Eugene Bicycle Accident Lawyer
Located on the Williamette River, Eugene has plenty of parks and other places to ride bicycles. During nice weather, people are more apt to ride bicycles for fun and to use as transportation, which means that the risk of getting into a bicycle accident also increases. When a vehicle crashes into a bicycle, the chances of a bicyclist suffering catastrophic injuries or death is high because of the minimal safety equipment and metal surrounding the rider.
If you suffered injuries or lost a loved one in a bicycle accident, contact a Eugene bicycle accident lawyer as soon as possible for a free case evaluation by calling 206-741-1053 or visiting our website.
How a Eugene Bicycle Accident Attorney Can Help
When you have to focus on your finances instead of recovering after a bicycle accident, recovery sometimes takes longer. You also have the added worry of wondering what happens next, whether you will lose your job, or if you can even go back to work.
When you retain a Eugene bicycle accident attorney, you won’t have to worry about any of that. We’ll start investigating your case and gathering evidence, then start negotiating with the insurance company – or companies. In some cases, you could recover compensation from more than one defendant. Commercial drivers that cause accidents are often not the only ones at fault. In many truck accidents, the company or even the manufacturer could share responsibility for your injuries or the loss of a loved one.
Instead of your dealing with the tons of emails, phone calls and letters from insurance adjusters, we will deal with them. We also make sure you get the compensation you deserve to cover medical expenses and other damages, including pain and suffering.
Rules Bicyclists Must Abide By
Bicyclists have to follow the rules of the road, just as drivers of vehicles do. While the rules help keep bicyclists safe, they are only part of the safety options available to bicyclists. The rules which aim to protect bicycle riders include:
- Motorized vehicles must yield to a bicyclist in a bike lane or on a sidewalk.
- Motor vehicle drivers can only pass a bicyclist on the left.
Safety Precautions for Bicyclists
In addition to following the rules of the road, a bicyclist can reduce his or her chance of getting into a bicycle accident by . . .
- Always wearing personal protective equipment, including shoulder, elbow and knee pads, helmets, long pants, closed-toe shoes, and long sleeves
- Installing additional safety equipment on the bike, including a headlight, horn, bell, and taillight
- Always being aware of surroundings
- Never wearing earbuds or anything else that can obstruct hearing
- Watching for drivers who might open a car doors into the bike path
- Always riding with traffic, not against traffic.
Causes of Eugene Bicycle Accidents
Negligent drivers cause many bicycle accidents – and sometimes, a bicyclist cannot avoid an accident, especially if it happens before the bike rider even registers that it is happening. Some of the common causes of bicycle accidents include:
- Drivers driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Drivers driving while distracted, whether texting, putting on makeup, reading, or even holding a conversation with someone in the passenger seat. Parents who constantly look at their children in the rear seat can also cause a bicycle accident.
- Aggressive driving.
- Poorly maintained roads.
- Impatient drivers.
- Vehicle malfunction.
- A medical condition.
Accidents can cause injuries that could lead to long-term or permanent disabilities, causing you to significantly alter your life. Contact a Eugene bicycle accident lawyer today if you suffered injuries or lost a loved one in a bicycle wreck.
Bicycle Accident Injuries
Because bicycles are so much smaller and lighter than any vehicle on the road, including motorcycles, car accidents involving bicycles often result in catastrophic injuries or death. Injuries might include:
- Bumps, bruises, scrapes, cuts, and scratches
- Sprains and strains
- Pulled and torn muscles and other soft tissue injuries
- Simple and compound fractures
- Crushed bones
- Crush injuries
- Internal injuries
- Face and eye injuries
- Head, neck and shoulder injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Back and spinal cord injuries
After a bicycle accident, you could recover compensatory damages in the form of economic damages and non-economic damages.
Sometimes referred to as special damages, economic damages have a monetary value and replace out-of-pocket expenses. Economic damages include:
- Medical expenses: Surgeries, doctors’ appointments, follow-up appointments, physical therapy, occupational therapy, psychological therapy, cognitive therapy, prescriptions, hand controls for your vehicle, and upgrades to your home, including ramps, grab bars and widened doorways.
- Wages: You can recover wages for the time you are not able to work up until the settlement or trial award. If your injuries cause long-term or permanent disabilities or you lost a loved one, we will figure loss of future earning capacity from the accident through the time you would normally retire.
- Personal property: You could also receive compensation for any property on your person that was destroyed or damaged in the wreck, including your bicycle and cell phone.
- Death-related expenses: You can recover death-related expenses, such as funeral and burial expenses, cremation expenses, the cost of a probate attorney, and some probate court fees.
