Wreck fault in Tennessee - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-05-2013, 10:45 AM Thread Starter
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Wreck fault in Tennessee

Anybody ever swerved to avoid a wreck and low-sided their Versys. Anyone familiar with how Tennessee assigns fault in such cases?

Someone pulled out in front of me doing 55-60 and I couldn't get out of the way. My bike slid past the SUV and now I need to replace the handlebars and left peg to make it ride-able. The crash bars, windshield, left blinker, fairing, and left hard case all have varying levels of road rash.
I have a pretty good bruise/cut/scrape on my knee but the tourmaster jacket took the brunt of the damage.

I'm still waiting on the police report, but since it was a single vehicle, the officer has to talk to the driver that pulled out in front of me and maybe a witness before he can assign fault. He did say he may issue a citation to the driver making him at fault. Is this standard? First (and hopefully last) bike wreck.

Feedback appreciated.
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-05-2013, 11:39 AM
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Not sure about TN, but if the other driver is cited - he's at fault.

Because you weren't cited, it'll be difficult for the other driver's insurance to claim you were at fault - which they will do... even if their driver is cited.
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-05-2013, 11:36 PM
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If there were witnesses, you might make out OK. Did you get witnesses?

Glad you weren't seriously hurt. How fast do you think you were going by the time you went down?

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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-05-2013, 11:39 PM
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Thats why when i take the bike out the helmet camera is on.......

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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-06-2013, 02:47 PM
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Assuming you have collision/comprehensive coverage, contact you insurance company.

Your insurance should fix your bike (less deductible), but more importantly, they should go to bat for you to get the other guy to pay up (otherwise they have to).

If he is found at fault, then his insurance should fix your bike, replace your riding gear, pay your medical expenses and possibly pay a claim for pain/suffering.

Take pictures of your injuries and/or see a doctor. Contacting a lawyer is also an alternative.
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-07-2013, 08:12 AM
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Thats why when i take the bike out the helmet camera is on.......
Not a bad idea.... Once in a while you probably catch some cool unexpected's!
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-07-2013, 09:23 AM
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All the above is great advice!

Glad you are ok!

I was in a car wreck and the other car ran a red! This Vice President of a big comapany got out of his car and told me you are going to pay for hitting me.

Just as I was going to put him down and go to jail a postal worker delivering mail came up to me and said do not worry I saw the whole thing that guys a jerk.

Cop came and gathered stories and the big VP said I ran a red and hit him! Cop talked to me and the postal worker and she told the cop what he said to me after the wreck.

Cop just went off on the big VP and gave him a ticket. Thank god for postal worker! As the VP left I told him to watch his back because I still want to kick his a$$! Wonder how he runs his company?





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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-07-2013, 11:19 PM
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Witnesses or an admission of fault (that you can substantiate) by the other driver is best. If you don't have info on the other driver, you're out of luck in most states. If you do have the other driver's info, and even if they're sited, that doesn't equate to legal liability. The insurance carriers will get statements from each driver and any witnesses, then assess fault. Police reports are really only a piece of the evidence, because they're there after the fact.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Immediately after an accident (if you're able), get as much info as possible and ask anyone around if they saw what happened. Witnesses are very helpful. People's recall of facts is suspect, so write it down if you're able; especially if it will take a while before the police get there.

I was involved in an accident in 2007. A lady hit me going straight from a left turn only lane (I was in the right, left turn lane where you can turn or go straight). She lied or didn't accurately remember what lane she was in. If it had not been for a witness, who was behind me and graciously agreed to stay until the cops came, I probably would have been screwed. Thankfully, I wasn't hurt too badly, but it messed up my bike riding until just recently. KEEP YOUR HEAD ON A SWIVEL.

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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-07-2013, 11:37 PM
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Witnesses or an admission of fault (that you can substantiate) by the other driver is best. If you don't have info on the other driver, you're out of luck in most states. If you do have the other driver's info, and even if they're sited, that doesn't equate to legal liability. The insurance carriers will get statements from each driver and any witnesses, then assess fault. Police reports are really only a piece of the evidence, because they're there after the fact.

