Are You Looking for a Motorcycle Accident Attorney in Oregon?
The benefits of riding a motorcycle are vast. From the emotional freedom to the gas mileage savings to the exhilaration of the speeds they can reach. Unfortunately, these small bits of happiness come with extremely dangerous risks. All drivers face risks while on the road, but motorcycle riders and their passengers face greater risks than any other vehicle.
If you or someone you love has been the victim of a motorcycle accident in Portland, a dedicated, compassionate, and resourceful team of attorneys in Oregon should be one of the first calls you make. The skilled law team at Kivel & Howard are more than ready to assist you in getting your claim started. We are available to answer any questions or to soothe all the concerns you may have.
Motorcycle Accidents Can Lead To Serious Injuries
Statistics show that 14% of fatal traffic accidents in the last 20 years involved motorcycles, bringing the number to almost double what it was in the late 1900s. Vigilance and caution are the names of the game for riders while out on the road. Motorcyclists have the unfortunate reality that most of their accidents are caused by the negligence of another driver. Injuries from a crash could range from small and inconsequential to disastrous and catastrophic. Injuries such as:
- Injuries to the soft tissue- The smallest obstacles on the ground can make even a slight tumble extremely dangerous.
- Road Rash- Abrasions caused by being flung from the bike and rolling or sliding on the road or gravel.
- Scalded or Singed Skin- Burns resulting from the engine or fluids coming in contact with the flesh.
- Fractures- Broken bones can occur from the sudden impact of the body with a solid object like a tree, large rock, the road, or another vehicle.
- Amputations- Parts to the bike exploding, the rider hitting something solid too hard, or extreme damage to any extremity could result in that limb needing to be surgically removed.
- Head, Back, or Neck Injuries- The spine and spinal cord, as well as the brain, are very important and vulnerable. Even with a helmet on, the rider could suffer debilitating brain or spinal injuries.
- Fatality- A rider can take every safety measurement available, but all riders know that their next ride could be their final one.
A motorcycle injury attorney, like those at Kivel & Howard, should be an immediate conversation if you or someone you love has been the victim of a motorcycle accident. We fight for you with dedication and compassion to get you the maximum amount of compensation you deserve so you can focus on your recovery. You can call or visit our Contact Us page to schedule a free, no-obligation, and confidential consultation at your earliest convenience, or call us today to answer any questions you may have about your accident.
Some Safety Measures Available to Motorcyclists
Over the years, motorcycle safety has evolved. Helmets are no longer just leather caps, but fiberglass and dual layers of foam make up the structure of a much sturdier helmet for riders to wear. One of the most recognizable protective coverings we see is the helmet, but there are many more pieces and they are very customizable. Different colors, patterns, and materials can make up an entire head to toe bike riding ensemble.
While summer is the best time for riding, riders should never dress for the weather, but for the impact. You can always change your clothes when you arrive at your destination, but getting new legs or a new brain is a lot more difficult. Some of the equipment available to riders today include:
- Earplugs- The roar of an engine can be extremely loud and may distort hearing after a ride.
- Sunglasses- The sun can be bright and reflect sharply off many surfaces.
- Eyeshield- The wind whipping at your face can cause your eyes to water, therefore distorting your vision.
- Facial covering- Bugs and other things flying through the air pose a problem when riding. Having your face covered can lower the sting of impact.
- Gloves- To protect your hands from the cold air rushing over them and adding a layer of protection from sweaty or wet palms slipping off the handles.
- Helmets- The most basic and first line of safety in motorcycle riding. Some states do not require helmets for all riders.
- Jackets- Protection for the upper body from debris on the ground if the rider should fall. Most jackets worn by motorcyclists are made of leather.
- Full-body suits, leathers, or heavy pants- These can provide protection for either the whole body or just the lower half.
- Boots- Feet are important to everyone, but they are very vulnerable to injury if the rider were to crash.
A motorcycle rider can have all of these and still suffer debilitating injuries. Nothing can guarantee 100% protection in a crash. Monitoring your bike and riding equipment for wear and tear is one way you can be vigilant, but other vehicles and objects in the road still pose a threat.
Dangers to Motorcycle Riders and Their Passengers
Devastating and lifelong injuries, such as injuries to the head and neck, make up 20% of all injuries in motorcycle accidents. The wide range of causes for a motorcycle accident can include:
- Road Conditions
- Driver Negligence
- Distracted driving
- Congested Traffic
- Aggressive driving
- Drunk driving
- Inclement Weather
- Mechanical Defects
While driving down the road in summer, the sun will reflect off anything shiny and can temporarily blind any driver. The weather is usually hot and bright and could pose visual problems on top of the tar on the roads softening. It could become slick or affixed to the wheels of a bike and cause a delay which could throw the balance of the vehicle off. The sun shining off all the chrome on a bike could potentially blind an oncoming driver and lead to a devastating collision.
