If you love to walk and do it often, it pays to be informed… ideally before you find yourself in need of a lawyer.
One of the benefits of living in such a biking and walking-centric city is that we are fortunate to have many lawyers with expertise on these subjects. One of them is Rob Kline of Kline Law Offices P.C. who has just released the Oregon Pedestrian Law Guide 2.0 (PDF). (Disclaimer: Kline Law Offices is a BikePortland Business Subscriber.)
Kline Law Offices P.C. calls the guide, “The preeminent source of information on pedestrian law and rights in Oregon.” “There is a movement in Portland, and Oregon as a whole, to make urban environments more livable and safe for all. As Oregonians push for better walking conditions, it is important that pedestrians understand their rights,” said Rob Kline in a press release about the new guide.
The free, 48-page guide takes a fine-tooth comb through all the Oregon Revised Statutes that pertain to walking. Originally published as a chapter of the Oregon Trial Lawyers Association’s Automobile Litigation Deskbook for use by lawyers, it’s been adapted for use by the public. The guide breaks down the rights and responsibilities of pedestrians and has special sections on sidewalks, crosswalks, shoulders, insurance, advocacy, and more. I appreciated the section titled, “Language Matters” that encouraged victims and their lawyers to pay close attention to word choice.
Here’s an excerpt:
In your writing and jury advocacy, consider whether it is more appropriate to describe a “person walking” or a “person using a mobility device,” rather than “pedestrian.”“Person driving” not “car.” When you say your client “was hit by a car,” you’re using the passive voice, taking focus off the action word and the actor, and completely removing the person who was driving (probably the defendant) from what you’ve said. Be aware of that.
The guide also includes an overview of city-specific ordinances from nine cities in the region including: Beaverton, Gresham, Eugene, Milwaukie, Oregon City, Portland, Sandy, Tigard, and Troutdale.
Learn more and grab the free download link here.
— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and firstname.lastname@example.org
— Get our headlines delivered to your inbox.
— Support this independent community media outlet with a one-time contribution or monthly subscription.
It’s “free” but just remember nothing is free in this world. Trial lawyers try to act like they’re the good guys but they are really just another failure of the American system of “individual rights” over all else. Unfortunately, when there is a huge verdict the lawyer and the client may get a windfall but the problem is not solved for society. Legal systems in other developed countries are more community minded than our system individual payouts.
Which do you think is more likely to produce police reform in Minneapolis, the $27 million dollar civil settlement paid by the city or the trial of Dereck Chauvin? Or maybe you think that neither will have any effect?
If the 27 million (or at least a large percentage of it) went to improving policing then it might have some effect. As it stands, the attorneys and the family are getting a huge payout and it’s just the cost of existing for the city of Minneapolis. The payout won’t create any improvement for the other citizens of Minneapolis.
Did McDonalds change their policies on heating coffee to excessive levels after they were sued and lost millions for giving that old woman 3rd degree burns?
Don’t underestimate the changes that cost avoidance can bring.
This is great, but I had to laugh when I clicked the link and immediately saw, in large type, the very language that Mr. Kline advises against:
“If you’re a pedestrian struck by a motor vehicle …”
yeah I noticed the word “accident” on some of their pages and URL as well. Keep in mind that it’s likely motivated by SEO (what potential clients are searching for) rather than a principled action around word choice.
Appreciate the comments. Jonathan is right. For example, the word “accident” is banished in our practice, and we explain to clients why, but it is still commonly used by much of the public.
I really appreciate this. I skimmed through, and am looking forward to reading the whole thing. It’s great that it combines thoughtful commentary and guidance with detailed excerpts of the laws. It’s a format that shows respect for the reader and makes it much more useful than the typical “Pedestrian 101”-type guides that assume readers can’t handle detailed information.
Rob’s guide is hands down the best resource for pedestrian law in Oregon. His same content is used as the ped law chapter of the deskbook for attorneys published by the Oregon Trial Lawyers Association. Thank you Rob for taking on this big project and putting it all together.
Nice guide Mr. Kline wrote. Safety should be focus #1 dispite what’s right, or what rights I may have granted to me. As a walker, jog junkie & avid biker, I understand always when I share public roadways & open spaces that I must always follow the law within “Due Care” as ORS lays out very clear. I do not take on autos nor big insurance, their high power staff lawyers and or hired firms. Safety keeps me alive. My rights are abstracts argued after arbitrary facts that occure; samantics. Matter of fact, I use caution to keep my motion going in my right of way.