Legislation Being Considered To Use Textalyzer After Crash

Legislation being considered in New York would give authorities the ability to check a driver’s phone for signs of distraction following any accident and impose fines to those who refuse using what some refer to as a textalyzer.

A bill being considered would authorize the use of a textalyzer device that could analyze a driver’s phone after any accident.

Law enforcement would be allowed to analyze anyone’s phone who had been in any accident. Anyone who refused would face fines like facing fines for refusing a breathalyzer. The idea is an officer could generate a report analyzing if the driver was using their phone at all around the time of the accident and if they were, whether they were using their device hands on, or hands free.

The proposed law would be known as Evan’s law, named for a 19-year-old killed in a car accident that was later found to be because of distracted driving. The driver of the car he had been riding in was texting and driving, but it was months before that was known. Police could check his phone at the time because they needed a warrant to do so.

Officials across the country have been considering measures to cut down on the number of distracted driving accidents and fatalities.

Some privacy advocates have voiced concern over such a law. Many cite the fact that most phones contain a wealth of private and personal information and handing it over would give access to all that our phone contains.

If you were seriously injured in a distracted driving accident, it is crucial to speak with our experienced distracted driving attorneys. Call today for your free, initial consultation.

Study: Teen Drivers More Likely To Be In Deadly Crash

A new study released this week showed that new teen drivers were three times more likely than adults to be involved in a fatal crash.

The study, released by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety compared drivers aged 16 to 17 years old to those 18 years old and older.

In addition, the study found that crashes involving teenagers had increased 10 percent and could continue to rise.

The report was released at the beginning of what is referred to as the “100 deadliest days,” the months between Memorial Day and Labor Day when the average number of deadly crashes involving teen drivers climb 15 percent.

Researchers at AAA found that although many factors contribute to the rise in deadly crashes, three play the biggest factor: distraction, lack of seatbelt use and speeding.

Distraction played a factor in nearly 6 of 10 teen crashes. Although this is often distraction from cell phones, other causes of distraction like friends in the vehicle, eating and doing makeup also play a role.

Teen drivers and their riders were less likely to wear a seat belt. In 2015, 60 percent of teen drivers killed in a crash were not wearing any seatbelt.

Speeding played a role in nearly 30 percent of fatal crashes involving teen drivers.

If you or a loved one has suffered serious injuries in any motor vehicle accident, it is crucial to speak with an experienced Portland personal injury attorney. Call today for your free, initial consultation.

Decrease Chance Of Leaving Road Debris Behind

Accidents caused by road debris are on the rise, according to a recent study released by the AAA Foundation. Many of these accidents are entirely preventable, but it is up to the driver to properly secure their load before departing on their trip.

As a driver, you can take steps to decrease your chances of causing an accident by road debris.

First of all, maintain your vehicle. Your vehicle should be regularly checked by trained mechanics. Tires that are badly worn, underinflated or overinflated can suffer blowouts, leaving pieces of tire across the roads. Of course, it can be difficult to regain control of your vehicle during a blowout as well, which increases your chance at an accident.

Secondly, Parts of your exhaust systems and hardware attached to your vehicle can rust and corrode. Parts of mufflers and other parts can drag on the pavement and possibly break free. These problems can be avoided with the help of trained mechanics and regular inspections. Make sure you address any issues that arise before they cause problems.

Lastly, whenever moving or towing furniture, all items must be properly secured. To properly secure a load, make sure all items are properly tied down with rope, netting or straps. Large objects should be tied directly to a vehicle or trailer. Make sure to cover the entire load with a sturdy tarp or netting and try not to overload the vehicle. Before departing, make sure to double-check the items to make sure they are secure.

In Oregon, being responsible for debris that falls onto a roadway could cost you in fines. It is your responsibility to make sure what you are towing is secure.

If you or a loved one has been injured by roadway debris, you may want to consider filing for damages. Call our office today for your free consultation.

Report Finds Drug-Impaired Driving Surpassed Alcohol-Impaired Driving In Deadly Accidents

A new report released this week found deaths caused by driving while under the influence of drugs surpassed those deaths caused by driving while under the influence of alcohol in 2015.

The report entitled “Drug-Impaired Driving” found that positive drug tests were more common than the presence of alcohol in fatally injured drivers. According to the report, 43 percent of those motorist who died had drugs in their systems while only 37 percent of those who died tested positive for alcohol.

Unfortunately, drug impairment can be difficult to measure because not all drugs affect all drivers in the same way. According to the report, hundreds of drugs can impair drivers and while some drugs that impair drivers are illegal, many are legal to use, at least under certain situations and are often available over-the-counter at many stores.

Out of those drivers tested in crashes, 35.6 percent tested positive for marijuana, 9.3 percent were positive for amphetamine, 7.4 percent were positive for a drug not on the FARS list and 55.1 percent tested positive for another drug.

