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Portland Pedestrian Injury Attorney

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Bicycle & Pedestrian Accidents

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We Represent Injured Pedestrians in Portland and Throughout Oregon

It is crucial to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible if you or a loved one was injured in a pedestrian accident. The potential dangers for pedestrians in Portland are numerous. People walking in crosswalks, jogging on the road, cycling or even walking on sidewalks are especially vulnerable to motor vehicle and mass transit traffic such as buses and trains. When a negligent driver causes injury to a pedestrian, the driver is often at fault, even if the pedestrian was not in a marked crosswalk.

Several laws define the parameters for protected, unmarked road crossings, which may not be apparent to someone without a legal background. At Johnston Law Firm, P.C., we are well-informed of the laws that protect pedestrians and cyclists in Portland. Drivers of cars and trucks are not the only ones who need to watch out for pedestrians. Bus drivers, transit drivers and even cyclists need to be aware of pedestrians and pedestrian rights of way. If you have been struck in a crosswalk, a parking lot, a driveway or anywhere else by a car, truck, bus or train, we can work on your behalf to obtain full and fair compensation for your injuries.

Contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation. Attorney Marc A. Johnston will independently investigate the cause of the accident. Compensation for your injuries is not automatic. We will advocate aggressively for the compensation you deserve and work to uncover important factors critical to your recovery.

We Handle a Full Range of Pedestrian Injury Claims

Crosswalk Accidents

Under PBOT guidelines, there are crosswalks at major intersections throughout the city and in some cases, mid-block in busy locations. Regardless of whether there are painted lines on the road, motorists are required to slow down and yield to people who are attempting to cross the street. Unfortunately, they often fail to do so.

Turning Accidents

Intersections are inherently dangerous places, as are side streets where drivers may be attempting turns. Going too fast for conditions and not paying attention make pedestrian accidents more likely in these locations.

Parking Lot Accidents

These are one of the most common places for pedestrian accidents in Portland. Whether at paved lots serving local stores, restaurants, and office buildings or in larger pay parking areas throughout the city, pedestrians need to pay close attention. Backover accidents, in which drivers fail to look when pulling out of spaces, can happen easily and often impact children.

Sideswipe Accidents

Pedestrians are urged to use sidewalks whenever possible. In areas without them, keeping far to the side of the road when walking helps increase your safety but is not foolproof. Drivers who swerve due to being distracted or to avoid other drivers and poor road conditions can easily sideswipe pedestrians, resulting in potentially life threatening injuries.

Loss Of Control Accidents

Loss of vehicle control can happen due to collisions with other motorists or as a result of reckless driving behavior. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), speeding and driving under the influence are two of the most common factors contributing to pedestrian accident injuries and deaths.

Recovering Compensation for Pedestrian Injuries

If you were injured as a pedestrian in Oregon, our law firm can help you recover from a number of losses, including:

  • Loss of expected future earnings/wages. A serious pedestrian accident may leave you with injuries that are temporarily or permanently disabling, undermining your ability to work and earn an income. For many people, this can mean the loss of hundreds of thousands, or even millions, of dollars in the form of lost wages, benefits, and lost earning potential.
  • Pain and suffering. It’s not just economic losses that a person will suffer as a result of a serious pedestrian crash, but also non-economic losses such as pain, suffering, and emotional distress. While these damages don’t directly correspond to a dollar amount, your attorney will calculate them based on your degree of suffering and for how long your suffering is expected to last.
  • Loss of expected future earnings/wages. A serious pedestrian accident may leave you with injuries that are temporarily or permanently disabling, undermining your ability to work and earn an income. For many people, this can mean the loss of hundreds of thousands, or even millions, of dollars in the form of lost wages, benefits, and lost earning potential.

  • Pain and suffering. It’s not just economic losses that a person will suffer as a result of a serious pedestrian crash, but also non-economic losses such as pain, suffering, and emotional distress. While these damages don’t directly correspond to a dollar amount, your attorney will calculate them based on your degree of suffering and for how long your suffering is expected to last.
  • Reimbursement for medical expenses. The bulk of your pedestrian accident claim may be high medical bills. Healthcare in America is incredibly expensive and if you’ve suffered serious injuries, you may be facing costs related to hospital stays, emergency care and transportation, surgeries, medications, and more, resulting in a sum that’s hard to even think about. You deserve to be compensated in full for your medical expenses and your future medical expenses.
  • Rehabilitation costs. After you have received initial treatment for your injuries and your condition has stabilized, rehabilitation may be recommended. Like other types of medical care, rehabilitation can be expensive and is something that you should be compensated for in full.
  • Long-term care/disability costs. When pedestrian accidents are serious, those impacted may suffer injuries that do not completely heal, and instead, result in permanently disabling harm that requires long-term care. Long-term care costs are astronomical; this is certainly not something that an injured party or their family members should have to pay for.
  • Any other costs applicable to your case. If you have suffered any other costs related to your case, you should be compensated for these costs. By working with an attorney, your attorney can thoroughly investigate your case and make a determination about the value of your claim and how much you should request in a settlement.

