Best Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Portland, OR Of 2024 – Forbes

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Motorcycle accidents are five times more likely to result in a fatality than passenger vehicle accidents. Statistics like this are why many motorcycle accidents result in complex claims or lawsuits.

While filing a lawsuit isn’t particularly difficult, winning one is. This guide helps you find a lawyer with the skills needed to seek compensation for your injuries or pursue justice after the wrongful death of a loved one.

Oregon Statute of Limitations

If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident in Oregon, you don’t have a lot of time to take legal action. The statute of limitations gives you two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. This deadline extends to three years if a loved one has been killed.

Some exceptions will extend the timeline, such as if the responsible party flees the state or an injured party is mentally disabled. Since these exceptions are rare, it’s best to consult a lawyer as soon as you can after the accident.

Oregon Laws for Motorcycle Drivers

Most of the rules of the road that apply to car drivers also apply to motorcycle drivers. But motorcycle drivers also need to obey the following laws:

  • Helmet. Motorcycle operators must wear a DOT-compliant helmet at all times. Passengers are also required to wear a DOT-compliant helmet.
  • Lane sharing. Up to two motorcycles can ride side-by-side in a lane.
  • Lane splitting. It is illegal to split a lane (pass another vehicle along the dividing line in a multilane road) in Oregon
  • Headlight. A motorcycle must have a white headlight on at all times while it is being operated.
  • Red light law. If a vehicle sensor at a red light fails to identify a motorcycle, the operator of the vehicle may proceed as though the light were flashing red after waiting a full cycle for it to change.

Identifying Fault for a Motorcycle Crash

Oregon uses modified comparative negligence laws to determine compensation in personal injury cases. Comparative negligence means that before a jury can award compensation, it needs to determine how much each party was at fault for the injuries suffered. The jury will assign a percentage between 0% and 100%.

This value matters for two reasons. First, if the plaintiff is 51% or more responsible, they can’t be awarded any compensation. Second, the final award is prorated by an amount equal to the percentage that the plaintiff was responsible for. Thus, if the defendant was 90% responsible and the jury awarded the plaintiff $100,000, the plaintiff only gets $90,000.

How Can an Attorney Help You?

There is an old adage: “If you are your own lawyer, you have a fool for a client.” Even someone with legal training should never handle their own case unless they have no other choice. This is especially true for motorcycle injury lawsuits, where a qualified lawyer may potentially add significant value to the case.

An experienced attorney knows the process for filing a motorcycle accident lawsuit like the back of their hand. They know which documents to file, where to file them and what deadlines apply to the case. Motorcycle injury lawyers also understand what evidence is required to support a case and have the resources to collect that evidence quickly.

Finally, hiring an attorney puts the insurance company on notice that the claimant is willing to sue if necessary. Typically, this makes the insurance company more amenable to negotiation, resulting in a fairer settlement offer.

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