Injured Bicyclist’s Settlement Docked for Late Child Support Payments
Our client was riding his bicycle when he came to an intersection controlled by a street light. He pushed the walk button and waited for a green light before preceding. As the light turned green, he started across the intersection. He was riding his bicycle very slowly, at approximately 2-3 mph, when a motorist who was attempting to make a turn suddenly struck in the cross walk. Our client mostly endured soft tissue injuries for which he received several months of treatment.
Unbeknownst to us when we were retained as counsel, our client was behind on his child support payments when this auto-bicycle accident occurred. When the State of Oregon learned about our client’s personal injury claim, it promptly contacted our law firm. The State placed a lien on Kenneth’s claim because of his failure to pay child support. The immediate bar we faced to recovering for our client was that, in settlement negotiations, the adverse insurance company wanted to send the majority of settlement funds to the State.
We researched Oregon law on the issue of child support liens and determined that the State was entitled to take fifty perfect of the settlement after attorney fees and costs. At the conclusion of the case, we paid a portion of our client’s back child support and he was able to keep a portion of the settlement pursuant to Oregon law. In the end, our client was very happy with our guidance and representation in this difficult matter.