Bicycle Accident Claims in Nashville: What Are Your Legal Rights?
If you were hit by a car while riding a bike, you may be entitled to compensation
Bicycle accidents in Nashville often involve cyclists being hit by cars and other motor vehicles, leaving them with questions about their legal rights and potential options to recover compensation for their losses.
At the Law Office of Eric Beasley, Nashville bicycle accident attorney Eric Beasley has extensive experience helping injured cyclists in Middle Tennessee demand the justice and financial compensation they deserve.
Below, you can learn more about how bicycle accident claims work in Tennessee. And if you want to know more about your specific legal options, contact our law firm in Nashville today to schedule a free case evaluation.
How common are bicycle accidents in Nashville, TN?
Bicycle accidents in Nashville frequently lead to severe injuries, with an average of eight cyclists suffering serious injuries or fatalities each year, as reported by the Nashville Department of Transportation. Unfortunately, these statistics are on the rise.
In 2022, Nashville witnessed a troubling increase, with at least 21 bicycle accidents resulting in two fatalities and numerous other serious injuries, according to accident data compiled by Walk Bike Nashville.
Common causes of accidents involving bicyclists
Crashes involving cyclists often stem from reckless or negligent behavior on the part of a driver. Examples of such behavior include:
- Failing to yield the right-of-way to cyclists at intersections.
- Ignoring stop signs or traffic signals.
- Speeding and driving too fast for road conditions, making it difficult to notice or react to cyclists.
- Distracted driving, such as texting or using a phone while behind the wheel.
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, impairing judgment and reaction time.
- Making abrupt lane changes or turns without checking for cyclists.
- Opening car doors without checking for approaching cyclists in bike lanes (dooring).
- Engaging in aggressive driving behaviors, including tailgating or road rage directed at people riding bicycles.
These negligent actions can have severe consequences for cyclists, leading to injuries and even fatalities. If you've been injured in a bicycle accident due to such behavior, it's crucial to seek legal representation from a bicycle accident attorney to protect your rights and pursue the compensation you deserve.
Severe injuries are common in bicycle accidents
Cyclists hit by someone driving a car often sustain severe injuries, including:
- Head Injuries: These include concussions and other types of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). Head injuries are the most common type of bicycle accident injury, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). According to studies, an estimated 25 to 50 percent of injured cyclists sustain some type of head injury.
- Spinal Cord Injuries (SCI): Spinal cord damage can result in paralysis or other life-altering conditions.
- Broken Bones: Fractured arms, legs, ribs, and collarbones are common due to the force of the impact.
- Internal Injuries: Organ damage or internal bleeding can occur, which may not be immediately apparent.
- Road Rash: Cyclists can suffer painful abrasions and skin injuries from sliding along the road. If left untreated, road rash can develop into an infection.
- Soft Tissue Injuries: Muscular sprains, strains, or tears are frequent.
- Cuts and Lacerations: Injuries from broken glass or sharp objects on the road.
Who’s liable in a bicycle accident?
Determining fault in an accident involving a cyclist typically involves several parties and processes.
In most cases, law enforcement officers at the accident scene will conduct an investigation and create an accident report. This report often includes their assessment of who was at fault based on witness statements, evidence, and traffic laws. For instance, if the driver failed to yield the right of way or ran a red light, this may establish their fault.
The insurance companies of the involved parties will also conduct their investigations. They will assess the available evidence, interview witnesses, and review the police report to determine liability.
As such, statements from individuals who witnessed the accident can be crucial in establishing fault. Eyewitnesses can provide valuable information about how the accident occurred. Likewise, photos or videos of the accident can provide insight into what transpired. In complex cases, accident reconstruction experts may be used to recreate the crash and provide expert analysis of fault.
Ultimately, determining fault for a bicycle accident may not be straightforward, and it’s often disputed. Lawyers, insurance adjusters, and, if necessary, the court system may be involved in resolving disputes and determining liability. Anyone involved in such an accident needs to seek legal advice to protect their rights and ensure a fair assessment of fault.
How much is my bicycle accident claim worth?
The true value of your bicycle accident might surprise you, as insurance companies often focus solely on immediate post-accident costs. However, it's crucial to consider all future expenses related to your accident, including but not limited to:
- Medical Expenses: This includes all medical care, from initial emergency treatments to long-term follow-up care, even if required years after the bike accident.
- Income Replacement: If you must take time off work to recover from your injuries, you should be compensated for the lost income during this period.
- Lost Future Income: In cases where a permanent disability prevents you from returning to work, compensation for future lost income should be accounted for.
It's important to recognize that each bicycle accident case is unique, with its distinct set of factors and outcomes. Consequently, determining the exact value of your claim depends on the specifics of your situation.
An experienced attorney can help you assess your claim, ensuring that all present and future expenses are considered, ultimately working to secure the compensation you’re entitled to under Tennessee law.
Seeking compensation can be a challenge
Insurance companies use various strategies to challenge or deny bicycle accident claims to minimize their financial liability and protect their bottom line.
Some common tactics include attempting to shift blame onto the injured cyclist, questioning the severity of the victim’s injuries, and challenging the necessity of certain medical treatments.
Additionally, insurance companies may resort to intentional delays or make lowball settlement offers to discourage injured cyclists from pursuing the fair and full compensation they deserve.
How a bicycle accident attorney can help
Bicycle accident victims should not bear the burden of medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages caused by someone else's negligence.
At the Law Office of Eric Beasley, we're committed to helping injured cyclists in Nashville and throughout Middle Tennessee demand justice and accountability. In addition, we offer legal representation to injured cyclists on a contingency fee basis, meaning you pay no fees unless win your case.
To learn more about how an experienced Nashville bicycle accident lawyer can help with your injury claim or lawsuit, contact us today for a free case evaluation.
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