Knowledgeable Maryville Motorcycle Accident Attorneys
Helping injured motorcyclists in Blount County and throughout East Tennessee
Good weather and high gas prices make motorcycles an attractive and affordable transportation alternative for many people. Motorcycle enthusiasts enjoy the freedom and the fresh air as they travel from place to place. Motorcyclists, however, do not benefit from the protection afforded by closed passenger vehicles. When accidents happen, bikers often suffer severe injuries or fatalities.
The Tennessee Department of Safety reports 152 motorcyclist fatalities in 2019. Since popular misconceptions about bikers create challenges when injury victims try to obtain the compensation they deserve, they should to seek legal support from highly experienced motorcycle accident attorneys. The Maryville motorcycle accident lawyers at Shepherd & Long, P.C. are dedicated to helping victims pursue their rights in these often-catastrophic injury cases.
Common causes of Tennessee motorcycle accidents
As with any type of motor vehicle accident, either driver or both drivers can be liable for a motorcycle accident, but often public opinion tends to assume motorcyclists are at fault for most accidents. However, in our experience, often another motorist or party is liable. Some of these reasons include:
- Visibility. Motorists may not even see a motorcycle on the road. Many drivers are looking for other larger vehicles, while failing to observe motorcycles even if they are in plain view.
- Presumption of right-of-way. Some drivers fail to yield right-of-way to motorcyclists, which is both dangerous and against traffic laws.
- Short following distances. Motorcycles can stop more quickly than larger vehicles. Yet many cars and trucks do not account for this when choosing the gap they leave between their vehicles and the motorcycles in front of them. This can cause tragic rear-end accidents.
- Roadway obstructions. Potholes or bumps on the road can appear in an instant. While a car can survive an encounter with a roadway obstruction, motorcyclists can lose control, resulting in a single-vehicle accident or throwing riders into traffic and involving other vehicles.
How can a motorcycle accident attorney help?
As experienced Maryville personal injury lawyers, one of our most important tasks is refuting the misconceptions that can cause insurance companies, opposing attorneys and juries to deny the validity of motorcycle accident claims. We prepare every case by retaining experienced motorcycle accident investigators to examine the accident scene, the damaged vehicles, and any and all information and photos you provide. Investigator reports, combined with information offered by medical experts, can provide convincing proof of liability and fully document the past, current and future anticipated costs for your claim.
At Shepherd & Long, P.C., we employ every resource we can to prove your case and secure the highest amount of compensation possible.
What to do if you are injured in a motorcycle accident
Many motorcycle accident victims suffer injuries that prevent them from remaining at the accident scene. Remember, however, if you do remain on the scene, everything you do or say can make a difference to the safety of all involved parties — and it can affect your ability to pursue compensation from any of the parties responsible for your injuries. The following tips can help you protect your safety and your legal rights after a motorcycle accident.
Take care of your injuries first
Although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that the use of helmets saved over 1,850 lives in 2016, even helmets cannot help motorcyclists entirely avoid severe, potentially disabling injuries. You can preserve your rights by remaining at the scene of an accident. However, if you need immediate medical attention, your health is more important. Be sure to check for injuries to others, and call 911 for help.
If you can remain at the accident scene
If you know you can wait a short time to see a doctor, staying at the accident scene provides the opportunity to gather evidence and information you can use for an insurance claim or legal case. Keep in mind that your case is likely to receive challenges due to bias against motorcyclists. Taking photos and capturing many different angles of the roadway and the damaged vehicles can reveal details an investigator may not see from a single photo. Err on the side of gathering too much information and evidence.
Maintain detailed records
Medical treatment, medicine, crutches and other items you purchase represent just one type of expense related to your injuries. You may lose time from work, and you may need to pay for household and other services that you cannot perform until you heal. Consider every detail to avoid paying unfair out-of-pocket expenses.
The settlement offer often does not represent the best offer
Insurance companies count on your desire to put the accident behind you. They often tempt you with a quick offer that may not represent the full costs associated with your injuries. Your signature makes the offer final, so you need to carefully consider your true expenses now and in the future. I often review offers and then negotiate more appropriate settlements for my clients.
