Injured In An Auto Accident?

Nearly forty fatal auto accidents took place in the Portland area in 2017. Reasons are various, from reckless driving, negligent driving, driving under the influence, and other causes. We never know when we could be the victim of an auto accident. Fortunately, most are not fatal. Still, there are costs: physical, financial, and emotional. Knowing that there are experienced, skilled, and compassionate personal injury attorneys in the Portland area is at least one less thing to worry about. Kroll and Johnson are the personal injury attorneys you need.

You want to know that the fees are reasonable. You want to know that the people you hire can do the job. There could be no end of questions. No one knows what’s around the next corner, but we make the best choices we can with what’s in front of us. Choosing the right personal injury attorney is one of those choices we can make to take control again. No one likes to feel that life is simply happening to them. Ed Kroll and Justin Johnson know that feeling. They know what their clients want and need. They’re ready to be your partner in getting back to making life happen, instead of life happening to you.

Kroll & Johnson have 2 offices to serve you. Call today for a free consultation.

The Duty of Care, Modified Comparative Fault, and Auto Accidents

“Duty of care” refers to the responsibility of the parties in an auto accident have to observe all applicable laws. Drivers must obey the speed limit, road signs and signals, and stop at all crosswalks, for example. Pedestrians must use crosswalks, obey walk/don’t walk signals, and take care not to dash recklessly into traffic. In a personal injury case, the jury will assess how well each party observed the duty of care, and assign fault in accord with the laws in this state.

In a modified comparative fault state like Oregon, the jury assigns fault to all relevant parties as a percentage. You can recover damages as a claimant as long as your fault does not exceed 51 percent. In other states, these types of cases may be decided in a more all-or-nothing way. Seek out an experienced Oregon personal injury attorney, one who understands the system, and how to help people like you. Your health and peace of mind are too important to go it alone.

It is important to hire a personal injury attorney if you have been injured in an auto accident as a driver, or as a pedestrian. The statute of limitations in the state of Oregon for personal injury is two years. The longer you wait, the more challenging it will be to be made whole. There are many personal injury lawyers out there, but not all of them have your best interests in mind. You want to hire someone who will give you an honest assessment of your case, and let you know if you can recover financially something of what the accident has taken away. At Kroll & Johnson, we’ve been handling these types of cases for a long time. We would be happy to give you a free consultation if you have been injured in an accident. Call today for an appointment.

Your New Car May Be Your Biggest Distraction on the Road

Your New Car May Be Your Biggest Distraction on the Road

From navigation, to entertainment, streaming audio and video, social media, and our general necessity to be interconnected at all time, car manufactures are adding more tech bells and whistles to each new model.  Gone are the days of upgrading to an FM radio or tape deck.  Today’s cars provide a multimedia experience that are a potential danger to drivers, passengers, and pedestrians.  The access to information and entertainment at our finger tips integrated into our automobiles can lead to serious and deadly accidents at a rate that is quickly becoming one of the most dangerous scenarios on American roads and highways.

Technology has absolutely changed our lives in positive ways and many people we know would be lost navigating our modern world without it but we all have to stop and think about the consequences of using this technology irresponsibly or dangerously.  In a study publish by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, found that new interactive technology in new model cars can distract drivers for nearly 40 seconds at a time. The study also found that navigation systems drew driver attention away from the road for the longest intervals.  Not only is the correct function of these devices and systems distracting to drivers, but frustration from user error or poor functioning technology gave a significant increase to the driver’s cognitive ability to operate their vehicle safely.

According to AAA President and CEO, Marshall Doney:

“Some of the latest systems on the market now include functions unrelated to the core task of driving, like sending text messages, checking social media or surfing the web — tasks we have no business doing behind the wheel. Automakers should aim to reduce distractions by designing systems that are no more visually or mentally demanding than listening to the radio or an audiobook.”

Source: Is New Car Tech Driving You to Distraction? by Austin O’Connor, AARP, October 10, 2017

 

If this trend in auto manufacturing continues, anyone has a potential risk for injury from a distracted driver.  If you find yourself injured by a distracted driver, ensure you consult a qualified experienced attorney.  Don’t let another driver’s negligence cause you or your family undue harm and prolonged suffering.  Call the offices of Kroll & Johnson today and find out how we can fight on your behalf.

Most Common Injuries From Car Accidents

serious injuries can be the result of auto accidentsAlthough many serious injuries can stem from car accidents, certain ones are seen most often. Those injuries fall into two categories: impact injuries and penetrating injuries and can cause varying degrees of problems and long-term issues.

One of the most type of injury is damage to the body’s connective tissues, which includes the muscles, ligaments and tendons. Many people know the injuries commonly referred to as whiplash, which is injury to the neck and upper back, but these issues can occur in other parts of the body as well like in the back.

