Portland Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

If you or someone you care about has suffered a serious injury in a motorcycle accident, discussing your legal options with a motorcycle accident lawyer can be a positive step in the recovery process. At Rizk Law, we have in-depth knowledge of Oregon’s laws and legal procedures associated with motorcycle injury lawsuits. We utilize these skills to help recover the maximum amount of financial compensation that our clients are eligible to receive.

These guys are the best and I recommend them to anyone.
– Client of Rizk Law

Our attorneys have successfully handled multiple motorcycle accident lawsuits, including a $50,000 recovery for a client who was forced into a semi-truck and guardrail by a merging vehicle.

We accept cases on a contingency fee basis, and it’s free to meet with one of our Portland motorcycle accident lawyers to determine if you have a case.

We have off-street parking and are conveniently located at 434 South Iowa Street, just minutes from Interstate 5 and the Ross Island Bridge that spans the Willamette River.

Fill out our Free Case Evaluation form or call 503.852.5761.

Recovering Compensation for Motorcycle Accidents in Portland, Oregon

Unfortunately, motorcycle accidents happen all too often. While a crash itself is traumatic, the aftermath can be equally upsetting. Recuperating from severe injuries while the medical bills pile up is stressful, especially when you are unable to work and earn income.

A Rizk Law Portland motorcycle accident lawyer can help you calculate the actual value of your case by reviewing your past and future losses. Our goal is to recover compensation for you and your family while you focus on recovering from your injuries.

The types of compensation you may be entitled to recover for motorcycle accident injuries include:

  • Past and current medical expenses
  • Future expenses for any medical treatments
  • Wages lost from missing work
  • Lost earning power if an injury prevents you from returning to a previous job
  • Lost future income if an injury prevents you from returning to work altogether
  • Loss of enjoyment of life if changes had to be made
  • Expenses necessary to accommodate a permanent disability

Contact our office today by calling 503.852.5761.

Filing a Motorcycle Accident Injury Claim in Portland, Oregon

Injured motorcycle accident victims can seek compensation by filing an insurance claim with the company representing the negligent party. Unfortunately, this process can be long and arduous because the insurance companies often try to get victims to accept lowball offers or delay payment. Rizk Law motorcycle accident lawyers have extensive experience negotiating with insurance companies and will handle the entire insurance process on your behalf.

In some cases, it is necessary to file a personal injury lawsuit in civil court. You need a lawyer who is not afraid to initiate litigation when necessary and knows how to handle the entire litigation process and effectively negotiate the settlement you deserve.

Proving Negligence Occurred

One of the primary factors in any motorcycle accident case is determining what caused the crash. If your crash happened because another person or party was negligent in some way, Oregon law gives you the right to seek financial relief from that party. Negligence occurs when another party owes you a specific duty of care and fails to uphold that duty, resulting in an accident that caused your injuries.

Drivers owe other motorists, including motorcyclists, the duty to operate their vehicles reasonably safely. When a driver makes a mistake or acts carelessly, they may be found negligent if their negligence results in injury.

Oregon’s Statute of Limitations for Motorcycle Accident Injury Claims

Every state, including Oregon, has deadlines to file a lawsuit.  If you miss this deadline, you will not be permitted to take your case to trial. The majority of personal injury lawsuits in Oregon, including motorcycle accident lawsuits, must be filed within two years from the date of the injury.

Our motorcycle accident lawyers in Portland have a detailed understanding of Oregon personal injury laws and the time limits that apply to these specific cases. We will work hard to ensure that you file your claim within the deadline so you have a chance to pursue fair compensation.

Fill out our Free Case Evaluation form to get started.

Oregon Motorcycle Safety Laws

According to the Oregon Motorcycle & Moped Manual, motorcyclists must obey the same laws and regulations that motorists follow. The manual helps prepare riders for Oregon licensing tests by providing rules of the road and safe riding practices.

