South of Portland, down in Corvallis, many residents have seen a retired Oregon State University professor ride his bicycle around town for years. The popular local man used the bike as a mode of transportation for some 50 years, often bicycling to and from his work at OSU. The bike reportedly had a five-foot safety flag attached to the back to alert drivers to his presence. Nevertheless, the professor was the victim of a bicycle car crash on Jan. 9.
Brown was riding his bike southbound on Dixon Street at the intersection with Grant Avenue in Corvallis when he noticed a car coming toward him from a distance of three or four blocks away. The former professor said he couldn’t pedal fast enough, and the oncoming car struck the rear of the 87-year-old’s bicycle. The bicycle accident resulted in serious injuries to the professor, and he was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital where he was last reported hospitalized more than a month later.
Authorities note that a bicycle car crash occurs an average of 2.5 times per month in the university town. Bicycle riders are understandably at risk of injury when involved in collisions with motor vehicles.
Though in this case police investigating the bicycle crash have not issued any citations, accident investigations by the authorities are just one aspect to consider when assessing whether or not a personal injury claim is appropriate. Whether in Portland, Corvallis or any other part of Oregon, the law provides for the right of an individual suffering injury caused by the negligence of another party to pursue a claim for resulting monetary damages.
Regrettably, collisions between motor vehicles and bicycles rarely have good outcomes, as we can see from this crash. Hopefully the former professor will continue to progress toward full recovery. In the meantime, we can only hope that drivers in our area learn from this accident and take extra care when operating their vehicles.
Source: Corvallis Gazette-Times, “Bike accident victim: Be careful,” Emily Gillespie, Feb. 11, 2012