Portland injury attorney

Portland Motorcycle Accident Attorney

It’s perfectly normal to have a lot of questions after being injured in a motorcycle crash. Don’t let being uninformed scare you away from getting the answers you deserve.

At DuBois Law Group, our Portland motorcycle accident attorneys are dedicated to protecting the rights of people personally injured or killed by another’s carelessness. To find out more about how we can help, contact us for a free consultation. Call (503)-486-3618.

Liability, or legal responsibility and obligation under the law, for acts of carelessness that relate to a motorcycle accident in Oregon is complicated. A motorcyclist who is injured in an accident caused by another driver’s carelessness has a right to pursue money from the responsible driver, and an injury lawyer in Portland can help.

Your insurance company might offer you a deal that seems fine, but there’s a good chance you could be entitled to additional money for medical expenses, property damage, pain and suffering, and lost wages. Even if you were partly responsible for a motorcycle accident, there is a chance of getting money from others who caused the collision.

Why Choose Us

  • Our Portland motorcycle accident attorneys have recovered millions of dollars in settlements and jury verdicts. We will work diligently to find your optimal path to maximum compensation.
  • We take a proactive role in our clients’ health through our separate medical department. Our firm can connect you with the healthcare resources and support you need, even offering recommendations for specialists.
  • Our firm combines the power and resources of a large firm with the care and personalized attention of a small firm. We take on a limited number of cases at a time, allowing our attorneys to provide your case with the dedication it deserves.

Oregon Motorcycle Accident Injury Statistics

Portland motorcycle accident lawyer

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, helmets are calculated to be 37 percent effective in preventing fatal injuries to motorcyclists and 41 percent for motorcycle passengers. Under Oregon law, anyone riding a motorcycle, including the motorcyclist and passenger, must wear a helmet. All motorcycle helmets sold in the United States are required to meet Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 218. Approximately 1,829 motorcyclists’ lives were saved by helmets in 2008. The NHTSA estimates that 823 more lives could have been saved if all motorcyclists had used helmets. However, depending on the severity of an accident, even when wearing a helmet a motorcyclist or passenger can still suffer serious injury or death.

In 2007 motorcyclists were 37 times more likely than people in cars to die in an accident. Motorcycles obviously offer less protection than cars. The fatality rate for motorcyclists is far higher than the fatality rate for passenger car occupants.

A motorcyclist can improve their abilities by taking a motorcycle safety program, which usually offers training for beginning, intermediate, and experienced motorcycle riders. However, even the most experienced motorcyclist can only do so much to avoid a motorcycle accident caused by distracted driving, drunk driving, dangerous roadways, or defective vehicles.

Common Causes of Oregon Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycle accidents are unfortunately common throughout the United States, including Oregon. According to data collected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 78 motorcyclists died in Oregon collisions during 2018 alone. These collisions may occur due to several factors, including defective motorcycle or automobile parts, dangerous weather conditions, and road defects, such as potholes.

However, many motorcycle accidents occur due to the negligence of other drivers. Some of the most common causes of Oregon motorcycle collisions include the following.

  • Running a red light or a stop sign
  • Failure to yield the right of way
  • Distracted or inattentive driving
  • Driving over the posted speed limit
  • Drowsy or fatigued driving
  • Cutting off a motorcyclist without warning
  • Failure to check blind spots before turning or changing lanes
  • Following too closely behind a motorcycle, also known as tailgating
  • Reckless or aggressive driving behaviors
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs

Injuries Sustained in Motorcycle Collisions

Motorcycle accident lawyer Portland

Motorcycle accidents often result in very serious, sometimes fatal injuries. Motorcyclists lack the same protections as a driver inside of an enclosed passenger car. The size and weight difference between a motorcycle and a car can lead to intense impact and devastating damage. Some of the most common injuries sustained by motorcyclists include the following.

