Walking is an excellent form of exercise, as well as being an inexpensive, environmentally friendly mode of transportation. In and around Portland, there are numerous paths and hiking trails for people who enjoy walking and hiking, as well as sidewalks and crosswalks that make getting from one neighborhood to another easier and more convenient than ever before. While Portland has made great strides in promoting the safety of travelers on foot, pedestrian accidents and injuries still occur with alarming regularity. Drivers responsible for these accidents can be held legally liable for any injuries that occur, but what can you do in the event of a hit and run? It is possible to get compensation for pedestrian hit and run accidents, provided you know the proper procedures to follow.
Portland Pedestrian Accidents and Driver Responsibilities
Pedestrians are particularly vulnerable to injuries in accidents with motorists, and fatalities in these accidents are unfortunately common. According to the 2015 traffic crash summary reports provided by the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT), approximately one third of all traffic fatalities in the city of Portland involve pedestrians, a number that is nearly double the national average. According to PBOT, these types of accidents are often the result of reckless or negligent behaviors on the part of other drivers, such as speeding, distracted driving, and driving under the influence. Under the Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS 811.700), drivers are required to do the following when an accident occurs:
- Stop immediately at the scene;
- Render aid to victims;
- Exchange information, including their name, address, vehicle registration and driver’s license number and insurance information.
While failure to do the above could result in misdemeanor charges, including the potential for fines and jail time, drivers may think they can avoid responsibility for the injuries they have caused by leaving the scene of the accident.
What To Do In A Pedestrian Hit and Run
In a pedestrian hit and run accident, there are several ways the police may handle the matter. According to the Portland Police Bureau, if there are witnesses on the scene who can identify the driver through vehicle description or license plate number, the police will file a crash report, and place holds on the vehicle in order to identify the suspect and to collect and maintain evidence. In the event there is no information about the driver involved, the accident will be referred to the Telephone Report Unit (TRU). An investigator will be assigned to your case and will keep a record of any information you can provide regarding the time of the accident, where and how it occurred, as well as any information you may have about the driver. Important steps to take if you are involved in a hit and run pedestrian accident, regardless of whether or not you can identify the driver, include the following:
- File a police report, providing as much detail as you can about the accident;
- File a traffic accident report, available through the Police bureau website;
- Get medical treatment immediately for your injuries, and follow all doctor’s instructions.
Reach Out to a Portland Hit and Run Accident Attorney for Help
If you or someone you know has been the victim of a hit and run accident, contact our experienced Portland personal injury attorney right away. At the Johnston Law Firm, we can advise you on how to hold responsible drivers accountable for the damages they have caused, and assist you in getting the compensation you need to recover. Call or contact our office online today for a free, confidential case review.