Eugene Motorcycle Accident Lawyers

Looking For An Experienced & Trusted Motorcycle Accident Attorney in Oregon?

Some people love the freedom of riding their motorcycles.  Some other people see motorcycles in an entirely different light.  It’s no secret that many have prejudices against motorcyclists.  When motorcycle riders are injured, a lot of people tend to start with the unconscious bias that the motorcyclist was probably at fault.  The problem is compounded by the fact that judges and jurors overwhelmingly get around by car, not by motorcycle, and tend to see cases from the automobile driver’s point of view.

When a motorcycle and another vehicle collide, for obvious reasons the motorcyclist almost always comes out the worse. Often, the injuries are serious.  A motorcyclist is 27 times more likely to be killed in a crash than occupants of passenger cars (per vehicle mile driven), according to National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) data.  While motorcyclists can and should take personal safety measures, they can only do so much.  For example, NHTSA reports that helmets are only 37% effective in preventing operator fatalities.  While it is important to wear a helmet, that means that in 63% of the fatal collisions, the driver would be killed even if they were wearing a helmet.

Motorcycle riders are subject to all of the risks and hazards of driving that auto drivers are subject to, and then some. Car drivers tend to do better at seeing other cars than they do at seeing motorcycles, for example.  “I never saw him” is a common refrain, even when the crash happened in full daylight on a level, straight road.  Witnesses often get motorcyclist speed estimates wrong: as a small, louder vehicle, motorcycle speeds are consistently overestimated by bystanders.

When a motorcyclist is hurt in a crash, they need an advocate in an automobile-dominated world.  We have represented motorcyclists ranging from casual weekend riders to Harley dealers to committed members of various motorcycle clubs.  We work to bring justice to injured motorcyclists. If you think you have a motorcycle injury case, contact us right away.

The Corson & Johnson Law Firm has been named by Expertise as one of the 5 Best Motorcycle Accident Lawyers in Eugene.
 
Top Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in Eugene

Common Causes of Serious and Fatal Motorcycle Accidents 

Common causes of motorcycle accidents include:

  • Alcohol or drug use by either driver

  • Speeding by either driver

  • Roadway imperfections or construction

  • Auto driver reduced perception of motorcycles

  • Poor weather conditions

  • Fatigue or sleepiness of either driver

Common types of Motorcycle Accident Injuries:

One of the most common injuries sustained in motorcycle accidents are traumatic brain injuries. A traumatic brain injury disrupts normal brain function. Some effects are minor, but more serious brain damage effects can include loss of memory, impairment of balance, light sensitivity, decreased brain processing speed, impairment of normal emotional function, damage to hormone systems, and other losses all of the way up to coma or death.

Common injuries sustained in motorcycle accidents include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Injuries to the lower extremities (legs, ankles or knees)
  • Injuries to the upper extremities (arms, wrists or shoulders)
  • Internal bleeding
  • Internal organ damage
  • Road rash
  • Lacerations
  • Amputations

Have You Been Injured in a Motorcycle Accident?

Here Are Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

What Can a Lawyer Do for a Motorcycle Accident Case?

If you call us today, we’ll review your case for free. We’ll discuss your best potential options for compensation, and we’ll do our best to answer any legal questions you may have.

There’s no obligation to use our services after your free consultation. If you decide to hire our attorneys, we’ll promptly begin building your case by:

  • Investigating the accident scene and witnesses
  • Determine the factors contributing to the c
  • Documenting and gathering evidence
  • Standing up to pushy insurance companies
  • Dealing with the hassle of complex paperwork

We’re committed to our clients. We’ll cover all the upfront costs, and you won’t pay us a cent unless and until we win your case.

What are the first steps I should take after being injured in a motorcycle crash?

If you were injured in a motorcycle crash, you have plenty to deal with and may not know how best to proceed. If you can, call 911 right away, and follow their directions.  If police are responding, remain at the scene until they arrive, unless you must leave for immediate medical care.  Don’t move vehicles unless it is necessary for safety or are directed to do so by the police.

If you can, photograph the vehicles, the other driver’s license, and the scene with your smartphone.   Get names and phone numbers of any witnesses.  Before you leave the scene, make sure to exchange insurance and driver information with the other driver if you are physically able to do so (driver name and address; name and address of vehicle owner; name and address of vehicle occupants; vehicle registration number; insurance company name, policy number, and phone number).    Promptly afterward, report the collision to your own insurance company.

However, the single most important thing if you’ve been injured is to get medical care.

After you’ve obtained the initial medical attention you need, if you have serious injuries, seek professional legal counsel. If the crash was caused by the negligence of someone else, you can benefit from the help of an experienced motorcycle crash attorney.  Obtaining fair compensation is important to restoring your life.  The dedicated motorcycle accident attorneys at The Corson & Johnson Law firm are committed to helping you do just that.

Note that the steps you should take after a crash do NOT include: posting on social media, giving a statement to an adverse insurance company, or signing medical authorizations for insurance companies!

How much time do I have to make a claim after an Oregon motorcycle collision?

The general answer is usually two years from the date you were injured; however there are numerous exceptions that can shorten or lengthen the time.

