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Motorcycle Accidents Near Driveways

One risk for motorcycle drivers and passengers are accidents that occur when a car or truck enters the highway from a private or commercial driveway. Tennessee law requires anyone who enters a public highway from a private or commercial driveway exercise reasonable care before they do so.  This requires drivers look both ways and ascertain they enter the public roadway without presenting a danger to any other person who is lawfully on the roadway. The failure to do so is negligence.

It is rarely a valid, complete excuse for a driver to claim his or her view was blocked and therefore he or she could not see the motorcyclist. Once again, the law requires all drivers to use reasonable care, and if your view is blocked by the presence of a sign or shrubbery, it is unreasonable to assume it is safe for you to proceed into the roadway. Instead, reasonable care requires you to continue to edge out until your view down the roadway is unobstructed. Of course, if the driver is also the property owner who created the obstruction (for example, an oversize mailbox), or permitted the obstruction to occur (through not trimming trees or bushes on the driver's property), these would be further acts of negligence on the part of the driver.

The creation of an obstruction by a person other than the driver may give rise to liability of that person. For example, some years ago we represented the family of a woman who died in a car wreck after a driver pulled out of a restaurant parking lot. The driver claimed he could not see the deceased woman's car because of the placement of the restaurant’s sign. We were able to recover money damages not only from the careless driver but also from the restaurant for its negligent placement of the sign.

A motorcyclist or motorcycle passenger who is injured or killed in an accident caused because a car or truck driver carelessly pulled out into the roadway from a private or commercial driveway has certain rights under Tennessee law. Our lawyers have represented many motorcycle drivers and passengers, and are honored to offer you a free consultation about your potential case.

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