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We Handle Motorcycle Accident Cases in Portland and Throughout Oregon

Statistics indicate that more than 130,000 motorcycles were registered in the state of Oregon in 2019. Riding a motorcycle is an excellent way to spend a day, as well as a convenient way to get from place to place. In addition, it can be a social activity as many motorcycle riders venture in groups. According to data from the Oregon Department of Transportation, 680 motorcyclists were injured and 67 were killed in crashes in the state in 2020 alone.

While motorcycles can be enjoyable, there also present serious risks. First, motorcycles are significantly smaller than cars, trucks, or SUVs, and they also have smaller lights. For these reasons, motorcycles can be more difficult to see on the roads, which can result in serious collisions. If you have sustained injuries or lost a loved one in a motorcycle accident, you should discuss your legal rights with an experienced Oregon motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible.


Common Causes
of Motorcycle Accidents

two motorists on the the side of a road resting

Motorcycle accidents can happen for a wide variety of reasons, many of which involve the negligent or reckless acts of another party or person. Some of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents include:

  • Aggressive drivers;
  • Drivers who are overly fatigued or who fall asleep at the wheel;
  • Speeding, following too closely, improper passing, and other traffic law violations;
  • Road hazards including large cracks, potholes, or gravel on the roadway;
  • Defective motorcycle parts that malfunction while driving;
  • Defective safety helmets or gear that do not provide adequate protection in a crash.

Motorcycle accident victims suffer a lot of serious injuries and help is always needed. That is why we, Portland motorcycle accident lawyers, are here!

Motorcycle Accidents Can Result In Devastating Injuries

A car that ran over a motorcyclist on the road way

Motorcyclists do not have the same metal frame, roof, roll cages, airbags, or seat belts that motorists in passenger vehicles have to protect them from the impact of a collision. Instead, motorcyclists are completely exposed to other motor vehicles or objects into which they may crash. Even if a motorcyclist is wearing a helmet, such helmets do not provide full protection from trauma to the head.

In addition, many types of collisions cause motorcyclists to be thrown from their vehicles, often head-first over their handlebars. This can result in a direct impact to the face and head with whatever is in front of them–another vehicle, an object, or the pavement.

For all of these reasons, it is no surprise that the injuries that result from motorcycle accidents are often catastrophic. Some of the common injuries sustained by motorcyclists in crashes include:

  • Fractured or shattered bones in the face or jaw;
  • Damage to teeth;
  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI);
  • Broken or crushed limbs;
  • Neck or back injuries;
  • Spinal cord injuries;
  • Internal bleeding and internal organ damage;
  • Dislocations;
  • Burns from flame or from friction with the roadway; and
  • Serious contusions or lacerations.

The above injuries all require emergency medical attention for a proper diagnosis, stabilization, and necessary treatment. Medical treatment for such devastating injuries can require long-term and ongoing medical care, resulting in extensive costs.

Don’t miss out on these common personal injury mistakes.

Get the legal counsel you need to guide you through the process of filing an injury claim.

What to Know About Proving Liability for a Motorcycle Crash in Portland, OR

Marc Johnston walking through the case with an accident client

Hurt in a motorcycle accident in Portland, Multnomah County, or elsewhere in the surrounding area? It is essential that you understand how liability is determined under state law. Here are three key things to keep in mind about motorcycle accident liability in Oregon:

  • Liability is Based On Fault: Proving liability for a motorcycle crash in Portland, OR is based on the concept of fault. In other words, the person responsible for causing the motorcycle accident is considered liable for the damages and injuries that result from the crash. Fault is based on negligence. Examples of negligence that can contribute to motorcycle crashes include speeding, distracted driving, DUIs, and failing to obey traffic signals.
  • Comparative Negligence: In some cases, multiple parties share fault for the same motorcycle crash. Under Oregon law (ORS § 31.600), our state uses a comparative fault standard for all types of motor vehicle collisions. If you are found partially at fault for your own motorcycle crash, your recovery will be reduced accordingly.
  • Crash Must Be Investigated: All motorcycle accidents in Oregon should be thoroughly investigated by an experienced Portland attorney. To prove fault and maximize your recovery, it is imperative that you have access to all relevant evidence. Our Portland, OR motorcycle accident lawyer is standing by, ready to investigate your case.

The Statute of Limitations for Motorcycle Accidents in Oregon

Injury attorney showing the client the Oregon laws surrounding their case

You have a limited amount of time to bring a motorcycle accident injury claim in Oregon. Under ORS §12.110, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of the accident. Individuals who have been involved in a motorcycle accident must file a lawsuit for a motorcycle crash within two years of the date of their collision. If you wait too long to bring a claim, you may not be able to take legal action at all. Be proactive: Consult with a Portland, OR motorcycle accident lawyer right away.

Sources of Compensation After a Portland Motorcycle Accident

An insurance claim form on the dest of a legal assistant

If you are involved in a motorcycle accident and experience any of the injuries listed above, you’ll be facing high medical bills, disabilities, potential lost wages, pain, suffering, and other damages – for all of which you deserve compensation. As such, determining who is liable for your damages and what types of insurance options exist is incredibly important after a crash. Sources of compensation after a Portland motorcycle accident might include:

