Portland Bicycle Accident Lawyers
Portland has one of the highest percentages of bike commuters (more than six percent) for a large American city. This means that over 22,000 Portland residents ride bicycles for business or leisure. Although bicycles are a popular and healthy mode of transportation, they offer riders little protection in the event of a collision with a car or other vehicle. In this situation, cyclists may suffer serious injuries that result in long-term health consequences or death. If you or someone you love has been injured in a bicycle accident caused by a negligent driver, it may benefit you to seek qualified legal representation.
At Rizk Law, we are dedicated to helping accident victims pursue the justice and compensation they deserve after being injured by another’s negligence. Our trusted Portland bicycle accident lawyers know about the difficulties many people face when trying to handle an insurance claim on their own. We will assist you in every aspect of the claims process to help you recover compensation for your medical expenses, loss of income, and pain and suffering.
Our accomplished team of attorneys is dedicated to helping accident victims recover after being injured due to another’s negligence. We believe negligent drivers who injure Portland cyclists on citywide bike paths or other locations should be held liable for their actions. We will help you explore every legal option available to pursue the justice and compensation you deserve. Contact us today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. We represent our clients on a contingency fee basis, which means you only pay us if we help you recover compensation.
Call 503.245.5677 to get started today.
Why Hire a Portland Bicycle Accident Lawyer?
Accident victims often find it challenging to obtain the compensation they need after being injured due to another’s negligence. After a bicycle accident, many people discover that they are unaware of their rights to pursue compensation from the at-fault party liable for their injuries.
If you have been injured in a bicycle accident, you will need to file a personal injury claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company to receive compensation. However, many insurers are reluctant to pay accident victims the full amount of compensation they deserve. Working with an experienced bicycle accident lawyer in Portland may provide you with the understanding and assistance you need when pursuing an insurance claim.
Your attorney will act as your advocate during the claims process to ensure your rights are protected. He or she will work to establish the at-fault party is liable for your injuries by building a case on your behalf. Your attorney will accomplish this by:
- Examining the police or accident report
- Collecting evidence from the accident scene
- Obtaining video footage or photographs of your bicycle accident that shows the at-fault party behaving negligently or recklessly
- Compiling your medical records that show you were injured in the accident
- Documenting the medical treatments you underwent to heal your injuries
- Retaining copies of the at-fault party’s driving record
- Interviewing witnesses who may have seen your accident
- Reconstructing the accident to show how it occurred
- Establishing a timeline of events before the accident, including the at-fault party’s actions and activities leading up to the collision
Rizk Law’s Portland personal injury lawyers have many years of combined experience helping injury victims recover the compensation they need. Our dedication to helping victims of negligence has earned us inclusion as one of the Top 3 Personal Injury Lawyers in Portland in 2018 by Three Best Rated©, and we hold a 10.0 Superb Rating on Avvo. Do not wait to contact us to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation to find out if you have a case.
Complete a Free Case Evaluation form to get started.
Do I Have a Case?
Cyclists injured in a bicycle accident may be entitled to pursue compensation from the at-fault party liable for the collision. However, you must be able to prove that your bicycle accident resulted from negligence.
There are specific elements of negligence that a Portland bicycle accident attorney will look for when reviewing your claim. This includes:
- Duty of care: The at-fault party owed you a duty of care to ensure your safety by acting in a manner that prevented causing you harm.
- Breach of duty: The at-fault party breached his or her duty of care by failing to act in a cautious and reasonably prudent manner. This breach of duty resulted in you suffering an injury or harm.
- Causation: The bicycle accident was directly or indirectly caused by the at-fault party’s breach of duty. This requires a causal link to be established between the at-fault party’s actions and your injuries.
- Damages: You suffered monetary damages as a result of the at-fault party’s breach of duty. This may include the expenses you incurred for medical treatment or loss of income as a result of being injured in a bicycle accident.
In many cases, it may be in your best interest to contact a reputable attorney who understands Oregon’s negligence laws and can recognize when a breach of duty has occurred. Your attorney will work to help you establish a case and prove the other party is liable for your injuries and resulting financial losses.
Call 503.245.5677 to schedule a free consultation with Rizk Law.
Types of Accidents Caused by Negligence
According to the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT), five cyclists were killed in 2016. These crashes occurred in the following locations:
- SE Center & 142nd
- 6300 SW Multnomah
- SE Flavel & 82nd
- SE 112th & Mt. Scott Blvd
- St Johns Bridge & NW Bridge Avenue
The vast majority of bicycle accidents are unfortunately caused by negligent drivers. Some of the most common kinds of crashes include:
- Sideswipe accidents – Drivers sometimes sideswipe or hit bicyclists from behind when attempting to pass them. They think they have enough space to make the maneuver, but they end up colliding with the bicycle. Sometimes this simply knocks the rider off balance, other times it knocks him or her off the bike or causes him or her to get run over by the car.