Oftentimes, drugs have an undetermined effect on someone’s driving. The effect varies from person to person and are very complex. Due to complex nature of determining if drugs affected a driver detrimentally, it can be quite difficult to prosecute and convict a driver driving under the influence of drugs.

If you or a loved one have suffered serious injuries in an accident involving a driver under the influence, it is crucial to work with experienced and tenacious Portland personal injury attorneys who can go to bat for you. Call now and set up your free consultation to find out how your Portland accident attorneys can fight for you.

View the full report here. 

 

Pedestrian Fatalities Continue To Rise In Traffic Accidents

Source: GHSA

A new report released by the Governors Highway Safety Association found pedestrian fatalities have continued to rise in the past several years. and now account for the largest proportion of traffic fatalities recorded in the past 25 years. The increased use of smart phones by pedestrians and drivers along with other factors in distracted driving are possible culprits.

Researchers found the number of pedestrian fatalities have increased 25 percent from 2010 to 2015, while total traffic deaths have increased about six months. They looked at the first six months of 2016 and found a seven percent increase in pedestrian fatalities compared with 2015. After adjusting for underreporting in the preliminary data, researchers estimate the figure is actually closer to 11 percent increase. If that holds true, it would be the single largest increase in the 40 years that national records have been kept.

According to the data, approximately 6,000 pedestrian fatalities occurred in 2016, which would make 2016 the first year in more than 20 years with more than 6,000 pedestrian deaths.

Data also showed that not all states had similar rates of pedestrian deaths. For example, Wyoming had one death in the first six months, while California had the most at 359 deaths. Additionally, only California, Florida, Georgia, Texas and New York combined accounted for 42 percent of all pedestrian deaths in that period.

Researches cited many possible factors as contributors to the rise in pedestrian fatalities. The rapidly growing use of smart phones to access wireless data while both walking and driving was noted as a newer factor contributing to more deaths. According to the Federal Highway Administration motor vehicle travel increased 3.3 percent in the first half of 2016 compared with the first half of 2015.

If you or your loved one has suffered serious injuries or you have lost a loved one in a fatal pedestrian accident, it is imperative to retain the most knowledgeable and experienced Portland personal injury attorneys available. Call our office today for your free, initial consultation.

Study: Road Debris Accidents Double

Road debris contributes to more than 200,000 crashes and 500 deaths every year in the United States, according to a report released by the AAA Foundation.

According to the report released in the fall, nearly 39,000 people were injured in crashes from 2011 through 2014. More than one-third of those deaths resulted from a driver swerving to avoid hitting debris, researchers found.

In some cases, cars struck debris, causing chain-reaction collisions. The worst part is that accidents from debris is not only quite dangerous, but generally preventable. According to researchers, the problem has increased dramatically over the past decade. A 2001 study found 25,000 crashes and less than 100 deaths were attributed to debris, while the study just released found that debris-related crashes have nearly doubled. Nearly 10,000 injuries and 125 deaths were reported yearly from debris-related incidents.

Researchers found the majority of the incidents occurred between 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and neither bad weather nor darkness seemed to increase the accidents.

A driver could face fines should something fall off their vehicle onto a roadway and cause an accident. In Oregon, drivers may face a Class B traffic violation, which includes a $260 fine. Owner and driver in violation are jointly and severally liable to the state, county or city for all damage done as a result of the violation.

“Drivers have a much bigger responsibility when it comes to preventing debris on the roads than most realize,” said Jennifer Ryan, director of state relations for AAA. “It’s important for drivers to know that many states have hefty fines and penalties for drivers who drop items from their vehicle onto the roadway, and in some cases states impose jail time.”

If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of debris in the roadway, it is crucial to speak with an experienced Oregon personal injury attorney today. Call for your free, initial consultation.

A Look At What You Can Recover In A Bicycle Accident

If you are in a bicycle accident and injured by a vehicle it is important to know your rights. Many people who have been injured in such accidents may be overwhelmed, grateful to be alive and just trying to deal with their injuries. You have recourse though and should use the resources you have. If you can establish that driver was at fault, you may have a case to bring a lawsuit against him or her.

Even if you were riding on the wrong side of the street, not wearing a helmet or not riding with lights and reflectors, you may still have a case. Even if a court finds you negligent for not wearing a helmet or doing something you weren’t supposed to, it doesn’t eliminate your ability to hold the driver responsible for his or her part. It just will reduce the portion you are entitled to.

In cases where a child is injured or killed in a bicycle accident, it is imperative to note children are not held to the same safety standards as adults. Drivers are responsible to be more cautious in an area where there are children riding bicycles. Even if your child were negligent, you would be able to recover a settlement against anyone responsible, including the driver.

