Articles Posted in Motor Vehicle Accidents

A fatal accident west of Corvallis is a tragic yet important illustration that not all fatal vehicle accidents are created equal from a legal standpoint. All wrongful death cases arising from vehicle crashes can benefit from the services of a skilled Oregon wrongful death lawyer but some are especially complex, requiring extra steps and faster action.

The crash occurred in Yachats (a small coastal city about three hours southwest of Portland) and involved a 25-year-old woman driving her compact SUV northbound on Highway 101.

At the same time, an ambulance was turning left from a fire station driveway to enter the highway’s southbound lanes and respond to a high-priority call at a nearby assisted living facility. The two vehicles collided and the impact killed K.S., the mother-of-two who was driving the SUV.

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Oregon is the state with the largest number of logging businesses. (Washington is #5.) That fact alone should tell you that drivers on Oregon’s highways and byways often share the road with large logging trucks and trailers. These businesses require specially trained drivers and carefully maintained vehicles to ensure safety. That’s because when a logging truck crash happens, the results are often fatal. When a lack of proper attention to safety leads to deadly results, it is wise to contact an experienced Oregon wrongful death lawyer about your situation and needs.

A few years ago, Virginia Polytechnic Institute (Virginia Tech) published a study analyzing logging truck crashes. The study found that, during the years assessed, logging truck crashes nationwide were up 33% and fatal ones up 41%.

As a prolific logging state, Oregon is home to many logging truck accidents. Sometimes, these crashes involve errors by other drivers, like turning in front of a logging truck or losing control in bad weather and sliding into a logging truck’s lane. Many times, though, these crashes result from issues related to the logging truck or truck driver, such as when a logging truck loses its load onto the roadway or the driver loses control of the truck.

The beautiful scenery across Oregon can be enjoyed in many ways, and viewing it aboard a motorcycle can be among the most satisfying methods. Unfortunately, motorcyclists and their passengers are among the most vulnerable on the road. When a car, truck, or SUV driver makes a mistake, the collision that results from that error has an elevated chance of causing the motorcyclist involved to suffer catastrophic or fatal injuries. If you have encountered that situation — or you’ve lost a loved one as a result of this type of crash — you inevitably have much on your mind, not the least of which is addressing the steeper financial obligations you now face. When it comes time to seek compensation from insurers or through the legal system, be sure you have a knowledgeable Oregon motorcycle accident lawyer advocating for you.

One of the most common types of major motorcycle accidents, which this blog covered recently, involves motor vehicle drivers who make left turns in front of oncoming motorcyclists.

While that is a common scenario, it isn’t the only threat to motorcyclists that can have deadly consequences, as a late 2023 motorcycle crash in Jackson County illustrates. The motorcyclist, a 66-year-old Portland man, was driving his Harley Davidson motorcycle on Highway 230 near Crater Lake when a Toyota Corolla crossed the centerline of the highway and slammed head-on into his motorcycle.

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When you’re seriously injured — or a loved one is killed — in an auto accident caused by someone’s negligence or recklessness, the legal system allows you to pursue restorative justice. What that means may vary depending on the specific facts of the crash. Was the at-fault driver merely negligent or was extreme recklessness involved? Are you entitled to seek punitive damages or simply pursue compensation for your economic and non-economic harm? If punitive damages are a potential option, should you ask for them or forego this claim? For answers to these and other essential questions, seek out advice from an experienced Oregon auto accident lawyer.

These questions (and their answers) are more relevant than ever as, in many parts of our post-COVID world, road-related injuries and deaths have shot up from the levels seen during the 2010s. In Nevada, for example, 385 people died in road-related injuries in 2021, a 15-year high, according to the New York Times. 2022 was nearly as deadly, with 382 fatal injuries.

According to the Times report, a surgery professor in Las Vegas knows why. Based on the data the professor reviewed, “drivers were speeding more, on highways and on surface streets, and plowing through intersections with an alarming frequency.” On top of that, fewer people were using seat belts and more people were driving while intoxicated.

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Thousands of motorcyclists die each year on American roads and highways. Many times, these crashes are the result of a car, truck, or SUV driver who failed to maintain a proper lookout and executed a left turn that directly led to the fatal crash. When that happens and you lose a loved one as a result, the law allows you to seek justice for your loss. Retaining an experienced Oregon motorcycle accident lawyer can provide your family crucial advantages as you undertake that legal process.

A recent fatal motorcycle accident in Lincoln County follows a factual pattern that tragically is all too familiar. A 27-year-old man from Toledo was traveling northbound on Highway 101 about 15 miles south of Newport.

