Car Crashes

6 Fatal Traffic Crashes In 4 Days in Portland! WTH Portland Drivers?

SIX fatal traffic crashes have occurred in the past FOUR DAYS in Portland Oregon! As an Oregon wrongful death and personal injury lawyer this is extraordinarily alarming. Each and every one of these heartbreaking deaths were likely preventable if people used common sense and simply followed the law while they were driving. Portland Police Bureau Chief Outlaw is warning, “Drivers [to] slow down, don’t drive impaired/distracted. Bikes and peds use caution-don’t assume drivers see you.”

Chief Outlaw also warned that the PPB is going to stepping up traffic enforcement. Portland drivers take note that you may be ticketed for what you perceive as a minor traffic violation (driving 10 miles over the speed limit, rolling through a stop sign, failing to stop while a pedestrian is waiting at a cross walk.) Hopefully increased enforcement will work to change Portland driving behavior.

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Law enforcement are not the only folks out there trying to change Portland’s driver’s behavior. Here at Ross Law, we believe that it is our duty to use the civil justice system make our community a safer place by holding wrongdoers accountable and hopefully deterring people from driving negligently, carelessly, or recklessly. We do this by filing lawsuits against the bad drivers that injure our clients. This will hopefully force the bad driver, their family, and their friends to change their driving behavior. We know that it is not easy to be sued and explain your actions that injured or killed someone. We use the civil justice process to attempt to force bad drivers that injure our clients to own up to what they did, and be held responsible by having to explain their actions, and admit they were at fault. Additionally, their insurer will have to pay to compensate the person they injured. We wholeheartedly agree with Chief Outlaw that drivers need to slow down, don’t drive impaired or distracted, and cyclist and pedestrians should be cautious on the roads.

If you or someone you know have been injured or killed in a Oregon motor vehicle crash, call Jeremiah Ross at 503.224.1658. Call Ross Law for your free personal injury case evaluation. We proudly represent people injured in car crashes, bicycle crashes, and pedestrians that were struck by a vehicle.

Oregon Women Pay More For Car Insurance Than Oregon Men! Here is Why...

As an Oregon Personal Injury Lawyer and Consumer Lawyer, I am regularly asked by people if making a claim to their auto insurance will cause their insurance rates to go up. This is not an easy question to answer, because Insurance Companies are for profit businesses. As a result, Insurers are going to do what they feel is necessary in order to make a profit unless regulators or attorneys’ stop them. For example, GEICO was ordered to pay $23,000,000.00 to one of their insureds for GEICO failing to pay benefits, and denying payments on a whim. State Farm agreed to pay its customers $250,000,000 (That is not a typo) in order to avoid a racketeering trial in which customers claimed that State Farm was rigging an election for a Judge that had made favorable rulings for State Farm. USAA agreed to pay $39,000,000.00 to settle a lawsuit filed by its insureds (Veterans, Active Duty Military, and their families). These cases are evidence that some Insurance Companies are willing to skirt the law and disregard the moral high-ground in an effort to make a profit. Another example of insurers putting profit over people is how insurance companies are charging Oregon women more than Oregon men for auto insurance.

A recent study by an insurance search engine, The Zebra, found that Oregon women’ paid roughly $70.00 more for auto insurance last year than men did. A recent Pew Research study also came to the same conclusions on a national level. The studies found certain states prohibit gender based pricing, but Oregon is not one of them. What this means is that Insurers are at liberty to charge women more for insurance than men, and they do not have to have any justification for doing so.

The statistics support the fact that Oregon insurance companies are charging dramatically different rates for women than men. In 2016, insurers charged Oregon women $13.00 more for auto insurance than men. However, in 2018 that number inexplicably jumped to women paying $71.00 more for auto insurance than men. Does that mean that women are more dangerous on the road than men if insurers are charging them more? The answer is no.

The data does not support the Insurance Industry’s decisions to charge women more for car insurance in 25 States. The Zebra study affirmed that women and men equally engage in distracted driving, so that could not be a basis to charge women more. Additionally, fatality statistics do not support the insurance industry’s decision to overcharge Oregon women for car insurance. For example, men are the drivers in the vast majority of fatal Driving Under the Influence (DUII) crashes. Men also cause more speed related wrongful deaths on the road. The statistics show that men are riskier to insure than women.

