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Could Portland woman be liable for fatal road rage accident?

This past weekend, a case of alleged road rage made headlines across Oregon. A 45-year-old Portland woman was accused by police of causing a fatal crash on Highway 6. The woman reportedly engaged in “road rage behavior” with another driver, a 56-year-old Beaverton man, before she tried passing his Chrysler in a no-passing zone.

Law enforcement officials say the maneuver caused the man to lose control and slam head-on into an oncoming Jeep. The violent Tillamook County accident killed the man and injured a pair of people in the Jeep.

Oregon State Police said the woman did not stop at the scene of the crash. After getting her description from witnesses, they later found her in Washington County. She was arrested on charges including criminally negligent homicide, reckless driving and felony hit and run.

The tragedy leaves many questions, of course, including whether or not a court could find the woman liable to the family of the man killed, though he reportedly also engaged in the dangerous road rage behavior, and liable to those injured.

In similar situations, courts have found that road rage drivers can be liable for damages that include the following:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of future earnings
  • Medical expenses
  • Rehabilitation costs
  • Other costs stemming from the crash

Among the many issues a court would look at in this case would be whether or not the woman intentionally caused the crash and to what degree, if any, the man might be responsible for the accident that took his life and left others with injuries.

Accident injury victims should discuss their legal options with a personal injury attorney.


Marc Johnston

Lead Attorney at Johnston Law Firm, P.C.

Based in downtown Portland, Marc A. Johnston is the owner and managing attorney of the award-winning, internationally-known personal injury law firm, Johnston Law Firm, P.C. Marc's career has been dedicated to representing the injured and individuals who have been treated unfairly by an insurance company. His focus on trial law creates the backbone of the Johnston Law Firm — a firm that is ready to go the distance in seeking justice for its clients.