bicycle crash

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.

Portland's 10 Most Dangerous Intersections

Portland is known for its pedestrian and bike-friendly streets.  However, things are much different on the East side of town past 82nd Ave.   As a personal injury lawyer, I have represented people that have been injured at various Portland intersections.  A couple of years ago I represented a pedestrian that was struck by a vehicle crossing the street at SE 82nd Ave and Division St.  Thankfully my client was not injured too badly, relatively speaking. However, after some investigation, we determined there was an unusual number of "near misses" with pedestrians crossing the street in the late afternoon.  Recently, Oregonlive published its list of "Portland's 10 Most Dangerous Intersections" and noted all of them are East of 82nd Ave.  I was not surprised to learn that the intersection at 82nd and Division made the list. 

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Here is the rundown from the Oregonian: 

No. 10: Southeast 148th Ave. and Stark St.

No. 9: Southeast 92nd Ave. and Holgate Blvd.

No. 8: Southeast 136th Ave. and Powell Blvd.

No. 7: Southeast 122nd Ave. and Powell Blvd.

No. 6: Northeast 122nd Ave. and Glisan St.

No. 5: Southeast 82nd Ave. and Division St.

No. 4: Southeast 174th Ave. and Powell Blvd.

No. 3: Southeast 122nd Ave. and Division St.

No. 2: Southeast 82nd Ave. and Powell Blvd.

No. 1: Southeast 122nd Ave. and Stark St.

Please slow down, remain vigilant, and be extra cautious around these intersections.  Another person does not need to be injured due to the negligence of a driver.  If you or someone you know has been injured at a Portland Oregon intersection call Portland Oregon personal injury lawyer Jeremiah Ross for your free case evaluation.  Please remember Ross Law PDX represents pedestrians and cyclist throughout the state that have been injured by the negligence of others.  We are here to help. Call 503.224.1658.  Please note Oregonlive has done its own independent research, and Ross Law has not verified any of the information noted in this blog.   This blog article could be considered personal injury 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.

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.   

PUT THE PHONE DOWN! NATIONAL DISTRACTED DRIVING AWARENESS MONTH

It is a no-brainer that people need to put their cell phones down while driving.  However, despite the legal consequences of driving with a mobile device in your hand while driving, people continue to do so.   People also apparently have no issues with the fact that they are putting other drivers, cyclist, and pedestrians in danger if they are texting or using their mobile device while driving. This may explain why the number of traffic injuries and fatalities are on the rise.  In an effort to bring MORE awareness to this issue various agencies have declared April "National Distracted Driving Awareness Month."  Hence, this blog post.

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Put the Phone Down and focus on Driving. As a personal injury lawyer, I have to represent too many people injured in an Oregon crash caused by a distracted driver.  There is no excuse for messing with the phone while you are driving.  It puts other lives in danger, and technology has made it absolutely unnecessary.  That is why I have no qualms about seeking punitive damages from a cell phone using defendant that has injured one of my clients. 

If you or someone you know has been injured in a car crash then call Ross Law PDX and Jeremiah Ross.  Oregon Personal Injury Lawyer Jeremiah Ross will provide a free case evaluation.  Call Ross Law PDX at 503.224.1658 to discuss your crash injury case, cyclist injury case, pedestrian injury case, or wrongful death case.  Please remember that this post is for information purposes only.  It is not to be considered legal advice. 

Be Safe in These Dark Days. Tips to Remain Visible on the Road

Daylight savings has arrived. This is the time of year where most people's afternoon commute is done in the dark.  Pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers are all on the wet dark roads doing their best to get home.  This combination can lead to deadly consequences because pedestrians, cyclists, motorcycles, and other vehicles can be difficult to see.

The Portland Bureau of Transportation has provided some helpful tips for drivers.  PBOT recommends for drivers to: 

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  • Use your headlights even if it is not "night time"
  • Leave more space between you and the car in front of you
  • Remember to practice patience and slow down
  • Stay in your lane and beware of drivers who dart from lane to lane
  • Even though the route may be familiar, don't go on autopilot; stay alert and ALWAYS watch for vulnerable road users such as people walking, biking and rolling
  • Don't touch your phone, eat, drink or do other things that are distracting. Remember, as of October 1, 2017, it is illegal to drive while holding or using an electronic device (i.e. a cell phone or tablet).
  • Slow down at crosswalks and take care when making turns – even at a signal.

Cyclists, Runners, and Pedestrians should increase their visibility by:

Did you know that you’re first visible to people driving from 500 feet away when you’re wearing reflective clothing? Compare this to just 55 feet away when wearing dark colors with no reflective gear or lights.
— Portland Bureau of Transportation
  • wearing reflective clothing or gear
  • using safety lights. 
  • When walking, keeping a small flashlight or using the feature on your phone is another helpful way to make sure you can see at night.