In some cases, someone else besides a driver may be held responsible for your injuries. For example, if you are riding down a street, hit a pot hole and crash, causing serious head injuries, you may have a case. You would have to establish who owned the property, if it was reasonable to expect someone to be riding their bike on it, that they knew of the condition of the road and failed to repair it or warn of the danger.

The same may be the case if you had someone repair or maintain your bicycle brakes and shortly after you had brake failure, causing an accident.

In many bicycle accident cases, a plaintiff is entitled to recover damages for past and future medical expenses, past and future wage loss, past and future pain and suffering and sometime punitive damages. If a cyclist is killed as a result of a crash, the survivors may be entitled to recover full compensation for their economic loss due to the cyclists’ death along with emotional distress damages and possible punitive damages.

If you or a loved one has suffered serious injuries or your loved one was killed in a bicycle accident, it is important to speak with a knowledgeable bicycle accident lawyer who can help you recover losses.

After A Truck Accident

If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a truck accident, there may be differences in both what compensation you can recover and what laws apply. Although some laws of negligence apply that would are relevant to any vehicle accident, there are additional ones that apply only to commercial truck drivers and trucking companies as well as special licensing and training requirements of truck drivers. This can make truck accidents more difficult to defend and easier for a plaintiff to win in their favor.

Anyone who has been seriously injured or lost a loved one in an accident with a truck can sue as long as someone else is at fault for the accident. This includes adults as well as children who can sue through a parent or guardian.

Since Oregon is a modified comparative negligence state and an injured person can sue for their injuries as long as their percentage of fault is not greater than 51 percent.

In a truck accident, even more than a typical accident, it is crucial to conduct a thorough investigation. Since most trucks are commercially-owned, the trucking company will conduct their own investigation immediately after the accident, which puts you at a disadvantage if you do not investigate on your own behalf.

Most cases against relating to a truck accident must be brought within two years of the accident and in wrongful death cases there is a three-year statute of limitation. The specific compensation you can seek depends entirely on your individual case. It is important a qualified attorney reviews the facts of the cases and seeks out the information to best support your case.

These types of cases can be quite complex and require the expertise of a seasoned Oregon personal injury attorney. Call our office today for your free initial consultation.

My Injury Case In A Modified Comparative Fault State

If you have been injured and have begun exploring a possible lawsuit, you may have heard people refer to Oregon as a modified comparative fault state, but you may not know what that means. In a nutshell, this means that in any injury case, the fault of the claimant is compared with the fault of any party against whom recovery is sought. In a modified comparative fault state, each party involved will be assigned a percentage of fault, but all percentages added together must equal 100 percent.

One benefit of this setup is that even if you had partial fault in the accident or incident that injured you, you may still be able to recover damages, as long as your fault does not exceed 51 percent. In Oregon, this system makes it easier for victims to secure monetary compensation when injured. In many states, they follow a system that may deny a victim any compensation if they are found even one percent liable for the injury.

Since such a suit does assign a percentage of fault to each party, the downside is that a victim may be responsible in a counter suit related to the injury. So for example, if someone is found 55 percent responsible for their injuries sustained in a traffic accident, they may open themselves up to a counter suit for the portion they are responsible.

It is crucial to speak with an experienced and focused Portland injury attorney who can advise you on the best course of action and guide you in the best direction for you. If you have been seriously injured in any accident, it is important to speak with a Portland injury attorney who can fight to get you compensation you deserve. Call today for your free, initial consultation.

Study: Highway Safety Laws Should Be Updated

An annual report just released shows many states lag in several crucial laws which would significantly increase the safety of the highways.

The Advocates For Highway & Auto Safety’s 2017 Roadmap of State Highway Safety Laws states that data from the U.S. Department of Transportation show a second year of “alarming” increases in traffic fatalities. In addition, safety measures that may help provide remedies to some of the more serious issues, preventing lives and injuries, are not being mandated across the country.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2015, 35,092 people were killed in motor vehicle accidents, representing the largest increase in 50 years and preliminary reports for 2016 show that number climbing even higher. The 2015 data showed increases in nearly every type of crash including unbelted vehicle occupants and impaired and distracted drivers.

The organization called for all states to work on implementing lacking highway safety laws that would increase the safety of all on the roads.

While Oregon was listed as one of the top states in terms of highway safety, the state only has nine of the 16 recommended measures in place to make driving on the highways safer for all. The estimated annual economic cost due to motor vehicle accidents in 2015 in Oregon was $1,768 billion.

Primarily, the study pointed out the state still needs to push for more restrictions and supervision with a graduated driver’s license including turning age 16 before obtaining a learning’s permit.  The group suggests Oregon also should increase booster seat law to include all children up to 8 years old and 57 inches tall.

If you or your loved one was seriously injured in any type of motor vehicle accident, it is imperative to speak with your experienced Portland auto accident attorneys. Call today for your free, initial consultation.