Motorcycle accidents are, unfortunately, a fairly common occurrence in Tennessee. Even more disturbing, Tennessee’s motorcycle fatality rates are among the highest in the country. In fact, in 2016, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that Tennessee had the eighth highest motorcycle mortality rate in the U.S.
Following a motorcycle accident in Gallatin, TN, you may be wondering where to turn or what to do next.
At Flora Templeton Stuart Accident Injury Attorneys, we regularly represent motorcycle accident victims in personal injury claims against negligent drivers, and we want to help you too.
Many of the rules that apply to a personal injury claim arising from a motorcycle accident are the same as those relating to other types of vehicle accidents.
However, motorcycle accidents can present unique facts and circumstances that can differentiate them from standard car accidents.
That’s why it’s important to have an attorney who has specific experience seeking compensation for victims of motorcycle accidents.
Motorcycle riders do not have the same physical protection as drivers and passengers in larger vehicles. This means that their injuries may be much more severe after an accident. Motorcyclists are also more vulnerable to accidents.
Due to their smaller size, motorcycles can be harder for other drivers to see, and this factor can lead to more collisions. Motorcycles are also less able to withstand road hazards than four-wheeled vehicles. Due to this vulnerability, motorcyclists are subject to special licensing requirements and laws that do not apply to other types of drivers.
The experienced Gallatin motorcycle accident attorneys at Flora Templeton Stuart Accident Injury Attorneys understand the special circumstances that may apply to motorcyclists. We can use this knowledge to help you recover maximum compensation for your motorcycle accident case.
At Flora Templeton Stuart Accident Injury Lawyers, we have represented clients in many types of motorcycle accidents. But there are some types of accidents motorcycles are particularly prone to.
Many drivers tend to follow other vehicles too closely. The same is true when they follow motorcycles. However, motorcycles can stop even more quickly than other vehicles because they are small and light. When this happens, they may be rear-ended by another driver who is too close.
Improper lane changes are also a common cause of motorcycle accidents. Another driver may not see a motorcyclist in their blind spot, or they may fail to watch for motorcycles before changing lanes. Motorcyclists must be extra wary of other vehicles, especially when passing or driving alongside another car on a busy road.
Left turns are a leading cause of motorcycle crashes in the U.S. In fact, NHTSA reports that fully 42% of motorcycle accidents in 2017 resulted from another vehicle turning left. Because motorcycles are smaller than most vehicles, other drivers sometimes don’t see them. This can lead other drivers to turn left into an oncoming motorcycle at an intersection or when crossing an oncoming lane of traffic.
Motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable to road hazards. Even experienced riders can lose control after hitting a pothole or debris in the road. These hazards may arise from road construction, inadequate road maintenance, or other drivers. When motorcyclists encounter an unexpected road hazard, they may lose control of their bike and suffer serious injury.
Motorcyclists can suffer many severe injuries following an accident. Some of the most common injuries we see include:
Motorcycle injuries can be catastrophic and even fatal. If you are suffering from these or other injuries following a motorcycle accident caused by a negligent driver, you deserve compensation.
Our Gallatin motorcycle accident lawyers can help assess your injuries and calculate the appropriate value of your damages. We can even connect you with qualified, compassionate medical professionals, so you can get the treatment you need and start on the road to recovery.
There are several important steps you should take following a motorcycle accident in Gallatin, TN. These steps can help ensure you get the assistance you need as well as preserve your claim for compensation following your accident.
Immediately following an accident, you should take action to ensure your own safety and that of your passengers. If anyone is injured, call 911 to be sure they receive prompt medical attention. Ask to have an officer dispatched to the accident scene to investigate and make a report.
If you aren’t taken from the scene in an ambulance, go to the emergency room or schedule a doctor’s appointment as soon as possible. Even if you do not think you have suffered an injury, you should receive a medical exam to check for any hidden injuries. If you experience additional symptoms in the days or weeks following the accident, such as dizziness, pain, or disorientation, seek medical help immediately.
If you have the opportunity, take pictures and videos of the accident scene. Also, be sure to speak with any witnesses that are present. This information can be crucial to support your claim later on.
Reach out to a Gallatin motorcycle accident attorney as soon as practicable after your accident. Your attorney can help you gather and preserve evidence while it is still fresh. They can also communicate with insurance companies and other parties on your behalf. In addition to taking these tasks off your shoulders, your attorney will use their skills and experience to promote your best interests in the aftermath of the accident.
An essential part of any personal injury claim is proving liability. Liability is the responsibility to pay for the consequences of an accident and depends on fault. If you can demonstrate that another person is liable for your motorcycle accident, you can recover the fair value of your damages and losses from them.
Typically, to establish liability, you will need to demonstrate that the other party was negligent. Negligence has four elements:
All drivers have a duty to follow traffic laws and drive carefully to avoid injuring others. When someone drives recklessly, violates the law, or makes a crucial driving error, they can breach their duty of care. If that breach causes an accident and you suffer damages as a result, that driver will be liable for the cost of your damages.
One way to establish that another driver breached their duty of care is to show that they violated a traffic law. However, the damages a motorcyclist can recover may be reduced if they shared some fault in the accident.
Motorcyclists are obligated to follow most of the same traffic laws as other motorists. In addition, some special laws apply to motorcycle riders, such as:
If you were violating any of these rules when your accident occurred, this may affect your claim for compensation. For example, if you were not wearing a helmet and suffered a head injury, the other driver may try to avoid liability by claiming that your negligence contributed to the injury.
Even if your actions contributed to the accident, you can still recover some compensation as long as your share of fault was less than 50%. However, your recovery will be reduced in proportion to your percentage of fault.
One important factor that can affect the value of your motorcycle accident claim is who was responsible for the accident. Although the at-fault party will typically be another driver, other individuals may also be responsible, such as:
Insurance limits typically represent the maximum compensation you can realistically recover following a car accident. This means that if you have suffered extensive damages, identifying other potentially responsible parties may be essential to recovering adequate compensation.
An experienced Gallatin motorcycle accident lawyer can help you identify all parties who might be responsible for your accident. They will help you uncover every potential source of compensation to ensure you recover all of the money you are entitled to.
If you have suffered damages in a motorcycle accident in Gallatin, TN, you can seek compensation for all your financial losses as well as any physical or emotional suffering you have endured. Potential damages include:
Your attorney can help you calculate these damages and negotiate with the insurance company for a fair settlement.
Tragically, some motorcycle accident injuries can be fatal.
If you have lost a loved one in a Tennesee motorcycle accident, you may be able to pursue a wrongful death claim.
In Tennesee, this claim may include damages suffered by your loved one prior to their death as well as the financial and emotional losses you and other loved ones have suffered.
Flora Templeton Stuart Accident Injury Attorneys has handled numerous wrongful death claims.
Although no amount of money can make up for the loss of your loved one, it can help you weather the financial repercussions of such a loss and provide some security in the face of an uncertain future.
Flora Templeton Stuart Accident Injury Attorneys has extensive experience handling motorcycle accident claims in Gallatin, Tennessee.
Our practice is devoted to helping those who have suffered accident injuries recover the compensation they need and deserve.
With our 45 years of experience and millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements, you can trust that you are in good hands with Flora Templeton Stuart.
We will provide you with compassionate and personal service—we will even come to you.
Most importantly, we don’t get paid unless we recover a settlement or jury verdict for you. Call us today or contact us online to learn more about how we can help with your claim.