About 28 people per day die in the United States from drunk driver crashes, or one person every 50 minutes. While DUI crashes were lower in 2019 than any time since 1982, more than 10,000 people still died.
Every drunk driver crash is preventable, and the Herron Law Firm is dedicated to holding DUI drivers responsible for injuring others.
Some of the most common types of drunk driving accidents are:
What We Know About Alcohol Affecting Driving
Alcohol reduces the ability of the brain to function normally, affecting our abilities to think, reason, and coordinate our movements. All of these are essential to driving a vehicle safely.
As a person consumes more alcohol, the detrimental effects on the central nervous system rise. The stomach and small intestine absorb alcohol quickly, and it goes into the bloodstream until the liver metabolizes it.
The level of alcohol is measured by the weight of the substance in a specific quantity of blood, which is known as blood alcohol concentration or BAC. At .08 grams of alcohol per deciliter of blood, the risk of accidents increases dramatically.
That’s why it is illegal in Oregon and all states to drive with a BAC of .08 or higher.
Were you hit by a drunk driver? If the driver that caused your injuries and damages was impaired by alcohol or drugs when the accident happened, it’s important to talk to a drunk driving lawsuit attorney immediately.
The Herron Law Firm in Portland has years of experience in DUI accident settlements and lawsuits. We believe in holding drunk drivers accountable for their negligent actions to get compensation for their innocent victims. Also, by making convicted drunk drivers pay for their behavior, this reduces drunk driving accidents, which helps our society.
For most DUI accident victims, Herron Law Firm will pursue a settlement by negotiating with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Usually, insurance companies will negotiate a more generous settlement if their client is cited for DUI in the accident.
However, sometimes the insurance company does not offer adequate compensation for serious injuries, which usually includes significant pain and suffering. When that happens, our law firm may initiate a personal injury lawsuit to obtain the compensation you deserve.
Alcohol is a natural depressant that affects our physical and mental state. Many people forget that drinking not only impairs your reaction time and your reflexes, but you also have altered depth perception and tend to forget the rules of the road. Alcohol can greatly affect your driving capabilities and not only put you and your passengers in danger but also the vehicles and pedestrians around you. The most common causes for alcohol-related accidents include:
Drunk driving is a preventable crime, which means that drunk driving injuries are only the result of another person’s negligence and carelessness. Every 90 seconds someone sustains injuries in an alcohol-related accident, this number is far too great. That is why the law is trying to enforce ignition interlocks for every convicted drunk driving offender. The use of sobriety checkpoints is also strongly suggested so we can catch drunk drivers before they injure someone.
You can. If the drunk driver hit you or your vehicle and caused injuries, we can file a personal injury lawsuit on your behalf. Our attorneys use evidence that the driver was intoxicated above the legal limit, as well as other traffic violations to demonstrate they were negligent.
Once we prove negligence and your injuries and property damage, you may be able to obtain compensation, which may include:
If you are injured by a drunk driver in Oregon, your first step is to file an auto insurance claim. In this state, it is illegal to drive if you don’t have liability insurance. The minimum insurance amounts in Oregon are:
Oregon also requires all drivers to have $15,000 of personal injury protection, which will pay for your initial injuries and damages, regardless of fault in the crash. But the minimum amount may not cover all of your expenses.
Drivers also are required to have uninsured motorist protection of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per crash.
Filing a DUI lawsuit may be the best option when insurance coverage is exhausted to cover injuries, lost earnings, pain and suffering, and property damage.
When you pursue an auto accident claim, you must prove the other driver caused the accident, so you need to collect evidence.
If a drunk driver injured you, it’s vital to show that they were drunk. This can include your statement to the police about the accident, including if you smelled alcohol on the person. Or, you may have noticed the driver slurring their words.
You need to get a copy of the police report, which is especially important if the person is cited for DUI. The report probably will have statements from the police officer noting their observations of the intoxicated driver, including the breathalyzer and field sobriety test results.
Keep in mind that a personal injury claim against a drunk driver is separate from a criminal case. You don’t need to wait for the drunk driver to be convicted; you can file a claim or lawsuit whenever you like.
There is another aspect of drunk driving lawsuits in Oregon that you should be aware of: Dram Shop laws. In some situations in Oregon, you can hold a business or social host responsible for injuries or deaths caused by an intoxicated driver that entity served.
Oregon’s Dram Shop law states that the injured party can hold the vendor liable after a DUI accident if they can prove that:
The injured party may be found to have ‘significantly contributed to the person’s intoxication if they bought alcohol for them, encouraged them to buy alcohol, or enabled the person’s intoxication in any way.
The vendor also can be hold liable in a lawsuit if they gave alcohol to a minor who caused an accident.
The Dram Shop law in Oregon also applies to social hosts. If, for example, a family has a graduation party and gives alcohol to someone who was visibly intoxicated, they can be held liable in a lawsuit if that person gets in a DUI accident.
If you have been hurt in an Oregon drunk driving accident and want to file a lawsuit, please contact the Herron Law Firm today by completing our Contact form.
The Herron Law Firm is open 24/7. It will only take 9 seconds to dial for help! Call or Text 503-367-0829.
Many people are simply social drinkers. If you ever plan on going out to have some drinks with friends or you plan on having a drink or two with dinner, make sure that you don’t have to drive afterward.
Here are a few safety tips that you can use to help avoid a potential alcohol-related accident and drunk driving injuries:
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I was badly injured in an auto accident. Bartley Herron persuaded the insurance company that they needed to give me the maximum settlement of insurance coverage. The money was and is very important to my family. I recommend Mr. Herron to anyone needing an honest, intelligent and strong attorney to represent them and to fight hard for them. That is what Mr. Herron did for me.
“The settlement your people obtained for me was much better than anything the insurance company had offered me”
I recommend Herron Law to everyone. I was hurt in a car accident and the insurance company tried to get me to settle without talking to an attorney. I am glad that I talked with you instead. The settlement your people obtained for me was much better than anything the insurance company had offered me. It turned out that I went through an unexpected hardship right after the car accident. I ended up really needing the extra money. Thanks for all of your help and concern.
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Thanks to you for your hard efforts and support, you gave me the drive to fight. I actually miss you guys. We think about you often. Even when things were tough you always made me smile. I can never thank you enough.
“Your firm… got more than three times the money the insurance company was wanting to pay”
I contacted your law firm for help after being hurt. I had been talking with the insurance company. The adjuster wanted to settle. But I was concerned that I should talk to a lawyer. Your firm represented me and got more than three times the money the insurance company was wanting to pay. I’m very thankful for the money and what you did for me.