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Personal Injuries During Portland Protests

By Marc A. Johnston, posted in Personal Injury on June 22, 2020

Portland and cities across the country have erupted in protests over allegations of racism and police brutality. News coverage shows both large numbers of people peacefully congregating as well as more contentious demonstrations. There have been many cases in which protesters and police have acted out aggressively. As a result, numerous protesters have suffered serious personal injuries. As these types of events show no sign of ending in the near future, it is important to be aware of the risks in these situations and your legal rights in holding those at fault accountable.  

Conflicts With Law Enforcement Put Protesters At Risk

Protests erupted throughout the country in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd in late May, 2020. People of all ages have taken to the streets in anger over the case and similar types of incidents involving police brutality, in particular involving the African American community. 

Multiple protests have taken place in Portland, many of which have been peaceful. However, citing state laws prohibiting unlawful assembly, police have moved more aggressively against demonstrators on numerous occasions, particularly in cases where there is concern over disruptions in traffic or property damages to local businesses. Pepper spray has reportedly been used, as have non-lethal types of munitions. 

According to a June 20, 2020 Oregon Live report, police recently fired foam tipped projectiles into crowds of protesters, resulting in potentially serious personal injuries for several people. While police are within their rights to take action disrupting unruly crowds, they can be held accountable when this force is unwarranted or overly aggressive. 

Personal Injuries Due to Protests

It is not only people participating in protests who are at risk of suffering personal injuries. Innocent passersby, residents of affected areas, and visitors to restaurants or stores in these districts can also be in danger. In addition to mistakenly being targeted by law enforcement as a protesters, the conditions surrounding these events make the following types of accidents more likely to occur: 

  • Pedestrian and bicycle accidents;
  • Slips, trips, and falls;
  • Being struck by or against objects;
  • Serious lacerations and burn injuries. 

Under the Oregon Code, you have the right to seek compensation when personal injuries occur as a result of the negligent actions of others. Property owners, protestors, other bystanders, and the police or city officials may all share a portion of the blame. Even if you might be considered at least partly at fault for participating in a protest or for being in areas where protests were occurring, you may still be entitled to compensation in a claim. 

Contact an Attorney Today for Help

Whether you engaged in protests or were simply a bystander, personal injuries you suffer as a result can end up being severe. At the Johnston Law Firm P.C., we help you get compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and other costs. Call (503) 546-3167 or contact our Portland personal injury attorneys online today and request a free consultation to discuss how we can help in your case.

Marc Johnston
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