If you or someone you know has been injured in a crash involving a vehicle, call Portland personal injury lawyer Jeremiah Ross at 503.224.1658 for your free case evaluation.  Also, Ross Law LLC is not affiliated with the City of Portland and this post is for informational purposes only.  This post may be percieved as Attorney Advertising.

Snowpocalypse Part III.... What You Should Know if You Are in a Crash on a Snowy Road

Portland is currently being slammed by its third winter storm of the season.  Snow, Freezing Rain ,and bitter cold temperature are turning Portland into a winter wonderland.  However, the winter wonderland is a dangerous place to drive.   Portland Hospitals reported an increase in admissions from crash related injuries during the last snow storm, and this event will likely produce similar results.   Hopefully, less people will be injured because less people will be on the road.   However, there will be crashes in this storm.  People drive too fast, wait too long before braking, and follow too closely.  The unfortunate reality is crashes will occur.

Here are some things you should know if you are one of the many people that are injured in a crash related to the snow storm. 

 

  1. 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.   
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  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. 

Please be safe out there.  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.

 

What You Need To Know Before Putting Your Kid on a Bike

The other day I was loading my son into his bicycle seat when he said in his demanding toddler voice, "I need my helmet."   I was a proud dad at that point, because I realized that all of the nagging and fussing over him wearing the helmet is a thing of the past (for now at least).  Helmets are only one issue when taking kids on bikes and Parents should be familiar with the various issues that effect the tiny people on bikes.  Below are some of the issues I think every parent should know before putting their kid on a bicycle.

1) Helmets are Required for kids riding a bike:  I represented a five year old that was hit by a car as the tiny little guy was crossing the street.  He was dragged roughly 15 feet underneath the car, but miraculously his injures were limited to a broken arm and an severely injured knee. The little guy's helmet was obliterated, but doctors confirmed he did not have a head injury.  The helmet had most likely saved this little guy's life.  We all know they are a good idea, but it is also Oregon Law that kids under the age of 16 must wear a helmet when riding a bicycle. Specifically, ORS 814.485 requires kids to wear a helmet when riding a bike.  If the child does not wear a helmet then they can be fined.  

2)  Helmets are Required if the Kid is Riding as a Passenger on a Bike:  I use both a bike seat and a trailer to transport my little guy.  Either way my son is required to wear a helmet while he is a passenger on a bike.  ORS 814.486 requires passengers on bicycles who are under the age of 16 to wear a helmet. The parent can be fined if they violate this law.  The parent can also be fined for violating the law that mandates a child under the age of 16 must have a helmet while on a bicycle.  This can result in two fines.

3) There is Only a Limited Exemption That Allows Kids to Ride Without a Helmet:  The law exempts kids from wearing helmets if wearing a helmet would interfere with the child's religious beliefs. ORS 814.487.  

4) If Your Kid Was Injured and Wasn't Wearing a Helmet, an Insurance Company Should NOT use That To Reduce The Amount of Compensation Your Child Receives:  Although it is the law that a kid under 16 must wear a helmet, the law is forgiving in the fact that it prevents the jury from learning the kid wasn't wearing a helmet in a Jury Trial or Arbitration.  ORS 814.489    This prevents the insurance company from blaming the injured child or the child's parents for not wearing a helmet.  An understanding of this law is key in obtaining maximum compensation for a child who was injured while riding a bicycle.

5) There Is Not An Minimum Age to Ride As a Passenger on a Bicycle: When my son was a tiny little guy I was eager to get him on the back of the bike.   I tirelessly researched the minimum age required for a little person to ride as a passenger on the bike.  Not surprisingly, there is not a law in Oregon mandating a minimum age for a kid to ride as a passenger on a bike.  Our pediatrician was also unaware of any hard and fast rules regarding the age of a kid to ride a bicycle.  There is a dearth of information on the issue. However, she suggested that at a minimum a baby should be able to comfortably hold their head up for a long period of time.  This is important because the tiny person's head gets jarred around on the bike.  They need the strength to protect their neck and brain from the little trauma that occurs while going over a bumpy road.  Also, their brains are not completely developed and the constant jarring can effect brain development.  Wearing a helmet can complicate things because they can tweak the spine and push the head forward in an unnatural position.   The linked article has a more thorough explanation regarding the various health issues that may arise while riding with small kids on bikes.   In the end my son was a little over a year when he started riding with us. 

If you have any more questions or concerns about Oregon's bicycle helmet laws please call me at 503.224.1658.  Also, if you or someone you know are injured by another while riding a bicycle, please call Ross Law LLC at 503.224.1658. PLEASE REMEMBER this post does not constitute legal advice.  Do not solely rely on this post.  Also, the contents of this post is based on my own personal experience, and please rely on medical professionals to advise you of the best time to put your kiddo on a bicycle.   Lastly, this post, this web-site, and this blog may be considered attorney advertisement.