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Portland Pedestrian Accident Attorney

If you or someone you love has been injured in a pedestrian accident in Oregon, whether it is a city street in Portland or a rural road in eastern Oregon, you need a tough, experienced, and respected Oregon pedestrian accident attorney on your side. You should have someone who has handled many pedestrian accident cases in the past and achieved excellent, provable results. 

Chad Stavley is a Portland pedestrian accident attorney who handles cases throughout Oregon and Washington.  He has handled cases as far north as Tacoma and as far south as Medford. His pedestrian accident case results include a $1.19 Million recovery for a pedestrian in Washington County and many six-figure recoveries for pedestrian accident victims.   

Chad believes everyone should understand their rights and make informed choices.  So he offers free consultations.

You don’t have to go through this difficult time alone; let personal injury attorney Chad Stavley protect your future as he has done for many others. Call (503) 546-8812 today and let Chad explain your options. 

Our office is conveniently located at 434 NW 19th Ave in Portland. We are available for free consultations on the phone, zoom, or in person.

Why Do People Choose Us?

  1. Chad has a track record of getting excellent results for clients in pedestrian accident cases.  If you choose Chad, you get a lawyer that has done cases just like yours many times and recovered millions of dollars for pedestrians.
  2. Chad is focused.  He only handles personal injury cases. 
  3. Chad believes in keeping his clients informed at every stage of the case.  He wants you to know what to expect, what he plans to do, and what he wants to achieve in your case. As you go through the process, you will always know what is happening and what to expect next. 
  4. Chad takes all his personal injury cases on a contingent fee.  That means you don’t pay a penny until after he recovers money for you.  And his contingent fee is only based on the amount after your medical expenses and liens are paid.  Most Portland pedestrian accident lawyers take their fee off the total recovery.
  5. Chad has trial experience that sets him apart from many of his peers.  You want a personal injury attorney with winning trial experience because sometimes insurance companies can be unreasonable.  They may refuse to acknowledge the fault of their drivers or undervalue injury claims.  In those cases, you’ll need a trial lawyer who can win your case in the courtroom.  Chad has tried approximately 100 cases and achieved verdicts in personal injury cases that beat last/best offers by more than 3 to 1. 
  6. Chad won't hand your case off to another attorney as some Portland pedestrian accident attorneys do.

Do I Even Need a Portland Pedestrian Accident Attorney?

Many people don’t think they will even need a Portland pedestrian accident lawyer after suffering a significant injury.  They trust that the other driver’s insurance company will take care of them.  Maybe the other driver’s insurance adjuster has already called you and seems nice. 

The major auto insurance companies are never going to pay you a fair amount if they can get away with paying you less than a fair amount.  When it comes time to pay for the harm that their driver caused, that nice adjuster won’t be so nice. 

When you contact Portland pedestrian accident lawyer Chad Stavley, he’ll make sure you understand all the things that the insurance adjuster might not have explained.  He’ll explain how to get your medical expenses paid through your auto insurance even though you were a pedestrian and not in your car.  He’ll explain how to get your lost wages paid through your auto insurance too. 

Chad will explain why you should secure evidence and witnesses now and not wait.  The insurance company doesn’t want you to get a good attorney at the beginning of a case because that attorney will take action to secure video evidence, get witness statements, and preserve physical evidence that will make sure your case is solid if you ever have a dispute with the insurance company. 

If Chad doesn’t think you need an injury attorney, he’ll tell you that too.  We are proud of the many Google reviews we have received from people we told not to hire an attorney and instead explained to them the reason that hiring one of the many Portland pedestrian accident attorneys would not improve their financial recovery in their particular case. 

Call Chad for a free, no-pressure consultation so that you understand all your rights, including those the insurance company would rather you didn’t know. 

What Can I Expect From My Free Consultation?

