Portland Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
With the average weight of a private motor vehicle weighing around 4,000 pounds, pedestrians have very little chance of coming out of an accident unscathed. If you are one of the many individuals living in or around Portland, Oregon, involved in pedestrian accidents, you may be entitled to damages for your injuries.
The Pro Accident Lawyers represent pedestrian accident victims on a contingency basis. That means you will not have to pay out of pocket for the legal services of a Portland pedestrian accident attorney. Call today for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.
Pedestrian Accident Statistics
According to the Oregon DMV, there were 741 pedestrian accidents and 475 bicycle/pedalcycle accidents in 2020. 690 pedestrians (93%) were injured, and 78 (10.5%) were killed. That is disproportionately high compared to the percentage of drivers injured or killed — 30.4% and .5%, respectively.
The bottom line is that pedestrians are injured and die at a much higher rate than any other category of injury victims.
Most Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents in Portland
The following are some of the most common causes of Portland pedestrian accident injuries.
Crosswalks are designed to allow pedestrians to cross the road safely. As is the case with motor vehicles, pedestrians have signals that instruct them when it is safe to walk and when it isn’t. Unfortunately, drivers are much more cognizant of other vehicles than pedestrians using the crosswalks. Drivers making turns frequently check to see if there is a pedestrian in the intersection. However, many drivers fail to stop at red lights because they are distracted, intoxicated, or just trying to beat traffic.
Under Chapter 125 of the Oregon code, the speed limit in parking lots is 10 mph. It is intentionally low because pedestrians walking to or from their cars are particularly vulnerable. Motorists driving through parking lots frequently fail to notice pedestrians emerging from between cars or are unable to stop due to excessive speed.
Text messaging and other driver distractions are frequent causes of pedestrian accident injuries. Pedestrians already present a much smaller visible profile than a vehicle, so when a driver is only using their peripheral vision to watch the roadway, they often miss pedestrians. Distracted drivers also often swerve into the bike lanes, pedestrian paths, and even onto sidewalks, creating a hazard for individuals on foot.
Alcohol and drugs slow reaction times and impair spatial relations. Consequently, a driver may believe they have more time to stop. In a city like Portland, with an active nightlife, drunk drivers leaving establishments are likely to have to drive through and alongside crowds as they attempt to leave parking garages and lots.
Like all categories of accidents, many pedestrian accident cases originate from drivers just not observing the traffic ordinances and safety rules of the road. Speeding, running red lights, running stop signs, and failing to yield are just some causes of pedestrian accidents.
Regardless of the cause of your accident injuries, our Portland pedestrian accident lawyers can pursue damages on your behalf. Call today to get started on your pedestrian accident claim.
Common Injuries Pedestrian Accident Victims Suffer
Pedestrian accidents can result in all levels of injuries, from minor scrapes and bruises to life-changing catastrophic injuries to death. Here are some of the common pedestrian accident injuries that our personal injury lawyers see on a regular basis:
- Cuts and abrasions
- Broken bones
- Spinal damage
- Internal injuries
- Concussions and traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Severed limbs
- Road rash
- Neck injuries
If you’ve been injured in a pedestrian accident, you should seek medical attention, even if there are no signs of injury. In many pedestrian accident cases, the victims feel fine in the hours after their accidents, only to find out later that they have severe injuries. Don’t take a chance with your health and safety.
Compensation for Pedestrian Injuries
The state of Oregon classifies damages in personal injury cases as compensatory and non-compensatory. Economic damages and non-economic damages are considered compensatory because they are intended to reimburse the victim for their injuries. Punitive damages are considered non-compensatory because they are intended to penalize the defendant.
- Economic damages – These include reimbursement for all medical expenses, like hospitalization, ambulance services, physical therapy, in-home healthcare, etc. However, they also include lost income from missing work and diminished work capacity. If you had property damaged during your pedestrian accident, such as a laptop or a watch, they are covered under economic damages.
- Non-economic damages –In addition to all financial expenses, a pedestrian accident claim should include damages for your pain and suffering. This can include compensation for emotional trauma, physical pain, inconvenience, diminished quality of life, etc.
- Punitive damages – These are usually awarded in cases where the defendant displayed a wanton disregard for the safety of others or acted intentionally. For instance, if a driver uses their car to intentionally strike a pedestrian accident victim, the court would probably be inclined to award punitive damages.
One of the functions of a Portland pedestrian accident attorney is to determine the amount of fair compensation on behalf of their clients.
Steps to Prevent Pedestrian Accidents
While many pedestrian accidents are unavoidable, some cases involve errors on the parts of pedestrians. These tips may help you and your loved ones avoid future accidents:
- Use the L-R-L Method when entering the roadway – The nearest traffic will be coming from the left when you’re crossing a U.S. roadway. Look left to make sure you’re clear, then right to check for traffic coming from the opposite direction, then left again in case new vehicles enter the roadway.
- Pay particular attention in parking lots – When emerging from between vehicles, check to make sure that there aren’t cars moving through the lane before you venture out.
