Bicycle Injuries

Bicycle Injuries

People riding bicycles are vulnerable and exposed to a higher risk of getting hurt than the motorists who share the same streets and roads.  There is a widespread but incorrect impression that bicycle riders are in the wrong most of the time there has been a collision.  So when bicyclists are injured, many people jump to the unfair conclusion that the bicyclist was probably at fault.  The problem is compounded by the fact that decision-makers in the court system (judges and jurors) overwhelmingly get around by car, not by bike, and tend to see cases from the motorist’s perspective.

There is a surprising amount of misinformation about the legal rules that apply to bicyclists and their relationships with motor vehicles.  That can lead to misunderstandings that can cause collisions and that can affect thinking about legal consequences.  Although the general rule is that “every person riding a bicycle upon a public way is subject to the provisions applicable to and has the same rights and duties as the driver of any other vehicle” (Oregon Revised Statute 814.400(1)), there are many exceptions and variations to the general rule.

For example, in Oregon it is now legal for a bicyclist to slow down to a safe speed, but not to stop, at a stop sign; that’s a very different rule than what motor vehicle drivers must follow.

Some drivers still think that bicyclists should be on sidewalks.  Bicyclists have the right to use the road, with some exceptions.  Electrically assisted bicycles are not allowed to use sidewalks.  Riding any bicycle on particular sidewalks may be restricted by local (municipal) laws.

Some bicyclists think that they have the right to drive on the road just as a car would.  However, if there is a bicycle lane or path adjacent to a roadway, the bicyclist must generally use that lane or path (with exceptions for such things as making a left turn or avoiding debris in the lane or path).  If there is no such lane or path, if a bicyclist is going slower than the normal speed of traffic, the bicyclist generally should be close to the right curb or edge of the roadway (again, with some exceptions!).

Protective headgear is required for bicyclists under 16 years of age on a highway or premises open to the public.  But if a bicyclist is injured in a crash, evidence of whether that person was using protective headgear is not admissible in court to reduce the amount of damages in a legal case. 

The rules for bicyclists are sufficiently different from the ordinary rules of the road that it is important for an injured bicyclist to be represented by an attorney who is experienced in bicycle injury cases.   We work to bring justice to people injured in bicycle collisions. If you think you have a bicycle injury case, contact us right away.


Bicycle Injury Cases

Drunk Kills Bicyclist

Drunk SUV driver kills UO student bicyclist; policy limits settlement.

Negligent Driver Injures Bicyclist

$264,650 Settlement in Federal Court Case

The attorneys at Corson & Johnson have helped countless individuals and families over the past three-plus decades.
Please click on the Read More Cases link highlighted below to see additional Bicycle Injury case examples.
If you think you may have a case, please call, email, or text us; we would be happy to talk with you.

Bicycle Injury Resources

Protecting Bicyclists

Protecting Bicyclists

About every four to five seconds, a bicyclist is injured in a crash. On average, two or three of them will die on any given day, although the numbers are higher during the nicer weather months.

Bicycle-Car Collision: How Ryan Fought Back

Bicycle-Car Collision: How Ryan Fought Back

This segment of The Law and You features Eugene, Oregon personal injury trial lawyer Don Corson speaking about a case where he helped a man involved in a bicycle-car collision fight back against an insurance company who accused him of wrongdoing.

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