No one faces bigger hurdles to recovery after a crash than a motorcycle rider. Despite having every right to be on the road, bikers are often overlooked, cut off, and run off the road by careless, distracted, or downright aggressive drivers. When these actions lead to a crash, it's the biker who suffers catastrophic injuries, even if they are wearing a helmet and other protective gear. And that is only the beginning of their ordeal.
At Pete Olson Injury Law, we understand the challenges bikers face when they try to get the compensation they are owed after a crash caused by a negligent driver, and we are committed to overcoming these challenges on their behalf. If you are a rider who was seriously injured in a motorcycle crash that was not your fault, don't waste any time to GET PETE! on your side.
Obstacles Faced by Injured Riders in Montgomery County, TN
You've got a tough road ahead if you were seriously injured in a motorcycle crash in Tennessee. Some of the challenges you will likely face include the following.
First and foremost, you are facing an uphill battle just recovering from your injuries. Bikers who are run off the road or cut off by negligent motorists are at high risk of suffering traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord damage and paralysis, loss of limbs, serious compound fractures, and third-degree road rash. You need access to prompt medical care and a way to pay for surgeries, treatments, and ongoing therapy.
Bias and Stereotypes
Motorcycle riders are sometimes unfairly stigmatized, with a common perception that they are reckless or aggressive. This bias can influence how witnesses, law enforcement, and even jurors perceive the circumstances of the accident. Overcoming preconceived notions in court can be challenging. Jurors may be less sympathetic to motorcyclists, making it harder to secure a fair verdict or settlement.
Inadequate Insurance Coverage
If the at-fault driver has insufficient insurance coverage or is uninsured, it can be difficult to obtain adequate compensation for the astronomical medical bills and other losses a biker can suffer in a crash. Even if a driver has Tennessee's minimum required coverage of $25,000 in bodily injury liability per person and $50,000 per accident, they likely won't have sufficient funds to pay for a seriously injured biker's losses.
The defendant's legal team may attempt to shift some blame onto the motorcyclist, arguing that their actions contributed to the accident. It is not uncommon for the insurance company to want to pin at least some of the blame on the biker for the simple fact that they have chosen to ride a motorcycle. This can reduce the amount of compensation the rider is entitled to.
Motorcycle accidents often require thorough investigations to determine fault and liability. Proving negligence may involve collecting witness statements, analyzing skid marks, and reconstructing the accident scene. Attorneys who do not routinely take motorcycle accident cases will not be familiar with the special circumstances that surround these types of crashes.
Disputes over liability can arise when the at-fault driver denies responsibility for the accident. Claims of "I didn't see the motorcycle" or "The biker didn't get out of my way" are just excuses for negligent driver behavior. Proving the driver's negligence is crucial to holding them liable.
Overcoming these obstacles is not easy, but our experienced motorcycle accident attorneys can build a strong case, gather evidence, challenge bias and stereotypes, and advocate for the injured party's rights.
When Drivers Are Responsible for Motorcycle Crashes
Approximately 40 percent of motorcycle crashes are single-vehicle crashes—meaning the biker lost control and hit the pavement or crashed into a tree and has no one to blame but him or herself. However, 60 percent of crashes involve another vehicle. Negligent car drivers can cause serious crashes with motorcycle riders through a range of unsafe behaviors and actions. Some common ways these crashes occur include:
- Failure to yield. Car drivers often fail to yield the right of way to motorcycles at intersections, during lane changes, and while making left-hand turns, leading to collisions.
- Distracted driving. Using mobile phones, adjusting in-car entertainment systems, or engaging in other distracting activities can divert a driver's attention away from the road, making them less likely to notice motorcycles.
- Speeding. Excessive speed reduces a car driver's reaction time, making it difficult to respond to sudden movements or unexpected actions by motorcyclists.
- Impaired driving. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs impairs a driver's judgment and coordination, increasing the likelihood of accidents with motorcycles.
- Following too closely. Tailgating or following motorcycles too closely reduces the driver's stopping distance, making it more challenging to avoid rear-end collisions.
