Johnson City Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
Were you hurt or did you lose a loved one in a motorcycle accident in Johnson City? If so, the experienced and compassionate attorneys of the Law Offices of Seaton & Bates, PLLC are ready to stand up for you. When other drivers fail to respect your right to share the road, or if they act in a reckless, careless, or aggressive manner behind the wheel and cause you harm, we’ll be there to get answers, justice, and the maximum compensation you are owed.
Motorcycle accidents frequently happen in Tennessee, partly due to our state’s attractiveness as a riding destination. In April 2018, National Geographic reported that the Great Smoky Mountains National Park along the Tennessee–North Carolina border was the most visited national park in the United States, with double the amount of visitors of the second most popular park. One of the reasons the Great Smoky Mountains attract so many visitors is the number of scenic motorcycle roads found in the mountain range, including the Tail of the Dragon, the Blue Ridge Parkway, and historical Newfound Gap Road (U.S. Route 441). Numerous other areas of Tennessee provide similar attractive rides for motorcyclists, including multiple locations in Washington County, Carter County, and Sullivan County.
Most accidents involving motorcycles in Tennessee are the result of negligent drivers. When this happens, the rider and any passengers could be entitled to significant compensation for their medical bills, lost wages, and other damages.
If you suffered severe injuries or your loved one was killed in a motorcycle accident in Johnson City, you will want to make sure that you hire an attorney who understands precisely how to handle motorcycle injury claims. Insurance companies do not always give motorcyclists the respect or fair treatment they deserve, but a knowledgeable motorcycle accident lawyer will know how to demand it.
The Law Offices of Seaton & Bates, PLLC represent clients in communities all over Upper East Tennessee. You can have our attorneys review your case and discuss all of your legal options when you call (423) 282-1041 or fill out an online contact form to schedule a free consultation.
Do I Need a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?
When another driver causes a motorcycle crash, you will likely be contacted by that motorist’s insurance company. You should refuse to provide any recorded statement to an insurer until you have legal representation.
The agent for the insurance company will usually take one of two paths, and neither are beneficial for motorcycle accident victims. In some cases, the representative may express a willingness to make sure a victim is taken care of, but the ensuing conversation is then used to get a victim to unknowingly make damaging statements about their accident that are used to reduce the ultimate payout.
In other cases, the insurance company could aggressively argue that the motorcyclist was at fault for a crash. A lawyer is usually necessary to help achieve the best possible outcome in either circumstance.
An attorney will also be able to immediately conduct an independent investigation of your accident to determine the cause, collect relevant evidence, and identify all liable parties. When you retain legal counsel, you will give yourself the best chance of recovering all of the compensation you are entitled to.
Why Choose the Law Offices of Seaton & Bates, PLLC to Handle My Case?
The Law Offices of Seaton & Bates, PLLC understand the tremendous strain that motorcycle crashes place — not just on victims, but on their entire families. Our firm fights to help people recover maximum compensation, such as one case in which we helped a client who was advised to accept a $30,000 settlement offer from an insurance company obtain a $180,000 settlement instead.
Tony Seaton is a board-certified specialist in Civil Trial Practice with more than three decades of legal experience. He holds an AV Preeminent rating from Martindale-Hubbell, a peer rating denoting the highest level of professional excellence, and he was honored with the Tennessee Association for Justice Paladin Award in 2012.
Robert Bates is a member of the Tennessee Trial Lawyers Association. He was named to the Top 40 Under 40 list by the National Association of Personal Injury Attorneys in 2015 and was a Dean’s Scholar at the Appalachian School of Law. He also obtained the large jury verdict in a motor vehicle accident case against one of the best defense attorneys in Tennessee.
The Law Offices of Seaton & Bates, PLLC provide legal representation on a contingency fee basis, which means you do not pay anything unless you obtain a monetary award. Our firm will negotiate a fair and full settlement or file a lawsuit when an insurance company refuses to provide adequate compensation.
