Oregon motorcycle accidents most commonly occur because of “lookout” circumstances
When it comes to accidents involving motorcycles, there are many similarities to crashes involving other types of vehicles. After all, motorcycles must adhere to the same traffic laws as cars and trucks, and they share the same roads. However, there are some specific types of accidents that tend to occur more frequently with motorcycles. These include what are known as "lookout cases" and "roadway condition cases," which involve drivers failing to notice motorcycles due to their smaller size and unique road presence.
In addition to these types of accidents, there are also a variety of legal issues that can arise after a motorcycle crash. These may include disputes over insurance coverage, issues related to passengers involved in the accident, and questions of liability related to product defects or failure to maintain the motorcycle. For those seeking fair compensation for property damage and injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident, navigating these complex legal matters can be a challenge.
Motorcycles present a unique challenge to drivers of larger vehicles. Due to their smaller size and different shape, motorcycles are often overlooked on the road. In fact, it's a common belief that drivers only notice motorcycles when the motorcyclist is doing something wrong, like speeding or weaving through traffic. This bias can make it difficult for motorcyclists to get fair compensation in the event of an accident.
One type of accident that is particularly common with motorcycles is known as a "lookout case." This occurs when a driver fails to notice a motorcycle on the road, often pulling out in front of the motorcyclist from a stop sign or intersection. Other types of lookout cases include cars changing lanes without seeing a motorcycle, or opening a car door into the path of a motorcyclist.
These accidents can be especially dangerous for motorcyclists, who may suffer serious injuries even in relatively minor collisions. In order to prove fault and secure fair compensation, attorneys may need to engage in accident reconstruction to determine factors like sight lines and distances between vehicles.
Ultimately, it's important for drivers to be aware of the unique challenges presented by motorcycles on the road, and for motorcyclists to take extra precautions to ensure their safety while riding.
Bias against Oregon motorcyclists is real
Motorcyclists face bias not only from other drivers, but also from construction and maintenance crews working on roadways. Hazards that may be insignificant to a car can send a motorcyclist flying. For example, grinding off the top layer of a roadway before repaving creates a surface that poses no danger to cars, but is extremely hazardous to motorcycles.
On multi-lane roads, crews typically grind one lane at a time, creating a two to three inch height discrepancy between lanes. This hazard is poorly visible and has caused multiple motorcycle crashes. In one recent case, a client was riding with two others in a V formation when her front wheel caught on the lip, causing severe injuries.
Claims against public bodies for failure to maintain roadways can be hindered by issues of sovereign and discretionary immunity. However, bumps, potholes, and cracks created by roots are far more dangerous to motorcyclists than to car drivers. While immunity hurdles may exist, public entities responsible for maintenance should take into account the needs of motorcyclists who use the roadway. Safe pavement for a car does not excuse a lack of maintenance when a motorcyclist is injured. An attorney with experience in handling motorcycle accident injuries can help navigate these land mines.
Other issues unique to injuries from motorcycle accidents in Oregon
Insurance requirements for motorcycles differ from those for other motor vehicles, according to ORS 742.520(2)(a)(A). Personal injury protection benefits are not required for injuries sustained while riding motorcycles under some circumstances unless explicitly listed in the insurance policy. It's important to review the policy to see if the injured party in a specific case has purchased PIP coverage applicable to motorcycle injuries.
However, under ORS 742.500(2), uninsured/underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage applies to injuries sustained while riding motorcycles or other motor vehicles. There is no exception from coverage for motorcycles.
Passengers on the back of motorcycles should not be overlooked in cases. They can often be deemed blameless and biases against motorcyclists can work in their favor.
Injuries sustained in motorcycle accidents can be severe, and it's essential to look for every potential source of recovery, including possible product defects or failure to maintain claims. In some cases, customized or after-market parts can result in inadequate appraisals of property damage. Motorcycle shop owners and cyclists can work together to provide evidence for a fair recovery.