Archive for January, 2012

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PIP Covers All Drivers Who Drive With Car Owner’s Permission

Posted by Sean DuBois on Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The State of Oregon Court of Appeals recently heard such a case, where Geico Insurance Company was the defendant in a case taken by Brandon Sheptow (Sheptow v. Geico Gen. Ins. Co., 246 OR App 18 (2011)). This case sets a precedent that anyone driving a car (with the owner’s permission) will be covered under the insured owner’s Person Injury Protection coverage.

The undisputed main facts of the case are:

  • Sheptow was injured in an accident whilst driving his mothers car.
  • Sheptow had permission to drive the car.
  • The other driver was the negligent party.
  • Sheptow was not living in his mothers house at the time of the accident.
  • Sheptow was not named on his mothers policy at the time of the accident.
  • Sheptow sought benefits under the policy for medical expenses and lost wages.
  • The original trial found that Sheptow was entitled to cover and awarded him $24,224. (more…)

Portland Rollover Accidents Are Still a Problem

Posted by Sean DuBois on Monday, January 30, 2012

If a traffic accident that injures or kills drivers and passengers could have been prevented long before the accident took place, is it right to still call it an accident? If a design flaw causes a vehicle to roll over after a tire blows out or when a driver makes a sudden turn for whatever reason, and the people who designed the vehicle knew this could happen, is it the driver or the designer who is responsible for the crash?

Portland rollover accidents have had a worrying tendency to involve certain makes and models – and the people who designed these vehicles have known for more than two decades of the cars potential to roll over in even relatively minor accidents.

From Bronco to Explorer

For more than a quarter of a century, going back to the March 1983 introduction of The Bronco II by Ford, which was the predecessor of the current Explorer range, there have been a mounting array of alarming facts relating to Ford Explorer rollover accidents. Even more worryingly, there are still thousands of Ford Explorers of various ages on Oregon roads with documented stability problems. Across the country, the figure runs to millions, and the accidents just keep on coming. In the last month alone, for example:

  • A Kentucky teen driving a 2000 Explorer veered off the road. The SUV rolled over, and the 16-year-old ended up in the hospital.
  • A 23-year-old Maine driver was in his Explorer when it hit a patch of black ice. The driver lost control, but instead of just skidding, the Explorer rolled over and ended up in a ditch. (more…)

Gathering Your Oregon Medical Records

Posted by Sean DuBois on Friday, January 27, 2012

In the case of an Oregon traffic accident where someone has been hurt, a Portland injury lawyer will not only want to see his clients medical records, he or she will also know what to do with them to help their clients case.

A recent study has shown that most patients would like access to their medical records, but the same study shows doctors arent quite so sure its a good idea. Whats not widely known is that every patient in America has a legal right to see their records, but very few people know how to go about getting them. If they ask the doctor, and the doctor seems reluctant or isnt immediately forthcoming, many people give up, not knowing that they can insist.

The reasons given by doctors for not being eager to share their notes with patients are a concern that seeing the notes will actually lead to the patients worrying unnecessarily about their conditions. Doctors also said patients having access to their records will lead to an increase in time-consuming questions between visits, something the doctors seem anxious to avoid.

(more…)

Injury Victim of Driver Running Red Light

Posted by Sean DuBois on Thursday, January 26, 2012

This is a real story about one of our real clients. All names of individuals have been changed to protect the innocent and the guilty alike. But names of insurance companies are real, and the details of what happened have not been changed.

“Danny” was driving in NE Portland when another driver ran a red light. This driver hit Danny, and then continued on to hit several other cars as well. The accident cause Danny to lost consciousness after being hit, and was taken by ambulance to the hospital. There, he was Xray-ed and diagnosed.

Due to continuing pain in his chest, neck, and back Danny was forced to seek treatment from a chiropractor, a massage therapist, and an acupuncturist. Danny was most concerned, however, about the headaches, loss of sleep, and shooting pains in his right leg all signs of a more serious head injury.

Dannys car was totaled, and although he got a rental car, the rental was only available for a limited amount of time – and insurance for the bad driver (Farmers) had not yet paid for his property damages.

With these concerns about a head injury and needing compensation for his car, Danny decided to seek legal advice from an experienced car accident attorney in Portland. He starting asking around and heard about Shulman DuBois LLCs reputation for treating all clients with personal attention.

