Civil and Criminal Penalties After Tennessee Motorcycle Accidents

by Staff Blogger | February 13th, 2015

Spring is just around the corner in Middle Tennessee, and you can expect to see more motorcycles on the road. Unfortunately, many motorists fail to yield to bikers—causing an increase in Tennessee motorcycle accident numbers. Data shows there have been 167 crashes over the past three years caused by motorists who failed to yield the right-of-way to motorcyclists while turning left.

When such an accident occurs, there are two ways to hold the responsible driver accountable—criminal and civil penalties.The ability to seek these penalties depends on the facts of the accident.

Take the case of a father who is distraught because the motorist who killed his son in a Tennessee motorcycle accident will not face criminal charges due to the location where the accident occurred.

WSMV 4 News reports the victim was riding a Harley-Davidson motorcycle along Gallatin Road in Nashville when the driver of an SUV failed to yield the right-of-way and struck the motorcyclist. He was taken to the hospital, but died a short time later.

The victim’s father had pushed for charges to be filed against the driver of the SUV, but the District Attorney’s office passed on prosecuting the case because the law states a driver can only be charged for failing to yield the right-of-way at an intersection. Since the accident didn’t happen at a road crossing, no charges are filed.

The prosecutor’s office did point out the driver could be held liable in civil court though, where the burden of proof and laws regarding liability are much different. The Nashville personal injury attorneys with Ponce Law point out that if you’re considering filing a civil case against a driver who injured you in a Tennessee motorcycle accident, an experienced lawyer can help answer any questions you may have.