Experienced Portland Drunk Driving Injury Attorneys
Portland Drunk Driving Injury Lawyer
Find out why we have some of the best Portland auto accident attorneys
Drunk driving, also known as driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI), refers to the act of operating a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol consumption. It is a serious offense and a significant contributor to traffic accidents, injuries, and fatalities worldwide.
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Types of Drunk Driving Accidents in Portland
Portland has many bars, nightclubs, and liquor stores. Unfortunately, this also results in many drunk driving incidents. Several types of drunk driving accidents occur in Portland, including:
- Intersection Collision: This occurs when a drunk driver disregards traffic signals or fails to yield the right of way, resulting in a collision with another vehicle.
- Hit-and-Run: The drunk driver may become panicked after the accident and flee the scene, leaving the other party without any means of seeking compensation for damages.
- Head-On Collisions: These occur when a vehicle traveling in the wrong lane crashes directly into another vehicle, often resulting in severe injuries or fatalities.
- Rear-End Collisions: Drunk drivers may not be able to react in time to stop, leading to rear-end collisions with vehicles in front of them.
- Side-Impact Collisions: Also known as T-bone collisions, these occur when a drunk driver fails to yield or runs red lights, crashing into the side of another vehicle.
- Single-Vehicle Accidents: Drunk drivers may lose control of their vehicle, leading to crashes into guardrails, trees, or other fixed objects.
Drunk Driving Accident Injuries
More than a third of Portland traffic deaths from 2015 to 2019 involved alcohol. An additional 198 people suffered serious injuries, including brain damage and paralysis, due to alcohol-related crashes during the same period. 
The consequences of drunk driving accidents can be devastating, resulting in life-altering injuries for those involved. Some injuries may include:
- Head and Brain Injuries: Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are common in drunk driving accidents and can have long-term effects on cognitive function, motor skills, and behavior.
- Spinal Cord Injuries: The impact of a drunk driving accident can cause spinal cord damage, leading to paralysis or decreased function in the affected areas of the body.
- Broken Bones and Fractures: The force of the collision can result in broken bones, fractures, and severe musculoskeletal injuries.
- Soft tissue Injuries: Whiplash, muscle strains, and ligament damage are often seen in drunk driving accidents due to sudden deceleration and impact forces.
- Internal Injuries: Blunt force trauma from the accident can cause damage to internal organs, leading to internal bleeding, organ damage, and other life-threatening conditions.
- Burns and Lacerations: Fires or vehicle damage can cause burns and lacerations in a drunk driving accident, leading to scarring and disfigurement.
- Psychological Trauma: Survivors of drunk driving accidents may experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues.
What to Do if You are Hit by a Drunk Driver in Portland
If you have been hit by a drunk driver, it’s important to take the following steps:
- Seek Medical Attention: Your health and safety are the top priority. Even if you don’t think you’re injured, seek medical attention after a car accident.
- Contact the Authorities: Call the police and report the accident. Have an official record of the incident, especially if the other driver is suspected of driving under the influence.
- Gather Information: Obtain the drunk driver’s personal information, insurance details, and vehicle registration. Collect contact information from any eyewitnesses to the accident.
- Document the Scene: Take photos of the accident scene, including the vehicles involved, the position of the vehicles, road conditions, and any visible injuries.
- Avoid Confrontation: Remain calm and not engage in confrontation with the drunk driver. Let the police handle the situation.
- Consult an Attorney: A legal professional with experience pursuing personal injury cases can be of help to you, especially if you have been injured. Contact a personal injury lawyer to guide you through the legal process.
- Cooperate with Law Enforcement: Provide a statement to the police and cooperate with the investigation. Be sure to convey any suspicions or signs that the other driver may have been under the influence of alcohol.
- Notify Your Insurance Company: Report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible.
- Follow Up on Medical Treatment: Even if you initially declined medical attention at the accident scene, seek medical care if you develop any symptoms or pain following the accident.
How is Fault Determined in a Drunk Driving Accident?
Fault in a drunk driving accident is typically determined based on various factors and evidence. Here are some of the key aspects used to establish fault in a drunk driving accident:
- Police Report: Law enforcement officers at the accident scene will conduct an investigation, including field sobriety tests and breathalyzer tests on the drivers involved. The findings from these tests can provide evidence of the driver’s intoxication level at the time of the accident.
- Witness Statements: Eyewitnesses to the accident may have seen the behavior of the drivers involved before the collision, which can help establish whether one of the drivers was impaired.
- Physical Evidence: This includes any damage to vehicles, skid marks, debris, and the positioning of the vehicles after the accident. It can help reconstruct the sequence of events and aid in determining fault.
- Accident Reconstruction: Experts may be called upon to reconstruct the accident based on the evidence to determine factors such as speed, direction of impact, and contributing factors in the collision.
- Video Evidence: If available, footage from traffic cameras, security cameras, or dashcams can provide valuable evidence of the events leading up to the accident.
- Driver Statements: The statements made by the drivers involved in the accident may be used to determine fault, especially if the at-fault driver admits to driving under the influence.
- Criminal Charges: If the drunk driver is charged with a DUI or DWI, this can serve as strong evidence of their fault in the accident.
Compensation for a Drunk Driving Accident
In the event of a drunk driving accident, compensation for the victims can come from various sources, typically through insurance claims and, potentially, legal action. Here are some potential avenues for compensation:
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Benefits: In states with no-fault insurance laws, victims can claim PIP benefits from their own insurance to cover medical expenses, lost wages, and other related costs, regardless of who was at fault.
- Medical Expenses: Victims can seek compensation for their medical bills, including hospitalization, surgeries, medications, rehabilitative therapy, and any other necessary medical treatments resulting from the accident.
- Lost Wages: Compensation can be sought for the income lost due to the victim’s inability to work following the accident, as well as the potential loss of future earning capacity.
- Pain and Suffering: Victims may be entitled to compensation for the physical and emotional distress caused by the accident, including pain, anxiety, trauma, and loss of enjoyment of life.
- Property Damage: Victims can seek compensation for the repair or replacement of their vehicle and any other property damaged in the accident.
- Punitive Damages: In some cases, victims may be eligible for punitive damages, which are intended to punish the at-fault driver for their reckless behavior and deter similar actions by others.
- Wrongful Death: In the tragic event of a fatality caused by a drunk driving accident, surviving family members may be able to file a wrongful death claim for funeral expenses, loss of financial support, and other related costs.
Portland Drunk Driving Injury Lawyer Goldberg & Loren
Goldberg & Loren is a leading personal injury law firm in Portland, with a team of dedicated drunk driving injury lawyers who are committed to fighting for the rights of victims.
Our personal injury lawyers:
- Have a track record of successful cases
- Have a deep understanding of Oregon’s laws and legal procedures
- Have the knowledge and resources to provide you with the best possible representation
- Understand the physical, emotional, and financial toll that a drunk driving accident can take
- Are committed to helping you rebuild your life and secure maximum compensation for you
- Are compassionate advocates who prioritize your well-being
- Take the time to understand your unique situation and tailor their approach accordingly
By choosing Goldberg & Loren, you’ll have aggressive advocates on your side who will fight tirelessly to hold the responsible parties accountable for your injuries. Contact us today for a free consultation.
 Hasenstab, A. (2022, March 7). Portland alcohol-related traffic fatalities likely increased during pandemic, officials say. Opb. https://www.opb.org/article/2022/03/07/portland-alcohol-related-traffic-fatalities-likely-increased-during-pandemic-officials-say/
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We Represent Those Injured in Drunk Driving Accidents in the Following Cities and Communities Near Portland, Oregon.
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