Archive for the ‘Bicycle Accidents’ Category

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Do I Need a Portland Personal Injury Lawyer?

Posted by Sean DuBois on Tuesday, April 22, 2014

It’s a universal dilemma, and one that thousands of Oregon motorists have asked themselves after being injured because of another road user’s negligence: “Do I really need a Portland personal injury lawyer to look after my claim?”

What kind of answer would you expect to receive on an injury attorney’s blog? Well, it may shock you then to hear that the real answer is you may not need to hire a lawyer in some situations. It depends very much on the myriad of details surrounding each individual’s case.

The main reason people elect not to use the services of an attorney is because they simply don’t want to “share” their compensation. Contingency fees (a fee that is charged only if and when you win your case) of 33% are about average, and that might seem like a lot. However, you should also consider the many reasons you should retain the services of a personal injury lawyer. (more…)

Is it OK to Kill Cyclists…In Oregon?

Posted by Sean DuBois on Thursday, November 14, 2013


OK To Kill Cyclists

Amazing article by Daniel Duane in Sunday’s New York Times. Here’s how he starts: “Everyone who knows me knows that I love cycling and that I’m also completely freaked out by it.” With a start like that, you might not be surprised where he ends up: cycling is fun, but dangerous.

His main point: penalties for drivers who hit and kill or maim cyclists are not nearly strong enough. Here’s my favorite line from the article: “If your 13-year-old daughter bikes to school tomorrow inside a freshly painted bike lane, and a driver runs a stop sign and kills her and then says to the cop, “Gee, I so totally did not mean to do that,” that will most likely be good enough.”

He’s right. If the hit was not intentional, and the driver was not drunk, people who kill cyclists – and pedestrians, by the way – generally do not get any jail time, or even a serious fine. (more…)

Testifying for HB 2542: A Small Step Toward Preventing Hit-and-Run Accidents

Posted by Sean DuBois on Saturday, May 4, 2013

I went to Salem a few weeks ago to testify about a bill that the Oregon House was trying to pass. I’ve never done it before, and it was a fascinating experience. I definitely recommend it. The most interesting part to me was how few people were testifying. There are a few hot-button issues every once in a while that get a whole lot of press, and the line to testify goes out the door, and one person’s opinion probably doesn’t make much difference.

Oregon HB 2542, Oregon hit and run law, Oregon auto law

Josh on Fox 12 KPTV About HB 2542

But then there are hundreds of other bills every year. Many of them probably affect you, even though you probably don’t know about them, and maybe never will. Here’s the crazy thing: there are probably somewhere between zero and three or four people testifying on all these bills. You could actually make a difference if you went and spoke your mind.

In my case, the bill was HB 2542. I want to tell you what the law will do, if it passes, but first I have to explain what the law does now. Right now, if you run over a pedestrian or bicyclist (or just hit another car and injure someone), and then you leave the scene, that’s considered a hit-and-run. The technical term is “failure to perform the duties of a driver to injured person,” and the penalties of this crime are outlined in ORS 811.705. It’s a Class C felony. Or, if the person suffers “serious physical injury” or dies, then it’s a Class B felony.

Before we go further, you need to know what “serious physical injury” means. It’s defined in ORS 161.015, and it is no joke. It means an injury that creates a substantial risk of death, or causes serious and protracted disfigurement, protracted impairment of health, or protracted loss of the function of an organ. These are lifelong injuries we’re talking about here. Another clue to how serious they are is that they are lumped in with death. It’s a class B felony if you cause a “serious physical injury” or kill someone, and then leave the scene. (more…)

Portland Injury Attorney: Knowledge and Experience

Posted by Sean DuBois on Thursday, November 1, 2012

For a lot of folks, finding a Portland injury attorney might start by looking at advertisements online, in the newspaper, or even on television. They may else seek word-of-mouth recommendations, asking friends, family or other legal professionals that they might know who would be the best attorney for them and their particular case or claim.

The choice of an attorney is a difficult one, especially when it comes to dealing with finding a personal injury attorney. Personal injury situations are trying. They often involve terrible injuries or damages, and individuals and families are maxed on their stress, their tolerance, and their patience. The last thing they want to think about is finding an attorney, battling it out with an insurance company, or going to court.

While the entire process of a personal injury claim may be stressful, finding a Portland injury attorney should not be. If you can find a great attorney who possesses these simple, solid characteristics, you can rest assured that your claim or your case is in good hands.

