Proving Liability for a Bristol Motorcycle Accident
Pursue damages with the help of a Tennessee bike wreck law firm
Insurance and the law are both extremely complicated when it comes to Bristol motorcycle accidents. Figuring out who will be held responsible for the crash and which insurance company will compensate you can be difficult. The law firm of Massengill, Caldwell & Coughlin, P.C. has been representing injury victims in Tennessee and Virginia for more than 100 years. Our attorneys have the experience to help you understand your rights and to enforce those rights during settlement negotiations and in court.
Who is responsible in an accident involving a motorcyclist?
Tennessee is an “at-fault” state. That means that whoever caused an accident is responsible for the damages stemming from the accident. Normally, these damages are paid by the insurance company of the driver who was at fault. This differs from “no-fault” states where bikers recover payments only from their own insurance company, regardless of who caused the accident. In some cases, it may also be possible for you to recover damages from your own insurance company or by suing another responsible party, such as a city or the state for negligence in road design or maintenance.
What happens if a motorcycle accident was partially my fault?
One of the most important reasons why you need a motorcycle attorney is to prove that another driver was at fault. This is because Tennessee is a modified comparative fault state, which means that a court or jury will decide whether each party was at fault for the accident, and if so, what percentage of the fault should be assigned to each driver.
Each party’s fault can range from 0-100%. The amount of damages you can recover is reduced by the percentage of fault the jury has assigned to you. For example, if you were 20% at fault for an accident, you will only be able to recover 80% of your damages for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. In cases where you are 50% or more responsible, you will not be able to recover any damages at all. This is why it is essential to have an experienced law firm fighting to prove that you were not at fault in your Bristol motorcycle accident.
Protecting your legal rights if you are in an accident
As in a criminal case, anything you say can and will be used against you. It is very important to watch what you say at the scene of a motorcycle accident and when speaking to:
- Police. Always be honest with the police, but never reveal any more information than they ask. Do not admit that the accident was your fault. Even if you believe it was, you could be wrong. Once you admit fault, it is hard to argue the other driver was responsible.
- Other drivers. Resist the urge to apologize to the other driver at the scene. An apology will be used against you later. It is perfectly fine to ask them if they have been hurt, and it is required that you exchange identification and insurance information. Never say you are “fine” until you have been checked by a doctor.
- Insurance companies. Whether you are dealing with your own insurer or another driver’s insurance company, say as little as possible. Our experienced attorneys will deal with insurance companies for you and fight back when they try to deny your claims.
Insurance companies make their profits by collecting premiums and paying out as few claims as possible. They tend to be much more willing to work with attorneys than policy holders. Our experienced Bristol bike wreck lawyers deal with insurance companies regularly and will fight to get you the recovery you deserve.
Let our knowledgeable attorneys help you deal with insurance companies
At the law firm of Massengill, Caldwell & Coughlin, P.C., we have been helping accident victims for more than 100 years. Our attorneys have over seven decades of combined experience helping crash victims get justice and holding insurance companies accountable. Trust us to help you get the compensation you need after a Tennessee motorcycle wreck. Call us now at 423-797-6022 or contact us online to schedule an initial consultation.