Portland Motorcycle Accident Lawyers

Ken and Doni of The Advocates Injury Attorneys

Portland Motorcycle Accident Lawyers

You Deserve an Advocate!

If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident in Portland or elsewhere in Oregon, The Advocates personal injury attorneys are here for you.

A Portland Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Can Help

Injured following a motorcycle accident? The Advocates can help.

Motorcycle accidents are less common than other types of car accidents, because there are fewer motorcycles on the road than passenger cars. However, motorcycle crashes tend to be far more dangerous, particularly for the motorcyclist. Many collisions with motor vehicles lead to serious injuries or death for the biker.

After an accident, you may be in pain, with a damaged motorcycle and bills piling up around you. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed, stressed out, and frustrated. If a negligent driver caused your accident, it may feel unfair that now you’re left to pick up the pieces.

A personal injury lawyer can help you navigate the aftermath of your motorcycle collision. The Advocates will be by your side every step of the way throughout your recovery and claims process. We will help you build your case, negotiate with insurance companies, and represent you in court if necessary. An experienced motorcycle accident attorney can help take your worries off your plate, so you can focus on feeling better.

The Advocates are ready to answer any questions you may have about your situation, such as:

  • How will my medical bills get paid?

  • Who is liable for my accident?

  • What will happen if I can’t return to work because of my injuries?

  • Or do I even have a personal injury case at all?

We have been representing injured motorcycle riders for decades, and we are ready to help you too. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Our Attorneys Truly Care About You and Your Family

We don’t call ourselves Advocates without reason. We truly care about the clients we represent and will go the extra mile to help them fully recover. As a client of The Advocates, we will treat you as if you are our one and only client. Your needs will always be our first priority. After The Advocates accept your case, you’ll never be just one more case among thousands.

What Can The Advocates Do For My Case?

The Advocates personal injury law firm not only offers fierce legal representation, but personal attention and care throughout your recovery. From the day you call us to the moment your case is settled, The Advocates will be there to:

  • Build your case

  • Negotiate your settlement

  • Represent you in court

  • Help you access medical care

  • Find a local repair shop for your motorcycle

  • Communicate with your employer regarding your accident

  • Help you understand your medical bills
  • We take pride in putting our clients’ needs first, and we are prepared to do the same for you. When you hire an Advocate, you get an entire legal team ready to fight for your personal injury claim.

Why You Need an Accident Attorney 

Once you have filed your accident claim, the at-fault driver’s insurance adjuster will do anything they can to lessen the settlement amount. They may try to diminish the severity of your injuries, or deny liability altogether. They may offer a quick settlement in an attempt to get you to settle for less than you deserve. 

The stress of trying to fight insurance companies when you already have so much on your plate can be harmful to your recovery. You need representation that will take on the stressful parts of the legal process for you, so that you can fully focus on feeling better. 

The Advocates have successfully taken on hundreds of motorcycle accident cases and helped clients get the financial compensation they are entitled to. Each personal injury case is different, and the circumstances surrounding your case will determine the damages you can claim.

Commonly sought damages after motorcycle accidents include:

  • Medical expenses
  • Property damage
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of future earnings
  • Pain and suffering
  • Funeral expenses (in the case of wrongful death)

The Advocates offer free case evaluations to establish what losses you can seek compensation for.

The Advocates Motorcycle Accident Claims Process

If you are unsure of what your next steps should be in recovering from your accident, it’s time to call The Advocates law office. We will guide you step-by-step through your recovery, so that you’re never left feeling alone or uncertain.

After your accident, you should seek medical treatment right away. This will help quicken your recovery, as well as the claims process. Your case cannot be settled until you have finished treatment, because the total sum of your medical expenses will not be known until then.

While you work on your physical recovery, your Advocate will begin investigating your accident. We will gather evidence from the scene of the accident, including police reports, photos and videos, and witness statements. These will be used to build your case.

Once you have finished treatment and evidence has been compiled, your Advocate will send a demand letter to the other motorist’s insurance company. They may accept the damages listed in the demand letter, but it is more likely that negotiations will begin. Your Advocate will work to negotiate a fair settlement for you.

If the other party refuses to make a fair offer, your case will enter the litigation phase. Here, your Advocate will argue your case in court in front of a judge and/or jury. They will decide who is liable for damages and how much is owed.

Oregon Motorcycle Injury Statistics

One of the best ways to prevent any kind of auto accident is to be informed of the actions and behaviors that often cause them. Because motorcyclists are more vulnerable to catastrophic injuries, it is important that bikers and drivers are particularly cautious when driving near each other. Below are some motorcycle accident statistics for the state of Oregon.

What are common causes of motorcycle accidents?

After a collision with a motorcycle, more than two-thirds of drivers say they did not see the motorcyclist in the moments before the crash. It is vital that all drivers look twice before changing lanes or turning, and always assume a motorcycle could be nearby.

Some of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents include:

  • Speeding
  • Impaired driving
  • Distracted driving
  • Failure to check blind spots
  • Improper turns and lane changes
  • Failure to yield right-of-way

In all incidents, high speeds increase the likelihood of serious injuries and fatalities. Whether a driver is actually going faster than the speed limit, or simply traveling too quickly for the conditions, crashes are more likely to be severe if one or both motorists are going too fast.

