The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that bicyclists face a higher risk of injury and death due to accidents than the occupants of motor vehicles do. When cars, trucks, bicyclists, and pedestrians all have to share the road, their differing sizes, speeds, and weights can create dangerous conditions that result in many serious injuries.
If you suffered an injury or your loved one died in a bicycle accident in Portland, Oregon, that was caused by someone else’s carelessness, you could be entitled to receive compensation for your suffering. A Portland bicycle accident lawyer at Ben Crump Law, PLLC, may be able to help you. To schedule a consultation and learn about how we can assist you, call our team at (800) 761-5225.
Bicycle Laws and Accidents
The majority of bicycle accidents do not involve other vehicles and are the result of falls or road conditions. However, accidents involving bicycles and cars are not uncommon. Under Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS) §814.400, bicycles are considered vehicles, and all traffic laws also apply to bicycles. The City of Portland also supplies a list of specific bicycle-related laws.
The most common causes of bicycle-car accidents include:
- Right of way issues: Bicycle-car accidents most commonly occur in intersections. In most situations, cars need to cede the right of way to bicyclists. If there is a traffic signal, both cars and bicycles need to obey the traffic signal.
- Lane changes: Another common cause of bicycle accidents is weaving through traffic when careless drivers and bicyclists change lanes without first checking that they are clear.
- Inattentive or distracted driving: Car drivers can cause bicycle accidents by not paying enough attention to notice them on the road. If a driver is texting, talking on the phone, eating, or engaging in other distracted driving behaviors, it is more likely that they will not notice bicyclists near them and may cause an accident.
- Following too closely: When drivers fail to leave enough space between themselves and bicyclists, they create a dangerous situation where they are likely to crash into a bicyclist, especially if the bicyclist turns or slows suddenly.
- Speeding: When car drivers exceed speed limits, they may not have enough time to stop or slow down for the safety of bicyclists and others around them. Although they do not travel as fast as cars do, bicyclists can also cause accidents by going faster than they should.
- Driveways, sidewalks, and parking lots: Bicycle accidents often occur in these locations because they offer less room to maneuver than a road. If a bicyclist is traveling on a sidewalk or across a driveway and a car driver fails to notice, the car driver may turn into the driveway at the same time and strike the bicycle. Parking lots are also notorious for accidents because of poor visibility, high traffic, and frequent driving in reverse.
For a free legal consultation with a bicycle accidents lawyer serving Portland, call (800) 761-5225
How to Seek Compensation for a Bicycle Accident
Many accidents involving cars and bicycles are the fault of the car driver, but bicyclists can also cause accidents. Regardless of whether you were on the bicycle or in the car, if you did not cause the accident, you are entitled to compensation for your losses.
The first route you should take is to try to seek compensation through insurance. Oregon is a fault state, so the at-fault driver’s insurance provider should reimburse you for property damage and medical bills. In some instances, a bicyclist’s car insurance will apply.
Navigating the insurance system can be complicated and frustrating, especially since insurance companies can try to deny claims or settle for as little as possible, but a bicycle accident lawyer can determine what your and the other person’s insurance providers are responsible for and negotiate with them for you.
Besides an insurance claim, you may also be able to recover compensation for your accident and related losses by filing a personal injury lawsuit. If your family member died in the accident, you could pursue a wrongful death lawsuit. Your case will depend on your ability to prove who is at fault for the accident.
The team at Ben Crump Law, PLLC, is here to help you with your bicycle accident. Our Portland bicycle accident lawyer can investigate the crash, gather evidence of liability, and present this evidence to insurance adjusters or the court to pursue fair compensation on your behalf. We can navigate the tedious claims process so you can focus on recovering from the accident.
Portland Bicycle Accident Lawyer Near Me (800) 761-5225
Recoverable Damages and Statutes of Limitations
When another person causes you to suffer through their negligence, you have a legal right to pursue compensation for your losses or damages. The types of awards you could be able to recover for a bicycle accident that was not your fault include both economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages refer to out-of-pocket expenses of the accident, such as medical bills, lost income, loss of the ability to gain income, funeral expenses, and other direct costs. Non-economic damages refer to your losses that are more difficult to quantify but just as real, such as physical pain and suffering, emotional anguish, and the loss of enjoyment of life.
Your ability to recover these damages, however, may be affected by Oregon’s statutes of limitations for civil lawsuits, which are time limits placed on your right to pursue legal action. For a personal injury lawsuit, you have two years from the date of the accident. You must file a wrongful death lawsuit within three years, and for a property damage case, you have six years.
In most cases, you will lose your right to recover damages if you miss these deadlines. However, there are exceptions to statutes of limitations, so you can always consult a bicycle accident lawyer to be sure you know what your legal options are.
At Ben Crump Law, PLLC, we offer a free consultation. We can listen to your circumstances, inform you of the ways you could recover compensation, and advise you of the best course of action. If you let us take on your case, we will handle all of the investigation, documentation, communication, and negotiation, so you can concentrate on healing. We will never charge you anything unless we can obtain a settlement for you because we work on contingency.
Schedule your no-obligation consultation any time by calling (800) 761-5225. Our Portland bicycle accident lawyer and the rest of our team at Ben Crump Law, PLLC is devoted to helping injured victims receive the justice they deserve.