Each year, motor vehicle accidents take the lives of thousands of victims throughout the United States and injure millions more. In 2018, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported more than 6 million accidents.
Car accidents often cause serious injuries that can have long-term effects on the physical, emotional, and financial health of the victims and their families. If you or someone you love suffered severe or fatal injuries in a traffic collision as a result of the other driver’s negligence, a Portland distracted driving accident lawyer can help you seek compensation for your damages. Contact Ben Crump Law, PLLC today at (800) 598-7557 to talk to us about your case.
The Dangers of Distracted Driving
The NHTSA defines distracted driving as, “any activity that diverts attention away from driving,” which may include:
- Talking on the phone or texting
- Eating and drinking
- Talking to other people in the vehicle
- Playing with the radio, GPS, or other electronics
With the prevalence of cell phones, texting has become one of the most dangerous distracted driving concerns. In fact, sending or reading a text for 5 seconds at 55 miles per hour takes your eyes off the road for the entire distance of a football field.
The Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS) §811.507 prohibits drivers from holding or using their phones while driving for any reason. If you suffered an injury or lost a loved one in an accident caused by another driver’s phone use, a Portland distracted driving accident lawyer can help you pursue financial awards.
For a free legal consultation with a distracted driving accidents lawyer serving Portland, call (800) 598-7557
Oregon’s Hybrid Fault System
Unlike most other states, Oregon has a hybrid insurance system that includes elements of both fault and no-fault insurance. While Oregon drivers must have personal injury protection (PIP) insurance of at least $15,000 for each passenger to cover their own injuries in the event of an accident, they also have the option to file a claim with the other driver instead if the other driver holds responsibility for the accident.
Many states that require no-fault policies limit the victim’s opportunities to sue the at-fault driver, but Oregon does not have financial or injury thresholds. An attorney can help you explore your options and choose an appropriate course of action for your case.
Portland Distracted Driving Accident Lawyer Near Me (800) 598-7557
Establishing Liability in Your Case
In order to file a claim against the driver who caused your accident, you must prove that the driver holds responsibility for it. You or a lawyer can do this by demonstrating that the driver’s actions meet the four criteria for legal negligence:
- Duty of care
- Breach of duty
Once you have established liability in your case, you can seek legal action against the at-fault party.
Types of Evidence That May Help
A Portland distracted driving accident lawyer can gather certain types of evidence from your accident to help you prove liability and pursue fair compensation. Evidence that may help your case includes:
- Photos and videos from the scene of the accident
- Police reports
- Medical records and bills
- Eyewitness testimony
- Cell phone records
In some instances, your own testimony may benefit your case, as well.
Negotiating with Insurance Companies
Attorneys typically prefer to settle distracted driving accident claims outside of court to avoid the delays and risks associated with taking it to trial. Reaching a fair settlement outside of trial is not always possible, though.
A lawyer can help you by handling all communication and negotiations with the insurance company on your behalf and, if necessary, taking your case to trial to fight for the financial recovery you deserve.
Financial Awards in Distracted Driving Accident Cases
The types of financial awards you may qualify for and the amount of compensation you may receive varies depending on the specific circumstances of your case, such as the extent of your injury and the availability of insurance coverage. Awards may include payment for:
- Medical bills and related healthcare costs
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Funeral and burial expenses
A Portland distracted driving accident lawyer can help you assess your damages and pursue adequate financial recovery in your case.
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Oregon Statutes of Limitations on Distracted Driving Accident Claims
Distracted driving accident victims and their families have a certain amount of time, called a statute of limitations, during which they can file their claims against the at-fault driver. Victims typically have up to two years from the date of their accident to pursue compensation for their injuries, while family members of victims who suffered fatal injuries can usually file a wrongful death claim within three years of the date of their loved one’s passing. A lawyer can determine how much time you have left to file and get started on your claim right away.
Ben Crump Law, PLLC Can Help You with Your Case
If you or a family member suffered serious or fatal injuries in a distracted driving accident in Portland, you do not have to face the legal system on your own during this difficult time.
At Ben Crump Law, PLLC, our attorneys can help you hold the at-fault party accountable by seeking financial awards on your behalf, and you do not owe us anything unless we achieve compensation for you. Contact us today at (800) 598-7557 to discuss your case for free.