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Portland Bicycle Accident Attorney

Bicycle Accident Injuries

Portland bicycle injury attorney Bart Herron and his wife often ride to and from office. Bicycles offer them an inexpensive way to get around and get great exercise. While bikes are a great way for everyone to get where we need to go and stay healthy, bicyclists often suffer serious injuries and death when accidents happen.

Unfortunately, many drivers pay little attention to bikers and may get too close or even hit them when distracted. It does not take a negligent driver to cause a biking accident either; all it takes is a pothole, sinkhole, sewer grate, or other road obstacles to cause a serious accident.

If you are hurt on a bike by another driver or by an imperfection in the road, you could be entitled to compensation for your injuries. The Herron Law Firm specializes in representing people who have been injured by other people and entities in bike and auto accidents. Talk to one of our attorneys today for a Free consultation.

Types of Most Common Bicycle Accident Injuries in Oregon

Bikers are not protected by a car, so they can have very serious injuries when they get in accidents. If you are in an accident, it is critical to be represented by a good personal injury attorney because you may have injuries that take a lot of money to pay for. You want to be sure that you have adequate funds to take care of your needs for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Amputation:

A serious accident can lead to a mangled arm, leg, hand, or foot that requires amputation.

Bone fractures:

You can easily break your arm, shoulder, clavicle, wrist, hand, leg, hip, or foot when hit by a car, either by striking the car itself or hitting the ground.

Traumatic brain injury:

Many bikers slam into the vehicle and strike their head on the windshield or bumper. Others hit their heads when they slam into the ground. Either way, you can suffer a devastating TBI that requires months or years of recovery. A TBI can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to treat, so getting the best lawyer possible is essential.

Facial injuries:

Soft tissue injuries and facial bone fractures are common when bikers are thrown from their bikes.

Death:

If a bike accident victim dies, the surviving family can probably file a wrongful death lawsuit with a Portland personal injury lawyer.

Hand injury:

Very common when the biker falls off or is thrown off the bike. It is instinctive to break the fall with the arms and hands.

Jaw fractures:

A broken jaw is very painful and takes months to heal.

Joint dislocation:

A dislocation can happen when a bicyclist tries to break the fall or when the biker strikes the vehicle.

Neck injury:

Vertebrae, nerves, joints, muscles and tendons can be damaged in a bike accident. If the neck injury is bad enough, you could suffer paralysis, which can require millions of dollars in medical care for life.

Nerve damage:

Hitting the vehicle or ground can cause nerve damage that affects your ability to use any part of your body.

Road rash:

The road is abrasive and when you slide over it, you can suffer serious skin injuries.

Call The Herron Law Firm Today

If you were injured in a bicycle accident because of a dangerous road condition, you may not know what to do or where to turn. How will you pay for your medical bills? How will you make up for weeks of lost work time? You can sue the government for your bicycle accident injuries, but you need an experienced attorney to determine if you have a case. Call The Herron Law Firm immediately and they will tell you if your case has merit.

Bike Accident Lawsuits Caused By Road Conditions

Many bike accidents are caused by negligent drivers. In these cases, you can file a claim or lawsuit against that driver and get compensation for your injuries.

However, what about when your bike accident is caused by road conditions? Can you file a lawsuit and get compensated? The answer is yes, but these legal actions are more complicated and require the services of a Portland personal injury attorney to succeed.

Below is more information about these lawsuits. If you have any questions, please contact The Herron Law Firm for a complimentary case review

Dangerous Road Conditions That Cause Bicycle Accidents

A dangerous road condition can easily cause a bike rider to lose control and crash, or even flip over the handlebars and slam onto the ground.

Some of the most common dangerous road conditions that lead to bike accidents are:

  • Potholes
  • Poor road design
  • Overgrown trees or foliage
  • Gravelly roads
  • Poor lane markings
  • Cracked pavement
  • Lack of signs
  • Snow and ice accumulation
  • Dangerous intersections

Whether these dangerous road conditions are actionable depends on several key factors. That is why it is so important for an experienced attorney to review your case.

