Tennessee residents enjoy great freedom when riding their motorcycles. Unfortunately, a pleasant ride can be quickly ruined by a driver that blows through a stop sign. Motorcycle accident fatalities are trending upward in recent years. In 2013, 134 people died in motorcycle wrecks across the state, according to the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security. If you were hurt while riding a motorcycle, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Nashville motorcycle accident lawyer Matt Hardin has nearly 20 years of experience litigating cases for victims of motorcycle crashes, including those hurt in broadside accidents.
Holding Dangerous Drivers Accountable Through Negligence Lawsuits
Tennessee riders can seek compensation for injuries caused in a broadside accident by filing a negligence lawsuit. An accident victim must show that:
The other driver owed a duty to the victim;
The driver’s behavior violated that duty;
The driver’s careless actions caused the victim’s injuries; and
The victim incurred damages as a result of the injuries.
Every person on the road, whether a truck driver, motorist, or motorcyclist owes a duty to others around them to exercise reasonable care. This means that a person must avoid behavior that invites an unreasonable risk of harm. Breaking a traffic rule, such as running a red light or ignoring a stop sign, generally violates the duty of care. These actions cause many broadside collisions.
Proving that the defendant’s carelessness caused the victim’s injury may be more complex. The victim must show that he or she would not have been injured if the defendant had not acted carelessly. Also, the plaintiff’s injuries must have been a foreseeable result of the defendant’s actions, and those actions must be a substantial contributing factor to the injuries. A defendant whose actions were only remotely related to the accident may not be held liable.
Defendants who are held liable in a negligence claim may be required to reimburse the accident victim for both economic and non-economic types of harm. Examples of economic damages include lost wages or past and future medical expenses, such as physical therapy needed to recover from an accident. Non-economic damages may be harder to measure because they are more subjective. These include the victim’s pain and suffering. In extreme cases, a defendant who acted especially recklessly may be held liable for punitive damages. An experienced Nashville injury attorney can help you determine whether to pursue this outcome in your case.
When a motorcyclist was killed by another motorist’s negligence, certain members of the rider’s family may have a right to file a wrongful death claim against the careless driver. The elements of such a claim are generally the same as if the victim had survived to bring a claim. Somewhat different types of damages may be available, however, including compensation for the family member’s loss of companionship, consortium, or support.
The family member also may be compensated for the medical and funeral expenses of the lost loved one and the loved one’s pain and suffering before death.
Discuss Your Case with a Tennessee Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Our Nashville motorcycle accident attorneys have helped numerous clients pursue compensation for injuries caused by negligent drivers in Nashville and beyond. If you were injured in a broadside accident, we can investigate the details of your specific situation, work to negotiate a favorable settlement for you, and, if necessary, take your case to trial to seek the compensation you deserve. To schedule a free case evaluation, call visit our contact page.