A Head-on Crash in Southwest Oregon Leaves a Portland Motorcyclist Dead

The beautiful scenery across Oregon can be enjoyed in many ways, and viewing it aboard a motorcycle can be among the most satisfying methods. Unfortunately, motorcyclists and their passengers are among the most vulnerable on the road. When a car, truck, or SUV driver makes a mistake, the collision that results from that error has an elevated chance of causing the motorcyclist involved to suffer catastrophic or fatal injuries. If you have encountered that situation — or you’ve lost a loved one as a result of this type of crash — you inevitably have much on your mind, not the least of which is addressing the steeper financial obligations you now face. When it comes time to seek compensation from insurers or through the legal system, be sure you have a knowledgeable Oregon motorcycle accident lawyer advocating for you.

One of the most common types of major motorcycle accidents, which this blog covered recently, involves motor vehicle drivers who make left turns in front of oncoming motorcyclists.

While that is a common scenario, it isn’t the only threat to motorcyclists that can have deadly consequences, as a late 2023 motorcycle crash in Jackson County illustrates. The motorcyclist, a 66-year-old Portland man, was driving his Harley Davidson motorcycle on Highway 230 near Crater Lake when a Toyota Corolla crossed the centerline of the highway and slammed head-on into his motorcycle.

The driver and passenger inside the car suffered minor injuries. The motorcyclist died at the scene.

There are lots of reasons why a motor vehicle might cross into oncoming lanes of traffic and crash into a motorcyclist. The driver may have been drowsy or fatigued. The driver may have been impaired by drugs or alcohol. The driver may have been passing another vehicle without sufficient room to do so safely. Alternatively, the driver may have lost control due to going too fast.

Whereas car, truck, and SUV occupants are protected by seatbelts and airbags, motorcyclists have little more than their helmets. Head-on crashes are highly likely to throw a motorcyclist from his/her motorcycle and into a vehicle or onto the road, potentially causing massive injuries to the motorcyclist’s head, spinal cord, skin, bones, and soft tissue. Additionally, being thrown from a motorcycle creates the risk of being run over by a subsequent driver who fails to stop.

Compensation Via Insurance Claims or Litigation

Getting proper compensation may involve multiple insurance claims and lawsuits. When it comes to litigation, keep in mind that you only have a limited time to act. For your injury case, it’s generally two years. If it’s a death case, Oregon law generally allows three years but does carve out exceptions that can change that deadline. When it comes to insurance claims, keep in mind that you may be able to pursue compensation on multiple policies. In addition to a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance policy, you could also potentially have options when it comes to uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage claims, including your (or your deceased loved one’s) policy, or the policy held by the motorcycle’s owner.

Having legal representation from a skilled attorney can greatly enhance your odds of success both in court and when dealing with insurers. If you’ve been hurt or lost a loved one because someone else was negligent, the experienced Oregon motorcycle accident attorneys at Kaplan Law LLC are here to help. Call us today at (503) 226-3844 or contact us online to set up your free consultation and get the knowledgeable information you need and the straightforward, honest advice you deserve.

50 SW Pine St 3rd Floor Portland, OR 97204 Telephone: (503) 226-3844 Fax: (503) 943-6670 Email: matthew@mdkaplanlaw.com
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