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Portland Pedestrian Accident Attorney

If you or someone you love has been injured in a pedestrian accident, it's important to contact an experienced Portland personal injury lawyer. Chad Stavley is a highly-rated and respected attorney who will fight for your rights and get you the compensation that you deserve.

At The Law Offices of Chad Stavley, we understand how difficult this time can be for our clients, which is why we work tirelessly on their behalf to ensure they receive the best possible outcome of their case. We are committed to providing personal attention with compassion throughout every step of the process.

You don't have to face this alone; let us help protect your future by calling (503) 546-8812 today.

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.

Call now at (503) 546-8812.

Do I Need a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer?

The short answer is that it certainly will not hurt you to get a free consultation with an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer so that you understand your rights.  

There are several reasons to act quickly. First, there may be video evidence of the pedestrian accident that will need to be gathered before being destroyed. There may also be witnesses that need to be interviewed before they move or become unavailable.  

You will also want to understand how your medical bills get paid while your case is pending. In Oregon, if you have auto insurance or live with a family member who has auto insurance, you will have medical coverage available to you (PIP) that will pay at least $15,000 of your reasonable and necessary medical bills while your pedestrian accident claim is being sorted out. The at-fault driver's insurance company will have to pay that back at the end of the case. If you have health insurance, it will pick up bills after the PIP coverage has been exhausted. Again, the at-fault driver's insurance company will have to pay that back at the end of the case. If there are bills not covered by your PIP or health insurance, the at-fault driver's PIP is next in line. A good pedestrian accident lawyer can ensure your bills are paid while your personal injury case is being prepared.  

Other reasons you may need a pedestrian accident lawyer include the difficulty in working against insurance companies who have no incentive to treat you fairly. Insurance companies often defend pedestrian accident cases very aggressively. They often blame the injured pedestrian. In wrongful death cases, they will say the pedestrian's negligence caused their own death.  

You also want to make sure you get the total financial compensation you are entitled to. An experienced pedestrian accident lawyer will know how to maximize your financial compensation from the insurance company. The damages can be significant in serious injury cases and include medical expenses, wage losses, and pain and suffering damages.  

Chad Stavley has been helping pedestrian accident victims throughout Oregon and Washington for over a decade. Call for a free consultation before making a mistake that could impact your pedestrian accident case.  

What Can I Expect From My Free Consultation?

The first thing to know is that your free consultation is 100% confidential. Chad will want to know the facts of your pedestrian accident, including where it happened, if there were any witnesses, whether police responded, and where you received medical care. He will want to know about the negligent driver if you know that information. Chad will want to know about the insurance companies involved to determine different paths to recover compensation. Finally, he will want to know if you have items of evidence such as photos. In cases involving pedestrian deaths or catastrophic injuries, you may not know some of this information. That is entirely OK.  

He will want to talk about any serious injuries sustained in the pedestrian accident. Also, if the injured pedestrian had any related medical history, Chad will want to know about that.  

Chad will want to understand your damages, so he will want to understand your injuries, medical care, future scheduled medical care, missed work, and the ways the pedestrian accident has impacted your life.  

Throughout the call, Chad will answer any questions you have. After your free consultation, we want to make sure you understand all of your options in handling your injury claim.

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 case.

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

Yes. 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 accident 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%.  

Time to File a Pedestrian Accident Case

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.

Why do people choose us?

  1. We have a track record of getting excellent results for our clients in cases like yours.
  2. We only handle injury cases. This means we know what we are doing.
  3. We operate on a contingent fee, and we advance all costs. This means we will never ask you for a penny.
  4. Our contingent fee is only off the amount after medical expenses and liens are paid. This can save you considerable money.  
  5. We keep our clients informed on the status of their cases and return calls promptly. This sounds basic, but apparently, it is not. We have taken over cases from other lawyers multiple times over the years. People want to get a new lawyer because their current lawyer doesn't call them back.

Common Causes Of Oregon Pedestrian Accidents

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. The insurance company and their law firm will act incredibly quickly in pedestrian fatalities.  

You should call a good pedestrian accident attorney from the outset to secure evidence and protect you from the insurance companies and their lawyers.

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

Many collisions involving pedestrians happen when a person 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 texting, or other types of distracted driving. Personal injury attorneys who frequently handle pedestrian accidents are never surprised to hear that the driver blames the injured pedestrian for their significant injuries.  

Like the victim in any other kind of car accident, you may be entitled to recover financial compensation. If the accident occurred because a driver was not paying attention, you should talk to a pedestrian accident attorney to be protected.

Unmarked crosswalk

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. Pedestrian accident lawsuits involving unmarked crosswalks can be complicated; get a consultation with an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer to give yourself the best chance for success.  

Common Pedestrian Accident Injuries

When looking at a car accident involving a pedestrian, the potential injuries are unlimited. The pedestrian has no protection like they might in an auto accident. Some common injuries we have seen 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 severe injuries.  

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.  

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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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