Motorcycles are an uncommonly dangerous mode of transportation in the Murfreesboro area. That is partly because motorcycles move as fast as cars but lack the safety features that can save a motorist’s life in the event of a crash.
If you or a loved one suffered a serious injury after a motorcycle crash, the attorneys with the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, can help. We will hold the at-fault motorist responsible for your financial damages. Call 865-546-1111 today for a free consultation with a motorcycle accident lawyer in Murfreesboro.
How serious are motorcycle crashes?
Motorcycle crashes can be exceedingly dangerous for the riders involved. In 2015, according to the Tennessee Highway Safety Office, there were 123 motorcycle accidents in Rutherford County.
Though they account for a small percentage of all the vehicles in the United States, motorcyclists make up a disproportionate number of crash fatalities. Motorcycle fatalities in Tennessee reached a 10-year high in 2016, when 147 riders lost their lives, according to the state Department of Safety & Homeland Security. Nationwide data from the Federal Highway Administration indicates that in 2013 and 2014, motorcyclists accounted for 15 percent of all crash-related fatalities in the U.S.
Most of these deaths are the result of head injuries, even though Tennessee enforces mandatory helmet laws for all motorcycle drivers and passengers. Bikers who survive accidents may be dealing with some of these common types of injuries:
- Spinal and neck injuries;
- Road rash or burns;
- Broken bones; and
Any one of these injuries can be costly to treat and, after a motorcycle crash, you may have several. Contact our offices for more information about getting compensation for your injury-related costs.
How do motorcycle crashes happen?
Motorcycle crashes occur for a variety of reasons. One of the most persistent dangers for motorcycle riders is negligent motorists who make common mistakes.
A driver might incorrectly judge his or her distance from a motorcyclist in an oncoming lane when turning left at an intersection and drive into the motorcycle’s path.
Responsible motorists will check their blind spots when changing lanes on a highway, but bikers are harder to see than other cars. If the motorist does not check his or her blind spots carefully, a high-speed crash can occur during a lane change.
Being rear-ended when you are driving a car usually is not a serious accident, but it is a different story for bikers. Since motorcycles can stop faster than cars, a motorist might not react quickly enough to the brake lights on a motorcycle, which can lead to a tragic collision.
In urban areas, motorists might not check their surroundings carefully after parking on the street. Open car doors pose the same threat to motorcyclists as they do to bicyclists, with a key difference being that motorcycles move much faster.
What qualifies as negligence?
All drivers owe a duty of care to others on the road. If another motorist failed to act responsibly behind the wheel and caused your crash and your injuries, they are guilty of negligence and we can hold them liable for your damages. Negligence can occur in a variety of situations, including:
- Driving under the influence;
- Distracted driving;
- Aggressive driving;
- Speeding; and
- Ignoring traffic signals.
Our lawyers can review the evidence related to your crash to determine if driver negligence directly caused your crash. If so, we will hold them liable for compensation.
What kind of compensation can I receive in cases of driver negligence?
In each of these situations, it is likely that driver negligence has played a role in the accident, if not caused it entirely. If you are a biker who has suffered an injury because of a motorist’s disregard for the presence of motorcycles, you may be eligible for compensation for several kinds of damage through an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit.
A motorcycle crash can leave you with costs for your emergency treatment and, depending on the severity of the accident, surgery, long-term recovery, and physical therapy. If your injury occurred because of a driver’s negligence, you should not have to pay for any of your treatment or related costs.
A motorcycle crash can take you off the job for weeks, months, or even years. During that time, you will miss out on your normal wages and any opportunities for raises and promotions you might have otherwise received.
Pain and Suffering
Because motorcycle injuries can be severe, you may be eligible for damages for pain and suffering that extend beyond your immediate medical needs. Our experienced injury attorneys know how to evaluate your case and ask for a fair settlement that accounts for how the injury has diminished your ability to live a happy life.
Additional punitive damages may be available if we can establish that a driver committed some kind of egregious action, such as injuring you deliberately.
What should after a motorcycle accident?
The immediate aftermath of an accident can be chaotic and confusing, especially if you suffered an injury. After a crash, there are a few steps you can take to make sure you have the strongest case possible.
First, get the medical attention you need.
Before talking to an insurance company and a lawyer, get treatment for your injuries. Afterward, our attorneys can help put together the necessary documentation of your treatment and prognosis for an injury claim.
Do not admit fault.
Injury law in Tennessee operates on the principle of comparative fault, which assigns liability based on each party’s percentage of fault in the accident. Cooperate with law enforcement, but do not offer information other than the basic facts of the accident. Doing so may implicate you and negatively impact your claim.
Try to document the scene.
If you are able, take pictures of the accident scene and its aftermath. If possible, obtain contact information from people who witnessed the crash, as their testimony may be vital later on.
Do not accept a quick settlement.
The motorist’s insurer might reach out immediately to offer a settlement. This probably means the company knows you deserve a larger sum and wants to avoid a drawn-out civil case. You should never accept such an offer before consulting with our motorcycle accident injury attorneys.
Contact the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, today.
The attorneys at the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, will fight for every dollar of compensation you deserve if you suffered an injury because of another motorist’s negligence. Call 865-546-1111 for a free consultation about your case.