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highway 217 car accident flyover ramp attorney beaverton oregon

Highway 217 Flyover Ramp Tort Claims

HWY 217 Accidents – Flyover Ramp & Tort Claims

Over the last 6 months, there have been dozens of car accidents on the Highway 217 flyover ramp where I-5 meets Highway 217 in Tigard, Oregon. The flyover ramp was constructed in 2001 and since then the expansion joint on the ramp has developed a gap that is approximately one inch wide. The gap in the expansion joint has caused numerous drivers to spinout and crash on the ramp. Experts speculate that the soil beneath the ramp could be partially to blame for the growing gap; however, this has yet to be proven. Officials from the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) maintain that the Highway 217 expansion joint is within safety regulations and the high number of car accidents are due to drivers exceeding the designated speed limit. Motorists counter that the car accidents are instead a result of rain, which makes the flyover ramp increasingly slick and dangerous, and not irresponsible driving.

Tort claims filed against State of Oregon and Oregon Department of Transportation

Multiple car accident victims have filed tort claims against the State of Oregon and ODOT claiming negligence as they are seeking restitution for damages associated with the accidents, including for medical bills and car repair bills. If you have been a victim of the flyover ramp on Highway 217, it may be in your best interest to file a tort claim. Torts are essentially civil wrong doings and tort claims must be filed against the governmental entity within 180 days of the incident in order to preserve the right to file suit within the two year statute of limitations if you are unable to resolve your claim. These are negligence claims alleging that ODOT and the State have been negligent in the design, construction and maintenance of the 217 ramp.

Car accidents on HWY 217

There have been recent reports in the news of an ODOT official who expressed concern over the quality and stability of the ramp’s structure shortly after its completion. Furthermore, the company responsible for the construction of the flyover bridge has also been accused of finishing the bridge before the scheduled completion date, implying corners were cut, to receive a payment incentive from ODOT.

As a result of the dozens of car accidents on the Highway 217 flyover ramp, ODOT has installed large electronic warning signs to warn drivers to slow down as they go over the flyover ramp. This, however, does not compensate or address the victims of the car accidents; nor does it recognize the extreme damage and problems that result from the car accidents caused by the bad flyover joints. Automobile accidents are known to result in death, physical and emotional trauma, as well as expensive medical bills, missed work, stress and multiple other negative consequences. Victims of the Highway 217 flyover ramp are encouraged to consult a qualified Personal Injury Lawyer to discuss a possible tort claim and their legal options.

The McDonalds Coffee story

The McDonalds Coffee personal injury storyhot coffee spill personal injury story

In February 1992, Stella Liebeck ordered an 8-ounce cup of McDonald’s coffee that spilled and gave her 3rd degree burns on the private areas of her body.

Everyone thinks that Ms. Liebeck ended up a millionaire. Well, that’s not true. She suffered third degree burns, skin grafts and horrible pain. After the appeals by McDonalds and all was said and done, she probably ended up with less than 500,000 dollars for her injuries. Who wants to burn themselves in the groin and then have skin grafts to fix it? I would suggest that McDonalds knew what the cost was to litigate these claims and elected to keep their coffee at an unreasonably hot temperature. McDonalds served its coffee at about 190 degrees which was about 30 degrees hotter than other coffee sellers and they had numerous other burn cases so they knew this was a problem. They paid a small price for the personal injury and suffering endured by Ms. Liebeck who was 79 years old at the time.

The real cost associated with a personal injury trial

Needless to say, the McDonald’s coffee case stands as the example people cling to when they want to make claims about the jury system being out of control. Quite to the contrary, the system is not out of control. Most of the cases that pass through the jury system are motor vehicle collision cases that result in modest verdicts from people who are unaware of what it costs to bring a case to trial. It’s not cheap. To try a case to a jury today can cost the plaintiff 5,000 to 10,000 dollars to bring in the doctors who testify for a fee as they have to be away from their practice, the witnesses who need to be served subpoenas and then the trial court charges 250 dollars a day to have a jury trial. You can bet that trying the McDonald’s coffee case to a jury and the subsequent appeals cost a lot of money. A valiant plaintiff’s lawyer took up that cause since you know that Ms. Liebeck didn’t have the 100,000 dollars to bring that case to trial and then fight McDonalds on appeal.