We represent clients who have been victimized by the negligence of MAX Rail System drivers as well. Each year, people throughout Portland are injured in light rail accidents. Whether the train did not see you crossing the tracks, it took off too fast after taking on passengers or it did not stop in time for an emergency, you may have a case for financial compensation. It is best to consult with an experienced attorney in any personal injury matter to gain a full understanding of your options concerning a valid claim.

Don’t miss out on these common personal injury mistakes.

Get the legal counsel you need to guide you through the process of filing an injury claim.

Testimonials

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Sally Martinez September 28, 2020

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– Michelle E.

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Mr. Johnston and his firm were incredibly thorough in getting us a fair settlement from our insurance company with little to no pressure. We really appreciated having someone who truly cared about us every step of the way. I would highly recommend the Johnston Law Firm to anyone in need of personal injury representation.

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Hit and Run
Pedestrian Accident
Proves Fatal In Portland

Oregon Live recently did a news report highlighting some alarming statistics. Based on police reports, they show a total of 26 pedestrian deaths over the course of 2021. This sets an unfortunate record as the highest number of fatal pedestrian accidents in close to 50 years.

Sadly, this year is already off to a bad start in terms of these types of crashes. A January 3, 2022 KGW News 8 report detailed a fatal pedestrian accident that happened in Northeast Portland. Police have not released many details, other than to say that a driver struck and killed an unidentified victim who was walking at roughly 5:30 a.m., near Northeast Alderwood Road and Cornfoot Road. Rather than stopping, the driver fled the scene.

What would cause someone to not just attempt to avoid financial responsibility for a pedestrian accident in Portland but to actually leave an injured victim lying on the street rather than render help? At-fault drivers often make the decision to flee in a split second. Among the most common reasons include:

  • Momentary panic;
  • Fear of getting into trouble with police;
  • Having a prior criminal record or outstanding warrants;
  • Driving with a suspended license or without insurance;
  • Doubts over immigration status and fear of deportation.

Holding Hit and Run
Drivers Accountable

According to the Insurance Institute For Highway Safety (IIHS), more than 20 percent of all fatal pedestrian accidents throughout the U.S. involve a hit and run driver. Even in cases where the victim is able to make a complete recovery, medical expenses and lost wages can end up totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars. Rather than having to pay out of pocket for these and other costs, our Portland pedestrian accident attorneys help victims and their families in this situation. Steps we can take to help hold hit and run drivers accountable include:

  • Make sure BOLO (Be On The Lookout) reports are distributed among law enforcement officials;
  • Get the word out to the general public via news reports and social media;
  • Subpoena surveillance tapes from nearby stores or traffic signals where the accident happened;
  • Visit local repair shops, where the at-fault driver may have taken their vehicle.

When Pedestrian
Accidents Result In
Long Term Disabilities

With little to protect them in collisions with motor vehicles, pedestrian accident injuries have the potential to be severe. These can result in long term disabilities. In the majority of cases, the reckless and negligent behaviors of motorists are to blame. Factors that not only increase the risk but also the severity of pedestrian accident injuries include:

  • Speeding and driving too fast for conditions;
  • Running red lights and stop signs;
  • Failing to yield in crosswalks;
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol, recreational drugs, or medications.

In all of these scenarios, drivers are likely to be traveling over 30 miles per hour and may not see a pedestrian until it is too late. At this speed and without slamming on the brakes, pedestrian accident injuries can result in long term disabilities.

The speed at which a driver is traveling and whether they hesitate before striking the victim are major factors in pedestrian accidents, as is the height of the pedestrian and the point of impact. For example:

  • With small children, who are among the most common pedestrian accident victims, crushing injuries frequently occur, causing permanent damage to body limbs and internal organs.
  • For teens and adults under 5’5, impacts are likely to be in the center of the body, resulting in multiple broken ribs and internal bleeding. They are also likely to be thrown, resulting in road rash, head injuries, and other types of trauma.
  • With taller individuals, the car may initially strike their legs or hips before throwing them up and over the vehicle or into the windshield, resulting in severe lacerations, multiple fractures, and head and neck trauma.

