Gresham Bicycle Injury Attorney

A Cyclist Attorney Protecting the Rights of Fellow Cyclists

Bikers in Gresham Oregon

Bicycle accidents can have catastrophic consequences, leading to serious injuries, significant medical costs, and sometimes even death. Cyclists face many road risks, from distracted drivers to poorly maintained infrastructure. After a bicycle accident, there are many steps you should take in order, and Kline Law P.C. can ensure you go through the process properly.

Statistics in Surrounding Areas

Gresham, OR, is situated within the Portland metropolitan area, faces significant challenges for bicycle safety. Despite Portland’s reputation as a bike-friendly city, the number of fatal bicycle crashes has remained relatively constant over the past decade, with an average of slightly over three deaths per year between 2012 and 2021, according to Axios. This trend suggests that current efforts to enhance cycling infrastructure may require reassessment to address safety concerns effectively.

Although Portland’s fatality rate is comparatively lower than other major cities in the United States, it still exceeds the national average of 2.7 fatal bicycle crashes per million residents recorded between 2017 and 2021. On a statewide level, the average annual cyclist fatalities stand concerning, emphasizing that the issue extends beyond Portland’s city boundaries and affects the broader region, including Gresham.

The City of Portland has set ambitious targets to increase bicycle usage, with the goal of having one-quarter of all trips made by bike. However, the persistent rate of fatalities and serious injuries among cyclists raises doubts about the efficacy of existing safety measures. The Portland Bureau of Transportation has been actively working on redesigning streets to prioritize safety over vehicle efficiency. It has implemented initiatives such as offering safety education classes for traffic violators.

Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents

Bicycle accidents can happen for various reasons, often involving the negligence or recklessness of motorists. Understanding these common causes can help cyclists and drivers take necessary precautions to prevent accidents and ensure a safer environment. Some of the most frequent factors contributing to bicycle accidents include:

  • Distracted driving: Motorists texting, talking on the phone, or otherwise not paying attention to the road pose a significant risk to cyclists.
  • Failure to yield: When drivers cannot yield the right-of-way to bicyclists, particularly at intersections or when turning, accidents can occur.
  • Speeding: Motorists who exceed the speed limit or drive too fast for conditions are more likely to cause serious injuries if they collide with a cyclist.
  • Dooring: When a driver or passenger opens a car door without checking for oncoming cyclists, it can cause a bicyclist to crash into the door or swerve into traffic to avoid it.
  • Road hazards: Potholes, debris, and other road hazards can cause cyclists to lose control of their bikes and crash.
  • Impaired driving: Drivers under the influence of drugs or alcohol have impaired judgment and reaction times, making them more likely to cause accidents involving bicyclists.

Impacts of a Bicycle Crash

Bicycle accidents can have far-reaching and devastating consequences for victims and their families. The effects of a crash can be multifaceted, affecting the cyclist’s physical health, emotional well-being, financial stability, and overall quality of life. Sometimes, these consequences can be life-altering, requiring long-term care and support.

Physical Injuries

Cyclists involved in crashes may suffer a wide range of physical injuries, including:

  • Minor scrapes, cuts, and bruises
  • Fractures and broken bones, particularly in the arms, legs, and ribs
  • Head injuries, such as concussions and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
  • Spinal cord damage, which can cause partial or complete paralysis
  • Internal injuries to organs like the lungs, liver, or spleen
  • Dental and facial injuries, including broken teeth and jaw fractures

These injuries often require extensive medical treatment, surgery, and rehabilitation. Sometimes, the recovery process can take months or even years, and some victims may never fully regain their pre-accident abilities.

Emotional and Psychological Effects

Beyond the physical effects, bicycle accident victims can also experience significant psychological effects, such as the following:

  • Anxiety and fear related to cycling or being near roads
  • Depression stemming from physical limitations and lifestyle changes
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which can involve flashbacks, nightmares, and intense emotional distress
  • Reduced confidence in one’s abilities and hesitation to resume riding

These emotional challenges can be just as debilitating as physical injuries and may require ongoing therapy and support to overcome them.

Here are a few examples of evidence that can be useful in a bike wreck case:

Financial Consequences

The financial burden of a bicycle crash can be substantial, with expenses including:

  • Medical bills for emergency care, hospitalization, surgery, rehabilitation, and ongoing treatment
  • Lost wages because of inability to work during recovery or, sometimes, because of permanent disability
  • Property damage to the bicycle and other personal items
  • Future financial impacts, such as reduced earning capacity or the need for long-term care

These financial strains can put victims and their families under significant stress, compounding the emotional and physical challenges they already face.

Quality of Life Changes

Some injuries sustained in bicycle accidents may cause permanent disabilities or chronic pain conditions, severely impacting the victim’s quality of life. These changes can include:

  • Mobility issues that limit independence and require the use of assistive devices
  • Chronic pain that affects daily activities and sleep
  • Inability to engage in recreational activities and hobbies once enjoyed
  • Strained personal relationships because of the stress and lifestyle changes associated with the injury

Adapting to these changes can be difficult and may require ongoing support from family, friends, and healthcare professionals.

Gresham Traffic Laws Affecting Cyclists

Gresham and Oregon have enacted traffic laws to protect cyclists and promote their safety on the roads. These laws apply equally to both cyclists and motorists. The laws include the following:

  • Cyclists must obey all traffic signals and signs, just like drivers of motor vehicles. They should ride as close to the right side of the road as safely as possible unless making left turns, passing other vehicles or cyclists, or avoiding hazards.
  • Motorists must provide a safe distance when passing cyclists. Under ORS 811.065, a “safe distance” means a distance that is sufficient to prevent contact with the person operating the bicycle if the person were to fall into the driver’s lane of traffic. Motorists must also yield the right-of-way to cyclists in designated bike lanes and are prohibited from blocking or parking in these lanes.
  • Cyclists are mandated to signal when turning or stopping and must have proper lighting when riding at night or in low visibility conditions.

