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Portland Fire Department Official with Multiple DUI Accident History

One of Portland’s Fire captains has been arrested three times for drunk driving. The most recent DUI accident resulted in injuries for 2 motorists who were on their way home when the Fire Captain crossed the center line and drove them off the road, nearly hitting them head-on.

The crash caused extensive damage to the victims’ car, breaking all of its windows, and wrecking the entire car. In addition to physical injuries and car damage, the two victims appeared traumatized by the crash.

Captain’s DUI Accident Record

Court records reveal a history of DUI arrests for the fire captain. He was first arrested in 2006 for drunk driving, and again in 2008 for DUI, reckless driving, and reckless endangering. His most recent arrest was for DUII, reckless driving, and 4 counts of reckless endangering.

It’s important to remember that if you or a loved one is involved in a DUI accident, you may be entitled to compensation.

Claiming Compensation for Portland DUI Accident

Anyone who is injured in a DUI accident can claim economic and noneconomic damages against the negligent driver who caused their injuries. Economic damages refer to past and future medical bills, lost income or wages, loss of earning potential, and other out of pocket expenses.

Noneconomic damages refer to the injured party’s pain, suffering, anguish, humiliation, damage to reputation, and other subjective non-monetary losses.

In addition to economic and noneconomic damages, the injured party may also be entitled to punitive damages – a monetary award intended to punish the drunk driver for his/her recklessness which caused the accident.

Punitive damages are awarded in court and are often excluded by insurance companies in out-of-court settlements. Your DUI accident attorney can assess your situation, prepare the necessary evidence to support your claim, file the appropriate case against those responsible, and represent you in the litigation.

In Portland, Oregon and neighboring towns, the accident injury attorneys at Dwyer Williams Cherkoss have over 75 years of combined experience, handling more than 600 cases in the last three years, including many DUI accidents.

We handle a wide range of personal injury cases such as car accidents, slip and falls, pedestrian accidents, dog bites and dog attacks, motorcycle accidents, and wrongful death. Call us today at (541) 617-0555 to schedule a free consultation. All personal injury cases are handled on a contingency fee basis, meaning you don’t pay any attorney fees if we can’t win your case!

In an Auto Accident? Get a Police Report!

The police report is oftentimes the first step in making a claim to the insurance company for an Oregon automobile accident.  The accident report contains important information, including the exact location of the accident, names and addresses of everyone involved in the accident, name of vehicle owners, insurance information, and vehicle identification (VIN and license plate numbers).  The reports will also detail whether any citations were issued.

The exact identity of the at-fault driver or the vehicle’s owner can be vital, particularly because of the short deadline to file notice of a potential claim in some cases.  If the negligent driver was a state employee, police officer, public bus driver, or any other state, county or city employee, you may have file notice within 180 days (6 months) of the accident.  Failure to file notice can forever bar you from recovering any money.

Contrary to popular belief, a police officer’s determination of fault is not binding on a court, nor is it even admissible.  Unless the police officer saw the accident, any such evidence is merely the opinion of one person after the fact.  Courts will not allow the officer’s opinion to take the place of the jury’s (or judge’s) determination of fault after listening to all of the evidence.

This is a wise decision—police officers who investigate the accident may not have full information at the time of their investigation.  They may not have the opportunity to interview all witnesses or vehicle occupants, particularly if some of them are taken away via ambulance.  So, even if the police give you a citation, or find you to be at fault for the collision, you may still have a good personal injury claim.

The report may be useful in another way, however.  Even though the police officer’s description and decision about liability is not binding on a court, the other driver’s insurance company may consider it in determining whether their driver was at fault, or whether they have a chance to argue against liability.  Oftentimes, a police report that paints their driver at fault can lead straight to settlement discussions.