Often referred to as general damages, non-economic damages are less easily calculated and subjective, although they can significantly affect your life. Non-economic damages include:
- Pain and suffering, including emotional distress
- Loss of quality of life
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of use of a body part or bodily function
- Compensation for amputations, disfigurement, and excessive scarring.
Your Accident Settlement Check
Once you win a settlement or trial award, it takes some time to get your check. Before you see any money:
- You sign the settlement agreement. If you won a trial award, you must wait until the court signs the final judgment and files it. This process often takes at least two weeks.
- The insurance company processes the settlement agreement or final judgment and then sends a check to your attorney, who deposits the check into an escrow account. This process could take a few days to a week or two, depending on the insurance company.
- The attorney pays any outstanding medical expenses you have, reimburses your insurance companies if applicable, and deducts attorneys’ fees and costs as agreed upon in your contingency contract. This part of the process takes at least two weeks. The attorney must wait until the check clears the bank before he or she can start working on disbursements. Depending on the amount of the check, it could take 10 to 14 days for the bank to make funds available.
Once that has been completed, the attorney forwards a check for the balance to you.
What do I do after a Eugene bicycle accident?
If you are not able to move without causing additional damage, do not move. If possible, call first responders.
If you are able to move without causing additional pain and damage:
- Call first responders.
- Take photos of the accident scene.
- Allow emergency medical technicians to check you over.
- Give a statement to the police.
- Seek medical attention as soon as possible, preferably immediately after the accident. Waiting gives insurance companies a way to deny your claim.
- Contact bicycle accident lawyers in Eugene at Strong Law Accident & Injury Attorneys as soon as possible.
Do I have to wear a bicycle helmet?
If you are under 16 years of age, Oregon requires you to wear a bicycle helmet. Otherwise, it is not required, although it is a smart thing to do.
What other safety equipment does my bike need?
In addition to a helmet, you should have the following on your bicycle:
- A brake that will stop the bicycle within 15 feet at 10 mph on level, dry pavement.
- A white headlight that is visible for at least 500 feet.
- Red reflectors or lights that are visible for at least 600 when a car’s headlights hit it (in the rear).
How do I pay for a Eugene bicycle lawyer?
The initial case evaluation is free. You sign a contingency contract which means that you only pay attorneys’ fees if we win your case for you.
How do I pay for medical expenses while waiting for a settlement?
You can use your health insurance to cover most of your medical expenses. You might be able to use your auto insurance – that depends on your policy. You can also ask your attorney to write a letter to medical professionals to defer collection and payment until you receive a settlement agreement.
How long do I have to take legal action after a bicycle accident?
You have up to two years to take legal action after a bicycle accident. However, we recommend that you contact a bicycle accident lawyer as soon as possible.
“I hired Strong Law after my car accident. Jed and his team worked hard on my case. They were professional and compassionate through my surgery and as I recovered, and they were awesome on communication. I got justice and awesome compensation. I would recommend Strong Law to anyone in my situation.”
– Rick R.
“I want to thank Jed and Tory of Strong Law for their outstanding help with my case. The attention to details and keeping me informed at all times made for a positive outcome. Thank you again for your help, determination, and hard work. I would not hesitate to recommend you to anyone in need of an excellent lawyer.”
– Jaretta O.
“Unbelievable work! I had a claim involving my own insurance company. I tried to negotiate with them, and they completely denied my claim – two times. I then hired Strong Law, and the change was instant. The insurance company immediately began negotiating, and Jed was able to secure an unbelievably good settlement. I will never again attempt to take-on an insurance company without Strong Law in my corner. Thank you!”
– Jonathon S.
“Absolutely outstanding! I was involved in a motorcycle accident and Jed led the way! Definitely top notch! When it matters, call strong law!”
– Edwin S.
“While working a wrongful death case of my husband’s, throughout the legal process, Jed pursued every possible resource and angle to ensure that we would receive policy limits despite intense resistance from the representatives of the insurance companies. We are deeply grateful to him for the funds we received and the lasting friendship that grew out of the entire ordeal.”
Contact a Eugene Bicycle Accident Law Firm
After suffering injuries or losing a loved one in a bicycle accident, the last thing you want to do is go back and forth with an insurance company. It is better to concentrate on recovering. Additionally, you might be able to take legal action against more than one defendant in some circumstances. As part of your case investigation, a Eugene bicycle accident lawyer checks to see if someone other than the driver is partly responsible for your injuries and other damages.
If you suffered injuries or lost a loved one in a bicycle accident, contact a Eugene bicycle accident attorney by calling the firm at 206-741-1053.