Central Oregon is renowned for being a great place to bike. Unfortunately this also means a higher chance of injury. Bicycle accidents are a terrible thing. Unlike a car accident, where both drivers are protected by thousands of pounds of steel and air bags, there’s nothing to protect the bicyclist but their own body. When they’re hit, the full impact of the vehicle is going to thrust the person off the bicycle, and leave them lying on the ground with certain injuries. Typically the most common types of injuries after a bike accident are paralysis, brain damage, and internal organ damage. These are serious injuries and are no laughing matter.
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Our client, one of Oregon’s many bicycle commuters, was riding his bicycle to work on his regular route. He was following the rules of the road and riding on the proper side of the road, with traffic. A car zoomed past him and made a right turn directly across his path, before he had any time to slow or avoid the car, causing him to crash headlong into the car’s rear side. As a result, he suffered serious injuries.
When We Were Called
When he attempted to file a claim with the driver’s insurance company, they denied it, stating that the driver had done nothing wrong and that our client should have applied his brakes or otherwise avoided the car – an act that our client knew to be impossible. Frustrated by the insurance company’s response, he contacted us for help in getting a better settlement in his bicycle accident case.
How We Were Able to Help
When medical expenses are not high, Oregon law allows a personal injury attorney to send the insurance company a demand letter for $10,000. This letter had the desired effect of getting the insurance company’s attention, because it also stipulated that the insurance carrier had to pay attorney fees if the victim won.
After opening negotiations with this letter, we were able to obtain a very fair settlement for our client that covered his medical expenses and reimbursed him for pain and suffering.
Of course, we have handled additional bicycle accident cases as well, many of which were quite significant, including several that we took to hearing and were awarded several hundred thousand dollars apiece on behalf of our clients. Long story short, we pride ourselves for our thoughtful approach and advocacy on behalf of our clients in cases both big and small.
As these are serious injuries, they’re going to rack up a huge medical bill. We know nothing can replace the damages that have been done to your body, but if you can get a settlement in the form of a sum of money, you would definitely take it. As mentioned earlier, this is going to be a large medical bill, and you’re going to want to at least be reimbursed for that. If you are unable to work any further, you’re going to need some sort of money to live off of for the rest of your life. We’re getting slightly ahead of ourselves. Before we can properly evaluate the injury and give you an estimate, we need to know a few things.
Were You Driving Aggressively?
In the state of Oregon, according to the law, bikes are considered a vehicle. They have their own separate lanes in most metro areas, and can always ride on the sidewalk otherwise. If you were drilled by a car when you were supposed to stop at an intersection, and you just drove in front of a moving car, there isn’t much we can do. If you were driving aggressively, and you yourself believe you got yourself in the accident, and it wasn’t the driver who was at fault, then you don’t have a case on your hands.
Was The Driver at Fault?
In the state of Oregon, bicycles are considered vehicles to a certain extent. Drivers are still legally obliged to follow a few laws when driving around bicyclists. At no time should they enter a bicycle lane. If they do so, and they hit you when you’re in that lane, they are at fault. If you’re driving on the side of a country road, and they do not get over to the left for you and end up hitting you, they are usually at fault (depending on the circumstances).
At Dwyer Williams Dretke Attorneys our bicycle accident attorneys have decades of experience. If you want to meet with a legal team that knows bicycle injuries in the most in-depth way possible, give us a call today or stop in at our office. You deserve to feel at peace again. Call us today.
Here are some tips from NHTSA on bicycle safety.