If you hire a lawyer, your lawyer should obtain this report for you.  If you want to order your own citation or police report, you should provide as much information as you can about the accident, including the date, time, location, and names of people involved.  Unfortunately, these reports are not available online.  You can contact these entities:

Oregon State Police
Attn:  Central Records Section
255 Capitol Street, NE, 4th Floor
Salem, Oregon 97310
(503) 363-5475
$10.00 fee per case file

Request form must be signed, mailed and printed


Request Form

Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles Headquarters
1905 Lana Ave., NE
Salem, Oregon 97314
(503) 945-5098
$8.50 fee per report

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Automobile accidents can be stressful.  If you were hurt because of someone else’s negligence, please contact an attorney as soon as possible.  We can help you to identify if there are any deadlines, and we can take care of all steps to filing a claim or lawsuit, including obtaining motor vehicle accident reports on your behalf.  Give us a call at 1-541-617-0555, or fill out our internet Contact form on the right side of the page.     


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Will My Premiums Go Up If I Make an Oregon PIP Claim?

Personal Injury Protection (PIP) is insurance that can help pay for medical expenses, lost wages, funeral expenses and some household expenses.  It is available to the occupants of an automobile following an automobile collision.

In most cases, the insurance paying the PIP claim is the accident victim’s own insurance, or the insurance of a family member or friend.  Many automobile accident victims, therefore, are concerned about the effect of making a PIP claim.  The first question is always, “will my premiums go up if I make a PIP claim?”  The answer is no.

PIP is no-fault insurance.  It is designed to help, in a relatively quickly timeframe, people who incur medical bills or lose time from work because of an automobile accident.  It is important because making a liability claim (a claim against the negligent driver) will usually take more time.  In some cases, like a single car accident, there may not be any claim possible.

Part of the purpose of PIP, therefore, is to take some of the worry away from the immediate effects of an automobile collision.  One way to encourage people to make PIP claims is to guarantee that premiums will not increase.  This way, an insured person will not hesitate to make a PIP claim.  Likewise, someone injured in an accident will have no reason to withhold a PIP claim when the insured is a friend or family member, because the claim will have no effect on the premiums.

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If you’ve been in an automobile accident, contact our personal injury protection lawyers at 1-541-617-0555, or fill out our internet Contact form on the right side of the page.  We can take care of all of the PIP paperwork for you, and we’ll get your claim processed right away.

For More Information About PIP Claims

Full Physical and Monetary Recoveries for Injured Eugene Truck Driver

Our client in this automobile accident, which occurred last winter, was a Eugene, Oregon pickup truck driver. She was traveling north on a main road in Eugene when the collision occurred. As she entered an intersection, another driver failed to yield the right of way and pulled into our client’s traffic lane in front of her, causing our client to strike that driver’s vehicle at a ninety degree angle in a “T-bone” accident. Our client’s truck was totaled in the accident and she was seriously injured.

Pickup Truck Accident Eugene Oregon | Oregon Car Crash LawyersOur client was seen at Urgent Care following the accident, where she was diagnosed with a low back sprain/strain with possible torn muscles. Due to the severe pain and discomfort that she was experiencing, she was seen at the emergency room the following day. Additional tests were conducted during that visit and our client was advised to receive chiropractic care and massage therapy treatments for the next four months, which she did.

Although our client did not sustain any wage loss in this accident, she incurred significant medical bills that she did not know how to pay. For this reason, and because she was unsure how to proceed with a claim against the at-fault driver, she contacted and retained the well-known Oregon car accident lawyers at Dwyer Williams Cherkoss Accident Injury Attorneys to represent her.

Our firm’s Eugene-based personal injury attorney and partner, Richard, managed this case. He was able to establish a Personal Injury Protection claim with our client’s insurance company, which got all of her medical bills paid at once. As soon as our client’s treatment was complete, Richard collected all of her medical records and bills and sent a demand package to the adverse insurance company.

