Thomas, Coon, Newton & Frost was Oregon’s first law firm to devote a significant portion of its practice to representing injured bicycle riders. In 1982, partner Ray Thomas began writing a regular legal column in Oregon Cycling Magazine. Since that time, we have represented hundreds of bicyclists in Portland and across Oregon in personal injury cases—significantly more than any other law firm in the state—and provided informal advice about the claim process to hundreds more. Portland bicycle accident attorneys Ray Thomas, Jim Coon, Cynthia Newton and Chris Thomas have more than 75 years of combined experience helping bicyclists obtain compensation for injuries caused by negligent road users.
Beyond the practice of law, TCNF attorneys take pride in active community involvement. They advocate in the Oregon legislature for improved laws for people bicycling and walking, and they regularly speak about bicycle law to other lawyers, law enforcement, and members of the public.
Part of what makes us effective bicycle advocates is our significant experience riding on Oregon’s roadways. We ride regularly for transportation, fitness and competition, allowing us to understand collisions from the perspective of bicyclists and other vulnerable road users.
How we can help
After a collision, many of our clients find themselves in unfamiliar territory. As a result of another person’s negligence, they are injured, and often cannot work and have a broken bike. Instead of focusing on their recovery, they are confronted with a barrage of calls, emails, and letters from an array of insurance adjusters with different motives. We serve as the client’s advocate and point of contact throughout that process, ensuring that property damage, medical expenses, and wage loss are paid by the appropriate insurers, so that our client can focus on getting well. When our clients have recovered, we also make a liability claim against the at-fault party, in which we work to fully compensate our clients for their losses.
Over the years, we have engaged in many efforts to educate Oregon bicyclists about their rights and responsibilities on the roadway.
Since 1993, TCNF lawyers have presented regular bicycle legal clinics to groups of citizens across the state at bike shops, community centers, and places of employment. The clinics cover topics like bike lane use, when a rider may take the lane, lighting requirements, sidewalk riding, insurance, and what to do if you are in a crash.
In 2000, partner Ray Thomas first published Pedal Power: A Legal Guide for Oregon Bicyclists. The guide includes relevant state and local bicycle laws and articles discussing practical application of the law. Pedal Power, published jointly with the City of Portland and now in its eighth edition, is distributed free to attendees of our bicycle legal clinics.
In response to the rapid growth in electric bikes on Oregon’s roads, in 2018 TCNF released Oregon E-Bike Rights: A Legal Guide for Electric Bike Riders, now in its second edition.
TCNF also produces wallet-sized bike-rights cards that provide bullet point summaries of Oregon bicycle law. Keep an eye out for these cards at your local bike shop, or download a copy here.
Our experience as bicyclists allows us to appreciate the perspective of our clients on the roadway. In 1991, Ray Thomas and Jim Coon established one of Portland’s longest running group rides, known as the Lawyer Ride, which winds through the west hills of Portland at lunchtime twice per week. Cynthia Newton regularly commutes by bike from her home in northeast Portland, and associate Chris Thomas is a longtime commuter and member of the firm-sponsored TCNF.Legal Racing Team.