Pedestrian & Bicycle Injuries
Physics tells us via Sir Isaac Newton’s Third Law that “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.” What that means, is that when a car hits a pedestrian or bicycle, the injuries can be severe and often times deadly. This is due to the amount of force a vehicle generates along with its mass, and the relatively little mass of a bicycle or pedestrian.
Simply put, cars and trucks are a lot bigger than you as a pedestrian or bicycle, and all that force can only be absorbed by your body, which leads to major injuries.
Unfortunately, even in bike friendly Portland, we still live in a car-centric culture. This means drivers tend not to pay as much attention as they should to the other people sharing the road. This despite various laws designed to protect everyone. Plus, if you pay attention to the news, you will often see stories about road rage against bicyclists.
Now, if you or someone in your family is hurt or even killed by an automobile, you may be able to go after the person (or people) who caused those injuries. Furthermore, even if it was your own fault, you may be able to get your own insurance and the driver’s insurance to cover your medical bills up to certain limits.
Most of the injuries suffered by pedestrians come as pedestrians leave the relative safety of the sidewalk to cross the street. Obviously, people eventually need to be able to cross the street, and you cannot always do that at a marked crosswalk at an intersection controlled by a traffic light. To help make that process a little safer, is that there is actually a crosswalk at every-single-intersection in Oregon. That crosswalk exists whether it is marked or not, and most drivers do not understand this concept.
Occasionally police will run safety campaigns where they make sure cars stop for pedestrians at this unmarked crosswalks, and occasionally entities such as ODOT will run information campaigns. Unfortunately, they simply do not prevent these accidents, and when they happen, Steven & Legal can help you recover from these bad drivers.
We also can assist in filing a personal injury protection (PIP) claim with your own insurance and the driver’s insurance. This is part of your own automobile insurance as required in Oregon, and as a pedestrian both your own and the driver who hit you potentially would provide coverage for your medical bills.
As with pedestrians, bicyclist are also very vulnerable users of our roads. One of the reasons for this is that many of our roads were built well before bicycle commuters became a regular occurrence on our highways. This means there are often no bike lanes, amongst other hazards on the road.
As such, we end up with conflicts over the limited amount of space on the road. Again, the bicyclist will lose every time in a physical battle with a car, which leads to injuries when that happens. Just as with pedestrians, there are laws to protect bicyclists, but laws only work if everyone obeys them.
This means car versus bicycle accidents occur and will continue to occur. If you are a bicyclist, your best choice is to make sure and wear protective gear such as a helmet, and to be hyperaware of everything going on. You may see that truck, but they may not see you, and a wrongful death suit is not much of a consolation prize for the accident being the car’s fault.
Now, if you do unfortunately end up in an accident, again your PIP via your auto insurance would be available (assuming you or someone else in your household have auto insurance). The driver’s PIP may also provide some coverage for medical bills, this is so even if it was your fault. Then, if the accident was the driver’s fault, Stevens & Legal can help you recover from the driver and their insurance company.