For example, a case against an Oregon government whose employee caused a crash first requires a “tort claims act notice” within 180 days after the injury (more precisely, within 180 days after the injured person knew or should have known of the likely connection between their injury and the government negligence).  Minors get slightly more time (270 days), and people who are incapacitated or incompetent get up to 90 additional days beyond the basic 180 day rule.  For wrongful death cases, the government notice must be given within a year.  Rules for cases against the federal government differ from these Oregon state rules.

For another example, if a supplier of alcohol served an underage person or a visibly intoxicated person and that person’s conduct contributed to the loss, a formal notice of the claim must generally be given to the alcohol supplier within 180 days of the injury (more precisely, within 180 days after the injured person knew or should have known of the likely connection between their injury and the alcohol supplier’s negligence).  For wrongful death cases, the notice time is a year.  These special alcohol supplier notice requirements do not apply to children who are injured, to people who are not able to give notice because of their injury or incapacity, or where the identity of the alcohol provider cannot be determined.

There are also special rules for children (they generally get more time), for medical negligence cases relating to treatment received after a crash, for claims involving defective products, and for a variety of other specific circumstances.

There are strong reasons not to wait until you are close to a time deadline. Chances are you are not a legal expert or knowledgeable about how to prosecute a legal claim, which is why  seeking the best legal representation is generally a good idea. If you get the help of an experienced motorcycle crash attorney early on, they can gather evidence, evaluate your case, deal with insurance companies, and support and advise you through what can be a challenging process.

What should I do if my motorcycle crash injuries are significant?

Motorcyclists are not as protected as car drivers.  According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, per vehicle mile traveled, motorcyclists were about 4 times as likely as passenger car occupants to be injured in a motor vehicle crash.1  

There have been tremendous advances in automobile safety features over the years that have helped car drivers and occupants come out of collisions in better shape.  Motorcyclists are still exposed to the full force of a crash against another vehicle or against the ground or another object.  Because their injuries tend to be more serious, motorcyclist medical bills and income losses tend to be much higher.  In addition to these expenses, there may be  costs for personal care and assistance, modifications to accommodate physical limitations such as wheelchair ramps, specialized beds, and non-economic costs such as physical pain, disfigurement, emotional suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and impacts on the family.

If you have significant injuries after a motorcycle crash, in order to protect your rights, effectively deal with insurance companies, and seek the best financial outcome, it makes sense to  review your case with an experienced Oregon motorcycle crash attorney.

1National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Fatality Analysis Reporting System data (1996).

Why is it important to work with an experienced Oregon motorcycle injury attorney?

Motorcycle crash injury cases are different from other motor vehicle crash cases.  The primary reasons for this are the biases against motorcyclists and the severity of motorcyclist injuries.  Motorcyclists need advocates who understand what they are up against and who know how to prosecute their claims.

Many people hold prejudicial biases against motorcyclists, which affects how the police investigate cases, insurance companies evaluate and defend cases, and juries decide cases. Some people view motorcyclists as reckless risk-takers.  Because of how people perceive, it is common for witnesses to overestimate the speed of  motorcycles.  It is important for a motorcyclist’s attorney to understand common biases and perceptions and know how best to deal with them.  It is also important for the attorney to understand how laws for motorcyclists differ from laws for automobile drivers.

Unfortunately, when motorcyclists get hurt, their injuries are typically more severe than those who are hurt in a car wreck.  Sometimes, motorcyclists face truly catastrophic injuries, such as from limb amputation, permanent brain injury, or from paralysis caused by spinal cord damage.  Helping seriously injured people in the legal process is different from more typical cases, and may require working with collision reconstructionists, medical experts, vocational consultants, economists, motorcycle safety experts, life care planners, and other specialized experts.  When a person suffers permanent injuries that affect their ability to earn a living and sometimes even to take care of themselves, they need a legal advocate who understands and is experienced in those kinds of claims.

The combination of more challenging liability (showing fault and responsibility) and more severe damages (greater human harms and losses) means that motorcyclist injury cases tend to be more aggressively defended.  Insurance companies can devote seemingly limitless resources to defending against even the most legitimate motorcyclist injury claims.  Injured Oregon motorcyclists need an experienced motorcycle accident attorney who understands Oregon laws, is familiar with local biases, knows how to put together the evidence needed to win these cases, and has the resources and willingness to do the work required to do so.

Do I need a motorcycle injury attorney even if I have motor vehicle insurance?

Insurance companies are in the business of making money. They make money by taking in premiums.  They spend money when they pay claims.  Any payment you receive in a motorcycle injury insurance claim means less profit to the insurance company.  Even your own insurance company does not represent you, and the adverse insurance company is flatly against your interests. There are times someone can successfully handle a claim with an  insurance company on their own.  But the insurance industry’s own data show that people typically receive much higher compensation if the injured person is represented by an attorney.  There is a risk that if you try to deal with the insurance company on your own, you will not receive the amount of compensation you should.  After any crash injury, it is advisable to discuss your potential claim with an experienced motorcycle attorney who knows how to deal with the insurance companies.  Those initial consultations are almost always free, and the injured person can decide after that meeting what is their best course of action.

