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Salem is a very walkable city, particularly the downtown area, which is rich in shops, bars, and restaurants nestled into a historic backdrop that is right by the water. Unfortunately, while there is much to see and do in the city, pedestrians are also at risk as they make their way to and from the different destinations. When a pedestrian and a vehicle collide on the roads, it is always the pedestrian who will sustain the worst injuries. Pedestrians have no protection against the forceful impact of a vehicle and so, they will suffer broken bones, traumatic head injuries, and more.
If you or someone you love has been hurt in a pedestrian accident, you can file a claim to recover monetary damages for your losses. These claims are fraught with challenges, though, and the negligent driver may even argue that you were at fault. At Johnston Law Firm, our Salem pedestrian injury attorney will refute those claims so you obtain the full and fair settlement you deserve. If you or your loved one was hurt in a pedestrian crash, we can help. Contact our Salem pedestrian accident lawyer today for a free, no obligation consultation.
Pedestrians are Vulnerable: Face a Risk of Serious Injuries
Pedestrians are vulnerable road users. By definition, pedestrians have limited protection from oncoming traffic. Motorists must take care to watch out for pedestrians. The Oregon Department of Transportation reports that there were 702 confirmed pedestrian collisions in the state in 2020 alone. Those pedestrian crashes resulted in 675 suspected injuries. In other words, most pedestrian collisions reported to state authorities are injury-crashes. 117 pedestrians sustained very serious injuries and, tragically, 76 were killed. Some of the common pedestrian accident injuries include:
- Soft tissue injuries, such as bruises, scrapes, and cuts;
- Head injuries, including concussion, skull fracture, and traumatic brain injuries (TBI)s;
- Neck and back injuries, including sprains, strains, and herniated discs;
- Chest injuries, such as rib fractures and bruising of the lungs;
- Facial injuries, including cuts, bruises;
- Upper and lower limb injuries, including fractures, sprains, and dislocations;
- Internal injuries, including organ damage and internal bleeding;
- Psychological injuries, such as anxiety, fear, and post-traumatic stress disorder; and
- Catastrophic injuries, including amputations and spinal cord damage.
Hurt in a Pedestrian Accident in Salem? Seek Immediate Medical Attention
Pedestrian accidents often result in serious injuries that require immediate medical attention. Even seemingly minor injuries, such as scrapes and bruises, can benefit from being evaluated by a medical professional. It is important to seek medical care after a pedestrian accident to ensure that all injuries are properly treated and to prevent any potential complications. In some cases, injuries sustained in a pedestrian accident may not be immediately apparent, and only a thorough medical examination can detect them. Ignoring injuries or delaying medical care can lead to more serious health problems down the road. Further, you will not be eligible to bring a pedestrian accident injury claim unless you see a doctor. You need medical records to recover compensation.
Common Types of Accidents that Result in Pedestrian Injuries
Pedestrians can become hurt in many ways as they make their way through the city. Some of the most common types of accidents pedestrians are involved in are as follows:
- Crosswalk accidents: In Salem, as throughout the rest of Oregon all intersections are considered crosswalkswhether it is marked or unmarked. As such, drivers must always yield the right-of-way to pedestrians when they are in an intersection. Too many motorists ignore this right of walkers and when they do, an accident can easily occur.
- Turning accidents: Turning accidents often go hand in hand with crosswalk accidents. When motorists are negligent when turning, they may make a turn too quickly and hit a pedestrian, or fail to see that someone is crossing the street before it is too late and hit them.
- Parking lot accidents: Parking lots are busy places and there is a lot happening. People are making their way through the lot to go to and from the store, at a time when drivers are pulling into and out of parking spaces. Negligent drivers may fail to check their blind spots or otherwise properly look for pedestrians.
- Sideswipe accidents: When possible, pedestrians should always use the sidewalk, which provides some distance between them and traffic. Unfortunately, this is not always possible. Pedestrians are always encouraged to walk as far as possible to the side of the road when there is no sidewalk available, and to walk facing oncoming traffic. Still, there is no guarantee that taking these safety measures will prevent an accident from occurring. Poor weather conditions can make it difficult for motorists to see pedestrians on the side of the road, or they may swerve to avoid debris or another vehicle and sideswipe the pedestrian.
- Reckless driving: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) two of the main causes of pedestrian accidents,that result in injury and death are driving under the influence and speeding. These are just two examples of reckless driving that contribute to pedestrian accidents.
Compensation Available After a Pedestrian Accident
No one can determine the value of your pedestrian accident claim without first fully reviewing the facts of your case. The damages, or financial compensation, available in injury claims, are meant to restore you as wholly as possible to the same condition you were in before the accident occurred. Some of the most common damages in accident claims include:
- Medical expenses: It is no secret that the cost of healthcare in America is high and so, it should come as no surprise that the bulk of many pedestrian accident settlements are made up of medical expenses. It is important to pursue damages for emergency transportation and care, hospital admissions, medication, surgeries, and more. It is important to claim not only your past and current losses, but any future expenses you will incur, as well.
