Three Minors Injured in Drunk Driving Crash on OR99E

Date: April 6, 2013
Location: Oregon 99E
Names: Jennifer B. Lemen, Hugh A. Averette

An argument between a passenger and a driver resulted in a vehicle colliding with a house on Saturday, April 6, 2013.

Police report that Jennifer B. Lemen, 32, was traveling on Oregon 99E in her Ford Explorer with passenger Hugh A. Averette, 33, and her three children, ages 5 to 9 (names not released). At some point during the trip, Lemen and Averette began to argue and Averette grabbed the steering wheel. Lemen then lost control of the vehicle; it flipped over and left the roadway. It then collided with a house on the side of the road. While the home did suffer foundation and structural damage, no one inside was injured.

Both Lemen and Averette are facing charges for the crash. Averette was arrested and booked into the Marion County jail under charges relating to driving under the influence of intoxicants, reckless driving, four counts of recklessly endangering another person, four counts of third degree assault and one count of fourth degree assault for domestic violence. Lemen was cited for DUI.

Lemen and her four children were wearing seatbelts. They were all taken to the hospital for treatment, though none of their conditions were reported. Averette was not wearing a seatbelt and was treated at the hospital for injuries prior to his arrest.

We would like to extend our best wishes for a full recovery for all parties involved in this accident. For such a severe collision, it is very fortunate that no one was severely injured or killed.

If you were hurt by a drunk driver, special time limits may apply for filing a claim.

Under ORS 471.565, you can sue the establishment that served the drunk driver alcohol (assuming there was one) by filing a Dram Shop Notice within 180 days. This is only for injury cases, as wrongful death cases have a separate time limit.

A Dram Shop Notice is a special letter that tells the establishment or person who served the alcohol that a claim for damages is being made against the establishment, a description of the time, place, and circumstances giving rise to the claim, and the name and mailing address for the person making the claim. If the drunk driving led to not just an injury, but death, then you have a year instead of 180 days. Basically, a Dram Shop Notice will hold a bar owner responsible for not training employees according to the OLCC’s guidelines regarding intoxicated drinkers.

If the drunk driver was not at a bar or other business that serves alcohol before the crash, there is still the possibility of filing a claim through auto insurance. And in many cases, the drunk driver will also be punished in a criminal court. Although being found guilty for criminal charges can increase the likelihood of a civil personal injury case succeeding, you may still need the help of a drunk driving accident injury lawyer to deal with adjusters and use all the evidence correctly.



About Sean DuBois

Sean is a personal injury attorney in Portland, OR. He has been recognized by Super Lawyers Magazine as Oregon Rising Stars for the past four years because of his dedication to justice and fair compensation for his clients. If you need to speak with a lawyer about your injury case, Sean can be reached at 503-222-4411.

Posted on April 11, 2013, in Car Accidents, Drunk Driving, Injuries to Children and Minors, Portland car accidents and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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