The Importance of Notice When Suing a Public Agency

To sue a public agency for a dangerous road condition or defect requires ‘notice.’ Does this mean that the mayor of Portland must have seen that huge pothole in the middle of the road to file suit? No.

The legal standard for ‘notice’ is ‘knew, or should have known.’ If there was a hazardous road condition that was there for weeks or months, it is possible neighbors have dialed 311 to report it to get it fixed. But no one fixed it. This is adequate notice and you could sue the agency responsible for road maintenance for your injuries.

Suing Public Agencies Is Complex

The legal doctrine of sovereign immunity protects governments. It means the government is immune from legal action, except in situations where it has consented to such an action. This means that you cannot sue the local government unless the lawsuit is authorized by law.

You can sue the local government in Oregon for your bicycle accident injuries. However, there are limits on liability, procedural steps, the reduced statute of limitations, and other differences in litigation compared to private individuals.

Because of these differences, it is vital for anyone who has been injured on public property to hire an attorney who knows how to handle these claims.

 

Bike Accident Settlements

If you are hit by a car while on your bike, you can file a lawsuit to recover the losses you incur from the accident. But is filing a lawsuit worth the time and expense? For many people, pursuing a personal injury case might be the first time you are involved in an insurance claim or lawsuit. Some cyclists may wonder if their injuries are bad enough that they need an attorney. It also can be difficult to know if a bike accident injury case is worth pursuing if you do not know the process. Below is more information about how bike accident settlements work.

What Is In a Bike Accident Settlement?

You can receive economic and non-economic damages in a bike accident lawsuit. Economic damages include medical bills and lost wages. These two economic losses are easy to calculate: Just add up the total of your medical bills and lost work time.

Non-economic damages are harder to calculate. It’s simple to add up your doctor’s bills. But what about being terrified every time you try to ride a bike again? Or struggling to clean your house or get dressed because of your injuries? These issues are real, but harder to put a dollar amount on.

Determining your damages is something that a skilled personal injury attorney can do for you. While you can sometimes handle your own claim, most people underestimate what their damages are worth. It can be helpful to have an experienced bike accident attorney in your corner to determine how much you should get.

How Bike Accident Settlements Work

When you pursue your case, the first thing you and your lawyer will do is gather evidence. Some evidence of a bike accident claim or a lawsuit is obvious:

• Medical bills
• Repair bills
• Lost earnings records
• Receipts for pre-paid items you could not attend, such as a vacation

But other evidence may be just as vital to obtain the maximum amount of non-economic damages. A critical piece of evidence that will bolster your claim is a post-accident diary. As soon as you can after the accident, start to write down everything that is happening regarding your injuries.

Write down how you are feeling and what activities you cannot do because of your injuries and pain. Also, write down exactly how the accident occurred.

After you and your lawyer have determined the settlement amount that will pay your damages, he or she can negotiate with the driver’s insurance provider for you.

Note: You may choose to negotiate with the insurance company yourself. However, auto insurance companies usually take claimants less seriously if they are not represented by a lawyer.

They will offer you an exceptionally low settlement to see if you will ‘bite.’ They also will try to get you to admit fault which lowers your settlement. A skilled attorney knows the games insurance companies play and will get you as much money as possible.
The amount of your bike crash settlement will depend on how well these negotiations go. Also key is how well your claims are supported by evidence of your damages. Further, if you are found partially liable for the accident, this will lower your settlement.
The insurance settlement also may be limited by the driver’s level of coverage. If their bodily injury coverage maxes out at $50,000, that is all you can get, unless you try to sue the person personally for more.

After The Bike Accident Settlement Amount Is Determined

Once you and the driver’s auto insurance company reach a settlement agreement and the contract is signed, the insurer will start the processing of sending funds to you. If you have a personal injury attorney, the company will probably send that person a check. The lawyer will deduct their fee, which usually is 1/3 the settlement amount. They also will use settlement funds to pay off any other financial obligations or liens you have from the case.

