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Do You Know What to Do After a Bicycle Accident?


Cycling is a pretty popular activity in the Pacific Northwest—you can get in some exercise and take in some of Portland’s great scenery. However, riding a bicycle isn’t only a great way to get a workout; bikes are also gaining in popularity with commuters. Did you know that currently, around 6.3% of Portland commuters rely on bicycles?

While cycling is great for your health and the environment, it also means the number of bicycle-related accidents is increasing. If you’re involved in a bike accident with a motor vehicle, do you know what to do? The steps you take after a bicycle accident can significantly affect your personal injury claim. If you’re curious to learn more about what you’re supposed to do in this situation, keep reading on.

Steps to Take After a Bicycle Accident in Portland, Oregon

Chances are you’re feeling a little dazed and confused after a bicycle accident. Hopefully, you’re following safety guidelines and are wearing protective gear like a helmet. Even though Oregon state law only requires bicycle riders under the age of 16 to wear a helmet, it’s something everyone should do.

So, after catching your breath and getting your bearings, what are the steps you should take after your bicycle accident?

Immediately Report the Accident

The legal requirements for reporting an accident in Oregon are as follows:

  • Property damage exceeds $2,500
  • A vehicle requires towing from the accident scene
  • Injuries and/or fatalities are present

Even if these requirements don’t apply, you still want to alert the authorities and remain at the scene. Calling the authorities can ensure you have access to immediate medical care and help protect your legal rights.

The responding authorities will create an accident and insurance report. The insurance provider will want to see the report before starting the claim process. Since Oregon is an at-fault insurance state, you’ll probably file a claim with the other party’s provider.

Oregon is also a modified comparative negligence state. This may not affect your claim, but it’s still a good idea to be prepared. Modified comparative negligence allows more than one party to be assigned fault for an accident. As long as your percentage of the blame isn’t over 50%, you can still seek compensation for your damages.

However, you don’t want to be assigned more than your fair percentage of the blame; it affects your compensation amount. Your compensation is reduced by the same percentage as your blame. Your accident report can provide crucial details that help show who’s ultimately responsible for your bicycle wreck.

Visit a Physician

If you’re fortunate enough to skip a ride in an ambulance, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t put off seeking medical care. Some injuries can take a while to start showing signs and symptoms. A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is an example.


You don’t want to start the claim process only to learn you suffered injuries. Once you file a claim with the insurance company, it’s difficult, if not impossible, to make any changes. This can mean you’re responsible for your medical expenses.

If you’re planning on seeking compensation for your injuries, you’ll need to provide your medical records to the insurance adjuster. They’re not going to take your word, they’ll require proof.

Collect Evidence

You’re not turning into an amateur detective, so don’t worry if your injuries prevent you from gathering evidence. You’ll be able to find most of the information in your accident report.

However, collecting some evidence at the accident scene can make it a little easier to move forward with your personal injury claim. Sometimes, when you’re dealing with insurance companies, you really can’t have enough supporting evidence.

The insurance adjuster will look for ways to reduce the value of your claim. When you can provide plenty of supporting evidence, it’s easier for you to negotiate a fair settlement offer successfully.

So, what type of evidence should you collect? Once again, you’re not a detective, so don’t go overboard here. In other words, you can leave the crime scene tape at home. You do want to grab your cell phone and turn on the camera app.

Make sure to take clear pictures of your damaged bicycle and any visible injuries you may sustain. Take pictures of the accident scene, paying attention to where the incident occurred. For example, were you hit while in the crosswalk or a dedicated bike lane?

If any witnesses are present on the scene, go ahead and get their contact information. However, don’t discuss any details of the accident. The insurance adjuster will interview the witnesses, and any statements you make can be used to try to reduce the value of your claim.

Save Everything Relating to the Accident

Your claim will probably include damages like your medical expenses and bicycle repair or replacement costs. If you want to receive compensation for these damages, you need to submit proof. You can’t simply give the insurance company a random number; you must have receipts, bills, and estimates.

Save all of your medical bills and receipts, which include any prescriptions you may fill to treat or manage your injuries. If your injuries require long-term care, save all medical records, including the estimated costs.


When it comes to repairing or replacing your bicycle, it’s a good idea to get a few estimates. This way, the insurance company has options and may not try to fight this element of your claim. However, don’t be surprised if the insurance company decides to go with the lowest estimate.

Sometimes, the injuries sustained in a bicycle accident are severe enough to prevent the individual from returning to work. You may be able to claim your lost wages. Save your recent pay stubs and bank records to show proof of income.

Pay Attention to the Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations refers to how long you have to file an injury claim after an accident. The statute of limitations for bicycle accidents is two years from the date of the incident. There are a few exceptions to the statute, but it’s almost always best to file a claim with the insurance company as soon as possible.

Receiving Compensation After a Bicycle Accident

If you’re injured in a Portland bicycle accident, you have legal rights, including the right to receive compensation for your damages. To help ensure you receive fair compensation, it’s best to work with an experienced injury attorney.

From meeting filing deadlines to negotiating with the insurance company, your attorney can handle the various legal steps, allowing you to focus on your recovery while they advocate for your best interests.