Portland Bicycle Accident Attorney
Portland, Oregon has more cyclists per capita than any other city in the United States. With the increasing number of recreational cyclists and bicycle commuters, comes a rising number of Portland bicycle accidents. Cyclists are at a significant disadvantage in a collision with a car. Often these collisions end in serious physical injuries or fatalities. As a Portland bicycle accident lawyer, Chad Stavley knows that cyclists are at a significant disadvantage after the crash too. Investigating officers are often quick to blame cyclists and not take a serious look at the driver of the car. The driver of the vehicle will usually be unhurt and able to tell their story while paramedics are taking the cyclist to the hospital or worse.
Help from an experienced Portland bicycle accident attorney
Portland bicycle accident cases can be complicated. Depending on the situation, a cyclist may be treated the same as any other vehicle or may be treated as a pedestrian. It is crucial to find and interview any witnesses and look for opportunities to obtain any video footage that may be available before it is overwritten or destroyed. Chad Stavley is a Portland bicycle accident attorney who has represented injured bicycle commuters and recreational cyclists since 2008. He has represented numerous injured cyclists and obtained significant settlements and verdicts.
Laws that apply to cyclists
Potential clients often ask how Oregon laws apply to cyclists. Before you consult with a bicycle accident attorney, you should know some of the most common requirements of Oregon bicycle law.ORS 814.400 Every person riding a bicycle upon a public roadway is subject to the motor vehicle code and has the same rights and duties as the driver of any other vehicle except (a) those provisions which by their very nature can have no application and (b) when otherwise specifically provided under the vehicle code. ORS 814.485 Anyone under the age of sixteen must wear a helmet when operating a bicycle on a public road or premises open to the public. ORS 815.280 This statute sets out the equipment requirements for bicyclists. A bicycle must have a brake that enables the operator of the bicycle to stop the bicycle within 15 feet from a speed of 10 miles per hour on dry, level, clean pavement. In limited visibility conditions, a cyclist must have a white light visible from a distance of at least 500 feet to the front of the bicycle. The cyclist must have a red reflector or lighting device or material of such size or characteristic and so mounted as to be visible from all distances up to 600 feet to the rear when directly in front of a car with low beams. ORS 814.415 A bicyclist can pass on the left like other vehicles and also on the right if it can be done safely under the conditions. ORS 814.420 If a bike lane is available, a bicyclist must use it unless they are avoiding a hazard, preparing to make a turn, passing, or when the bike lane turns into a turn lane. ORS 814.430A bicyclist must normally travel as close as possible to the right edge of the roadway unless the cyclist is passing, taking a left turn, or avoiding a hazard. On a one-way street, the bicyclist can keep as far to the left as possible. If you or a loved one have been in a Portland bicycle accident, additional city codes may apply to your case. ORS 814.410Bicyclists can use sidewalks (except electric bikes) unless local or city law prevents them from doing so. When using a sidewalk, the law treats a cyclist as a pedestrian.
The insurance company is not your friend
The insurance company representative may try to act friendly, and like he or she is on your side. They are not your friend. They will try to deny liability if possible. If liability is clear, they will try to convince you that they are making a very fair settlement offer. Bicycle accident cases often involve head injuries and physical injuries that may take months or years to heal, if they ever heal. The insurance company knows this. They want to settle your case before you understand the full extent of your injuries, costs, and damages. Contact a personal injury lawyer with experience handling bicycle accident cases before talking to the insurance company.
How we can help
You need an experienced bicycle accident attorney to take on the powerful insurance company. Some of the problems you may be facing immediately after your Portland bicycle accident include: paying for medical bills, replacing lost wages, and gathering necessary evidence before it is lost. We look at all possible insurance policies immediately to see if there is coverage to pay for your medical bills as they are coming due and for coverage that may help replace lost wages. Our investigators interview witnesses and look for potential evidence such as video footage. We interview police officers and engage accident reconstructionists when necessary.
