Ride-share

Portland Uber Driver Assaults Female Passenger

As previously noted, I have grave concerns about ride-share drivers not being properly vetted by Uber or Lyft. Over the past few years numerous people throughout the United States have been assaulted or sexually assaulted by a ride-share driver. It was not a matter of if this was going to occur in Portland, but it was a matter of when. Unfortunately, it did happen last week. Last week an Uber driver climbed in the back seat of his vehicle and then began to kiss and thrust his body against the lone female passenger. Thankfully the passenger was able to fight off the driver and push him off of her. This terrifying encounter should not have happened.

This type of encounter can be prevented with proper background investigations, training, and supervision of drivers. However, the ride-share industry pushes back on these requirements. They claim to perform back-ground checks, but the nature and extent of them is not entirely known. As a result, litigation often will arise out of these incidents in an effort to hold the ride-share companies accountable in hopes that they will be forced to use a more robust system to protect riders.

If you or someone you know has been assaulted, sexually assaulted, or raped by a ride-share driver (Uber or Lyft) please call Ross Law PDX at 503.224.1658 for your free case evaluation. Jeremiah Ross proudly represents crime victims and fights to hold all persons and entities accountable, and providing compensation to the victim.

Portland Riders Take Note-Two Shared E-Scooter Riders Die This Month

I had previously expressed concerns the dangers the shared E-Scooters pose to riders and others. As predicted as ridership has increased, so have the injuries and deaths. Last month two shared e-scooter riders died. One shared e-scooter rider was killed in Washington DC after being hit and dragged by an SUV. Another rider was killed after being found with a major head injury and hundreds of yards away from the scooter. That rider died of blunt force trauma to the head.

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These catastrophic injuries are exactly the types of injuries we expect to see in the personal injury world. Earlier this year a teen was seriously injured while riding an e-scooter in or around Gresham Oregon. It is not a matter if, it is a matter of when, another Portland e-scooter rider suffers from a concussion, Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), broken arm, or leg. Unfortunately, it is also only a matter of time before a shared e-scooter rider is killed in or around Portland. There are simply too many inexperienced riders without helmets riding vehicles that travel at speeds dangerous to cause serious injuries or deaths.

If that occurs the rider should contact immediately contact a personal injury lawyer. As a Portland Personal Injury Lawyer, I am happy to provide free case evaluations for personal injury clients. Call my office, Ross Law PDX, at 503.224.1658 if you or someone you know have been injured by or on a shared e-scooter. Please note that this post is for Advertising Purposes.

E-Scooter Injuries Are a Significant Concern for Portland

E-scooters have taken Portland by storm. It is only a matter of time before Ross Law PDX represents an individual injured on an e-scooter operated by Bird, Lime, or Skip. Recent articles have noted the frequent and alarming number of injuries on e-scooters. Some of these injuries are caused by operator error, some are caused by driver’s failing to pay attention to the riders, some are caused by the e-scooters failing to operate as they should. Some of these injuries can be catastrophic and one person has already been seriously injured on an e-scooter in Portland. This should concern all of us in Portland, as the nuisance of e-scooters is one thing, but injuries and fatalities are unacceptable.

As you may imagine, the courts and regulators are going to have to sort out the mess created when a person is injured or killed in an adverse incident involving an e-scooter.

If you or someone you know has been injured in a crash or accident with an e-scooter, please call Portland Personal Injury Lawyer Jeremiah Ross at 503.224.1658. Ross Law PDX is happy to provide a free case evaluation for personal injury clients.

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What to Do if Injured in A Crash with a Shared E-Scooter (Bird, Lime, or Spin)

The invasion of E-Scooters has begun in Portland, Oregon. As a personal injury firm, we anticipate starting fielding calls from people that were injured by a shared e-scooter rider on the sidewalk.  Ross Law PDX  also anticipates we will field calls from e-scooter riders that were struck by a vehicle. People are also likely to get injured by tripping over an e-scooter that is laying on the sidewalk.  (The E-Scooters are called "litter bikes")  Any of these scenarios can result in serious injuries and I hope they do not occur.  When they do occur you should know what you need to do. If you are unable to do these task hopefully someone is there to do them for you. Here are a few tips:

