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Bicycle Accidents in Oregon

Oregonians love to ride their bicycles; particularly in the Willamette Valley. According to a 2010 article in Bicycling© Magazine, Portland was the second most bike-friendly city in the country, while Eugene and Salem were fifth and nineteenth, respectively. That’s the proverbial “good news.” The “bad news” is that people get hurt in bicycle accidents; most often in accidents involving a motor vehicle. According to data compiled by Oregon ODOT, during the years 2011 through 2013, there were an average of 64.7 bicycle accidents that occurred in Oregon in each of those years where the bicyclist sustained serious injury, and also an average of 9.3 bicyclist accident fatalities in each of those same years.

There are numerous Oregon laws directed to the operation of bicycles; most of which can be found in Chapter 814 of the Oregon Revised Statutes. ORS §814.400 provides that, subject to a few exceptions, bicycle riders have the same rights, and the same duties as do the operators of motor vehicles, when a person is riding their bicycle on a public street or road. ORS §814.410 addresses unsafe operation of bicycles on sidewalks, and ORS §814.420 provides that the failure to ride a bicycle in an available and adjacent bicycle lane or path can result in the bicycle rider being cited and fined.

The importance of wearing a properly fitted helmet cannot be over­emphasized, and appropriate rider and bicycle illumination is equally important. Please review the materials set out at the bottom of this webpage for more detailed information.

TIP: Personal Injury Protection (“PIP”) coverage is available to bicyclists injured in accidents involving motor vehicles. If the bicyclist is covered by an auto policy at the time of their bicycle accident, then their PIP coverage is primary. If, instead, the bicyclist was completely uninsured at the time of their bicycle accident, then they are entitled to PIP benefits through the auto insurance policy that covered the driver (or owner) of the motor vehicle involved in the accident. The minimum coverage limit amount for reimbursement of medical care costs is $15,000.00 (this benefit is available for the first one year following a covered accident). Wage loss reimbursement may also be available, if the individual is disabled for 14 or more consecutive days.

Given this data that confirms the nature and extent of injury and losses that flow from being involved in a bicycle accident, you’ll want to retain a firm with the experience required to: competently and timely investigate the crash facts; preserve all available evidence: handle all of the insurance-­related aspects of the claim: and obtain fair compensation for you once your medical care is complete. At Phillip C. Gilbert & Associates our attorneys have decades of experience doing just that.

Additional Resource