With today’s technology, it is easier than ever for a driver to become distracted. Cell phone usage is one of the most common distractions seen on the streets and highways in Oregon. Texting and driving, talking on the phone and driving, and adjusting the radio and other controls in the vehicle all steal the driver’s attention from the road and can result in a catastrophic accident.
Different Types of Motorcycle Accidents in Oregon
Every accident is unique, from the circumstances surrounding the accident to the rider, we at Kivel & Howard will dedicate our resources and skill to fight for your rights. The injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident are vast and no two are the same. Motorcyclists have many dangers to watch out for on the road. Some of the different types of accidents that can occur with motorcycles include:
- Impaired Driving- Anytime where a driver doesn’t have a clear mind, sight, or reflexes that are lacking, they are impaired. This can happen due to alcohol, drugs, or emotional instability. Never get in a position to operate a motor vehicle if you are impaired in any way.
- T-bones- When a vehicle crashes into the side of another crossing their path due to negligence, carelessness, or a failure to yield to traffic.
- Distracted driving- Looking up directions, cellphones, noisy kids in the backseat, or anything else that takes your attention off the road is a distraction and could lead to catastrophic events.
- Head-on collisions- If a passenger vehicle crashes into the front of a motorcycle, it could be disastrous. A motorcyclist has no protective cage around them as an added safety measure, so a head-on collision could have them flying through the air with the bike. This could drastically increase the chances of a head or spinal injury.
- Obstacles- Motorcycles have only two wheels. If one were to hit something, like a tree branch or a rock, the consequences can be catastrophic.
Of course, other things besides another driver can be the cause. The bike itself can turn on the rider if it’s not maintained well or the parts fail. Manufacturers have a responsibility to ensure their parts or the motorcycle themselves holds up and are up to safety standards. With little to no warning, something mechanical could go wrong and have severe outcomes. Some of these mechanical failures include:
- Unlike a passenger vehicle or a commercial truck, motorcycles don’t have a protective cage to protect their operators. If the bike were to roll or fall, it could be devastating.
- Tires and brakes on any vehicle go through wear and tear from usage. Checking for potential hazards could make the difference between a joyful ride and a debilitating injury or the tragic loss of someone’s life.
- Like with a manual bicycle, a motorcycle has a chain that can pop off or break. Keeping it well oiled and checking for kinks is a beneficial practice.
- Batteries on bikes can become corroded. Damage to them or their connectors can be severe.
- Brake and fuel lines can become damaged during rides. Any breakage or rubbing on them could potentially lead to devastation.
- The steering column on a motorcycle looks simple, but if something were to go wrong on a ride, it could mean disaster.
Always check your area for road and weather conditions before heading out on a ride. Windshield wipers during a thunderstorm help improve visibility while driving in a car, but motorcycles are not equipped with them. Rainy conditions could cause handlebars and roads to be slippery. Other road hazards include construction zones, loose gravel, potholes, and uneven roads, all of which can be extremely dangerous to motorcyclists and their passengers.
If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a motorcycle accident that wasn’t your fault, you’re going to need the help of an experienced Oregon motorcycle accident attorney. At Kivel & Howard, we know how scary it is to be a victim of a motorcycle accident. Visit our Contact Us page to schedule a free, no-obligation, and confidential consultation at your earliest convenience, or call us today to speak with one of our dedicated motorcycle accident attorneys about your situation.
Safety Tips for Motorcycle Passengers
While motorcycle operators have a duty to ensure that the ride goes as smoothly as possible, their passenger also has a duty to keep them and the driver safe. Motorcycle passengers are more likely than the driver to be ejected from the bike in the event of an accident due to the lack of a barrier to keep them in place. Some things that a motorcycle passenger can do to ensure that the ride remains safe includes:
- Hold On- Hanging onto the sidebars or the driver’s waist can help passengers brace themselves for acceleration and braking on the road. It is also important for passengers to be aware of their surroundings at all times and alert the driver of obstacles they might not have seen.
- Keep Your Feet Up- Some passengers think that they are helping the driver balance the bike at a stop sign or traffic light by putting their feet down. This in fact throws off the driver’s balance and could tip the bike over.
- Lean With The Driver- Inexperienced passengers tend to panic when it comes to going around a curve and accidentally counters the driver’s steering efforts by sitting straight up. To avoid counter-leaning problems while on the road, passengers should lean with the driver and look to their inside shoulder.
Working With a Motorcycle Accident Attorney in Oregon
At Kivel & Howard, our compassionate and dedicated motorcycle accident attorneys understand the stress of sustaining serious injuries due to the carelessness and negligence of others. With decades of combined experience, you can depend on us to keep your best interests in mind while we fight by your side to ensure that you receive the maximum compensation that you deserve. We strive to provide excellence to our clients in all of their legal service needs. Call us today at (503) 796-0909 for your confidential, free, and no-obligation consultation, or you can visit our Contact Us page to schedule your consultation at your earliest convenience.