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Knoxville motorcycle crash injury lawyersIf you have ever sustained a motorcycle crash injury, then you know how devastating one can be. Unlike other vehicles, motorcycles offer their riders very little protection. In fact, federal statistics indicate that about four in every five motorcycle accidents result in serious injuries. Where do all these crashes come from? It turns out that in more than two-thirds of crashes between cars and motorcycles, it is the drivers of the cars who are responsible. And with 2,670 motorcycle crashes and 151 fatalities in Tennessee alone in 2021, there is still a lot that motorists can do to stem this tide of serious personal injuries and death.

Look Twice for Motorcycles

Since motorcycles are smaller and less visible than cars or trucks, it is important to pay extra attention to make sure you see them. To help keep this serious issue top of mind, the state government is asking all Tennessee motorists to “Look Twice for Motorcycles” during Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month this May. Specifically, here are three things they want to remind you so as to avoid a crash with a motorcycle:

  • Motorcycles always have all the same rights and privileges as any other vehicle on the road, including the use of the full width of traffic lanes.
  • Before you change lanes or merge with other traffic, particularly at intersections, always check your mirrors and blind spots for any motorcycles that may be there. Then signal and proceed.
  • Motorcycles do not follow the same driving patterns cars do. Where a car can just roll over a piece of wood or other small obstruction in the road without thinking about it, hitting that same piece of debris on a motorcycle may cause a fatal fall. Therefore, riders in front of you will react differently to road conditions, often dodging and maneuvering around things you won’t see; so stay alert and try to predict their evasive actions.

For this reason, it is also vital to back off and give these vulnerable riders enough room and time—about three or four seconds—to maneuver or stop in case of an emergency.

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Knoxville personal injury lawyerOn April 15, the Tennessee Highway Safety Office launched a two-week campaign to raise public awareness and reduce personal injuries caused by speeding on Tennessee roads and highways. During this period, several agencies and public service groups are promoting the Slow Down Tennessee message, and the Tennessee Highway Patrol is increasing its enforcement efforts during the campaign as well. The overall goal is to lower the number of traffic accidents, injuries, and deaths across Tennessee.

Teens Are at the Greatest Risk

From 2020 to 2022, the state saw more than 28,000 traffic accidents related to speeding, racing, aggressive, or reckless driving. Teenagers in particular are at high risk for car crashes, which are actually the number one cause of death among American teens. Nationwide, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration documented 2,042 deaths in 2019 involving a teenage driver. Statewide in 2019, Tennessee’s Integrated Traffic Analysis Network (TITAN) recorded 100 deaths involving teen drivers.

According to Gavin Gill, Tennessee Regional Manager of Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD), the reason teenage drivers speed and drive aggressively is because of overconfidence. He attributes this higher percentage of unsafe behavior to teens’ overall lack of experience. The group is looking to increase the number of SADD chapters throughout Tennessee to reach more teenage drivers, and help them more safely take the wheel.

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Knoxville personal injury lawyersEvery time you travel by car, there is always a risk that a careless driver will crash into you - no matter how cautious you are being. You could be one of the best drivers on the roads, and you could still fall victim to the unpredictable movements of a distracted, drunk, speeding, or otherwise negligent driver. There can be a lot of costs associated with a car accident you did not cause. You will probably have medical bills due to your injuries. Your car might be totaled.

These are just the beginning of the expenses you could be forced to take on because someone else decided not to use reasonable caution while driving. If this has happened to you, you should speak to an attorney. You may be able to recover more financial compensation than the insurance companies would like you to believe. 

What Car Crash Damages Could I Be Compensated for?

The true cost of a car accident can be much higher than it initially appears. Even beyond the direct financial costs you have faced as a result, there may be additional types of compensation available. You could be able to recover reimbursement for: 

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Knox County truck accident Accidents involving big rigs are unlike any other type of crash. In a collision involving two smaller, personal vehicles, the drivers are sometimes able to pull their damaged vehicles off the road and then exchange information. In a collision between a big rig and a smaller vehicle, the aftermath may look very different. Often, the smaller vehicle is not driveable and the injured occupants need to be taken to the hospital. The traditional exchange of insurance information may be impossible. 

One of the more important steps you can take after an accident with a commercial truck is to contact a lawyer as quickly as possible. After this type of serious accident, you will want an attorney on your side. 

What Should I Do After a Truck Crashes into Me?

There are a few steps you can take after an accident with a big rig that may help you going forward. These steps include: 

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Knoxville personal injury attorneyWhen a careless driver causes an accident and hurts someone, the at-fault driver is generally expected to compensate the victim for their expenses related to the accident. This usually includes things like medical bills, lost wages, and even some future expenses if the victim will require continued care. These are ordinary damages. Punitive damages, on the other hand, are designed to punish those whose actions go above and beyond simple negligence. If the driver who hurt you was merely negligent—perhaps looking at their phone or driving a bit too fast—you generally will not be entitled to punitive damages. 

However, if the driver’s actions were truly egregious, you may want to speak to a qualified attorney about whether asking for punitive damages might be reasonable. 

What Kinds of Driver Behaviors Could Make Punitive Damages Appropriate?

The standard for punitive damages is much higher than the standard for damages for ordinary negligence. The at-fault driver’s actions must have been reckless or intentional, reflecting a true disregard for the safety of others. Examples of driver conduct that could potentially warrant punitive damages include: 

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