There are more than 120,000 motorcycles registered in Oregon. Oregon highways, however, can be a dangerous place for motorcyclists because of the wet weather, as those road conditions often make it more difficult for cars and trucks to see motorcycles and to stop quickly enough once they do. When they don't, the results are often a motorcycle accident that is catastrophic or fatal. If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, you need the help of an Oregon motorcycle accident lawyer.
Of course, Oregon's weather is far from the only hazard motorcyclists face here. There's also the ever-increasing prevalence of distracted car and truck drivers. Too often, accidents today occur because the driver of an automobile is playing with their radio or using their cell phone, perhaps while handling a sandwich or a latte in the other hand at the same time. All these distractions make the roads more dangerous than ever, especially for motorcyclists.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 5,000 motorcyclists were killed in 2019. In addition, motorcyclists were, per vehicle mile traveled, roughly 29 times more likely to die in a motor vehicle crash as compared to occupants of cars, trucks, or SUVs, and they were four times more likely to be injured.
Injuries from motorcycle crashes are often severe and can include brain and spinal cord injuries as well as amputation and wrongful death. The Oregon vehicle code gives motorcyclists equal footing with automobiles, yet in the eyes of jurors and insurance companies, there is a significant prejudice against motorcyclists. That is why anyone injured in a motorcycle crash needs to have a dedicated motorcycle injury lawyer to help overcome those prejudices and obtain a fair and just recovery.
Injuries to motorcyclists also come from single-vehicle crashes. Single vehicle motorcycle crashes occur when the driver either lays the motorcycle down or loses control and ends up hitting an object off of the road. The causes of single-vehicle crashes often include the motorcycle driver's inexperience or unsafe driving. Unfortunately, if there is a passenger on the back of that motorcycle, they will most likely be injured as well. Passengers on motorcycle crashes do have options in terms of recovery and should seek an Oregon motorcycle injury attorney as soon as possible.
Acting quickly is essential because a catastrophic or fatal accident may have inflicted massive damages and you may be entitled to substantial compensation, but only if you act promptly enough. If you do, the law allows you to seek a judgment that compensates you for the many areas in which you have suffered loss. These may include medical expenses, loss of income, pain and suffering, emotional anguish, and loss of companionship. What's more, the law may permit you to seek an award of punitive damages if the defendant conducted themselves in a way that was especially egregious or reckless, such as driving drunk or driving at an exceptionally high rate of speed.
Even if you (or your deceased loved one) were partly to blame for the accident, that doesn't mean that you cannot still win your case and recover an award. Oregon law follows what's called "modified comparative negligence." That means that, as long as the jury concludes that you were not more than 50% at fault, you can still get a judgment in your favor and recover the amount of damages that you proved, minus your percentage of fault.
Matthew D. Kaplan has been representing Oregon motorcycle accident victims for years. That kind of experience can help in many essential ways, from dealing with insurance companies to engaging the necessary forms of pre-trial investigation and evidence discovery to putting together the strongest possible trial presentation.
Matthew D. Kaplan is an Oregon motorcycle accident injury attorney who can help you with your case. Attorney Kaplan offers clients the knowledge that comes with direct experience handling motorcycle accident cases, the personalized attention they deserve, and the diligence to get fair compensation for their loss. Call us today or contact us online for your free attorney consultation.
If you have already scheduled your free appointment, please fill out our Motor Vehicle Accident Injury Intake Form. This will save you time when you come for your appointment.