A car accident on Interstate 5 caused serious brain injury to a mental health specialist who was carpooling with a co-worker, another doctor. Unfortunately, the doctor was killed during the multiple vehicle collision. Likewise, the health worker eventually passed away as a result of her severe brain injury after being taken off life support. However, thankfully, not all who suffer brain injury perish immediately.
Effects of Traumatic Brain Injury
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) can lead to serious life-changing effects physically and psychologically. It can also result in coma and brain death where the brain and brain stem no longer experience any measurable activity.
When a person is brain dead, removing any breathing devices will cause the heart to stop. Receiving immediate treatment for brain injury is absolutely vital.
If you or a loved one is involved in an accident that caused a brain injury, you may be entitled to compensation.
Common Causes of Brain Injury
TBI can occur when the head or body suffers a severe blow or jolt due to a number of causes, including
- Car collisions
- Slip, trip and fall accidents
- Physical violence
- Gun crimes
In the United States, car accidents are the leading cause of brain injury-related deaths and slip and fall accidents often cause brain injury in adults.
Non-fatal brain injury requires medical treatment, therapy and rehabilitation. Even seemingly minor brain injuries can have long term psychological effects such as:
- Mood swings
- Inappropriate behavior that can negatively impact your life
If another party was responsible for an accident that caused your injury, your Oregon brain injury attorney can help you to recover compensation from those responsible for your injuries. Depending on the circumstances of your brain injury, compensation can cover your medical bills, ongoing treatment, lost earnings from time off work, cost of home care while undergoing treatment, pain and suffering, and even loss of companionship.
Brain Injuries from Hit-and-Run
Two high-profile cases in Oregon involving hit-and-run accidents were resolved in criminal court. A man in Medford Oregon, Othon Campos, Jr., was sentenced to three years for striking three adolescents with his vehicle. According to a story in Medford’s Mail-Tribune, one of the children, an 11-year-old girl, was sent to Portland with the most severe of the injuries, including permanent brain damage and a broken pelvis. Campos was on his way to the store to get more beer. He fixed the truck after the accident happened and hid out for almost two weeks before police found and arrested him.
In a Portland hit-and-run accident that received statewide coverage, Ashley Chavez struck a pedestrian after leaving a Portland Timbers game. Chavez, her passenger, and other accomplices covered the accident up. She was ultimately found, arrested and sentenced to 6 years and 3 months in prison.
What the Law Says
In both of these cases, the at-fault drivers were tried in criminal court for violating Oregon law regarding the proper procedure that drivers must follow after an accident. ORS 811.705 require drivers involved in an accident where another person is injured to:
- Stop immediately
- Stay at the scene until released
- Give insurance information to the other party in the accident
- Provide assistance in getting medical help
- Cooperate with authorities on the scene
In a hit-and-run accident, an at-fault driver who is eventually found, as Campos and Chavez were, face not only criminal charges but also insurance liability for the accident. In that instance, injured parties or victims’ survivors can file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. If a driver is not found or is uninsured, an injured person can file a claim with their own insurance company, since Oregon requires all drivers to have Uninsured Motorist coverage in their policies. The minimum amount of Uninsured Motorist coverage in Oregon is $25,000 per person (with a total payout cap of $50,000), though many policies have higher limits.
In Oregon, the accident injury attorneys at Dwyer Williams Dretke Attorneys, PC have more than 100 years of combined experience in brain injury accidents, helping accident victims recover compensation that they deserve.
Early on the day of the injury, our client and several friends took turns jumping their snowmobiles over a particular jump in the mountains. They continued further up the mountain for lunch and eventually drove the snowmobiles back along their earlier path. Toward the end of this return trip, our client saw the jump that he and his friends had taken earlier that day and decided to jump it again. The landing zone for this jump was obscured by the jump itself – a fact of which everybody in the group was well aware given that they had each successfully jumped it several times that morning.
Unfortunately, and unbeknownst to our client, another member of his snowmobiling group was the first down the hill. That friend drove his snowmobile into the landing zone of the jump, where he parked it while waiting for the others to join him. As our client took the jump one last time, he could not see his friend’s parked snowmobile. In fact, the first time he was able to see the parked snowmobile wasn’t until he was in the air and unable to do anything to avoid the collision. As a result, he crashed into the other snowmobile on his landing and sustained significant head and brain injuries.
Sadly, our client was a successful surgeon prior to this snowmobile accident. Following the crash, his injuries left him unable to perform any surgeries, as his brain injuries were permanently disabling. This, in turn, left him with substantial medical expenses and an inability to earn a living to the same extent he was able prior to the crash. He made a claim with the other snowmobiler’s insurance companies to compensate him for these losses. However, this was met with extreme resistance.
How We Were Able to Help
The other snowmobile driver’s insurance company refused to settle with our client for a reasonable sum, instead choosing to blame him for the accident. Disappointed, but not defeated, our client approached Dwyer Williams Dretke Attorneys, PC for representation. Notably, this was after having been turned down by several other attorneys who deemed his case to be too difficult for them to handle.
We took the case and immediately filed it with the court then proceeded with discovery – request for production of documents, interrogatories, and depositions. Ultimately, with our help, we were able to settle the case for $2,400,000 – the maximum amount of insurance available to our client from the various insurance companies involved.
Call us today at (541) 617-0555 to speak to one of our lawyers about your situation. Your initial consultation is free.
Call Us Today for a FREE Consultation (541) 617-0555.
Call Us Today for a FREE Consultation