  1. Call EMS if there is an Injury that warrants it.
  2. Take a Photo of the Driver's License of the Person that was Riding the E-Scooter:  This will ensure you have their information to contact them later.  The Rideshare E-Scooters Require riders to have a driver's license, so demand to see it.
  3. Get Witness Information:  Use your phone to have witnesses input their name and number. This will allow you to contact them later if you need to. 
  4. Take a Photo of the Electric Scooter Involved:  Ensure to get multiple pictures.  Include the control panel at the top of the scooter in between the handlebars. 
  5. Take a Photo or short video of the area Surrounding the Scooter:  This will help determine what caused the crash and the injury.

The goal is to document what occurred, when it occurred, and who was involved.  Cell phones and mobile devices are the best ways to do this.   This evidence will be needed to sort out the liability and insurance issues.

Liability and Insurance issues are going to be interesting.  The electric scooter companies (Bird, Spin, Lime, etc) are all going to deny any liability and attempt to blame the rider involved in the crash.  Their terms of service are drafted in an effort to shield themselves from any liability.  However, the analysis is more complicated than that. 

These companies flooded the streets with a dangerous product that is easily accessible to the public.  They do not provide helmets, there are no training requirements, and they permit the scooters to be left anywhere on the sidewalks. This creates a major tripping hazard.  It is anticipated that the courts will need to sort out who is liable in the various scenarios that occur.  

Insurance for shared e-scooters is also going to become interesting.  Who will pay the medical bills of a person injured in an incident with a shared e-scooter? Will the consumer's policies cover crashes under their auto policy? Will the companies step up and their insurance will cover them?   

Time will tell how this plays out.  In the meantime,  Call Ross Law PDX at 503.224.1658 if you have any legal issues involving an injury on a shared e-scooter in Portland Oregon.  Jeremiah Ross is a Portland Personal Injury lawyer happy to offer free case evaluations for persons injured by the negligence of others.  Please remember the tips above are not an exclusive list, and are not to be construed as legal advice. 

 

Electric Scooters are In Portland-What You Need to Know..

This morning on my walk to work I saw a shared "Bird" electric scooter (aka e-scooter) being ridden.   The rider was cruising on the sidewalk at a good pace on the sidewalk in downtown Portland with her helmetless hair blowing in the wind.  She stopped at a crosswalk and zipped across while the light was still red.  I have previously heard about the e-scooter phenomenon that is blanketing west coast cities, but this was the first time I had witnessed a person riding one of these scooters.  As suspected, if everyone rides like this woman, these e-scooters are going to be a safety nightmare.  Here are some things everyone needs to know if they are going to use these e-scooters.

Info Graphic Prepared by Portland Bureau of Transportation-no affiliation with Ross Law PDX

Info Graphic Prepared by Portland Bureau of Transportation-no affiliation with Ross Law PDX

  1. You are required to wear a helmet:  Yes, these are motor-vehicles so you have to wear a helmet when you are riding them.  These scooters cruise at around 15 MPH, so it makes sense that you should be required to protect your most precious organ. ORS 814.534
  2. It is UNLAWFUL to ride on the Sidewalk:  Yes, I know this seems odd, but it is the law.  There are limited exceptions.  This may seem odd, because you feel vulnerable riding in traffic.  However, these things cruise at 15 MPH.  That is too fast to be riding on a busy sidewalk.   Bikes aren't allowed on Downtown Portland's sidewalks, so it makes sense that scooters wouldn't be allowed either. The bottom line is that you need to ride in the street.  It's the law. See ORS 814.524
  3. You Cannot Ride in the Middle of the Lane: You must ride as close as practicable to the right curb or edge of the road.   However there are exceptions to this rule that permit you to ride towards the middle of the lane if you need to make a left turn, it is dangerous next to the curb, or you are passing someone in the same direction, on certain one-way streets.  ORS 814.520
  4. If there is a Bike Lane You Must Ride in the Bike Lane:  Oregon Law mandates that if there is a bike lane or bike path then you must ride in the bike lane.  There are limited exceptions to this rule.  ORS 814.514
  5. You Must Be at Least 16 Years Old to Ride Them:  Oregon Law mandates that you are 16 years old to ride a motor-assisted scooter. ORS 814.512
  6. You Cannot Carry a Passenger on the Scooter: Scooters are limited to one rider per person.  No kids with their parents. See ORS 814.530
  7. You Can Get a DUII on an Electric Scooter:  Yes it is true,  vehicle laws apply to motorized scooters. This includes DUII Laws.  So stay off the scooter if you have been drinking.  

