate in Oregon. A properly executed will must be signed by the testator and by two witnesses who actually see the Will being executed and can also verify that the testator knew what he was doing and was an adult. So for this fact scenario, there was no Will, you have no legal rights as either an heir or devisee.

    Also one has to be extremely careful when one gets in a situation where a non-relative wants to make them the beneficiary of their will and exclude blood relatives. If there is any insinuation that the "friend" influenced the person to make the will and include them as beneficiary, there is the possibility that the disgruntled blood relatives will seek to have the matter investigated as elder abuse and this can result in criminal prosecution. Financial manipulation doesn't have to be overt. It can be subtle such as showing friendship to a lonely person, and criticizing the relatives that don't visit and then guiding the person to the conclusion that you are more deserving then their ungrateful relatives. If the protected person is over age 65, they are considered a vulnerable adult and financial dealings with them can be subject to being investigated for signs of financial manipulation.

    I am not saying that you did anything wrong. But I am pointing out that even if your friend had made a will leaving you an inheritance, you may have had a battle with his relatives and been investigated before everything settled down. There is no free lunch.

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  • How do I get the 5,000

    Im curious of the action needed to have the 5,000 payed to me written in our Divorce Decree. It is stated if and when our house was sold i was to receive the 5,000. This was 15 years ago. The house is finally being sold. How to i get the money fro...

    Joanne’s Answer

    A judgment creating a lien against the house payable when the house is sold or refinanced would have protected you, at least that's the way we do it in Oregon. It sounds like the house is in Washington but we don't know if your divorce was also filed in Washington. So if the divorce and the house are in Washington, get a copy of your divorce papers and go and see a Washington Attorney. If your divorce was in Oregon and the real estate is in Washington, it get's a little more complicated. You can try talking to an Oregon Attorney buy you may also need to talk to a Washington Attorney.

    I don't know what your divorce papers say, but if they paperwork clearly states you have this interest in the house AND clearly gives the legal description of the house so there is no question as to what house is involved, you may be able to use a certified copy of the divorce decree to notify everyone involved that you have a lien of sorts. It's hard to say if this will work without reading the paperwork, but if I was sure that the paperwork has enough to tie your claim to the house, I might record a certified copy of the divorce decree in the real estate recorder's office where the house deed is recorded - you might have to attach a cover sheet to meet the recording requirements, but recording the decree should make the title company nervous about your possible claim and that would lead them to require you to be paid at the closing before they will insure the title. Again, I can't say this would work - having an attorney read the language in your decree and advise you is essential before trying this.

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