Additionally, different companies charge different rates to similarly situated women throughout the country. For example, State Farm charged middle aged women the same as men. However, GEICO charged middle aged women 16% more than men. This is an important statistic. If insurance companies rates reflect the risk of a particular demographic of drivers then there would not be such a large disparity between the rates particular insurance companies are charging.

Then why are insurance companies charging women the so called “pink tax” to insure their vehicles? Why have the number of states where women pay more than men doubled in the past two years? The answer is simple, profits. The insurance industry is operating in a relaxed regulatory environment that permits them to take actions that will make their companies more profitable, even if that means imposing the “pink tax” on women.

For example, the insurance industry knows that Oregon does not have a bad faith claim, and Insurance Companies are specifically exempted from Oregon’s Unlawful Trade Practices Act (UTPA). The UTPA is a law that provides consumers a remedy if consumers are ripped off by a business. However, the insurance industry lobbied the legislature to be exempted from that law. As a result the insurance industry knows they are likely immune from any real consequences of arbitrarily charging women more for insurance than men.

Despite the insurance industry’s protections, here at Ross Law we will sue insurance companies if a person has been wronged by an insurer and there is a recognized legal remedy for that person. For example we regularly sue insurance companies on behalf of people whose automobile insurers deny paying personal injury protection benefits. We also sue insurance companies to collect uninsured and under-insured motorist benefits. Ross Law has also sued insurance companies for denying insurance coverage for a car crash.

If you or someone you know has an issue with an auto insurance company please call Jeremiah Ross at 503.224.1658 for your free case evaluation. Ross Law PDX is happy to represent Oregonians in many types insurance disputes.

Please note that Ross Law PDX is not affiliated with The Zebra or the Pew Research Center. Please refer to the links in the article for the most accurate information. Please note that this blog may be considered attorney advertising and expresses the opinions of this law office. Please remember that the law is constantly changing and insurance issues are usually very complicated. Please consult with an Oregon attorney if you have a dispute with an Oregon insurer. Do not simply rely on this blog post.




The Snow Is Coming! Things To Know if You Are In a Car Crash In the Snow.

Virtually the entire of State of Oregon is under a winter storm warning at this time. Forecasters are doing their best to predict how much snow is going to be on the ground when we all wake up tomorrow. It is no secret that the folks in the Willamette Valley, Portland, and the Metro Area struggle with driving in the snow. Portland and the Metro area grinds to a halt usually when there is a threat of snow. People abandon their vehicles, cars slide off the road, cars also slide into each other and into pedestrians. This can result in serious and catastrophic injuries to people involved in these crashes. Oregonlive has posted some great driving tips for people that will venture out in the snow. However, what do you do if you are involved in a crash in the snow?

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At the Scene: Once the area is safe, USE YOUR CELL PHONE to gather evidence: Take pictures of the car damage, the scene, the bad driver, witnesses, and the bad driver' driver's license, the bad driver's license plate, and the bad driver's insurance card. Photos of the scene are important in snow and ice crashes, because many times the parties will dispute what caused the crash. Also, have witnesses text or email you their contact information from their phones. This way you can locate them later if needed. If it is safe enough to move the car to the side of the road do it AFTER you take a couple of photos of the crash scene. Moving the vehicle permits traffic to flow through and will permit an ambulance, police officer, or other emergency responders to get to the crash if someone is injured.


If You or Someone Is Injured in the Crash and Needs Immediate Medical Attention: Call 911 if there is an injury and relay what the injuries are.

Seek Medical Care: Immediately seek treatment if you are injured. Your Oregon issued auto insurance should pay $15,000.00 for up to two years of crash related medical treatment. This does not mean you need to go to the Emergency Room, but you should schedule an appointment with a Doctor or Chiropractor to ensure you have not suffered serious injuries. The sooner the better. From a medical standpoint, you may be harming yourself if you wait to seek treatment. From a legal standpoint, insurance companies will likely give your claim less value if there is a “gap in treatment.” Insurance companies will not accept the justification that the snow prevented you from seeking treatment. This means you will likely have to fight harder to obtain maximum compensation for your losses and pain and suffering.