- Unsafe lane changes. Failing to check blind spots or using turn signals inadequately can lead to accidents when drivers change lanes and fail to see motorcycles in their path.
- Ignoring traffic signals. Disobeying traffic signals and stop signs can result in broadside collisions at intersections, where motorcycles are particularly vulnerable.
- Opening car doors. "Dooring" occurs when car occupants open their doors without checking for oncoming motorcycles, causing riders to collide with the door.
- Sudden right turns. Car drivers making sudden right turns without signaling or yielding can cut off motorcycles traveling in the same direction.
- Road rage and aggressive driving. Aggressive behaviors, such as tailgating, weaving in and out of traffic, and challenging motorcyclists, can escalate tensions and lead to accidents.
- Fatigue. Drowsy drivers are less attentive and may drift into adjacent lanes, potentially colliding with motorcycles.
- Unpredictable maneuvers. Drivers who make unpredictable lane changes, abrupt stops, or sudden U-turns can catch motorcyclists off guard.
- Failure to check mirrors and blind spots. Neglecting to check mirrors and blind spots during lane changes or turns can result in drivers overlooking approaching motorcycles.
These negligent behaviors can have severe consequences for motorcycle riders, often resulting in serious injuries or fatalities. The first thing a driver often does after a collision with a motorcycle is blame the biker for not being more visible or not avoiding the crash. In this situation, the injured biker will need someone in their corner to protect their claim while they are being treated for serious injuries.
The Lifelong Costs of a Serious Motorcycle Accident Injury
When a motorcycle accident occurs, the consequences to the rider can be devastating, especially if the rider sustains a serious injury. Beyond the immediate physical and emotional toll, these injuries can lead to substantial long-term and even lifelong costs. Those costs can include the following.
One of the most significant long-term costs of a serious motorcycle accident injury is medical expenses. The initial hospitalization, surgeries, rehabilitative therapies, and ongoing medical treatments can accumulate into astronomical bills. In some cases, injured riders may require lifelong medical care, further increasing the financial burden.
Rehabilitation and Therapy
Extensive rehabilitation and physical therapy are often necessary to regain lost mobility and function. These services can be required for an extended period, sometimes for life, and can be costly.
Medications and Assistive Devices
Some motorcycle accident victims may need long-term medication to manage pain or other medical conditions resulting from their injuries. Additionally, they may require assistive devices like wheelchairs, prosthetics, or home modifications to accommodate their disability.
Loss of Income
For many motorcycle riders, their ability to work and earn a living is compromised due to their injuries. Lost wages and diminished earning capacity can result in a substantial financial setback over the course of a lifetime.
Home and Vehicle Modifications
In cases of severe injuries, individuals may need to adapt their living spaces and vehicles to accommodate their disability. These modifications can be expensive and may become necessary lifelong adjustments.
The emotional toll of a serious accident injury can have a long-lasting impact, leading to conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or depression. Mental health treatment and counseling are often necessary.
Loss of Quality of Life
Motorcycle accident injuries can result in a diminished quality of life, impacting the ability to engage in previously enjoyed activities and hobbies. This loss is difficult to quantify but carries immense personal significance.
Family and Caregiver Costs
Severe injuries may necessitate the assistance of family members or professional caregivers for daily activities, increasing the financial and emotional burden on both the injured individual and their loved ones.
Ongoing Medical Monitoring
Lifelong medical monitoring may be required for some injuries, which can include routine check-ups, diagnostic tests, and medical consultations.
Seeking accountability from the negligent driver who caused the accident is vital for alleviating these long-term and lifelong costs. Through a personal injury claim, motorcycle accident victims can pursue compensation to cover medical expenses, lost income, rehabilitation, pain and suffering, and other associated costs. Seeking legal recourse and holding the negligent driver accountable for their actions is not just about obtaining compensation; it is about securing the financial resources necessary to rebuild and reclaim one's life, ensuring that the injured rider can face the future with greater confidence and security.