Motorcycle and bicycle accidents are similar to other accidents in certain ways, but due to some unique factors, these types of accidents can be quite different from regular car accidents.
Damages in Motorcycle and Bike Accidents
Risks Involved in Motorcycle and Bicycle Riding
Bikes obviously are much smaller and lighter than cars. They have only two wheels and do not offer any protection to the rider. These facts and others make riding either a higher risk endeavor than riding in a car.
This is borne out in federal accident statistics, with motorcycle accidents much more likely to result in serious injury or death. Per mile driven in 2006, there were 35 times more deaths with motorcycles than cars.
The most common motorcycle and bike accidents are:
Some of the risk factors involved in motorcycle and bike riding are:
Liability in Motorcycle and Bicycle Accidents
Liability for most bike accidents is governed by the law of negligence. A person will be deemed negligent if he or she acts in a careless manner and causes injury to another individual. A driver has to use great care to avoid hurting anyone else when they are driving. If a driver is not exercising reasonable care and hurts someone else, the driver will be held liable.
In many motorcycle and bicycle accidents, the driver of a car or truck is often negligent and causes serious harm. The car driver could be held liable for doing something that he should not have done. For example, many bike accidents occur when a car driver speeds through a stop sign or turns left in front of a biker.
In some cases, of course, the bike rider also can be negligent. A biker could swerve in front of a car and cause the car to crash. In that case, the biker would be liable for the driver’s injuries.
Elements in a Motorcycle or Bicycle Accident Claim
If you are hurt in a bike accident, there are four elements that you must show:
What to Do If You Are In a Motorcycle or Bicycle Accident
If you are in a bike accident, what you do right after and in the days afterward can make a huge difference in your ability to recover damages. Remember to do the following:
A Few Words About Lane Splitting
Lane splitting is when either a motorcycle or bike rider drives between two lanes of stopped or slowly moving vehicles. This is most common in traffic jams. If an accident happens while the rider is lane splitting, determining fault will depend on whether lane splitting is allowed in that state, as well as the views of the responding police officer and judge.
It should be noted that lane splitting currently is not legal in Oregon. So if an accident occurs when you are lane splitting, it is likely that the fault for the accident will lie with you. You would be unlikely able to recover damages for your injuries.
Given these facts, it is not advisable to lane split in Oregon, as it is both against the law and you are unlikely to win in a civil lawsuit if you are injured.
If you have been in a motorcycle or bike accident, please contact Herron Law LLC today for a no-obligation consultation.
A Few Words About Motorcycle Helmets
In Oregon, motorcycle riders are required to wear helmets. If you do not wear a helmet in an accident and suffer an injury, the defendant could raise an issue about your own negligence leading to your injuries.
Your legal recovery could be reduced or even barred as a result of contributory negligence. Of course, there is a distinction between negligence that caused the accident and negligence that contributed to your injuries.
Generally speaking, failing to wear a helmet in Oregon while riding a motorcycle could be found to constitute negligence contributing to injuries. This could then limit your ability to recover damages. Therefore, it is good practice in Oregon to obey the law when on a motorcycle – wear a helmet.
If you have been in a motorcycle or bicycle accident, please contact Herron Law at 503-699-6496 24/7 today for a no-obligation consultation.
5285 Meadows Road, Suite 204, Lake Oswego, Oregon