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Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer | Portland

Portland Drunk Driving Accident Victim Attorney | 2023 DUI Accident Victim Lawyer in Oregon

Being involved in a collision with a DUI driver, a person driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol or both, can lead to devastating consequences. Victims of drunk driving accidents may experience traumatic injuries, such as concussions (TBI), fractures, back and neck injury, severe lacerations, scaring, and even amputations or paralysis. These injuries often necessitate hospital stays, multiple surgeries, and ongoing medical treatment. It is not uncommon for victims of drunk driving accidents to undergo numerous surgeries, lengthy physician rehabilitation, specialized skilled care, physical therapy.

The financial burden of such an accident can be overwhelming. Victims of drunk driving accidents might see medical expenses piling up, they might lose wages or even the employment termination. Families often deplete their life savings and struggle to afford necessities like housing and groceries. But the most important is the uncertainty surrounding recovery of what is lost.

As a drunk driving accident lawyer, we strongly believe that individuals in this situation should immediately explore legal avenues to seek help in recovering appropriate compensation for their losses.

A lawyer specializing in cases involving DUI drivers could potentially file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party. Most personal injury attorneys will require the defendant’s insurance company to compensate victims of the DUI crash for medical expenses (past and future), lost income (past and future), reduced earning potential, and pain and suffering (past and future).

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.

What Are The Most Common Drunk Driving Accidents in Portland

Some of the most common types of drunk driving accidents are:

  • Wrong-way crashes: A drunk driver cannot easily understand traffic signs and the flow of traffic. They may not even realize they are going the wrong way on a highway or one-way street.
  • Head-on crashes: Intoxicated drivers tend to get drowsy and fall asleep while driving, and may veer into oncoming traffic at high speed. Also, alcohol reduces the driver’s vision and ability to read signs, making this type of crash more likely.
  • Rear-end crashes: It is more difficult to judge distances and reaction time slows when someone is intoxicated. This can make it harder to slow down in time when someone breaks suddenly in front of them. The driver also may mistakenly think they have enough time to stop when they don’t.
  • Pedestrian crashes: An intoxicated driver with impaired vision may not see pedestrians, especially at night. Pedestrian accidents caused by drunk drivers often involve grave injuries or death.

What Are The Most Common Causes for Drunk Driving Injuries

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:

  • Speeding
  • Reckless Driving
  • Wrong-way Driving
  • Swerving into Other Lanes
  • Running Red Lights
  • Running Stop Signs
  • Falling Asleep at the Wheel

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.

Be Informed:

But just because you are not legally intoxicated doesn’t mean you cannot get into an accident. You can have a BAC well below the legal limit and still be at a higher risk of car crashes. Statistics in 2019 showed about 1,780 people died in accidents where the driver had a BAC between .01 and .07.

A police officer in Oregon can cite a driver for drunk driving even if their BAC is well below the .08. If the officer believes that the person’s alcohol level caused the accident, they can be convicted of drunk driving.

What Are The Statutes Of Limitations For Drunk Driving Accidents

  • 6 Months – 2 Years
  • Always Check Statute Of Limitations with Lawyer

Can You Sue A Drunk Driver

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:

  • Medical and hospital bills
  • Physical therapy and rehabilitation
  • Lost past and future earnings
  • Mental and physical pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Out-of-pocket expenses

When You Should Sue A Drunk Driver

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:

  • $25,000 per person for bodily injury and property damage
  • $50,000 per crash for bodily injury to others
  • $20,000 per crash for damage to others’ property

Oregon also requires all drivers to have $15,000 or more 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.

Evidence In DUI Accident Claims

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.

Dram Shop Laws In Oregon

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 entity gave alcohol to the person when they were ‘visibly intoxicated.’
  • The injured party did not ‘significantly contribute’ to the person’s intoxication.

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.

To learn everything about your DUI claim and a lawsuit, please contact the Herron Law Firm today by completing our Contact form.

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    Herron Law Firm is one of the firm that has represented many clients across the state of Oregon who were victims of DUI crashes and have suffered serious loses due to the actions or negligence of drunk drivers.

    Victims of DUI-related accidents should not hesitate to reach out to a legal professional for assistance.

    By contacting a lawyer, such as those at Bart Herron, at (503) 367-0829, individuals can discuss their case and begin the process of seeking justice and compensation for the hardships they have endured.

    DUI Accident Settlements

    If you are in a DUI accident, you may have serious injuries that involve thousands of dollars of medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. It could take weeks or months to heal and get  back on your feet.

