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Who Pays for Injuries in a Bicycle Accident in Portland?

Posted on November 15, 2021 in

Bicycle accidents often result in very severe injuries. Cyclists lack the same protections as a larger, heavier motor vehicle, and collisions between the two can be catastrophic. Depending on the circumstances, a cyclist may require surgeries, prescription medication, rehabilitation, disability accommodations, and many other costs associated with their injury.

If you are injured in a Portland bicycle accident, you have the right to hold the at-fault party accountable for your injuries. However, it can be difficult to identify the liable person or entity. In these situations, it is important to speak with an Oregon bicycle accident lawyer as soon as possible.

Oregon’s Fault Car Accident System

When it comes to motor vehicle accidents, state laws typically fall into one of two categories: fault and no fault. In no fault states, every driver carries personal injury protection (PIP) insurance to pay for their own losses after a collision, regardless of negligence. 

Like most states, however, Oregon follows a fault-based car accident system. All drivers must carry minimum amounts of liability insurance to pay for their victims’ losses after a collision. These victims may include other drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and cyclists.

If you are injured in a bicycle accident caused by a negligent driver, you have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit or insurance claim against him or her. If another party caused your accident, you still have options for legal action.

Who Is Liable for a Bicycle Accident?

A bicycle accident can occur due to multiple factors, from dangerous road conditions and defective vehicle parts to driver negligence and violations of traffic law. Identifying the cause of your collision is important—you need this information to identify the liable party and name him or her in your claim.

Multiple parties may be liable for a Portland bicycle accident.

  • Motor vehicle drivers: If a driver’s actions caused the accident, you can file an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit against him or her. Examples of driver negligence include running a red light or stop sign, failure to yield the right of way, unsafe lane changes, and driving under the influence.
  • Government agencies: Some government agencies have a duty to maintain Portland roads. If an agency fails to respond to a road hazard within a reasonable timeframe, it may be liable for any accidents that occur due to that hazard. For example, if an agency fails to fix deep potholes and you are injured in a bicycle accident because of a pothole, you could file a claim against the agency.
  • Manufacturers: If your accident was caused by a defective vehicle or bicycle, or a defective vehicle or bicycle component, you may be eligible for a product liability lawsuit. You can file your claim against the manufacturer of the defective part, as well as the distributor and retailer.

What to Do After a Portland Bicycle Accident

If you are injured in a Portland bicycle accident, it is important to remain calm and seek help. Call 911 and report the accident to law enforcement, document evidence at the scene, and seek medical attention as soon as you can. After you receive treatment, contact a Portland bicycle accident lawyer to discuss your legal options.

A bicycle accident attorney can provide you with the support, resources, and experience you need to navigate the claims process and secure the compensation you deserve. Speak to a bicycle injury lawyer in Portland as soon as possible after your accident to strategize your next steps.