Within a short amount of time, Richard and his experienced Eugene, Oregon auto accident law firm staff were able to obtain a fair and reasonable settlement with the at-fault driver’s insurance company that fairly compensated our client for the pain, suffering, and disruption to her life caused by their irresponsible driver. Our client was happy with the fallout from her Eugene auto accident and with her decision to work with Dwyer Williams Cherkoss PC.

Settlement for Oregon Passenger Injured in Out-of-State Accident

Our client in this auto accident injury case was hurt while on vacation on the East Coast. She was traveling on the interstate, riding as the passenger in a rental car being driven by her husband, when another driver tried to enter her the lane occupied by our client’s rental car.  Unfortunately, there was not enough room for this driver to enter the lane and he hit our client’s car, injuring her.

Oregon Auto Accident Injury Attorneys | Oregon Rear-End Collision LawyersOur client didn’t know how to approach this accident since it took place outside of her home state.  After an initial post-accident emergency room visit in the state where the accident had occurred, our client and her husband waited until they were home several months later  to follow up with their primary care physician.  After treating for their accident-related injuries, they contacted the Oregon auto accident injury attorneys at Dwyer Williams Cherkoss to discuss their case.

We explained that generally (as in this case), even when you’re away from home, your auto insurance still covers you in the event of an auto accident. Generally, auto policies limit coverage to areas within the United States. This made our job easy: once we had been retained to represent her, we treated the accident as if it had occurred in Oregon. We contacted the at-fault driver’s insurance company and began negotiating with them immediately.  We were quickly able to resolve the matter and to obtain a fair settlement for our client and her husband.

Treatment Costs Covered for Uninsured Driver in Rear-End Collision

In this Central Oregon rear-end auto collision case, our client was injured while driving his car down a busy street in Bend.  He was sitting at an intersection, waiting for his traffic light to turn green from red, when another driver plowed into him from behind.  The force of this collision lurched our client and his vehicle forward suddenly, which injured our client’s neck and back.

Oregon Auto Accident Injury Attorneys | Oregon Rear-End Collision LawyersUnfortunately, at the time of this accident our client didn’t have health insurance and his auto insurance policy did not include coverage of medical expenditures related to auto accidents.  Our client called the experienced and tough Oregon auto accident injury lawyers at Dwyer Williams Cherkoss PC to help him get the treatment he needed and to settle this auto injury claim.

We contacted our client’s medical providers right away and offered to protect their accounts if they would treat our client for his accident-related injuries and hold on billing him.  The providers agreed, allowing our client to complete treatment for his auto accident-related injuries.

Once our client had finished treating his injuries, we sent a demand package to the at-fault driver’s insurance company.  They almost immediately began negotiating a settlement with us.  Our client accepted a fair offer and was happy with his treatment as well as with his representation by the compassionate yet tough Oregon auto accident attorneys at Dwyer Williams Cherkoss.

Driver Recovers for Injuries Sustained in Low-Speed Accident

A client in Southern Oregon was recently injured in a car crash when she had stopped her car at a traffic signal and was waiting for the light to change.  Another motorist failed to stop and rear-ended our client’s car.  Although some property damage was done to our client’s car, it was minimal. For this reason, the insurance adjuster claimed that he couldn’t understand how our client could have sustained her injuries in this supposed low-impact collision.

Oregon Auto Accident Injury Attorneys Rear-End CollisionOur client called an attorney right away.  She knew that she needed a knowledgeable and tough Oregon auto accident injury lawyer on her side. As soon as our client had completed treatment for her accident-related injuries, we ordered her complete medical records and were able to definitively prove to the adjuster that, although our client had some underlying degenerative changes, she was healthy at the time of the accident.

This claim was quickly resolved through negotiations and it settled for a fair amount that our client was happy with.  Low impact collisions, while perhaps more difficult to prove on paper as being responsible for accident-related injuries, nevertheless have the potential to injure Oregon drivers and passengers.

