Articles Posted in Motorcyle Accidents

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motorcycleSometimes in Tennessee personal injury cases, a plaintiff will seek to recover damages from another individual who caused an injury or acted in a negligent manner that led to an injury. In other personal injury cases, an individual may be injured as a result of a simple accident, or an unforeseeable circumstance that another individual did not cause. In these cases, a plaintiff may seek to recover damages from an insurance provider, rather than another individual, in order to pay for medical expenses incurred as a result of the accident that occurred.

Under those circumstances, plaintiffs face the risk not that the defendant will deny liability but that the defendant, the insurance company, will refuse to pay based on some term of the insurance agreement. In a recent case before the Sixth Circuit, an insurance company did exactly that, seeking to deny coverage to a plaintiff based on a policy exception that the Sixth Circuit ultimately determined should not apply.

In this motorcycle accident case, B.H. was injured while riding motorbikes one night with friends. At the time, B.H. and his friends had been drinking, and during their ride B.H. ran into another of his friends. The injuries he suffered were severe, and B.H. accrued more than $200,000 in medical bills. At the time of the accident, B.H.’s alcohol limit was twice the legal limit, and he was charged with operating a motor vehicle over the legal limit. Shortly thereafter, B.H. filed a claim with his insurance company, Companion Life, for his injuries. The plan administrator denied his claim, stating that he fell within an exclusion that prohibited coverage for injuries resulting from the “illegal use of alcohol.” B.H. argued that his use of alcohol was not illegal at the time because he was over the age of 21. Instead, it was his use of a motor vehicle that was illegal. Companion Life disagreed.

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treesDuties in a negligence case can arise from a variety of circumstances. A landlord may have a duty to protect a tenant or the general public from known dangerous conditions. A medical professional may have a duty to treat patients with a professional degree of care. Duties can also arise when a statute requires certain individuals to act in a certain manner or fulfill certain obligations. A recent case before the Kentucky Supreme Court looks at whether a failure to comply with a statutory duty results in strict liability. It may be interesting to Tennessee motorcycle accident victims as well.

In this accident case, L.M. was driving his motorcycle in Louisville shortly after a large windstorm when he ran into a tree that had not been cleared from the road. L.M. suffered serious injuries from the accident. L.M. sued the Louisville Gas and Electric Company, as well as the Assistant Director of Public Works for Louisville. He alleged a negligent failure to remove the trees or warn pedestrians about the hazards in the road. L.M. also alleged that under Kentucky statute 179.070, the Assistant Director of Public Works, R.S., who was also a county engineer, had the duty to remove all trees and obstacles from the road and was negligent in failing to fulfill this duty.

At trial, R.S. acknowledged that the statute existed but testified that he was not aware of the statute at the time of the accident or his duties under the statute. He also testified that the Department of Public Works had delegated the handling of tree removal to the operations and maintenance division, which had always handled tree removal. In light of this evidence, the jury ultimately determined that R.S. had not failed to comply with his duty under the statute. L.M. immediately moved for a new trial, arguing that the jury’s verdict went against the weight of the evidence because R.S. had acknowledged the statute placing the duty on him to remove trees, and he had not actually removed the trees that caused L.M.’s injury. The trial court denied the motion, and L.M. appealed.

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Riding a motorcycle is a thrilling and relaxing experience. Tennessee’s scenic views are breathtaking. The problem occurs when other drivers fail to use the proper driving protocol to ensure your safety while sharing the road. A careless lane change or improper signal use at an intersection may result in a serious accident. After being injured, reaching out to a motorcycle accident lawyer may help you in filing a claim or a lawsuit.

Steps for a Motorcycle Claim

With any type of accident, your health is the main priority. Seeking out medical care should be the first step for severe injuries, followed by gathering the necessary information to file a claim.