All highway accidents can be nasty, but motorcycle accidents can result in particularly gruesome injuries. Approximately 3,000 riders are killed each year in the United States. Many others are seriously injured, undergo major life changes and suffer disabilities due to motorcycle accidents. In most cases a motorcycle accident is not the fault of the motorcyclist but of the driver of the car, van, truck, or other vehicle. In many cases the other driver was simply unable to see the motorbike; however, this does not excuse them from liability. For questions about motorcycle and other vehicle accidents, please see the Automobile Accident FAQs.
Most of the same laws and rules apply to motorcycle riders apply to drivers of cars. As a rider you are required to carry liability insurance. However, unlike auto insurance, in Oregon you are not required to carry personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. I suspect this is because the insurance industry knows that motorcyclists are far more vulnerable in an accident and therefore do not want to be required to cover riders with PIP coverage. This can make it difficult for you to cover your injuries if you are involved in an accident on your motorcycle. This is especially true if the at fault party does not carry insurance or is self-insured (like TriMet). Under these circumstances you will have to pick up the tab for your health care until the case is resolved, unless you have health insurance. At times I am able to negotiate with providers to get them to wait until the case is resolved instead of sending my client to collections.
Unless there is a third party witness or their insured admits liability, insurance adjusters often deny liability. Dealing with insurance companies after a motorcycle accident can be extremely difficult, especially if you have no experience and are not familiar with the law and your rights.
The fact of the matter is, in most motorcycle accidents the driver of the other vehicle is usually at fault because they failed to see the motorcycle. Additionally, the injuries of the rider are almost always serious or catastrophic. Even when wearing a helmet the force involved in a motorcycle accident can cause severe head injuries to the rider, including concussions and other traumatic brain injuries. They are often caused by a vehicle turning in front of a rider who has the right of way, by merging into a lane occupied by a rider or by not allowing road space for an unnoticed motorcycle. These cases often require a forensic expert to reconstruct the accident scene so a jury is able to understand the facts.
Witnesses often misjudge a motorcycle’s speed. This can be because of an inherent bias against motorcycle riders, but is also often the result of the sound a motorcycle makes. Witnesses often mistakenly estimate motorcycle speeds at many times the actual speed. An expert witness can help establish the facts of the accident as it actually happened by using science and physical evidence. As with all of the expenses that go along with prosecuting a personal injury case, I pay the expert witnesses up front so that you can focus on your recovery.
If you or someone you know is the victim of a motorcycle accident contact The Law Office of Josh Lamborn, P.C. for a free personal consultation. Serious injuries or wrongful death resulting from a motorcycle accident have high costs for the victims and their families. I put my knowledge, resources, and capabilities to work every day to recover those costs for my clients.
Common Motorcycle injuries: Road rash, Traumatic brain injury, concussion, scarring, broken bones / fractures, separated shoulder, pneumothorax, spinal cord injury, vision and hearing impairment.← back to areas of practice