Chad wants you to get the most out of your free, confidential consultation.  So make sure you have as much information as possible.  Chad will want to know the details of what happened to you, including:

  • When your pedestrian injury crash happened;
  • Where you were when the crash happened – for instance, the street location where you were walking when you were struck by the car;
  • Any information you have about the at-fault driver;
  • The at-fault driver’s insurance information if you have it;
  • Whether police investigated the pedestrian injury case; and
  • Whether there were any witnesses to you getting hit by the car and if so, their information.

Chad will also want to know about your injuries and damages so he can give you good advice.  He’ll want to know things like:

  • Whether you have health insurance;
  • Whether you have auto insurance;
  • Your injuries;
  • Your medical treatment;
  • Whether you have missed work; and
  • Your health history that might be relevant to your case.

After getting the information he needs to analyze your case, Chad will answer all the questions you might have.  People often ask many questions, so you shouldn’t be shy about asking any questions you have. 

Some common questions include how the pedestrian is going to get their medical bills and lost wages paid while the case is pending, what might happen from any police investigation, how bringing a personal injury claim will work, how much time it will take, and how the attorney gets paid.  Ultimately many pedestrians want to understand the process and see if they feel confident that Chad is the right lawyer to represent them in their pedestrian injury case. 

Chad takes a limited number of cases so he can offer personal attention to each of his clients.  So as he listens to your case facts and answers your questions, he’ll also be determining if your case is a good fit for his caseload.  Getting excellent results requires the client to have confidence in the lawyer and the lawyer to have a strong desire to work tirelessly for the client. 

We don’t take cases unless we feel confident in the case and want to go all the way if necessary to get an excellent result. 

Reasons to Act Quickly When Possible

You should consult an experienced Oregon pedestrian accident lawyer as soon as possible after the incident. The first reason is that evidence can be lost forever. Pedestrian accident cases often involve disputed liability. Video evidence is very helpful in determining what happened. Companies sometimes have cameras on their buildings that capture the roadway. The city may have an intersection camera. We've seen pedestrian accidents caught on Tri-Met bus cameras or dash cameras on witnesses' cars. If you wait too long, none of the evidence may exist.  

Another reason to act quickly is that witnesses may either forget important details or become unavailable due to death or moving and not being able to be found.    An independent witness on issues like whether a pedestrian was in a crosswalk, issues regarding speed limits, or whether a driver had their lights on can make a case. It is important to get detailed statements and secure their availability as a witness if needed.

Of course, there is also the issue of statutes of limitations and potential tort claims notice requirements. You do not want to miss an important deadline that could prevent you from bringing your case.  

Common Types of Oregon Pedestrian Accident Cases

Driver fails to yield to the marked crosswalk during a turn.

Many pedestrian accidents occur when a driver stops at a light or stop sign and intends to turn right. The driver is looking to their left to see when traffic is clear to make their right turn. When traffic clears, they do not look to their right to ensure nobody is in the crosswalk. This can be a pedestrian crossing the street or crossing in front of the car from the car's right. Like many other car accidents, this one can be easily avoided if the driver follows laws designed to protect pedestrians by paying attention and yielding to pedestrians in the crosswalk.

We often see these cases end up with the pedestrian hit at relatively low speeds.  Nonetheless, the impact can cause the victim to suffer broken bones or even devastating injuries.

Unfortunately, like most pedestrian crashes, the driver in these cases often denies responsibility and blames the pedestrian. The driver's insurance company will contact their law firm and start working immediately to protect their insured by either blaming accident victims, dismissing the car accident-related injuries as minor, or claiming that the injuries are unrelated to the traffic accident.

Busy Portland streets are the most common site of these cases. But we have handled crosswalk cases in the suburbs like Beaverton, Hillsboro, and Gresham as well as small towns in rural Oregon and as far away as Tacoma, Washington. 

Driver doesn't pay attention when pulling out of a driveway.

Many collisions involving pedestrians happen when a distracted driver leaves their home or a business and exits the driveway across a sidewalk. This can be due to the driver not paying attention, backing out without looking, or because the driver is texting.

