Oregon Motorcycle Accident Attorneys
Justice for Injured Riders
Motorcyclists are placed in even more danger than the average motorist when another driver behaves negligently or recklessly on the road. If you were hit while riding your motorcycle and suffered a serious injury, then The Gatti Law Firm would like to know what happened so we can see if we can help you. Our attorneys are passionate about providing fair and tenacious representation to motorcyclists throughout Oregon. Where other law firms might back down from difficult claims, we embrace them.
oN tHIS pAGE:
- Serious Injuries Suffered in Motorcycle Accidents
- Worst Causes of Motorcycle Crashes
- Is Lane Splitting Legal in Oregon?
- What Are Oregon's Motorcycle Helmet Laws?
- Can I Still Recover Compensation If I Wasn't Wearing a Helmet?
- Beware Insurance Company Biases
- When You Deserve the Most, Count On Us
Serious Injuries Suffered in Motorcycle Accidents
Due to the fact that motorcyclists are entirely exposed while riding their vehicles, they can suffer catastrophic injuries in even low-speed collisions. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that motorcyclists are around 28 times more likely to be seriously injured or lose their life in a crash than other motorists in similar accidents. Not wearing a helmet approved by the Department of Transportation (DOT) only increases the risk of injury or death.
Protective clothing can also help mitigate severe road rash, which may be life-threatening depending on its extent and the likelihood of infection. All motorcyclists should wear helmets, jackets, jeans, gloves, and other articles of clothing that can offer padding during an uncontrolled skid or slide.
Worst Causes of Motorcycle Crashes
What are some of the most common and dangerous causes of motorcycle accidents?
- Left turns against traffic: There is an inordinate amount of motorcycle accidents each year caused by drivers who turn left against oncoming traffic and an approaching motorcyclist. When checking for cross traffic on unprotected left turns, most drivers look for cars, trucks, and larger vehicles, so they might not even acknowledge a quickly approaching motorcycle.
- Unaware merging drivers: When changing lanes or merging, drivers can also be completely unaware of the motorcycles in the lanes next to them, only because they are smaller than expected. Motorcycles are also more likely to disappear in blind spots.
- Road conditions: A pothole that bothers a driver in a car can be much more dangerous to a motorcyclist, who could be bucked off their ride without warning. Other road conditions like loose gravel and rain slicks can pose significant dangers to two-wheeled motorcycles that depend heavily on good traction and balance.
- Vehicle defects: A slight defect in a motorcycle can contribute to a crash. For example, a defective tire may burst while a motorcycle is in motion, practically guaranteeing a serious crash to follow.
Knowing the cause of your crash or wipe out can play an important role in how your motorcycle accident claim is formed and how it develops. With our extensive legal experience – our team has decades of combined personal injury claim management experience – we can help narrow down to the true cause of your crash, which should also help point liability at the correct party.
Is Lane Splitting Legal in Oregon?
Lane splitting is only legal in California. When you ride further north into Oregon, you should not lane split, which means to ride in between traffic and lanes. Although some studies have shown that lane splitting helps motorcyclists avoid serious accidents, the fact that it is illegal in Oregon means that drivers will not be expecting you to be riding between lanes. They will be more likely to inadvertently strike or sideswipe you if you do.
What Are Oregon's Motorcycle Helmet Laws?
In Oregon, law requires all motorcycle riders and passengers to wear a helmet that meets certain safety standards. The law applies to both operators and passengers regardless of age.
Specifically, Oregon law mandates that motorcycle helmets must be:
- Approved by the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) or meet the standards of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).
- Properly fastened with the chin strap securely fastened.
Wearing a helmet that meets these requirements is mandatory for all motorcycle riders and passengers while the motorcycle is in motion. Failure to comply with the helmet law can result in fines and penalties.
It's important to note that wearing a helmet is not only a legal requirement but also a crucial safety measure that can significantly reduce the risk of severe head injuries in the event of a motorcycle accident.
Can I Still Recover Compensation If I Wasn't Wearing a Helmet?
In Oregon, the legal principle of comparative negligence is applied in personal injury cases, including motorcycle accidents. Comparative negligence means that if you were partially at fault for your injuries, your compensation may be reduced based on your percentage of fault.
Regarding motorcycle accidents, if you were not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident, it could potentially be argued that your failure to wear a helmet contributed to the severity of your injuries. This argument may be raised by the other party or their insurance company in an attempt to reduce your compensation.
However, it's important to note that Oregon follows a modified comparative negligence rule with a 51% bar. This means that as long as you are determined to be 50% or less at fault for the accident, you may still be eligible to recover compensation. If you are found to be 51% or more at fault, you may be barred from recovering any compensation.
Beware Insurance Company Biases
Have you noticed that motorcycle riders in television programs and movies tend to be rebellious or reckless? The characters might be archetypes used to advance plots, but insurance companies do not always see them that way. Unfortunately, many people and parties assume motorcycle riders to be reckless by nature, which makes getting a fair payout for your injury claim difficult.
The situation will only get worse if your case needs to go to court for litigation. Judges and jury members might be operating under the same unfair societal biases against motorcyclists. Proving that you did not contribute to your crash could feel like an uphill legal battle, which is why you should count on The Gatti Law Firm as soon as you can after an accident.
When You Deserve the Most, Count On Us
We are a team of experienced Oregon motorcycle accident lawyers with a passion for doing what is right for clients in need. After a crash, call (503) 543-1114 and let us know what happened. We offer no-cost, no-obligation consultations to help you learn more about starting your claim without reaching for your wallet first. Our law firm also has a “no recovery, no fee” policy, which means you do not have to pay any attorney fees unless we win your case!
You will be in good hands with Gatti Law Firm!
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