The police can cite you for many of the above violations.  More importantly, you are a safety hazard if you ignore the rules.  These shared electric scooters are going to create various issues because many of these rules are counter-intuitive.  They also are going to create a new segment of vulnerable road users that are inexperienced.  As a result, I have no doubt that someone in Portland Oregon will eventually suffer a serious injury due to an electric scooter incident.  It has already happened in San Francisco.  (Man broke his arm riding a shared e-scooter on the sidewalk)

If you or someone you know has been injured in a collision involving a shared e-scooter, call Ross Law PDX at 503.224.1658.  Jeremiah Ross is a personal injury attorney that provides free case evaluations.  Please remember that the laws are constantly changing and to rely on the law and NOT this post.  This post is not to be considered legal advice but is intended to educate the public regarding safe riding. 

Uber Fined for Allowing Felons and Disqualified Drivers to Drive Passengers

Uber has proven it is a convenient and reliable source of transportation.  However, safety has always been a concern.  Many Uber drivers are involved in traffic crashes because they are distracted by the passengers or their mobile device they rely on to drive for Uber.  Uber has also hired many drivers that have criminal histories that are a cause for concern. [Click here for the previous article] Last week Colorado fined Uber $8,900,000.00 for violating driver qualification laws.[Click here to read article].

The fines are a result of Uber hiring 57 drivers with criminal convictions that should have disqualified them from working.  Some of the questionable drivers had felony convictions that should have disqualified them.  Hiring drivers with felony convictions or other disqualifying theft related or assault convictions puts passengers at risk.  It also violated Colorado's laws, resulting in the fines.   

Mr. Clown says, "Trust me!  I passed the background check."

Mr. Clown says, "Trust me!  I passed the background check."

Although the State of Oregon has yet to audit Uber.  Uber drivers have done some terrifying things here  here in Oregon.  There are instances of Uber drivers being involved in road rage, stalking, and assault in Oregon.  Allowing a convicted felon to act as an Uber driver may increase the likelihood that driver will be involved in illegal activity.  If a driver is involved in unlawful activity Uber should be held accountable for all of the victim's losses.

If you, or someone you know, are involved in an incident with an Uber or other rideshare driver please call Portland Oregon Attorney, Jeremiah Ross for your free case evaluation.  Call Ross Law PDX at 503.224.1658 to discuss how the Uber driver and Uber can be held accountable.  Please remember this post is for advertising purposes.   Also, this post does not create an attorney client relationship.

What to do if injured in a Uber or Lyft Crash....

Uber and Lyft have become incredibly popular in Portland and other Oregon cities.  These convenient ride shares allow customers to quickly hitch a ride virtually any time and anywhere within the Portland Metro region.   The drivers are regular folks who are often driving as a second job.  However, this can create problems.   Uber and Lyft are regularly in the news for the various issues that arise when their drivers don't behave or make mistakes.  People have reported incidents of Assaults, Sexual Assaults, and verbal abuse from ride share drivers.   However, the most common incident with Uber or Lyft is when the driver gets in a Car Crash with a passenger in the back seat.  (Click here for recent story of Uber Driver Crashing Into Gas Pump)

If you are in a passenger in a Ride Share program and are injured in a car crash you are going to face some unique issues.  One of the major issues that you will face is whose insurance is going to pay for your medical bills and compensate you for your injuries.   Many insurance policies exclude coverage for drivers that are working for Uber or Lyft.  That means if the Rideshare driver was at fault for the crash, then their bodily injury insurance may not provide coverage to pay you for your medical bills or damages.  Uber and Lyft have their own insurance policies, but they are not usually willing to pay without being forced to.   That is why you will usually need a lawyer if you are injured while a passenger in a ride-share program.

