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Oregon trial lawyers provide free legal help to wildfire victims in Redmond

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REDMOND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- In the wake of the horrible wildfires that tore across the state in early September, Oregon’s trial lawyers have established a hotline and free legal resources to support victims of fire-damaged homes, businesses and property by providing no cost consultations about insurance claims and next steps.

Last Saturday, volunteer attorneys visited the Redmond Super 8 motel, where residents from areas impacted by the McKenzie River fires are being housed while they are recovering from their losses and trying to get back on their feet.

Volunteers from the Oregon Trial Lawyers Association have been criss-crossing the state, holding free office hours for Oregonians most affected by the wildfires. They are helping to triage and provide legal help and resources. COVID-19 precautions are being strictly adhered to.

Attorney David Rosen of High Desert Law headed the efforts in Redmond and said, “Catastrophic events like the wildfires lead to new and immediate access to justice issues. 

"Meeting with families in emergency housing, our goal was to guide them through the stressful and often complicated process of insurance claims, help them feel empowered by knowing their rights and providing helpful resources in the wake of their terrible losses. 

"When you have an opportunity to take your knowledge base to a group of individuals that are in need, we answer the call.  That’s what we do in Oregon.”

The Oregon Trial Lawyers Association is a statewide membership organization of attorneys who represent Oregonians in promoting safer products, workers’ rights, quality health care and civil rights.

This free program is not the trial attorneys’ only response to the tragedy. Oregonians affected by the wildfires are encouraged to contact the program’s hotline at 800.809.0616 Monday-Friday, 9:00 am-5:00 pm or 24/7 at otlafirehelp@gmail.com. The phones and e-mails will be answered by attorneys and other legal professionals.

Videos for the public with advice on how to navigate their insurance claims are available at www.oregontriallawyers.org/fireresources.

Attorney Marc Johnston, the regional captain for the Clackamas County effort and who spearheaded the project, says “My family and I were part of Phase 2 Clackamas County evacuations.  We got out safely and didn’t lose any property. So many Oregonians were not as fortunate. 

"As a trial lawyer, my entire life’s work is about helping people. So I knew, there was no question my trial lawyer brothers and sisters would answer the call and volunteer their time to help others. And volunteer they did.  We have more than 70 attorneys going out into the communities hardest hit by the wildfires and discussing next steps for free with Oregonians in need. We are here to help, and if you can’t attend a community event, call the hotline at 800-809-0616.”

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