Motorcycle riders involved in traffic crashes can end up with serious, long-term injuries because of their lack of protection against passenger vehicles and commercial trucks. If you suffered injuries in a motorcycle accident through no fault of your own, you may be able to recover compensatory damages.
At the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, we help motorcycle accident victims pursue compensation for medical bills, hospital bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other associated costs. Call us today at 865-546-1111 to schedule an appointment with a motorcycle accident lawyer in Clinton.
If you have a viable case, we will thoroughly investigate your accident. We will help you hold the motorist liable for the wreck, and file a claim on your behalf with the motorist’s insurance company.
What Should I Do Before Filing a Claim?
Before we help you file your claim, we will use the facts of your accident to build a solid case for compensation. Our case must prove negligence by showing:
- The at-fault motorist owed you a duty to use reasonable care to avoid an accident;
- The driver breached this duty of care;
- The driver’s negligence caused an accident that injured you; and
- You suffered damages as a result of the accident.
Proving negligence and establishing fault is necessary because Tennessee is a “fault” state. This means that the party responsible for causing an accident pays for damages. If you want to pursue compensation for your damages, we must establish fault for the accident.
How Do I Establish Fault for My Motorcycle Accident?
To establish fault, we collect evidence that shows how the at-fault driver’s negligence caused the crash. For instance, we may discover in our investigation that the at-fault driver:
- Rear-ended your motorcycle due to following too closely behind you;
- Failed to check a blind spot before changing lanes;
- Was speeding;
- Was drunk or was driving under the influence drugs;
- Failed to yield the right of way to you; or
- Was texting during your accident.
The evidence we collect to prove negligence may include:
- A police report;
- Your medical records showing the nature and extent of your injuries;
- Your medical bills showing your expenses;
- Photographs and other documentation of the accident scene;
- Eyewitness statements; and
- Surveillance video footage from a traffic camera or nearby business.
We also work with subject matter experts, including accident reconstruction specialists, to prove what caused your crash.
How Do I File an Insurance Claim?
To take the burden off of our clients, our firm handles all aspects of insurance claims. We will file your claim and negotiate a settlement with the at-fault driver’s auto insurance company.
Insurance companies want to save as much money as possible. We frequently see insurers find reasons to delay or deny claims or offer low settlements. Our attorneys have decades of combined experience negotiating and resolving claims. This means we know the strategies and tactics insurers use to challenge a claim. We can counter these tactics and negotiate for full and fair compensation for our clients. However, when necessary, we will file a personal injury lawsuit to get the compensation our clients deserve.
What If the Other Party Claims I Shared Fault for the Accident?
If an insurance adjuster or a court finds that you shared fault for causing the crash, you could see a decrease in your compensation. This is because of Tennessee’s comparative fault law. Under this measure, your compensation gets reduced based on your percentage of fault.
If you were 30 percent at fault and your damages totaled $60,000, you would only receive $42,000—a 30 percent decrease. If you shared more than 50 percent of fault, you would not receive any compensation.
What If I Was Not Wearing a Helmet?
If you were not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash, you were in violation of safety laws in place for motorcyclists in Tennessee. If you failed to wear a helmet and suffered a brain injury in the crash, the at-fault driver could claim that you worsened your own injuries. In this case, you might receive reduced damages.
What Type of Damages Can I Recover?
Motorcycle crashes can result in more serious injuries than a typical car accident in Clinton because of the lack of protection for the biker. Head injuries, spinal cord injuries, broken legs, and physical disfigurement are among the common injuries requiring long-term care and extensive medical bills. You deserve compensation for these and other losses, including:
- Medical expenses;
- Hospital bills;
- In-patient rehabilitation;
- Physical therapy;
- Home health care;
- Personal assistance mobility devices;
- Lost wages; and
- Funeral expenses, if a loved one died in the motorcycle accident.
Our firm can also help you pursue non-economic damages, which are not as easy to quantify as those with a dollar amount. These damages can include:
- Pain and suffering;
- Emotional distress;
- Mental anguish; and
- Loss of companionship.
You Might Be Eligible for Punitive Damages.
Depending on the facts of your case, we may seek punitive damages. These damages punish a wrongdoer and deter others from similar misconduct. Under Tennessee law, claimants who prove by “clear and convincing evidence” that a defendant acted intentionally, maliciously, recklessly, or fraudulently may receive punitive damages.
Tennessee limits punitive damages to two times the total amount of compensatory damages awarded—or $500,000.
Tennessee’s Statute of Limitations
Tennessee’s statute of limitations gives injury accident victims one year from the date of their accident to claim injury. However, it takes time to conduct a thorough investigation. The sooner you decide to pursue a claim, the sooner we can begin helping you recover the compensation you deserve.
Call Us for a Free Case Evaluation.
The Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, provides aggressive legal representation for motorcycle accident victims. If you or your loved one sustained serious or fatal injuries in a motorcycle accident, call us at 865-546-1111 for a free, no-obligation legal consultation.