Rear-end collisions, also known as fender benders, may seem relatively minor to an automobile driver, but they may result in serious injuries when a motorcycle is struck. Moreover, the injuries may be catastrophic or fatal if high speeds were involved. Metal surrounds an automobile driver in a fender bender, but a motorcyclist is not at all shielded from the force of another vehicle in this type of accident. If you are a motorcyclist who has been injured in a rear-end collision, Maryville motorcycle accident lawyer Mark C. Hartsoe and the staff at the Hartsoe Law Firm stand ready to help you recover damages.Proving Responsibility for a Rear-End Collision
In Tennessee, if one vehicle strikes another from the rear, in most cases, the fault lies with the person driving the striking vehicle. Generally, all drivers are supposed to follow at a safe distance so that they can stop safely even if the vehicle in front of them makes a completely unexpected stop. Whoever strikes from behind may be held responsible even if visibility was poor, or there was ice on the road.
Maryville and the surrounding Great Smoky Mountains are a motorcycle mecca. Visitors come from all over to ride “the Dragon” Foothills Parkway and Cherohala Skyway. Mark Hartsoe is the “go to guy” for motorcycle wrecks in this area due to extensive experience and his results.
A state trooper or police officer should be called to the scene to interview witnesses. That officer may determine who was at fault, but in more complex cases, such as chain reaction rear-end collision cases, it may be necessary to retain an accident reconstruction specialist.
Although insurers will usually assume that the fault is with the driver to the rear, if you are trying to recover damages for serious injuries through litigation, you will need to establish the other driver's negligence. This means that you will need to establish the other driver's duty of care (to drive safely), a breach of duty (carelessness), causation (injuries caused by the wreck), and damages (lost income, medical bills, pain and suffering, lost enjoyment of life, and more). In most cases, failing to leave a safe distance will be considered a breach of duty.
Tennessee has a universal helmet law, so it is important that a motorcyclist always wear a helmet. Otherwise, the other side in a rear-end collision case is likely to argue that modified comparative negligence applies. Under this rule, the jury will determine the total damages and also assign a percentage of fault to each party alleged to be at fault. If a rider was not wearing a helmet, as required by law, the jury may find that the rider was comparatively negligent. If it finds that the rider was 50% or more at fault, they will be barred from recovering compensation. If they are found to be 49% or less at fault, their damages are simply reduced by the amount equal to their percentage of fault.Discuss Your Motorcycle Accident Claim with a Maryville Lawyer
Motorcycle accidents may result in serious injuries or even death. Unfortunately, there may be insurer or jury bias against a motorcyclist, even in a rear-end collision case in which fault is often more straightforward than in other types of cases. It is crucial to retain experienced counsel. Maryville motorcycle accident attorney Mark C. Hartsoe is ready to help if you are a motorcyclist who has been hurt in a rear-end collision. Call the Hartsoe Law Firm at (865) 524-5657 or use our online form to arrange a free consultation with a motor vehicle collision attorney. We represent victims throughout East Tennessee, including in Knox, Blount, Monroe, Loudon, Jefferson, Grainger, Cocke, Campbell, Hamblen, Greene, Anderson, Cumberland, and Fentress Counties.