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Pedestrian Accidents & Injuries

Most Americans know that driving a motor vehicle can be dangerous. But so can being a pedestrian on a sidewalk, in a crosswalk or a parking lot. Almost 5,000 pedestrians are killed in car accidents every year. This is a whopping 15% of all auto accident deaths in the US. The dangers that pedestrians face also lead to 70,000 being treated for injuries in the ER annually.

Clearly, being struck by a car, truck or SUV can lead to serious injuries for pedestrians. If the pedestrian accident was caused by the driver, the pedestrian may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit in Oregon. If the pedestrian dies, her family may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit to recover damages.

Always (!) consult the Portland Pedestrian Injury Attorney – 503-699-6496 – We are here 24×7 if you have questions. 

Common Pedestrian Accidents

A pedestrian is not merely a person walking on a sidewalk or by a road. Pedestrians may include:

  • Skateboarders
  • Rollerbladers
  • Joggers and runners
  • People in wheelchairs

Some of the most common places where pedestrian accidents happen are:

  • Intersections: A busy intersection is a dangerous place for people crossing the street, even legally. The confusion can be caused by cars going straight, changing lane, and vehicles turning right and left across a crosswalk.
  • Backing cars: Newer cars tend to have rear-facing cameras and warning safety systems. But a driver backing out a driveway or a parking lot space might not see a pedestrian behind the vehicle. Children can be especially difficult to see. Also, trucks have particular blind spots that can be dangerous.
  • Roadway crashes: You would think walking on a sidewalk makes you safe. But sometimes a vehicle out of control runs onto a sidewalk. Also, many roads have no sidewalks, and the pedestrian walking next to the road can be struck.
  • Crushed or pinned: Pedestrians suffer serious or fatal injuries if they are pinned between two cars, or a car and an object, such as a wall or utility pole.

Causes of Pedestrian Accidents

Most pedestrian accidents are caused by driver negligence. The most common causes are:

  • Distracted driving: Drivers often talk on cell phones, text and drive, look at GPS systems, talk to passengers, and engage in other activities that take their eyes from driving.
  • Speeding: Driving too fast reduces the amount of time the driver has to react to a road condition and to avoid accidents with vehicles and pedestrians.
  • Weather: Wet or icy roads mean drivers need to slow down, but many do not, and pedestrian accidents are the result.
  • DUI: Drunk or drugged driving leads to dangerous impairment of judgment and reflexes.
  • Not yielding: Pedestrians almost always have the right of way at a crosswalk. In Oregon, motorists must stop and stay stopped when approaching a pedestrian crosswalk.

There are some pedestrian behaviors that could contribute to injury or death. Negligence by the pedestrian in Oregon can reduce the damages awarded. Pedestrian negligence includes crossing where there is no crosswalk, cell phone distraction, wearing earphones.

Who Is At Fault or “Liability”

Who is to blame for the accident is the first thing to consider if you are thinking about filing a lawsuit for pedestrian injuries. For example, did the driver blow through a red light? Was he speeding? Was he drunk? Did you wander out into the street while using a cell phone? Did the accident happen in a crosswalk?

In most states, including Oregon, you as a pedestrian-only can recover damages in a lawsuit when the driver was more than 50% at fault. If you wandered into traffic while texting and there was nothing the driver could do to not hit you, there probably is no legal case here.

Let’s assume though that someone other than you the pedestrian is at fault. In some cases, more than one person causes a pedestrian accident. For instance, Driver 1 might run a red light, and Driver 2 has the green light and swerves to avoid Driver 1, but that swerve caused Driver 2 to lose control and hit you in the crosswalk.

In that case, you could sue Driver 1, even if that driver did not hit you. You actually could sue both drivers, as Driver 2 could share blame for not controlling his vehicle. It is most likely, however, that Driver 1 is mostly at fault and will pay the majority of damages.

There can be pedestrian accidents where both the driver and the pedestrian are at fault. For example, you might be crossing the street illegally and the driver is going over the speed limit. If it is determined that you were more than 50% at fault, you may not be able to collect damages; this is the comparative fault standard that is law in Oregon.

Police Reports and Insurance Companies

When the police come to the accident scene, they will get statements from you, the driver and witnesses. Their purpose is to determine who was at fault. They may determine this at the scene or conduct an investigation and determine their conclusion later.

The police report will state who the responding officers think is at fault. However, the insurance companies may dispute the finding; they usually will send out an insurance adjuster to the accident scene and view the damages to people and property. If you think that your insurance company has assigned you more blame than you think is warranted, you should retain a personal injury attorney.