The manual also outlines additional regulations for riders, including licensing requirements, required equipment and insurance minimums:

Rider Education

To obtain a motorcycle endorsement in Oregon, you must first complete a motorcycle rider education course approved through Team Oregon if you do not already have a valid endorsement or license from another state. Accepted courses include:

  • Basic Rider Training (BRT): This course takes place in a classroom setting over three days for riders of any age. After successful completion, Oregon Driver and Motor Vehicle Services (DMV) waives both the motorcycle knowledge and on-cycle skill tests.
  • Intermediate Rider Training (IRT): This one-day course takes place in a classroom or online classroom setting for riders 21 and older. The course helps riders build on their street-riding skills and strategies, and upon successful completion, DMV waives the motorcycle skills test.
  • eRider Basic: This course includes four to six hours in an online classroom and eight hours of practice riding for riders of any age. Upon completion, the motorcycle skills test requirement is waived.
  • eRider Intermediate: This half-day course includes four to six hours in an online classroom setting and four hours of practice riding for riders 21 and older. Upon completion, the motorcycle skills test requirement is waived.

Riders who complete an approved motorcycle rider education course may also qualify for a discount on their motorcycle insurance premium.

Motorcycle Endorsement

To be issued a motorcycle endorsement, you must be at least 16 years of age or older and meet all of the following requirements. You must possess:

  • A valid Oregon driver’s license
  • Proof of legal presence (full name, identity, date of birth)
  • Proof of current physical address
  • Verifiable Social Security Number (SSN)
  • Parental/guardian consent if under age 18
  • Proof of completing a Team Oregon motorcycle rider education course
  • Proof of passing the required DMV motorcycle knowledge test

Riders have the option of obtaining a motorcycle instruction permit that allows them to drive a motorcycle on public streets and highways with certain restrictions for one year. These restrictions include being accompanied by a rider 21 years old or older on a different motorcycle with a valid motorcycle endorsement, riding only during daylight hours, carrying no passengers and wearing a helmet.

Helmet Use

In Oregon, every rider and passenger on a motorcycle must wear a U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT)-compliant helmet. This is outlined in Oregon Revised Statutes sections 814.269 and 814.275. Failure to wear a motorcycle helmet will result in a citation.

Required Equipment

To be classified as street legal in Oregon, a motorcycle must have at least:

  • One and no more than three white headlights, which remain illuminated at all times
  • One red taillight with a red stop lamp
  • One red reflector on the rear, one white license plate light, and one rear-view mirror
  • Fenders on each of the motorcycle’s wheels
  • One brake that is operated by the motorcyclist’s foot or hand
  • An exhaust system that is in good working condition

Additionally, motorcyclists are prohibited from transporting any objects that restrict their ability to hold the handlebars of a vehicle. There are also numerous laws in Oregon regarding how passengers on motorcycles can be transported.

Insurance Minimums

Every motorcyclist must carry liability insurance in Oregon. This helps to cover any personal injury or property damage you cause others in the event of an accident.

The minimum insurance requirements for Oregon motorcyclists are as follows:

  • $20,000 for the damage or destruction of property per accident
  • $15,000 per person for personal injury protection
  • $25,000 for death or bodily injury of one individual
  • $50,000 for death or bodily injury of two or more people
  • $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident in uninsured motorist coverage

Riders also have the option to purchase additional motorcycle insurance. Unlike liability insurance, this type of coverage can help cover your own damages from costly injuries or property damage, such as:

  • Collision coverage, which pays for damage to your bike caused by an impact with another object or vehicle
  • Comprehensive coverage, which protects motorcyclists from conditions including fire, theft, water, wind, and vandalism
  • Medical payment coverage, which covers your reasonable and necessary medical care caused by a crash

Rizk Law motorcycle accident lawyers advocate for the rights of motorcycle accident victims. We fight diligently to achieve the best possible outcome for our clients and can help you recover compensation for the extensive losses you have accumulated because of a motorcycle accident.

Are Motorcycle Riders Allowed to Split Lanes in Portland, Oregon?

Lane splitting (also known as lane filtering) is a controversial practice where motorcycle riders travel between lanes on multi-lane highways. While many motorcyclists claim that lane splitting is safer because it prevents rear-end crashes in stop-and-go traffic, others argue that it will put motorcycles in the blind spots of other drivers.

While this practice is legal in California, splitting lanes is not permitted in Oregon. In May of 2021, Governor Kate Brown vetoed Senate Bill 574, which would have allowed motorcycle operators to travel between lanes of traffic under certain conditions.

Governor Brown returned the bill unsigned and unapproved because of safety concerns for both the motorcyclists and the drivers sharing the road due to the serious injuries and death that commonly result from motorcycle-involved accidents. She added that she was concerned riders would not observe the narrow provisions of the new law.

