Personal Injury

Personal Injury

Motorcycling Off-Duty Officer Critically Injured in Accident

In mid-August 2016, an off-duty sheriff for Clackamas County collided with a TriMet bus while operating his personal motorcycle.

The crash occurred shortly after 5:15pm, when the 2015 TriMet bus was heading southbound on 82nd Avenue and started to turn left onto Monterrey Avenue. The northbound 2016 Yamaha motorcycle being operated by the deputy then collided with the right side of the rear end of the bus.

Good Samaritans rushed to render medical aid to the injured deputy. Having sustained critical injuries, he was then transported by Life Flight to a nearby hospital.

Bus Driver Cited for Accident

The driver of the bus remained at the scene and cooperated with the investigators. After a brief investigation, the 58-year-old driver was cited for making a dangerous left turn.

Vehicles Turning Left are the Most Common Cause of Motorcycle Accidents

The most common type of accident a motorcyclist will find him or herself in is one involving a car turning left in front of you. There may be a number of reasons why these accidents are more likely to occur:

  • Drivers of other vehicles are not paying attention
  • Drivers of other vehicles are distracted
  • A motorcycle may be in a drivers’ blind spot
  • A driver may have difficulties perceiving a motorcyclist due to the size or the speed of the motorcycle

The majority of motorcycle accidents also take place in intersections where motorcycles may be less visible to other drivers on the road.

How Motorcyclists Can Protect Themselves

Drivers, riders, bicyclists, and pedestrians are obligated to be responsible and to be lawful. But one act of negligence can leave a motorcyclist critically injured or it may cost the rider his or her life because of the speed and lack of protection a motorcycle offers.

When approaching an intersection, a parking lot, or a driveway, slow down and cover your brakes so that you are prepared to take evasive action. If you have identified a threat, assess the situation and ask yourself questions such as if a driver is able to see you, if they are looking at you, and which way their wheels are pointing.

If you have been involved in a motorcycle-related accident and have been hurt, Dwyer Williams Attorneys, P.C. can help. Our motorcycle accident attorneys have over 100 years collective experience in personal injury law, and we will help ensure that you have the resources necessary to enjoy as full of a recovery as possible from an accident.

To arrange for your free consultation today, please call (541) 617-0555.

Nursing Home Neglect Case Filed Against Care Facility

An Oregon nursing home is in the middle of a wrongful death lawsuit in connection with the death of an elderly couple who allegedly died due to nursing home negligence. The plaintiff, who is the surviving daughter of the decedent couple, is seeking over $2 million in damages against the nursing home and its hospice providers.

The husband and wife, both in their 90s, were admitted at the nursing home in 2014 and were diagnosed with dementia with a high risk for falling, which conditions were known to the elderly care facility. During their stay in the facility, the couple each suffered falls several times, leading to severe and fatal injuries. In one falling incident, the elderly husband struck his head while in the bathroom, seriously wounding one of his ears.

The lawsuit also alleged that:

  • The nursing home ignored doctor’s instructions to provide the elderly husband physical therapy to improve his balance and ability to move around
  • The nursing home and its hospice providers discontinued the elderly husband’s prescribed medicines and instead gave him tranquilizers despite his lack of food and water, leading to his death due to narcotics overdose
  • The elderly wife suffered severe skull and facial fractures and internal bleeding in her brain after falling off a wheelchair that was being pushed by an aide at the nursing home
  • The wife also did not receive adequate food and personal care, causing a ‘colony of fruit flies’ to thrive in her oral cavity

The lawsuit also contained allegations of theft as employees of the nursing facility allegedly stole money, jewelry, and even candy from the elderly couple. The same employees also allegedly unplugged the couple’s phone, cutting them from the outside world and their opportunities to receive visitors.

The defendant nursing facility is being sued for disregarding the needs of the elderly couple and for failing to protect them from harm and from financial exploitation before they died just weeks apart.

Representing Nursing Home Residents in Oregon

Nursing home neglect often brings severe consequences for elderly patients who are unable to complain or report lack of care and abusive behavior to the appropriate authorities or even to their own families. At the law firm of Dwyer Williams Dretke PC in Portland, Oregon, our compassionate attorneys have represented victims of nursing home neglect, helping them or their families recover compensation that they legally deserve.

We invite you to call us today at (541) 617-0555 to get immediate legal advice. Our firm provides a free initial consultation and handles all personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis.

Oregon DOJ Reports Alarming Growth in Elder Abuse

As the elderly population increases, with the number of Americans over age 65 projected to double in the next three decades, cases of elder abuse, neglect, or exploitation have significantly grown and are expected to increase in the next few years.

Appalling Statistics on Elder Abuse

Oregon’s Department of Justice said that approximately 2.1 million older Americans suffer from elder abuse annually. In the state of Oregon, there were more than 38,000 reports of elder abuse in 2014, and investigators believe that the actual numbers could be higher, given the lack of investigation and reporting that currently plague most nursing homes and elderly care facilities.

Liability of Nursing Home

Just recently, an 89-year-old woman and four other women filed a negligence lawsuit against a Portland senior rehabilitation center. The lawsuit alleged that the company failed to discipline or report an employee who was the subject of at least 6 complaints of sexually abusing elderly patients in the rehabilitation center. The employee eventually admitted to sexually abusing the 89-year old victim and was sentenced to 25 years in prison.

The suit also alleged that the health center and its staff’s negligence in conducting a thorough investigation of the complaints and, further, providing the alleged perpetrator a good employment reference had allowed him to continue his abusive behavior in another center. The plaintiffs are seeking at least $1 million in damages against the rehabilitation facility for its negligence.

