Portland Oregon Motorcycle Accident Attorney
Dwyer Williams Cherkoss Attorneys, PC
Unlike car drivers, motorcycle riders are not protected by air bags, seat belts, and strong metal barriers.
This leaves them particularly vulnerable to serious injuries in the event of an accident. Another risk for bike riders is that motorists can easily miss smaller vehicles like motorcycles on the road.
For these reasons, motorcyclists in Portland, OR are more prone to getting injured or killed in a road accident, as compared to someone in a car. In fact, motorcycle riders are 5 times more likely to be injured than a car driver or passenger and 26 times more likely to die in a car crash, as per a report from NHTSA.
To worsen matters for the victims, there is a preconceived image of motorcyclists to be rule-breakers or rebels. More often than not, as a motorcyclist, your own insurance company will doubt that you weren’t to blame for an accident.
The motivated and judicious motorcycle attorneys at Dwyer Williams Cherkoss in Portland, Oregon understand that insurance companies tend to blame the bikers and may make it hard for them to recover damages following a personal injury.
If you have suffered injuries in a Portland motorcycle crash, then you need a team of qualified and experienced accident attorneys to fight for your rights and recover your rightful damages.
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Gathering Evidence Following a Car Accident
- Biggest Mistakes to Avoid After a Car Accident
- Obstacles to Settling an Oregon Car Accident Injury Case
- Car Collision Injuries and Types of Financial Compensation
- Your Rights in a Car Accident Claim
- What To Do When The Adjuster Won’t Return Your Calls After An Accident
- Delayed Symptoms After A Car Accident
- Total Loss & Car Insurance
Steps to Take if You or a Loved One Has Been in a Motorcycle Accident in Portland
It is important to gather as much information as possible if you or your loved one has been injured in a Portland motorcycle accident. If another driver is involved, get their names and numbers. Look for witnesses and get their details as well.
Take photos of everything that you feel might be relevant to your case and be sure to make an official report by contacting the police. Insurance companies are likely to try and place the blame of the accident on you because you were riding a motorbike.
An official police report can help in such situations. And of course, before anything else, call 911 immediately and get medical help if you or someone else has been injured.
It is vital that you do not give a recorded statement to an insurance company, not even your own, without first enlisting the support of a personal injury attorney. You have the right to be represented by an attorney while contacting insurance companies.
Skilled Portland motorcycle accident attorneys at Dwyer Williams Cherkoss will protect your rights and negotiate appropriately with the insurers to get you the maximum claim for your injuries.
Injured in an Accident? Get a Free Case Evaluation Today!
Injured in an Accident? Get a Free Case Evaluation Today!
How are Portland, Oregon Motorcycle Injuries Different from Other Auto Accidents?
The allure of riding a motorcycle is the immense sense of freedom and joy it provides when it is just you and the road. Unfortunately, this is also one of the reasons why motorcycle accidents come with a greater risk of injuries and death.
Even if you are a highly experienced and careful bike rider, you cannot help if you are hit by a distracted, reckless, or drunk car driver in Portland, OR.
With just 8.4 million motorbikes on the road, motorcycle deaths accounted for as many as 13 percent of crash deaths in all kinds of vehicles. While cars and trucks have an increasing number of safety features, motorcycle riders only have helmets and clothing to fall back upon for protection from the road.
During a collision with a bigger vehicle, it is the two-wheeled motorcycle that is more susceptible to losing control. Motorcycle accidents typically result in severe head and neck injuries since the rider or the passenger are often thrown off the vehicle with great force upon impact.
Common Causes of Portland Motorcycle Accidents
Driver intention or error is the major cause of motorcycle accident in Portland, like with any other vehicle accident. However, the results are more severe and tragic.
Being small-sized vehicles, bikes are harder to see than cars or trucks on the road. As per government figures, in almost 42% of two-vehicle fatal crashes, the other vehicle was making a left turn while the motorcycle was passing or going straight.
Seventy-eight percent of motorcycles involved in a two-vehicle crash were struck in the front.
Car Driver’s Distraction is a Leading Cause of Motorcycle Collisions in Portland
Drivers often claim they did not or could not see the motorcycle, when in reality they might not have been paying attention to the road. Often drivers are distracted by a navigation screen or a cell phone and fail to pay attention to other vehicles using the road.
Collisions are bound to occur when automobile drivers fail to check their blind spot before changing lanes, or when a driver fails to yield the right of way to motorcyclists. Crashes frequently happen when vehicle drivers enter an intersection, right into the path of an oncoming motorcycle.
In Oregon, laws that apply to car crashes apply to motorcycle collisions as well. For instance, the statute of limitations for an injured rider to file a lawsuit to recover damages is two years from the collision.
The laws that apply to vehicle drivers regarding damages, insurance coverage and rules about fault also apply to motorcycle riders.
Motorcycle accident lawsuits require detailed analysis of the crash to understand how a collision happened and how it led to an injury or death. Attorneys have the experience to hire the right medical experts and crash scene investigators who can reconstruct the collision site to identify the person(s) at fault.
Who is Liable for Damages?
The at-fault driver or their insurance company is responsible for damages in a Portland motorcycle accident. However, you are required to establish the proof of fault. Expert investigators at Dwyer Williams Cherkoss have the knowledge and experience to build a strong case for compensatory damages for you.
If you are less than 50% at fault in a Portland motorcycle accident, under Oregon law, then you have the right to recover the following damages in proportion to the other party’s fault:
- Lost wages
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Repairs to your motorcycle
How Does Collision Investigation and Reconstruction Work?
Police departments assign their investigation to officers with reconstruction training, since motorcycle riders are often killed or grievously injured. However, these officers have limited time and resources.
