Portland skyline

Hermiston, Oregon

Hermiston’s place in Oregon history stretches all the way back to Lewis and Clark. On the northeast edge of town, alongside the Columbia River, sits Hat Rock – one of the first landmarks in what is now Oregon to be noted by the explorers in their journals. Its presence is a reminder that while this city of 17,000 may be remote, it is also a place worthy of note. Portland-based, Kaplan Law LLC at the KOIN Center, 222 SW Columbia Street, Suite 1111, provides legal services to Hermiston residents, offering the regional expertise that can be so important for rural communities confronting the aftermath of a catastrophic accident. Call (503) 226-3844 to schedule an appointment.

For many years Hermiston was one of the handful of places where the US Army stored chemical weapons. The now-banned munitions have been decommissioned and are long gone. The Umatilla Chemical Depot, as the base was officially known, is due to be fully decommissioned by 2015. But the mere fact that such weapons were once stored here is a reminder that rural life is rarely as simple as it seems. Oregon industrial accidents involving defective or improperly maintained machinery are a constant worry in this and similar parts of the country. For truck drivers and other commercial haulers, the roads in Eastern Oregon include areas that are among the most dangerous in the United States.

Indeed, figures compiled by the Oregon Department of Transportation indicate that truck drivers were blamed for causing 467 truck crashes in Oregon in 2009 and 486 truck crashes in 2010. Overall, there were 905 truck crashes in 2009 and 1,002 in 2010 with what the state deems ‘truck-driver-at-fault crashes’ making up more than half of the total in both years. The 2010 report (published in 2012) notes that “speed was the primary cause of the 521 truck-at-fault crashes in 2010. Other common causes include following too close, fail to remain in lane and improper lane change.” (see link below for the full report) All of these problems can readily be observed by drivers traveling on the winding, often dangerous roads around Hermiston.

Road accidents and other legal problems occurring in Hermiston and the rest of Umatilla County are handled through the state’s 6th Judicial District. The Hermiston Court at 915 SE Columbia Drive is one of the district’s three headquarters locations (along with Pendleton and Heppner).

When an accident or other tragedy forces you to deal with the complexities of our legal system Kaplan Law LLC can help with a unique range of services designed to meet the needs of our state’s rural communities. At Kaplan Law we believe passionately in the ability of our courts to level the playing field for ordinary Oregonians, ensuring that everyone gets the justice they deserve regardless of wealth or power. Our goal is always to help ordinary citizens defend their rights, and to see that victims and their families are fairly, and professionally, served.

Kaplan Law LLC is located in downtown Portland, about 190 miles west of Hermiston. Our central location in Suite #1111 at the KOIN Center, 222 SW Columbia Street offers unfettered access to the legal resources of Oregon’s largest city. To reach the office from downtown Hermiston, head south out of the city center on Route 207 until you reach Interstate 84 (about 5 miles). Take I-84 west toward Portland. As you approach the city, join I-5 southbound and take the Morrison Bridge exit for the city center. From the bridge, exit onto the ramp leading to southbound Naito Parkway. Take a right on SW Jefferson Street, go three blocks, then turn left on 3rd Avenue to reach the KOIN Center. Our office is located just south of the Hawthorne Bridge, two blocks from the river.

Resource:

Oregon Department of Transportation: Summary of Truck Safety (click on ‘Guide to 2012 Safety Plan’ to download the pdf booklet)