- Left and right-turn accidents – A right-turn accident happens when a driver makes a right turn and crashes into a bicyclist riding right beside the car. A left-turn accident occurs when a driver crashes into a rider who is traveling in the opposite direction. The driver misjudges the bicyclist’s speed and is unable to avoid crashing into the bicyclist.
- Pull-in-front accidents – These occur when a car pulls out of a side street, parking lot or driveway and hits a bicyclist on the road or sidewalk. Pulling out could also cause the bicyclist to turn quickly to avoid a collision and end up in traffic, putting him or her at risk of a life-threatening crash.
The PBOT recommends several ways for bicyclists and drivers to share the road safely. This includes approaching all intersections with extra caution. While you may have the right-of-way, turning vehicles may not see you traveling in the bike lane. It is critical to be seen by wearing reflective clothing and having a rear red light on your bike.
If you were injured in these or any other types of accidents, contact our firm for a free legal consultation. You may be entitled to compensation for the damages you suffered.
Compensation for a Bicycle Accident Claim
Cyclists who are involved in a bicycle accident often suffer severe injuries that result in long-term medical conditions or permanent disability. Because of this, bicycle accident victims may be entitled to pursue several types of compensation by filing a personal injury claim.
Oregon is an “at-fault” state, which means you will need to file a claim with the other driver’s insurance company after being injured in a bicycle accident. However, insurers will only compensate you for the measurable damages you suffered. This may include compensation for:
- Past and future medical treatment
- Prescription medication
- Hospital stays
- Medical transportation
- Medical tests
- Lost income
- Loss of earning capacity
In some cases, accident victims may be entitled to additional compensation if their injuries caused them to suffer severe physical and psychological effects. In this situation, your attorney may consider filing a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party to recover the following types of compensation:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of reputation
- Mental anguish
- Loss of companionship
All too often, insurance companies attempt to settle personal injury claims by offering accident victims the minimum amount of compensation possible. Unfortunately, many people are unaware of the true value of their claim and accept this initial offer.
At Rizk Law, our trusted attorneys are dedicated to helping accident victims recover the maximum compensation they may be entitled to receive. We know how to accurately value a clam and will help you determine a fair settlement amount to help compensate you for your injuries and financial losses. If we believe you are not being offered a fair amount of compensation, we will pursue every course of legal action to help you get the amount you deserve.
Contact us at 503.245.5677 to find out the true value of your claim.
Oregon’s Comparative Negligence Law
Many states, including Oregon, use comparative negligence to determine the amount of compensation accident victims can recover in a personal injury lawsuit. Under comparative negligence, the actions of each party involved in an accident are examined by a court. Both parties will then be assigned a percentage of fault that represents their degree of negligence in causing the accident.
Under Ore. Rev. Stat. § 31.600, accident victims can still pursue compensation even if they are found to share fault in causing the accident. However, the amount of compensation you may receive will be reduced by your degree of fault.
For example, you may file an insurance claim for $10,000 after being injured in a bicycle accident. The court may find that you share 30 percent of the fault in causing the accident and reduce your claim’s maximum value to $7,000. However, you cannot pursue compensation from the other party if you share the majority of the fault. This means if your degree of fault is 51 percent or more, your case will likely be dismissed.
Insurance companies often use Oregon’s comparative negligence law to deny victims’ claims or unfairly reduce the amount of compensation they can receive. Our attorneys have extensive knowledge of Oregon’s comparative negligence law. We will work to ensure you are not unfairly blamed for causing the bicycle accident.
To schedule a free consultation, call 503.245.5677.
How Long Do I Have to File a Case?
Cyclists injured in a bicycle accident only have a limited amount of time to pursue compensation for their injuries. Depending on the circumstances behind your claim, there may be several deadlines that you must follow.
Oregon law requires that any accident involving a vehicle, including bicycles, that results in injury, death or property damage exceeding $2,500 be reported. Each party involved in the accident is required to complete an Accident & Insurance Report with the Oregon Driver & Motor Vehicle Services within 72 hours of the collision.
Oregon also imposes a two-year statute of limitations for personal injury cases. Under Ore. Rev. Stat. § 12.110(1), you have two years from the date of your accident to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party to recover compensation. If you do not take legal action within the two-year deadline, your case will likely be dismissed, and you cannot pursue compensation from the at-fault party.
Although two years may seem like enough time to file a personal injury lawsuit, you may encounter several time-consuming factors before the deadline runs out. This includes diagnosing and undergoing medical treatment for your injuries. Additionally, your Portland bicycle accident lawyer will need time to investigate your claim and establish a connection between the at-fault party’s negligence and your injuries. To ensure your claim is secured, you should not wait to pursue legal action against the at-fault party.
Complete a Free Case Evaluation form.
