Personal Injury

Personal Injury

Oregon Jury Awards $1 Million in Punitive Damages for Slip and Fall

An 84-year old man was awarded approximately $1.6 million in a slip and fall lawsuit against a supermarket, $1 million of which was for punitive damages. The case stemmed from an incident in December 2014 when the plaintiff slipped on spilt liquid laundry detergent while walking along one of the aisles of the supermarket.

Cause of Plaintiff’s Slip and Fall

On the day of the incident, a bakery worker at the supermarket informed a defendant’s store employee about a spill in the premises. The store employee looked at the spill and then walked back to the back area of the store. Shortly after, the plaintiff walked across the area and fell on the floor. The defendant supermarket maintained that the spilt liquid came from a container of laundry detergent that was leaking from one of its customers’ carts. Video footage of the incident showed the employee returning to the area after learning of the spill, with a bucket of water and a mop, though quite some time after being advised of it.  In the interim, no warnings of the spill were ever given to the customers of the store.

Plaintiff’s Injuries Due to Slip-and-Fall Accident

Due to the accidental slip, the plaintiff said that he broke one of his femurs which required extensive surgery to attach a metal rod into his broken leg. His injuries further required long and painful rehabilitation and physical therapy in order to recover use of his leg.

More than a year after his fall, the plaintiff still experiences pain and discomfort on his injured leg. He said that his affected leg is too unstable that he is no longer able to perform ordinary activities such as pulling weeds in his garden, holding his great-grandchildren, and taking plane rides to see his extended family. He may also have to sell his home as his unstable leg makes it difficult to navigate the stairs.

After 5 days of deliberations, the jury awarded the plaintiff compensation for his past and future medical and therapy expenses, his pain and suffering, and punitive damages.

If you suffered serious injuries in a slip and fall accident on another person’s property, you will need all the help you can get to completely recover from your fall. Talk to an experienced slip and fall attorney who can determine whether another party caused your injuries and the next steps to recover compensation, if appropriate.

In Portland, Oregon, the personal injury attorneys at Dwyer Williams Dretke, P.C. has been helping injured clients recover from their injuries by obtaining financial settlements and awards that they legally deserve. We invite you to contact us online or call us today at (541) 617-0555 to arrange for your free case evaluation.

Distracted Driving Auto Accidents on the Rise in Oregon

Traffic crashes continue to be a leading cause of death in the state of Oregon, which reported around 495 deaths due to auto accidents in 2016. While alcohol and speeding account for many of motor vehicle fatalities, the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) said that distracted driving, particularly by using mobile phones is increasingly a common factor in car accidents.

Proposed Distracted Driving legislation

Lawmakers in the state of Oregon have proposed new bills that are intended to discourage the use of electronic mobile devices while driving. Existing law under ORS 811.507 prohibits using a mobile device designed to receive and transmit text and voice communication while driving. And the standing jurisprudence does not apply that law to persons using the phone such as checking social media or mobile apps.

A pending Senate bill seeks to expand the law’s coverage to include social media use, navigation and internet use as well as make any use of a mobile electronic device while driving as a Class A misdemeanor.

Legal Remedy for Car Accident Victims Due to Mobile Phone Use

If you sustained severe injuries due to another person’s mobile phone use while driving, you may also have a civil cause of action against the other driver through a personal injury lawsuit. In an auto accident personal injury case, you may be able to receive financial compensation which can cover:

  • All your medical bills, past and future
  • Lost wages
  • Impairment of your earning capacity
  • Property damage
  • Damages for pain and suffering

Role of Auto Accident Attorney

A crucial step in this type of lawsuit involves proving that the other party was using their mobile electronic device while driving and that their negligent use caused the accident and your injuries. This process, however, can be highly complex, requiring an excellent grasp of tort law and litigation procedure. Call an experienced Oregon personal injury attorney to help you.

In Oregon, the law firm of Dwyer Williams Dretke, P.C. has more than 100 years of combined experience in a wide range of personal injury cases including auto accidents. Our attorneys have earned a reputation for relentlessly pursuing the best interests of our clients and preparing strong cases for trial. We work very hard to obtain the full compensation that our client deserves.

We welcome your call today at (541) 617-0555, or contact us online to arrange for a free case evaluation with one of our approachable attorneys. All personal injury cases are handled on a contingency or ‘no win no fee’ basis.

Deadly Auto Accidents Increase in Oregon

Recently released data by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) showed that 35,092 people died in auto accidents last year, 7.2% higher than in 2014. Among all the US cities that experienced large surges in fatal auto accidents, Portland, Oregon had the highest increase, with 71.7% more traffic fatalities.

Common Factors in Auto Accidents

Oregon State Police said that several factors often lead to deadly road accidents, particularly on Oregon highways. The most common causes are:

  • Excessive driving speed
  • Distracted driving
  • Impaired driving

Just recently, 3 people died and 2 suffered severe injuries in a car crash in Oregon City. Investigators said that speed and alcohol were likely factors in the crash. If you or a loved one is involved in an auto accident, it’s important to seek medical attention immediately and obtain appropriate treatment for any injuries arising from the crash.

Importance of Personal Injury Attorney

Many factors can lead to car crashes. If another party’s negligent or reckless driving caused your injuries, you should be able to speak to an experienced auto accident injury immediately about it. Your lawyer can evaluate all the circumstances surrounding your accident, determine the causes, identify the persons with potential liability for it, and provide important advice about your legal options.