  • Traumatic brain injury: A motorcyclist may hit his or her head or have an object penetrate his or her skull, leading to severe brain damage. Brain injuries can be life-threatening and often result in permanent cognitive disabilities. Wearing a helmet can help reduce the risk of very serious brain trauma.
  • Broken bones: The impact of a motorcycle accident can lead to broken bones and fractures, which often require mobility equipment and months of recovery. Common broken bones in these collisions include arms, legs, hips, ribs, feet, hands, and facial bones.
  • Spinal cord injury and paralysis: The spinal cord is responsible for transmitting messages between the brain and the rest of the body. During a motorcycle collision, the vertebrae in the spinal cord can sustain permanent damage, leading to a loss of movement and sensation below the injury site.
  • Road rash: A motorcyclist can be thrown from his or her vehicle during a collision and skid across the road. As a result, he or she can develop serious, painful abrasions known as road rash.
  • Burn injuries and scarring: Some motorcycle collisions result in explosions or fires. Some motorcyclists may develop severe burn injuries that leave permanent scars and, in serious cases, nerve and tissue damage.
  • Whiplash: During a collision, the ligaments, muscles, and tendons in the neck and upper back can twist and jerk in unusual ways. As a result, motorcyclists can develop a painful soft tissue injury known as whiplash, which can require months of recovery time.

How to Prove a Motorcycle Accident Claim in Portland

Portland motorcycle accident attorney

Portland is a fault car accident state, meaning that negligent drivers are required to pay for the damages of any victims involved in collisions they cause. These victims may include other drivers, their passengers, pedestrians, and motorcyclists. If you are injured in a collision with a negligent driver, you could hold him or her accountable through a lawsuit or insurance claim.

To secure compensation in these claims, you will need to provide enough evidence to show that the at-fault driver caused your accident. During the insurance process, for example, you will need to provide documents such as medical records, police reports, and witness testimonies to the representative assigned to investigate your case. The representative will use this evidence to determine how the accident occurred and whether or not the policyholder is liable for your losses.

Proving negligence during an Oregon motorcycle accident lawsuit involves a stringent series of steps. You will need to supply enough evidence to support four key elements.

  • Duty: The at-fault driver owed you a duty of care at the time of the collision. This element is relatively simple to prove because all drivers have a duty to operate their vehicles safely and follow Oregon traffic laws.
  • Breach of duty: The at-fault driver breached his or her duty of care through a negligent act or failure to act. For example, a drunk driver breaches his or her duty because intoxicated driving is against the law. Running a red light is also a breach of duty. Police reports, witness testimony, and surveillance footage can establish a breach.
  • Causation: The at-fault driver’s breach of duty directly caused your accident. You can use many pieces of evidence to establish causation, including medical records, witness reports, and testimony from expert witnesses such as accident reconstruction specialists or medical professionals.
  • Damages: You sustained damages in the collision that you can collect in your lawsuit. Common damages in Oregon motorcycle accident claims include medical expenses, vehicle repairs, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Although you may be able to establish these elements, it is important to know that Portland motorcyclists are often subject to unfair scrutiny during the claims process. The insurance company may claim that you are partially responsible for the collision, leading to a reduced or denied award. In a lawsuit, the court may accept these accusations of fault and apply Oregon’s modified comparative negligence rules to your case. As a result, the court may reduce your award by the percentage of liability you allegedly share.

In these situations, it is important to have a Portland motorcycle accident lawyer on your side who can defend you against these accusations and develop a compelling case for your right to maximum recovery.

What to Do After a Motorcycle Accident In Portland 

The aftermath of a motorcycle accident can be traumatic. It can be difficult to know what to do in these situations; however, the steps that you take could have a major impact on your ability to recover compensation. After your collision, it is important to call the police, seek medical attention, and contact a lawyer as soon as possible

Call the Police

The very first step that you should take after a motorcycle accident is to call 911. This will bring law enforcement and emergency medical services to the scene of the collision. The responding police officers will evaluate the scene and create a report.

The police report will serve as a critical piece of evidence in your motorcycle accident claim. It will contain important information about the crash, including the date and time of the collision, the names of the parties involved, and how the officers believed that the accident occurred. 

If you can, speak to the responding officer and give your side of the story about the collision. Ask for his or her name and badge number so that you can find the report at a later time.

Seek Medical Care

Next, seek medical care as soon as possible. Go to the hospital and save all records related to your treatment. These documents will help establish the fact that you suffered injuries in the crash, as well as the nature and extent of the harm you suffered.

You should always go to the doctor after a motorcycle accident, even if you do not feel injured. Some injuries, like brain trauma or internal organ damage, are not immediately obvious. You may not show any symptoms at first, but your condition can worsen as time passes.  To prevent dangerous complications, go to the hospital immediately.

Take Photographs and Videos of the Scene

If you can move around the accident scene without putting yourself at risk, document as much evidence as possible. Photographs and videos can go a long way in proving essential facts about the accident, such as whether the driver braked before impact, the location of the collision, and the extent of your visible injuries.