Insurance Coverage in Pedestrian Accidents

As an injured pedestrian, you usually may file an injury claim against the driver’s liability insurance policy. Most states mandate that vehicle owners and drivers must carry liability insurance to handle personal injuries to other parties.

In Oregon, the state requires that insurance companies cover your medical expenses and lost wages up to $15,000, regardless of who is at fault. This is known as personal injury protection insurance.

Damages in a Pedestrian Injury Case

Damages in a personal injury lawsuit are intended to compensate you for all of the harm you suffered. This also is known as trying to ‘make a person whole again.’ Damages that you may be entitled to are:

  • Medical expenses – both past and future
  • Lost wages – both past and future
  • Pain and suffering
  • Disfigurement
  • Scarring
  • Loss of employment – both past and future
  • Loss of future income
  • Loss of enjoyment of life, and possibly loss of companionship and consortium
  • Caregiving – past and future 
  • And so much more

 The easiest damages to calculate in a pedestrian injury case are medical costs and lost wages. All of the medical expenses that you paid resulting from the accident normally are reimbursed as part of the damages. Also, if you missed work – whether it was for the injuries you suffered or for your treatments – the driver normally will have to pay for your lost income.

The other two areas of damages are more complicated. How does one determine what the value of your pain and suffering is? That is usually up to a jury. However, for a ballpark estimate, if you have scrapes and bruises and a sore back for a week or two, your pain and suffering usually is worth less than $1000. However, if you have a broken hip and collarbone and suffer from headaches for months afterward, your pain and suffering could be worth $250,000 or more.

Loss of enjoyment of life means the negative impact on your life from the accident. If you were paralyzed from the chest down and you used to be a runner, these damages would be much higher than if you were not active before the accident.

Pedestrian Injuries

Pedestrian injuries can be severe. For example, a person crossing a street in a crosswalk that is hit by a car could have at least four separate injuries:

  • The first impact when the bumper hits the lower leg can lead to knee damage and broken bones.
  • The second impact when the person’s upper leg hits the hood. This can cause a broken femur, fractured hip or pelvis and internal injuries.
  • Third impact if the person’s torso and head strike the hood or windshield. These injuries to the head and internal organs can be fatal.
  • A fourth impact may happen when the person hits the ground.

Most common injuries with pedestrian-car accidents are:

  • Traumatic brain injuries and concussions
  • Spinal and back injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Damage to spleen, liver, and kidneys
  • Fractured pelvis

Pedestrian injuries can require you to receive long term medical care and months or even years of rehabilitation. In the worst cases, the pedestrian may die from her injuries.

Steps If You Are in a Pedestrian Accident

  • Call the police or ask a bystander to call.
  • If you are hurt, wait for EMTs to arrive.
  • Unless your injuries prevent you from doing it, get the names and contact information from witnesses.
  • Be seen by a medical professional immediately to diagnose your car accident injuries and treat you.
  • Next, talk to a personal injury attorney for legal advice. If you are hurt by the negligence of the driver, you are likely entitled to damages, including for medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering.

Contact The Herron Law Firm with the online form below, or call (503) 699-6496.

If you have been injured by a driver in a pedestrian accident, please contact Herron Law at 503-699-6496  24/7  today for a no-obligation consultation.

Serious pedestrian accidents such as the above are a grim reminder of the hundreds of pedestrian injuries and deaths that occur in Portland each year. The Vision Zero Action Plan, which was adopted by the Portland City Council, calls for citizens and the city to take dozens of specific actions to put an end to traffic deaths. The critical action items include steps to deal with dangerous street designs and dangerous pedestrian and driver behaviors. The campaign is intended to grow public awareness of the importance of traffic safety.

The city has invested $300,000 in the program, which includes advertising and production costs, which are largely paid by cannabis tax revenue. It is hoped that this program will result in a marked decline in pedestrian injuries and deaths in the Portland area in the next five years.

About Pedestrian Accidents in Portland

Pedestrians are among the most vulnerable among us on our roads. Pedestrians have the legal right to move about safely where traffic is present. If you are hurt in a pedestrian accident, such as at a designated crosswalk, you could be entitled to obtain compensation from the driver who struck you.

Unfortunately, many pedestrian accident victims are children. The injuries that many children in these preventable accidents can be terrible:

  • Torn cartilage
  • Broken bones
  • Concussion or brain damage
  • Herniated disc
  • Injuries to the kidney or spleen
  • Lacerations to the liver

Contact a Skilled Pedestrian Accident Attorney in Portland Bart Herron Today at 503-699-6496

If you or a loved one have been in a pedestrian accident, you could be left with head injuries, broken bones, internal injuries, and untold pain and suffering. Plus, you may have thousands of dollars in medical bills you cannot pay, lost earnings, and many out of pocket expenses. If it can be proven the driver was negligent, he could have to pay for your medical expenses and much more. The Herron Law Office is experienced in holding negligent drivers responsible who injure others in car accidents. Please contact our law offices today for a free consultation. We can determine quickly if you have a strong personal injury claim. 

