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
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 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 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.
Past Oregon Motorcycle Injury Accident Case Examples
Motorcycle Accident Case Example #1: Left Turn Collision
M.D. and his girlfriend were riding their motorcycle in NE Portland when a car driving the opposite direction took a left turn in front of them without looking. The motorcycle hit the rear door of the car, and M.D. went flying off the motorcycle and the motorcycle was completely totaled. In addition to soft tissue injuries, M.D. suffered several tears in his knee, including the meniscus and ligament. He required surgery to have these tears repaired, as well as extensive physical therapy. This case settled for $100,000, before trial.
Motorcycle Accident Case Example #2: T-Boned by Fellow Biker
Bernie was riding his motorcycle when his friend, also on a motorcycle, t-boned him as he began to turn left, breaking his leg. Although the two were friends, Bernie realized that his extensive injuries, and the work he missed as a self-employed carpenter, required him to seek legal representation. Bernie did not have health insurance, but our attorneys made the other motorcycle rider’s insurance pay for all the medical treatment that Bernie needed. Bernie was very happy with his settlement amount. This case settled for a confidential amount.
View all our past Oregon Motorcycle Injury Accident Case examples here.
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.