Personal Injury

Personal Injury

Preventing Pedestrian Accidents

Pedestrians are increasingly likely to be injured or killed in accidents with cyclists, or vehicles.  In fact, a recent study showed that 15% of all vehicle crash deaths involve pedestrians.

The risk to the pedestrians is inevitably higher than that of the cyclist (who is likely to be wearing some protective clothing), or the person(s) inside the vehicle (who are protected by doors, windows, and in many cases seatbelts). The study showed that most of the injuries and deaths are caused by a lack of awareness by one or both parties involved.

Keeping Our Pedestrians safe from Harm

Regardless of whether you’re on foot or behind the wheel, being observant of your surroundings is paramount to everybody’s safety. The following items will highlight areas of awareness that will help minimize the chance of a pedestrian accident.

Pedestrians should be mindful of the following:

  • Always be aware of your surroundings
  • Look both ways before crossing the street
  • Avoid jaywalking by crossing at designated crosswalks where possible
  • Refrain from focusing on electronic devices while walking
  • Follow all traffic and crossing signals
  • Runners and walkers – opt for high visibility clothing when exercising with restricted daylight

For cyclists, there are very similar guidelines as those for pedestrians with the following additions:

  • Sound a bell or horn when approaching pedestrians
  • Slow down when approaching crosswalks and intersections

With vehicles, far more caution needs to be taken due to the additional speed and weight associated with driving:

  • Check for pedestrians before backing out or entering a drive
  • Be sure to check your blind spots when changing lanes
  • Slow down around schools during peak times
  • Take care when passing large stationary vehicles such as buses
  • Follow the road rules, including the speed limit

By following these guidelines and being more observant of our surroundings, the chance of a pedestrian accident will be greatly reduced.

If you are in the Portland, Oregon area and find yourself involved in a pedestrian accident and need legal help, we invite you to call our friendly team at Dwyer Williams Dretke Attorneys at (541) 617-0555 for a free consultation.

When a Cyclist Is Injured in a Collision with a Car

A collision with a car is the greatest fear most people have about cycling, and it actually prevents many people from picking up a helmet and hitting the road. Sadly, many road bicycle accidents involve children but it is not uncommon for adults to be seriously injured or even die during such a collision.

As with most road accidents, here in Portland as in the rest of the country, the collision is usually caused as a result of somebody’s negligence. The accident could have been the fault of the driver, the cyclist, or both, although most collisions between cyclists and motorists are due to the driver’s negligence.

There are also other causes of bicycle accidents, including the poor condition of the road or trail, and sometimes cyclist’s crash into other cyclists and pedestrians. However, the accident was caused it is almost always the result of somebody’s negligence.

When a cyclist is injured due to somebody else’s negligence, they have a legal right to be compensated for their injuries. This is applicable even if the cyclist may be partially responsible for causing the collision. A good personal injury attorney would be able to advise any injured cyclist of their right to compensation and the legal steps required to obtain it.

Four Tips after Car v. Bicycle Accident

If you have recently been involved in a road accident or would like some advice, here are some helpful tips on what to do:

1: Contact the police immediately:

Every police department has its own policy on how they respond to bicycle accidents and they will normally respond to a crash depending on the level of injury. Nevertheless, notifying the police is always a must as you will require the official report as evidence for your claim. The police will also want to conduct their own investigation to determine if any charges should be brought against the driver if charges are laid this will help bolster your claim.

2: Don’t assume anything after the accident: 

Some people don’t realize that they have been injured until several hours after the accident. In the heat of the moment it’s easy to brush off any minor injuries – but never assume that you won’t need medical attention. If the police do respond to the accident, make sure you collect the driver’s insurance information to help you to pursue a claim once any injury later develops.

3: Never try and make a deal at the accident: 

Unfortunately, some people try to negotiate a settlement at the scene of the accident. This is never a good idea as you have no idea what the ramifications of the accident will be. There could be serious injuries, invalid insurance details, fake licenses and a number of other scenarios impossible to predict. Focus on what you need and don’t be swayed into making a deal under pressure.

4. Gather all evidence: 

It can be hard to think clearly after an accident, but it is vital that you collect every piece of information available to you. Don’t leave the scene without the driver’s details, their insurance information, and lots of photos that show your damaged bicycle and location.

At Dwyer Williams Dretke Attorneys, P.C., we have years of experience handling personal injury cases and want to ensure that you are compensated for any and all losses and that those who are at fault are held accountable.

If you have been involved in a car vs. bicycle accident we welcome your call today at (541) 617-0555 to arrange an initial consultation with one of our very skilled and proficient personal injury attorneys.

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.