Portland Bicycle Accident Attorney
More Americans than ever have enjoyed getting into bicycling, and Portland is well-known as one of the most bicycle-friendly cities in the United States. Unfortunately, every year, bicyclists become seriously injured or killed in the greater Portland area. According to the National Highway and Transportation Safety Agency, over 800 Americans die in bicycle accidents every year. When a bicycle accident involves a motor vehicle, the bicyclist is more likely to be severely injured due to a lack of external protection. Even the most conscientious and safe bicyclists can become injured by distracted or intoxicated drivers. Luckily, our Portland injury lawyers have your back no matter what.
Why Choose A Portland Bicycle Accident Lawyer From DuBois Law Group?
- DuBois Law Group is dedicated to securing maximum compensation on behalf of our clients. We have recovered millions of dollars in settlements and jury verdicts, including $50 million over a five-year period alone.
- We understand that financial hardship often accompanies a bicycle accident. Our firm charges a contingency fee for maximum affordability; if we do not secure an award in your case, you will not be charged legal fees.
- Our accident attorneys in Portland take on a limited number of cases at a time, which allows us to provide our clients with the dedication and personalized attention they deserve. You will always be able to speak with your attorney about your case.
What Are The Common Causes of Portland Bicycle Accidents In Portland?
Even though bicycles account for a small percentage of all types of vehicles, they make up a disproportionate amount of collisions on the road. Unfortunately, no matter how experienced a bicyclist is, he or she is always vulnerable. Accidents can be caused by motor vehicle drivers, other bicyclists, or even pedestrians. If you were walking and hit by a cyclist, call our pedestrian accident attorneys in Portland immediately.
Furthermore, some accidents are the result of dangerous road conditions or debris in the road. In our many years of experience representing bicycle accident victims, we have handled cases involving the following causes of bicycle accidents:
- Poor maintenance of bicycle paths and roads
- Motor Vehicle drivers driving too close to a bicyclist
- Distracted driving
- Reckless driving
- Operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
If you are a cyclist that was hit by a commercial truck while riding, please reach out to our Portland truck accident lawyers as soon as possible to review your case.
What Are Some Common Bike Accident Injuries?
Motor vehicles are significantly larger and heavier than the average bike. As a result, collisions between a cyclist and a driver often result in catastrophic injuries that require lengthy recovery times and extensive medical care and often require someone like a Portland brain injury lawyer to help. Some of the most common bicycle accident injuries include the following.
- Broken bones
- Facial injuries
- Permanent nerve damage
- Internal organ damage
- Back and neck injuries
- Spinal cord injuries and paralysis
- Severe abrasions, also known as road rash
Furthermore, in the unfortunate circumstance that there is a death involved as the result of a bicycle accident, reach out to our wrongful death attorneys in Portland as soon as possible.
Bicycle Accident Caused by Negligent Drivers
Negligent driving is a leading cause of bicycle accidents. Drivers are more distracted than ever, and the temptation to look down and check text messages is constant. In addition to technology distracting drivers, drivers can also become distracted by their passengers, their children, or animals who are in the car with them. Drivers can become extremely fatigued and unable to focus properly on the road in front of them. Bicyclists are much smaller than other motor vehicles, and it is easier for drivers to miss bicyclists.
Defective Bicycle Designs Can Cause Accidents
In other cases, defective bicycles or bicycle parts can cause accidents, which can be handled by our product liability attorneys in Portland. Typically, defective parts are most obvious when a bicycle is new. A bicyclist may be trying out a new bicycle for the first time when the brakes fail, and he or she collides with an oncoming vehicle. The bicyclist may have replaced a part in his or her bicycle that ultimately broke down and caused a collision.
When a defective bicycle causes an accident, the bicyclist can typically recover the cost of the bicycle through the warranty. However, to recover additional damages such as medical expenses, the bicyclist will need to pursue a product liability lawsuit against the bicycle manufacturer or manufacturer of the bicycle part that caused the accident.
What Compensation Can You Recover After a Bicycle Accident
After becoming injured in a bicycle accident, the first place to start is with insurance coverage. Suppose a motor vehicle driver was texting while driving and collided with you. In that case, you have a right to file a claim for compensation through the driver’s auto insurance policy. Oregon drivers are required to carry a minimum amount of auto insurance. Unfortunately, some drivers do not carry any car insurance while driving. In other cases, the driver’s insurance coverage may not be enough to cover all of your medical expenses and lost income.
When insurance coverage does not cover your injuries, you may need to file a lawsuit in an Oregon court with the help of one of our Portland injury attorneys. You will need to prove that the at-fault driver’s negligence caused your personal injuries. Successful personal injury plaintiffs are entitled to economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages include compensation for past and future medical expenses, compensation for past and future lost income due to your injuries, and other expenses directly related to your injuries.
Non-economic damages include damages for the pain and suffering you have undergone as a result of your injuries. When a defendant has acted egregiously, the court may impose additional punitive damages as a way to punish the defendant and warn other people from engaging in similar types of behavior.