However, the state does allow motorcyclists to share a lane with one other motorcyclist. Attempting to lane share with more than one motorcyclist or any other type of motor vehicle is against the law.

Common Motorcycle Accidents and Injuries in Portland, Oregon

There are many different types of motorcycle accidents that happen on Portland roadways. Some of the most common accidents involve the negligence of another driver. These include:

  • Head-on collisions: This type of collision occurs when a motorist strikes a motorcycle head-on because they were distracted or failed to yield the right-of-way. The injuries sustained after these accidents are often severe and could be life-threatening.
  • Lane-change crashes: This happens when a motorist changes lanes and crashes into a motorcyclist or cuts off the motorcycle, not giving the rider enough time to slow down before crashing into the back of another vehicle.
  • Left-turn accidents at intersections: One of the most dangerous situations for motorcyclists is when motorists are making left-hand turns. If motorists disregard traffic signals and fail to yield to oncoming traffic when turning, they can hit motorcycles traveling straight through an intersection.
  • Rear-end collisions: This type of collision occurs when a motorist crashes into the back of a motorcycle, most commonly at a stop sign or red light. Even if the motorist is not going very fast, the force of the impact can cause the rider to be thrown off the motorcycle, resulting in severe injury.
  • Drunk-driving accidents: Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs plays a significant role in motorcycle accidents. The injuries sustained by a motorcyclist are usually severe or fatal. 
  • High-speed accidents: Accidents that occur at high speeds can pose a serious safety threat to motorcycle riders. Motorists who speed significantly reduce their chances of seeing and reacting to a motorcyclist in enough time to prevent a dangerous accident.

These crashes can cause severe and catastrophic injuries due to a motorcycle’s size and lack of protection. Brain injuries, spinal cord injuries and paralysis, crushed limbs, road rash burns, internal bleeding, and other traumatic injuries necessitate emergency medical help. Treatment for these severe injuries can continue for weeks, months, or indefinitely.

If you or someone you love has suffered these or any other injuries in a Portland motorcycle accident, contact us for a free consultation to discuss your legal options. If we can prove that your injury was caused by negligence, you may be able to obtain compensation.

What Damages Can You Recover After a Motorcycle Accident Case?

Riding a motorcycle is one of the best ways to take in the scenic views of the Pacific Northwest and Oregon. Unfortunately, since motorcycles lack the protective exterior structure cars have, it does not take much for motorcycle riders to suffer severe or fatal injuries in an accident.

Compensation may be awarded for damages such as:

Pain and Suffering

The foundation of most personal injury recoveries, pain and suffering is also one of the most complex types of damages to quantify in motorcycle accident claims.

Loss of Personal Enjoyment

If the injuries sustained from the victim’s motorcycle accident prevent them from participating in recreational activities, exercise, or hobbies they enjoyed prior to the crash, they may be eligible to receive compensation for their loss of personal enjoyment.

Lost Income

Part of the reward injured motorcycle accident victims may receive is intended to offset the impact the crash had on their means of making money. Awarded damages may cover not only income already lost because of the accident, but also any future loss of income related to the crash. In other words, if an injured motorcycle accident victim can no longer work or perform their previous job duties, they may be compensated for diminished wages and earning capacity.

Medical Care

The damages incorporated in motorcycle accident injury claims almost always take into consideration the victim’s medical care. These damages serve as both reimbursement for the treatment a victim has already received as well as the estimated cost of any medical treatments or care that will be needed in the future to recover from their injury.

Property Loss

If the accident damaged property, such as a motorcycle or other personal item, then the victim would likely be permitted reimbursement for the necessary repairs. In claims where the motorcycle or item is damaged beyond repair, the victim may be entitled to reimbursement to replace the item. In such cases, compensation will be determined by the fair market value of the unrepairable property or the cost of a replacement.

Emotional Distress

Damages for emotional distress or mental anguish are intended to compensate victims for the psychological distress they have experienced because of the accident. Emotional distress damages may be awarded for:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Fear
  • Loss of sleep
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (“PTSD”)

Loss of Consortium

If the motorcycle accident and subsequent injuries have harmed the victim’s relationship with their spouse, they could qualify for compensation. A loss of companionship, loss of financial support, and loss of the ability to perform household services may qualify you for loss of consortium damages.

