Michael Colbach is an expert personal injury attorney when it comes to pedestrians hit by cars while walking or crossing streets in or not in a crosswalk.

Portland pedestrian accident attorney - pedestrians hit by cars have help from their own car accident insurance personal injury protection.

If you've been injured as a pedestrian, contact Mike for a free no obligation consultation as soon as you are able because you need to know your options. You will need to know what insurance coverage is in place to help you cover your medical expenses and lost wages.

Pedestrians hit by car drivers have help from unlikely places.

If you are a pedestrian and hit by a car, your own Oregon auto insurance policy will provide you personal injury protection coverage.

Your Oregon auto insurance personal injury protection coverage is no-fault medical coverage which means that even if the accident was your fault, the auto insurance personal injury protection will still have to pay.

If you don't have Oregon auto insurance, nor healthcare insurance, than the at-fault driver's auto insurance policy Oregon personal injury protection (PIP) should provide you coverage.

Crosswalks bicycle riders hit in a crosswalk are sometimes harassed for their injury claim because they were in a crosswalk but bike riders do have rights under Oregon law

Even if you were not in a crosswalk when you were hit by a car as a pedestrian, in Oregon, there is an implied crosswalk at every corner with a stop sign. What this means is that even though there may not be a painted crosswalk, if there is a stop sign, the law probably considers there to be an implied crosswalk at the corner. In Oregon, every intersection is a crosswalk, UNLESS it's marked with a crosswalk closed sign. Marking a crosswalk as closed isn't a quick-and-easy decision, and it is only done when there is a safer crossing nearby.

You will need to talk to an experienced attorney to understand your options. Do not give a recorded statement nor sign anything until you have discussed your accident with an attorney who has a proven record of helping pedestrians hit by cars.

What Clients Say

Sometimes a bicycle rider will get harassed for riding in a crosswalk as a cause of their bicycle verses car accident.

Oregon law considers cyclists to be pedestrians if they are crossing in a crosswalk. However you are not supposed to be riding at a faster velocity than a normal pedestrian would be walking in that crosswalk.

It can also be confusing if you are in a designated bike lane at an intersection, and you may be bicycling just next to the crosswalk where the bike lane would seem to continue (whether painted or not). Many bicycle accidents happen in intersections with a car turning right through the bike lane and hitting the cyclist, or while the cyclist is going straight through an intersection.

Left turning drivers often also hit bicycle riders going through an intersection with the right of way.

Bicyclists get a double speak of sorts, sometimes they are vehicles and sometimes they are pedestrians, but they never are given the rights and protections of either.

Don't let the insurance company double talk you, call me as soon as you are able if you ave been hit by a car while on your bicycle or crossing a street with your bicycle while you are walking. In a few minutes over the phone I can usually give you an estimate of what your claim is worth so you don't get ripped off by the insurance company, and help you understand the insurance that you may already have in place to help you with your medical bills and lost wages, and also damages to your bicycle, helmet and gear.

The effect of front-end vehicle height on pedestrian death risk

  • A 10 cm increase in front-end height causes a 22% increase in pedestrian fatality risk.
  • The survival probability of women, children, and seniors are more strongly affected.

In 2024 we have data that says cyclist deaths and pedestrian fatalities are at a 40 year high.

In 2021, pedestrians killed increased 13% to 7,342, the most since 1981. The number of cyclists killed rose 5% to 985, the most since at least 1980, NHTSA said earlier this year. In the first six months of 2022, U.S. pedestrian deaths rose another 2% and bicyclist deaths jumped another 8%, NHTSA said Monday. (Reuters 2023)

After years of improving road safety for all users, the numbers of pedestrians and cyclists injured by vehicles has also been going up. With data now coming in from 2022 pedestrian fatalities are the highest in 40 years. The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) latest reports on 2022:

"The report also includes an analysis of 2021 data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Fatality Analysis Reporting System to provide additional context on when, where and how drivers strike and kill people on foot. This analysis uncovered a shocking safety disparity for people walking: Pedestrian deaths rose a troubling 77% between 2010 and 2021, compared to a 25% rise in all other traffic fatalities."

projected pedestrians killed in USA in 2022 by cars on streets is highest in forty years over 8000 deaths of pedestrians

Visibility - Large Vehicles

Visibility from larger vehicles and popular SUV's is considered as a factor in the rise of pedestrian fatalities and injuries because these types of vehicles have become so popular on our roads. These are normal passenger vehicles, we have long been aware semi-trucks and dump trucks have cab visibility problems.

