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Drunk Drivers Put Passengers at Risk

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is one of the most dangerous types of reckless driving behaviors. It puts the driver and other motorists on the road at risk for car accidents resulting in potentially life threatening injuries. When it comes to filing a claim for the damages these types of crashes can result in, there is one type of victim who is often overlooked: passengers. To be sure, as a recent drunk driving crash in Portland shows, passengers in these vehicles are among those who suffer the most serious harm.

Portland Drunk Driving Accident Claims Life of Passenger

A recent drunk driving accident in Portland involving a single car collision claimed the life of a passenger who was riding along in the vehicle. According to a March 10, 2019 report by KATU News, 26-year-old Adam Valle was operating his Subaru Legacy under the influence when he crashed into a pole at 11:00 p.m. near the intersection of Division and Southeast 122nd Avenue in Portland. When first responders arrived at the scene, Vale took off running, but was later apprehended. His as-yet unidentified passenger was pronounced dead at the scene.

Vale received treatment for non-life threatening injuries and was eventually booked into the Multnomah County Jail. He faces charges of second degree manslaughter, hit-and-run, reckless driving, and driving under the influence of intoxicants. Sadly, this was the seventh deadly car accident to occur in the city since the beginning of the year.

Drunk Driving Claims on Behalf of Passengers

According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), driving under the influence is responsible for close to 30 percent of all traffic-related deaths throughout the country. More than one million drivers are pulled over and ticketed for DUI each year. However, this is just a drop in the bucket in terms of the actual scope of the problem. More than 110 million people admit to having driven while under the influence but were never apprehended.

The Portland Police urge drivers to rely on alternative methods, such as public transportation or Uber, rather than risk getting behind the wheel. They also warn others to avoid getting into a car with a driver who is under the influence. However, while it may be a lapse in judgment to ride along with someone who is visibly impaired, it does not prevent passengers or their family members from seeking compensation. You may still be entitled to file a claim against the at-fault driver for the damages you have suffered, which include medical costs, lost wages, and other expenses, along with compensation for the pain and suffering the accident caused.

Let Our Portland Car Accident Attorneys Assist You

When drunk driving accidents impact you or your loved ones, the Johnston Law Firm provides the professional legal representation needed to hold at fault drivers accountable. Call us at (503) 546-3167 or contact our Portland car accident attorneys online and request a consultation to find out how we can help you in filing a claim.  


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.