Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on June 10th, 2008 at 11:52 am
"Everything riders do to be safe makes it easier for attorneys to protect their rights against insurance companies and in court."
--Lawyer Scott Kocher
As part of their Continuing Legal Education (CLE) program, the Oregon State Bar is offering a seminar titled, Bicycle Law and Injury Prevention for Advocates and Riders.
The seminar will be offered at their Tigard headquarters tomorrow and will be presented by lawyers Richard Vangelisti, Scott Kocher and Mark Ginsberg. According to Kocher, Oregon attorneys are required to complete a certain number of hours of CLE programs to maintain their bar licenses.
Kocher says he expects about 30 lawyers to attend, among them will be lawyers who represent injured bicyclists, insurance lawyers who defend claims by injured bicyclists, and lawyers involved in municipal risk management and transportation design and construction.
I asked Kocher for a preview of what some of the topics they'll be discussing. He said they'll focus heavily on safety and that,
"When it comes to safety, the legal and practical considerations overlap more than most people realize. Everything riders do to be safe makes it easier for attorneys to protect their rights against insurance companies and in court."
Kocher says for riders, the number one message he'd like to send is the importance of visibility;
"There's no law that says you have to wear hi-vis yellow or white, but the color a rider was wearing goes on the police report and it can make a big difference with insurance companies and juries."
And what can cities can do to better protect people who ride? Kocher says,
"If I had to send one message to the municipal folks, it would be to stop contractors from putting unmarked bags of wood chips around catch basins. Unmarked bags are increasingly common, and are a significant hazard to cyclists. In most situations they need to be marked with a reflective sawhorse at the very least."
For more information on the seminar, or to register for the webcast, visit OSBarCLE.org.
Bicycle Law and Injury Prevention for Advocates and Riders
OSB Center (16037 S.W. Upper Boones Ferry Rd.)
June 11, 2008 1:00-4:00 p.m.