Who pays my medical bills? I was hit by a car in Tualatin?

In Tualatin, as well as everywhere else in Oregon, the pedestrian’s Personal Injury Protection (PIP) should cover your medical bills. This coverage should be on your personal auto insurance policy. If you do not own a car, you can make a PIP claim with any relative with whom you live.

If you do not own a car and do not live with a relative who has car insurance, the car’s PIP that hit you should cover your medical bills. Your own health insurance also can cover your medical bills.

But if the driver was at fault for hitting you, his insurance will probably need to reimburse your health and auto insurance eventually for what they paid for your injuries.

If your injuries cost more than what PIP and your health insurance will cover, you can make a claim against the at-fault driver. You also can sue for pain and suffering. The pedestrian accident attorneys near Tualatin offer FREE Case evaluations. Contact Herron Law firm today to receive FREE Consultation.


October 2, 2018, at 5:38 p.m., East Precinct officers responded to the report of pedestrians struck by a driver in the area of 800 block of Southeast 122nd Avenue. Officers learned that a young child and an adult were crossing the street when they were struck by a van. Emergency medical personnel arrived on the scene and rendered aid to the injured persons. Both victims are believed to have sustained critical-life-threatening injuries and were transported to an area hospital by ambulance. The driver of the van remained at the scene and is cooperating with the investigation. The driver was not injured during the crash.

Portland Wants to See Fewer Traffic Deaths with the Vision Zero Action Plan

Q:Who Pays The Settlement in Your Pedestrian Accident in Oregon

If you are a pedestrian and were hit by a car, you might sustained serious injuries that cost a lot of money and are preventing you from working. You are now wondering who will pay your settlement. There are a few options we discuss here.

First, if you have health insurance, your healthcare provider will probably pay for the cost of your injuries at first. Using your own health insurance is often the fastest way to ensure that your medical needs are addressed. Your insurer can pursue compensation from an auto insurance company later.

Second, if the driver who hit you has auto insurance and was at fault, you can try to get compensation from their policy. If the driver has no insurance but you do, your insurance should cover your injuries from your uninsured motorist coverage. Your Personal Injury Protection in Oregon also can cover your injuries up to $5000 or $10,000. After that, you may need to sue the other driver to cover the rest of your medical bills.

If you do not have insurance and the driver doesn’t either, your only chance for compensation is to sue the other driver. But these personal injury lawsuits are only worth it if the driver has enough assets to may a lawsuit worthwhile. This is usually not the case with an uninsured driver.

Q:How Do Insurance Companies Consider Settlement in Pedestrian Accidents in Oregon

Best pedestrian accident lawyers know these kinds of accidents are not always clear cut, especially when it is time to figure out who is financially responsible for your personal injuries.

Your edestrian accident lawyer of Oregon, your insurance company, and the driver’s insurance company will be looking at several points to determine who pays what:

• Who was at fault for the accident: Insurers will study the accident to determine of you as the pedestrian were at fault in any way for your injuries. If so, this can reduce your compensation.

• How severe your injuries are: How serious your injuries are is a major factor in your compensation. If your injuries allow you to fully recover in a few weeks, you will receive less compensation than if your injuries require months of rehabilitation.

• How likely you are to have a full recovery: If your injuries will never fully heal, your settlement will be higher.

• How your injuries affect your job: Your accident injuries may keep you out of work for a few weeks. But if they prevent you from doing your job for months or permanently, you could get more compensation.

Once the insurance company has determined the amount it thinks will cover your medical bills, lost work, and pain and suffering, it will make a settlement offer. Remember that the settlement offer is limited by several factors, including how much insurance coverage the driver has and the financial interests of the auto insurance company.

If you do not like the settlement offer, you can negotiate with the insurance company. Best results are achieved when an experienced pedestrian accident law firm helps you. The Herron Law Firm has achieved excellent settlement results.

Q:What Compensation Can I Receive If I Was Hit By a Car?

According to many pedestrian accident lawyers in Oregon injured pedestrian may be eligible for the following damages:

• Medical bills
• Lost earnings and disability benefits
• Future lost income
• Future medical bills
• Funeral expenses
• Reimbursement for driving to and from medical appointments
• Past and future pain and suffering
• Scarring and disfigurement
• Mental anguish
• Loss of ability to enjoy life

Note you only can get compensation for pain and suffering if the driver was at fault in the accident.