IMPORTANT NOTE:
Interesting! I did not know that. In my case that VP's insurance had to pay or from what you say decided to pay.

The other guy gets a ticket for the accident and than you have to pay to fix his car?

So are you saying he could fight the ticket? And win?





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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-08-2013, 12:26 AM
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Not a bad idea.... Once in a while you probably catch some cool unexpected's!

Just about everyday.......

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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-08-2013, 08:34 AM
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Just about everyday.......
+1 You are right Weljo! A good EYE witness!





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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-08-2013, 02:36 PM
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Interesting! I did not know that. In my case that VP's insurance had to pay or from what you say decided to pay.

The other guy gets a ticket for the accident and than you have to pay to fix his car?

So are you saying he could fight the ticket? And win?
Depending on how long ago the wreck occurred, he could fight the ticket (you have a certain amount of time depending on the municipality - usually within 60 days). Most people who fight tickets lose, especially if the cop shows up to testify. However, if this VP's insurance company has taken care of your damages, you're okay even if he were to get the ticket dismissed.

Most of the time, the person getting the ticket will have to pay for the other person's damages, but often witnesses or other evidence will come available after the initial investigation that could change who was initially considered to be at fault.

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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-08-2013, 02:43 PM
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+1 You are right Weljo! A good EYE witness!

Yep A video is priceless. They can't argue with it.

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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-09-2013, 11:22 AM Thread Starter
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So, it gets better.

To answer a question, I got the bike slowed down pretty well, but not sure how fast. I slid/rolled for about twenty feet. The bike went about 30 feet farther than me.

I got the police report today and it lists me as at fault for "following improperly." The deputy had one witness statement to the effect of "I saw him really close to the other vehicle, then he crashed." OF COURSE I WAS REALLY CLOSE!!! HE PULLED OUT IN FRONT OF ME!!! I'm going to appeal, but the deputy is out of town for 2 weeks and only he can amend the report (at least what the deputy I spoke to said). I don't think he ever talked to the other driver. He told me he pulled out in front of me because he didn't see me. The people that got me and my bike out of the road all said something similar.

Lazy cop and a stupid witness.

I know I can find the driver as he retired from the plant I now work at, so I may get him to talk to the deputy and admit fault. I'm really just mad that I was given fault for following to close. Please excuse the rant.
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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-09-2013, 12:01 PM
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I know I can find the driver as he retired from the plant I now work at, so I may get him to talk to the deputy and admit fault.
Good luck with that! In this country, we have a right to "not to be a witness against himself". It falls under the 5th Amendment.

Leagally speaking, you should never admit fault, ever. Let the prosecution prove fault if they have the evidence.
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post #16 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-09-2013, 04:01 PM
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I got the police report today and it lists me as at fault for "following improperly." The deputy had one witness statement to the effect of "I saw him really close to the other vehicle, then he crashed." OF COURSE I WAS REALLY CLOSE!!! HE PULLED OUT IN FRONT OF ME!!! I'm going to appeal, but the deputy is out of town for 2 weeks and only he can amend the report (at least what the deputy I spoke to said). I don't think he ever talked to the other driver. He told me he pulled out in front of me because he didn't see me. The people that got me and my bike out of the road all said something similar.
That sux. If you have the names & numbers of those that helped you move your bike, give their info to the police and ask the PD to edit their report.
You may want to get an attorney to help you fight your ticket. I'm not sure how much it is for an accident, but speeding tickets are $100- $150 or so.
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post #17 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-14-2013, 11:26 AM Thread Starter
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Update

So it finally sorted itself completely out. Turns out the traffic investigator who wrote the report was in a hurry and blamed it on the junior deputy who responded initially to the crash and released the other driver so he was unable to talk to him. He took one witness statement and wrote his report. He did say he thought it odd that her story (the witness) and mine were so far apart, but he didn't have time to investigate before leaving town. Once back in town, he did his job and spoke to the other driver and I ended up getting an amended report that removed the following improperly, still had her witness statement, and the other driver's statement consisting of "I didn't see anything, I pulled out, and then I got passed by a bike sliding on the ground, then I stopped."