Adhering to these traffic laws by both cyclists and motorists is crucial for preventing accidents and ensuring the safety of all road users. Understanding and following these regulations can help create a safer and more harmonious environment for sharing the roads.

Best Tips for Demonstrating Liability

Determining liability in a bicycle accident case is crucial for securing the compensation you deserve. To build a strong case, it is essential to take the right steps after an accident and gather the evidence. Here are some of the best tips for determining liability:

  • Gather evidence: Collect photos of the accident scene, damage to the bicycle and vehicle, and any visible injuries. Obtain contact information for witnesses who can provide statements about what they saw.
  • File a police report: Contact law enforcement to file an official report of the accident. This document can provide valuable information and support for your case.
  • Seek medical attention: Even if you believe your injuries are minor, it is essential to get a medical evaluation. This step helps ensure your well-being and establishes a record of your injuries.
  • Consult with a bicycle accident lawyer: An experienced bicycle accident attorney can help you navigate the legal process, gather evidence, and build a strong case to prove liability.

By following these tips, you can help ensure that the responsible party is held accountable for their actions and that you receive the compensation you need to cover medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages related to the accident.

How to Navigate a Shared Fault Case

In some bicycle-vehicle accident cases, the cyclist and the driver may share fault for the incident. Oregon follows the comparative negligence rule, so if the cyclist is found partially responsible, their compensation amount will be reduced proportionally to their degree of fault provided it does not exceed 50%.

For instance, if the cyclist is deemed 20% at fault and their total damages amount to $100,000, they would be entitled to recover $80,000 (80% of the total damages). This reduction in compensation reflects the cyclist’s comparative fault.

If you find yourself in such a shared fault case, it is crucial to work with an experienced bicycle accident attorney. A lawyer can help minimize your assigned percentage of liability and maximize the compensation you receive. They will gather evidence, build a strong case, and negotiate with insurance companies or represent you in court to protect your rights and ensure you receive fair compensation for your injuries and losses.

Common Challenges of Self-Representation

Many people wonder if they need a bike accident lawyer. Without a thorough understanding of the legal system, you may inadvertently miss crucial deadlines, such as the statute of limitations or tort claim notice deadlines, which can bar you from filing a claim altogether. You may also struggle to gather and preserve vital evidence, such as witness statements, police reports, and medical records, which are essential to building a strong case.

Another significant challenge of self-representation is dealing with insurance companies. Insurance companies employ highly trained professionals called insurance adjusters, whose primary goal is to minimize the money paid out in claims. They may employ tactics to take advantage of your lack of legal knowledge, such as offering a low settlement amount or attempting to shift blame onto you.

You risk undervaluing your claim without a comprehensive understanding of the damages you are entitled to. A bicycle accident lawyer can help you identify and calculate all the damages you have suffered, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. By not having bike accident lawyers and failing to account for these damages, you may settle for a much lower amount than you deserve, leaving you with insufficient funds to cover your ongoing expenses and losses.

When to Consider a Lawsuit

While not every incident requires a lawsuit, there are certain situations in which suing the other party may be in your best interest. Here are some circumstances that may warrant pushing for a lawsuit

  • Severe injuries: If you have sustained significant injuries that require extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation or result in long-term disabilities, a lawsuit may be necessary to secure adequate compensation for your expenses and losses.
  • Disputed liability: When there is a disagreement between parties regarding who is at fault for the accident, legal action may be required to prove liability and protect your rights.
  • Uncooperative insurance companies: If the insurance company of the at-fault party is unresponsive, denies your claim, or offers an unreasonably low settlement, a lawsuit may be the best course of action to obtain fair compensation.
  • Permanent or long-term impacts: If your injuries have resulted in permanent disfigurement, scarring, or chronic pain that affects your quality of life, a lawsuit can help ensure that you receive compensation for these non-economic damages.
  • Complex cases: When multiple parties are involved, liability is unclear, or there are other complicating factors, the guidance of our bike accident attorneys can be invaluable in navigating the legal process and protecting your interests.

It is important to remember that there are time limits, known as statutes of limitations, for filing a bicycle accident lawsuit in Oregon. Generally, you have two years from the accident date to file a personal injury claim. However, it is always best to consult with a bike accident attorney as soon as possible to ensure that you do not miss any critical deadlines and to begin building a strong case on your behalf.

Get the Legal Support You Need: Schedule a Free Consultation Today

Our dedicated team understands the complexities of bicycle accident cases and is committed to fighting for the compensation you deserve. We will handle every aspect of your case, from investigating the accident and gathering evidence to negotiating with insurance companies and representing you in court if necessary.

Do not let the bad driving behavior of others go unaddressed. Take the first step towards protecting your rights and securing your future by scheduling a consultation with our compassionate and knowledgeable bicycle accident attorney. We will listen to your story, answer your questions, and discuss your legal options, all without any obligation on your part. Contact Kline Law P.C. to get started with a free consultation.

Rob Kline Understands Bicyclists

bicycle attorney

Attorney Rob Kline is an avid cyclist. Rob understands what it is like to negotiate traffic and deal with inattentive and aggressive drivers. Let us help you prove your case against the driver who is legally responsible for your injuries. Call today for a free, confidential case evaluation.

Injured as a Bicyclist in Gresham? Contact Rob Kline Personal Injury Lawyer

You can get help from an experienced and trusted bicycle accident injury attorney serving Gresham, Oregon, by getting in touch with Rob Kline Personal Injury Lawyer today. For a free, no-pressure consultation, give our law firm a call at 503-224-6246 or fill out our online contact form below.

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