What Should I Do If I’m Hurt In a Tennessee Motorcycle Accident?


Motorcycle accidents are more infrequent than car and truck accidents but they are much more likely to result in serious injuries or even death. According to the National Transportation Safety Board, there are 35 times more deaths from motorcycle accidents than from car accidents. Therefore, it is advisable for motorcyclists to educate themselves as to what are the most likely causes of motorcycle accidents so the most dangerous situations can be avoided.

  1. Oncoming Cars and Trucks Making Left-Hand Turns in Front of Motorcycles

By far, the most dangerous situation motorcyclist find themselves in is when an oncoming car or truck makes a left hand turn in front of the motorcycle rider.  According to the Federal Agency, nearly one half of all motorcycle accidents involve a left hand turn by an oncoming vehicle.  These motorcycle wrecks occur in a number of different situations.  They occur not only when the motorcycle is traveling through an intersection but when the vehicle is turning into a private or public drive where there is no intersection.  Because of the motorcycle’s small size, they are much more likely to not be seen by the oncoming driver of the car or truck.

The driver of a car or truck that turns left in front of another car or truck is normally always found to be 100% at fault for the wreck.  However this is not always true when a motorcycle is involved.  If the motorcycle was found to be speeding or was in the incorrect lane of travel, the motorcycle rider may be found to be partially at fault for the accident.

In Tennessee, if you were found to be partially at fault in causing your motorcycle accident, you can still recover damages against the driver of the car or truck that caused the accident.  The amount of money you recover would be reduced by your percentage of fault. For example, if you were found to be 30% at fault and your total damages were $100,000. Your recovery would be reduced by $30,000.  Therefore, you would receive $70,000.

  1. Motorcycles Involved in Head-On Collisions With Cars and Trucks

Motorcycle crashes involving cars and trucks account for nearly 60% of all deaths caused by motorcycle accidents.  In almost all of these motorcycle accidents, the car or truck impacts the front of the motorcycle. (Over 80% of the time) It is a very rare occurrence when a car or truck “rear ends” a motorcyclist. (Less than 5% of the time)

  1. Motorcyclist Lane Splitting Between two Vehicles

Lane Splitting is dangerous!  It is not authorized by the rules of the road in Tennessee and most other states. Lane splitting occurs when a motorcyclist drives his or her bike between two lanes of stopped or slowly moving cars.  Lane splitting most often occurs in larger cities during traffic jams or when traffic had slowed.  It is dangerous because the motorcycle is too close to the cars and trucks they are overtaking.  This very much limits the space that the motorcycle has to maneuver.  These dangerous factors coupled with the fact that the drivers of the vehicles being overtaken do not anticipate that the motorcycle will be passing by lane splitting.

In Tennessee, lane splitting is not permitted.  If you are injured while lane splitting in Tennessee, you probably will not be able to recover for any resulting damages.

As you can see, there are many causes for motorcycle accidents in Tennessee.  We will discuss another three in Part 2 of this article – coming soon!

If you are a loved one are injured in a motorcycle wreck in Tennessee, don’t trust the insurance companies to look after your best interest, you need to consult an experienced TN injury attorney.  We offer Free Consultations on your case and we don’t get paid until you do.  Give us a call to dicuss your case in more detail.  We have 20 years of motorcycle accident experience in Tennessee.