Motorcyclist Killed in Hwy 31 Crash
Date: June 22, 2013
Location: Highway 31, near milepost 8, Klamath County
Names: Stephen Anthony Williams, Glen Leland Harvey Jr.
According to the police, Stephen Anthony Williams, 57, was driving his motorcycle east on Highway 31, near milepost 8, when it struck the passenger side of the Dodge van as it was turning into a private driveway.
The Williams was taken St. Charles-Bend for treatment, but died. He was wearing a protective helmet at the time of the crash.
The driver of the van, Glen Leland Harvey Jr., 43, has been charged with criminally negligent homicide and driving under the influence of intoxicants. Police continue to investigate the accident.
We extend our sympathies to the family and friends of the dead man.
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.
In these cases the grief of losing a loved one is deepened by the knowledge that their death may have been due to someone else’s negligence. While it is a small consolation, it is possible to file a wrongful death claim under ORS 30.010-30.1000.
The Oregon statute outlines who is entitled to compensation. Spouses, children, and parents are the most common claimants, but under some circumstances, grandchildren, siblings, and grandparents may be able to bring a wrongful death claim as well. A Personal Representative, usually chosen by the family and approved by a judge, must bring the lawsuit for these beneficiaries.
It is important to note that the time limits for filing a wrongful death claims are very complicated and depend entirely on the circumstances. Your time limit (statute of limitations) may be as little as one year, so preserving evidence and seeking legal help in a timely manner can be extremely important to the case.
If you need to speak with a Portland wrongful death attorney, most offer free consultations. Many will also help you investigate the accident for free until you decide what to do about representation. Let them help you navigate this legal process, so that you can grieve without jeopardizing your rights.
If you are looking for more information about wrongful death claims, please order our free guide, Oregon Wrongful Deaths: A Family Guide to the Civil Justice System After the Death of a Loved One.