Oregon Bicycle Accident FAQs
What if the costs associated with my Oregon bicycle accident are less than $10,000? Is there a way of dealing with the insurance company and at-fault party without incurring significant legal costs?
Answer: Yes. Insurance companies often deal with small claims (less than $10,000) by presenting a low or no settlement offer, with a take it or leave it negotiating strategy. They know it is difficult for anyone to retain and pay for legal representation on a small claim. To counter this strategy Oregon created ORS 20.080, a law which provides the means for injured parties with claims less than $10,000, to seek an equitable settlement for documented medical costs, property losses, and other costs such as lost wages. If the at-fault party, or their insurance company, refuse to settle and pay your documented expenses, then you have the right to litigate or arbitrate a settlement with one very big benefit. You can retain an experienced Portland Bicycle Accident Attorney to represent you, with applicable attorney fees and court costs paid by the other party in addition to any settlement paid to you. The process is fairly simple and works like this:
- You or your attorney will serve a written demand for damages, up to $10,000.00, on the at-fault person and the at-fault person’s insurance company. The demand must cite ORS 20.080, include proof of damages (i.e., medical records, medical expenses, repair bills, etc.), and provide the at-fault party thirty days to settle.
- If after thirty days the person who caused the accident does not respond or refuses to settle, the personal injury claimant can file a lawsuit against the at-fault party.
- If the injured person recovers anything (even one dollar), the at-fault party must pay the amount awarded by the arbitrator or court, as well as the injured party’s attorney’s fees and court costs.
- If the at-fault party responds with an offer to settle that is less than what was demanded and the injured party files a lawsuit, the personal injury claimant must beat the offer at arbitration to receive attorney’s fees.
- It is the risk of having to pay the injured person’s court costs and attorney’s fees on top of the damage award that makes insurance companies and their insured’s take claims made under ORS 20.080 seriously. Experienced law firms, like Mayor Law, LLC can assist you to attain an equitable settlement and deal with the complexities of insurance issues and procedures, liability issues, and protect your rights.
What should I do if my Oregon bicycle accident injuries are significant?
Answer: Because cyclists are “vulnerable road users”, i.e. not protected as a car driver would be, you might expect that even a minor auto accident could result in significant injuries to an unprotected cyclist – and you would be right. A Portland car accident lawyer might be able to assist you also in the event of an accident. Cycling is the leading cause of sports-related head injuries. While football head injuries capture the news headlines, cycling accidents account for far more Traumatic Brain Injuries each year which can lead to significant medical costs, lost wages, rehabilitation, and many other costs associated with recovery from your injuries. In order to protect your rights, effectively deal with insurance issues, and seek the best financial settlement you should review your case with an experienced Portland Accident Attorney.
Can I buy insurance to cover potential risks I may incur while cycling?
Answer: Yes. Purchasing Oregon Bicycle Accident Insurance is a very smart and cost-effective way of gaining coverage especially if you do not have automotive insurance or if you only have the Oregon mandated minimum coverage. For example, a typical Oregon bicycle insurance policy can be purchased for under $25 per month that provides $100,000 worth of liability coverage (covers the injuries or property damage you may cause to a bother people for which you are held legally liable), $10,000 worth of medical coverage and $25,000 worth of vehicle contact protection (think of this as coverage for a hit-and-run accident or been struck by a driver who doesn’t have insurance or enough coverage to pay for your injuries). This type of policy will also cover damage to your personal property (bike, spare parts, clothing, etc…).