Bicycle Accident Attorney
Serving Hillsboro OR | Beaverton | Forest Grove | North Plains
Bicycle Accident Law in Oregon
In Oregon, it’s usually considered a given that a bicycle is to be operated at the far right side of the road. But in Portland, given the wide variety of roadways, bike lanes, sidewalks and bike boulevards, what exactly determines where a bicyclist should ride? A “roadway” is typically restricted to lanes that are designated for travel, but what does that mean to bicyclists?
In Oregon, a bicyclist is never required to move out of the roadway. Generally, a roadway does not include the area of a street where parking is permitted, and it never includes sidewalks. Therefore, a bicyclist is not required to move into a portion of the road designated for parking or a sidewalk area to allow vehicles to pass.
If you or a loved one was involved in a bicycle accident with a vehicle, Matthew H. Kehoe is an expert Bicycle Accident Attorney. Get an experienced Personal Injury Lawyer on your side today.
Oregon Revised Statues (ORS) and Due Care
Traffic laws in Oregon are constantly changing and evolving, and they often do not address specific circumstances that can arise when bicycles and motor vehicles mix. Both vehicle operators and bicyclists are responsible for sharing the roadway in a safe manner. This is where the Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS) and a term referred to as “due care” come into play. “Due care” can be described as the efforts made by an ordinary person to avoid causing harm to another person. Taking the circumstances into account, the Oregon Revised Statues state the responsibilities to exercise due care of those sharing the roadway, which in Oregon includes vehicles, scooters, motorcycles, bicycles, and even pedestrians.
At Fault Accidents Involving Bicycles and Motor Vehicles in Oregon
In bicycle and vehicle accidents, there is often a lot of talk about who is at fault. Sometimes it is clear who is at fault, but unfortunately, many times it’s not. Also, it’s common for one person not to be found 100% at fault.
Most times fault can be established by investigation into how due care was (or was not) practiced up to and at the time of the accident. Motor vehicle drivers must practice a reasonable amount of due care when operating their vehicle. This can be summarized as follows:
- Motor vehicle drivers must be aware of bicyclists on the roadway, on sidewalks and in bike lanes at all times.
- Drivers must be extra cautious at intersections and when turning to ensure that bicyclists are not in their paths of travel.
- Motor vehicle drivers have a responsibility to know hand signals and if a bicyclist is trying to communicate with them.
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Just as motor vehicle drivers have a responsibility to exercise due care, bicyclists do, too. Bicyclists must:
- Operate their bicycles in the proper lanes of travel, as described above.
- Make sure their bikes are in good working order (lights and reflectors).
- Stay in designated bike lanes or to the right side of the roadway, when it is safe to do so.
- Know hand signals, and communicate their direction of travel with other drivers on the roadway.
In all cases, bicyclists and motor vehicle drivers are subject to the same traffic rules and regulations.
Personal Injury Protection and Bicycle Accidents in Oregon
If you have your own auto insurance policy (see following paragraph if you don’t)
If you have been involved in a bicycle accident, your own insurance company should pay the medical bills that you incur for your medical treatment for your injuries.
Personal injury protection (PIP) is mandatory coverage under all Oregon auto insurance policies. PIP benefits cover you for the first year following your accident and pay up to $15,000 for your reasonable and necessary medical care. That is the minimum in Oregon, but benefits can be higher depending on your insurance coverage.
Also, if you suffer lost wages as a result of your accident and are off work for 14 consecutive days, PIP will pay you for up to 52 weeks of wage loss. This benefit is available for time loss at any time during the two years following the accident. For example, if you have surgery and are off work, then PIP would pay for your wage loss even if it was more than one year after your accident. PIP wage loss pays up to $3,000 per month or 70% of your lost wages, but no more than $3,000 per month. .
If you don’t have an auto insurance policy
Oregon is a very bicyclist-friendly state. Many residents in the Portland area have opted to fore-go owning vehicles and rely on bicycles as their primary mode of transportation. Unfortunately, insurance options that provide injury protection for these people after an accident are limited and will depend on whether or not they might be covered under someone else’s auto insurance policy and whether or not they have private health insurance, which should cover the medical expenses related to treatment for injuries. Private health insurance will want to be reimbursed by the injured cyclist, assuming the cyclist is successful in recovering medical expenses from the driver of the motor vehicle by way of settlement or through a trial.
Experienced Bicycle Accident Attorney
We can help make sure your bills get paid, that the providers accept what PIP is mandated to pay and that you do not end up with bills that should have been paid by PIP. Any additional wage loss you have that is not covered under your PIP can be sought from the other driver at the time we settle or in the event that we go to trial on your claim.
Important Information Regarding Bicycle Accidents in Oregon
In Oregon, you have two years from the date of the accident in which to settle your claim or to file your lawsuit. If you fail to act within that time frame, your claim is barred by the statute of limitations. The time frame can be different for people who are under the age of eighteen. If you’re looking for an experienced and reputable Bicycle Accident Attorney, contact the Law Offices of Matthew H. Kehoe today to schedule your free in person consultation.