Motorcycle accidents can be devastating and can have a lasting impact on your life. You can be sure the other driver's insurance company is already working hard to deny or minimize your motorcycle accident claim.
You need a motorcycle accident attorney who has the experience and knowledge to help you through this difficult time.
The Law Office of Chad Stavley has been representing injured motorcyclists for over 14 years in Oregon and Washington. We know what it takes to get results; Chad has handled multiple million-dollar motorcycle cases. In addition, he handles all personal injury and wrongful death cases on a contingent fee, meaning there is no fee unless we win money.
As a motorcycle accident victim, you are in a more difficult position than a person injured in a car accident. Insurance companies commonly attempt to blame crashes on motorcycle riders even when the rider was acting safely and suffered a serious injury. In fatal accidents, the insurance company has even more incentive to blame the motorcycle rider because they can no longer speak for themselves.
Don't let the insurance company profit by negotiating with you when you are overwhelmed. Instead, you should always consult with an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer before making any decision that could impact your future.
Portland motorcycle accident lawyer Chad Stavley offers a free case evaluation. He will answer all your questions so that you completely understand your options. After your free consultation, you can decide what to do next.
What Can I Expect to Discuss in My Free Case Evaluation?
First, Chad will want to discuss the facts of your motorcycle accident. There are many different causes of motorcycle accidents that can determine whether you can recover compensation from the negligent party or not. In a serious accident, you may not know what happened. That is OK. Chad will want to know if any investigation was done and if there were witnesses to the motorcycle crash.
Next, Chad will want to discuss your injuries and medical expenses. He will want to know about your health history before the crash and if you had any previous serious injuries that could potentially complicate your personal injury case.
Chad will also want to discuss facts that could affect recovering compensation, such as insurance coverage amounts. After your free consultation, you should know all your options.
What Determines the Value of a Motorcycle Accident Case?
Many factors affect the value of motorcycle accident cases. The first thing that any competent motorcycle accident lawyer will look at is liability. Can the lawyer prove that the other driver was negligent? The clearer the negligence, the stronger the case, and the more likely you will get financial compensation. An experienced motorcycle accident attorney will know to find witnesses and have them interviewed. If there are photos or videos from the accident scene, good motorcycle accident lawyers will want to gather and review that evidence. If there are no good witnesses or other evidence, motorcycle accident lawyers will sometimes need to hire accident reconstructionists or other experts to recreate the accident scene from available information.
The next major issue that affects the value of a motorcycle accident claim is what is referred to as causation in personal injury law. Did the injuries sustained result from the motorcycle accident? Again, the stronger the connection between the injuries and the crash, the better.
The biggest determiner of value in a motorcycle accident case is the degree of the injury. The idea is to compensate motorcycle accident victims for their serious injuries fully. Personal injury lawyers start by looking at the injuries themselves, such as a traumatic brain injury or broken bones. Then the motorcycle lawyer considers the medical bills and the likelihood of future costly medical bills and other economic damages such as lost wages and whether the motorcycle accident victim will return to work in the future. Then a motorcycle lawyer will want to look at the non-economic damages - what is commonly referred to as pain and suffering. The more serious the motorcycle accident injury, the more money it will take to compensate the victim.
Just like some factors increase the value of a motorcycle accident case, other factors decrease the value of the motorcycle claim. For instance, if the motorcycle rider suffered a traumatic brain injury but was not wearing a motorcycle helmet, that would decrease the personal injury claim value. Insurance companies take a hard look at motorcycle accident claims and the motorcycle riders themselves and try to look for any reason to reduce the case's value. They know that motorcycle accidents can result in huge damages and significant verdicts, so they will have their legal team ready to discredit you and your case. It would help if you got an Oregon motorcycle accident attorney with experience taking on the insurance companies and getting results.
Motorcycle Accident Fatalities
Unfortunately, it is not unusual for motorcycle accidents to result in a wrongful death claim. Motorcyclists are much more vulnerable than drivers of other vehicles involved in car accidents. In an auto accident, you have the protective frame of the car. In motorcycle accidents, there are times where even with the best protective gear, riders suffer fatal injuries.
Statistics bear this out; in 2017, there were 927 reported motorcycle accidents in Oregon. In those reported crashes, there were 917 injuries. That is a whopping 98.9% injury rate. In those 927 reported crashes, there were 56 fatalities. That means that 6% of all motorcycle accidents ended in a fatality. Comparing these statistics to car accidents gives you a clear picture of the danger. In non-motorcycle accidents statewide, the fatality rate is less than 1%.
In Oregon, wrongful death lawsuits present unique challenges to family members who attempt to recover compensation for their loss. First, the family member may have difficulty determining what happened. There may be significant medical expenses, especially if there was a lengthy hospitalization. Oregon's wrongful death damage cap may limit your damages. You need a motorcycle accident lawyer who has experience in Oregon applying the motorcycle law here. A law firm in another state may not commonly practice law in Oregon or understand Oregon motorcycle law. Damages Available in an Oregon Wrongful Death Lawsuit
In Oregon, available wrongful death damages are outlined by statute in ORS 30.020. The recoverable damages include:
Burial and memorial expenses
Pre-death loss of income
Pre-death pain and suffering
Financial losses to the decedent's estate such as lost accumulation of wealth
Money to justly and fairly compensate the decedent's spouse, children, stepchildren, stepparents, and parents for their loss of companionship and services
Potentially punitive damages
You need a motorcycle accident lawyer who has handled a motorcycle accident lawsuit involving a fatality. Chad Stavley has experience with these cases and understands the challenges when seeking compensation in a death case. As he does with all motorcycle accidents, Chad Stavley handles death cases on a contingency fee basis. Therefore, if he does not recover money for you, there are no legal fees.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
In our experience, other vehicles cause motorcycle accidents because of distracted driving and because other drivers do not take the time to look and therefore do not see motorcyclists. Unlike most motorcycle accident attorneys, Chad Stavley is also a motorcyclist. He knows first-hand that drivers fail to look closely before changing lanes, fail to look closely before taking a left turn across traffic, and pull into traffic without yielding. If you have been in a serious motorcycle accident, hire a lawyer who rides and has a proven track record of getting results.
