Any highway collision can be nasty, but the vulnerability of riding a motorcycle can certainly lead to particularly gruesome injuries. Approximately 3,000 riders are killed each year in the U.S. Many others are seriously injured, undergo major life changes and suffer disabilities following a motorcycle incident. Most of these cases are not due to the fault of the motorcyclist but of the driver of a car, van, truck or other vehicle. In many of these instances, the at-fault driver simply could not see the motorbike; still, this does not exclude them from liability.
Most of the same laws and rules that apply to any other driver also apply to motorcyclists. As a rider, you are required to carry liability insurance. However, unlike regular auto insurance, you are not required in Oregon to carry Personal Injury Protection (“PIP”) coverage. I suspect this is because the insurance industry knows motorcyclists are far more vulnerable in an accident and do not want to be required to pay for medical treatment for riders with PIP coverage. This can make it difficult to seek treatment for your injuries if you do not have that coverage or health insurance. You would have to pay for your own medical treatment while your case is ongoing in this situation. Depending on the medical provider, I am sometimes able to get them to treat you on a “lien basis,” so they refrain from billing you during your case, and you pay them at the end out of your settlement or jury award.
Unless there is a third-party witness or the liable party admits liability, insurance companies will often initially deny liability. Dealing with insurance companies can be difficult, though I have the experience and familiarity to competently maneuver your case.
Sadly, injuries from a motorcycle incident are usually serious or catastrophic, if not fatal. Even when wearing a helmet, the force of impact might still result in a head injury, such as a concussion or other traumatic brain injury. The cause of the collision is often from a vehicle turning in front of a rider who has the right-of-way, by merging into a lane occupied by a rider or by not allowing road space for an unseen rider. In order for a jury to understand these scenarios, a forensic expert is often required to reconstruct the collision scene.
Another reason to hire a forensic expert is that eyewitnesses often misjudge a motorcycle’s speed. This might be due to an inherent bias against motorcyclists, but it is also the result of the sound a motorcycle makes. As a result, witnesses mistakenly estimate motorcycle speeds substantially higher than their actual speed. An expert witness can help establish the facts as they happened by using science and physical evidence. As with all expenses for prosecuting a personal injury case, I pay the expert witness up front so you can focus on your recovery.
Grave injuries or wrongful death resulting from a motorcycle or other collision have high costs for the victim and their family. I put forth my expertise, resources and skill to work to recover those costs for you.