- Lost income: If you sustained serious injuries, you likely cannot return to work right away following an accident. You can claim the wages you lost as well as any vacation pay, sick pay, bonuses, and benefits you lost while you were away.
- Loss of future earning capacity:The injuries sustained during a pedestrian accident are often catastrophic. Sometimes they are so severe, you cannot ever return to the same line of work. In these cases, you can claim the loss of future earnings you would have earned if you could have remained in the same line of work.
- Pain and suffering: The pain and suffering you will endure after an accident does not have a concrete dollar value, but it is still a loss and you still deserve compensation for it. A Salem pedestrian injury attorney can accurately assess your pain and suffering damages.
- Long-term disability costs: Serious pedestrian accidents will cause injuries that are so severe, the victim never recovers from them. Instead, they suffer a long-term disability that requires long-term care. The costs of long-term care are extremely high and victims should not have to pay those costs out of their own pockets.
- Any other loss: Nearly every pedestrian accident case will involve losses, expenses, and damages that are unique to that case. A lawyer will identify all of your losses so you do not suffer in any way financially after a crash.
- Wrongful death damages: In the most tragic situations, pedestrians do not survive a crash. In these cases, close family members can file a wrongful death claim to pursue damages for funeral and burial expenses, and any other loss they incurred, including any income the decedent earned the family was dependent on.
The Statute of Limitations on Pedestrian Injury Claims in Salem, Oregon
You have a limited amount of time to bring a pedestrian accident claim. Under Oregon law (ORS §12.110), the Statute of Limitations for pedestrian injury claims in Salem is two years from the date of the accident. This means that you must file your claim within this time frame or you will be unable to pursue legal action against the responsible party. Do not wait to get started with your case. There are very few exceptions to the statute of limitations. It is always best to consult with an experienced Salem, OR pedestrian injury attorney to understand your rights and options.
An Overview of Pedestrian Accident Liability in Oregon
Were you or a loved one hurt in a pedestrian crash in Salem? If so, it is crucial that you know your rights and options under state law. You need to be able to hold negligent drivers and their insurers accountable. Here are three key things to know about pedestrian accident laws in Oregon:
- All Injury Crashes Should Be Reported: A pedestrian accident should always be reported to law enforcement. Oregon law requires the reporting of all injury crashes. This is important because it allows the authorities to investigate the accident and determine who is at fault. It also provides a record of the accident for potential legal action. Make sure you report your accident to the Salem Police Department, Marion County Sheriff’s Office, Polk County Sheriff’s Office, the Oregon State Police, or another local agency.
- Oregon is an At-Fault Car Accident State: Pedestrian accident claims are fault-based legal cases in Oregon. The driver or other party who is deemed to be at fault for the accident is typically responsible for covering the costs of the other party’s injuries and damages. If you are a pedestrian who has been injured in an accident, you can seek compensation from the driver who caused the accident. All pedestrian collisions in Salem should be thoroughly investigated by an experienced attorney.
- A Comparative Fault System of Liability: Oregon is a comparative negligence state (ORS § 31.600). The standard has important implications for your pedestrian accident claim. It means that the amount of compensation you are entitled to receive may be reduced by the percentage of fault you are assigned for an accident. Insurers too often try to blame pedestrians for part of their own accident. For example, if another driver is deemed to be 75 percent at fault and you (as a pedestrian) are deemed to be 25 percent at fault, your compensation will be reduced by 25 percent. Our Salem, OR personal injury lawyer will protect you from an unfair assignment of blame.
How Our Salem, OR Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Can Help Protect Your Rights
The pedestrian accident claims process is complicated. You do not have to take on the big insurance companies alone. Our founder and lead attorney Marc A. Johnston is an experienced, effective, and results-driven advocate for injured victims and their families. We provide proactive legal guidance and support. Among other things, our Salem pedestrian accident attorney is prepared to:
- Listen to your story and answer questions about the legal claims process;
- Investigate your pedestrian accident in Salem—gathering evidence;
- Organize evidence of liability and your damages to build a strong, well-supported case;
- Advocate for you in settlement discussions with the insurance company; and
- Develop a strategy to get you the best outcome in your pedestrian accident claim.
Every pedestrian accident injury case is different. We are not in the business of one-size-fits-all solutions. You can count on our Salem pedestrian accident attorney to put in time, resources, and attention to the small details to handle your case properly. Hear what our clients have to say and contact us directly with any specific concerns about your case.
Call Our Pedestrian Injury Attorney in Salem for a Free Case Evaluation
If you have been hurt as a pedestrian, or you have lost someone, our Salem pedestrian injury attorney at the Johnston Law Firm P.C., our skilled attorneys are passionate about helping accident victims through one of the most difficult times of their lives, and we want to help you, too. Call us now at 503-389-3479 or connect with us online to schedule a free case evaluation. We represent injured pedestrians in Salem, Marion County, Polk County, and throughout the Willamette Valley.
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