 

Oregon Dog Bite Attorney

Oregon Dog Bite Attorney

Dog attacks and bites often can cause extreme personal injury, disfigurement and mental anguish for the victims of these attacks.  A dog owner who knows that their dog is likely or has a history of attacking people, or knows the dog could cause injury to a person, has a responsibility to properly restrain the dog at all times.  However, all too often these dog owners fail to responsibly control their animals ending in devastating results.

Proving Liability in Dog Bite CasesOregon dog bite attorney

Oregon has outdated laws regarding dog bites, and is considered a “One Bite Rule” state.  In Oregon, the owner of a dog is strictly liable for injuries caused by a dog “only if” the dog’s owner knows or has reason to believe the dog is dangerous.  The problem with this outdated law is the wording “only if”.  What this means is if a dog bites someone visiting a home, and the dog had no previous history of biting anyone, the dog’s owner technically isn’t legally liable for the damages caused by the animal.  This makes it tough in many dog bite cases in Oregon, but an experienced Oregon dog bite attorney will explore exceptions to the “One Bite Rule”, a few of which are outlined below:

  • The dog’s owner was negligent in restraining or preventing the attack
  • The dog trespassed onto private property when the attack occurred
  • The owners actions caused the dog to bite and attack

In Oregon it can be difficult for an attorney to prove that a dog’s owner knew in advance that the dog was dangerous.  Oregon’s law is more severe for owners of dogs with a prior history of attacks, in these types of cases, a dog’s owner can be held liable even if they took precautions to prevent the dog from attacking someone.

Oregon Dog Bite AttorneyChoosing an Experienced Dog Bite Attorney in Oregon

Coming to a successful closure on a dog bite case in Oregon can be an uphill battle.  Unfortunately there is no specific precedent that an attorney can use to show that a dog’s owner had enough prior knowledge in advance of a dog bite or attack to hold the owner liable for injuries caused.  Typically these types of cases are handled as they occur and largely left to a jury to decide the outcome.

In dog bite cases, most people will need the help of an experienced dog bite attorney to recover full damages caused by the attack.  Understanding Oregon’s “One Bite Rule” and how to successfully argue the case even if the dog’s owner had no reason to believe was dangerous is paramount to proving liability and ultimately securing a favorable verdict.

Free Oregon Dog Bite Attorney Consultations

If you or a loved one has been bitten or attacked by a dog in Oregon, The Law Offices of Matthew H. Kehoe offers free legal consultations to answer questions you may have regarding your injury.

For over 20 years, The Law Offices of Matthew H. Kehoe has successfully litigated many dog bite and attack cases.  Get expert help on your side, call and schedule your free consultation today.

Documenting the scene of a car accident

Using your cell phone to document the scene of a car accidentusing a cell phone to document a car accident scene

Using a cell phone to document the scene of a car accident can help a lot down the road when it comes to getting a car accident claim settled.

The first thing when involved in a car accident is to make sure everyone is okay.  If someone is injured, call 911 right away.  If you did not sustain an injury, most people start by asking questions like “How did this happen?” and “Who is at fault?”.  Car insurance companies will want to know the answers to these questions as well.  Using your smart phone to take pictures or video of the accident scene can help if one or both of the insurance companies claim that you are to blame for the car accident.  Documenting things like debris in the road, construction, bad weather, traffic signals and signs can help prove your case.

Even minor fender benders can become a real headache to resolve.  Damage claims can be compromised if the adjuster for the insurance company doesn’t take into account all damages or they don’t realize the full extent of the damage.  Taking pictures or video at the accident scene of your vehicle, as well as other vehicles involved, helps protect you during the claim process.

Exchanging information at a car accident scene

information exchange at the scene of a car accidentThe exchange of information at the collision scene is the first and most important step to getting your car accident claim off to the right start.  Taking a picture of the other driver(s) licenses ensures that valuable information is not forgotten or written down wrong at a stressful time.  Many of today’s smart phones have voice recorders.  Taking the time to record the facts of the accident, license plate numbers, location of accident, how the accident happened and what the end result was can assist in remembering valuable information that later may be forgotten.

Using your cell phone at the scene of a car accident can save you from troubles down the road.  Preserving the facts of the accident, those involved, witnesses and damages will help when talking to insurance companies, and ultimately getting your car accident claim resolved in a positive manner whether it’s by settlement or if you end up going to trial on your claim.

Our office provides free legal consultations to car accident injury victims.