Another common injury is scrapes and cuts. If anything inside the vehicle becomes airborne in a crash, they can easily cause scrapes and cuts. Think of your coffee cup, cell phone, purse, laptop and bag and anything else that is not secured in your vehicle being jolted in ­an accident. These injuries may require no medical attention, but can require stitches or may result in loss of blood or worse. This can cause cuts and bruises on any part of the body, but especially the arms and legs.

Serious injuries to the head may be in the form of muscle strains in the neck and back, like whiplash, or may be in the form of a concussion. If the occupant’s head makes contact with a window or steering wheel, there may be more severe head caused to the head. Anything from scrapes and cuts to closed-head injuries can more seriously affect the brain in the long run.

Another commonly injured area is the chest. Especially in drivers involved in the crash, chest injuries can be the result of slamming up against the steering wheel or serious bruising where a seat belt holds the person in place during a crash.

If you or your loved one has suffered serious injuries in a car accident, call today to request your free initial consultation.

 

Understanding Oregon’s New Distracted Driving Law

distracted drivingLegislation passed in May takes effect this month, imposing stiff fines for anyone caught even holding their cell phones or other electronic devices while operating a motor vehicle. The new distracted driving laws were modified to close some loopholes from earlier legislation.

House Bill 2597 makes it so Oregon drivers may face fines of up to $2000 for using any “mobile electronic device” while on the road.

A first offense could trigger fines of $1000, but may be erased if the driver agrees to take a state-approved distracted driving avoidance class at their own expense.

Legislators have worked to close a gap in Oregon’s 2009 hands-free law that although it requires drivers to use a hands-free device to make phone calls and banned texting while driving, didn’t explicitly block users from playing games or program a navigation device when driving.

The revised law prohibits any drivers from holding or touching a phone or electronic device at all while operating a vehicle.

While a vehicle doesn’t need to be turned off to use a handheld device, it must be parked safely like on the side of the road or in a parking lot, not stopped at a traffic light. Additionally, a driver is not banned from using navigation, but can only use what’s referred to as a “one touch” action, so a driver may access a preprogrammed route or end navigation after he or she has found the way as long as they can do it with one touch.

There are few exceptions, like if there is an emergency, a drive may use their device to call 911, but only if there is no one else in the vehicle able to do so.

The penalties have drastically increased with an escalation for multiple offenses or seriousness of incidents. For examples if the driver is involved in a crash or has had a previous offense, he or she will be facing a higher fine and possible jail time due to the circumstances.

If you have been injured in a distracted driving crash, it is important to speak with an experienced Portland personal injury attorney. Call today for your free, initial consultation.

Understanding Personal Injury

Unfortunately, when an injury occurs you may not realize the long-term complications you may face for months or even years to come. It is important to understand what a personal injury due to another person’s negligence or wrongful conduct can mean to your life. If you have suffered such an injury, it is vital to consult with a Portland personal injury attorney to at least review your options.

Personal injuries can occur due to the carelessness or negligence of another person or due to the intentional act of another. They are injuries suffered in a car accident, in a work-related accident, due to medical malpractice as well as many other factors. You may have a personal injury from getting injured in another person’s home or on their property. Sometimes they are due to someone’s direct actions and other times due to their inactions.

If you have suffered any type of personal injury, you may be scared or confused and unsure what steps you need to take. It is vital to seek the proper medical care, even if you feel physically ok. Many times there may be unseen injuries that will continue to affect you as time passes. Injuries are important to document for future reference, if necessary.

If someone else was responsible for your injury, they may also be responsible for your pain, suffering, injury, loss of property, loss of wages as well as medical bills. Holding them responsible helps alleviate the burden for you and your family and helps make sure another family doesn’t have to suffer at the hands of the responsible part again.

You may suffer injuries, even in low-speed car accidents where you don’t think you would have. Although you can represent yourself in a personal injury case, it may be difficult to get a fair settlement. Therefore, it is crucial to speak with an experienced Portland personal injury attorney who can argue your case for you. Call today for a free, initial consultation.

Fighting For Drunk Driving Victims

Our Portland personal injury lawyers fight for drunk driving victims who have been injured because of the carelessness of another driver. We work to recover appropriate compensation due them to help offset costs from the injury.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, between 2003 – 2012, there were 1,232 people killed in crashes involving a drunk driver. About one in three traffic deaths in the United States involve a drunk driver. Despite efforts, drunk drivers continue to get behind the wheel millions of times. If you or your loved one has been a victim in a drunk driving accident, it is crucial to seek counsel from a Portland personal injury lawyer. 

Did you know that in 1987, sobriety checkpoints were declared unconstitutional in Oregon and therefore the police cannot setup any sobriety checkpoints within the state? This does not help law enforcement officers to fight drunk drivers and alcohol and drug impairment continues to be a factor in many crashes throughout Oregon.

Many people think of drunk driving an alcohol-only issue, but those laws include all driving under the influence. This encompasses driving under the influence of any type of controlled substance or any prescriptions medicines known to cause issues driving.

