INJURED IN A MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT?
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10 Ways To Protect Your Legal Rights Following A Motorcycle Collision
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.
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.
If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident, your first priority should always be your health and safety. But you should also take steps to protect your legal rights.
Evidence can disappear or inadvertently be destroyed during an investigation, and passing time tends to cloud the recollections of all involved. It’s important that you act quickly to protect your legal rights, especially if you’ve suffered significant injuries.
Below are ten things survivors should do following a crash that could help their injury claim.
WHAT SHOULD I DO AFTER BEING INJURED IN A MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT?
#1: Call 911
A 911 call will help a dispatcher communicate with law enforcement and emergency medical services. Remain at the scene until after police arrive (unless you must leave for immediate medical care). Don’t move vehicles unless required for safety, or unless you are directed to do so by the police.
#2: Get Medical Treatment
If medical attention is not required at the scene, then you should get checked out as soon as possible. Sometimes injuries aren’t immediately evident, and even serious injuries may take time to show symptoms. Sometimes, prompt medical care can avoid serious adverse health outcomes.
#3: Obtain Contact Info For Everyone Involved
It’s important to gather information from everyone involved in the incident, including:
- Names of drivers and vehicle owners;
- Telephone numbers;
- Vehicle registration numbers;
- Names of insurance companies;
- Driver’s license numbers; and
- License plate numbers.
#4: Take Pictures, Making Sure to Get Shots of:
- Different angles of the scene;
- The damaged vehicles;
- Visible injuries; and
- Anything else that you think may be relevant.
#5: Get Witness Info
Write down witness names and telephone numbers in case they need to be contacted later. If you can’t get that, at least note license plate numbers.
#6: Notify Your Insurance Company
Share just the basics of what happened, sticking to the facts. Motorcyclists generally don’t have “Personal Injury Protection” under their vehicle insurance to help with medical bills, so this is done partly in case the other driver may make a claim against you. Remember, if you need to later make an uninsured or underinsured motorist claim, your insurance company’s interests may be adverse to yours.
#7: Don’t Help the Adverse Insurance Company Hurt You
You are not required to make any statements or provide authorizations to the other driver’s insurance company. The other side is looking out for them, not for you.
#8: No Social Media
You’ve heard the warnings on TV shows: everything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. After a crash, don’t post about the collision, your injuries or treatment, your activities, or your legal matters.
#9: Report to the DMV
In Oregon, if there was injury or death or a vehicle was towed away or there was more than $2500 in property damage, you must a submit a report to the DMV within 72 hours. This is in addition to your duty to call the police.
#10: Seek Legal Counsel
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 for injured motorcyclists. An experienced motorcycle accident attorney can help establish the liability of responsible parties and will handle the entire claims process.
At Corson & Johnson, our lawyers know how to approach a motorcycle injury case. We know how car drivers often overlook or neglect to account for motorcyclists on the road. We’re here to stand up for your rights. We’re based in Eugene and serve all of Oregon. For a free consultation give us a call or text today at (541) 484-2525.
Motorcycle Accident Cases
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.
In late October 2017 I was injured in a collision while going to work. A garbage truck pulled out onto the highway from a driveway in Eugene, Oregon, giving me no time to avoid the crash, which totaled my Harley Davidson bike and myself. The truck driver claimed he never saw me. I lost my left eye, every bone in my face and torso was broken including my neck, and my lungs were damaged. I was life-flighted to OHSU, where the doctors, nurses, and surgeons saved my life and through many surgeries pieced me back together. It was a massive collective of people that was crucial to my survival that day and the days ahead, from my coworkers, the medics on scene, the life flight medics, the doctors, nurses, and surgeons, my daughters, my lovely wife and the rest of my family who were and still are committed to me and my well-being. I truly thank them all for my life.
As a result of this event I incurred hundreds of thousands in medical bills. While in the hospital I was blamed for the entire situation. The police report was full of errors and was unrecognizable from what actually happened. Thankfully, my sister-in-law, who works for an attorney, recommended that we hire Don Corson of the Corson and Johnson law firm. Don and his team worked tirelessly to expose the truth. He believed in me from the start, investing heavily to investigate every made-up story and every lie that falsely accused me of being responsible for the crash. Don and his team righted every wrong and in the end the garbage company decided to settle and avoid a costly and embarrassing trial. Don and his team went beyond and above to make sure my family and I are taken care of and that we have a bright future ahead of us. I have come out of this process successfully thanks to Don and the great people he employs. Don Corson has gained my respect. I consider him a part of my family. Thank you Don for taking up my fight with me. You are truly an exceptional person, rare in this world we live in.
As of 2023 I will have 33 years riding Harley Davidson motorcycles, with hundreds of thousands of miles in the seat. “This is a way of life for me, this is no hobby, it’s who I am.”
Stellar personal injury law firm! Knowledgeable, patient, kind, willing to go above and beyond to help their clients in any way. Completely defeats the stereotype of self-interested personal injury attorneys — they were willing to “do the right thing” irrespective of expected fee income. I just can’t speak more highly of them and would recommend them without hesitation.
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”