- Avoid distracted walking – By not paying attention to your surroundings, you are risking making the same perilous errors as distracted drivers. If you need to answer a call or text message, wait until you’re in a safe spot and stop walking for a few seconds.
- Check traffic before entering a crosswalk – Ideally, the signals should prevent cars from entering the crosswalk while you’re using it, but this is frequently not the case. Make sure the cars have stopped before you enter the intersection.
Even if you are partially at fault for your pedestrian accident, you can still collect damages as long as the driver bears some responsibility for the collision.
How Attorneys Prove Pedestrian Accident Claims
In order to claim damages for a pedestrian accident, our Portland pedestrian accident lawyers will ensure that the following four criteria are met:
1. Duty of Care
All parties who use the Portland roadways have a duty of care for all other cars, bicyclists, and pedestrians. Consequently, the driver who struck you had an implied duty of care for your safety.
2. Breach of Duty
A Portland pedestrian accident lawyer must next demonstrate that there was a breach of duty on the part of the defendant. This could be a violation of traffic laws or a general failure to use due care.
The third element of liability in a pedestrian accident is causation. This means that the defendant’s breach of duty caused the accident. For instance, the defendant turned into a crosswalk without first checking for pedestrians.
Finally, a Portland pedestrian accident lawyer must show damages. All injury accidents have damages, even if the injured party has not had to pay any money out of pocket.
When you meet with a pedestrian accident attorney from Pro Accident Lawyers, they will review all elements of your claim. If you have a valid personal injury case, we can begin representing you immediately.
Oregon Legal Concepts that Affect Pedestrian Accidents
The following legal concepts will help you better understand your pedestrian accident claim. If you have any questions, contact a Portland pedestrian accident lawyer for a free consultation.
Comparative Negligence in Portland Pedestrian Accidents
Oregon uses a modified comparative negligence principle. This means you can recover damages from the defendant as long as they were mostly responsible. In other words, if you are less than 50% responsible for the accident, you would still have a claim.
For example, if your pedestrian accident involved you walking through a parking lot and you entered the traffic lane without looking, the court might determine that you were 40% responsible for your accident injuries. In this case, you could still pursue 60% of your damages from the other party.
Deadlines for Bringing a Pedestrian Accident Case in Oregon
Oregon’s statute of limitations is two years from the date of the accident. After that time has elapsed, you will not be able to file a lawsuit, and it’s unlikely an insurance company will pay your claim since there is no threat of litigation. For wrongful death claims, the statute of limitations is three years from the date of the accident. This is different from other states, where the time clock starts at the date of death.
While these periods may seem substantial, it’s important that you contact a pedestrian accident attorney as early as possible. Pedestrian accident cases take time to develop, and you want to allow your attorney as much time as possible to develop your case.
Damage Caps in Personal Injury Cases
There are no caps on economic damages in the state of Oregon. While Oregon had recently attempted to cap non-economic damages at $500,000, the Oregon State Supreme Court determined that this was in violation of the state constitution. Punitive damages are not capped, but 70% of a punitive damage award is paid to the state of Oregon and not the plaintiff.
Our Portland pedestrian accident lawyers will always attempt to seek maximum compensation under the law. Call the Pro Accident Lawyers to get started on your case.
Pedestrian Accident FAQs
These are some of the most frequently asked questions by pedestrian accident claims. Nothing on this page should be considered legal advice, but if you would like professional legal advice from a Portland pedestrian accident attorney, call today for a free case evaluation.
How can I afford an accident attorney?
Our pedestrian accident lawyers work on a contingency basis. That means that we only receive payment if we are able to reach a settlement with the insurance company or we win through litigation. If we don’t win, we don’t receive payment.
How are contingency fees set in Oregon?
Some states have contingency fee caps, and others are set by the state bar. Oregon does not have a contingency fee limit, but the law requires that clients receive a contingency fee agreement in writing and are allowed to rescind the agreement within 24 hours of entering into it. It’s essential that you review these contingency fee agreements. Some attorneys charge more for specific types of accidents or they have a sliding scale depending on the amount of the settlement/award.
Will my case end up in court?
In most pedestrian accident cases, both the plaintiff and defendant would prefer to settle the case before it reaches trial. This does not mean that your Portland pedestrian accident attorney won’t file your claim. With a two-year statute of limitations, it’s essential that they file ahead of the deadline and negotiate with the insurance adjusters prior to going to trial. In the event that the two sides are unable to agree, your pedestrian accident lawyer can pursue damages in court.
Why Choose Us?
Our Portland pedestrian accident lawyers have combined decades of personal injury experience. We have a proven track record when it comes to obtaining compensation for our clients. If you’ve been approached with a settlement offer from the insurance company, understand that they will make you sign a waiver of liability that prevents you from seeking additional damages for your pedestrian accident.
At Pro Accident Lawyers, we offer a free, no-obligation consultation. Contact us for full and fair compensation under the law.