Looking for a Nashville Bicycle Accident Lawyer?
When a car collides with a cyclist or a pedestrian, the consequences can be fatal. Serious brain damage, spinal cord injuries, and wrongful death can all result from pedestrian and bicycle accidents. It is important for a victim to have a qualified Nashville bicycle accident lawyer on their side if they or someone they know has been injured in a pedestrian or bicycle accident.
The skilled attorneys at The Keating Firm LTD fight for the rights of those who have been wounded by others' reckless or irresponsible conduct. This law office is committed to assisting severely injured victims in obtaining justice and compensation.
People are increasingly opting for bicycle use as a healthier, more cost-effective, and environmentally friendly mode of transportation. Unfortunately, not all automobiles on streets, highways, parking lots, crossings, and other sites respect the rights of bikers and pedestrians.
Many pedestrian and bicycle accidents occur as a result of a negligent driver failing to see the accident victim. This is in no way an excuse. Motorists must pay attention and keep an eye out for pedestrians and cyclists. It is considered negligence if they do not do so.
Of course, the opposite party may argue that the victim was to blame for the mishap. Experts in accident reconstruction, human factors, and other related subjects assist Keating's attorneys in preparing their personal injury cases. This depth of experience enables a Nashville bicycle accident attorney to spot flaws in a defendant's case and provide strong arguments on behalf of its clients.
Nashville Bicycle Accident Laws in Tennessee
Keating's Nashville bicycle accident lawyers are well educated about Tennessee biker rules. In Tennessee, cyclists have various rights and obligations. Bicycles are considered vehicles under the law. As a result, they have the same right to the road as regular cars (except on highways). Other road users must show cyclists respect by surrendering the right-of-way when appropriate and maintaining a safe distance at all times.
It is illegal to drive too close to a bicycle (within three feet) and can be extremely dangerous to the rider. Unless avoiding debris or making a left turn, cyclists must keep as far to the right as possible on the road.
Bicyclists must use hand signals to indicate that they intend to turn. Additionally, cyclists are allowed to ride two abreast, however, they cannot obstruct traffic, ride next to a car in the same lane, or lane-split. Except in Nashville's business districts, bicycles are allowed to ride on sidewalks. Unless the rider is under the age of 17, Tennessee does not mandate cyclists to wear helmets. Local rules may differ, but Nashville follows the same guideline as the rest of the country.
Tennessee's distracted driving law is referred to as the Due Care Law. It stipulates that while operating a motor vehicle, all drivers must commit their complete attention and time to the road, as well as maintain a stable speed and be alert at all times.
Drivers with restricted licenses (such as learner's permits) are prohibited from using a smartphone while driving in any way. Breaking the Due Care Law and causing a bicycle accident is a form of negligence, and the negligent driver will certainly be held liable for damages.
Motorist's Responsibilities and Obligations
In Tennessee, cars must exhibit reasonable caution when passing cyclists, regardless of where the cyclist is riding. This includes opening car doors. When a bicyclist is hit by a car door and thrown off their bike, traumatic injuries to the head, face, stomach, and other parts of their body can occur. It is within the cyclists' rights to sue for damages if a driver was irresponsible in their duty to look out for cyclists.
Because automobiles can cause such severe injuries to cyclists, they must follow specific regulations when moving around on the road. Many drivers are irritated by cyclists who ride dangerously close to them in an attempt to scare them off the road, even though the cyclists have every right to be there.
When a motorist honks his or her horn too close to a bike, the rider may be startled and fall into the road, resulting in an injury or death. Cyclists must be treated with the same respect as other motorists, with plenty of room to move.
Cyclist's Rights and Responsibilities
Bicyclists enjoy the same rights and obligations as drivers of motor vehicles on public roads because bicycles are legally regarded as motor vehicles. They must ride with the flow of traffic, except when they need to avoid obstructions such as parked cars or potholes. Bicyclists face numerous hazards on the road and must practice extreme caution when riding in congested areas.
Cyclists over the age of 17 are not compelled to wear helmets by law. Wearing a helmet is not admissible in a civil case for injuries caused by a third party's negligence, regardless of age. A jury cannot find the victim at fault just because they were not wearing a helmet.