The right bicycle accident lawyer can help with all of this.
Can You File an Insurance Claim After a Bicycle Accident?
Like most states, Oregon follows a fault-based system when it comes to car accidents. Under state insurance laws, all drivers must pay for the damages of their victims in any accident they cause. These victims include other drivers and their passengers, as well as pedestrians, motorcyclists, and cyclists. If you are injured by a negligent driver in a bicycle accident, you have the right to file an insurance claim or lawsuit against him or her.
Oregon law requires all drivers to carry the following minimum amounts of insurance to uphold their financial responsibilities.
- $25,000 for bodily injury or death of one person per accident
- $50,000 for total bodily injury or death liability per accident
- $20,000 for property damage per accident
- $15,000 in personal injury protection coverage per person
- Uninsured motorist coverage of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident
How Long Do You Have to File a Bike Accident Lawsuit in Oregon?
If you plan to file a personal injury lawsuit against an at-fault driver in your bicycle accident claim, it is important to act quickly. In Oregon, civil lawsuits are subject to rules known as statutes of limitations, which set filing deadlines on certain claims. If you do not file your case within the appropriate period, the court will likely dismiss your case.
You have two years from the date of your bicycle accident to file a lawsuit in Oregon civil court. There are certain exceptions to these rules; for example, if you were under the age of 18 at the time of the accident, you have until your 19th birthday or seven years after the original collision to file, whichever comes first. To identify your filing deadline and protect your right to recovery, speak to a lawyer at DuBois Law Group as soon as possible.
How Can You Prove a Portland Bicycle Accident Claim?
Since Oregon follows a fault-based system for collisions, you will need to prove that the other party was at fault to secure compensation in your injury claim. During the insurance process, a representative will conduct an investigation into the accident and review all pieces of relevant evidence. He or she will then determine how the accident occurred and who was at fault based on that evidence, issuing or denying an award after coming to a conclusion.
In a Portland bicycle accident lawsuit, however, proving fault requires a series of careful steps. You and your bicycle accident attorney will need to present enough evidence to establish the at-fault driver’s negligence, satisfying four key elements.
- Duty: The at-fault driver owed you a duty of care at the time of the accident. All drivers have a duty to follow the law and drive carefully.
- Breach of duty: The at-fault driver breached his or her duty of care through a negligent act or failure to act, such as speeding or running a red light.
- Causation: The breach of duty caused your accident and your injuries.
- Damages: You sustained damages in the accident that you can collect in your lawsuit.
You can use multiple pieces of evidence to prove these elements and establish your right to recoveries, such as medical records, witness testimony, traffic footage, and police reports. Your accident lawyer could also enlist the help of expert witnesses, such as accident reconstruction specialists and medical professionals, to provide evidence for complex areas of your case.
Should You Speak to the Insurance Company After a Bike Accident?
After your bicycle accident, a representative from the at-fault driver’s insurance company may contact you and ask for a statement. This representative may claim that providing a statement will quickly settle your case, allowing you to recover compensation quickly. However, you should not speak with the insurance company before consulting with a Portland bicycle accident attorney.
Insurance companies often want to protect their best interests, and it is not beneficial for the company to provide maximum compensation for each and every injury claim. In the early stages of your case, you may not have a clear picture of your damages and requirements for long-term care. As a result, any early settlement offer that you receive is not likely to meet your needs—and if you accept this offer, you could face financial hardship later on.
Additionally, providing a statement at this point in your case could harm you in the future. You may not know everything about your injuries or how the accident occurred. If you discover new information later but provide a conflicting statement to the insurance company, the representative can point to inconsistencies in your story. The representative could use this information to deny or reduce your award.
To protect your right to recovery, speak to a Portland bicycle accident lawyer before speaking with the insurance company. Your attorney can handle all negotiations and discussions with the company on your behalf. If you do need to provide a statement, your lawyer can provide valuable tips to help you avoid difficult situations in the future.
We Provide Skilled Legal Representation in Portland Bicycle Accident Cases
At DuBois Law Group, we work with our clients and financial experts to calculate an accurate amount of the full damages caused by their bicycle accidents. We negotiate assertively during the pretrial process to seek a settlement agreement covering all of our client’s damages. When a settlement agreement cannot be reached, we proceed to trial. We use our extensive trial skills to advocate for a client in the courtroom.
Contact an Experienced Portland Bicycle Accident Lawyer
Have you become injured in a Portland bicycle accident? If so, you may be entitled to compensation for your troubles. Under Oregon law, when a negligent driver collides with a bicyclist, the driver is financially responsible for the injuries he or she causes. You may have a right to file a claim for compensation through the at-fault driver’s insurance policy, or you may be entitled to compensation through a personal injury lawsuit.
We will thoroughly investigate your claim and advise you as to your best legal option. Contact us today to schedule your initial consultation to learn how we can help you pursue the compensation you deserve.