Outside of the above damages, other damages that may be recovered with a Portland motorcycle accident injury claim include:

  • Household out-of-pocket expenses
  • Physical therapy
  • Funeral costs
  • Reconstructive surgery
  • In-home rehabilitation
  • Disability
  • Rental car costs
  • Ambulance ride
  • Emergency medical treatment

In some rare cases, payment for punitive damages may also be given. As the name suggests, punitive damages are intended to punish the negligent party for causing the motorcycle crash and prevent others from acting in a similar fashion. If the at-fault party was found to be wanton, outrageous, grossly negligent, or intentional in their actions, you could be eligible to collect an award for punitive damages.

How Fault Is Determined in a Motorcycle Accident

After 20 years of fighting for accident victims, we are all too familiar with how significantly a motorcycle crash can negatively impact a victim’s life and the lives of those closest to them. Thankfully, if you or someone you care about was involved in a motorcycle accident in Oregon, you might be eligible to recover compensation from the at-fault party.

In fault-based insurance states, such as Oregon, the at-fault party is financially responsible for the damages of their victims. Oregon is a “tort state” that requires drivers to carry no-fault insurance. Therefore, determining the cause of the crash and identifying the responsible party are essential steps that must be completed before a victim can file a claim.

Although Oregon drivers must pay for their own injuries with their personal injury protection (PIP) insurance, they are not restricted when suing an at-fault party for compensation. However, in order for a lawsuit or insurance claim against the at-fault driver to succeed, you will need to show that their negligence directly resulted in the motorcycle accident and your injuries. Because motorcyclists are often subject to bias, proving this can be a challenge.

How Negligence Is Determined

Negligence can be proven by providing inarguable evidence that a motorist failed to exercise the amount of caution a sensible person would have exercised under the same circumstances.

When it comes to motorcycle accidents, many people and insurance companies tend to automatically assume that the motorcyclist is to blame for the crash. However, the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration (NHTSA) has reported that many motorcycle crashes were caused by other motorists turning into the motorcycle’s path.

How a Lawyer Helps Prove Fault

When you partner with Rizk Law, one of our qualified personal injury lawyers will conduct an independent, comprehensive investigation into your motorcycle crash to pinpoint the parties responsible for your damages. We use various strategies to determine fault in Oregon motorcycle accidents, including:

  • Studying accident scene photos
  • Assessing police reports
  • Reviewing eyewitness testimony
  • Calling upon expert witnesses, such as:
    • Accident reconstruction specialists
    • Medical professionals
    • Forensic analysts
  • Examining surveillance footage
  • Reading vehicle maintenance reports

The more evidence that you can collect after a crash, the simpler it will be to demonstrate that another party was at fault. Motorcycle accident victims should begin gathering evidence as soon as they are able to do so to ensure quick action, as there are numerous deadlines that must be satisfied when filing a personal injury claim.

Attorney Richard Rizk, Rizk Law founder and former insurance insider, understands how auto insurance companies work and what it takes to achieve a fair settlement. His team of Oregon motorcycle accident litigators is hand-picked for their tenacity and empathy when defending the rights of their clients.

Rizk Law lawyers can guide you through the entire process of determining the at-fault party in an Oregon motorcycle accident, step by step. Our team is known for going above and beyond to advocate for the rights of our clients during all negotiations. You can also rest assured that our trusted litigators will work diligently to prevent any errors that could impact your claim.

Complete a Free Case Evaluation form today.

Contact an Experienced Motorcycle Accident Attorney in Portland, Oregon

Accidents involving motorcycles are typically challenging to litigate because of the negative bias that many people have towards riders. This is why motorcycle accident victims often find it helpful to obtain the assistance of a knowledgeable lawyer who can advocate for their rights.

Your Rizk Law motorcycle accident lawyer will aggressively pursue to recover the compensation you deserve for the losses you have suffered. We regularly handle cases involving traffic accidents and have the skills to take on the negligent driver’s insurance company. Our lawyers are prepared to pursue litigation if necessary to protect your right to fair compensation for your injuries.

Our Portland motorcycle accident attorneys take cases on contingency, so your consultation is absolutely free. You will not be charged legal fees unless you receive compensation.

Fill out our free case evaluation form or call (503) 852-5761.