According to recent research by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, "SUVs, other large vehicles often hit pedestrians while turning."

At intersections, the odds that a crash that killed a crossing pedestrian involved a left turn by the vehicle versus no turn were about twice as high for SUVs, nearly 3 times as high for vans and minivans and nearly 4 times as high for pickups as they were for cars. The odds that a crash that killed a crossing pedestrian involved a right turn by the vehicle were also 89 percent higher for pickups and 63 percent higher for SUVs than for cars.

In a similar but more limited study conducted in North Carolina, researchers also found that intersections and turning was not the only pedestrian type of accident where size of the vehicle and visibility might be a contributing factor to the increasing pedestrian injuries and fatalities:

Away from intersections, pickups were 80 percent and SUVs were 61 percent more likely than cars to hit a pedestrian walking or running along the road.

The below image illustrates this danger to pedestrians. The shaded region around the truck cab and driver illustrates the zone that the driver doesn't have good visibility because of the design of the big truck cab. Even though the pedestrian is on the sidewalk and about to cross the intersection at a corner, and implied crosswalk, the pedestrian is in increased danger because of the size of this vehicle in a normal environment.

image showing the visibility from a big truck driver line of sight not being able to see the pedestrian on the sidewalk about to cross the street at an intersection.

This image shows the truck driver's line of site from the big truck cab, showing how only the top of the head is visible because the truck cab itself is impeding the drivers ability to see.

this is another view showing a motorcycle to the right of a big truck with the driver line of sight not making the motorcycle rider visible to the truck driver

image showing the visibility from a big truck driver line of sight not making the motorcycle rider visible to the truck driver

This image shows the same truck and motorcycle but from truck driver's line of site from the big truck cab, showing how only the top of the head is visible. This is the same position as the pedestrian in the first position. Regular pick up trucks can be huge not just dump trucks or semi-trucks, even common popular SUV's can be huge such that even small cars can be obscured depending on the vehicle design.

"The proportion of SUVs in the U.S. fleet has grown dramatically, so it's discouraging that they still seem to be more deadly to pedestrians than cars are," says IIHS Statistician Sam Monfort, lead author of the study.

"Roadway fatalities and the fatality rate declined consistently for 30 years, but progress has stalled over the last decade and went in the wrong direction in 2020. The rate of fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled has not substantially improved over the last 10 years, and increased significantly in 2020."

38,680 people died on America's roads in 2020 and fatalities increased 9% among motorcyclists

Cyclist fatalities increased by 5 percent from 2019 to 2020
national stats from 2010 to 2021 of bicyclist and pedestrian fatalities and all fatalities in the same period showing a large increase in cyclist and pedestrian fatalities data from the fatality analysis national records

In 2020 two-thirds of bicyclist deaths in the United States occurred in motor-vehicle traffic crashes, according to National Center for Health Statistics mortality data. That year, 938 cyclists were killed in traffic crashes, up almost 100 deaths from the year before; in 5 out of every 6 crashes with a single vehicle, the car, truck, or bus first hit the cyclist from behind—likely without spotting the rider until it was too late. (Slate 2023)

One interesting new Department of Transportation study found, contrary to some bike lane skeptics who suggest that protected bike lanes actually make cycling more dangerous, "Separated bike lanes show a clear trend...a transportation agency [installing one] can expect to see a reduction in bicycle crashes."

Vehicle Weight

It's not just big trucks and SUV's size that are increasing the risks to pedestrians and cyclists. New research into the safety of Electric Vehicles (EV's) found that their weight poses an increased risk to all road users including people in other vehicles. "IIHS reports that in over 60 tests it has conducted of EVs, the vehicles have generally performed well at protecting their occupants. It's the safety of people in other vehicles, along with pedestrians and cyclists, that is increasingly of concern," (Global News Canada reporting on a new IIHS Insurance Institute of Highway Safety Study). The takeaway being, the lighter vehicle is always going to come out worse in an impact, motorcycle, pedestrian, cyclist or small car.

Large vehicles and EV's may be safer for their occupants, but not for those outside of their vehicle, not even in another vehicle.

SUVs and trucks may leave their occupants feeling safer, but they create grave dangers for everyone else on the street. A 2015 federal study found that an SUV is two to three times more likely to kill a pedestrian than a car is, and economist Justin Tyndall has tied the ascent of SUVs to an increase in pedestrian deaths, which hit a 40-year high in 2021. Cyclist deaths, meanwhile, rose 44 percent from 2010 to 2020. (Slate November 2022)