  • The at-fault driver’s liability insurance. In Oregon, all drivers are required to carry bodily injury liability insurance in an amount of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident, as well as property damage liability insurance in an amount of $20,000 per crash. If the driver who hit you was to blame for the accident because they did something negligent, such as failing to signal before changing lanes or drive while drunk or distracted, then that driver’s liability insurance will be responsible for paying your claim.
  • Your own insurance policy. Motorcyclists are required to carry the same type of insurance as the drivers of standard motor vehicles. This means in addition to the liability insurance policy explained above (which pays for injuries caused by the policyholder to others), motorcyclists are required to carry personal injury protection coverage in an amount of at least $15,000. They are also required to carry uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage in amounts of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per crash for bodily injury. This means that regardless of fault, you can file a claim against your own policy’s personal injury protection coverage to help to pay for a portion of your medical bills after a crash. And if the driver who hit you doesn’t have insurance or doesn’t have enough insurance to pay for your damages, you can also file a claim against your uninsured/underinsured motorist policy.
  • A third party’s insurance. Accidents don’t always involve just two people; in some cases, an accident could be caused by a third party. For example, if a motor vehicle and a motorcycle collide, the reason could be because the brakes on one of those vehicles were defective. If this is the case, the manufacturer or distributor of the brakes/vehicle could be held liable for damages that result.

Steps To Take After
Motorcycle Accident

In addition to knowing what sources of recovery exist and how you may be able to pay for your damages, it’s also important to know what steps to take after a motorcycle accident in order to protect your right to compensation. Here’s a list of some of the things that our Portland motorcycle accident attorneys strongly recommend that you do:

  • Report the accident to the police. One of the first things that you need to do is report the accident to the police. If you have been seriously injured, it is likely that someone will call in the accident on your behalf. Even if the accident is minor though and your injuries are not serious (or at least don’t appear to be serious initially), you still need to call the police and report the accident. As soon as you are able to, request a copy of the police report for your records. You will need the police report when filing an insurance claim.
  • Call your insurer. The second thing that you should do after being involved in a motorcycle accident is to call your insurance company to report the accident. Doing this early in the process is important, as your insurance company has a right to investigate the crash. If you wait too long to give your insurance company notice, they could deny your case. It’s best to report the crash to your insurance company within 24-48 hours of its occurrence if you are able to. If you’re not able to, a loved one or your attorney can do this on your behalf.
  • Get medical care. Getting medical care immediately after your crash is one of the most important things that you need to do. If your injuries are serious, then you will have no choice but to get medical care – you’ll likely be transported to the hospital from the accident scene. If this is the case, then your efforts (once you are able) should be focused on documenting your medical care and following your doctor’s orders once you are released. If you are in an accident where you suffer minor but not severe injuries, such as minor road rash or a minor concussion, do not make the mistake of thinking that you shouldn’t go to the hospital! If you try to make a claim for damages later on and there is no record of you seeking medical care after the crash, it’s very likely that your claim will be denied.
  • Collect evidence. As early on in the process as possible, you should start collecting evidence that can be used to support your case. In many situations, victims are too badly injured to do this, and so lawyers do this on their behalf. Types of evidence that are important in a motorcycle accident claim include photos of the accident scene, information about the weather and conditions at the time of crash, any video footage of the accident, traffic light data, names of eyewitnesses and their statements, the police report, vehicle design and potential defect information, electronic control module data, and more.
  • Document your damages. You’ll need to keep a thorough record of all of your damages. This might include notes about your physical limitations and pain based on your injuries, documentation of your lost wages and property damage, medical bills, a journal about how your life and relationships have been impacted, and more.
  • Call an attorney. Finally, you need to call an attorney as soon as possible after a crash. While there is no requirement to do so, working with a Portland motorcycle accident attorney may significantly improve the outcome of your case and be a key part of building your strategy and securing the settlement you deserve.

Recovering For Your Motorcycle Accident Injuries

An injured man with his leg propped up after an accident

The extensive medical expenses often resulting from motorcycle accidents are only one type of loss incurred by accident victims. The following are examples of losses for which a motorcycle accident victim may be able to recover:

  • Costs of emergency trauma care, hospitalization, surgeries, medical equipment, pharmaceuticals, assisted living facilities, home health aides, physical therapy, and more, in addition to estimated future medical costs related to the injuries.
  • Wages, overtime, and benefits that were lost from missing work during recovery and for estimated future lost earnings if the victim is unable to return to work.
  • Physical, psychological, and emotional pain, suffering, and distress caused by their injuries or by the trauma of the accident itself.
  • Permanent disfigurement, impairments, or disabilities.
  • Loss of enjoyment of everyday life as a result of pain or limitations.
  • Punitive damages if the actions of the responsible party were intentional or particularly appalling.

Depending on the cause of your motorcycle accident, you may be able to obtain compensation for your losses from the responsible driver, motorcycle manufacturer, or the party responsible for road maintenance.

Why Rely On Portland Motorcycle Accident Attorney Marc A. Johnston

Unfortunately, injured motorcyclists in Oregon may face unfair stereotypes of insurers and law enforcement officers. Recovering full and fair compensation can be challenging. You need a reliable advocate on your side. Marc A. Johnston is an experienced, justice-driven advocate for injured victims. It is our mission to maximize your financial compensation. When you reach out to our Portland law office, you have a chance to speak to an Oregon motorcycle accident lawyer who can: 

  • Answer your questions about the personal injury claims process and review your case;
  • Investigate the motorcycle crash, gathering evidence to prove liability and damages; 
  • Represent you in any settlement discussions with the insurance company; and
  • Take your Oregon motorcycle accident claim as far as needed to get the best results.
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Call a Portland Motorcycle Accident Lawyer For A Free Consultation

Experienced attorney Marc A. Johnston has been standing up for the rights of injured motorcycle victims in and around Portland for many years. Our office has the knowledge and resources to obtain the best possible results for you, so please call the Johnston Law Firm for a free consultation at (503) 546-3167 so we can get started helping you. From our office in Portland, we represent injured motorcyclists in Portland, Multnomah County, and throughout the region.


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