According to reporting from KOIN 6, Portland’s CBS affiliate, a juvenile male was airlifted to a Portland area medical center after sustaining severe injuries in a rollover crash that occurred on Highway 99W, south of Portland. Law enforcement officers from the Oregon State Police told reporters that speed and alcohol were believed to be factors in the accident.
Sadly, far too many young children in Oregon and throughout the United States are victims of DUI accidents. At the Johnston law firm, LLC, we are committed to promoting safer roads in our region and protecting the rights of injured victims and their families. Here, our Portland drunk driving accident attorney explains three unique factors that must be considered in Oregon personal injury claims that involve children.
1. The Statute of Limitations is Different in Child Injury Cases
Personal injury claims in Oregon are subject to a very strict statute of limitations. In the overwhelming majority of Portland, OR drunk driving accident claims, injured victims have two years from the crash to initiate their legal claim.
However, the rules are different for minors. There is a very complex set of regulations that could extend the statute of limitations to the child’s 18th birthday, and perhaps even to their 19th birthday. Still, even in these cases, it is important that an injured child’s parent or guardian consults with an experienced attorney as soon as possible. The sooner the legal claim is started, the better.
2. An Adult May Have a Heightened Duty of Care to Protect a Child
In certain cases, an adult may have a heightened obligation to protect the health and safety of a child. In terms of drunk driving accident cases, this usually becomes an issue when the child was injured by an intoxicated commercial driver or when the child was a passenger in the car with the drunk driver. In these circumstances, Oregon courts are far more likely to award punitive damages to punish the very bad actions of the defendant.
3. Parents Must Follow Special Claims Procedures to Get Compensation for Medical Bills
Finally, one of the most complicated issues involved in Oregon DUI child injury claims is calculating damages and collecting full financial compensation. There are certain important points that parents need to know. First, there are specialized claims rules that must be followed for parents to get access to the compensation they need to pay their child’s medical bills. Second, it is especially difficult to measure future damages in child injury cases. Unfortunately, defendants and their insurers are notorious for trying to undervalue these claims. It is imperative that a child’s full damages are accounted for, including:
- All future medical expenses;
- Rehabilitation costs;
- Long-term disability;
- Diminished earning potential;
- Reduced quality of life; and
- Permanent physical impairment.
Parents should always be represented by an experienced Portland DUI accident attorney who can work aggressively to pursue the maximum available financial compensation for their child.
Get Help From a Portland Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer Today
At Johnston Law Firm, P.C., our skilled Oregon car accident lawyer has deep experience handling the complexities involved in complex drunk driving accident injury claims. If your child was hurt in a collision with an intoxicated driver, we can help. For a free, no strings attached review of your claim, please call our law firm today at (503) 546-3167. With an office in Portland, we represent injured victims throughout northern Oregon, including in Tigard, Gresham, Beaverton, Eagle Creek, Sandy, Hillsboro, and Forest Grove.