Portland is one of the most bike-friendly cities in the country, but biking in Portland can still be dangerous. Safeguards like bike lanes can’t protect you from irresponsible and reckless drivers. If you’re a cyclist in Portland and have been injured by a negligent motorist or another party, the attorneys at Siefman Law can help.
Dealing with the physical pain of serious injuries is enough. Don’t wonder how you’re going to cover your medical costs alone. If you were injured in a bike crash caused by someone else’s negligence, you might be entitled to compensation. Our Portland bicycle accident attorneys fight for cyclists who’ve been injured in our community, and we’re ready to put our skills and experience to work for you.
Bike Accident Statistics in Portland
Portland is home to more bikes per capita than any other city in the United States. In fact, just over 6% of all commuters in the city are bikers. Unfortunately, bike accidents are all-too-common in this bike-friendly city.
The Portland Bureau of Transportation gathered data relating to bicycle accidents in Portland, and what they found was concerning.
- Up to five cyclists are killed in traffic-related accidents per year.
- More than 20 cyclists sustain serious injuries in traffic-related injuries per year.
- Dozens of Portlanders sustain minor injuries in bike accidents each year.
Causes of Bike Accidents
The vast majority of bike collisions are caused by motorists, many of whom drive recklessly around bikes or simply fail to notice bicycles. Let’s take a look at the most common causes of bike accidents in Portland.
Motor Vehicle Collisions
Collisions with drivers are by far the most common cause of bike accidents. These incidents occur for a variety of reasons, but some of the most common are:
- Distracted driving. Distracted driving has become more and more common in the age of the smartphone. Texting, talking on the phone, using a GPS, adjusting the radio, applying makeup, eating, drinking, and even daydreaming all constitute distracted driving. When drivers fail to focus on the task of driving, they put cyclists in serious danger.
- Reckless driving. Reckless driving and speeding are never appropriate, but it’s especially dangerous when cars share the road with bicycles.
- Tailgating. Tailgating is another form of reckless driving. Even though bicyclists have a right to cycle on the road and, in fact, are required to in many places, drivers aren’t always courteous to bikers. Drivers who tailgate bicycles or attempt to run cyclists off the road put riders in great danger and may be held liable for injuries they cause.
- Drunk driving. Individuals who drive while intoxicated by alcohol, illicit drugs, or even prescription drugs are especially dangerous to cyclists. Drunk and drugged driving impairs drivers’ ability to judge traffic, react if the situation suddenly changes, and focus on the task of driving.
- Dooring. Dooring occurs when someone in a vehicle opens their door into a cyclist and causes an accident.
Collisions with Objects
Bike crashes sometimes occur when a cyclist collides with an object at rest. They might hit debris in a construction zone or even a stopped car. In fact, one of the most common collisions in Portland occurs when bikers collide with an open car door. Drivers may fail to notice a bicycle approaching as they exit their vehicle. When they open the door into the biker, they can cause serious injuries.
Hazardous Road Conditions
Bike wrecks sometimes occur when bikers encounter hazardous road conditions like potholes, uneven or cracked pavement, loose gravel, and lack of traffic signage. The City of Portland has gradually improved its roads to make them safer for bikers, but not all routes are safe for bikers.
Bad weather conditions can also lead to cyclist injuries. Ice makes roads incredibly dangerous to cycle down, and rain, snow, and fog reduce visibility. These conditions not only make it more difficult for bikers to see road hazards but also increase the likelihood that a driver will fail to notice a biker.
Injuries Suffered in Bike Accidents in Portland
Unlike drivers, cyclists are not protected by the safety framework of a vehicle. As such, cyclists usually bear the brunt of the impact of a collision. This can result in much more serious injuries, including:
- Head, neck, and back injuries. Traumatic brain injuries, such as concussions, can result from wrecks with passenger vehicles and trucks.
- Spinal damage. The spine is one of the most important parts of the human body because it delivers neurons from the brain to the rest of the body. Spinal damage can lead to permanent damage.
- Paralysis. Paralysis can occur if the spine is transected during an accident. The injury affects the area below the site of the injury, rendering the victim immobile. Paralysis can affect every area of an individual’s life.
- Soft-tissue injuries. Soft-tissue injuries that occur under the skin are not always immediately apparent after a bike accident, but torn ligaments and strained muscles can cause pain and take many months of recovery.
- Broken ribs. Broken ribs can occur if a cyclist is crushed during an accident. The ribs are fragile, and the recovery period can be especially long.
- Broken/fractured bones. Broken and fractured bones commonly occur in bike collisions. These injuries often require surgery followed by inpatient rehabilitation. Some victims suffer permanent disability.
- Burns, lacerations, and “road rash.” Burns often occur when a person is exposed to toxic chemicals or intense heat in a collision. Burns can require extensive treatment and may cause permanent disfigurement, and road rash can lead to permanent scarring. Lacerations caused by broken glass or other debris can become infected, so it’s important to treat these surface-level injuries as soon as possible after an accident.
Compensation for Bike Accidents
If you’re a cyclist in Portland who was injured in an accident, you could be entitled to compensation for past, present, and future costs. A settlement or judgment could include payment for:
- Current and future medical bills
- Medical devices and prescription medications
- Rehabilitation and therapy expenses
- Lost wages due to time off of work
- Loss of future earnings (if disabled)
- Repairs or replacement of your damaged property
- Pain, suffering, or emotional anguish
It’s crucial to note that the other party’s insurance company will likely do everything in their power to diminish or deny your injury claim, so having a skilled attorney on your side is important. At Siefman Law, we will demand full and fair compensation for your injuries and other losses, and we will accept nothing less than what you deserve.
How Siefman Law LLC Can Help
At Siefman Law, we work hard to help victims of bicycle accidents in Portland seek the compensation that they’re entitled to. If you or a loved one have been injured in a bike accident, call us at (503) 395-2135 or reach out to us online for a 100% free consultation.