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Hit And Run Accidents In Portland: Why Drivers Flee The Scene And How To Identify Them

Any type of crash or collision has the potential to cause serious impacts for motorists, pedestrians, bicyclists, and other road users, but hit-and-run car accidents in Portland are typically among the most severe. In addition to making it difficult for victims to get the compensation they are entitled to, it increases the risk of severe and life-threatening personal injuries. Our Portland car accident attorneys explain what causes drivers to flee the scene and the steps we can take to locate them. In these types of cases, you can count on our team to help you hold them accountable and get the compensation you are entitled to in a claim. 

Hit And Run Accidents Unfortunately Common

The Portland Police Bureau reported that an arrest was recently made in a hit-and-run case that occurred in December 2022. It happened on Southeast Division Street, east of Southeast 154th Avenue. Witnesses reported seeing a motorcyclist lying in the street, obviously struck by a passing motor vehicle. Unfortunately, the driver failed to stop, and the victim was pronounced dead at the scene. 

After an exhaustive investigation, a suspect was finally apprehended on January 23, 2023. The man, a 36-year-old Portland resident, was charged with one count of Failure to Perform the Duty of a Driver (Resulting in Serious Injury or Death) and booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center.

Unfortunately, this situation is not an uncommon one. According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), roughly ten percent of all car accidents involve a hit-and-run driver. They happen an average of every 45 seconds somewhere in the U.S. and claim the lives of thousands of people each year.   

Common Reasons Behind Hit-and-Run Car Accidents In Portland

Statistics from the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODAT) indicate that close to 6,000 motor vehicle accidents in Portland happen each year, impacting drivers, passengers, motorcyclists, pedestrians, and bicyclists. When motorists involved fail to immediately stop at the scene, it prevents victims from receiving necessary medical care and impacts their ability to get compensation for their injuries. What causes a driver to behave in such a callous manner? 

  • They know they are at fault and hope to avoid liability;
  • They are driving without a valid license, insurance, or vehicle registration;
  • They are under the influence of alcohol or engaged in other types of illegal activity;
  • They have concerns about outstanding warrants or their immigration status. 

In some cases, drivers merely panic. As otherwise law-abiding people, they may eventually turn themselves in. However, in most cases, it requires extensive investigations to identify those at fault so that they can be held accountable. 

How We Help Catch Portland Hit And Run Drivers 

Hit-and-run drivers pose serious risks to everyone on the road. If you end up being involved in this type of crash, contact our Portland hit-and-run car accident attorneys immediately. We work with local law enforcement in taking the steps needed to identify these drivers and hold them liable in a claim. This includes: 

  • Reviewing police reports regarding the accident site;
  • Revisiting and canvassing the accident scene;
  • Talking to witnesses and obtaining detailed statements regarding what they observed;
  • Obtaining surveillance footage from nearby businesses or traffic signals, which can help identify the driver and vehicle;
  • Soliciting tips from the general public;
  • Speaking to local mechanics, who the hit-and-run driver may have contacted in seeking repairs. 

Once a hit-and-run driver is identified, it is reported to the police. In addition to facing criminal charges for their actions, they can be held personally liable for property damages, medical expenses, lost wages, and other costs you incur in a personal injury lawsuit filed through the Multnomah County Civil Court

For Professional Legal Representation, Contact Our Portland Hit and Run Accident Attorneys

Hit-and-run accidents are among the most complex types of cases. While victims often suffer serious, potentially life-threatening personal injuries, the fact that the at-fault driver fled the scene makes holding them accountable more difficult. In this type of situation, get the professional legal representation you need from the Johnston Law Firm. 
As experienced Portland hit-and-run accident attorneys, we take the swift legal actions needed in your case. You can count on us to help both in identifying the at-fault driver and in holding them liable for property damages, medical expenses, lost wages, and other costs you incur. To get the compensation you deserve, call (503) 546-3167 or contact our office online and request a consultation today.


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.