Knoxville, TN Injury Lawyer Stands Up for Victims of Motorcycle Accidents
Fighting to obtain rightful compensation for injured riders and passengers
A rider himself, attorney T. Scott Jones knows a thing or two about motorcycles. Often racing at speeds of up to 200 miles per hour, he knows the importance of focus and precision. At Banks and Jones, our lawyers bring the same attentiveness, fearlessness and drive to defending the rights of motorcycle accident victims. Furthermore, we understand the joys and dangers of riding in a way that most injury law firms do not. If you or your loved one has suffered an injury in a motorcycle crash, our attorneys are here to help. We review the circumstances of your accident, collect evidence, help you determine who is responsible for causing you harm and take aggressive action to secure the compensation you deserve.
Types of motorcycle accidents
Riding a motorcycle is certainly thrilling — but it can also be dangerous because motorcycles provide riders with little protection. There were 147 fatal motorcycle crashes in our state last year, the highest it’s been in at least 5 years. As of May 2017, there have already been 32 fatal motorcycle accidents in Tennessee.
The most common causes of motorcycle accidents involve:
- Limited visibility. Since motorcycles are small and less noticeable than other vehicles on the road, they can sometimes be difficult to spot until it’s too late. If you ride at night, make certain that your headlights work so that you are visible to other motorists.
- Rear end crashes. If a passenger car or truck rear-ends a motorcycle, the motorcyclist could be thrown from the bike and instantly killed or severely injured. Similar results could occur if a motorcyclist rear-ends another vehicle.
- Car doors. People in cars throw their doors open whenever they feel like, have you noticed? That often includes opening doors right into traffic.
- Blind corners and turns. Turning is dangerous enough for riders when there are no cars involved, but even more dangerous when they’re sharing the road. You can easily fall into a driver’s blind spot when you’re coming around a corner – or when the driver is.
- Roadway debris. Broken tree limbs, wet leaves, gravel pits, fallen truck cargo: road debris makes a weekend drive the equivalent to an obstacle course. Under certain circumstances, you may be able to file a claim against the local or state government if the roadways are decrepit and/or dangerous, and there was no warning for riders or drivers.
- Drunk drivers. Even though people know driving after drinking is illegal and dangerous, they do it anyway. A drunk or otherwise intoxicated driver has slow reflexes and poor judgment, and motorcycle riders can pay the price.
- Distracted driving. Texting, playing the with radio, checking the GPS, personal grooming – people do a lot of things behind the wheel that don’t have anything to do with driving. Distracted driver has accounted for 5,447 Tennessee car crashes in the first half of 2017 alone; it was listed as a factor in 24,754 car crashes in 2016. When you’re on your bike, you don’t have nearly enough protection to keep you safe from a distracted driver barreling towards you.
- Speeding and reckless driving. An aggressive driver is a dangerous driver – period. Cars that tailgate you, or chase after you, or swerve in and out of lanes are a menace, and they can cause catastrophic injuries to riders.
Even a single-rider crash can lead to broken bones and head injuries. A collision with a car – or, even worse, a commercial truck – can lead to catastrophic injuries like permanent brain damage, spinal cord damage or disfigurement. Under the most tragic circumstances, you or your loved one could die.
Commonly asked questions about Tennessee’s motorcycle laws
We hear a lot of the same questions from our clients when it comes to Tennessee’s laws for riders. We thought it might be best to simply address them here, so you know before you ride. You can read the laws in full here, as well.
Q: Is lane splitting legal?
A: Not in Tennessee, it’s not. Under Tenn. Code § 55-8-182, “No person shall operate a motorcycle between lanes of traffic or between adjacent lines or rows of vehicles.” Law enforcement, however, IS allowed to split lanes if they are in the course of their duties.
Q: Do I have to wear a motorcycle helmet in Tennessee?
A: Yes, you do – and so does your passenger, if you have one. If you’re under the age of 21, you have to wear a crash helmet meeting federal standards contained in 49 CFR 571.218. If you’re 21 years or older, your helmet must also meet “federal safety standard 218, but does not have to meet the helmet penetration standards, the continuous contour standard and the labeling standard of 49 CFR571.218.”
Q: What types of safety equipment do I need on my motorcycle?
A: You’ll need a windshield (or else you have to wear safety goggles when you ride). Your bike also has to have at least one red stop light and one red tail light, rearview mirrors, footrests for you and the passenger, and a muffler (no “straight pipes allowed in TN).
Ride tandem with a professional motorcycle accident lawyer
Rarely does anyone suffer only a minor injury in a motorcycle accident. If you have sustained a serious head, neck, back or other bodily injury in motorcycle collision, our legal team at Banks and Jones is here to offer sound guidance at every turn. To find out more about how our experienced Knoxville motorcycle injury attorneys can help you, call 865-407-2122 or fill out our contact form.