Pedestrian accidents are unique in certain ways. Unlike vehicle-versus-vehicle accidents, many vehicle-versus-pedestrian accidents leave little or no physical evidence at the scene. There may be a complete absence of skid marks or broken glass. In fact, the vehicle may endure no significant damage of any kind. That is one reason why retaining the right Oregon pedestrian accident lawyer to handle your case is so important. Once you’ve retained counsel, if that kind of proof isn’t available, your attorney can immediately get started pursuing other forms of evidence to make your case, like security camera footage, cell phone recordings, or other video/photographic evidence of the crash.
Recent news reports show that pedestrians are facing greater risks on Portland roads than ever before. City records revealed that 16 pedestrians died in 2019 and 18 in 2020. Last year, though, that number shot up to 28.
Shortly after midnight yesterday, another vehicle accident claimed the life of a pedestrian here in Portland. The incident represented the 44th traffic death in Portland this year. Of those 44, 14 have been pedestrians, according to OregonLive.com.
The most recent incident occurred on Northeast Glisan Street near 60th Avenue. Residents of the Northeast Portland neighborhood told KPTV that the intersection had a “reputation” as dangerous and that drivers frequently “just… speed through here” and also “drive up on curbs” and have “nearly hit businesses.”
Speed is often a key factor in fatal pedestrian crashes. According to research by the AAA Foundation, the likelihood of pedestrian death when hit by a vehicle going 32mph is 25%, 50% at a speed of 42mph, and 75% if the vehicle is going 50mph.
Oregon Laws Related to Wrongful Death Lawsuits
If you’ve lost a loved one as a result of a fatal pedestrian crash, there are certain pieces of information of which you should be keenly aware. For one thing, it’s helpful to note that, for insurance purposes, bicyclists are treated as pedestrians.
Also, keep in mind that you only have a limited time to take legal action. Oregon’s statute of limitations that covers wrongful death claims says that, in general, you have three years, although there are some exceptions to that three-year rule.
Additionally, it’s very important to understand that only a limited group of people can bring a wrongful death lawsuit in Oregon. The law says that to be the plaintiff in the case, you generally must be the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate. If your loved one doesn’t already have a probate estate open, it may be necessary to take that step and obtain a court order appointing you as the personal representative in order to pursue a wrongful death claim.
Furthermore, if your loved one was killed by an uninsured driver, there may be multiple options for obtaining an insurance recovery via uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. Those include coverage under the deceased’s auto insurance policy, or potentially the auto insurance policy held by a family member with whom the deceased lived.
Dealing with the loss of a loved one is almost always excruciating. If your loved one died because of someone else’s negligence or recklessness, the skillful and caring Oregon wrongful death attorneys at Kaplan Law LLC can help. We understand that you’ve endured an incalculable loss but we also know that you have legal rights (and financial needs) that must be addressed within the judicial system. Call us today at (503) 226-3844 or contact us online to set up your free consultation.