Types of Elder Abuse

Elder abuse is any form of abuse, neglect, or exploitation inflicted upon any adult who is at least 65 years old, or an adult with mental illness, developmental or physical disabilities regardless of age. Adult abuse can be:

  • Physical
  • Verbal or emotional
  • Sexual
  • Financial

There may also be elder abuse when a person charged with the care of an elder or disabled adult fails to provide basic care or abandons their ward. Other types of elder abuse include wrongful restraint and involuntary seclusion.

Elder abuse often leaves a devastating emotional impact on victims and their families. Reports of abuses of elderly victims in the hands of the very persons entrusted with their care are often heart-wrenching. Unless swift legal action is taken against the perpetrators and potentially their negligent employers, more severe injury may befall these vulnerable victims.

Representing Elder Abuse Victims in Oregon

If you suspect that a loved one has been the victim of elder abuse, it’s important to talk to an experienced personal injury attorney who can fight and obtain justice for your loved ones.

In Portland Oregon, the personal injury attorneys at Dwyer Williams Dretke PC offer compassionate and experienced representation to elder abuse victims throughout the State of Oregon. We routinely handle these types of claims, primarily through former judge and current partner Brian Dretke as well as Tim Williams. Call us today at (541) 617-0555 for a free initial consultation.

Support Groups Are a Useful Tool for Brain Injury Survivors

Sustaining a brain injury in a car wreck or other incident can have a lasting impact on the quality of life of the victim, his or her friends, and family members. The difficulties that accompany life after a traumatic brain injury (TBI) are numerous, yet this is not necessarily a topic that receives a great deal of attention in the media.

In 2009, Congress declared March to be Brain Injury Awareness Month in an effort to bring increased exposure to the injury. A problem with brain injuries is that people often do not understand all the implications of a TBI, so people who have survived brain injuries often feel alone and isolated in their struggles. People can get discouraged when they find they can no longer keep up with the pace of their workplace or simple life activities that were previously a breeze. Since TBIs can be “invisible injuries,” oftentimes well-meaning people are not equipped to understand the sometimes devastating impacts of a TBI.

Brain Injury Awareness Month may have highlighted the plight of someone you know who is suffering a brain injury caused at a result of the negligence of another. If they have not explored the possibility of compensation, we urge you to help them to do so.

Finding a Place of Support

TBI support groups have begun around the country to help facilitate connections between people with TBIs and to provide advice, resources, and solidarity.

Oregon is a great state to live in if you or a loved one has sustained a brain injury – “Oregon has more TBI support groups per capita than any other state,” according to Sherry Stock, the executive director of the Brain Injury Alliance of Oregon. The mission of this group is “to create a better future through brain injury prevention, advocacy, education, research, and support.”

Support groups allow people to share their struggles and their victories with a community which understands what they are going through. Sometimes simply being understood and feeling like you belong is the best medicine for healing. People are able to discuss how their TBI has affected their work, lifestyle, confidence, relationships, and more.

Finding Justice for Your TBI

A serious brain injury resulting from the negligence of another can cause serious and permanent life difficulties. In addition to seeking help from a support group, seeking justice from an experienced team of attorneys can be a helpful step in the healing process.

Our team of committed, compassionate, and knowledgeable attorneys at Dwyer Williams Dretke Attorneys, PC has over 100 years of collective experience in personal injury litigation. We are dedicated to ensuring that justice is served on behalf of victims injured due to another person’s negligence.

We offer a free initial consultation and can speak with you about your case today at (541) 617-0555.

World War II Drug Shows Promise for Spinal Injuries

Spinal cord injuries from vehicle collisions or other accidents can cause serious and lasting pain and nerve damage. Scientists are always on the hunt for new treatment options to ease the suffering for people who are victims of these life-altering incidents.

Antidote Found in an Unexpected Place

According to findings published in March in the Journal of Neurochemistry, a drug has been found to be promising as a way to suppress a neurotoxin causing pain in spinal cord injuries. Acrolein is the neurotoxin in question, a substance that the body produces when nerve cells are damaged. When acrolein is produced in the body, the pain and severity of the injury are increased.

“Previous studies have shown that acrolein levels increase significantly after spinal cord injury. It may be a key factor of secondary injury, which can expand the damage to adjacent tissue,” says Riyi Shi, one of the authors of the study and a professor of neuroscience and biomedical engineering in Purdue’s Department of Basic Medical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, and Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering.

In an unexpected twist, the researchers found that a drug called dimercaprol helps suppress acrolein the body. Oddly enough, this drug was developed during World War II and used as an antidote to chemical warfare weapons.

The researchers at Purdue University discovered that dimercaprol attacks some of the chemical features of the acrolein neurotoxin, which in turn allows the body to safely remove the toxin and its accompanying painful effects.

A Promising Option with Fewer Side Effects

Before this study, the other treatment options to get rid of the acrolein neurotoxin had inherent serious negative side effects when used in high concentrations. In contrast, dimercaprol causes fewer side effects, partly because it can be easily excreted in the urine and does not remain in the body.

This exciting research is still at its beginning phases, but is poised for continued progress since the Food and Drug Administration has already approved dimercaprol. Next steps would be to continue testing the drug with laboratory animals and to move on to clinical human studies.

Have You, or Someone You Love, Suffered a Spinal Injury?

Spinal injuries can be serious events that take severe financial tolls on an injured person and their families. If you have suffered a spinal injury as a result of negligence of another party, a skilled personal injury attorney can help you evaluate whether you are entitled to legal compensation.

At Dwyer Williams Dretke Attorneys, PC we know first-hand how these types of cases can be medically complicated, and that they require the most savvy and experienced injury lawyers to fight for you. We offer a free initial consultation to assess your spinal injury case, and encourage you to call us today at (541) 617-0555.