Even though cyclists are permitted to ride alongside motor vehicles on public roads, many motorists disregard the law and tailgate them to force them off the road. These actions are very risky, and a cyclist could be run over and suffer catastrophic injuries as a result of this.
When using crosswalks, bicyclists should never assume that a driver is paying attention and should ensure that the vehicle comes to a complete stop before crossing. These aren't specific state laws, but they are helpful hints for avoiding a bicycle accident.
Who Is Liable for a Bicycle Accident at an Intersection?
Accidents involving cyclists at intersections are among the most common types of accidents. Right-of-way rules are the primary determinants of liability. Because bicycles are considered vehicles, bikers must follow the same right-of-way legislation that automobiles must follow. Liability, on the other hand, can be influenced by a variety of factors.
When a car makes a right turn and a bicyclist is heading straight through the junction, a bicycle accident can occur.
Even while approaching an intersection, a biker must stay to the right side of the road due to side-of-the-road legislation. When cars turn right into the path of a bike, especially if a diver is not paying attention, this can be quite dangerous.
The right-of-way regulations may not apply if an automobile passes a bike and promptly turns right, cutting them off. It is almost always found that the driver was not paying enough attention to his or her surroundings in these situations.
What Kind of Compensation Can Someone Recover after a Bike Crash?
If a victim was harmed in a bicycle accident that was caused by someone else's negligence, the victim may be entitled to compensation for such injuries, property damage, and other losses.
They are eligible to claim compensation for the following depending on the losses and injuries they sustained as a result of the bicycle accident:
Rehabilitation or therapy
Lost earning potential
Suffering and pain
Loss of companionship/consortium
In Tennessee, regardless of any potentially shared culpability, there are some limitations on how much victims can recover from their injuries. As for most injuries, the most a victim can receive in non-economic damages (difficult to define costs like pain and suffering) is $750,000.
What If the Victim Was to Blame for the Bicycle Accident?
Essentially, this implies that bicycle accident victims can win a compensation claim for their injuries and other damages if the other party was at fault more than they were.
The "49 percent rule" is what it's called. A victim can get a reimbursement for their damages if they were 49 percent or less at fault. The amount that a victim is planning to claim will, however, be lowered by the degree of fault that they're judged to have. As an example, if a victim is suing for $100,000 in damages and the court judges that they are 20% at fault, the most that the victim can get is $80,000.
Injuries Involved in Bicycle Accidents
Cyclists are especially vulnerable to harm because they are exposed to direct contact with other cars or objects, as well as the proximity with which they share the road with larger vehicles.
A collision between a bike and a motor vehicle can result in serious injuries and even death. The majority of fatalities and injuries resulting in long-term disability in bike accidents are caused by head trauma.
However, there are a variety of other injuries that are common among bicycle accident victims:
Neck and head injuries
Disc bulge or ruptured disc
Dislocation of a joint
Jaw and dental injuries
Spinal cord injuries
When it comes to traffic accidents with a car or another motor vehicle, many injuries are unavoidable, but a cyclist may protect themselves by always wearing a helmet and protective clothing, as well as being aware of the vehicles around them.
Who Are the Parties People Can Recover Damages from for Their Injuries?
Automobile, bus, or truck drivers who are negligent – If the accident was caused by a vehicle driver.
Producers or merchants of bicycles may be held liable - If the accident was caused by a defective product, bicycle parts, or bicycle accessory.
The city, county, or state that maintains the roadways is responsible - If the accident is caused by a life-threatening condition generated by an unsafe highway.
Negligent repair shops or mechanics - If the accident was caused by a car or bicycle that was not properly repaired.
Dangerous public property condition - If the accident occurred as a result of negligent design, maintenance, or the upkeep of public property, such as construction, tree pruning, and so on.
In a bicycle accident lawsuit, proving liability requires proving that the driver was at fault. A bicycle accident lawyer may be able to assist a victim in this regard by proving that the driver's actions met the four conditions for legal negligence, which are as follows:
Duty of care
Breach of duty
Essentially, the motorist had a responsibility to protect the cyclist's safety, which they might have accomplished through cautious driving, and they failed to do so by failing to concentrate on the road and colliding with a victim's bicycle. They caused the accident, which resulted in the victim's injuries or the death of a loved one, as well as major financial losses.