Types of Motorcycle Accident Cases We Handle
The simple truth remains that motorcyclists are not afforded anywhere near the level of protection available to most occupants of motor vehicles. With nothing to cushion the immediate impact if they are thrown from their bike, motorcyclists frequently suffer catastrophic injuries in these types of wrecks.
In general, some of the most common injuries motorcyclists can suffer include but are not limited to:
● Road rash
● Muscle strains
● Neck injuries
● Internal organ injuries
● Traumatic brain injuries
● Spinal cord injuries
Some of these injuries can be affected by the specific type of crash a motorcyclist is involved in. No two accidents are the same, but certain types of collisions are more common than others.
Common kinds of motorcycle accidents in Tennessee include, but are not limited to:
● Left- or right-turn accidents
● Rear-end accidents
● Distracted driving accidents
● Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
● Driver fatigue
● Lane change accidents
Some motorcycle crashes do not involve other motor vehicles. These accidents are not necessarily the fault of the biker, but usually, stem from a defect with the motorcycle.
If a crash is caused by a defective motorcycle part, the manufacturer of that part may be responsible for damages. When a motorcycle was defective because of improper repairs, then it could be the maintenance company that is liable.
Frequently Asked Questions About Motorcycle Accidents
Medical attention needs to be the top priority of anyone involved in a motorcycle accident. You should still go to a hospital even if you do not believe that you suffered any injuries. Remember, some serious injuries involve delayed symptoms, and insurance companies will use any delay in treatment to argue that your injuries are not as severe as claimed.
Other important steps include taking pictures of the crash scene (photographs can be valuable evidence) and getting the contact information of anyone who saw the accident (these people can be valuable witnesses when liability is disputed). If you cannot take these measures on your own, try to have a friend, family member, or co-worker do it for you. Finally, make sure to contact a skilled personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.
Whereas Tennessee once recognized the common law defense of contributory negligence under which a plaintiff is barred from recovery when any degree of their own negligence contributed to an accident, the Supreme Court of Tennessee adopted a system of comparative fault with its decision in McIntyre v. Balentine, 833 S.W.2d 52 (Tenn. 1992).
With this decision, a plaintiff can now recover damages as long as their negligence is less than the defendant's, or they are less than 50 percent at fault. Damages in these cases are reduced in proportion to the percentage of the total negligence attributable to the plaintiff, which means that a person who is awarded $100,000 in a motorcycle accident case but is found to be 15 percent at fault will have their damages reduced by $15,000 and ultimately receive $85,000.
Tennessee Code § 28-3-104(a)(1)(B) establishes that a civil action must be commenced within one year of the date of a crash, but people need to act as quickly as possible in these cases.
You should never assume that you can wait a year to take action. It is also important to note that the date the limitations period begins is different when a person is filing a wrongful death claim, as the statute of limitations for a wrongful death claim begins on the date of a person’s death, which could be days, weeks, or months after the date of an accident.
According to the Tennessee Department of Safety & Homeland Security, there were 147 motorcyclist fatalities in the state in 2016. This was the highest number of any year going back to 1998, when there were only 42 fatalities.
The agency reported that riders in 133 of the 147 fatalities were wearing helmets, while 13 did not have helmets, and one case was unknown. The 133 helmeted fatalities were also the most of any year since 1998.
The Tomahawk reported that National Highway Traffic Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System data showed Tennessee had the eighth highest motorcyclist fatality rate in the nation in 2016. A 2015 report by the Governors Highway Safety Association found that the 123 motorcyclist fatalities in Tennessee were the 13th highest total in the nation.
Contact a Johnson City Motorcycle Accident Attorney Today
Did you sustain serious injuries or was your loved one killed in a motorcycle crash in the Johnson City area? You should not be forced to struggle because of another party’s negligence. Law Offices of Seaton & Bates, PLLC will work as a team to help you recover all of the compensation that you need and deserve. Call (423) 282-1041 or contact us online to have our lawyers provide a complete evaluation of your case during a free consultation.