What are common motorcycle accident injuries?

A motorcycle accident puts everyone involved at risk of severe injuries, but most often the motorcyclist ends up with the worst end of the deal. Common injuries after motorcycle collisions include:

  • Head trauma, including traumatic brain injuries
  • Back and neck injuries
  • Broken and/or damaged teeth
  • Internal organ damage
  • Broken bones
  • Strains, sprains, and bruising
  • Lacerations and road rash
  • Whiplash

The size of cars and trucks compared to motorcycles along with the presence of safety features like airbags and seatbelts provide motorists with much more protection than motorcycle riders.

Where and when are motorcycle accidents most likely to happen?

The large majority of motorcycle accidents happen during daylight hours, although around 15% happen in darkness. Nearly 90% of motorcycle crashes happen in dry conditions.

More than 60% of motorcycle accidents happen in urban areas. In both rural and urban areas, most accidents occur at non-intersection locations. The city of Portland accounts for around 40% of Oregon motorcycle accidents each year.

At non-intersection locations, most accidents happen when both vehicles are moving in the same direction– usually when one party makes an improper lane change. At intersections, the highest number of accidents occurs when either the motorcycle or the other vehicle is making a turn.

Nearly half of all accidents statewide are caused by the motorcyclist colliding with a fixed object, including parked vehicles.

Men are far more likely to be involved in motorcycle accidents than women. 25-34 year olds make up about 22% of all motorcycle accident victims in the state, more than any other age group.

How many motorcyclists are injured in accidents each year?

More than 950 motorcycle crashes happen in Oregon every year. In these accidents, nearly 800 motorcyclists are injured. An average of 60 Oregon motorcycle riders are killed in accidents annually. Considering that many of these accidents could be prevented by drivers and bikers slowing down and being aware of their surroundings, these numbers are tragically high.

Oregon Motorcycle Laws 

Being aware of the traffic laws in any location where you plan to ride is critically important to staying safe. Motorists will expect bikers to obey the law; it is when people behave unpredictably that accidents are most likely to happen. Be sure to stay informed of all local laws and ordinances of any state and city where you are riding your motorcycle.

Are motorcyclists required to wear helmets?

Oregon law requires that all motorcycle riders, including both operators and passengers, must wear a DOT-compliant helmet at all times when riding.

There are three acceptable types of helmets for use on Oregon roads. The first is a full-face helmet. This helmet covers the rider’s entire head, as well as their mouth and chin. They also have an eye shield that can flip up and down. Full-face helmets offer the most protection out of the three types.

Three-quarter helmets come down over the rider’s ears, but do not cover the face. These helmets can still help prevent head trauma, but leave the eyes and face vulnerable in the event of a crash.

Half helmets resemble bicycle helmets. They cover the top of the head, but do not protect the ears, eyes, or face of the rider.

DOT-compliant helmets are identified by a label attached to the helmet. However, a helmet loses its compliant status if it is cracked or damaged in any way, or if it is unable to fasten securely.

Is lane splitting legal?

Lane splitting, or the practice of sharing a lane with cars and trucks (typically done at stop lights) is illegal in Oregon. Motorcycles may only share a lane with other motorcycles. While lane splitting is becoming legalized in an increasing number of states, it is important that motorcycle riders do not attempt lane splitting in states where it is still illegal. Other drivers will likely not be expecting it, so it makes a traffic accident more likely to occur.

This also means that motorists driving passenger vehicles must allow motorcycle riders full use of a lane. Do not attempt to encroach on a motorcycle’s space; in fact, give motorcyclists more space than you would another passenger vehicle. It can be more difficult to gauge the speed of a motorcycle than that of a car or truck, so be sure to follow at a safe distance (3 to 4 seconds) and do not cut them off.

What equipment does a motorcycle need to ride on public roads?

Motorcycles in Oregon must have a white headlight that remains illuminated at all times, day and night. They must also have a red rear tail light and a red rear reflector.

Other equipment a motorcycle must have include a license plate light, at least one rear-view mirror, a horn, turn signals, and fenders on all wheels.

Additionally, the brakes and exhaust system must be in good working order before a motorcycle may ride on public roadways.

What kind of license does a motorcyclist need?

Motorcyclists in Oregon are required to have a valid driver’s license and a motorcycle endorsement or a motorcycle instruction permit. Anyone applying for a motorcycle endorsement for the first time must pass a state-approved training course. When applying for the endorsement, most riders will be required to take the DMV knowledge test.

Bikers with an out-of-state driver’s license and motorcycle endorsement do not need to take a training course before applying for an Oregon motorcycle endorsement.

Are motorcycle accident victims covered by automobile insurance?

Motorcyclists are required to purchase motorcycle insurance in order to ride in Oregon. Required coverage includes basic bodily injury and property damage coverage. Additionally, all automobile and motorcycle insurance policies are required to offer personal injury protection and uninsured motorist coverage.

Personal injury protection, otherwise known as PIP, covers up to $15,000 of medical expenses in the event of an accident. 

Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist coverage helps cover your expenses in the event that you are hit by a driver without insurance, or whose policy will not cover all your expenses.

When you are in an accident, file an insurance claim with your own automobile or motorcycle insurance provider, even if you plan to file a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver later. Your insurance company can be reimbursed using the money from your settlement.

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