We don’t hope for a good offer. Our office prepares every case as if it will be a trial. We get every piece of evidence necessary to prove your case. We interview doctors, engage damage experts, and calculate all your damages. Then, when the time is right, we can negotiate with the insurance company from a position of strength. If the insurance company doesn’t make a fair offer, we will be willing and prepared to move your Portland bicycle accident case forward to a trial.
We get results
When you are looking for a Portland bicycle accident attorney, the most important thing to consider is whether they have taken a case like yours to trial and won. Typically nobody wants to have a trial, but what if the defendant denies liability or never makes an acceptable offer? When that happens, you’ll be happy to have a lawyer that has been tested and proven that they can win a case like yours.
We know how to get results in bicycle cases. We have settled many significant bicycle cases. When the insurance company makes unacceptable offers, we are comfortable taking these cases to trial. We have achieved multiple verdicts far above the insurance company offers. As a result, insurance companies take us seriously.
We’ve helped many others, let us help you
We’ve helped many cyclists with their Portland bicycle accident cases. We are proud that many have chosen to write about their experiences. Check out our five-star reviews on Google. You can also explore some of our case results. If you or a family member was injured in a Portland bicycle accident or an accident elsewhere in Oregon or Washington, call and get your free and confidential consultation with bicycle accident attorney Chad Stavley.
2018-20 Portland cyclist fatality map
updated as of 2/23/2020
Common Bicycle Accident Cases
Over the years, we have handled numerous cases and seen almost every kind of bicycle case imaginable. There are a few categories of cases that we think are the most common in Portland. In this section, we will explain the most common bicycle cases we see.
The Left Hook
In the left hook bicycle accident case a cyclist is riding down the road. A car is coming the other way. Neither has a stop sign or light as they come to an intersection. The car takes a left turn across the bicycle’s lane. The cyclist has no time to stop. The cyclist is injured in the crash. The insurance company lawyers will claim the cyclist was speeding, not visible enough, not paying attention, or not using the road correctly. Their attorney may even say the cyclist was on the sidewalk and went into a crosswalk at greater than walking speed. They even argue this with no witnesses and when their driver says they never saw the cyclist. We have tried a left hook case to verdict and achieved a verdict more than four times greater than the mediation walk-away offer. For more see the recent bicycle cases section below.
The Right Hook
In the right hook bicycle accident case a cyclist is riding down the road. A car is heading the same way behind the cyclist. As the vehicle passes the cyclist, the driver takes a right turn in front of the cyclist. The cyclist cannot stop in time and crashes into the car. The cyclist is injured. Again, the insurance company lawyer will try to blame the cyclist for the usual reasons. We have litigated many right hook cases that have resulted in significant settlements.
The No-Yield Pull Out
This is another typical bicycle accident case. The driver is in a hurry to get out of a parking lot or side road before the oncoming cars. The driver doesn’t see that a bicycle is in the lane of traffic. The driver pulls out and causes a crash with the cyclist. The insurance company and their lawyers will say that the cyclist was going too fast or not paying attention. We have tried a no-yield pull out case to verdict and achieved a six-figure verdict in a zero offer case. See our recent bicycle cases section below for more information.
The Door Prize
This is a common case in Portland. A driver parks her car on the side of the road in on-street parking. She does not look in her mirrors to make sure it is clear before opening her door. When she opens the door, it hits a cyclist, and they are injured. The insurance company lawyer will claim that the cyclist was too close to parked cars, not paying attention, and riding too fast. We have worked up many door opening cases for trial and achieved significant settlements.
The Mirror Impact
In the mirror impact case, a driver intends to pass a cyclist who is either in the bicycle lane or on the right side of the roadway. The driver thinks they have given the cyclist enough room but misjudges and strikes the cyclist with the side of their car – usually the mirror. The cyclist is knocked to the ground and is badly injured. The insurance company lawyer will claim that the cyclist swerved at the last second causing the vehicle to hit them. We recently settled a mirror impact case against a towing company. In that case, we went to the scene and interviewed nearby homeowners until we found a witness who arrived right after the crash. The witness was crucial to resolving the case.