Motorcycle Accident Attorneys

Medford Motorcycle Accident results in $288,114 verdict

motorcycle collision with vanFacts of the Case

Our client was operating his motorcycle on a rural stretch of highway.  He came upon an airport shuttle van followed by a Jeep.  Both were traveling slowly, and the shuttle van driver appeared to be lost.  Not seeing any turn signals, our client attempted to pass both vehicles on the left in a marked passing zone.  However, as he did so, the van swerved first to the right, then to the left across the lane of travel.  As a result, our client struck the side of the van, breaking his leg, which required surgery.

Challenges Involved in the Case

Our client was cited in the collision, though the ticket was ultimately dismissed.  However, the business ended up suing our client for the damage to its van.  The attorney our client’s insurance company hired to defend the property damage claim recognized that our client may have a claim of his own, and referred the client over to us to evaluate and handle that claim.

But our client’s claim was not easy.  First, he was operating a fast “crotch rocket” style motorcycle, so the business’ lawyers knew that a jury would likely be biased against him for that reason alone.  Additionally, he was attempting to pass two slow moving vehicles at the same time, and testified that once he committed to the pass, he was taught not to decommit, so he didn’t, even though he noticed the van begin to move from the center of its lane to its right.  He also testified that there were no driveways or houses to the right of the van which it might have been turning into, which the defense attorney argued meant that our client should have recognized he was preparing to make a left turn.  Finally, the driver of the van claimed that he had his left turn signal on prior to the crash.

Steps Taken by Our Lawyers

The Medford offices of Dwyer Williams Cherkoss  filed a counterclaim against the business that owned and operated the van.  We proceeded through discovery, asking for numerous related documents, deposing the driver of the van, the owner of the business, and several witnesses to the crash.

Notably, the driver of the van, while claiming he had his left turn signal on at the time of the crash, further claimed that it was still on after he parked the van.  However, we pointed out that once his wheels were straightened out – as the police photos clearly showed – that his left turn signal would have turned off.  Thus, this could only mean he turned his left signal on after he stopped his van after the crash to stage his claim.  More telling was the fact he immediately called his boss after the crash, before even checking on our client who was unconscious with a severely broken leg outside of the van.  Additionally, the driver claimed that he turned his signal on when he saw the address of the house he was traveling to.  However, the address marker for the driveway at issue could not be seen from the road until the driver was within 20 feet of it – not 100+ feet that the driver had claimed.  Nothing about the van driver’s story smelled right.

Before trial, our client’s insurance company settled the property damage claim the business had filed against him, leaving only our personal injury claim at issue.  We were unable to get a reasonable settlement offer on our claim, so ultimately tried the case before a 12 person jury.

Resolution for Our Client

We took the case to trial where the jury determined that our client had sustained $288,114.13 in damages.  However, the jury also felt that both parties were equally at fault, thereby cutting his judgment to half this amount.  Ultimately, this was not a bad result for a case that most outside lawyers thought was un-winnable.

To see more cases that we have successfully fought for our clients check out our settlements page.

Motorcycle Accidents: How Helmets Reduce Head Injuries

Last month, a motorcycle rider was rushed to hospital after colliding head-on with another rider in an off-road riding area in Bend. Fortunately, the two motorcyclists were travelling only around 20 mph, but even so, they were unable to avoid impact.

One rider did not need medical treatment, and the other was airlifted to a nearby hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Both were extremely lucky – very often motorcycle accidents can be extremely costly in terms of physical, emotional, and financial damage.

A key things working in the riders’ favor was that they were both wearing helmets and had been riding dirt bikes for many years.

The Importance of Wearing a Helmet While Riding a Motorcycle

A person who rides a motorcycle without the appropriate headgear takes a huge gamble with their life. Because a motorcycle is not an enclosed motor vehicle, you have an increased risk of being thrown in the event of a collision or other type of accident. There are not seatbelts nor surrounding metal to protect you in an accident.

It is important to understand that regardless of how save a rider you are, there are other drivers on the road – who may not be so careful – whose careless actions put motorcycle riders in danger when sharing the roads.

To prevent often devastating injuries, helmets should always be worn when riding motorcycles, as they have many benefits besides protecting your head in the event of a crash. For example, a motorcycle helmet can protect you from wind noise, weather, and flying objects from the road. The most important of these are often thought to be protection against flying objects and costs of insurance and medical treatment.

While operating a motorcycle, it is inevitable that you will one day encounter flying debris, whether it is from another vehicle, bugs in the air, or something else. A quality motorcycle helmet is equipped with a face shield to protect your eyes and other vulnerable parts of your face, and will be able to protect you from most flying debris. Without a helmet, rocks, gravel, broken glass, and refuse thrown from cars and trucks can easily be kicked up from your motorcycle or another car and find their way into your eyes or onto your face. This has the potential to causing injuries, or an accident.

Additionally, wearing a helmet is wise if you want to cut down the costs of insurance or medical bills in the event of an accident. Motorcycle riders who do not wear helmets will have higher health care costs in the event of an accident because their injuries are more likely to be more severe.

When You Have Been in a Motorcycle Accident

If you or a loved one have been injured in a motorcycle accident caused by someone else’s negligence, calling a personal injury attorney is a step in the right direction. Our attorneys at Dwyer Williams Cherkoss approach each case brought to us with professionalism, diligence and compassion. We can help you pursue your case, usually being able to settle it in your favor without the need of a trial, and always working towards obtaining the compensation for your injuries to which you are entitled.