While taking photos or videos, make sure to capture the following:

  • Damage to your motorcycle
  • Damage to the driver’s car
  • Any visible cuts, bruises, or injuries
  • Debris and skid marks in the area
  • A wide-angle view of the accident
  • Any traffic signs or signals in the area

Collect Information from the At-Fault Party and Witnesses

To file a motorcycle accident claim, you will need to identify the other party or parties involved in the collision. Approach the at-fault party if you can and ask for his or her name, contact details, and license and insurance information. Do not say anything about the collision or your injuries to the other party.

If anyone else saw the accident, their testimonies can help establish important information about the crash and the other party’s liability. Approach any witnesses in the area and ask if you can have their contact details as well. 

Contact a Portland Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

After you receive medical care for your injuries, contact a lawyer who can represent your motorcycle accident claim. Motorcyclists can face significant scrutiny during the claims process, so it is critical to have legal representation when pursuing litigation. An attorney can guide you through each stage of your case and build a compelling case for your right to recovery.

Portland Motorcycle Safety Tips

Riding a motorcycle can be an exhilarating experience, but this activity can also be very dangerous. Every year, thousands of people die or suffer serious injuries in motorcycle crashes. Due to this high risk, motorcyclists need to take steps to protect themselves and other people on the road.

Motorcyclists can enjoy the road safely by following a few critical tips. Above all, it is important to wear the right gear, avoid inclement weather conditions, and inspect the motorcycle regularly to ensure safety.

Purchase the Right Safety Gear

Motorcycle gear, like helmets, goggles, boots, and gloves, helps protect motorcyclists from the elements and can reduce the risk of injury. In particular, helmets can reduce the risk of severe brain damage during a crash. To protect yourself, always wear appropriate motorcycle gear every time you ride.

Increase Your Visibility

Many drivers claim that they do not see the motorcyclists that they hit. You can increase your visibility by wearing reflective or bright clothing and driving with your headlights on. Always use your turn signals and avoid driving in the blind spots of other vehicles.

Check the Weather Before Your Ride

Inclement weather conditions can be extremely dangerous for motorcyclists. Unlike larger motor vehicles, motorcyclists lack the protections necessary to protect themselves from snow, ice, or rain, which can increase your chances of an accident. Before your ride, check the weather and avoid driving in rainy, icy, or snowy conditions.

Keep Your Motorcycle in Safe Conditions

You should inspect your motorcycle regularly to ensure that it is in safe working condition. Check your brakes, fuel, oil, turn signals, tire pressure, and lights; if you notice any potential hazards, take your bike for repairs as soon as possible. 

Always Obey the Rules of the Road

It is always important to follow traffic signs and signals when riding a motorcycle. By obeying the rules of the road, you can significantly reduce the risk of an accident. Use your turn signals, follow the posted speed limit, and always obey stop signs and traffic lights.

Comparative Fault in a Motorcycle Accident Claim

In a motorcycle accident case, it is very common for an at-fault driver to blame the motorcyclist. The driver may claim that the motorcyclist failed to obey traffic laws or was riding recklessly. If the court believes the at-fault driver’s claim, Oregon’s comparative fault laws will apply to the case and the settlement may be reduced.

Under Oregon’s modified comparative negligence statute, the court will reduce the plaintiff’s award by the percentage of fault that he or she shares. If the plaintiff’s share of the fault exceeds that of the defendant, he or she would not be eligible to recover any compensation at all.

For example, say that a motorcyclist is hit when a driver makes an unsafe lane change. However, the court discovers that the motorcyclist was lane-splitting at the time of the accident, which is illegal in Oregon. The court then assigns 40% of the fault to the motorcyclist, and his or her award will be reduced from $100,000 to $60,000.

If you are facing accusations of comparative fault, you need an attorney on your side who can protect your rights. At DuBois Law Group, our firm can gather evidence to prove the defendant’s liability and will advocate aggressively for your full recovery.

Contact A Portland Motorcycle Accident Lawyer At DuBois Law Group

Are you the victim of a motorcycle accident? Depending on the circumstances surrounding your crash, you may be eligible for financial compensation. In these situations, the Portland motorcycle accident attorneys at DuBois Law Group can help you secure the damages you need to recover. Contact us today on our website or call us at (503) 222-4411 to schedule a free, no obligation case consultation and discuss your path forward.