Contact Insurance and the DMV: Call your insurance company to set up a claim. Cooperate with them, but be cautious of their motives. If there was an injury or more than $1500.00 in property damage submit the proper Accident Report to the DMV ASAP. Here is a link to the form: DMV Accident Form.

If you were in a hit and run you must make a police report or notify the DMV within 24 hours and notify your insurer within 30 days. I advise reporting the matter to law enforcement as soon as possible. This is important as you may not be able to make a claim in the future if you were a victim of a hit and run.

Pro Tip: Call A Personal Injury Lawyer at 503.224.1658: Calling Ross Law PDX won't cost you anything to chat, and you can learn about what you need to do next.

Please be safe out there. Please remember that as an Oregon Personal Injury lawyer, Jeremiah Ross may be able to help you obtain maximum compensation for your personal injuries caused in the snow. The roads are still treacherous and there is more snow and ice on the way. Please do not hesitate to call if you have any questions. Please remember this blog and web-site may be considered attorney advertisement AND IS NOT CONSIDERED LEGAL ADVICE. REMEMBER ALL SITUATIONS ARE DIFFERENT, and this post is merely a guide.

What People Injured in a Crash Should Know About Oregon's Minimum Auto Insurance Limits

I often represent people that have been injured by a bad driver that told them at the scene, "don't worry I have full coverage."  This term really doesn't mean much in the world of personal injury law.   Oregon has specific requirements regarding what should be in automobile insurance policies such as personal injury protection benefits (PIP), uninsured/underinsured (UM/UIM) motorist coverage. The law also imposes the minimum limits for each bodily injury insurance policy in Oregon.  The relevant law on minimum insurance limits provides:

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     ORS 806.070 Minimum payment schedule. (1) This section establishes a schedule of payments for the following purposes:

      (a) An insurance policy described under ORS 806.080 must provide for payment of at least amounts necessary to cover the minimum required payments under this section to qualify for use for financial responsibility under ORS 806.060.

      (b) A person who is self-insured under ORS 806.130 must agree to pay according to the payment schedule established by this section.

      (c) The payment schedule is the minimum required payment of a judgment for purposes of ORS 809.020, 809.130 and 809.415.

      (2) The schedule of payments is as follows:

      (a) $25,000 because of bodily injury to or death of one person in any one accident;

      (b) Subject to that limit for one person, $50,000 because of bodily injury to or death of two or more persons in any one accident; and

      (c) $20,000 because of injury to or destruction of the property of others in any one accident. 

What this means for most injured people is that if they have a crash caused injury, the maximum they may be able to collect from the bad driver is a mere $25,000.00.  This sounds like a lot of money.  However, $25,000.00 can go quickly if you incur crash caused medical bills and are missing work. 

If you and two or three other people were injured in the same crash, the bad driver will only pay a combined total $50,000.00 to the injured people.  That will be divided up between them.   A lawyer should be involved if that is the case.  These are also important numbers when you are dealing with the bad driver's insurance company. 

If you or someone you know has been injured in an Oregon car crash, call Portland personal injury lawyer Jeremiah Ross at 503.224.1658.  Ross Law PDX provides free personal injury consultations. Please remember Oregon's personal injury laws and insurance laws are constantly changing.  DO NOT Solely rely on this post for information, look at the current law. Please consult with a lawyer.  This post is not intended to be legal advice and can be considered attorney advertising. 

PUT THE PHONE DOWN! Penalties for Using Your Phone and Driving Are Increasing

I have written a few articles on the dangers of texting and driving.   Last year bills were passed in Oregon that were intended to curb the distracted driving epidemic.   The new law closed a loophole regarding texting and driving so that it prevents people from driving with a mobile device in their hands.  More importantly, the Oregon law raised the penalties for people that can't resist the urge to use their mobile device while driving a vehicle. 

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The new law takes effect on July 1, 2018, and will subject some violators to a fine of up to $2,500.00 and six months in jail.  More specifically if a habitual distracted driver is convicted of three offenses in ten years they will face a fine of $2,500.00  and six months in jail. First-time offenders are looking at a minimum of a $130.00 fine.   (Click here to read more on distracted driving penalties.)