For a free initial consultation, we welcome your call to our office at (541) 617-0555.

Key Actions Following a Motorcycle Accident

The life of a well-known Bend resident was remembered this past summer after the man succumbed to the injuries suffered in a fatal motorcycle accident. According to a witness, the 2009 Buel motorcycle that was being operated by the individual was seen having suddenly lost control and then skidding over an embankment off of Highway 395.

Why the motorcycle lost control has yet to be determined. Many times a motorcyclist loses control due to an obstacle or object on the road that should have been removed, or damage that should have or fixed. In other situations, a motorcycle operator will lose control because of the negligence of another driver.

Whatever may have been the cause, the first thing that every motorcyclist should do after an accident is to take care of his or her immediate health, and then protect their legal rights by taking proper decisive action.

How to Protect Your Rights after a Motorcycle Accident

Step 1: Stay at the Scene

Unless severely injured, be sure to stay put until the police arrive. Leaving could result in criminal charges, as fault and liability have not yet been determined.

Step 2: Obtain Contact and Insurance Information

If you have minor injuries and have already received medical attention, the next step is to gather all contact and insurance information from any drivers, passengers or pedestrians involved. Be sure to note the make, model and license plate information of all of the vehicles.

Step 3: Properly Document the Incident

Use your smart phone or camera to take pictures of the scene, the involved vehicles, your motorcycle, as well as any skid marks or debris from the accident before anything has been removed or changed to ensure accurate documentation. If possible, obtain witness accounts and write down your own account while the incident is still fresh in your mind.

Step 4: Do Not Provide an Insurance Interview

An adjuster from another party’s insurance company will likely contact you and request an interview. Do NOT provide them with any information until you have received legal counsel. Keep in mind that adjusters are trained to trip you up and get you to say things you don’t really mean. Their job isn’t to protect your rights, but rather to pay out the least amount of compensation possible on the claim.

The law office of Dwyer Williams Cherkoss PC is available to answer any questions that you may have about your specific accident to help you heal and recover from your injuries. Our experienced attorneys will ensure that those involved in a motorcycle accident have been fairly compensated for any pain and suffering medical expenses and lost wages.

We welcome your call today at 541-617-0555 to arrange an appointment to discuss your particular case matters.

For Motorcyclists the Right Insurance Coverage is Essential

Auto insurance policies in the state of Oregon automatically come with medical coverage, or PIP (Personal Injury Protection). Motorcycle policies, however, don’t include PIP unless you sign up for it – and it’s usually very affordable. This is often overlooked when purchasing your motorcycle insurance.

Many motorcycle accidents are actually the fault of the rider, or simply not caused by another party – running off the road due to distraction, animals running in the rider’s path, slick road conditions and excessive speed for the circumstances can all put a rider in the hospital, or worse. Because PIP is truly “No-fault” coverage, this can be very helpful in paying medical bills when there’s no one else to sue.

If you ride a motorcycle, make sure to check your insurance policy for PIP coverage, and if you don’t see it, check with your agent and get yourself covered. No one wants to be hurt twice in a motorcycle accident – once by injuries, and again by lack of help with medical bills! If you’ve been in a motorcycle accident and need help from a trusted motorcycle accident lawyer, call Dwyer Williams Cherkoss PC at 541-617-0555.



Our Attorneys Win Six Figure Settlement in Eugene Motorcycle Accident

In this particular motorcycle accident our client was hit while traveling through an intersection. A pickup truck turned in front of our client, causing our client to collide with the passenger side of the truck and knocking him to the ground. Our client was transported by ambulance to a local emergency room and the truck driver was immediately cited for his traffic offenses.

Motorcycle Accident Injury Attorneys OregonDue to his accident-related injuries, our client required hospitalization for seven days following the accident. While admitted in the hospital he underwent numerous X-Rays and CT scans to his pelvis, right knee, abdomen, left elbow, and cervical spine. His most serious injuries included a fractured left elbow and a fractured pelvis that required surgery, and a decompressed bladder that required urological consultation and the insertion of a catheter.

As soon as he had been released from the hospital, our client required home health assistance for daily necessities and to provide medical supplies and equipment. He had numerous mandatory follow-up doctor visits, including monitoring his bladder injury to prevent infection and bacteria growth, as well as physical therapy. He suffered extreme wage loss and his medical bills totaled just shy of a six-figure dollar amount.

The main problem that our client faced was the fact that, because this was a motorcycle accident, there were no personal injury protection benefits available to pay his medical bills or wage loss. His health insurance company initially denied his medical bills because the accident was the fault of a third party. Additionally, he was unable to get the adverse insurance carrier to compensate him for his motorcycle that was totaled.

Very quickly, the experienced and caring Oregon motorcycle accident attorneys at Dwyer Williams Cherkoss PC were able to get this client compensation for his lost motorcycle. We were also able to get his health insurance to pay all his medical bills less his co-pays. We guided our client through his treatment, assisted him in getting back to work, and eliminated any concern he may have had concerning his claim and compensation.

Because of our experience as lawyers that specialize in motorcycle accidents, we were able to obtain a policy limit settlement with the at-fault driver’s insurance company and also obtained an under-insured policy limit settlement through our client’s insurance company that collectively totaled more than six figures.  Our client was happy with the result, and so were we.