A Personal Injury Attorney Should Have Extensive Knowledge

Yes, when you hire an attorney to assist you with your case, you should make sure that they are, above all else, qualified to work on your case. Knowledge can come from a variety of places. It can come from education and mentoring, and it can also come from working in a particular field for a length of time. Many attorneys will have specialized in a particular area of law, so when you trying a personal injury case, you want to make sure that you have an attorney working by your side who has knowledge of personal injury law.

Also, you will want to make sure that this attorney has knowledge working in the State of Oregon. The laws governing personal injury cases will differ greatly state by state. This means that if you dont have an attorney who knows Oregon personal injury law, youre going into your case half blind.

A Personal Injury Attorney Should Have Practical Experience

Being book-smart and knowing the law is one thing, but knowing how these laws actually come into play during the practice of law is another story. Any personal injury attorney you work with should have practical experience. This means that theyve used what they know extensively in practice. They have used their knowledge of the law to successfully negotiate with insurance companies regarding personal injury claims. They have used their legal knowledge to try cases dealing with personal injury cases and have come out on top.

In Conclusion

Knowledge and experience are vital, but there is perhaps one other item that is even more important. This is the quality of the legal service provided by your Portland injury attorney. Of course, this is the most difficult characteristic to quantify and you will likely have your own way of quantifying it. Regardless of how you do, though, just remember that you should feel the comfort of knowing that your attorney is doing a good job for you.

Why Do I Need an Oregon Car Accident Lawyer?

Posted by Sean DuBois on Monday, October 29, 2012

If you have been the victim of a not-at-fault car accident, then you will likely need to find an Oregon car accident lawyer to assist you. An experienced lawyer will be able to assist you in recovering any type of losses that are a direct result of your car accident, and help to reduce the stress and anxiety that is often involved with these types of circumstances.

The most important thing that you will need to do, though, is to contact an attorney immediately. For some people waiting to take this crucial step can sometimes mean the difference between a successful claim and a lost cause. What this article will seek to do is to assist you in understanding why you need an attorney and will provide you with tips on how to find the right attorney for you in the state of Oregon.

The first question many people in this situation ask is, Why would I even need an attorney? There are a variety of reasons why, but the most important reason is that the law surrounding a large majority of car accident cases is fairly complex. A large portion of the cases that occur are your average fender-bender case, where minor damage has been caused to a vehicle and no injuries occurred. Many times, these are handled simply between the parties via their insurance companies. However, when an injury does occur, the claim can become complicated and warrant legal assistance. An experienced Oregon car accident lawyer will work with you to understand the law, and to help you receive proper compensation for your injuries and recover any losses through a personal injury claim.

The next question that people have when they realize that they need to hire an attorney is, How can I find a car accident lawyer? The truth is that there are a vast amount of resources available that will help you to find a car accident lawyer in your area. Car accident cases can involve a variety of different issues, including wrongful death, personal injury, and property destruction. When you look for an attorney, you will want to make sure that in your research you find that they have worked on these particular kinds of cases. The Internet contains an amazing wealth of knowledge to help you in your research process. We suggest starting with online lawyer directories, such as NOLOs Lawyer Directory.

As soon as you have located a few attorneys to speak with, you will want to make sure that you are prepared when you meet with them. The first thing that you will want to do to prepare is to make sure that you have any relevant documentation and information on your case that you can take with you to the meeting. This documentation will need to include your insurance information, the responsible partys insurance information, your medical records and any witness statements you may have received. The second thing that you will want to do is to prepare a list of questions that you will ask the Oregon car accident lawyer at your meeting. These may include questions like:

  • How much of your time is spent on car accident claims?
  • What kind of experience do you have in car accident claims like mine and can you provide me with some examples?
  • What type of compensation can I reasonably expect to receive?
  • What percentage of my claim will actually be handled by you? And if its not 100%, who else will be working on my case?
  • What kind of fee arrangements do you typically make with your clients?

With this basic but vital information, you should be able to make an informed decision about an Oregon car accident lawyer. But remember, start sooner on your search rather than later. The longer you wait to file a claim, the greater the chance you will miss your opportunity to hold the responsible party liable for their actions.

Avoiding Portland Bicycle Accident Deaths

Posted by Sean DuBois on Thursday, September 27, 2012

Bicycling is a very joyful experience for kids and even for grownups. It is the best way to exercise your muscles and enjoy at the same time. However, people who do not take appropriate safety measures when riding a bicycle can get involved in accidents and can get severely injured or even die. Despite the fact that deaths in bicycling accidents are not that common, riding a bicycle without having the proper gear can prove to be fatal for a rider. Portland bicycle accident deaths are a testament to this fact.