What compensation can I seek if I have been wrongfully injured while riding my motorcycle?

If another motorist’s negligence causes you serious injuries while riding your motorcycle, your losses  can be overwhelming. Even a relatively minor motorcycle crash can sometimes result in considerable harm.

After all, when you’re on your bike, nothing comes between you and the other vehicle or the pavement.  Your damages may include:

Medical expenses – An injured motorcyclist’s medical expenses are often substantial and can include emergency care at the scene, ambulance transport to the hospital, emergency room charges, initial radiology bills, hospital charges, surgery and follow up care, medical treatment from various specialists, prescription medications, adaptive physical devices, physical therapy, and much more. After the initial stages of treatment, some injuries involve ongoing healthcare needs.  In most cases, it’s important not to sign off on an insurance settlement offer until after the initial bills are known and you also have a good handle on what care expenses you likely face in the future.

Lost income – If you were injured in a motorcycle crash, that often affects your ability to work and you’ll lose income as a result.  Further, depending upon your injuries and the kind of work you do, you could face a diminished earning potential into your future, and even an altered career trajectory.

Human losses – Injuries from a motorcycle crash can be not only extremely painful physically, but also take an emotional toll.   Sometimes people suffer permanent limitations from crash injuries that affect not only their ability to earn a living but also affect their ability to lead a normal life.  Sometimes people suffer permanent scarring or disfigurement.  Many survivors of traumatic injuries have post traumatic stress disorder, or some loss of sense of safety and well-being.  Our safety and our happiness are fundamental to our rights as Americans.  The Declaration of Independence gave as a key reason for founding our country our right to have a system of governance to promote our “Safety and Happiness.”  The civil justice system is part of that system, and is intended not only to be there for our economic losses, but also our human losses.  Physical pain, emotional suffering, and loss of the enjoyment of life are just as real and in some ways even more fundamentally important than covering the bills.

All told, the financial, physical, and emotional damages associated with a serious motorcycle crash  can be immense.

Motorcycle Accident Cases

Motorcyclist’s Trial Against Log Truck

Trial proves log truck fault for motorcyclist’s injuries: $561,467 jury verdict.

The attorneys at Corson & Johnson have helped countless individuals and families over the past three-plus decades.
Please click on the Read More Cases link highlighted below to see additional Motorcycle Crash Injury case examples.
If you think you may have a case, please call, email, or text us; we would be happy to talk with you.

Client Testimonials

Carl Davaz

“I never had a need for legal counsel before becoming the victim of a catastrophic accident. Through the recommendation of a friend, I met Don Corson and from the beginning of our relationship I found relief knowing that the circumstances of my situation would be represented with care and compassion. We first met in a hospital room where he listened to my story and prescribed a course of action that helped me navigate many unknowns. I relied on his insight and judgment, along with the professionalism of the entire Corson and Johnson staff. I’m comforted by all Don has done for me. I’ll always appreciate his friendship.”

Gordon Cabral
Eugene, OR

“Don represented me on a premises liability claim, and later, on a motorcycle collision case. We developed a relationship that was not only businesslike, but also truly friendly. He instilled in me confidence in his ability, and I never questioned his judgment. Don was honest and straightforward in his recommendations. Even though I was uncomfortable wit the judicial system, he made me feel confident, and comfortable enough to respond to the litigation issues as they arose. I never had a better experience working with someone as I had working with Don and his staff.”

Jess F.
Salem, OR

“You were honest and straight with your communication. You conveyed sincerity and follow-up well closing communication loops. You are honorable people who are trustworthy and competent. You are all top notch and top luck to all.”

Motorcycle Accident Resources

Avoid These Common Types of Motorcycle Crashes

Avoid These Common Types of Motorcycle Crashes

Given the exposed nature of a motorcycle and the seriousness of the injuries that can occur in a crash, it’s important for motorcyclists to remain especially attentive on the road. Following these easy tips can help avoid some crashes.

Tips For Staying Safe On Your Motorcycle This Summer

Tips For Staying Safe On Your Motorcycle This Summer

For Oregon motorcycle enthusiasts, summer means longer days and blue skies, making it a great time to go for a ride. Motorcycles give riders a sense of freedom and pleasure driving that is hard to match. Here are some tips for staying safer on the road from Motorcycle Crash Attorney Don Corson.

How To Choose The Right Motorcycle Helmet

How To Choose The Right Motorcycle Helmet

Under Oregon law, motorcycle operators must wear a DOT-compliant motorcycle helmet. According to the Centers for Disease Control, helmet use overall prevents an estimated 37% of fatalities among motorcycle operators and 41% of fatalities among passengers. So, while wearing a motorcycle helmet improves your odds of surviving a crash, how do you choose the right helmet?

Keeping Riders and Drivers Safe on the Road

Keeping Riders and Drivers Safe on the Road

This segment of The Law and You features Eugene, Oregon personal injury trial lawyer Don Corson discussing techniques and tips to keep motorcycles and cars safe on the roadways.

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