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Is it possible to get MVA man that hits 2 pedestrians under a lot of punishment.

Portland, OR |
Attorney answers 6

Posted

Speak with the local authorities - police, prosecutor.

Personal injury cases only; I'm good at it; you be the Judge! All information provided is for informational and educational purposes only. No attorney client relationship has been formed or should be inferred. Please speak with a local and qualified attorney. I truly wish you and those close to you all the best. Jeff www.nyelderinjurylaw.com

Posted

A civilian can not prosecute a criminal action. Aside from suing for money damages, all you can do is speak to the police and they can decide if there is a basis to arrest the person and charge him with a criminal act.

Posted

Make sure there has been a police report filed. If you were one of the victims, you should receive a copy of this report, and it will tell you if the driver was charged. If he was, you can call the prosecutor's office for the county in which the accident occurred, and find out the status of the case against him. That is for criminal charges, but if someone was injured, it is also possible to "punish" the defendant by bringing a civil case against him, which will make his insurance company pay for any damages.

Joanne Reisman

Joanne Reisman

Posted

In Portland you don't just get a copy of the police report. You have to go through a process of paying a fee and requesting it and they won't release it to you if the investigation is still pending. Any police report should have already resulted from the police arriving the day the accident occurred. I would expect if there had been injuries that the police and emergency medical were sent in response. A personal injury attorney can help the victims get any information they need. If the police are going to prosecute the driver, the victims will normally get notified by the prosecutor's office. But it doesn't hurt to call the prosecutor's office and find out and make sure you are listed as a victim that needs to be contacted. If you hire a personal injury attorney they can help with all this.

Posted

what is the question?

Posted

All criminal matters are handled by the state, the police, the local prosecutors. They are normally very pro-active when it comes to catching and prosecuting any type of accident that involves an injury to pedestrians if they can show that the driver of the car is at fault. But sometimes pedestrians are at fault - they step out into the street suddenly, they cross in the middle of the street not at the corner in the cross walk, they jaywalk. So there has to be some reason to charge the driver beyond that fact that an accident occurred. But if there is, the state prosecuting authorities will normally be very aggressive in pursuing charges. The final punishment will often include getting input from the victims and their families. A civil attorney can be very helpful in guiding the victims and helping them get financial payments for their injuries and suffering. It is also important to get a civil personal injury attorney involved early on so that they can investigate the case while the evidence is fresh. Sometimes fault lies with other parties. If people are drunk, the last bar that served them drinks may be liable. If the traffic lights weren't working or the intersection was poorly designed, there may be fault with the government entity that designs and maintains the street and traffic control devices. There can be many aspects of liability in an accident case. Investigating the case early on may be vital. Certain notices may need to be filed to preserve the right to sue later on. If these people that were hit still don't have attorneys, please advice them to speak to a personal injury person as soon as possible. http://www.portlandlegalservices.com

The comments by this author to questions posted on Avvo are designed to foster a general understanding of what might be the law governing the area of the legal problem stated and suggest what might be the approach to finding a legal solution. Under no circumstances is this author acting as the attorney for the party who posted the question or as the attorney for subsequent readers to the question or response and no attorney client relationship is being formed. This attorney's comments are not intended to be a substitute for getting legal advice from a licensed attorney. A reader of this author's comments should never act on the information provided in these comments as though these comments were legal advice and should always seek legal advice in a personal consultation with an attorney in their jurisdiction before taking action. The information provided here is not intended to cover every situation with similar facts. Please remember that the law varies between states and other countries and is always changing through actions of the courts and the Legislature.

Posted

It is up to the DA what to charge. If you were injured due to the driver's negligence, retain a personal injury lawyer. Find a lawyer with a low contingency fee, less than 30% with no costs deducted, so you get the lion’s share of the settlement, not your lawyer.

Only 29% Contingency Fee! Phone: 215-510-6755 www.InjuryLawyerPhiladelphia.com

Joanne Reisman

Joanne Reisman

Posted

Mr. Lassen, not sure what attorneys are doing in Philadelphia but please stop advocating for the contingency rate that Oregon Lawyers should charge. We have a lot of laws, costs, issues, particular to Oregon that you would only be aware of if you practiced here. First, we have extremely low jury verdicts. We have a statute, ORS 20.080 which we can use for cases $10,000 or less that may allow us to shift from a contingency to getting paid attorney fees but it's not automatic so the client has to understand that. Cases over $10,000 but not much over, tend to be cost prohibitive. A single doctor as a medical witness is likely to cost an attorney $5,000 out of pocket. There is no recovery in our state for deposition costs or expert witness fees. So an attorney has to be willing to help the client by fronting, in many cases, $25,000 in costs and risking not getting that money back. We have no 3rd party bad faith clauses so insurance adjusters don't make good offers and play all sorts of games. Just all sorts of things. Now if a case involved high policy limits and a catastrophic injury, then yeah, an attorney might be willing to work on a low percentage if the case settles. But the sad reality is that most cases are small soft tissue injury cases and they rarely pay off enough to compensate an attorney anything near what the hours put in are worth. We attorneys also contribute money to efforts through OTLA to lobby for laws that are more favorable for our clients. But we have to earn the money before we can donate it. It's bad enough having to convince a jury already bombarded with insurance company propaganda to pay our client's a decent award, don't make it harder for us to work with our clients.

Joanne Reisman

Joanne Reisman

Posted

We also have mandatory arbitration for cases under $50,000 - so we get to try the case twice because the insurance company appeals it. In 2006 I had a case that was in the $20,000 + range. Got a good arbitration decision. Farmer's insurance appealed it de novo - the end verdict was about the same as the arbitration verdict. I get a penalty fee against Farmer's for making me try the case. They appeals my fee and another technicality on procedure. In 2009 I won the appeal. Total I put in over 350 hours. I got paid on my contingency, which was 33% if settled, 45% if tried - very little - it was something between $5 and $10,000. The value of my time at a conservative $250 an hour rate was $87,500.00. So I took and $80,000 loss of time to fight for my client and stand up to a big insurance company. That's what we are doing in Oregon - we are in the trenches slugging it out every day with insurance companies with all sorts of questionable tactics.

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