In 2018 I wrote a free book to explain, in plain language, Oregon’s pedestrian laws. This book includes a quick reference guide to the laws, the actual language of the laws, frequently asked questions about how insurance works, and information on what to do if you are involved in a collision.
Oregon pedestrian attorney and advocate
Being a pedestrian is an integral part of every Oregonian’s life. I have built my reputation representing injured pedestrians in Oregon and Washington, advocating for safer streets and sidewalks, and educating the area’s walkers, runners, and wheelchair users about their rights. Protecting the vulnerable users of Oregon’s roads from harm, or advocating for them when the worst happens, is the reason I went to law school and is the reason I wake up every day ready to fight.
I am an active pedestrian. During most days I can be found walking for pleasure, transportation, or exercise. Some days I can even be found jogging.
My life is knowing and living Oregon’s bicycle and pedestrian laws. I love educating others about the rights Oregon pedestrians have under the law. If you have any questions about what the law says (or doesn’t say) please feel free to contact me at email@example.com or (503) 278-5389.
WHY SHOULD I HIRE A PEDESTRIAN LAWYER
TO REPRESENT ME IN MY PERSONAL INJURY CASE?
Any personal injury attorney can handle a motor vehicle operator versus pedestrian collision case where an injury is involved. However, most personal injury lawyers will handle a pedestrian case just like a car crash case without understanding the nuances that make an injury case involving a pedestrian special.
If you have been injured as a pedestrian you need a lawyer that has experience handling your type of case.
Scene Investigation: Oftentimes a motorist will insist a pedestrian was “jaywalking” or crossing against a signal when they were hit. Sometimes the police officer investigating the crash will agree with them because the pedestrian was thrown from the crosswalk by the impact. Hiring a lawyer with biomechanical knowledge and investigation skills is crucial in the early days of a claim.
Benefits: Oregon insurance law provides unique benefits for pedestrians injured by a motor vehicle operator. If you’ve been injured in a crash you need to hire an attorney experienced in examining and pursuing all of the insurance benefits you have available.
Advocacy: Every crash on the roads is the result of a failed system. Distracted drivers, ancient or missing infrastructure, and a car-first transportation system cause countless injuries a year. I have been involved in pedestrian and bicyclist advocacy for years, working to make Oregon safer for all roadway users.
Q. I have an Oregon automobile insurance policy. What coverage do I have if I am hit as a pedestrian?A. In Oregon, every automobile insurance policy has four areas of coverage: Liability, Personal Injury Protection (PIP), Property Damage, and Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UM/UIM). If you are hit as a pedestrian the coverage lines that will apply to you are PIP and UM/UIM.
Q. What is PIP?A. PIP (Personal Injury Protection) covers medical expenses and lost wages if you are injured in a collision. In Oregon, the minimum amount of coverage is $15,000. PIP is (usually) “first party” coverage which means your automobile insurance covers your medical bills and wage loss despite the collision being the fault of another road user.
Q. I walk as well as drive, do I need to buy an additional insurance policy that covers me?"A. It depends. In Oregon, your automobile insurance will cover you in some ways when you are walking. If you are injured in a collision with a motor vehicle, your PIP insurance will pay your medical bills. However, if you are injured in an accident that does not involve a motor vehicle, like you trip over a pavement defect, PIP will not cover you, but your health insurance would
Q. I usually walk for transportation. I don’t own a car. Can I get insurance?A. Yes, so long as you’re a licensed driver. Some national insurers offer insurance for drivers who don’t own their own cars. These policies usually need to be purchased through a broker or local agent, though. This coverage is very affordable and offer the same protection as the coverage purchased when a person owns an automobile.
Q. Do I still need a big policy if I mostly walk?A. Yes. It is just as important to have adequate insurance when you are walking. In Oregon the amount of your UM/UIM insurance is the same as your liability insurance. Therefore higher limits means more protection for you in case you are injured by an underinsured or uninsured motorist.
Q. I was hit by a car while walking and had to go to the hospital, how do I pay the bills? I have automobile insurance and health insurance."A. Since you have your own automobile insurance, your PIP coverage will become the “primary” insurer to pay the bills. Any bills not covered by your automobile insurance will be paid by your health insurance. Additionally, any bill not paid by either of your insurers, like co-pays, can be submitted to the motor vehicle driver’s PIP insurer. Your insurers will then seek repayment from the negligent driver’s insurer in a process called subrogation.
Q. I was hit by a car by a car while I was walking. I had to go to the hospital. How do I pay the bills? I don’t have automobile insurance or health insurance.A. In Oregon, pedestrians can access the PIP coverage of the motor vehicle that hit them, regardless of whose fault the collision was. As a result, if you are struck and injured by a motor vehicle while walking, your medical bills and wage loss will be covered as if you had automobile insurance yourself.
Q. I was hit by a car while walking and now I can’t work. How do I recover my lost wages?A. Your lost wages will be paid by PIP coverage, but not 100%. First, you have to be unable to work for two weeks. Even then you will receive only 70% of your gross pay up to $3,000 a month. The other portions of wage loss not covered will need to be recovered from the driver’s insurance company through a settlement or trial.
Q. I was hit by a car while walking and I don’t think I was hurt. Should I still file a claim with the driver’s insurance company?A. Yes. First, sometimes injuries can stay “hidden” for several months. Second, by reporting a driver that hit you to their insurer, you are ensuring some repercussion (higher insurance rates) for their negligent driving.
Q. I was hit by a car while walking and the driver did not have insurance. What can I do? I have automobile insurance.A. Your insurance policy contains UM/UIM coverage which will cover you if you are hit by an uninsured or underinsured (damages exceed their policy) driver. Your insurer essentially steps into the shoes of the negligent driver’s insurance (if they had any).
Q. I was hit by a car while walking and the driver did not have insurance. What can I do? I do not have automobile insurance.A. First, file a police report. If you have medical insurance, that coverage will pay your medical bills. If you do not have medical insurance then you may need to find a treating doctor that will accept payments or treat you for a reduced charge. If the uninsured driver struck you while engaged in a crime (assault, driving under the influence) then you may be able to obtain compensation from the Oregon Crime Victim’s Fund.
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