Even in clear cases, the insurance company is likely to try to place part of the blame for the incident on the injured pedestrian.  They’ll claim the pedestrian should have been paying better attention or that the pedestrian’s injuries are not very serious.

Unmarked crosswalks

In Oregon, intersections that do not have marked crosswalks are considered "unmarked crosswalks" by statute. We often see people crossing at an intersection from one side of the road to the other and negligent drivers not paying attention because they see no marked crosswalk.  

After being hit by a car, the pedestrian will either be blamed, or the law firm representing the driver will try to minimize the amount they have to pay by claiming both the driver and the pedestrian are to blame.  

A good pedestrian accident attorney can help establish that you were not crossing the road illegally but were, in fact, in an unmarked crosswalk.  

Parking lot cases

By their nature, parking lots are full of pedestrians and require drivers to be very cautious.  But some drivers don’t pay attention and hit unsuspecting pedestrians.

Like all pedestrian cases, the driver’s insurance company will try to blame the victim or reduce compensation with frivolous claims that the pedestrian was partially at fault.  This can occur even in clear cases. We handled a case in Scappoose after a snowstorm where the at-fault driver was an elderly woman and stepped on the gas thinking she was stepping on the brake. She drove through a snowbank and across a sidewalk before hitting our client, traveling through another snowbank, and hitting a car.  The woman’s insurance company tried to blame the crash on the icy parking lot conditions. 

Can a Pedestrian and a Driver Both Be Responsible for an Accident?

Understanding Comparative Negligence in Oregon and Washington

One of the common arguments in pedestrian accident injury cases is that both the pedestrian and the driver were at fault.  When successful this defense can result in either a reduced recovery for the pedestrian victim or no recovery at all. 

Both Oregon and Washington have “comparative negligence.” In a pedestrian accident case where the defense has proven that the pedestrian was also at fault, the jury will be asked to compare the negligence of each side using a percentage.

For instance, the jury could decide that the driver is 95% responsible for the pedestrian’s injuries and the pedestrian is 5%. The percentage of their own negligence reduces the pedestrian's total verdict. So, in the example above, the pedestrian's total verdict would be reduced by 5%. Oregon and Washington differ on whether comparative negligence can completely bar a recovery.

Oregon is a modified comparative negligence state. If the jury determines that the pedestrian was 51% responsible, the pedestrian gets nothing.  

Washington is a pure comparative negligence state. In Washington, the pedestrian can recover damages even if they are 99% at fault and the driver is only 1% at fault. In that case, the verdict would be reduced by 99%.  

Deadlines for Bringing a Pedestrian Accident Case in Oregon

Oregon has a two-year statute of limitations on most injury cases. However, in wrongful death cases, the statute of limitations is three years.  

In some instances where the at-fault driver is a public employee, you may have tort claim notice requirements. This means that you need to notify the public agency of your intent to file a lawsuit. Your notice must have specific content that follows the Oregon Tort Claims Act requirements. In an injury case, the tort-claim notice deadline is 180 days. In a death case, it is one year.

Therefore, it is essential to contact a lawyer as soon as possible to avoid missing any critical deadlines.

Common Pedestrian Accident Injuries

When looking at a car accident involving a pedestrian, the potential injuries are unlimited. Pedestrians have no protection like drivers in auto accidents. Some common injuries we have seen  in pedestrian accidents over the years include.

  • Spinal fractures
  • Lower leg fractures
  • Knee fractures (tibial plateau)
  • Meniscus tears
  • Pelvis fractures
  • Skull fractures
  • Facial fractures
  • Epidural hematoma
  • Fractured ribs
  • Concussions
  • Wrist fractures
  • Lacerations

When a pedestrian accident occurs, you will often see what emergency room doctors refer to as a polytrauma case. That means the person has suffered multiple serious injuries.  

Compensation in a Pedestrian Accident Claim

Pedestrian accidents are no different from any other personal injury claim regarding what you can recover. In Oregon, you can recover economic damages, non-economic damages, and sometimes punitive damages.  

