How Bad Riding Weather Affects Motorcyclists’ Right To Damages
Nashville bikers generally do not have to deal with the winter snow and ice that keep riders off the roads during the winter months in the midwest and northeast, but they experience no shortage of weather extremes at all times of the year. Weather can be a substantial contributing factor in a motorcycle accident, and your or the other party’s insurance company might try to shift the blame for the accident on you with arguments that you should not have been riding in inclement weather. If you find yourself in this situation, you may need a Nashville motorcycle accident attorney to protect your right to recovery for your damages and injuries.
In Tennessee and elsewhere, insurance adjusters and defense lawyers will inevitably argue that you assumed the majority of the accident risk if you ride in bad weather. You can ride thousands of miles every year, and some riders are known to boast of riding a hundred thousand miles or more without ever having an accident. Other riders might feel that the extra risks that they take when they are on their bikes, whether in good or bad weather, add to the thrill and adventure of riding. Insurance adjusters and defense lawyers might privately appreciate this thrill, but when challenged they will not hesitate to trap you into admitting that you are a thrill seeker. That admission is then used against you to show that you assumed the accident and injury risk. This line of argument is prevalent if an accident happens when you ride in bad weather. Taking it to its extreme, a defense lawyer will argue that your risk assumption reduced or eliminated another party’s duty of care, even if all evidence shows that the other party caused the accident.
Tennessee is a “modified comparative negligence” state. Under this standard, you can recover damages from unless you are more than fifty per cent at fault for causing the accident. A defense lawyer will use the fact that you were riding in bad weather to place a greater share of the blame for the accident on you because, possibly even pushing that relative blame above the fifty per cent level to eliminate your opportunity to collect damages. An experienced Nashville motorcycle accident lawyer will anticipate this argument and use other evidence of precautions that you took when the weather turned against you. Your obligation is make sure that you follow certain precautions when you ride in bad weather, e.g. keep your bike tuned properly, wear the right clothing, slow down in rain, etc.
The weather will rarely be perfect for a ride, so you will inevitably ride in bad weather at some point. Don’t let that bad weather hurt your chances to recover compensation for your damages and injuries if you are in an accident while riding in it. Please contact us to protect your rights if this happens to you.