Portland, Oregon Bicyclist and Insurer of Driver Settle Bicycle Accident Case for $100,000

A Portland bicyclist and the insurance company of the driver that struck him have reached a $100,000 Oregon bicycle accident settlement for injuries and costs. Bicyclist Ben Ramsdell was injured almost two years ago when he was hit by motorist Johnny Eschweiler, 49, after the two of them engaged in a verbal exchange of words.

Witnesses say they saw the motorist deliberately hit Ramsdell and Timothy Mastne, another bicyclist, in August 2007. Ramsdell had to get 30 stitches on his face. He also broke his finger and his nose. Mastne sustained bruises and cuts.

In April, Multnomah County Circuit Court Judge Michael McShane ruled that Eschweiler was guilty of assault but insane. When he was 19, he used a fork to stab a coworker in the face. Surgeons had to take out part of his brain when he was 23.

Eschweiler was not ordered to serve jail time for causing the Portland, Oregon bicycle accident, but he was committed to house arrest for 15 years and state psychiatrists are closely monitoring him. The state of Oregon has permanently taken away his driver’s license.

Because the Oregon bicycle accident was considered “intentional” and not “accidental,” Farmer’s was initially absolved of making a payout. However, the insanity ruling raised the question of whether the motorist even knew that hitting bicyclists was his car was intentional or accidental.

The $100,000 is the maximum that the insurance company’s motorist policy allows.

Bicycle Accident Injuries
It is rare for a motor vehicle driver to intentionally run down an Oregon bicyclist. Most bicycle accidents that are caused by motorists are accidental. The driver never meant to seriously injure or kill the victim.

Regardless of whether or not a motorist meant to intentionally hurt or kill a bicyclist, however, any negligence on the driver’s part can be grounds for an Oregon bicycle accident claim or lawsuit.

Bicyclists are at a disadvantage anytime they are injured in a collision with a car, a truck, a motorcycle, an SUV, a van, a bus, or a train. The impact of the bicycle-vehicle crash alone can prove fatal.

Bicyclist hit by insane driver reaches settlement, KGW, June 17, 2009
Rage victim says he’s taking it “day by day,” BikePortland, August 18, 2007
Related Web Resources:
Bicycle and Pedestrian Program

Bicycle Safe


This is where our Portland, Oregon personal injury law firm can step in to assist you.
Do NOT try to negotiate an agreement with the other party’s insurer before talking to Matthew D. Kaplan, Attorney at Law first.