Motorcycle owners have just as much right to the road as owners of four-wheel vehicles. Unfortunately, bikers suffer more serious consequences when an accident occurs. A negligent driver colliding into the back of a motorcycle or hitting the motorcycle when changing lanes can result in catastrophic injuries for the biker.
If you suffered serious injuries in a motorcycle accident, call the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, now at 865-546-1111. We understand the difficulties bikers face as they recover from a motorcycle accident. We will work hard to get you the maximum compensation for the injuries and damages you suffered. Make an appointment today for a free, no-obligation legal consultation with a motorcycle accident lawyer in Knoxville.
When Can I Hold Another Driver Responsible for My Crash?
We can hold another driver liable for your losses if they were at fault for the wreck. To do this, we first determine what caused the accident. Under Tennessee’s motor vehicle code, drivers must exercise care when operating their vehicle to avoid colliding with another vehicle. If we find that another driver’s negligence caused the accident, we can hold them responsible for your injuries and damages to your motorcycle. The driver may have been negligent due to:
- Driving while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs;
- Reckless driving;
- Distracted driving, including talking on the phone, texting, or eating behind the wheel; and
- Failing to follow traffic signs and signals.
We also consider other factors that may have contributed to your accident, including defective motorcycle parts and motorcycle parts under manufacturer recall. If we find a faulty or recalled part played a role in your crash, we can hold the manufacturer liable for your damages, too.
What Compensation Can I Collect After a Motorcycle Wreck?
Motorcyclists often suffer devastating injuries after a crash. Common motorcycle accident injuries include:
- Broken bones;
- Spinal injuries;
- Neck injuries;
- Partial and permanent paralysis;
- Road rash;
- Back Pain; and
- Brain and head injuries.
If another driver caused your wreck, you are eligible for compensation for the full extent of damages you suffered as a result of the crash. Our lawyers can help you calculate the full value of your losses and seek fair compensation for all of them. When we calculate your damages, we include the cost of your:
- Medical bills;
- Ambulance transport;
- Hospital bills;
- Physical therapy;
- Home medical equipment;
- Rehabilitation treatment;
- Mobility devices;
- Home remodeling to accommodate your mobility devices;
- Current and future lost wages; and
- Pain and suffering.
How Will the At-Fault Party Pay for My Damages?
Tennessee requires vehicle owners to have minimum liability insurance coverage of $25,000 per each injury or death, $50,000 for total injuries or death, and $15,000 for property damage per accident. If we can prove the other driver caused your wreck and they have an auto insurance policy, we can file a claim with their insurer to pay for your damages.
We recommend motorcycle owners also purchase Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) coverage to protect you in the event the at-fault driver does not have insurance or only carries the minimum amount of coverage. If you suffered serious injuries from your accident, you need compensation as soon as possible. Your UM/UIM insurance would cover your losses.
What If I Was Partially at Fault?
Under Tennessee’s comparative fault rule, you can still recover compensation if you were partially at fault for your crash. However, the law reduces your compensation award to the amount that you were negligent. If you were over 50 percent at fault, you would not receive a damage award.
For instance, if the damages in your case total $50,000 and an insurance company or a court found you were 20 percent at fault, your award would only be $40,000.
What If I Was Not Wearing a Helmet?
One common situation where an insurer can claim you were partially at fault for your injuries is if you were not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash. Under state law, motorcycle riders and their passengers over 21 years old must wear a helmet that complies with federal safety regulations and standards for helmets. Violation of the law is a Class C misdemeanor, which carries a maximum penalty of 30 days in jail and a $50 fine.
If you were not wearing a helmet at the time of your accident, not only will you face a fine, you may get a reduced amount of compensation. The driver that caused the accident—or the driver’s insurance company—can argue that you contributed to your injuries by not wearing a helmet.
Do I Need a Lawyer After a Motorcycle Crash?
While you can file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company on your own, having experienced lawyer on your side helps protect your right to fair compensation. This is especially true if you played a role in causing the crash.
Insurance companies often offer low settlements or present arguments against motorcyclists to justify denying their claims. We know how to build a solid insurance claim for our clients and challenge an insurer’s arguments. We will negotiate directly with the insurance company to make sure you receive the maximum amount of damages you deserve for your injuries.
During the negotiation process, we aggressively, yet professionally, aim for a just settlement that provides you with maximum compensation for your injuries and damages. If the insurance company is unwilling to offer a fair amount, you have the option of filing a lawsuit. We will continue to represent your case in court until you get the compensation you deserve.
Call the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, at 865-546-1111 Now.
Do not wait any longer to contact the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC. Tennessee gives you one year to file a personal injury lawsuit after a motorcycle accident. Even if you opt out of filing suit, preserving your right to do so may motivate the insurer to offer you a fair settlement offer to avoid going to court.
Contact us at 865-546-1111 today and start getting your life back on track.