Portland, Oregon is a city known for its bicycle friendliness. That reputation is well-deserved, as the city has a resident population of enthusiastic and dedicated bike riders. The Portland Bureau of Transportation’s statistics show that the number of bike riders on the road in 2011 had increased by an impressive 225% since 2001. But, bikes on the roadways can also lead to dangerous – even tragic – situations when bikes and cars crash.
One such situation took place in May 2012, when bicyclist Kathryn Rickson was struck by a semi-truck at a red light in downtown Portland. The truck driver was turning right while the bicyclist was going straight, and, at 8:30 pm, it was already dark, making the bicyclist even harder to see than if it had been daylight. The truck driver was not charged or held liable for the accident, because the Multnomah County District Attorney’s report found that it was an accident and there was nothing the driver could have done to have prevented it. Witnesses stated that the driver was going slowly and used his turn signal.
This type of bicycle accident is known as a “right hook” – a driver turning right hits a cyclist who is going straight through an intersection. It’s far from the first type of this accident to take place in Portland. Another high-profile case involved the death of Tracey Sparling, a 19 year old cyclist who was killed by a cement truck at an intersection in 2007. In that case, the driver was fined only $242 for his failure to yield the right of way. Under Oregon law, bicyclists have to obey the same traffic laws as other drivers, and the same rules apply to bicycle lanes as to other lanes of traffic. Drivers are supposed to yield to bicyclists when a bicycle is going straight and the car is turning. But, because bikes are slower and smaller than cars, many drivers take advantage of their cars’ greater size and speed and ignore the right of way laws. The results are often dangerous, even deadly.
If you’re a bicyclist and have been injured in a Portland, Oregon bike accident involving a car, or if one of your loved ones has been killed in a bike-car accident, a personal injury attorney specializing in bike accidents can help you get the settlement you or your loved one deserves. We can help you fight for reimbursement of medical expenses, lost wages, and the cost of pain and suffering. Call us today; one of our expert Personal Injury Attorneys will be happy to discuss your Portland, Oregon Personal Injury case with you: 888-700-4337