While bikers, pedestrians, and drivers should be able to share the road by abiding by simple rules, drivers often are careless and injuries to others are the result. When you are riding a bike, you are forced to place your trust in the ability and attentiveness of drivers. When that trust is betrayed and you are injured, a bicycle accident lawyer may be able to help. Johnson Law defends the rights of bicyclists in personal injury matters. We believe this helps make our communities more bike-friendly.
First, if you have auto insurance, or if your household has auto insurance, then that insurance policy’s Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits apply. PIP will cover reasonable and necessary medical treatment for the injuries that resulted from the collision for up to a year from the date of the incident. It will also pay a portion of your lost wages if you are unable to work as a result of the injury. Similar to motorcycle accidents and pedestrian accidents, bicycle accident injuries are often severe.
If you do not have auto insurance but you do have personal health insurance, then your health insurance will cover the cost of treatment for the injuries you sustained. If you do not have personal health insurance, then assuming the driver who hit you is at fault, their insurance will pay for the medical bills that result from the collision.
Yes and no. While bicycle cases are more complicated than the average auto collision, many of the same legal principles and rules apply. What is different about bicycle collisions is the case valuation. Insurance companies place a markedly different (usually lower) value on bicycle accident claims. This is why it is important to retain an experienced personal injury attorney. If you already have an offer for your injuries from the other driver’s insurance company, give us a call. Within a few minutes of talking with you we should be able to tell you whether it is a reasonable offer. The insurance companies often try to settle quickly and cheaply, so if there is any doubt at all in your mind, have an attorney from Johnson Law take a look at your case.
It important to understand that bicyclists are probably the most scrutinized users of the public roadways in Portland. In many areas of the city, there is palpable tension between bicyclers and motorists. This means that bicyclists have to be vigilant in obeying all applicable rules of the road.
Always obey signs and traffic signals. At stop signs it is tempting to come to a “rolling stop” and then proceed through the intersection if you do not see any other vehicles that have the right away. Oregon Senate Bill 998 even made this legal. It updates Oregon Revised Statutes 811.260 and 811.265. However, rolling through a stop sign or light can make fault determination more difficult. If you are injured as a result of being struck by a vehicle in an intersection and you did not come to a full stop before entering the intersection, be prepared to have the police officer who investigates the accident conclude that both parties were at fault for the collision.
Another common sense tip is to never ride against traffic. Be prepared to be blamed by the insurance company or a police officer for the collision even if you are inside the “fog line.” Also, remember to use hand signals when turning. The law requires it.
What separates these kinds of accidents from car-on-car crashes is the vulnerability of the biker. All too often this leads to a catastrophic injury. If you have been injured by a motor vehicle while biking, a bicycle accident lawyer at Johnson Law is standing by to aid you in navigating the complicated legal system that surrounds bike injuries. We are here to protect your legal rights. Remember, we offer a free consultation and we do not get paid unless we win.