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Portland Distracted Driving Injury Attorney

Working Tirelessly to Protect Your Rights

Operating a vehicle requires care, caution, and our undivided attention. Some drivers, however, fail to take their responsibility to focus on the task of driving seriously. Drivers who are distracted can cause serious accidents which can severely injure others.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident due to someone else’s distracted driving, you may be entitled to considerable compensation. The distracted driving accident attorneys at Siefman Law LLC have years of experience defending those who have been injured in accidents, and we’re ready to fight for you.

Contact us for a free consultation where we can review your case and let you know what your best legal options are. Call us today at (503) 395-2135 or contact us online.

What Is Distracted Driving?

Distracted driving is driving while doing anything that takes your full attention away from the road and safely operating your vehicle. Between the years 2015 and 2019, there were 151 deaths and more than 23,000 injuries caused by distracted driving accidents in Oregon. There are generally three different types of distracted driving:

  • Cognitive – Cognitive distractions are those that take your mind off the task of driving.
  • Visual – Visual distractions are those that take your eyes off the road.
  • Manual – Manual distractions are those that take one or both of your hands off the steering wheel.

Oregon’s Hands-Free Laws

Oregon passed its updated distracted driving law in 2017, banning the use of mobile devices while driving. If you are under the age of 18 (considered a novice driver), you may not hold nor use a cell phone while driving. If you are over the age of 18, you must use a hands-free or built-in device. Violating this law could cost up to $2,500 in fines and up to six months in jail.

Accidents Caused by Distracted Drivers

Distracted driving accidents can be caused by a number of factors. Common causes of these types of accidents include:

  • Driver fatigue
  • Cell phone use, including texting, video chatting, internet/social media use, and talking on the phone
  • Eating or drinking
  • Using internal vehicle functions, like opening compartments, adjusting the stereo, or changing the settings on the GPS system
  • Talking to passengers in the vehicle or tending to child passengers
  • Grabbing items out of bags or on the floor
  • Grooming, especially while using the sun visor or rear-view mirrors

Injuries Caused by Distracted Drivers

Depending on the seriousness of an auto accident, people who are involved in them can suffer mild to life-threatening injuries. Injuries that are commonly sustained in distracted driving accidents include:

  • Head injuries, such as concussions and Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs)
  • Neck injuries, including whiplash
  • Back injuries
  • Paralysis
  • Severe lacerations
  • Bruises and contusions
  • Vision and hearing impairment or loss
  • Severe burns
  • Organ damage
  • Internal bleeding
  • Broken limbs and bones
  • Muscle tears and sprains
  • Mental disorders, such as anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Depending on the severity of the injuries sustained in a distracted driving accident, some injuries may only require a few doctor appointments, while others may require long-term medical treatment. Many injuries can have long-term effects, require a lengthy recovery, and can significantly alter your life moving forward.

Compensation for a Distracted Driving Accident

When you’ve been injured in an accident caused by someone else’s distracted driving, you deserve to be compensated for your injuries and for the physical and emotional pain you’ve had to endure. Oregon law allows injured victims to seek compensation from the negligent party responsible for their injuries.

You may pursue three different types of compensation, known as damages. These include economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive damages.

Economic Damages

These types of damages are intended to compensate you for the tangible, measurable losses you’ve incurred or will incur as a result of your injuries, such as the cost of medical care, the extent of income you’ve lost, and the cost of car repairs.

The costs associated with receiving emergency medical attention following an accident can be exorbitant. You may have received medical bills totaling hundreds or even thousands of dollars. You should not have to pay these costs. You wouldn’t have received that medical attention had it not been for the other driver causing your accident.

Likewise, if you’ll need continued medical treatment, rehabilitation, or therapy services, as examples, or if you’ll need to take prescription medication for your injuries, you should not have to pay for those in the future.

Additionally, if you’ve had to stop working while receiving treatment for or recovering from your injuries, you’ve likely suffered from the loss of income. Economic damages can reimburse you for your lost income to this point, as well as any estimated loss of income in the future if you’re unable to return to work for some time or are permanently disabled. You may also receive economic damages for the damage done to your vehicle and personal property.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages cover the more intangible, personal losses you suffer as a result of your injuries, such as the mental anguish and physical pain you’ve endured. If your injuries have negatively impacted your enjoyment and quality of life, you may receive non-economic damages for that. Non-economic damages are generally capped at a maximum of $500,000.

Punitive damages

Unlike economic and non-economic damages, which are intended to compensate you for the losses you’ve suffered, punitive damages are meant to punish the party who injured you and to deter others from engaging in similar behavior. These damages are rarely awarded because, to receive them, you must show with clear and convincing evidence that the actions of the person who injured you were intentional, malicious, or particularly egregious.

When pursuing compensation, it’s also crucial to know that, per Oregon’s statute of limitations, you must file a suit seeking compensation from the person who injured you within two years from the date of the accident. If you fail to make that deadline, you may lose your right to recover the compensation you deserve.

How Siefman LLC Could Help

Siefman Law LLC has years of experience helping people in and surrounding Portland who have been injured in distracted driving accidents. When seeking the compensation that you deserve, you need a skilled attorney who will fight for you to get the best outcome possible. That’s what you’ll get at Siefman Law LLC. Call us today at (503) 395-2135 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.

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