Gresham Pedestrian Injury Attorney
Helping Injured Pedestrians Throughout Gresham
Unfortunately, pedestrian injuries happen in Oregon every day. Pedestrian collisions can be fatal or leave victims with lifelong injuries.
In communities east of Portland, like Gresham, pedestrians are at greater risk due to:
- Lack of sidewalks
- Inadequate street lighting
- Higher vehicle speeds on straight and wide roads
There is some good news:
Oregon law allows for injured pedestrians to file a personal injury claim to recover compensation, but filing a successful pedestrian accident claim is not an easy task.
Rob Kline is an experienced personal injury attorney, having written the Pedestrian Law Guide, now in its 2nd edition. The guide is an extensive resource used by Oregon attorneys and made available for injured Oregon pedestrians to learn about their rights.
If you’re a pedestrian who has been injured by an automobile, please don’t hesitate to contact Kline Law Offices P.C. today. Rob Kline will explain your rights as a pedestrian and help ensure you receive proper compensation for your injuries. Call us at (503) 433-5289 or contact us to schedule your consultation.
Unfortunately, Pedestrian Injuries Are Becoming More Common
Pedestrian injuries and deaths have been steadily increasing in the last decade and, unfortunately, a disproportionate burden has been felt by East Portland and East County. Of the 48 pedestrians killed in the greater Portland area from 2017 to 2019, 41 of them died east of the Willamette River, and half of them were east of 82nd Avenue. In 2018 alone, there were 35 pedestrian deaths in the metro region, accounting for 40 percent of all traffic fatalities.
In Oregon, pedestrian traffic deaths increased by 22 percent between 2018 and 2019, making our pedestrian death rate the 17th highest in the United States.
Rob and his team are experienced in helping injured pedestrians in Gresham where they may be wrongly blamed for contributing to their own injuries. Typical blame-the-victim claims include that the pedestrian stepped out into traffic, was wearing dark clothing, or was distracted.
Causes of Pedestrian Accidents with Vehicles
Pedestrian injuries have been on the rise, and one factor is increased smartphone use while driving. However, distracted driving is just one of many causes of pedestrian accidents, which leave victims with serious injuries every year.
A few of those causes are:
- Failure to yield. Oregon law holds that every intersection contains a crosswalk for pedestrians – even if it is not marked as a crosswalk. Drivers are required by law to stop and remain stopped for pedestrians in crosswalks. Failing to yield for a pedestrian can lead to catastrophic injuries.
- Speeding. Drivers who speed have less chance to perceive a hazard and react in time to avoid a collision with a pedestrian. Sadly, high-speed collisions tend to cause more severe injuries for pedestrians: federal research shows that a pedestrian struck by a person driving 40 mph is eight times more likely to die than a pedestrian struck at 20 mph.
- Inadequate street lighting. Most fatal pedestrian crashes occur at night when inadequate lighting is a factor.
- Passing a vehicle that is stopped at a crosswalk. Passing a vehicle that is stopped at a crosswalk is illegal and can result in a catastrophic collision with a pedestrian.
- Intoxication. Driving under the influence of alcohol or other substances leads to reduced perception-reaction time and dramatically increases the potential for a deadly pedestrian crash.
Recovering Compensation as an Injured Pedestrian
A pedestrian injured by a vehicle may be eligible to benefits under their own automobile insurance policies as well as compensation under the policy for the at-fault driver. The process to pursue compensation is complex and can be daunting, especially in the wake of a catastrophic injury.
The first step in any claim is establishing liability. There can be an enormous amount of material to gather in order to prove that the collision was the fault of the driver. Drivers frequently attempt to blame pedestrians by claiming the collision was unavoidable because the pedestrian darted into traffic, or the pedestrian was dressed in dark clothing. Police reports can be an essential source of information and data to help defeat these claims. Traffic control devices equipped with cameras, local surveillance video from businesses, or eye-witness testimony are also potential sources of information and material to help establish fault. It also may be necessary to work with a crash reconstruction expert to determine exactly how and why the accident occurred.
Identifying and Proving Damages
Once liability is established, a claim for damages needs to be supported by gathering a variety of materials. Damages include:
- Cost of medical care.
- Lost wages and impaired future earning capacity.
- Personal property damaged or destroyed in the collision.
- Other out-of-pocket costs associated with recovering from injuries.
- Non-economic damages – more commonly known as “pain and suffering” – are another compensation factor.
Gathering all of this material and information can be overwhelming for someone recovering from injuries. Fortunately, you do not have to do it alone. Rob and his team can help with every step of the process. It is important to act quickly in order to preserve potential evidence before it is destroyed, including contacting witnesses before their memories fade. Having the assistance of an experienced attorney early in the process can enhance recoveries and relieve the injured pedestrian and their family from the burden of handling legal claims, so the injured pedestrian can focus on recovering.