Q:Can The Vehicle Driver Go to Jail for Hitting Pedestrian in Oregon

Usually, a driver will not be arrested for hitting you unless he was drunk or driving in a reckless manner. Some examples of reckless driving include being intoxicated or driving 30 MPH over the speed limit at the time of the accident.

If the reckless driver hits you, best pedestrian accident lawyers will ask for punitive damages compensation. This is because insurance companies know that jurors often want to punish the reckless driver.

Q:Who Is at Fault If a Car Hits Me?

If you are in a crosswalk, the driver is at fault. Your personal injury case will be much stronger if this is what happened.
But if the driver hits you when you are not in a crosswalk, it gets more complicated. You could be 100% at fault.

However, there have been cases in some states where a pedestrian was hit at night in dark clothes and was not in a crosswalk. The case resulted in a large settlement because the driver was driving at least 25 mph over the speed limit. Every case is different.

Q:Is My Pedestrian Accident Case Better or Worst If a Drunk Driver Hits Me?

Cases, where a drunk driver hits you, are usually more complicated because you can file the claim for punitive damages. Punitive damages are on top of compensation for medical bills and pain and suffering.

For example, there was a case where two insurance companies paid $2 million to the adult children of their 70-year-old mother who was hit and killed by a drunk driver. It is likely that a chunk of that settlement was punitive damages for the driver being drunk.

Q:What Is The Penalty For The Driver Hitting Me While I Was Crossing The Street?

The driver may get a ticket if he hits you in a crosswalk. But the police officer may only issue a ticket if the driver was careless. The ticket could be $200 or $300.

You also can make a claim on the driver’s insurance policy, if the driver was at fault. It may be more likely that the insurance company will pay for your pain and suffering and medical bills if the driver was issued a ticket by the police.

But in Oregon, your PIP insurance on your policy will probably pay for your injuries up to $5000 or $10,000. If the other driver is at fault, you can file a claim against them for any injuries above the limits of your policy. If your injuries are above the coverage limits of the driver’s policy, you also can file a personal injury lawsuit.

Pedestrian accident injuries can be serious, talk over the details of your pedestrian accident with one of the best pedestrian accident attorneys in Oregon Bart Herron right away at 503-367-0829.

Q:I have an attorney. But do I need a different type of lawyer for a personal injury pedestrian accident case?

Yes. A pedestrian accident claim will be defended to the other driver and/or their insurance company. Even though there are various types of attorneys will some knowledge of serious injury cases, you should hire a dedicated personal injury lawyer such as The Herron Law Firm to represent you.

Q:What if I can’t afford a lawyer for my pedestrian accident case?

Most personal injury cases are handled on a contingency fee basis. This means you do not pay any fees until the end of the case from the amounts collected in a settlement or judgment. Compensating lawyers in this way makes it possible for injured pedestrians and other plaintiffs to be able to afford an attorney.

Q:How much can I expect to get in a personal injury settlement?

This is what everyone wants to know. No personal injury attorney can guarantee what you will receive after the initial consultation. But you can get a ball-park estimate based upon the following factors:
• Amount of medical bills
• What insurance is available?
• How severe the injury is
• How negligent the other driver was
• Amount of available insurance
• Amount of lost wages
• Impact of injuries on daily life
• Whether future care is needed
• Whether the injury is permanent
• Whether you were partially negligent

Q:I was just hurt in a pedestrian accident, but I do not have health insurance. Who pays my bills?

Coverage can come from several sources. In Oregon, you usually would rely on your personal injury protection (PIP) in your own policy. PIP usually covers up to $5000 or $10,000 at 80% of all ‘reasonable expenses for medically necessary services’ as long as you receive care within two weeks of the accident.

If your injuries exceed $10,000, you can file a claim with the driver’s insurance or your own underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage. If you were working when you were hurt, you may be able to get worker’ comp coverage. But your worker’ comp insurance company may try to get a lien on the third-party damages you have collected.

Q:Is the driver always at fault when a pedestrian is struck in or near a crosswalk?

Usually but not always. Drivers should yield the right-of-way to pedestrians when they are in crosswalks. But they cannot always anticipate cases where the pedestrian suddenly steps off the curb into the path of the vehicle.

Q:What if the driver who hit me fled the scene?

This happens frequently; the NHTSA reports that one in five pedestrian deaths involves a hit-and-run driver. If you are injured by a hit-and-run driver, you could get benefits in Oregon from your PIP insurer, and also from your uninsured or underinsured driver benefits.

It is generally recommended to hire The Herron Law Firm to represent you in a pedestrian accident case. Injuries, pain, and suffering and lost wages are substantial. And you need to be sure you are getting enough compensation for your losses.

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