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Frequently Asked Questions About Portland Bicycle Accidents

Posted on February 15, 2022 in

Bicycle accidents can be scary occurrences, and it can be difficult to know what to do next. Under Oregon law, injured cyclists have the right to pursue an insurance claim or lawsuit following their collisions—but many concerns can arise during this process. Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about Portland bicycle accidents.

Is My Bicycle Accident Case a Civil or Criminal Case?

If you are pursuing compensation from a negligent driver after a bicycle accident, you are filing a civil claim. The purpose of a civil claim is to reimburse an injured victim for the losses that they suffered during the accident, such as medical expenses and pain and suffering. 

On the other hand, a criminal case seeks to punish a defendant. If you are injured by a driver who commits a criminal act, such as drinking and driving, he or she could face serious penalties like jail time and fines. You can pursue a civil lawsuit even if a driver is facing criminal charges for the same act. 

What Should I Do If I Was Struck by a Hit-and-Run Driver?

A hit-and-run accident can be a scary experience. If you are struck by a hit-and-run driver, it is important to remain calm and get to safety as soon as you can. Call 911 or ask someone else to call for you. Seek emergency medical attention immediately.

Do not attempt to follow the driver after the collision. This can be very dangerous. Instead, try to remember as much information about the vehicle and the driver as you can, and relay these details to the police. 

Another Person’s Actions Caused My Injuries, but We Didn’t Actually Collide. Can They Still Be Held Responsible?

Not all bicycle accidents involve a direct collision. In some cases, people commit negligent acts that cause cyclists to crash. In these situations, you can still pursue a claim against the driver who is responsible for the accident. 

For example, say that a drunk motorist drives erratically, and you collide with a pole while swerving to avoid him or her. In these situations, you can still hold him or her liable for your injuries.

How Much Is a Bicycle Accident Settlement?

Through a bicycle accident claim, you can recover compensation for the financial losses and pain and suffering that you experienced. As a result, your settlement will depend on your individual losses. Many factors could influence the value of your claim, such as the following.

  • The severity of your injuries
  • The amount of time that you spend away from work
  • Your ability to work following your injury
  • Whether you sustain a permanent disability
  • Whether you qualify for punitive damages

Do I Need to Hire an Attorney for My Case?

Many bicycle accident victims believe that they do not need to hire a lawyer for their claim. However, the aftermath of a bicycle accident can be painful and debilitating, and some collisions are more complex than they initially seem. 

In these situations, it can be difficult to handle your claim without legal assistance. Hiring a bicycle accident lawyer in Portland can alleviate the stress of litigation and provide you with valuable benefits, such as access to expert witnesses and knowledge of the claims processes.

As soon as possible after your accident, contact a bicycle accident lawyer to discuss your legal options. Your attorney will evaluate your claim and help you understand your optimal path to compensation.