Motorcycle Accident Attorney Portland
Motorcycles are an excellent means of personal transportation, and they’re fun to ride but to call them a safe mode of travel would be to ignore the facts. Larger vehicles frequently strike motorcycles, and the rider invariably sustains the most significant degree of injury.
If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident due to the negligence of another, you should receive compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering. Pro Accident Lawyers will represent you on a contingency basis. We will assign an experienced motorcycle accident attorney to your case who will represent you for free until your case settles or you receive a court award.
Call today for a free consultation.
Motorcycle Accident Facts
According to the Oregon DMV, there were 786 crashes involving motorcycles in 2020. There were 853 riders, presumably due to double riding. These accidents resulted in 680 injuries and 67 deaths, making motorcycles one of Oregon’s most dangerous modes of transportation.
With a motorcycle’s average weight of 300 lbs to 500 lbs, the average car is 8 to 12 times as heavy. Additionally, many motorcycles can travel at speeds in excess of 200 mph, which means that there is potentially a tremendous amount of energy involved in a motorcycle accident. These are among the reasons motorcycle accidents tend to be so dangerous for riders.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
There are many reasons that motorcycle accidents occur. In some instances, it is largely the fault of the operator. However, negligence on the part of other parties is a frequent cause of motorcycle accidents.
Many drivers have adopted the dangerous habit of texting or engaging with their phones while driving. While this is a danger to all other motorists, motorcycles prevent a smaller profile, so they are much less likely to be noticed.
Alcohol impairs judgment and vision. Drunk drivers are much less likely to notice motorcyclists due to their impairment.
When a motorcyclist is in the blind spot of a driver, they are vulnerable to being sideswiped by the other vehicle.
Holes in the roadway, debris, and uneven gradients can all cause a motorcycle accident. In these cases, government entities are usually responsible.
Running red lights or stop signs or just entering the roadway without yielding the right of way to an oncoming motorcyclist can result in a motorcycle accident.
Whether one of the above hazards caused your accident or there was some other negligence at play, an Oregon motorcycle accident attorney will review your case for free. If they determine that another party is liable, they will represent you for free.
Motorcycle Accident Injuries
The following types of injuries are common in motorcycle accidents:
- Road rash and other abrasions
- Broken bones
- Severed limbs
- Concussions and other TBIs
- Spinal injuries
- Neck injuries
- Wrongful death
What to Know About Proving Liability for a Motorcycle Crash in Portland, Oregon
Not every motorcycle accident injury claim is actionable. During your free consultation, an Oregon motorcycle accident lawyer will review the viability of your claim. If they determine that it meets the following four elements, they can begin immediately representing you in your pursuit of compensation.
1. Duty of Care
The first step is to prove that the at-fault party had a duty of care for the victim. Every driver operating on the road has a duty of care to other drivers and riders.
2. Breach of Duty
A motorcycle accident lawyer will examine the facts of the case to determine whether the defendant breached their duty of care. An example of a breach of duty would be a commercial truck driver changing lanes without clearing their blind spot.
A motorcycle accident attorney must be able to prove that the actions of the defendant somehow contributed to the crash.
Finally, lawyers must be able to prove that motorcycle accident victims suffered damages. Damages can include doctor bills, lost wages from missing work, damage to the motorcycle and helmet, and pain and suffering.
Safety Tips for Motorcyclists
The following tips apply to both the safe operation of a motorcycle and how to ensure your safety after a motorcycle accident. This is not legal advice. For free legal advice contact a Portland motorcycle accident lawyer from our firm today.
- Stay out of vehicle blind spots, particularly when it comes to semi-trucks.
- Wear a helmet. It’s the law and Oregon and not wearing one can adversely affect your claim.
- Avoid driving between cars in lanes of traffic.
- Pay particular attention to cars approaching intersections or leaving parking lots.
If you are involved in a motorcycle accident:
- Move from the roadway if your injuries allow.
- Call 911. Allow EMTs to examine you even if you feel fine.
- Take pictures of the accident scene.
- Contact a Portland motorcycle accident lawyer before you accept a settlement from the insurance company.
It’s important to understand why the insurance company will want to settle your claim quickly. Adjusters know that once an Oregon motorcycle accident attorney is involved in your case, their ability to settle for a relatively lower amount is severely diminished. If you accept their settlement, they will require you to sign a waiver of liability, which means that you won’t be able to receive additional compensation if your injuries are worse than you anticipated.
The Pro Accident Lawyers will review your settlement offer for free. However, you’re under no obligation to use our legal services if you still want to accept the initial offer.
Oregon Legal Concepts for Motorcycle Accident Victims
The following legal concepts could affect your Oregon motorcycle accident claim.
There are no damage caps for compensatory damages in Oregon. Your damages will be based on your economic expenses and the degree of your injuries. If the court decides to award punitive damages, however, the state will receive a portion.
Modified Comparative Negligence
Oregon operates on a modified comparative negligence principle. This means you can still receive a portion of the damages even if you were partially at fault as long as your share of negligence is less than 50%.
For example, if you were struck by another driver who illegally entered your lane, but you were also speeding, the court may decide that you were 30% responsible for your injuries. So, if your damages were $1 million, you would be entitled to collect $700,000. Your liability reduces your compensation. On the other hand, if you are 51% responsible for the accident, you can’t collect damages.
Statute of Limitations
Oregon’s statute of limitations is two years from the date of the motorcycle accident. If the motorcycle accident resulted in the wrongful death of one of the parties, the statute of limitations is three years from the date of the most recent injury.
This may seem like a long time, but in order to develop an effective case, your attorney will need time to gather evidence, depose witnesses, calculate damages, etc. Therefore, it’s in your interest to move quickly.
Motorcycle Accident FAQs
These are some of the most commonly asked motorcycle accident injury questions our attorneys hear from clients. For answers to your questions, contact the Pro Accident Lawyers for a free consultation.
Do I need a motorcycle accident attorney?
You do not need a motorcycle accident to file a claim or even to settle a claim, but hiring an attorney is to your benefit. The attorneys who represent insurance companies are extremely knowledgeable of Oregon civil law, but their obligation is to the insurance company. They will argue that a fair settlement provides money for your economic expenses but may not consider your pain and suffering.
An accident attorney who works for you will calculate all of the damages that you’re entitled to under the law and prepare a demand letter for the insurance company. They will then negotiate on your behalf. If the insurance company will not agree to a fair settlement, your accident lawyer can litigate the case through the courts.
What if I wasn’t wearing a helmet at the time of the crash?
This can present a problem, but you may still be able to recover damages — especially if your injuries didn’t involve your head. In all likelihood, your settlement may be reduced, but you will still be able to recover some compensation.
What if I’m 100% at fault for my motorcycle accident?
You will not be able to recover damages from another party, but your personal injury protection policy (PIP) should cover some of your medical expenses. Oregon requires a minimum of $15,000 in coverage.
Portland Motorcycle Accident Attorney
If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident due to the negligence of another, you are entitled to damages. The Pro Accident Lawyers can help you receive compensation for your medical bills, lost income, property damage, pain and suffering, and more. We represent motorcycle accident victims on a contingency basis. You will not have to pay out of pocket for our professional legal advice. Call today.