Once all necessary payments have been made, your attorney will send the rest of the funds to you. Note that once you have an agreement to a settlement and signed the paperwork, the case is over and cannot be reopened. Thus, be certain you asked for enough compensation is vital. That is why it is so valuable to have a good attorney working for you. It also is important to wait until your bike accident injuries are fully healed before you demand a settlement. That way, you have a better idea of what you need to be compensated for, such as long-term rehabilitation or other medical costs.

Catastrophic and Serious Injury Attorney Legal Talk

How does your injury fit into this category?Read More
What Happens After Serious Accident In Oregon?Read More
What Damages Am I Entitled To?Read More
Personal Injury SettlementsRead More

Bike Accident Settlement Examples

Hit by a car while riding your bike? You probably want to know what your case might be worth. Every personal injury case is different, but below are some bike accident settlement examples from across the country. Your settlement or verdict could be for much more or less. If you want to get a better idea of what your bike accident injury case settlement could be, contact The Herron Law Firm today for a complimentary consultation.

Soft Tissue Bike Accident Settlements

2005

$350,000 verdict: A truck hit a 51-year-old female biker when it went over the yellow line. She suffered several soft tissue injuries and a broken arm. She sued the driver and his employer. The defense argued that the woman did not see a doctor fast enough and they refused to settle, but the jury saw the matter differently and awarded $350,000 for pain and suffering.

2010

$179,000 verdict: A car hit a 60-year-old male biker at a busy city intersection. The biker had right of way, but the car went through the crosswalk without stopping. The biker had soft tissue injuries to his elbow as well as lacerations to the spine, ribs, and shoulder. The defense argued the biker was going too fast and would not settle. The jury awarded him $179,000 but also said he was 10% responsible. The final award was $161,000 but much more than the plaintiff’s claimed damages of $25,000. This case highlights the perils of taking a case to trial; the insurance company would have paid much less if they had settled.

Bone Fracture Bike Accident Settlements

2013

$1.6 million verdict: A biker rode in a bike lane but hit a trench in the road. The trench was near a construction zone. He suffered a fracture to his spine. He and his attorney sued the construction company for not warning pedestrians about dangers in the area. The defense countered there was a safe way around the site he could have ridden. The jury found the company did not warn the man of unsafe conditions.

2010

$1.3 million: A large vehicle brushed against a biker riding on a busy city street. That vehicle was a city bus and the incident sent the man flying over his handlebars. He shattered his elbow and had other injuries. He sued the bus company. The defense argued the biker should have yielded and was partially responsible. The jury found for the plaintiff.

Back and Neck Injury Bike Accident Settlements

2012

$49,000 verdict: A biker entering a busy intersection in the bike lane was hit by a car. She suffered major back and pelvic injuries. The defense claimed that she left the cross walk and hit his vehicle. A witness confirmed this argument. However, perhaps convinced because the woman was found in the crosswalk after the accident, the jury awarded her $49,000.

2010

$480,000 verdict: A truck driver hit a biker on a rural road in Illinois. The driver was searching for his cell phone and lost control of the truck. The biker broke his arm and hurt his back. The defense argued that the biker was at fault because he was not watching carefully and should have had lights on his bike. The jury disagreed and awarded him $480,000 for medical bills, loss of normal life, disfigurement, and pain and suffering.

Brain Injury Bike Accident Settlements

2015

$682,000 verdict: A tree branch broke and fell on a woman’s head while she was resting during a bike ride. She suffered brain injuries and skull fractures. Doctors performed several surgeries. Her lawsuit alleged the property owner did not trim the trees to keep people safe from harm. The defense argued it was an act of God. But evidence showed the cost of trimming the tree was minimal, so the jury found for the plaintiff.

2011

$650,000 verdict: A biker riding through a busy city intersection thought he had right of way and rode through the crosswalk. A car slammed into him and threw him from his bike. His brain injuries were so serious he was left in a permanent coma. His attorneys sued the driver claiming he was negligent for not slowing down and avoiding the crash. The defense said the same about the biker and noted that he did not have right of way. The jury found for the plaintiff but said he was 50% responsible for the crash so the final award was lowered to $325,000. Some attorneys see this as a common move by juries when there is a seriously injured plaintiff and no obvious at-fault party.

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