Safety precautions and tips that can lessen bicycles accidents

According to reports, most of the people that die in bicycle accidents are usually children that are riding a bicycle without wearing any protective equipment. In order to avoid the chances of getting injured in a bicycle accident, people and especially children need to follow some safety precautions. First of all wearing a helmet when riding a bicycle can greatly lessen the chances of a child getting any head injury, which is mostly the cause of death in bicycle accidents. Secondly, the bicycle that the child is riding should be adjusted according to his size or he might not be able to control it. Thirdly, children should only ride in the daytime and not at night as visibility at night is poor and chances of getting hit by a vehicle on the road are significantly higher. Following these safety precautions will ensure that the number of Portland bicycle accident deaths goes down significantly.

Besides the above-mentioned safety precautions, when riding a bicycle on the road, following the traffic rules and remaining attentive while riding are also important points that need to be kept in mind to avoid bicycle accidents. Moreover, watching the road carefully when turning and keeping an eye out for parked cars are also some of the tips that every rider must keep in mind if he wants to not become a Portland bicycle accident death victim.

How to avoid bicycle accidents

There can be many causes of a bicycle accident. However, in each case, if a rider keep his head and follows certain rules he can avoid getting involved in the accident. For instance, if a rider sees an unavoidable obstacle in front of him like a garbage can or a stone on the road then what he needs to do is to remain calm and to try and lift the front wheel of the bicycle over the object. If he is unable to do that then he should try and hit it with his hip, this way he will not fall off his bicycle as the hip is close to our centre of gravity. In addition to this, if a rider finds himself negotiating a hard bend and feels that he would not be able to control his bicycle then what he should do is to hit the brakes slowly and keep decreasing his speed progressively instead of hitting the brakes hard at once. Following these simple rules can help in greatly limiting the number of Portland bicycle accident deaths.

In short, if people keep in mind simple rules and follow the necessary safety precautions the number of Portland bicycle accident deaths can be significantly reduced.

Portland Oregon wrongful death attorneys, fatal accident

How Well do You Know Your Oregon Bike Lane Laws?

Posted by Sean DuBois on Monday, August 20, 2012

Given that Portland has been called the most bike-friendly city in the country, and the effort and money that have gone into providing bike lanes on city streets to make cycling safer, you would think that cyclistsand motoristswould be pretty familiar with Oregon bike lane laws. Or would they?

Hardly a day goes by without a cyclist being injured by a motorist, and its probably safe to say that not an hour goes by without a motorist being annoyed by a cyclist. In many cases, this is because either the motorist or the cyclist does not know or understand the Oregon state laws pertaining to the use of bike lanes, and specifically who should be yielding and who has the right of way in any given situation.
Are you ready for a little question and answer session then? There are no prizes today for getting a perfect score, but if you learn the bike lane laws and abide by them, you could win the ultimate prize of saving your or someone elses life. Dont be surprised if you dont get all the answers right. Even the experts would admit there are some gray areas mixed in with these statutes.
With that little warning still fresh in your mind, lets get started!
Oregon Bike Lane Laws QUIZ
Question 1. Youre on your way home from work, pedaling happily away in the bike lane, when you see a delivery truck with its four-way flashers on, blocking your path. You shout at the inconsiderate so-and-so that he has no right to be there, and he tells you hes delivering a package and to keep your hair on. Who is right?
  • Answer. If hes actually delivering a package, the delivery man is well within his rights to temporarily park in the bike lane, providing hes actually delivering or collecting something, according to ORS 811.560 (3). Ok, so how are you doing with the quiz so far?

Question 2.A car is entering a four-lane undivided highway at speed. Youre in a bike lane on the highway, but obviously moving at a much slower speed. Who legally has the right of way, and who is supposed to yield?

  • Answer. It doesnt matter how big or fast he is, the motorist is the one who is supposed to yield here, according to ORS 811.285 (1), which says that unless a sign indicates otherwise, any vehicle entering a roadway must yield to vehicles, including bicycles, that are already on the roadway.

Question 3.Youre northbound on a five-lane highway, and youre safely tucked into the bike lane. Suddenly, an ambulance with lights flashing and sirens blaring appears on the far side of the highway, heading south. Do you actually have to pull over, given that youre traveling in opposite directions and youre in a bike lane?

