Pedestrians are the most vulnerable people on the road. When a negligent driver hits a pedestrian, there is very little chance the person on foot will exit the crash without serious injuries. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that pedestrian accident deaths throughout the country in 2019 totaled 6,283 fatalities, 69 of which occurred in Oregon. At this tragic rate, one person on foot is killed every 88 minutes across the U.S.
Oregon law imposes a duty of care and traffic rules that all road users must obey. If your pedestrian accident occurred due to any type of negligence or breach of law, you have the right to hold the negligent party or parties liable for your losses. Find below more answers to some Portland pedestrian accidents questions you may have.
Common Causes Of Pedestrian Accidents In Portland
Distracted driving is touted as the primary cause of pedestrian accident injuries and deaths. Sadly, most drivers believe a quick glance at their phone or some minor distractions will cause no harm. The truth is the average time it takes to send or receive a text message or avert your attention to another passenger can change someone’s life forever.
Other common causes of pedestrian accidents include:
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Failing to obey traffic signs and signals
- Failing to stop at a pedestrian right of way
- Drivers who failed to yield at crosswalks
- Lack of sleep or exhaustion
- Making improper turns, including illegal U-turns
- Speeding or reckless driving
- Vehicles traveling in reverse without checking their surroundings
Common Portland Pedestrian Accident Injuries
Pedestrian accidents can occur in seconds, causing horrific injuries or even death. The Center for Disease Control reports that emergency departments throughout the U.S. treated 129,000 pedestrian accident victims for non-fatal crash-related injuries in 2019.
Of those treated, the most common pedestrian accident injuries range from cuts, scrapes, and bruises to the body to limb amputations and paralysis to wrongful death.
Compensation After A Portland Motorcycle Accident
The worth of a pedestrian accident case depends on the nature and severity of the injuries sustained. The more serious the injuries, the higher the related losses and compensation tend to be.
Generally, your recovery compensation may include:
- Short and long-term medical costs
- Therapy and rehabilitation costs
- Lost wages for the injured and family members who care for them
- Temporary or permanent disability
Are Drivers Always At-Fault For Pedestrian Crashes?
It is a common misconception that when a pedestrian crash occurs, the driver is always at fault. Drivers are usually at fault, but not always. In Portland, a driver is only at fault for a pedestrian accident when the accident results from the driver’s negligence or breach of a traffic law.
For example, suppose a driver hits a pedestrian because they fail to yield to a pedestrian rightfully in a crosswalk as a result of being distracted. In that case, the driver will be held liable. However, if the pedestrian caused the crash out of their negligence, the pedestrian will be liable. An instance of this is if the pedestrian crosses when they do not have the right of way or walk while distracted into the path of a car.
If you are found entirely at fault as a pedestrian, you will not be able to file a viable claim against the driver. However, suppose the fault is shared between the pedestrian and the driver. In that case, Oregon’s rules related to modified comparative fault will apply. This means you can still recover compensation from the other party when your fault contributes to an accident. But, the amount of your recoverable damages will be reduced in proportion to your degree of fault.
Contact An Experienced Attorney Today
In pursuing your pedestrian accident claim, you should hire an attorney who is well informed of the laws that protect pedestrians in Portland. While you have the legal right to represent yourself, you often have a better chance at succeeding in your case if you have a skilled pedestrian injury lawyer on your side.