Remember, it costs nothing to schedule a free consultation. The Maryville motorcycle accident lawyers at Shepherd & Long can evaluate your legal options before you take any action on your own.
My loved one was killed in a Maryville motorcycle accident – can you help?
No amount of money can compensate a family that loses a loved one in an accident caused by a careless driver. And after a tragic loss, families may face a potential mountain of medical bills at a time when they also experience a sudden loss of funds due to lost income.
When a person dies from injuries caused by negligent or wrongful acts of others, certain survivors have the right to pursue a wrongful death claim against any party who has liability for the death. This means our motorcycle accident lawyers pursue medical and other expenses incurred before your loved one’s death. The law also considers losses sustained by immediate family members, such as the following:
- Funeral expenses
- Loss of future financial support, benefits and inheritance
- Loss of companionship
- Mental and emotional anguish
Families seeking compensation from the responsible parties in fatal motorcycle accidents face the same issues as injury victims. They must provide convincing evidence that establishes liability even when public perception tends to assume fault on the part of motorcyclists. Families seldom have access to direct evidence from the scene of the accident, adding challenges to these claims. We enlist the assistance of investigative professionals when needed to develop an effective case for my clients.
Frequently asked questions about East Tennessee motorcycle accidents
A motorcycle ride on a beautiful day can add enjoyment to your daily commute – and saves gas money. However, motorcycles provide little protection in a traffic collision, and motorcyclists need to understand the potential consequences of serious accidents. We are pleased to provide answers to some of the questions we hear from our clients.
- Are there any special issues involved in filing a motorcycle accident insurance claim?
- I went to the hospital immediately after my accident. How do I collect the evidence I need for my claim?
- Do I have legal options for recovering damages after a single-vehicle crash?
- Can I file a claim if I cannot find the driver who caused my accident?
- Do I need to take my case to court?
- Do I need a lawyer to file a claim?
Are there any special issues involved in filing a motorcycle accident insurance claim?
Whether you file a claim against the policy of a liable party or against your own policy, perhaps the main concern involves coverage limits. Motorcycle accidents often cause severe injuries that require extensive expenses for medical treatments. There are also related costs you might incur, possibly for the rest of your life, in the case of disability. This is why we thoroughly assess your situation in your free initial consultation to determine if you should pursue other legal avenues.
I went to the hospital immediately after my accident. How do I get the evidence I need for my claim?
The police can supply the police report you need to file a claim, and they can most likely provide basic information about the involved drivers. As an experienced motorcycle accident attorney, I understand that medical attention comes first, and I have the means to develop an effective case even under challenging circumstances.
Do I have legal options for recovering damages after a single-vehicle crash?
You can always file a claim against your own insurance policy, but you may have other legal options depending on the details of your specific situation. For example, if you lost control of your bike after hitting a pothole or other hazard caused by poor road maintenance, you may have a claim against the local municipality that failed to perform necessary road repairs.
Can I file a claim if I cannot find the driver who caused my accident?
Your own insurance policy can still provide coverage, possibly as a hit-and-run claim or as part of uninsured motorist coverage. If your insurance company attempts to deny coverage, our attorneys are ready to intervene on your behalf.
Do I need to take my case to court?
Particularly if your injuries result in permanent disability, we may recommend a jury trial as the best way to pursue the full compensation you need to cover a lifetime of expenses. However, we can also negotiate a fair settlement out of court even if the insurance policy of the liable party does not provide the coverage you need. We provide you all the information you need to make an informed decision.
Do I need a lawyer to file a claim?
It always makes sense to discuss your claim with an attorney before taking any action on your own, and legal advice is particularly important when dealing with complex motorcycle accidents. We offer a free consultation to assess your case, so it costs nothing to learn your options.
Contact an experienced Maryville motorcycle accident attorney for help
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in a motorcycle accident, the lawyers at Shepherd & Long, P.C. have the experience you need to help protect your rights. For more information, or to schedule a consultation, call us at 865-982-8060 or fill out the contact form. We regularly represent clients in Madisonville, Oak Ridge, Lenoir City and throughout East Tennessee.
We handle personal injury claims on a contingency fee basis. You pay no attorney fees until we successfully obtain compensation for you.