Bicycle Attorney Michael A. Colbach Attorney at Law, PC  is a Portland, Oregon bicycle accident attorney and trial lawyer with proven results.

Oregon Bicycle Accident Attorney

Over $52 million in verdicts and settlements in just the last 16 years.

Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Insurance Benefits Cover You On Your Bicycle

Your Oregon auto insurance policy provides you coverage while you are on your bicycle or a pedestrian.

Oregon personal injury protection (PIP) provides a minimum of $15,000 in medical coverage, as well as up to 52 weeks of wage loss. Oregon Senate Bill 411 passed in 2015 made a slight but important modification that extends PIP coverage for medical bills following an accident from one year to two years. This personal injury protection is no-fault medical coverage which means that it covers you regardless of whether the accident was determined to be your fault or the other driver's.

You'll need to contact your own insurance company and file a claim for your personal injury protection benefits. You will need to do this as soon as possible in order for your benefits to start kicking in and in order for them to pay your medical bills.

I advise everyone to not make any recorded statement to the other driver's insurance company until you have consulted with an experienced attorney. This is for your protection.

If your Oregon personal injury protection coverage limits are reached, the other driver’s personal injury protection may also cover you. If you do not have healthcare insurance, you will be billed personally for any amounts in excess of your personal injury protection coverage. Oftentimes I can work with providers to get them to wait for payment until the case is resolved.

I also strongly suggest increasing your PIP coverage from the minimum of $15,000 especially now that your medical payment coverage can protect you for up to two years. If you have health insurance you may not need as much but PIP can still help with high deductible health care plans.

Wage Loss ORS 742.524 (b)

If the injured person is usually engaged in a remunerative occupation and if disability continues for at least 14 days, 70 percent of the loss of income from work during the period of the injured person's disability until the date the person is able to return to the person's usual occupation. This benefit is subject to a maximum payment of $3,000 per month and a maximum payment period in the aggregate of 52 weeks. As used in this paragraph, "income" includes but is not limited to salary, wages, tips, commissions, professional fees and profits from an individually owned business or farm.

If you have to miss work because of your injuries, you will also need your wage loss protections. You will need to document your wage losses and any other expenses you incur.

If you know you will be unable to work past the 14 day period, start the process to invoke your wage loss as soon as you are able because the procedure does take a little bit of time to document and process.

Uninsured Motorist, Underinsured Motorist (UM /UIM) ORS 742.502

Your auto insurance policy protects you from uninsured drivers, hit and run accident, and even other cyclists in the event of a bicycle v. bicycle accident. Your liability part of your auto insurance also protects you if you are at fault from damages to a car or other property.

Oregon insurance law requires minimums for uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage of $25,000. Oregon insurance law changed under SB 411 passed in 2015 allowing for, "insurance stacking."    Insurance "stacking," allows injured motorists to add their uninsured motorist coverage on top of the at - fault driver's liability coverage so injured you can get your total insurance coverage defined as the total amount of all coverage available because you will be able to "stack" your UM/UIM coverage on top of the at-fault party's bodily injury liability (BI) coverage. It is a very good idea to increase your UM/UIM (uninsured motorist and under insured motorist) coverage from the legal minimums required by Oregon insurance law.

Increasing your UM/UIM coverage from the minimum $25,000.

I tell every client to buy as much uninsured and under-insured motorist insurance (UM, UIM) as they can afford as every year, I deal with clients with permanent, disabling injuries caused by drivers with little or no insurance. It is fairly inexpensive to boost this coverage and it will give you added protection and help.

Oregon Bicycle Insurance

If you do not own a car, some bicycle commuters get signed on as an additional driver to an auto insurance policy so that they do have the extra coverage of personal injury protection (PIP) insurance, even though they rarely, or even never, drive the car, just so that they have this coverage while they on their bicycle (or as a pedestrian).

Some bicyclists get extra insurance (in addition to renters insurance or home owner insurance) for their fine bicycles. I work closely with local bicycle shops to try and get you full replacement value for your damaged bicycle and bicycle gear. Bicycle insurance special coverage may be of interest to some. This bicycle insurance company has many different options depending on the cyclist's needs and type of riding which can perhaps give you more piece of mind about bike theft. The many options for bicycle insurance can get very confusing, and many are not in the USA. This bicycle insurance comparison site might help you narrow your options and compare companies. Also, talk to your own insurance agent for help.

Insurance companies also offer umbrella policies, and these are an excellent idea. The right umbrella policy can protect your personal assets if you are sued, but more importantly protects you if you are badly injured by an uninsured or under-insured motorist. Do not buy an umbrella policy unless this policy includes uninsured and under-insured motorist coverage, and work with your insurance agent to thoroughly understand the coverage that you have in place. Many of these umbrella policies are fairly inexpensive and an offer you over a million dollars in coverage for just a few hundred dollars a year. You'll have to consult with your own insurance agent to find the best fit for you.

Insurance When You Need It

Insurance companies, are in business to make money for their shareholders. It often takes the threat of a lawsuit and a known trial attorney to make them to pay.

In Seattle, this bike lawyer had issues getting her own auto insurance policy, where she was named as an additional driver, to pay for her medical bills after she was struck by an uninsured driver from behind on her bicycle commute home.

Last year, I was hit by an uninsured driver on my ride home from work and utilized the Insurance Fair Conduct Act (RCW §48.30.015) when my insurer claimed that I was not insured when riding my bike. The Insurance Fair Conduct Act (IFCA) was approved by voters and signed into law in 2007. IFCA provides remedies for people whose claims are unreasonably denied by their insurance companies or if their insurance companies fail to comply with particular regulations governing unfair claims settlement practices. [...]

The insurer then proceeded to variously accept and deny coverage, ultimately determining that I was not a "named insured." Although I was named on the policy, the insurer had unilaterally chosen to list me as a "friend" on the policy rather than as a "named insured" as my partner had requested. Apparently, being added as a "friend" translates into "no uninsured motorist coverage." This listing was ambiguous enough to confuse the adjuster, but evidently not so ambiguous that the insurer would agree that I was covered. [...]

The insurance company quickly deposed me and my partner. After we served it with extensive discovery requests in state court, the insurer removed the case to federal court and sent us a copy of a Western District Court order dismissing another bicyclist's UIM claim on summary judgment for not being a "named insured" on the policy. Undeterred, we moved forward with initial discovery disclosures. Interestingly, we received an offer of judgment that was close to 10 times the amount of my medical bills, but that expired before the insurer's discovery was due.

Read the whole story. It is a very good explanation of why you sometimes need an experienced attorney to fight for you. It is also very illustrative of how insurance companies will delay, deny, obfuscate matters.