Pedestrian Fatalities Are Occurring at an Alarming Rate in Portland and Around Oregon… Here’s What to Do If It’s Happened to Your Family

Here in Portland, an average of more than 5 people died in traffic crashes each month in 2021. Statewide, that number was nearly 50 per month. With more than 580 people dying on Oregon’s roads each year, that leaves hundreds of families harmed as others’ negligence resulted in the wrongful death of their loved ones. This means years of pain and anguish, a lifetime of lost companionship, and a lifetime of lost support. The totality of the damage to your family can be massive, and our Oregon wrongful death lawyers are here to help.

Even here in 2022, the fatalities continue apace. Just last Wednesday, a Willamette Valley man died in a pedestrian accident. Emergency responders indicated that, shortly before 8:00 am, an 84-year-old man behind the wheel of a Dodge pickup truck collided with a 61-year-old man on foot northeast of downtown McMinnville, according to a KPTV report.

Here in Portland, pedestrian deaths in 2021 totaled 27, the highest number in 50 years, according to a report from The Oregonian. The total number of traffic deaths in this city jumped from 54 in 2020 to 63 last year. Statewide, the number jumped from 483 in 2020 to 581 last year.

Modern technology has made things much safer for motorcyclists and bicyclists and immensely safer for occupants of cars, trucks, and SUVs. Pedestrians, on the other hand, are just as vulnerable now as they were 10, 20, or 30 years ago.

How Legal Action May Help

If you have lost a loved one in a fatal pedestrian accident, a wrongful death action in court may help. The Oregon statutes are very clear that nothing in the state’s vehicle code relieves “a driver from the duty to exercise due care concerning pedestrians.”

Our skilled attorneys can help you with amassing the evidence you need to show that the driver who hit and killed your loved one failed to meet the degree of “due care” that Oregon law demands, and is therefore liable for the damage that resulted.
Once you’ve cleared that hurdle, you also need to demonstrate how extensive the loss was. Oregon’s laws allow you potentially to recover compensation for a variety of types of harm in a wrongful death lawsuit. These can include things like your pain and suffering, loss of companionship, loss of future income, loss of future benefits (like pensions and/or 401(k)s), and funeral and/or burial expenses, among other things.

Quantifying some of these things may require special evidence. Your case may call for testimony from a vocational expert to give the jury a clear idea of just how much your family lost in terms of the earnings your loved one would have earned but didn’t because of the fatal crash.

How Insurance Coverage May Help

In addition to a possible wrongful death judgment or settlement, there are other possible avenues of compensation, as well. If you’re a pedestrian injured by a motor vehicle, you’re covered by your own auto insurance policy when it comes to certain PIP benefits like initial medical bills. Furthermore, if the driver who hit you was uninsured or didn’t carry enough insurance, then you can pursue a payout based on your own policy’s uninsured/underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage.

All of these things, from the amount of damages that you can obtain to the evidence needed (including whether or not to retain an expert or experts), are areas that depend on many factors. To navigate the process effectively and get justice, you need a legal representative with deep knowledge of, and extensive experience in, handling catastrophic pedestrian injury cases like yours. The experienced Oregon wrongful death attorneys at Kaplan Law LLC are here and ready to help. We pride ourselves on offering our clients personalized attention, along with the sort of compassion, empathy, and dedication you need and deserve You undoubtedly have questions. We have answers. Call us today at (503) 226-3844 or contact us online to set up your free consultation.

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