View Full Version : bike savvy attorneys?

10-13-2006, 12:21 PM
Hi folks,

An SUV “failed to obey a traffic control device” and was ticketed for such. Unfortunately, in the process of doing that, there was a collision between my bike and the SUV. (me, unconscious for about 45 minutes, 4 broken ribs, partially collapsed lung, damaged aductor muscle, bruised liver) Now the driver’s insurance company is feeding me such gibberish as “the policy limit is $10,000”, “our policy is to not cover your first two weeks of lost wages”, “we pay 70% of approved costs for property damage” “you need to bill your insurance, they are primary”, and “we want you to sign this form so we can get ALL your records, and we may release them to other parties at our sole discretion, you waive confidentiality rights”

I haven’t just fallen off the turnip truck (just bounced off an SUV!) I haven’t signed anything, and won’t. If I can’t get the insurance company to be reasonable (asking for medical expenses, lost wages, and all costs associated with replacement/repair of bike/helmet/bike clothes) then the pain and suffering they put me through will certainly be factored in. (medical issues are not yet resolved, still more appts)

I don’t look forward to more court (divorce was bad enough thankyou!) but if necessary, I want an attorney who knows bike rights/responsibilities, experienced in this kind of thing.

Does anyone have experience with bike savvy attorneys, good or bad? If I need one, I would prefer not to just pick one randomly from the yellow pages.

Portland area or west side



10-13-2006, 12:38 PM
Ray Thomas, Portland

10-13-2006, 03:20 PM
Start HERE (http://stc-law.com/aboutfirm.html). If you're not in the right place, they will point you to it.

Jonathan Maus
10-13-2006, 06:08 PM
Also try Mark Ginsberg - http://www.bikesafetylaw.com/

10-13-2006, 08:44 PM
I'm really glad to hear you're "OK," although I know you sustained some pretty painful injuries. I heard all about this, saw pictures of you lying on the ground, even read the emails that came across my firm's intranet asking for a referral. All the while I was thinking, "There but for the grace of God go I."

As an attorney and a cyclist, I would really love to take this case. But my firm does not do personal injury torts and I have no free time to even offer.

I can't say much more about this because I cannot give you legal advice, but I can say that you should definitely consult an attorney (although you apparently already know that).

And I can tell you a bit about picking an attorney. Really, you can't go wrong if you pick someone who does personal injury regularly. It's mostly about who you feel comfortable with. Picking someone who does cycling cases may help you feel more comfortable, but legally it won't make a lot of difference for your representation.

There are two major methods of paying attorneys in these situations: hourly or by contingency (they take a %, usually around 1/3, only if you win). Contingency is risk-free for you, but which method will result in a larger bill (assuming you win) will depend on the specifics of your case. Ask for an estimate of the time and the hourly rate so you can get an idea of which method will create a smaller bill for you.

The Oregon State Bar Association (www.osbar.org) has an attorney referral service that you might find useful.

Also, I can answer questions you have about finding an attorney if you'd like to email me privately.

10-14-2006, 10:35 AM
Thanks for the information all of you. Hopefully the driver's insurance company will see the light and treat me fairly, but if not, it least it's good to know where to turn.

Thanks again,

10-14-2006, 07:48 PM

Tell the insurance company that they have 72 hours to get you a settlement agreement for: (list what you want). After 72 hours you will turn it over to an attorney and they can deal with them at that point. It is amazing what happens when you tell them you are going to an attorney and will no longer talk to them.

But you also may be better off with an attorney as they know more and can think of things you may not, like "future medical expenses", etc..

Quick settlement take the first choice. Knowing that you are getting everything you can and SHOULD, see an attorney.

This is not legal advice just friendly advice from someone that had to fight the insurance companies as well.

10-18-2006, 01:33 PM
Try Richard Vangelisti, 503-595-4131, www.vangelisti.com

Good luck.