Considering the violent nature of pedestrian accident injuries, long term disabilities often occur as a result. While you may be entitled to compensation through the at-fault driver’s insurance, filing a pedestrian accident lawsuit may be the best way to ensure you get the compensation you are entitled to for your pain, suffering, current medical expenses, and lost income, as well as for the future costs you are likely to incur.

Pedestrian Deaths
In Portland At A
50 Year High

A December 1, 2021 Oregon Live news report shared some troubling statistics. According to local police reports, fatal pedestrian accidents have reached historic levels. In total, roughly 60 people have been killed in Portland motor vehicle accidents over the past year, with close to half of these being pedestrians. This is the highest rate in over 50 years. With increased hours of darkness and the potential for bad weather in the coming months, Portland Police expect this number to continue rising. 

Pedestrians are among the most vulnerable road users. Common types of accidents that can result in serious and life-threatening personal injuries include:

  • Crosswalk accidents;
  • Pedestrian accidents that happen near bus stops or train stations;
  • Parking lot pedestrian accidents;
  • Pedestrian accidents involving children in residential areas;
  • Pedestrian accidents that happen when walking on highways;
  • Pedestrian accidents involving motorists who suffer vehicle breakdowns. 

Steps To Prevent
Pedestrian Accidents
In Portland

City officials are working on ways to reduce pedestrian accidents in Portland. This includes installing more sidewalks, traffic signals, crossing islands, and lowering speed limits. At the same time, local residents are urged to use caution and take steps necessary to keep themselves safe. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommends the following: 

  • Wear the proper shoes when out walking to avoid slips and falls;
  • Wear light, bright colors to increase visibility, particularly when walking at night;
  • Walk only in areas with designated sidewalks;
  • Always use crosswalks at intersections;
  • Look both ways before stepping into the street;
  • Never assume a driver sees you or will stop;
  • Avoid using ear buds, which could silence car horns, screeching tires, or other sounds of an impending crash;
  • Avoid distractions and keep your eyes on the sidewalk in front of you;
  • Avoid walking if you are under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or certain medications. 

When a pedestrian accident does happen, report it to the police immediately and seek medical care for your injuries, regardless of severity. Make note of exactly where and when it happened and any witnesses at the scene. This is useful information, particularly in hit and run pedestrian accidents where the at-fault driver attempts to flee the scene. 

Pedestrian Injury FAQs

Even if you own a car and drive often, you are still a pedestrian on a daily basis, even if it is just walking from your car into a building. While walking is good for the environment and for your health, walking near traffic always comes with the risk of serious accidents and injuries. Below are some answers to some Portland pedestrian injury FAQs you may have.

Many pedestrian injuries occur because of a collision with a car, truck, motorcycle, or another type of motor vehicle. However, drivers are not the only parties that can cause a pedestrian accident. The following are some common causes of this type of accident:

  • Distracted driving;
  • Drivers who fail to yield at crosswalks;
  • Improper turns at intersections with crosswalks;
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs;
  • Improperly timed traffic and walk signals;
  • Dangerously designed intersections;
  • Defects in the sidewalk or on property;
  • Objects falling from windows or buildings.

If your pedestrian accident occurred due to any type of negligence, you have the right to hold the negligent party or parties liable for your injury-related losses.

There is a common misconception that when a pedestrian crash occurs, the driver involved is always at fault. While this may make sense emotionally, the truth is that a driver is only found to be at fault for a pedestrian accident in Portland when the accident is a result of the driver’s negligence or breach of a traffic law. For example, if a driver hits a pedestrian because they fail to yield to a pedestrian rightfully in a crosswalk as a result of being distracted, they will be held liable. However, if the pedestrian causes the crash as a result of their own negligence (e.g. crossing when they do not have the right of way, stepping off the curb into the way of traffic, or walking while impaired or distracted into the path of a car), the pedestrian will be found liable. If a pedestrian is found to be fully at fault for a crash, they will be unable to file a viable claim for damages against the driver of the car.

In some cases, fault may be shared between the pedestrian and the driver. When this is the case, Oregon’s rules related to modified comparative fault apply. This law holds that a claimant can still recover compensation from the other party when their own fault contributes to an accident, but their recoverable damages amount will be reduced in proportion to their degree of fault. For example, if you are found to be 40 percent at fault for your damages, you can only file a claim against the other party to recover 60 percent of your damages.

