Negligence is a major cause of roadway accidents throughout the state of Oregon. However, it is important that readers understand that negligence is not one thing. It can look vastly different in different situations, and, as such, this post will provide a general discussion of how driver negligence may result in bicycle accidents on Portland streets.
Negligence occurs when a person fails to act reasonably given their situation. For a driver, acting reasonably may involve following the rules of the road, being aware of their surroundings and adapting their driving practices for any hazards that may be in their way. As such, negligence may take the form of a driver who chooses to speed or ignore traffic signals, who fails to use their mirrors or check their blind spots or who tailgates others in raining or slippery conditions.
Any of these acts of negligence can cause a serious and life-threatening collision with a bicyclist. Bicycles and their riders are much smaller than the motorized vehicles that drivers are used to seeing on the roads; therefore, a negligent driver may not be prepared to react to a bicyclist when they come upon one on the road.
Sadly, many bicyclist victims of vehicle collisions suffer serious injuries and even death. Those who do live through their ordeals may face long roads to recovery that do not end in the full use and enjoyment of their bodies. The costs associated with recuperating after a vehicle-bicycle collision can be great, and not all victims may be in a position to cover their costs on their own. They may benefit from litigating their negligence claims against the drivers who hurt them.