Knoxville Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Knoxville motorcycle accident attorney Mark Hartsoe has represented a substantial number of parties who have sustained catastrophic injuries in motorcycle wrecks. Many motorcyclists are injured as a result of careless automobile drivers. Many car drivers fail to pay proper attention to motorcycles which leads to tragic wrecks with serious and life-threatening injuries. Because motorcycles lack protection compared to automobiles and trucks, the injuries sustained by motorcycle riders are almost always extremely serious or fatal. Tennessee attorney Mark Hartsoe works closely with accident reconstruction engineering witnesses to establish liability in motorcycle cases, as well as car and truck wreck claims.
Knoxville motorcycle accident lawyer Mark Hartsoe stresses the importance of collecting evidence as soon as possible. Going to the scene of the motorcycle accident and looking for physical evidence in the form of skid marks or debris fields is important to help establish your claim. Interviewing witnesses to the Tennessee motorcycle accident is critical to help establish liability on the part of the car or truck that caused the wreck. Recently, Mr. Hartsoe represented a Knoxville physician who was critically injured when a truck crossed the center line and struck the physician who was riding a motorcycle. Mr. Hartsoe’s client sustained numerous fractures and was left with permanent disability as a result of the wreck. Tennessee Motorcycle Attorney Mark Hartsoe also recently represented a client who was struck head-on by another motorcycle on the Dragon located in Blount County, Tennessee. That client also sustained a broken wrist and was fortunately was not hurt worse from this catastrophic motorcycle accident.Hazards for Motorcyclists
In 2018, Knox County witnessed 157 motorcycle crashes, which resulted in a crash rate of about 12.9 when accounting for the 12,144 licensed motorcycle operators in the county. This was a relatively typical year when compared to other years in the same decade. Knox County ranked 34th out of 95 Tennessee counties in motorcycle crash rate in 2018. Many other East Tennessee counties also ranked relatively high on the list.Legal Claims Based on Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycle accident claims are a type of personal injury case. The main legal elements are similar to those in cases involving other types of motor vehicles. A victim needs to prove that the defendant was negligent, as that is defined under the law. Negligence involves failing to adhere to the required level of the care under the circumstances.
While this concept sounds technical, negligence is relatively straightforward in the context of motor vehicle collisions. It occurs whenever a driver fails to take the same precautions behind the wheel that a reasonable and careful driver would take in the same situation. Most people will take precautions to avoid posing a risk of harm to other people on the road who could be affected by their actions. This might involve taking a specific action, such as signaling before making a turn, or it might involve refraining from taking a specific action, such as getting behind the wheel while drunk or drugged. The idea behind the negligence rule is that drivers should be held accountable for failing to respect the safety of others.
In addition to showing that the driver was negligent, the motorcyclist would need to prove causation and damages. The element of causation requires showing that the motorcyclist would not have been injured if the driver had used the proper care. The accident also must have been a reasonably foreseeable result of the driver’s negligence, without intervening factors that significantly altered the course of events. Establishing causation often requires a thorough examination of the evidence in a case, including physical evidence and the statements of witnesses. A motorcycle accident victim should retain an attorney as soon as possible after a crash to make sure that vital evidence is preserved.
The final element in a motorcycle accident case, as in other personal injury claims, is known as damages. The victim needs to show that they sustained quantifiable losses because of the defendant’s negligence. These might cover items such as medical bills, lost income and earning capacity, the costs of future treatment, and the victim’s pain and suffering, among other items. It is important to be aware that you can potentially recover items of future losses if they are reasonably quantifiable and not overly speculative. This can be critical if a victim is relatively young and will suffer from a disability for the rest of their life.Procedural Rules
In addition to proving the substantive elements of a claim, a victim will need to account for certain procedural rules imposed by state law. One of the most important rules is the statute of limitations, which is provided by Section 28-3-104 of the Tennessee Code. The statute of limitations prevents a victim from bringing a claim more than one year after the date of an accident. By retaining a personal injury attorney who understands these cases and the technical rules that they involve, a victim can make sure that they do not inadvertently waive their rights. Other issues with which an attorney can assist a victim include choosing the appropriate court to file a claim and making sure that all of the appropriate defendants are brought into the litigation. Sometimes multiple parties may be liable, including the driver’s employer or the manufacturer of the car or the motorcycle.Comparative Negligence in Tennessee
Since motorcycle accident claims tend to have substantial value, a victim can expect a driver or their insurer to contest liability whenever possible. A common defense in a motorcycle accident case consists of arguing that the motorcycle rider was at least partly at fault for the crash. This is based on the modified comparative negligence rule that applies in Tennessee. The rule provides that an injured person cannot recover damages from a defendant if the injured person was 50 percent or more responsible for the accident. Moreover, if they were responsible to a degree less than 50 percent, any damages award that they receive will be reduced in proportion to their negligence.
For example, if a driver fails to signal a turn and strikes a motorcycle rider, but the rider was speeding, it is possible that both the plaintiff and the defendant bore some of the fault for the accident. If the jury determines that the defendant was 70 percent at fault, the plaintiff could recover 70 percent of their damages.Wrongful Death Claims After Motorcycle Accidents
Many motorcycle accidents result in the tragic loss of a victim’s life. Tennessee was the eighth-most dangerous state in the nation for motorcyclists, according to a 2019 study. More than 90 percent of the fatal motorcycle accidents in Tennessee during the period of the study involved motorcyclists who wore a helmet, showing that most riders take appropriate safety precautions but still are not protected from dangerous drivers. In every year between 2012 and 2017, more than 120 motorcyclists were killed on Tennessee roads.
If a victim leaves behind family members, such as a spouse or child, those family members may be able to recover wrongful death damages under Section 20-5-106 of the Tennessee Code. The surviving spouse has priority in filing a claim, followed by surviving children and then the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate. A wrongful death claim can pursue the same types of damages that the victim would have been able to pursue if they had survived. Family members also can seek damages related to the loss of the victim’s love, society, and companionship. The victim’s estate can be reimbursed for burial and funeral expenses.Why Hire Mark Hartsoe
Injuries from motorcycle accidents almost always result in significant injuries, high medical bills and lost ability to earn a living. Because the motorcycle offers little protection from a negligent car or truck driver, Tennessee motorcycle crashes frequently end in significant disability or death. If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, you need a Knoxville motorcycle accident lawyer like Mark Hartsoe to put his extensive motorcycle accident experience to work for you to ensure that you are compensated for the losses you have suffered. Mr. Hartsoe has handled numerous motorcycle accident cases in Tennessee and in other states. Lawyers from other states routinely refer Tennessee motorcycle injury cases to Mr. Hartsoe due to his extensive experience in this area of personal injury law. Many of the Tennessee motorcycle accidents involve car and truck drivers’ failure to keep a proper lookout before they pull out in front of motorcyclists. Even the most skillful bike rider faces serious injury due to the inattention of much bigger cars and trucks. Motorcyclists face brain and spinal cord injuries, broken bones and internal injuries, amputation and other disfigurement-Hartsoe has handled Tennessee motorcycle injury cases of these types recently. Dealing with insurance companies in the face of mounting medical bills, lost wages and needed future medical care can be extremely frustrating and causes significant worry to injured parties and their families. The Hartsoe Law Firm is the “go to” law firm for Tennessee Motorcycle accident cases.
If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a Tennessee Motorcycle Accident, call us today 865-804-1011. Let us get to work for you.
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