Many motorcycle riders come to Tennessee for vacations, work, or in passing through to another state. Unfortunately, getting into a serious accident in an unfamiliar state can present its own challenges. Out-of-state motorcyclists in Memphis should call on David E Gordon, an experienced motorcycle crash attorney, to help them if they are looking to file a personal injury lawsuit.
How Does Accident Law Apply to Out-of-State Riders?
If an out-of-state motorcyclist has an accident in Memphis, then Tennessee law will apply to any personal injury lawsuit. This means that even if the biker is from Mississippi or Missouri, which have a longer statute of limitations deadline than in Tennessee, it is the Tennessee statute of limitations that will apply. In Tennessee, the statute of limitations is only one year.
This means that an injured person has one year in which to resolve their claim with the insurance company before they must file a lawsuit in court or risk being barred entirely. The 365-day statute of limitations in Tennessee is strictly enforced. A biker should not believe that just because they are in communication with an insurance company then their claim will be protected after one year.
A claim for property damage to the motorcycle can still be filed up to three years after the accident, regardless of which state the rider lives in.
Using Non-Residency as an Excuse
An out-of-state motorcyclist in Memphis who is unfamiliar with a particular street or highway might find some mercy from a traffic judge regarding their traffic ticket, but unfamiliarity with the roadway will be no defense to a claim for an injury that the biker caused. A motorcyclist in Memphis has the responsibility of knowing the traffic rules on any particular road. Their unfamiliarity will not serve as a defense.
When Do Other States’ Laws Apply in a Legal Claim?
Generally, the state in which the accident occurs provides the law for the crash itself and to the resulting injuries. If a person is making a claim against their insurance policy for an injury, then their own state law will probably apply to the insurance contract. In other words, if a Missouri resident has a crash in Memphis, then the Tennessee law will apply to determine fault and to determine the various elements of damage that the injured biker can claim. But if the Missouri biker is making the claim against their own insurance policy, then Missouri law would apply regarding how the insurance policy is interpreted.
First Steps to Take for an Out-of-State Crash
The motorcyclist’s primary goal should be to get law enforcement to the scene. A police report may be critical to the biker’s ultimate compensation for the damage to their motorcycle and to their personal health.
Second, the biker should get medical attention for even the slightest injury. Many times, the severity of the injury is not recognized or experienced by the biker for several hours, days, or even weeks. If they allow a number of days to pass between the crash and the moment that they seek medical attention, then the insurance company has the opportunity to claim that whatever condition is ailing them was not a result of the crash, and therefore compensation should not be awarded.
Third, it is important to gather evidence at the scene, including witness statements. For an out-of-state motorcycle rider in Memphis, they might not know anybody at the scene and will not be in a position to collect evidence later. They should preserve whatever they can and get law enforcement to help as well. Pictures of the damaged vehicles and of the scene are all important in establishing fault and the magnitude of the crash.
Finally, they should call a Board-certified lawyer to discuss their rights. These calls are free and David can quickly let someone know whether they will be able to benefit from his services. Even if taking the case is not possible, it will be beneficial to the injured motorcyclist to learn what their options are.
Discover What is Possible for Out-of-State Motorcyclists in Memphis
The Law Office of David E. Gordon can help you if you are an out-of-state motorcyclist in Memphis who was hurt in an accident. Tennessee laws apply in these cases, so you must act quickly in order to meet the one-year filing deadline. Learn more information by calling us today.