Obviously a driver driving drunk may be held responsible for an accident they cause, but other people may also be held liable.

Anyone who allows a family member or friend to borrow their vehicle, even though they know or should have known the person was impaired can be held liable for a crash of the drunk driver.

Secondly, anyone who knowingly serves or allows alcohol to be served to underage drinkers can also be held responsible. This could include bartenders or even parents serving of-age young adults.

Finally, any establishment that continues to serve a patron even though the patron has had enough to drink can be held liable for a crash after that person has left the establishment.

If you or your loved ones are drunk driving victims or have been injured in an impaired driving accident, it is vital to discuss your situation with a Portland personal injury lawyer today. Call for your free, initial consultation.

Distracted Driving Fines To Increase With New Law

When a new law takes effect this fall, drivers will face more restrictions aimed at decreasing distracted driving as well as stiffer penalties in an effort to force a downward number of distracted driving accidents. Let’s take a look at the new penalties.

For a first offense, the violation will be considered a Class B violation as long as the offense didn’t contribute to a crash. Many in this situation will be faced with a $260 fine with a minimum fine of $130 and a maximum of $1000. After January 1, the court may suspend the fine if the driver completes an approved distracted driving avoidance course and shows proof to the court within four months.

Although the fine will be suspended, the violation will still be recorded on the driver’s driving record.

If a first offense resulted or contributed to a crash, the violator could get a Class A violation. This comes with a presumptive fine of $435, but a minimum of $220 and a maximum of $2,500. This fine would also be in place should a driver have a second offense.

For a third offense within 10 years, a driver would be facing a Class B misdemeanor, with a minimum fine of $2,000 and up to six months in jail.

The previous law had an expected fine of $160 and did not have increased fines for repeat offenders or those involved in more serious, or even deadly crashes.

Distracted driving is a national problem that has continued to grow and affect people’s lives. If you or a loved one has suffered serious injury in any distracted driving accident, we are here to help. We can fight on your behalf to obtain the compensation you deserve. Call today to set up your free consultation.

Take Steps To Prevent Serious Injuries In A Car Accident

Car accidents happen every day and while many are not serious some do leave those involved with serious injuries that have lingering effects. Certain factors tend to result in worse injuries than others. You can help lessen possible injuries should you get in a car accident by keeping in mind some of the biggest factors affecting the extent of injuries.

Seat Belts

According to the Centers for Disease Control more than half of teens 13-19 and adults 20-44 who died in crashes in 2015 were unrestrained at the time of their crash. Men are statistically less likely than women to wear seatbelts, and young adults aged 18-24 were least likely to wear a seatbelt when driving.  Seat belts reduce serious crash-related deaths and injuries by nearly half and it is estimated seat belts saved nearly 14,000 lives in 2015 alone.

Direction of Occupant

Just by being properly restrained and facing straight ahead, the vehicle and seatbelt will be better designed to protect the passenger in a crash than if a passenger is turned in another direction.

Also more research has shown rear-facing children in their age appropriate car seats for longer times can help protect their delicate, growing bodies should they be involved in a crash.

Speed Of Crash

Obviously, the higher the speed the more likely for a more serious crash. Following posted speed limits when driving is important to keeping your loved ones safe.

Airbags

Airbags can offer another layer of protection should they be used properly. For adults, they can help cushion a passenger in a high-speed crash. In children, however, they can dangerous or even fatal. It is best to ride with children in the back seat of a vehicle and away from any airbags that could deploy.

If you or a loved one has suffered serious injuries in any motor vehicle accident, it is important to speak with an experienced and compassionate Oregon car accident attorney who can help. Call today for your free, initial consultation.

Key Points Of New Distracted Driving Legislation

distracted drivingA new distracted driving legislation has been passed and set to take effect October 1 for all drivers on the road in Oregon. As the distracted driving crashes, injuries and deaths continue to rise nationwide, legislators have aimed to cut down the root of many of those accidents.

So what does this new law do? The short answer is the new law makes it illegal to drive while holding or using any electronic device.

The long answer, as with many things, is that it is not that simple. There are many exceptions, but less than before.

A driver 18 years old or older may operate any hands-free or built-in device in the vehicle. They may use a single touch or swipe to activate or deactivate the device or function. It is not legal to use the device while stopped at any stoplight or traffic signal. The driver must pull over to the side of the road or a place like a parking lot to legally operate their electronic device.

The biggest exception to those parameters is for use when there an emergency. If emergency services and help need to be called, a driver can operate a phone if no one else in the vehicle is able to call for help.

Ambulance and emergency vehicle operators as well as police, fire or EMS providers are exempt when they are performing their job and as it relates to their emergency response.

HAM radio operators 18 years and older are also exempt. Truck or bus drivers have to follow federal rules for CDL holders.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a distracted driving accident, it is important to call compassionate and experienced distracted driving attorneys who can fight on your behalf to get you the compensation you deserve. Call today for your free consultation.