Once a victim has proven that the motorist was negligent in the case, they can hold them accountable by submitting a reimbursement claim with their insurance company.
Tactics Used by Insurance Companies
Even though liability insurance exists to compensate victims of the policyholder's negligence, insurance firms hate losing money for any reason. Adjusters in bicycle accident cases often try to blame the biker or offer an early payment before the victim has had a chance to analyze their damages.
It may appear convenient and even compassionate to the victim, especially if they are already experiencing financial difficulties as a result of the accident. If they accept, they may discover that the settlement amount is insufficient to compensate for their losses.
Bicycle Accidents: What Causes Them?
Bicycle accidents can be caused by a variety of reasons, the most common of which is driver error. Even though bikes have the legal status of a vehicle under Tennessee law, many drivers fail to recognize their existence or rights. Drivers have the same obligation to bicyclists as bicyclists do to respect traffic laws and should exercise reasonable caution to avoid injury to any motor vehicle occupants.
According to the People Powered Movement (PPM), motorist inattention to the road caused by a variety of distractions usually results in bicycle accidents. In reality, a motor vehicle hits a cyclist approximately one-third of the time, and distracted driving may play a part in the driver's failure to notice cyclists nearby.
Failure to Yield the Right-of-Way
Drivers must remember that treating bicyclists like any other motorist includes giving them the right of way when it is appropriate, and cyclists must adhere to the same road laws as cars. The US Department of Transportation identifies some of the most common sorts of collisions that can occur when an automobile or bicycle fails to yield, such as when:
A motorist pulls out in front of a cyclist from a driveway or parking lot, or a biker pulls out in front of a car.
A driver or bike ignores a stop sign or a red light.
When the light turns green, a motorist or biker begins to drive, even though a bicyclist or car has not yet finished crossing the street.
At an intersection, a driver turns left or right into a cyclist, or a cyclist swerves into traffic.
Failure to surrender the right of way, especially when a bike is involved, can have fatal implications. The Keating Firm LTD may be able to assist a bicycle accident victim in seeking compensation if a careless driver hits them while riding.
How to Avoid a Bicycle Injury for Cyclists
Cyclists are not always able to avoid collisions caused by driver negligence. Being aware of high-risk scenarios, on the other hand, may help a cyclist avoid the most common causes of bicycle accidents.
Wear bright colors: Because many automobiles fail to notice cyclists, increasing a rider's visibility is an excellent strategy to avoid bicycle accidents. Bright colors and bike lights improve the likelihood that a driver will notice a cyclist and yield.
Cyclists should be aware at intersections: Even if a cyclist has the right of way, it's a good idea for them to double-check that all other vehicles have come to a complete stop before driving through an intersection.
When possible, cyclists should avoid riding alongside parked vehicles: A cyclist avoiding lines of parked automobiles is often the best policy because dooring incidents are one of the most deadly types of bicycle accidents.
Cyclists must wear a helmet when riding a bike: If a cyclist is involved in a crash, a helmet will help protect them from catastrophic brain injuries.
Follow right-of-way rules: Cyclists, like motorists, must always observe traffic laws and yield for the right of way when necessary.
Cyclists should keep an eye out for turn signals: Cyclists must slow down if they notice a car signaling a turn across their path.
Although drivers are frequently at fault in vehicle vs. bike collisions, cyclists who follow these precautions may be able to escape serious injury. However, if they are injured in a bike accident, victims may be entitled to sue the at-fault driver for damages.
Contact The Keating Firm LTD Today!
Drivers have a legal obligation to respect a cyclist's safety, and if their irresponsible or careless behavior resulted in a bicycle accident, the victim may be entitled to financial compensation. The Keating Firm LTD and a Nashville bicycle accident lawyer may be able to assist a victim in proving liability and obtaining adequate compensation for their injuries. Victims may contact Keating's experienced attorneys for a free consultation and free case evaluation today!