Common Bicycle Accident Injuries
Due to the lack of protection bicycles offer during an accident, cyclists may be at risk of suffering a wide range of injuries. Some of these include:
- Fractured bones
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injury
- Hand and wrist injuries
- Lacerations, cuts and bruises
- Nerve damage
- Dental and jawbone injuries
- Joint dislocation
- Internal organ damage
- Head injuries
- Neck and back injuries
- Road rash
A serious bicycle accident injury can have a significant impact on your health. This may include permanent disabilities that prevent you from living a fully functional or independent life. You should always seek medical attention as soon as possible after a bicycle accident to diagnose and treat any injuries you may have suffered.
Once you have received medical treatment and understand the damages you suffered, contact a bicycle accident lawyer in Portland. He or she will examine your claim and bicycle accident to determine if you have a case that entitles you to pursue compensation from the at-fault party.
Safety Measures to Improve Bicycle Safety
Bicycling is a popular activity for many kids and adults. There are multiple appeals to it as a fun form of exercise. While many young children enjoy riding their bikes for the adventure and freedom they offer, adults may ride their bikes as a means of transportation, for their health, or for competitive purposes. Although bicycling itself is relatively safe, there are some risks involved. A rider is at risk of an accident that involves pedestrians, other cyclists, or even an automobile.
Depending on the severity of the accident, victims may suffer minor to fatal injuries. Thus, every bicycle rider needs to understand the risks and follow the laws and necessary measures that ensure bicyclist safety. Accidents and injuries can be reduced significantly by using the following safety tips.
Helmets Are a Necessity
- Using a helmet can significantly lower the risk of head injuries.
- Make sure you know the helmet laws in your state. While adult helmets are generally not mandatory, many states have laws that enforce children to wear one. In Oregon, children under the age of 16 must be in a helmet.
- Helmets must meet the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) safety requirements.
Select a Helmet That Fits You Properly
- Purchase a helmet that is the correct size for the person wearing it. A properly fitting helmet can prevent serious injury, and it must fit well enough to keep you comfortable throughout the ride. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) provides tips for how to fit a helmet properly.
- Allowing children to determine the style or color of a helmet can help reduce resistance on their part.
- All wheeled activities should be done with a helmet, not just bicycling.
- Whether they are riding scooters, longboarding, skateboarding, or roller skating, kids should always wear bike helmets.
Choose the Proper Equipment and Know How to Maintain It
- Choosing the right bike for an adult begins with assessing their budget, their needs, and the bike’s purpose.
- Don’t shop for a bike without the user present so you don’t end up purchasing the wrong size.
- Make sure that you have both feet flat on the ground when you are straddling the seat of the bike. Using the bike may be uncomfortable and unsafe if the frame is too tall.
- Bicycles require regular maintenance.
- Make sure the wheels are tight before every ride. Look for areas where the tire tread is worn or cracked and check the tire pressure. Ensure that the handlebars are correctly adjusted and that the brakes are functioning. Check the gears and chain on your bicycle as well.
- Before each ride, inspect the helmet for cracks and potential issues with the straps.
- Clothing that is loose or long should not be worn by anyone riding a bike. It can catch on tires, chains, or spokes and put a cyclist in danger of crashing.
- New bike riders should be closely supervised by their parents or guardians, who should ensure that the child is capable and confident before letting them ride alone.
- Children 10 and younger can have difficulty navigating vehicular traffic, so it is preferable to limit them to riding on familiar sidewalks, on bike paths, or at parks.
- You should only allow children to ride solo once they have demonstrated responsible behavior and have a clear understanding of traffic regulations.
- It’s okay to ride with children after they’ve been given the opportunity to ride without supervision. This will give you that chance to pick up on any bad habits they’ve formed and correct them right away.
Set a Good Example for Your Kids
- Before crossing the street, teach children to look both ways multiple times until it is clear to proceed.
- A cyclist should make eye contact with drivers before crossing the street, just as a pedestrian would. The driver will be made aware of their presence, allowing them to stop on time.
- Biking requires predictability. Educate kids to avoid unexpected movements so as not to cause confusion among motorists.
- When riding a bike, parents should follow all safety rules, like wearing a helmet, since kids often emulate their parents’ behavior.
Ensure You Are Visible When Cycling
- It is important to have reflective components on bicycles, especially when riding at night or in dim light.
- If you want to be more visible while riding a bicycle, cover your clothing with retro-reflective materials or patches.
- Using bike lights can be beneficial for all cyclists since they allow drivers to see you more easily.
Contact Rizk Law’s Experienced Attorneys Today
Rizk Law’s Portland bicycle accident attorneys are dedicated to helping cyclists obtain the justice and compensation they deserve after a collision. If you or someone you love was injured by a negligent driver or another party, contact us to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.
Our accomplished attorneys are qualified to represent bicycle accident victims. We are well-versed in state laws and local city ordinances pertaining to bicycles and how to apply these rules to the specifics of your case.
If we believe you have a case against the at-fault party in your claim, we will represent you at no upfront cost. You will only have to pay us if we recover compensation for you. We are ready to help you pursue the justice you deserve.