    That’s why it’s so important to have a DUI attorney working with you to get the best settlement possible. The Herron Law Firm can help you obtain just compensation for your injuries if you were hurt in an Oregon DUI accident.

    It’s hard to say how much you can get in your DUI settlement; every accident and injury is different. However, statistics from around the country suggest that a common range for DUI settlements with serious injuries is between $80,000 and $1,250,000. But your settlement could be much more or less.

    A major factor in what your drunk driving accident settlement will be is how much insurance the other driver has. In Oregon, the minimum liability insurance per person is $25,000, and $50,000 per accident.

    Many drivers carry only the minimum amount of insurance. That’s why many settlements for DUI accidents may be between $25,000 and $50,000. If you have injuries and damages above those amounts, you would need to file a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent driver.

    Calculating DUI Accident Damages

    When you are looking for compensation for your injuries, it’s important to add up all of your economic and non-economic damages.

    Economic damages are what you can easily calculate, such as bills for your medical expenses, rehabilitation, and lost earnings. Most insurance companies will compensate you with little argument if their client was intoxicated and caused the accident.

    Non-economic damages include compensation for pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and more. These damages cannot be as easily calculated.

    How much you can get for pain and suffering depends on many factors. Insurance companies usually have their opinion of what your pain and suffering is worth depending on your injuries. They will tend to value your pain and suffering less than you and your attorney do.

    To get the most money for your pain and suffering, it’s vital to have a skilled DUI lawsuit attorney in your corner. The attorneys at Herron Law Firm know how to negotiate with stingy insurance companies and will fight to get you as much compensation as possible.

    Our attorneys can access databases of other drunk driving accident settlements in Oregon in recent years and have an idea of what injuries like yours are worth.

    If the insurance company won’t offer a reasonable settlement, we are prepared to go to court to get you what you deserve.

    Punitive Damages In DUI Lawsuits

    Punitive damages can sometimes come into play in Oregon DUI lawsuits. Punitive damages may be imposed if the drunk driver engaged in especially reckless behavior that resulted in your injuries. For example, a driver who was intoxicated far above the legal limit of .08 could be assessed punitive damages.

    Every drunk driving injury case is different, so the best way to find out what your case may be worth is to talk to an attorney at the Herron Law Firm today. We offer a complimentary consultation and can tell you quickly if you have a case and the type of compensation you might expect.

    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.

    Do I need a drunk driving accident lawyer

    Do you know alcohol-impaired drivers cause about 29 deaths per day throughout the US? Being injured or losing a loved one in a drunk driving accident is a devastating and life-changing experience. The worst thing is that the accident could have been avoided if the driver had been responsible enough.

    Drunk driving causes injuries, property damage, and even fatalities. So, how can drunk drivers be held accountable for their negligent actions? You can sue the party at fault to receive compensation for the suffering and damages sustained.

    A drunk driving accident victim is entitled to financial compensation to cover medical bills, suffering, pain, loss of quality of life, and even wrongful death.

    But you may not have the legal knowledge and expertise to navigate through the case and win. This is why you need a drunk driving accident attorney on your side.

    Drunk Driving Criminal Law Consequences

    Driving a vehicle while intoxicated is a serious crime, and stricter enforcement of DUI laws across the country has been a significant factor in cutting these deadly accidents since the 1980s.

    In Oregon, you will get a minimum fine of $1,000- and a 90-days license suspension for a first DUI. A second offense results in a $1,500 fine and a one-year driver’s license suspension if it occurred within five years of the first offense.

    If you are convicted of DUI with a minor in the vehicle, the maximum fine is $10,000.

    You also are required to have an ignition interlock device installed on your car at your expense. This must be used for the first year after the end of your driver’s license suspension.

    Drunk driving accidents in Oregon can result in devastating and even fatal injuries. 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.

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    4 Helpful Safety Tips to Avoid Drunk Driving Injuries

    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:

    1. If you plan on drinking make sure that someone else plans on being the designated driver
    2. If your friend has had too much to drink, don’t let them drive drunk. Take their keys from them.
    3. If you have been drinking, don’t take any risks. You can always call a taxi a ride home.
    4. If you throw a party and you serve alcohol to your guests, remind them to drink responsibly. Make sure that every guest leaves with a designated sober driver.

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      • “Honest, intelligent and strong attorney”

        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.

      • “You gave me the drive to fight”

        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.