It is important that their crash analysis is reviewed by experts with better abilities and time. If need be, experts should be allowed to review and conduct a more thorough assessment.
Retired police officers, engineers, and ACTAR certified Reconstructionist, hired by an experienced law firm such as Dwyer Williams Cherkoss in Portland, OR can successfully recreate the original accident scene and uncover details about speeds and distances.
What are the Insurance Coverage Benefits for Motorcycle Riders in Portland, OR?
The same principles that apply to other vehicle crashes, apply to insurance claims and coverage in motorcycle collisions in Portland as well, with the following key differences:
- Bodily Injury Claim
Motorcycle crash victims often have large medical expenses and are unable to work for a long time because the nature of their accidents almost always result in serious or catastrophic injuries.
It is possible that the responsible party does not have enough insurance coverage to pay for your losses, including medical bills, injuries, and disability.
An accomplished Portland motorcycle accident attorney will ensure that all possible insurance coverage is identified and that the at-fault driver’s personal assets are investigated. Attorneys can also sometimes negotiate with medical providers to reduce large outstanding medical bills for the victim.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Claim
PIP coverage is not a part of the insurance policy, unless a motorcyclist expressly requests for it. The problem is that most motorcycle riders are not aware of this clause since it is only written in automobile policies. Bikers learn about not having PIP coverage for the first time when they are seriously injured.
Portland motorcyclists without PIP coverage will have to rely on their health insurance to pay for medical expenses. In addition, motorcyclists do not have the same advantage as pedestrians and bicyclists to acquire benefits from an at-fault carrier’s PIP coverage.
An experienced motorcycle crash attorney in Portland, Oregon is in the best position to recover damages for the motorcycle accident victims who do not have adequate health insurance and PIP coverage.
Lawyers can play a key role in negotiating liens and subrogation interests asserted by health insurance companies wanting to take a share of recovery claimed by the insured motorcyclists.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) Coverage
Oregon’s recent law, SB411, which came into effect January 1st, 2016, is designed to help seriously injured motorcyclists ‘stack’ their UIM coverage on top of the at-fault driver’s coverage.
FAQs for Motorbike Accidents in Portland, Oregon
As long as the other driver is responsible for the crash, you may still sue for damages. You can recover your medical expenses and repairs for your motorcycle even if you were not wearing a helmet.
We encourage you to get in touch with a qualified motorcycle accident attorney in Portland if you are injured in a one-vehicle accident.
There may be multiple reasons for your crash, including malfunctioning traffic lights, road defects leading to potholes or pooled water, unsafe road design, or tree-covered stop signs. Damage recovery from third parties may be possible in such cases.
It is almost certain that you are neither the cause or at fault for the accident, since you were a passenger on the motorcycle at the time of the accident. Hence, you have every legal right to file a personal injury claim for damages.
If both the driver and passenger were injured in a motorcycle crash, then they have separate cases. Both you and the passenger can make a legal claim for damages in Portland, if another driver is at fault, as long as they are made separately.
It is possible for the same attorney to represent the driver and passenger. You should take the first step in protecting both your interests by calling an experienced Portland motorcycle accident lawyer.
In general, the law in Portland, OR states that you have two years to file a claim for personal injury after a motorcycle accident. However, in some cases, the statute of limitations may be shorter, especially if you are filing a claim against a government entity or municipality.
There are a number of reasons (such as loss of evidence or witnesses becoming untraceable) why you should file your Portland motorcycle injury claim as soon as possible. In addition, the earlier you enlist the services of a qualified lawyer, the earlier you will able to get the right kind of medical treatment you require.
By law you are required to file an Oregon Traffic Accident and Insurance Report Form within 72 hours if you are involved in a motorcycle accident in Oregon when:
- the damage to the motorcycle you were driving exceeds $1,500, or
- the damage to any vehicle involved in the accident is over $1,500 and the vehicle had to be towed from the accident scene as a result of the damages sustained due to the accident, or
- if any of the vehicle occupants or passengers suffered injury or death as a result of the accident, or
- damage to any person’s property due to the accident is in excess of $1,500
You are required to file an Accident Report under these criteria as per Oregon law, even if you are the only one involved in the accident. You must file the Oregon Traffic Accident and Insurance Report Form with the Oregon DMV even if a police officer who was at the scene of your accident filed a crash report.
Minimum insurance coverage for Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability in Oregon includes:
- $25,000 per person
- $50,000 per accident for bodily injury to others
- $20,000 per accident for damage to other’s property
- $25,000 per person and $50,000 per crash of Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Motorcycle accidents are unique and must not be compared with a typical car or trucking accident. First, you would be considered at fault by your own insurance company. Second, your injuries might undoubtedly be exacerbated, with traumatic head and neck injuries.
It is an astute idea to engage the services of a reputable Portland law firm with attorneys who are compassionate, empathetic, and fully prepared to negotiate or fight the legal battle on your behalf. Here’s what you need to look for while choosing the right law firm to handle your motorcycle accident claim:
- Specialty in motorcycle accident litigation
- Trustworthy experience
- Satisfied clients
- Fair fee structure
Get in Touch with a Competent Portland Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
An attorney with a proven track record who is knowledgeable and understands the intricacies of motorcycle accident laws in Oregon – from the state regulations for filing a claim to educating victims of their rights can be your best choice for a successful motorcycle accident claim.
Dwyer Williams Cherkoss is one of Portland’s most established and distinguished law firms with attorneys who have handled numerous successful motorcycle crash claims.
Schedule a free consultation today with the lawyers at Dwyer Williams Cherkoss for a dedicated personal injury legal representation. Call our toll free number 1-800-285-8678 today.
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