Portland Personal Injury Accident Claims Involving Vehicles
Examples of the most common Oregon vehicle accident claims:
High Speed and high impact collisions:
Most freeway collisions involve rear end collisions. Injuries in freeway collisions are often severe because of the speeds at which vehicles travel on freeways and because trucks and large trucks become involved in these accidents.
Over the road trucks – 18 wheelers – Semis – Buses
Unfortunately, bus and over-the-road truck drivers work long hours in vehicles with limited visibility and are often at fault in causing collisions resulting in serious injuries to our clients.
A slow moving heavy object, like a large truck transfers an enormous amount of energy in low speed collisions. At high speeds, the impact is frequently devastating in effect.
Children are particularly vulnerable to high energy collisions because their musculo-skeletal systems have not developed to the extent that they can protect them from injury in these types of accidents.
Head on Collisions
Most of us do not think about how much we trust drivers in oncoming traffic to stay in their lanes. When they do not stay in their lanes, head on collisions occur.
For example, client is driving in the far left or “inside” lane when another driver in the oncoming lane decides to pass another car and pulls out in front of client. The impact is at the combined speed of both vehicles. So if you client is going 50 and the other vehicle is going 50 the impact on our client is at 100 miles per hour.
While auto safety systems reduce injury in head on collisions, still, due to the force of the impact, we often see serious injuries in addition to soft tissue injuries. Many people receive injuries to the face and jaw including burns, lacerations, concussions and TMJ when their air bags deploy. People struck by air bags often lose consciousness. Many persons receive injuries to their knees, hips, clavicles, rotator cuffs, shoulders and chests from their seat belts and shoulder harnesses.
Rear – End Collisions
This is perhaps the most frequently occurring vehicle collision.
For example: Client is stopped in traffic. A person driving another vehicle is speeding or fails to keep a lookout for other cars and does not stop his vehicle before driving it into the rear end of our client’s vehicle.
During the collision, the client’s body, which is supported by the seat, is pushed dramatically forward and the head and neck, which are not well enough supported, fly backward. The neck naturally flexes forward with ease but is not designed to extend very far backwards which in a rear end collision results in injuries to the muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints of the neck.
Besides injuries to the neck, clients in rear end collisions suffer other soft tissue injuries, including back and spine injuries and commonly referred to as “whiplash” injuries.
Often there is little apparent vehicle damage, and we have to overcome the adverse insurance company argument that minor impacts do not cause injuries. As Oregon personal injury attorneys, we have been successful in proving that our clients have been seriously injured in apparently minor impact collisions.
Clients on motorcycles often receive severe injuries in rear – end collisions both from the initial impact and from striking objects and the ground after being thrown from their motorcycles.
Fault in intersection collisions is determined by applying the rules of right of way.
For example: Client is proceeding through an intersection with the right of way. Another driver fails to stop for a traffic light or to yield the right of way and drives his vehicle into client’s vehicle.
Intersection accidents are often described as “T Bone” collisions because the other person drives the front end of their vehicle into the side of our client’s vehicle making a “T” shape.
Most auto safety systems head rests, shoulder harnesses, lap belts and air bags only minimize injury in “head on” and “rear end” collisions. In “T Bone” collisions, persons often suffer serious spinal and soft tissue injuries to the head, shoulders and hips from hitting the drivers side door or other objects or persons in the car or from trying to hold on to the steering wheel during the impact.
In many head on, rear end and intersection collisions the vehicles meet at their “corners.” In these cases, the forces from the collision cause a persons body to be twisted as well as thrown forward and backwards. The twisting can cause soft tissue injuries and spinal injuries. Head, shoulders, elbows, wrists, fingers, legs, knees and ankles are often injured when they collide with the interior of the vehicle.
As Portland injury attorneys we see a lot of intersection collisions where persons collide when one or both persons are trying to make a turn on to another street.
Other claims where the at fault driver has failed to obey a traffic control device or to yield the right of way.
Collisions with vehicles making improper turns.
Collisions with vehicles entering the road from driveways.
Collisions with vehicles making improper lane changes.
Collisions with drivers talking or texting on cell phones or using laptops.
We have seen many collisions where the driver at fault was using a cell phone and one where a woman was working on a computer while driving on the freeway. Like other cases where at fault drivers are breaking the law, these cases may have extra value.
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