Oregon Live has reported a tractor-trailer was speeding 85 m.p.h. the wrong way down the freeway when it crashed into an oncoming vehicle during the early morning commute. The tractor-trailer operator is being detained by Portland Police while the investigation continues. Under Oregon and federal law, tractor-trailer operators and their employers are held to strict safety standards to try to prevent tragedy and punish misconduct. The massive size and weight makes big rigs like “moving bombs” on our roadways. Our concern and sympathy goes out to the victim and his or her family as the driver of the vehicle slammed into by the tractor-trailer is reportedly in the hospital has been hospitalized. Here is a link to the Oregon Live article.
Posts Tagged ‘Motor Vehicle Collisions’
Under Oregon law, an injured victim of a drunk driver is entitled to recover “punitive damages” from the drunk driver in addition to appropriate compensation for medical bills, future care costs, lost wages, and out-of-pocket expenses. ORS 31.730 et seq. Over the years, I have helped numerous injured people recover their full damages under law caused by a drunk driver. CALL TODAY FOR A FREE CONSULTATION IF YOU HAVE BEEN INJURED BY A DRUNK DRIVER (503) 675-4370.
The summer travel season is almost here. Whether traveling by automobile or airplane this summer, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) provides a lot of useful information for parents traveling with young children. Here is where to find the NTSB website. Keep kids safe, avoid injury, and have a great summer!
Last month, the National Transportation Safety Board held a meeting discussing child safety in motor vehicles and airplanes. Unfortunately, the laws designed to protect our children seem to fall short once again. For example, Oregon law allows parents to discontinue use of car seats before their child’s body is capable of protection from the standard seat belt in most cars. In fact, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, placement of the lap belt over the abdomen is a major cause of internal organ and spinal injury in children, while the lap belt over the neck is a major cause of disabling or fatal neck injury in children weighing under 80 pounds or less than 4′ 9″ in height. To read more about the concerns stemming from last month’s meeting, read here.
Over the weekend, a Lake Oswego teenager, Cameron Rathmanner, crashed during an illegal street race in Washington County. The crash sent Mr. Rathmanner’s teenage passenger to OHSU with critical injuries as reported in the Oregonian. The reckless driving of Mr. Rathmanner is clearly grounds for punitive damages by his teenage passenger and her family. While there is no amount of money that can truly compensate a victim in this type of preventable tragedy, hopefully there is enough automobile insurance coverage to pay all past and future medical expenses as well as begin to make up a little bit for the pain, suffering, and rehabilitative challenges that undoubtedly lay ahead for the young passenger-victim. In addition, punitive damages are society’s way of deterring future reckless conduct through the civil justice system.
On October 12, 2007, 34 vehicles crashed inside a tunnel along I-5 in Southern California. A diesel tanker spilled fuel onto the freeway which exploded. Three people died. Although the California Highway Patrol completed their accident investigation fairly quickly–and assigned responsibility to speeding drivers, including a trucking company using faulty brakes–the three surviving families have not recovered a dime for their losses. One of the dead, an entrepreneur carefully driving his recently purchased tractor-trailer on the slick roads, left a young family behind in dire financial straits. Tragically, the defense seems to be able to avoid paying money to help make up for the losses of these families by taking advantage of the sheer number of people involved in the crash and related pressures on the court system. Here is an L.A. Times article discussing the matter: http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-tobar-20100618,0,4762224,full.column
Despite the statistical spike in car accidents and work injuries at the beginning of Daylight Saving Time, there is a silver lining. Once people settle into a new schedule and sleep pattern, statistics show that the number of motor vehicle crashes and fatalities drop because of the longer daylight to see and respond to road hazards.
As an Oregon personal injury attorney, certain statistics jump off the news page. This morning, I groggily climbed out of bed like everyone else after springing our clocks forward for Daylight Savings Time. I thought to myself, what does it mean for people to lose an hour of sleep? One answer in the news that day got my attention. It warned about studies showing an approximately 17% increase in car accidents on the first Monday after Daylight Saving Time. Here is a link to the Oregon Live article: http://blog.oregonlive.com/commuting/2010/03/watch_out_for_daylight_saving.html. Similar studies exist for work injuries on the first work day after Daylight Saving Time.