Work-Related Calls No Longer Allowed on the Roads

Posted by Sean DuBois on Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Oregon legislators have moved to close loopholes in previous laws that allowed motorists to use cell phones for work purposes while driving. In May, 2011, HB3186 was passed by a vote of 39 to 17, now making it illegal for all drivers on Oregon roads to use cell phones unless they are summoning emergency help, such as police, firefighters, an ambulance or a tow truck.

The new law came into effect on January 1, 2012, and this follows new federal legislation which recently introduced a ban on commercial truck drivers using cell phones. Portland truck accident attorneys point out that in 75% of truck vs. car/SUV/pickup truck accidents, its the actions of the four-wheel driver that have been deemed to cause the accident. This fact, among others, has led to mixed reviews from both drivers and lawmakers to Oregons HB3186.

I think wed be chasing our tails to oblivion trying to outlaw stupid.

That was the opinion of Oregon Rep. Kim Thatcher, who pointed out that other states still allow the use of cell phones while driving, and she couldnt find any data to show texting bans have reduced traffic accident levels anywhere. Under HB3186, texting is completely banned for all drivers in any situation. Other legislators felt the bill was an unnecessary addition to laws that already make it an offense to drive while distracted. I do not believe that well ever get this problem solved other than to get people to be responsible for their own actions, said Rep. Tim Freeman. (more…)

Breakthrough in Healing Traumatic Brain Injury

Posted by Sean DuBois on Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Traumatic brain injury is one of the most devastating things that can happen to the victim of a traffic accident. The physical effects are horrific enough, but every good brain injury attorney could also testify to the long term financial, emotional and psychological damage done; not just to the victim, but also to their extended family.

Until very recently, it was more or less accepted that damage to the brain was irreversible, in spite of constant research into new therapies and techniques to treat brain injuries. Stem cell research has tantalized scientists, because when used on animals, stem cell implantation has been shown to substantially improve brain function, but exactly how stem cells can aid in healing traumatic brain injuries has remained something of a mystery.

What exactly are stem cells?

In the simplest terms, stem cells are young cells that are still in the process of developing but have not yet taken their final form. Scientists have been working on ways of using these blank cells as building blocks which can be used to repair or even replace damaged cells in virtually any part of the body. No one knew precisely why these stem cells could be manipulated, but University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) researchers have gone a long way towards solving that scientific puzzle. They have identified key molecular mechanisms that allow stem cells to assist in recovery from brain injuries. (more…)

Portland Bicycle Paths and Trails Used More Than Ever

Posted by Sean DuBois on Monday, January 23, 2012

Getting out and about on a bicycle is becoming increasingly popular in Portland, and especially on the citys multi-use paths and trails, according to information just released. Cyclists seem to be doing more recreational riding than ever, and using paths, lanes and corridors designed to keep them away from traffic would appear to be the method by which they will avoid the need of the services of a Portland bike injury lawyer.

Annual trail use has grown steadily from 2008 (the first year these statistics were taken) to the end of 2011. While there was a slight dip between 2009 and 2010, officials are putting that down to the very heavy rain that fell during the time the counts were being made in 2010.

The counts were carried out as part of the National Bicycle and Pedestrian Documentation Project and were carried out simultaneously in conjunction with Metro and 13 other cities and counties in Oregon and southwest Washington. It is hoped that the surveys findings will help secure grant funding for construction of future bike paths, as well as giving an idea of where those trails should be situated. The numbers also give a good indication of the return on past investments, and the direct feedback from cyclists is a good means of identifying things that have been done right, as well as highlighting areas that need improvement. The figures that came back indicate bicycle trails and paths are more popular than ever.

Volunteers set up a total of 107 different counting stations throughout the 14 different regions. Cyclists were asked to fill out a questionnaire with a variety of information. When all the details were correlated, the results showed that:

  • The number of people using bicycle trails and multi-use paths in the region came to 25,229, a massive increase over the 2010 figure of 19,277. Even given the appalling weather conditions when the 2010 counts were taken, the 2011 figure is still up considerably from the previous high of about 22,000 in 2009, and well up on the 2008 figure of around 17,000 riders. (more…)
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