I contacted his insurance, State Farm, which also happens to be my insurance, and they initially denied my claim, saying I should have been able to see, comprehend, react, and stop from speed in 75-100 feet. I am, admittedly, fairly new to riding, and he said in no uncertain words, if I knew what I was doing, I wouldn't have crashed. He stated he had never ridden, but people he talked to told him this. And then I don't remember what happened...but I remember people in the office looking at me.

Long story short, they sent an insurance investigator to the site. She took pictures and measurements (noting how they didn't match the other driver's recorded statement to the adjustor), and looked very confused when I told her a few things the adjustor said and they called this morning to confirm my address so they could mail a check to finish repairing my Versys.

I guess this is the closest to a happy ending i could expect. And please, stop doing business with State Farm.
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post #18 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-14-2013, 12:58 PM
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So it finally sorted itself completely out. Turns out the traffic investigator who wrote the report was in a hurry and blamed it on the junior deputy who responded initially to the crash and released the other driver so he was unable to talk to him. He took one witness statement and wrote his report. He did say he thought it odd that her story (the witness) and mine were so far apart, but he didn't have time to investigate before leaving town. Once back in town, he did his job and spoke to the other driver and I ended up getting an amended report that removed the following improperly, still had her witness statement, and the other driver's statement consisting of "I didn't see anything, I pulled out, and then I got passed by a bike sliding on the ground, then I stopped."

I contacted his insurance, State Farm, which also happens to be my insurance, and they initially denied my claim, saying I should have been able to see, comprehend, react, and stop from speed in 75-100 feet. I am, admittedly, fairly new to riding, and he said in no uncertain words, if I knew what I was doing, I wouldn't have crashed. He stated he had never ridden, but people he talked to told him this. And then I don't remember what happened...but I remember people in the office looking at me.

Long story short, they sent an insurance investigator to the site. She took pictures and measurements (noting how they didn't match the other driver's recorded statement to the adjustor), and looked very confused when I told her a few things the adjustor said and they called this morning to confirm my address so they could mail a check to finish repairing my Versys.

I guess this is the closest to a happy ending i could expect. And please, stop doing business with State Farm.


I was insured through Dairyland when a car hit me. He was totally at fault and told the cop it was his fault. I got a call from a lady that wanted to take my statement of the accident. While i was telling what happened she kept interrupting me and basically blaming the accident on me. I got pissed and told her i no longer wanted to talk to her. I had assumed she was from the car drivers insurance. I tracked the phone number to a Sentry Insurance which is the parent company of Dairyland. Yep my own insurance was trying to bash me. The adjuster came out the next day, Real nice guy i told him about the call and he said that she does that quite often. So i sent an e-mail to the womans supervisor letting her know what was said to me and that i had not expected to be treated like the enemy from my own insurance company. I cancelled my policy and went to Progressive.

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post #19 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-14-2013, 01:59 PM
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Interesting! I did not know that. In my case that VP's insurance had to pay or from what you say decided to pay.

The other guy gets a ticket for the accident and than you have to pay to fix his car?

So are you saying he could fight the ticket? And win?
All of the specifics depend on the state in which you win.

A few winters ago I received a ticket in a accident, that made me at fault in the eyes of the insurance companies. Through the courts I was able to get that ticket thrown out, as I was not at fault.

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post #20 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-14-2013, 04:16 PM
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And please, stop doing business with State Farm.
I have my house and cars with State Farm. Been with them since 16 years old. I have Progressive for mike bikes.

I have quoted others over the years amd always stuck with State Farm as they have always done well with me.

Sorry you had a bad experience but I think insurance companies are very difficult to work with because they are always trying to make the other pay.
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