Claiming Compensation for Auto Accident

If a potential claim for compensation exists in your case, you may be able to recover economic and non-economic damages against the party who caused your injuries. Economic damages can include:

  • The costs of past and future medical expenses
  • Hospital bills
  • Lost earnings
  • Rehabilitative services
  • Future impairment of earning capacity

Noneconomic damages cover other consequences of your accident and can include:

  • Mental suffering
  • Pain
  • Loss of consortium
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of companionship
  • Inconvenience

Your lawyer can help you gather all the necessary evidence of your accident and injuries, represent you before insurance companies, and if necessary, litigate your claim for compensation before a jury. Your attorney can also help you obtain treatment from appropriate medical providers even if the other party does not carry insurance.

In Portland, Oregon, the law firm of Dwyer Williams Dretke Attorney PC has more than 100 years of combined experience, helping clients recover compensation from auto accidents and other types of personal injury cases. We also handle motorcycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, bicycle accidents, slip and fall, and wrongful death cases.

We invite you to call us today at (541) 617-0555 to speak to one of our approachable attorneys about your situation.

Deadly Motorcycle Accidents Rise in Oregon

Motorcycles enjoy immense popularity as a fast, exciting, and inexpensive way to travel in and around Oregon. But without a car’s safety features such as seat belts, air bags, and safety design, motorcycles pose serious risks of fatal and severe injuries to riders in a road crash.

Growing Fatal Motorcycle Accidents

2014 data obtained at the Oregon Department of Transportation indicate that 44 people were killed and 940 were injured in motorcycle accidents. In 2015, the number of motorcycle fatalities grew to 60. And as of July this year, 31 people have already died in motorcycle accidents, mirroring a similar rise in motorcycle fatalities in the previous year.

State police associate the rising trend in motorcycle crashes to the improving economy as cheaper fuel prices encourage more people to use the motorcycle as their main mode of transportation. An estimated 8.4 million motorcycles were registered in Oregon in 2014. With the growing number of motorcycles on Oregon roads, the number of motorcycle accidents is likely to remain the same or increase.

Catastrophic Injuries

In 2015, 13.4% of Oregon traffic fatalities were on motorcycles. Absent the protective features of ordinary sedans, motorcycle riders are vulnerable to injuries particularly when involved in collisions with other motor vehicles. Riders who survive motorcycle accidents often suffer severe injuries that can scar them for life and permanently change their way of life.

Broken bones, fractures, severe head injury, brain injury, spinal cord injury, and other serious physical injuries are some of the common injuries affecting victims of motorcycle accidents. Multiple surgeries, extensive medical treatments, and long periods of confinement are often necessary for survivors of motorcycle accidents to completely heal their wounds and recover.

Claiming Compensation for Injuries

If you lost a loved one in a motorcycle accident, at the very least you deserve to speak to an experienced personal injury attorney about any potential liability for the loss of your loved one. Your attorney can examine the details of the accident, determine the cause of the accident, and provide important information about your rights under the situation. If your attorney determines that the accident was due to the fault or negligence of another party, you may also have a claim for compensation against them.

In Portland, Oregon, the law offices of Dwyer Williams Dretke Attorney PC have proven experience in motorcycle accidents and have helped clients recover compensation that they legally deserve. Call us today at (541) 617-0555 to arrange a complimentary case evaluation.

Portland’s Third Fatal Bicycle Accident in 10 Years

Another bicycle accident recently claimed the life of a female rider in Southeast Portland. The accident happened at the intersection of SE 82nd and Flavel, considered a high crash corridor where previous road crashes resulted in 2 prior fatalities and 8 serious injuries between 2005 and 2014. Police are still investigating the cause of the accident.

Portland Bicycle Accidents

Known for its eco friendliness, Portland has a large community of cyclists who are entitled to safely share the road with other motorists. As population in Portland steadily grows, more pedestrians, bicycles, and transit vehicles increasingly take to the arterial roads and highways in and around the region. The strong economy as well boosts road travel, increasing risks of bicycle accidents in Portland.

Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents

Bicycle crashes often occur at road intersections when a motorist in another motor vehicle turns across the path of a bicyclist or when a cyclist attempts to turn right from a major road. A crash can also happen when a bicyclist rides in the path of a motor vehicle.

Negligence is also a huge factor in road crashes. Driving under the influence, speeding, and distracted driving have also been known to cause catastrophic bicycle accidents.

Recovering from a Bicycle Crash

Bicyclists are at risk of serious and fatal injuries in an accident mainly due to the bicycle’s relatively lighter weight and smaller size than other road vehicles. A road collision while on a bicycle can cause critical injuries such as brain injury, spinal cord injury, severe internal injuries, excessive bleeding, and multiple fractures.

If you or a loved one is injured in a bicycle accident, a full medical recovery can require multiple surgical procedures and therapy that can be expensive. So it’s important to speak to an experienced bicycle accident attorney who can determine the cause or causes of your crash and if necessary, walk you through the process of claiming compensation for your injuries.

In Oregon, the personal injury lawyers at Dwyer Williams Dretke Attorney PC have more than 100 years of collective experience in bicycle accidents. We work very hard to make our injured clients and their families whole again by recovering the value of compensation that they legally deserve.

We invite you to call us for a free consultation at (541) 617-0555 to learn more about how we can help you. Our firm also handles other types of personal injury cases such as truck accidents, pedestrian accidents, slip, trip and fall accidents, and dog bites and dog attacks.