If you are injured in a crash with an Uber or Lyft driver here are some tips for you:

  1. Ensure you preserve the driver's information.   You need the driver's name and the license plate of the vehicle.   You can take photos of the driver's license and the license plate.  However, it is important to try and document the Uber or Lyft Ride. The best way to do this is Screenshot the Lyft or Uber app right after the crash.  This is not always possible due to the severity of the injury, but that is the best way to ensure you have the driver's information.  If you were unable to screenshot the App immediately after the crash, both apps have a ride history section where you can bring up the driver's information and the ride route. (click here for instructions for UBER) (Click here for instructions for Lyft)  Once you find the ride then screenshot the page to ensure you preserve it. 
  2. Get the UBER or LYFT Driver's Insurance Information:  Get their Auto Policy information and all of the Uber or Lyft Insurance information.  If the driver drives for both Uber and Lyft then try and get insurance information from the driver for both companies.
  3. Other things to do 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.  Call 911 if there is an injury and relay what the injuries are. Have witnesses text or email you their contact information from their phones. This way you can locate them later if needed.   
  4. Seek Medical Care:  Immediately seek treatment if you are injured. Oregon auto insurance policies should pay $15,000.00 for up to two years of crash related medical treatment.  The Uber or Lyft Driver's insurance may pay as well.  This is why it is important to contact a lawyer first, as these issues need to be addressed early in the case.  
  5. Call A Lawyer at 503.224.1658:   It won't cost you anything to chat, and you can learn about what you need to do next. I will give you a free case evaluation. 
  6. If you choose not to call a lawyer, you should contact your auto insurance if you have it: Call your insurance company to set up a claim. Cooperate with them, but be cautious of their motives.
  7. Be Cautious of Discussing things with The Other Driver's Insurance and Lyft or Uber.  

If you have any questions please call Ross Law LLC at 503.224.1658 for your free case evaluation.   Legal Stuff: Please remember this post is for informational purposes only and you will likely need to do more than what is listed above to pursue an injury claim on your own behalf.  Also, the law is constantly changing, so please consult with a lawyer rather than relying on this post. 

 

NO DRIVER, NO PROBLEM- UBER'S DRIVER-LESS CARS ROLL OUT IN PITTSBURGH

I have previously posted on the advent of driver-less cars and the various legal issues that arise from these driver-less cars.  In theory, driver-less cars are a great idea.  However, in practice you have to question whether or not they are a safer alternative to a human brain.  Software glitches, hardware malfunctions, and unforeseen circumstances can all have deadly consequences.  

I have also written on the various safety issues that ride share programs such as UBER pose.  Drivers assaulting passengers, drivers driving recklessly, and insurance issues that arise with ride share programs are all significant issues that have arisen since these companies began transporting people in Portland, Oregon.

It appears UBER is now attempting to mitigate the risk posed by driver's assaulting passengers, driving recklessly, and even the insurance issues.  UBER is now testing driver-less cars in Pittsburgh, PA.   The idea is that if you don't have to pay anyone to drive the vehicle then transportation becomes extraordinarily cheap.   

UBER has a driver-less car test-lab in Pittsburgh and is using the citizens of Pittsburgh as its test subject for this experiment.   The cars will be on the open road putting members of the public at risk.  Engineers assert these cars are specially designed to drive without a driver.  However these cars will have a "back-up" driver.   You have to wonder why is a back-up  driver necessary if the technology is safe.   

There are not any current plans to bring UBER's driver-less cars to Portland, Oregon.   However, should that occur we need to be ready to address the various safety issues that arise from driver-less cars.  I have concerns regarding the efficacy of the software and hardware.  I also have concerns over the proper maintenance of the vehicles and computer systems.  Lastly, I have concerns over the software not being able to account for the numerous tasks that a driver's brain performs.    We will see what happens....

If you or someone you know has been injured, assaulted, or killed by UBER, LYFT, or another rideshare program, please call Personal Injury Attorney Jeremiah Ross.  Ross Law offers free personal injury consultations.   Please call Ross Law at 503.224.1658.  Please refer to the article at this link  for information regarding UBER's driver less program.