Motorcycle crashes rank among the worst accidents on Tennessee roadways. That is because bikers and their passengers do not have the same protection as occupants in four-wheel passenger vehicles. When another vehicle hits a motorcycle from the rear or from the side, bikers can sustain serious or fatal injuries.
If you have suffered injuries in a motorcycle crash due to another driver’s negligence, you do not have to face your challenges alone. The Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, specialize in getting motorcycle accident victims maximum compensation for their injuries and property damages. Contact us at 865-546-1111 today to arrange for a free, no-obligation case evaluation with a motorcycle accident lawyer in Chattanooga.
What Compensation Can I Recover After a Motorcycle Accident?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcyclists commonly suffer severe leg injuries in the event of a crash, including broken bones. Severe head, chest, and abdominal injuries are also common among riders.
Our law firm is in your corner to help you get reimbursed for these crash-related losses. We know how to collect the evidence we need to show the damages that you incurred from your accident. We will seek compensation for the full value of your losses, including:
- Medical bills;
- Ambulance transport costs;
- Home health care;
- Rehabilitation costs;
- Mobility devices;
- Home remodeling to accommodate your mobility devices;
- Lost wages, current and future; and
- Funeral expenses, if a loved one died in the accident.
We would also seek compensation for intangible damages–damages that you cannot see but you experienced—such as pain and suffering, permanent disfigurement, mental anguish, and emotional distress over your motorcycle accident.
Punitive damages may also apply to your case if our investigation finds that the at-fault driver intentionally caused the accident through reckless or malicious behavior. In some cases, road rage, driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol, or texting and driving could constitute gross negligence. In these instances, the driver may also face criminal charges for their actions.
In order to recover damages on your behalf, we must first prove who caused your motorcycle crash.
How Can I Prove Who Caused the Accident?
Our law firm has resources to conduct an investigation into what—and who—caused the accident that led to your injuries. In some instances, we may find that a local government has failed to maintain the roadways, creating a hazard that caused your motorcycle crash. Defective motorcycle parts or faulty manufacturing of the motorcycle may also cause an accident.
Of course, other motorists frequently cause motorcycle crashes by engaging in negligent driving behavior. In many cases, our investigations have found the at-fault party guilty of any of the following reckless behaviors:
- Distracted driving;
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol;
- Failing to see the motorcycle by not checking their blind spot;
- Making a left turn directly into the pathway of an oncoming motorcycle;
- Failing to follow traffic signals or signs;
- Opening car doors on the street;
- Rear-ending the motorcycle; and
How Can I Hold the At-Fault Party Responsible for My Damages?
While we may know who caused your motorcycle accident, Tennessee law requires us to prove negligence before we can hold them responsible for your damages.
To do that, we must establish that the other party had a duty of care to keep you reasonably safe. Next, we must offer evidence showing they breached that duty and caused your accident. Finally, we must prove that because of the accident, you sustained injuries and property damage. After we prove these key points, we can file a claim with the at-fault party’s insurer.
What Is the Claims Process Like After a Motorcycle Crash?
If another driver caused your wreck, we can file an insurance claim to recover compensation for your damages. Under Tennessee’s Financial Responsibility Law, every motorist must carry minimum liability insurance of:
- $25,000 for bodily injury or death per individual;
- $50,000 for total bodily injuries or death per accident; and
- $15,000 for property damage.
Since Tennessee is a fault state, the driver who caused the motorcycle accident must pay for any injuries or property damages resulting from the crash. When we determine who caused the accident, we can hold the faulty party liable for your injuries.
Before your try filing your own insurance claim, we recommend you first speak to one of our motorcycle accident lawyers. Insurance adjusters may try to get you to admit some fault for your own motorcycle accident. Admitting fault may reduce the amount of compensation you could receive. We would advise that you only offer basic information about your accident.
Our attorneys can file your insurance claim and serve as your legal representative during negotiations with the insurance company. If we do not reach a fair settlement, you have the option of filing a personal injury lawsuit. We can represent you in court, as well.
What If the At-Fault Driver Does Not Have Insurance?
Unfortunately, many drivers in Tennessee do not have insurance. If an uninsured motorist caused your motorcycle crash, you still have options to recover your damages. If you have Uninsured Motorist (UM) and Underinsured Motorist (UIM) coverage, we can help you file a claim with your insurance company. We recommend motorcycle owners purchase UM/UIM coverage for this very reason.
What Happens If I Am Partially at Fault for the Accident?
If you played a part in causing your wreck, you could see a reduction in your compensation amount because of Tennessee’s comparative fault law. This principle assigns liability based on your percentage of fault in the motorcycle accident.
For instance, if you were 10 percent at fault for your accident and your damages totaled $80,000, you would only receive $72,000 or 90 percent of the compensation you sought. You would not receive any compensation if you were more than 50 percent responsible for your accident.
If you or a family member suffered serious injuries because of another driver’s negligence, turn to the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC. Our experienced motorcycle accident lawyers can get you the compensation you deserve. Call 865-546-1111 for your free, no-obligation case evaluation.