Economic damages include past and future medical bills and past and future lost wages. These items can be pretty easily priced. While it is important to recover compensation for these items, they don't compensate the pedestrian accident victim for what they have had to endure and will have to endure in the future.  

This is where non-economic damages come into play. Some pedestrian accident lawyers refer to non-economic damages as "pain and suffering" damages. Many pedestrian accidents involve serious injuries that can dramatically change the injured victim's life. In these cases, the victim may rightfully recover significant money. However, victims can still seek compensation in cases where pedestrian accident injuries are less significant.

In Oregon, punitive damages are available in limited cases where the negligent driver is actually proven to have been acting recklessly or with malice. For example, your basic car accident where a pedestrian is hit by a car will not involve punitive damages. Examples of what will meet the threshold for punitive damages include pedestrian accidents involving drunk driving. The idea behind punitive damages is to punish misconduct and deter similar misconduct in the future.  

In Washington, an injured victim does not have the right to recover punitive damages in a personal injury claim.

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Questions About Pedestrian Injury Cases

Can I get medical bills paid while my pedestrian injury case is pending?

If you have car insurance, your personal injury protection ("PIP") on that car insurance will cover you when you are a pedestrian involved in a motor vehicle accident in Oregon. If you have ever been in an auto accident, you may be familiar with PIP.  

Pedestrian accidents are unique in Oregon in that medical expenses first go to your auto insurance for payment until your PIP exhausts. This is typically at $15,000 or two years, whichever comes first. But some people contract for more PIP on their insurance policy. After your PIP exhausts, your health insurance is second in line. If there are amounts or treatments that your health insurance does not cover, then the other driver's PIP is third in line.  

PIP is temporary coverage until we get the pedestrian accident claim resolved. Don't worry that it first passes through your insurance. The negligent driver will have to pay your insurance back.

In Washington, the sequence is reversed; first, you exhaust the other driver's PIP, then you go to health insurance before finally accessing your own PIP.  

It would help if you had a pedestrian accident lawyer who understands that PIP is different in pedestrian accidents. Many personal injury lawyers are familiar with traffic crashes. Make sure you get one experienced in pedestrian accidents.  

If I have car insurance will my PIP cover me when I am a pedestrian?

In Oregon, yes.

I don't live near Portland; should I call you or a pedestrian accident lawyer near me?

Chad has handled pedestrian cases throughout Oregon and Washington. Our office is in Northwest Portland, but we have handled cases in most Oregon counties.

Can I get any PIP coverage through the other driver’s insurance?

In Oregon the sequence is that you use your own PIP first then you go to your health insurance and lastly the other driver’s PIP. If your health insurance does not cover something the at-fault driver’s PIP will.  In Washington the sequence is reversed; first you exhaust the other driver’s PIP, then you go to health insurance before finally accessing your own PIP.

Do you handle wrongful death pedestrian accident cases?

Yes. Call as soon as possible so we can gather evidence that may not be available later.  

Does anyone keep statistics that relate to pedestrian fatalities in Portland?

Chad Stavley has been keeping pedestrian accident statistics and keeping a fatality map for several years. If you have a question, please feel free to call.

I was on a skateboard when I got hit by a car, am I considered a pedestrian?

Skateboarders are considered pedestrians. Most pedestrian accident lawyers will take cases involving traffic accidents between a motor vehicle and a skateboard so long as the skateboarder acted safely.  

Do you handle anything other than personal injury cases?

I exclusively handle personal injury cases. Those include all manner of traffic accidents. I am passionate about representing pedestrian accident victims and advancing pedestrian safety.  

How long have you been handling pedestrian cases?

I have been a trial lawyer since 2003. I started my private practice as a personal injury trial lawyer in 2008. My first case as a personal injury lawyer was a pedestrian accident lawsuit for a pedestrian injured crossing a street in northeast Portland. She was struck by a motor vehicle, and there was a dispute about whether she was in a crosswalk. It took a lot of work, but we proved she was in a crosswalk when she was hit. We were also able to prove the driver was on his cell phone at the time of the crash.

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