According to the Oregon State Police’s preliminary investigation, as the motorcyclist passed through the intersection of Highway 101 and North Bayview Road, the driver of a Dodge Ram pickup truck turned left onto northbound 101 from Bayview Road. The motorcyclist was unable to avoid an impact and crashed into the truck. The motorcycle caught fire and the motorcyclist was pronounced dead at the scene.

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At a Portland City Hall rally earlier this month, a group of bicyclists sought not to accomplish a solely bicycle-oriented policy goal. Instead, the bicyclists focused on a larger objective: reducing the high number of traffic deaths in the city and making Portland’s roads safer for everyone, including drivers, passengers, pedestrians, motorcyclists, and bicyclists. The bicycle accident lawyers at Kaplan Law LLC understand the incalculable human toll that traffic fatalities represent, and support policies that will make our area’s streets and highways safer for all.

According to KGW8’s coverage, the rally included signs honoring the lives of each person killed in vehicle incidents in Portland this year. As of the date of the rally, Portland had already logged 46 fatalities, a pace that could allow the city to surpass last year’s total of 63 deaths.

The protest was organized by BikeLoud PDX. A member of that group told KGW8 that the changes they desired were reasonable and modest goals. Those objectives included enhanced enforcement of speed limits, an increase in the number of traffic cameras (particularly on “high-crash corridors,”) additional infrastructure investment, and campaigns against impaired driving targeted at “bars, restaurants, [and] liquor stores.”

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The last few months have brought a rash of deadly bicycle crashes here in Oregon, including at least two this month (one in Clackamas County and one in Polk County.) The tragic stream of fatalities is a reminder of the extreme dangers bicyclists face when they’re on the road — be it here in Portland or a rural area. Discovering the truth about the bicycle crash that took the life of your loved one can sometimes be a complex, challenging process. An experienced Oregon bicycle accident lawyer can help you both with amassing the factual evidence you need, and utilizing that proof in an appropriate legal action.

Sometimes, the facts regarding a crash can be fairly straightforward. In the recent Clackamas County accident, the mountain manager of the Mount Hood Skibowl died in a two-vehicle collision just east of Government Camp. According to the Oregon State Police, the 48-year-old bicyclist was headed southbound on Highway 173 when the 71-year-old driver of a Hyundai SUV, who sought to turn left from Highway 173 onto West Leg Road, failed to yield the right of way and turned into the bicyclist’s path.

The impact was so powerful that it launched the bicyclist from his bike and into the roadway. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

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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.

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A commercial truck can weigh anywhere from 17.5-40 tons (35,000-80,000 pounds.) When you compare that to passenger vehicles, which weigh only about 1-3 tons (2,000-6,000 pounds,) it is easy to see how an accident involving a big rig can do massive — and often fatal — damage. If you’re hurt — or a loved one killed — in a commercial truck accident, there may be multiple parties with potential liability, ranging from truck drivers to trucking companies to a host of insurance companies. Complex civil cases like these often are ones where a skilled Oregon truck accident lawyer can be especially helpful.

A Willamette Valley crash was one of the most recent examples of just how devastating the results can be when a trucker operates his vehicle unsafely. Due to the complexities and amount (and severity) of the injuries involved, this case will likely take years to conclude and for families to get closure.

The trucker was traveling on Interstate 5 between Albany and Salem and, according to prosecutors, “had been weaving on and off the road” as he headed northbound. As he approached the Santiam River Rest Area, he allegedly veered onto the east shoulder of the highway and slammed into a Ford Econoline passenger van, crushing it between the trucker’s rig and a parked semi. The Oregonian reported that seven van passengers died. In addition, four more van passengers were transported to a hospital via ambulance.

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Even as legislative bodies strengthen laws and police ramp up enforcement, people behind the wheel dividing their attention between driving and text messages, phone calls, email, social media, and so forth remain a very real problem in Oregon and across the country. Too often, the results are serious injuries or deaths. When you or your family is harmed by someone driving while insufficiently attentive, you owe it to yourself to contact an experienced Oregon distracted driving lawyer to discuss your circumstances.

Sometimes, no one is hurt as a result of drivers’ inattention and the stories can seem a bit ridiculous — like the Washington County driver who was sufficiently distracted by a cell phone last fall that they left the road, crashed their pickup truck into a silo, and pushed that silo into a nearby barn, or the driver spotted by the Oregon State Police on Interstate 84 with not one but two hands on their cell phone while they drove.

Too many times, though, the outcome is tragic rather than absurd. Distracted driving crashes resulted in 3,500+ deaths nationwide in 2021. Here in Oregon, the state logged more than 15,500 crashes with more than 24,000 injuries from 2016-2020, according to the Oregon Department of Transportation.

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50 SW Pine St 3rd Floor Portland, OR 97204 Telephone: (503) 226-3844 Fax: (503) 943-6670 Email: matthew@mdkaplanlaw.com
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