Injured Driver Receives Great Settlement Offer in the Nick of Time

Our client was injured while driving along a major highway in Central Oregon.  Suddenly, another driver traveling in the opposite direction decided to make a U-Turn and ended up crashing into the side of our client’s car. Once he had physically recovered from this accident, our client called the experienced Oregon car accident lawyers at Dwyer Williams Cherkoss to represent him.

Central Oregon Auto Accident Injury AttorneysOur client sustained several injuries in this accident, and once he had made a complete recovery we discussed his claim with him.  We next sent out a demand package to the at-fault driver’s insurer, but it would not respond.

After making no headway, we called the insurance adjuster’s supervisor and were told that the adjuster who had originally been handling our client’s claim no longer worked at the company.  We continued to keep pressure on the insurance company to make a settlement offer despite never hearing back from them.

Finally, not long before the two year statute of limitations would have expired, our tough auto accident attorneys informed the new insurance adjuster that we would be filing a lawsuit in 48 hours if a settlement offer was not presented to our client.  The new insurance adjuster quickly made our client a new and very good offer and we were able to resolve the case.

Settlement for Uninsured Driver Injured in On-the-Job Accident

Our client was on the job, driving a company vehicle, when he was rear-ended while entering a freeway.  This was a low-speed collision, but it nevertheless caused property damage to the vehicle and the other driver did not dispute liability.  Following the accident, our client started to experience lower back pain that ultimately required corrective surgery.

Oregon Auto Accident Injury Attorneys | Oregon Car Accident Injury LawyersThe problem our client faced was that, although the company car that he had been driving was injured, his employer did not carry workers’ compensation insurance.  Our client had no motor vehicle insurance of his own. He called the experienced auto accident attorneys at Dwyer Williams Cherkoss for help in this on the job auto accident injury and workers’ compensation case.

The defendant’s insurance company attempted to take the position that no serious injury could have occurred because the accident was low-speed.  They also claimed that our client’s injuries were attributable to preexisting health conditions rather than to the accident itself.

We worked with the  State of Oregon Workers’ Compensation Division to get a workers’ compensation claim opened through provisions established for non-complying employers.  Once we were able to establish this claim for our client, his medical bills and wage loss were paid and he could obtain the treatment that he required.  Upon completion of his treatment we obtained documentation from our client’s treating physicians attributing his need for treatment and surgery to the automobile accident rather than to any other cause.

The negotiation process took several months since the defendant’s insurance company refused to abandon its claim that our client’s back injury was unrelated to the motor vehicle accident.  Determination and patience, supported by the facts, finally turned the tide in favor of our client.  The  adverse driver’s insurance company offered him a full policy limits settlement.  Our client was satisfied with this settlement given the insurance company’s initial reluctance to negotiate and was even happier when we were able to also establish an uninsured claim on his behalf that paid him the full policy limits.

Settlement Reached for Multiple Vehicle Collision Injury Victim

The defendant in this matter lost control of his vehicle, side-swiped another vehicle, and collided with our client head-on.  This collision totaled our client’s car and left her with serious injuries.  She was immediately rushed to the local hospital, where her examination revealed a number of severe injuries.  These included a cracked and bruised sternum, ligament and tendon damage in her ankle, neck and back injuries, and severe bruising covering the rest of her body.  She completed eight months of treatment following the accident before making a complete recovery.

Oregon Auto Accident Injury AttorneysOur client called the experienced Oregon auto accident injury attorneys at Dwyer Williams Cherkoss PC because her total medical bills exceeded personal injury protection (PIP) limits and because she recognized that the number of people injured in this three-vehicle collision would complicate her claims. She needed professional help and we took her case.

Once hired by our client, we explained her PIP benefits to her.  We gave her health insurer all of the information it needed to pay her bills and provided that insurance company’s information to our client’s medical providers with outstanding bills.  In the end, we were able to obtain more money for our client than any of the other parties to the crash received.  Additionally, we were able to convince our client’s insurance company to waive its statutory right to be reimbursed for what it paid out in PIP benefits.

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