Mr. Stavley represented a young motorcyclist on the Oregon coast who was hit by a woman who ran a stop sign. The man suffered a significant lower leg injury that required hospitalization and multiple surgeries.
What is the statute of limitations on an Oregon motorcycle crash case?
The statute of limitations on all personal injury cases in Oregon, including motorcycle accidents, is two years from the date of the crash. But there are some exceptions and other requirements that you should know. Therefore, it is an excellent idea to contact an Oregon law firm experienced in personal injury cases so that you don't miss any critical deadlines.
Does PIP apply to motorcycles in Oregon?
Personal injury protection (PIP) is not required on Oregon motorcycle policies the way it is on motor vehicle policies. It is essential to check your policy to see if you have PIP coverage. If you do have PIP coverage, you may be able to get no-fault medical and wage loss coverage while we are building the claim against the responsible driver and their insurance company.
How do you get paid?
We get paid on a contingency fee basis. That means you never have to pay us directly for anything. We get paid when we win. If we don't win, you don't pay anything. We also advance all case costs, including court costs and expert costs.
How long will it take to resolve my motorcycle accident case?
That depends on the circumstances of your case, including your injuries, recovery time, what county the crash happened in, and the other driver's insurance company. Call, and I'd be happy to discuss your particular case.
The insurance adjuster wants to take my recorded statement; should I do this?
No. Consult with your legal counsel before agreeing to anything like this.
You are in Portland and I am far away, should I contact you or get a motorcycle accident attorney near me?
We represent motorcycle accident victims and members of the motorcycle community throughout Oregon and Washington. In very serious cases, we associate with attorneys in other states and take cases nationwide.
What types of motorcycle injury cases have you handled?
I've handled and continue to handle many different motorcycle injury cases. Sometimes the fault is being disputed, and sometimes we are just fighting about injuries and the right amount of money to resolve a case. I've handled motorcycle death cases, motorcycle crashes that resulted in amputations, and other significant injuries. Call me to discuss how we will prepare to get the best possible outcome for your case.
How many cases do you work on at one time?
Unlike most motorcycle lawyers, we take only a small percentage of the people who want our help. Over the past five years, we take on average approximately 5% of the people calling us for help. That allows us to devote ourselves to the clients we do take completely. For those cases we don't take, we help victims who seek compensation to understand their options and refer them to another lawyer in the motorcycle community who can help.
What other ways are there to check on a motorcycle lawyer to see if they are good?
First, you can check to see if the lawyer has any disciplinary history at https://www.osbar.org/members/membersearch_start.asp. Put in the lawyer's last name and check their profile. At the bottom, you can click, "show disciplinary history." If they have ever been sanctioned, you will see that information. Next, I recommend looking at the lawyer's online reviews. This should give you an idea of what former clients and the motorcycle community have to say about the lawyer.
Reviews from Clients
Chad is a great guy to work with, very down to earth and easy to talk to. He worked with me on the wrongful death case of my husband, and I couldn't be happier with his quick responses and approach. I highly recommend him to anyone who wants an attorney that is knowledgeable and willing to go the extra mile for his clients.
- Chandra Berry
Chad was beyond helpful after I got hit by a car on my motorcycle in Nov. Without HIM, I know I would've walked away with bills instead of money in my pocket after the settlement. What's more, he was trustworthy and genuinely wanted to be sure I made out alright. I expected to have to watch any lawyer I hired with a microscope, but it wasn't that way at all. And unlike other lawyers I spoke with, he actually takes his cut AFTER medical bills have been paid. Not before, assuming they'll knock off a percentage. I couldn't recommend him more.
- Alyssa Ward
Chad and his staff made it very easy and stress free.
- Joe Birchhill
I got into a serious not at-fault motorcycle accident in the beginning of May. I broke a few bones in my wrist, concussion, etc. I didn't have health insurance because I had forgot to enroll with my employer this last period. My medical bills were crazy expensive; I had to get surgery on my wrist and had NO health insurance mind you. The guy who hit me had the bare minimum liability coverage, so Chad had very little to work with in my case. He nevertheless took it on, he laid out my options with clarity and precision. He told me exactly what he would do in every scenario, and just overall put me at ease with his excellent communication and calm demeanor. Every time I had a question or concern, I emailed Chad (I try not to bother busy lawyers with tedious phone calls) and his response was always lightning quick. Things took awhile, (patience is key!) as they usually do in these cases but the end result was unbelievably satisfying. Chad got me a pretty good sized settlement, and was able to negotiate my massive hospital bill down! I could not be more grateful to Chad and his staff. Stephanie and Natalie were great. I will most certainly be using them again if ever needed. If you want an attorney who will be up front with you, truthful, caring, and efficient, Chad Stavley is your guy! Thank you Chad, Stephanie, and Natalie!
- Jamal K
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