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How Portland Cyclists Can Get Compensation After Being Hit by a Car

Posted on November 22, 2021 in

When motor vehicle drivers share the road with cyclists, they have a responsibility to drive carefully and follow the law. However, some motorists can engage in dangerous and negligent behaviors, putting cyclists at risk of a severe accident.

If you were hit by a car while cycling in Portland, you may be eligible for financial compensation against the motorist responsible for your accident. In these situations, it is important to consult with a Portland bicycle accident lawyer who can represent your claim.

Oregon’s Fault Insurance Laws

Like most states, Oregon follows a fault-based accident system when determining financial responsibility for motor vehicle collisions. If a driver causes an accident that injures another motorist, a cyclist, a pedestrian, or any other party, he or she is financially liable for the damages that these victims sustain.

Cyclists typically have two pathways to compensation: filing an insurance claim against the at-fault driver or filing a personal injury lawsuit in Oregon civil court. Most bicycle accident claims settle during the insurance process but can escalate to a lawsuit if the claim is unsuccessful. However, there are situations where you may want to file a lawsuit from the start, such as when you sustain very high amounts of damages. 

Additionally, if the driver is uninsured or does not carry enough insurance, you could also file a claim under your own policy. You will need to carry the appropriate coverage to file this claim, such as uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.

What Damages Are Available in Oregon Bicycle Accident Claims?

Through a lawsuit or insurance claim against the at-fault driver, you can recover compensation for the economic and non-economic losses you sustained. Economic losses involve the tangible, financial hardship you experienced due to the bicycle accident, such as medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and loss of future earnings.

On the other hand, non-economic damages refer to the pain and suffering you endured due to the accident. In many cases, these losses involve the psychological impact of the collision, such as emotional distress, depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Non-economic damages can also involve physical pain and suffering, such as chronic pain, permanent disability, and disfigurement or scarring. 

Proving Your Right to Compensation After a Bicycle Accident

To secure compensation after a Portland bicycle accident, you will need to prove that the driver’s negligence caused your collision and your resulting injuries. In most cases, you will need to gather enough evidence to prove four key facts.

  • The driver owed you a duty of care to follow Oregon traffic laws and drive safely.
  • The driver breached his or her duty of care through a negligent act or failure to act, such as speeding, running a stop sign, or driving under the influence.
  • The driver’s breach of duty caused your bicycle accident and your injuries.
  • You sustained damages in your accident that you can collect in your lawsuit.

You can use multiple pieces of evidence to prove your claim, such as medical records, repair invoices, journal entries, and police reports. You may also require specialized resources, such as expert witnesses like medical professionals or accident reconstruction specialists, to support and clarify complex parts of your case.

In these situations, you need a Portland bicycle accident attorney on your side who can provide you with the resources and representation you need. Contact a bicycle accident lawyer in Portland as soon as possible following your collision to discuss your case and strategize your next steps.