It is a no-brainer that it is unsafe to use a mobile device and drive, but people still do not get it.  People know that distracting driving kills people.  People know they can be fined.  People also know that personal injury lawyers like myself will use the civil justice system to hold distracted drivers accountable.  However, drivers continue to use their mobile devices while driving.  Hopefully, this new law will help pound it into people's heads that distracted driving will not be tolerated.  It is simply too dangerous. 

If you, or someone you know, has been involved in a car crash with a person that was using their phone while driving, call Portland personal injury lawyer Jeremiah Ross.  Ross Law PDX offers free case evaluations to persons injured in car crashes on Oregon's roads.   Please do not use this post as legal advice, as the law is constantly changing. Please consult with a lawyer if you are involved in an incident involving distracted driving.  Please remember this blog may be considered ATTORNEY ADVERTISING.

Be Safe This Memorial Day Weekend!

39.3 million people are expected to travel in the U.S. this Memorial Day weekend.   These travelers will travel by car, plane, boat, and train.   The vast majority of travelers are going to hit the road and drive to their destination.  This increased traffic is likely to increase the risk of people being injured and killed on Oregon's roads.  However, the roads are not the only dangers people should be aware of.  Every year people (usually children) get seriously injured in incidents involving barbecues and fire-pits.   Many people will also put their boats in the water for the first time this year.   Boat crashes are not uncommon.  It also seems like almost every year people drown in Oregon's beautiful rivers and lakes.   Most of these incidents are avoidable if people exercise common sense, and don't drink too much alcohol. Please exercise common sense and be aware of the dangers that are out there this weekend as you are celebrating Memorial Day.

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If you or someone you know has been injured by the negligence of another, call Oregon personal injury attorney Jeremiah Ross at 503.224.1658 for your free case evaluation.  Ross Law PDX represents people in various types of personal injury cases throughout Oregon.  Please remember this post could be considered personal injury attorney advertising.   

Please Drive Safe! 17 People Have Died in Portland Traffic Crashes So Far

This year has been a deadly year on Portland's roads.   According to Oregonlive, as of May, 17 2018 people have died in traffic-related crashes in Portland alone.   Pedestrians are the most vulnerable road users, so far 9 pedestrians have been killed in traffic-related incidents so far.   Motorcyclists are also susceptible to injury or death due to the fact they have minimal protection in a crash.  4 Motorcyclists have been killed in traffic crashes so far.   Three people that were in motorized vehicles have also died in traffic crashes so far.  One cyclist has been killed by a vehicle this year.

These tragic deaths highlight the need for Portland's drivers to remain attentive.  Drivers need to get off of the phone, stay alert, look for pedestrians and cyclists, and slow down.  We all know we need to do this, but the consequences of a driver's "mistake" are tragic. 

If you or someone you know was injured by another driver's negligence call Ross Law LLC.  Portland Personal Injury Attorney Jeremiah Ross represents cyclists, pedestrians, motorcyclists and drivers who have been injured in Oregon traffic crashes.  Call Jeremiah Ross at 503.224.1658 for your free case evaluation.   

Crash on Powell This Morning Was a Needless Rear-End Crash

My morning commute is often exciting.  My two kids in the back seat keep things entertaining and energetic for my wife and I.  This morning there was some additional excitement in the commute.  A car rear-ended a truck on Powell Blvd.  The vehicle occupants did not appear to have any catastrophic injuries.  However, this is a classic rear-end crash where soft tissue and whiplash-type symptoms will arise after the adrenaline subsides.  Additionally, Concussions and Mild TBI's are common with these crashes. These crashes are completely avoidable if drivers pay attention, eliminate distractions, drive at a safe distance from the car in front of them and drive at a safe speed.

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If you or someone you know has been injured in a car crash in Oregon call Jeremiah Ross at 503.224.1658 for your free case evaluation.   Ross Law PDX is happy to assist personal injury clients in obtaining compensation for their injuries. BTW:  My wife took the photo while I was driving.