Earlier in May of this year, a fatal motorcycle accident near the border of Tennessee and North Carolina claimed the life of one motorcyclist. According to a report by the Citizen Times, the accident occurred on Interstate 40 near mile marker 5 in North Carolina around 9:30 in the morning. Evidently, the three-wheeled motorcycle collided with a car traveling in the same direction. Both vehicles were traveling east when the collision occurred. The passenger on the motorcycle suffered fatal injuries and the driver was taken to the hospital, but has since recovered. The driver of the car did not suffer any injuries.
Police are still investigating the cause of the accident and have not decided to press criminal charges against anyone involved as of yet. The district attorney’s office is also involved and will likely file charges once the investigation is complete and fault has been determined.
Determining Fault in Tennessee Motorcycle Accidents
In any motorcycle accident where one or more parties suffer personal injury or property damages, there is likely to be some kind of fault determination in order to decide who is responsible for the other party’s losses and injuries. In many cases, before the case between the people involved in the accident goes to trial, there is a criminal trial held to determine if either party is criminally responsible for the accident.
For example, in drunk driving cases, the drunk driver will face criminal charges for his or her failure to comply with the law prohibiting drunk driving. In addition, any victim of that driver’s decision to drive drunk may also want to file an action against the driver, seeking compensation for their property damage or loss. These are two totally separate cases, one criminal and one civil.
Generally speaking, the criminal case will proceed through the court system first, followed by the civil case. This means that the accident victim (the plaintiff in the civil case) can use the evidence as well as the verdict from the criminal case to help prove their civil case for damages against the defendant. This makes the accident victim’s job easier at trial.
Even in cases where there is no criminal trial, there can still be liability. For instance, if one driver is cited for speeding, there will be no trial. However, the accident victim will be able to tell the jury that the defendant was cited for speeding, and that should contribute to the jury’s determination of whether the defendant was acting negligently at the time of the accident.
Have You Been Involved in a Tennessee Motorcycle Accident?
If you or a loved one has recently been involved in a Tennessee motorcycle accident, you should speak with a dedicated motorcycle accident attorney at Matt Hardin Law as soon as possible. Depending on the facts of your case, you may be entitled to a substantial monetary award to compensate you for your personal injuries, as well as any property damage. To find out more about the negligence laws in Tennessee, click here or call 615-200-1111 to schedule your free initial consultation today.
See Related Blog Posts:
Plaintiff Wins Appeal of Tennessee Nursing Home Negligence Case Based on Understaffing, Nashville Injury Lawyer’s Blog, published May 21, 2014.
The Tort of Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress in Tennessee, Nashville Injury Lawyer’s Blog, published June 3, 2014.