Motorcycle Accidents Attorneys in Knoxville, Tennessee
When a motorcycle accident occurs, everything changes in the blink of an eye. You were just enjoying the breeze on your face, and now, all of a sudden, you are dealing with a mixture of pain, discomfort, confusion, and stress in the aftermath of the crash. At Wykoff & Sikes, PLLC, we understand the challenges people go through when a motorcycle accident occurs. We also understand – and have seen firsthand – the devastating impact these crashes can have on victims’ lives.
If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident or your loved one was killed in a crash while riding a bike, contact our personal injury team of attorneys at Wykoff & Sikes, PLLC. Our motorcycle accident attorneys in Knoxville, Tennessee, help accident victims and their families navigate the complex legal system after the accident. We strive to pursue favorable settlements for our clients to help them regain a semblance of normalcy in their life. We serve Knoxville and the surrounding area, including Chattanooga, Johnson City, Sevierville, and Crossville.
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Injuries in a Motorcycle Accident
Motorcycles are much smaller than passenger vehicles, which is why motorcycle riders and passengers often end up suffering the worst injuries when a collision occurs. In fact, motorcyclists are more susceptible to serious and life-threatening injuries because bikes do not offer nearly as much protection as a passenger vehicle. When an accident occurs, motorcycle riders and passengers are likely to suffer:
Spinal cord injuries
Traumatic brain injuries
Broken bones and fractures
Neck and shoulder injuries
Leg and knee injuries
Hand, arm, and wrist injuries
Loss of limb
The importance of seeking medical attention and documenting your injuries after a motorcycle accident cannot be overstated. Getting proper and prompt medical care ensures that you begin the appropriate treatment as soon as possible and also helps establish a strong link between the accident and your injuries.
Liability for Motorcycle Accidents in Knoxville, Tennessee
When a motorcycle accident occurs and you suffer injuries as a result, the biggest question is, “Who is liable for the accident?” The party found to be liable will be responsible for the resulting damages and expenses suffered by the victim. Determining liability in most – if not all – motorcycle accident cases is based on proving that the other party was negligent. Negligence refers to one’s failure to exercise due care and can be proven by establishing the following three factors:
Duty of care. When a passenger vehicle hits a motorcyclist, the driver of the passenger vehicle usually owes the motorcyclist a duty of care because all motorists on the road must obey traffic rules.
Breach. When the driver of a passenger vehicle fails to check his side-view mirrors when changing lanes (or violates any other traffic law) and ends up hitting a motorcycle, the driver is considered to have breached their duty of care.
Causation and damages. Finally, the injured victim (the motorcyclist in our example above) must prove that the driver’s negligent actions (violating a traffic rule) were a significant factor in causing their injuries and making them suffer damages (e.g., medical expenses, lost wages, etc.).
Changing lanes without checking the side-view mirrors is one of the many possible causes of motorcycle accidents. Other types of negligent behaviors that contribute to collisions with motorcyclists include but are not limited to:
Failure to yield the right of way
Running red lights and stop signs
Driving under the influence
Tailgating (failing to maintain a safe following distance)
Motorcycle accidents are not an uncommon occurrence on Tennessee’s roads. According to a report by the state’s Department of Safety & Homeland Security, there were a total of more than 17,700 motorcycle accidents in Tennessee from 2016 to 2021, averaging nearly 3,000 collisions per year.
Motorcycle Accidents & Tennessee Laws
Some state laws in Tennessee may have a profound effect on your ability to obtain compensation after a motorcycle accident:
Comparative fault. Tennessee is a modified comparative fault state. Basically, it means that injured victims are allowed to pursue compensation if they were not more than 49% to blame for the accident. This rule also reduces the total amount of compensation based on the victim’s degree of fault. For example, if a motorcyclist is deemed 30% at fault and suffered $5,000 in damages, their compensation will be reduced by 30% ($1,500).
Helmet. Tennessee law requires all motorcycle riders and their passengers to wear helmets when the bike is in motion. The rule applies to motorcycles, motorized bicycles, and other motor-driven cycles. Not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident could potentially affect the victim’s ability to obtain full compensation.
Statute of limitations. All personal injury claims, including those stemming from motorcycle accidents, must be filed within a year of the date of the accident. If the victim does not take legal action before the statute of limitations expires, their future attempts to file a claim for compensation will be dismissed.
Our attorneys at Wykoff & Sikes, PLLC, can explain how these and other laws may affect your claim for compensation and help you take the necessary steps from the day of your crash to maximize your recovery.
Motorcycle Accident Attorneys Serving Knoxville, Tennessee
At Wykoff & Sikes, PLLC, we know how difficult it can be to get back to our normal everyday life after a traumatic accident, such as a motorcycle accident. We assist our clients in navigating the various obstacles in pursuit of the compensation they deserve. Our results-driven and compassionate motorcycle accident attorneys in Knoxville, Tennessee, are here to support you and guide you throughout the entire process. Contact our office for a free consultation.