Archive for the ‘Motorcycle Accidents’ Category

Oregon Attorney Discusses the Dangers of Motorcycle Lane Splitting

Portland motorcycle accident attorneyA new motorcycle lane-splitting bill, House Bill 2314, has picked up speed with Oregon lawmakers. Support for the bill was garnered amid a 2015 study conducted by researchers from the University of California-Berkeley.

The study concluded that motorcyclists could safely ride between lanes on highways with speed limits of 50 mph or more – as long as they don’t exceed the speed of parallel traffic by more than 15 mph. In addition, bi-partisan supporters suggest that lane-splitting increase road safety and reduce traffic congestion.

Currently, California is the only state that allows lane-splitting. If HB2314 becomes law, it would allow motorcyclists to travel between lanes only when traffic slows down below 10 mph on roads with speed limits more than 50 mph. In addition, motorcyclists would only be allowed to travel 10 mph faster than traffic.

Similar bills were proposed in 2015 and 2017. Both bills, which were sponsored by only six lawmakers, died in House committee.

Opposition to the bill

According to opponents, the law would be “unenforceable” and could potentially result in the following problems:

  • Motorcyclists speeding through traffic
  • Rear-end collisions
  • Lane-departure accidents when motor vehicles change lanes

Dylan Rivera, a Portland Bureau of Transportation spokesman, cites a rise in motorcycle accidents over the past few years. In 2018 alone, approximately 77 motorcyclists lost their lives throughout the state of Oregon. In Portland, roughly a quarter of the 34 road deaths involved motorcyclists.

“If lane-splitting becomes legal on state highways, we are concerned that it would spill over to city streets – especially since the bill does not include any way to educate the public about this change,” said Rivera.

Troy Costales, Oregon Department of Transportation safety administrator, also showed opposition to the bill, citing statewide crash data between 2015-2017. Out of 3,081 statewide motorcycle accidents, approximately 2,610 resulted in injuries and 168 resulted in death. In addition, 12 of the motorcycle deaths were caused by rear-end collisions – nine of which involved motorcycles striking vehicles from behind.

Your legal options in a motorcycle crash

Motorcycle accidents are a serious matter. With limited protection, motorcyclists often sustain severe and life-threatening injuries – primarily due to the reckless and inattentive actions of motor vehicle drivers.

In the event of a motorcycle accident, crash victims are within their right to pursue compensation for medical expenses and other financial losses accrued. An experienced litigator at Zbinden & Curtis, Attorneys At Law know how to handle motorcycle accidents and get results.

Contact us today to schedule a free, no-obligation, case evaluation.

Holding Drivers Accountable for Oregon Motorcycle Accidents

Portland motorcycle accident attorneyMotorcycle accidents create a significant risk of death for those on motorcycles. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicates there is a substantially greater risk of death when involved in a crash on a motorcycle, as compared with in a passenger car.  Unfortunately, all too often, it is people in cars who make the unsafe choices which end up costing motorcycle riders their lives.

Just recently, KVAL reported on one Oregon man who was potentially responsible for causing a motorcycle accident.

The alleged actions of this driver did not just result in one fatality, but actually may have killed three motorcyclists. The bikers were visiting from Germany, and notifying the families in a foreign country was creating complications for law enforcement.

Holding Drivers Accountable for Oregon Motorcycle Accidents

The actions of the driver from Oregon that allegedly killed the three German bikers have resulted in the driver being arrested and facing criminal charges.

The driver was 61-years-old and was driving a 2003 pickup truck. He was reportedly in the process of negotiating a right-hand curve on the road. He failed to negotiate the curve properly, according to Patrol Captain Tom Pritchard. As a result, the driver crossed into oncoming traffic.

The incident happened at around 12:15 PM. When the driver crossed the yellow line into oncoming traffic, he smashed into a large group of motorcycle riders. Two men and one woman on the motorcycles were killed. Three additional motorcyclists were injured, but said to be in stable condition at the hospital where they were transported after the incident.

The Oregon man who was arrested for hitting the bikers was being held at a detention center pending his first court appearance. It was not yet clear why he had crossed the center lane, but there was speculation he may have been taking pain medications after a recent abdominal surgery.

It remains to be seen if the Oregon man will actually be convicted of any criminal offenses for his role in the accident which led to the three deaths. In addition to criminal charges, it is also possible for drivers who cause motorcycle accidents to be held liable in civil court.

In civil court, victims hurt in motorcycle accidents (or surviving family members in situations where a motorcycle accident is deadly), can pursue claims against the driver who caused the collisions to occur. These cases are entirely separate from any criminal proceedings and the goal is for the victims of the accidents to be compensated for both economic losses and non-financial damages the crash has caused to occur.

The standard of proof and the process of making a civil case are very different than in a criminal case, and victims who wish to pursue a lawsuit in civil court to obtain damages should ensure they have a qualified legal advocate to provide assistance in making a case to obtain damages.

It is also possible for these cases to settle outside of court, if an agreement on compensation can be reached between crash victims and those responsible for providing compensation.