  • Answer. Oh, yes, you most certainly do! ORS 811.145 (1) (b) (c) says you must pull over all the way to the right side of the roadproviding youre not in an intersectionand stop until the vehicle has passed.

Question 4.Some cyclists like to move back and forth between a bike lane and the sidewalk, much to the annoyance of some pedestrians. Is what the cyclist is doing actually legal?

  • Answer. Yes, its legal, but this is one of those gray areas we referred to earlier. As a general rule, a cyclist may switch back and forth between bike lanes and sidewalks (ORS 814.410 (1) (a) (b) (c), but certain provisions apply, including:
  1. A city ordinance must be in place which permits this action by cyclists
  2. The cyclist must yield to pedestrians
  3. The cyclist must give an audible warning to any pedestrians they may be passing
  4. The cyclist may not suddenly move from the sidewalk into the path of a vehicle in the bike lane or ride in an otherwise careless manner when entering or leaving the bike path

Question 5.Youre riding in a bicycle lane when you come to a red light. You check for traffic, and nothing is coming. As long as you remain in your bicycle lane, is it legal to proceed through the red light, having checked for oncoming traffic in all directions.

  • Answer. It doesnt matter if the city is deserted. If youre facing a red light, you may not go through the red light, whether or not youre in the bicycle lane, according to ORS 811.260(5).

Question 6.Youre riding your bike on an unfamiliar highway, but theres a four-inch wide line at the side of the road, also known as a fog line. Does that same line also indicate the presence of a bike lane?

  • Answer. No, thats not a bike lane. Throughout the state of Oregon, bike lanes are designated by official signs, and are marked with white lines that are eight inches wide. ORS 801.155

Question 7.You come to an intersection and your bike lane suddenly expands into a large green box. You intend to go straight ahead, so should you stay to the right side of the green box while waiting for the green light?

  • Answer. No, you should move to the front and center of the green box, if you plan to go straight ahead. By situating yourself in that position, it will prevent inconsiderate motorists from being able to make a right hand turn in front of you. Let them honk! Youre in the correct and legal spot.

Question 8.Youre riding against the flow of traffic, but youre in your bike lane. Are you breaking the law?

  • Answer. This is another gray area. ORS 811.294(1) doesnt specifically state you cant go against the flow of traffic, but police officers and judges can and do view a cyclist heading against traffic in virtually the same light as a driver going the wrong way up a one-way street.

Question 9.Now youre on a one-way street, and while theres a bike lane on the right side of the street, theres none on the left. You know youll be making a left turn a few blocks up, so is it legal for you to stay on the left side of the street, since youre riding with the flow of traffic?

  • Answer. No, it is not all right. When a bike lane is available, you must use it, unless youre avoiding a hazard, passing another bike, car or pedestrian, or just before you make your turn, according to ORS 814.420 (1)(3)(a)(b)(c)(d).

Question 10.Youre approaching a T-junction; youre in a bike lane, and you see the light is about to turn red. Can you move from the bike lane to the sidewalk to avoid the red light?

  • Answer. Yes, you can, but again, there are a number of conditions. It must be safe to do so, and youll have to yield to all pedestrians. In addition, you must slow to a walking speed when crossing the intersection or past any entrances or driveways, according to ORS 814.410 (1)(b)(c).

Question 11.The last one! Youre in a bike lane and a motorist clearly doesnt like the fact that youre stopping him from getting home to watch Monday night football. He deliberately cuts you off and nearly knocks you off your bike. Then he stops, shouts, gestures and uses words that turn the air bright blue. Youre mad as hell and wish you had the power to issue a citation. Is this possible?

  • Answer. Yes it is! Get a good look at the soon-to-be embarrassed driver, and get his license plate and car details. Then have a look at the Initiation of Violation Proceedings steps in ORS 153.058.
Well, then, how many of the 11 questions did you get right? Knowing Oregon bike lane laws can be useful when out and about in Portland or other Oregon cities and towns. Not knowing them can be lethal.
Every year, hundreds of Oregon cyclists are seriously injured, or worse, in accidents that werent their fault. If this has happened to you or a member of your family, talk to a good Portland bicycle accident attorney to make sure your rights are protected. The consultation is completely free, and a good personal injury lawyer will explain the various steps youll need to take to get the compensation you need and deserve to cover your medical expenses, any lost income, and for your pain and suffering.
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