With the bicycle scene dominating Portland and Beaverton, cyclists experience an increased risk of accident or collision with a motor vehicle. In 2012 alone there was a 10% increase in the number of bike accidents involving cars or other motor vehicles. When you or someone close to you is involved in a bike accident, the physics of the crash—car versus bike—often means the injuries are bad.

When this happens, you need to talk to a bicycle accident attorney immediately.

Paul handles these serious cases and is committed to ensuring that every client receives the personal care and attention that their case deserves.

In Oregon, there are both state and local laws that affect an injured biker’s rights and can determine compensation.  For example, Oregon’s ORS 811, 814 and 815 work in tandem with Portland’s City Code, Chapter 16.70 or Beaverton’s City Code, Chapter 6.02.

Unlike car accidents involving other cars, when cars collide with cyclists, the proper procedure isn’t as simple as calling up the other side’s insurance company and asking for money. Paul Galm has navigated cyclist collision issues many times in his 15 years practicing as an attorney.  He handles the legal side of recovery, which allows you to deal with the emotional and physical side of recovery.

Here are the top five steps to take if you are involved in a bike accident:

1.  Call the Portland Police Bureau or Beaverton Police

This fact alone cannot be overstated, no matter how mild you think the accident may be. If a police report is filed based on information given at the scene, the other parties or witnesses cannot change that story later on if you need to fight insurance. Often the driver at fault will try to talk you out of calling the police–don’t listen. It will only hurt any potential case later on.

2. Obtain driver information

Obtain the driver’s information, including license number, insurance, address, phone and plate number. If there are witnesses, get their information too.

3. Don’t admit fault or minimize injuries

Sometimes to avoid confrontation, victims of a bike accident will admit fault to some degree or downplay injuries.  Don’t. Your behavior will be used against you later on when you try to obtain fair compensation.

4.  Write Down Details

Soon after the accident, write down details to help remind you later on. Sometimes it can be years before a suit is filed and by that time your memory may be stale. Record all details–including time of day, road conditions, what safety gear you were wearing, traffic, and the day of the week.

5.  Treat your injuries

If you are hurt, go see a doctor immediately. Do not downplay any injuries–you may actually make your injuries worse by not treating them. You also make yourself vulnerable to questions from insurance such as, “Why you did not get treated sooner if you were really hurt?” or “Are your injuries really related to the accident?”

Paul can make referrals to certain medical providers at Tuality Healthcare, Providence, Legacy, Kaiser or elsewhere.

6.  Open a car insurance claim

Just because you got hit on your bike does not mean car insurance will not cover medicals or lost wages. In fact, under Oregon law, ORS 742.522-24, every car insurance policy must contain no fault personal injury protection (PIP) of at least $15,000 for medicals, as well as pay lost wages during the first year after the accident. If you do not have car insurance, the at-fault driver’s car insurance may actually pay PIP for you.

Bike accidents are often serious, even fatal. The laws and insurance regulations surrounding these accidents are complicated.

The longer you wait to call a bicycle accident lawyer, the more money and benefits you may be missing out on.  A lawyer with the experience, intelligence and skill in Portland and Beaverton, like Paul, will make sure that does not happen.

Paul will listen to your story and advocate on your behalf–you will talk and meet directly with him and not a junior associate.  Call Paul–and talk directly with him–today.

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Case Example:

Paul recently had a bike accident case where his client was hit by a car turning left as the client was crossing the intersection from the opposite direction. Sadly, his client suffered a traumatic brain injury and did not remember a single fact from the accident. The only witness was the driver, who of course claimed client was at fault. Using local and state bike laws, an accident reconstructionist expert, and aggressive cross-examination of the driver, Paul was still able to recreate what happened anyway.

He successfully proved the driver was at fault.

Paul’s client went from getting nothing to being compensated for her medical costs, property costs and pain and suffering.