Portland Bicycle Accident Lawyer
An Oregon Bicycle Accident Demands Experienced Representation
Bicycling has grown in popularity in recent years. Oregon, Washington and the entire Pacific Northwest have some of the most scenic areas for cyclists. Portland in particular has been consistently rated one of the top bicycle-friendly cities in the country, thanks to its miles of bike lanes and paths.
But like motorcycle riders, bicyclists have little crash protection if they’re struck by a car or truck. Without warning, a bicycle accident can occur, resulting in serious injury and even wrongful death when another driver is negligent.
Every day, there are more than two bicycle accidents in Oregon on average, according to the Oregon Department of Transportation. And each day, there are more than two bicycle accident injuries statewide, along with one fatal bicycle accident each month on average in Oregon.
If you’ve been injured in a bicycle accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Call Zbinden & Curtis today for a free consultation: (503) 287-5000. We can examine your potential case and discuss your legal options.
Accidents often occur when drivers fail to see the bicyclist or observe the right of way. In many cases, the driver is distracted, perhaps sending or receiving a text message or operating under the influence of alcohol or drugs. In some bicycle accidents, a driver does not look and sideswipes the bicycle rider when changing lanes or turning onto another road.
What Laws Protect Oregon Cyclists?
Many of the same laws that apply to motorists in Oregon apply to cyclists. As a result, these laws protect cyclist’s rights in the event of an accident caused by a vehicle. Cyclists have the right to use the road and drivers are expected to share the road with cyclists at all times.
In addition, there are many Oregon Revised Statutes (O.R.S.) that apply specifically to cyclists and which include penalties for drivers who violate these laws. According to ORS 811.050, for example, drivers must yield to a cyclist in a bicycle lane. Other Oregon laws that protect the rights of cyclists include:
- ORS 811.065, which concerns the unsafe passing of a person operating a bicycle (drivers who do not safely pass a bicycle are subject to various penalties, particularly if the driver’s actions result in a bicycle accident)
- ORS 811.435, which concerns “operation of motor vehicle on bicycle trail”
- ORS 811.490, which concerns “improper opening or leaving open of vehicle door” (drivers cannot leave their car door open if it interferes with bicycle traffic)
In addition, the City of Portland has its own laws when it comes to cyclists. Riding a bicycle on a sidewalk in Portland is against the law and subject to a $500 fine. Cyclists must also yield to pedestrians and obey all traffic laws when sharing the road with motorists.
But if a driver broke any of Oregon’s traffic laws and caused your bicycle accident, that person should be held responsible for their actions and your accident. That’s why you need an experienced attorney on your side, standing up for your rights after your accident.
Types of Bicycle Accident Injuries
Bicycle accident injuries often are permanent and can radically alter the victim's life. The following are examples of potential bicycle accident injuries:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord injury
- Neck and back injuries
- Fractures and broken bones
- Injuries requiring surgery
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that nearly 850 cyclists (more than two each day) are killed on average in the United States each year, along with more than 49,000 injured every year in bicycle accidents. That’s one injury every 10 minutes and 43 seconds.
With such a high frequency of accidents, it’s important for riders to stay alert on the road. In the event of an injury, bicyclists need to understand their rights to seek compensation. Call Zbinden & Curtis today or complete the online contact form on this page. We fight aggressively for bicycle accident injury victims in Oregon and in Washington.
Who Can Be Held Liable?
Liability refers to who’s legally responsible for compensating someone for an accident. In Oregon, the at-fault party that caused the accident is responsible for compensating injury victims. That’s because Oregon has an at-fault insurance system. This means the at-fault driver or the at-fault driver’s insurance company is responsible for paying for your accident-related expenses. Remember, you didn’t do anything wrong. You shouldn’t have to pay for another road user’s reckless behavior.
How Much Is My Bicycle Accident Claim Worth?
There’s no set dollar amount when it comes to bike accident claims. It all depends on the extent of your injuries and the effects on your life. As a result, your injury claim could potentially be worth thousands of dollars or significantly more. That’s because your accident expenses aren’t just restricted to the ones immediately after your accident. Many expenses occur years after an accident. Such expenses can cover a wide range, including:
- All medical care related to your accident
- Replacement income if you cannot work while you’re recovering from your injury
- Future income if you cannot return to work due to a permanent disability
Insurance companies often play games after an accident. Instead of paying for all your expenses, they often try to claim they’re only responsible for paying for emergency medical care, surgery immediately after your accident and other short-term expenses. You deserve to be compensated for all past, present, and future expenses related to your accident. And if the at-fault driver’s insurance company refuses to cooperate, your lawyer can fight for the money you rightfully deserve.
What Should I Do After My Bicycle Accident?
There are certain steps you should take as soon as possible after your accident to protect your right and your rights:
- Call 911 or ask someone at the scene of your accident to do so
- Seek immediate medical attention
- Take pictures of your accident scene or ask someone to do so
- If someone saw your accident, get the witness’ full name and phone number
- Get the name of the driver who caused your accident, along with their address, driver’s license number and insurance information
- Call a lawyer as soon as possible to learn more about your legal options
If you cannot take these steps at the time of your accident, you can get this information from the investigating police officer or by obtaining a copy of your official accident report from the police. Your lawyer can also help you with all of these steps after your accident, including helping you get a copy of your accident report for you.
In Portland, you can obtain a copy of your accident report by contacting the Portland Police Records Division. Fees vary but obtaining a copy of your accident report from the Portland Police Department generally costs $30. The Portland Police Records Division can be contacted online, in person at 1111 SW 2nd Ave (Justice Center) in Portland or on the phone at (503) 823-0043.
Contact a Bicycle Accident Lawyer
Contact Zbinden & Curtis today. A bicycle accident lawyer is prepared to discuss your legal options with you. Our law firm has extensive experience helping people injured in bicycle accidents caused by motorists in Portland and throughout Oregon and Washington. As a result, we’re familiar with the local, state and federal laws that apply in such cases. We know what evidence to look for and how to analyze accident reports. Our in-depth approach consistently results in sizable settlements and verdicts.
Discover what we can do for you after your bicycle accident. Schedule a free case evaluation right now. There’s no obligation. You don’t pay us unless you win.