The worth of a pedestrian accident case depends on the nature and severity of the injuries sustained. When a vehicle hits a person walking, that person generally has no protection from the impact. While motorists have airbags and seat belts and bicyclists at least have helmets, pedestrians often bear the full brunt of a crash. Furthermore, if the car was traveling at higher speeds, a pedestrian can often go flying onto the car and may eventually land on the pavement. Multiple points of impact often mean multiple injuries that all require medical care and it can drive up the value of a case.

In addition, pedestrian accidents are often catastrophic. Injuries such as spinal cord injuries or traumatic brain injuries can leave a victim paralyzed or with long-term cognitive impairments. Such disabilities can prohibit an accident victim from returning to work or even from ever earning a living again. The more serious the injuries, the higher the related losses tend to be. An experienced lawyer will review your case and your injuries to give you a better idea of how much you can recover.

No one is required to have the assistance of an attorney when filing an insurance claim or a claim for personal injury in civil court. While you absolutely have the legal right to represent yourself, you often have a better chance at succeeding in your case if you have a skilled pedestrian injury lawyer on your side.

Seeking recovery for injuries can be a complicated process and insurance companies and adversaries in court both can take advantage of injured victims who are unfamiliar with the process and with their own rights. For example, insurance companies will often make extremely low settlement offers that are all too often accepted because a victim may not realize they have other options for recovery. An experienced lawyer can advise you throughout your case and help to maximize the compensation you receive.

One main reason why injured pedestrians fail to contact an attorney is concern over the cost of legal representation. Unlike attorneys who charge exorbitant hourly fees, a pedestrian accident attorney at the Johnston Law Firm makes it so anyone can afford a lawyer after an injury. We work on a contingency fee basis, which means that you pay nothing up front, we cover the costs of your case, and you only pay us for fees and costs if we are successful in helping you obtain recovery. If you do not prevail in your case, you do not pay for our services.

It can be intimidating to hire an attorney – some people may feel like working with an attorney is overkill, or that they will surely be offered a fair settlement without an attorney because they weren’t to blame for their injuries. The truth is, though, that working with an attorney can significantly improve the outcome of your case. Consider the following things that a pedestrian accident attorney will do in support of your case:

  • Investigating your case. A proper investigation forms the framework for a successful pedestrian accident claim. Our lawyer will travel to the scene of the accident, track down eyewitnesses, determine whether or not any video footage of the accident exists, analyze photos and police reports, and hire appropriate excerpts, such as accident reconstruction experts, to work on your case.
  • Calculating your damages. Once you have healed from your injuries to the maximum extent that doctors believe you will reach–known as Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI) – a lawyer will work with experts and your doctors to determine the extent of damages you’ve suffered and the value of your claim.
  • Determining liability. Once evidence is collected, your attorney will be responsible for making a determination about legal responsibility for your crash and then proving it. Liability for a pedestrian accident is based on the existence of a duty of care, a breach of the duty of care, and proximate cause. Your attorney can also work to undermine any allegations of fault that are made by the other party against you.
  • Negotiating your settlement. After your attorney determines the value of your claim and who should be held liable, they will file a demand letter against the responsible party. Then, the insurance company will likely offer you a settlement. This settlement may not fairly compensate you, though. As such, your attorney will enter into negotiations in order to secure a fair settlement offer.
  • Preparing your case for court. Our law firm will prepare your case to go to court even if a settlement is reached out of court. If litigation is necessary, our law firm will be prepared to fight for you.

A pedestrian accident attorney can also answer any questions that you have throughout the process and advocate for you.

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Contact an Experienced Portland Pedestrian Injury Attorney

Please call to arrange a free initial consultation to discuss your case. You may have a case for pedestrian crosswalk injury even if you were not in a marked crosswalk. Contact The Johnston Law Firm at 503-546-3167 or fill out our free confidential case evaluation form on the bottom to schedule a consultation with an experienced lawyer.

Johnston Law Firm, P.C. proudly represents clients who have suffered crosswalk injuries or pedestrian accidents in all cities and counties in Oregon: Portland, Gresham, Milwaukie, Lake Oswego, Tigard, Beaverton, Hillsboro, Multnomah, Washington, Clackamas.

Free Confidential Case Evaluation

Contact us today at
503-546-3167

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We’re conveniently located in downtown Portland, and we offer flexible hours by appointment.