According to Statista, in 2016, more than 1 in 10 Americans cycled on a regular basis. By 2017, the United States had approximately 47.5 million cyclists. A popular activity for transportation, fitness, and enjoyment, cycling offers many personal and environmental benefits. However, cyclists continue to face dangers on the road, particularly in terms of collisions with motor vehicles.
According to the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center, 857 bicyclists suffered fatal injuries in motor vehicle accidents in 2018, and the number of pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities increased by more than 50% between 2009 and 2018. Nearly half of bicycle accidents occur in the dark, and most take place between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m., when motorists may feel rushed to arrive home from work and fail to notice cyclists on the road.
Nashville experiences a high number of bicycle accidents each year. In fact, the Tennessee Department of Safety & Homeland Security reported that 72 bicycle accidents occurred in Davidson County in 2019, an increase from 64 in the previous year. Davidson County ranks second behind Shelby County, home of Memphis, for the highest number of bicycle accidents in the state.
If you suffered injuries or lost someone you love in a collision with a motor vehicle, a Nashville bicycle accident lawyer may be able to help you seek compensation from the liable driver. Contact Ben Crump Law, PLLC today at 800-761-5225 to speak with our legal team about your case.
Possible Reasons for Bicycle Accidents
Many factors can contribute to bicycle accidents, and they often involve driver error. Despite the fact that Tennessee law gives bicycles the legal status of a vehicle, many drivers fail to recognize the presence or rights of bicyclists. Just as bicyclists have a responsibility to obey traffic laws and exercise reasonable caution to prevent injury to motor vehicle occupants, drivers have the same responsibility to bicyclists.
According to People Powered Movement (PPM), driver inattention to the road due to many types of distractions often leads to accidents involving bicyclists. In fact, nearly one-third of all bicycle collisions occur when a motor vehicle hits a cyclist, and distracted driving may play a role in the driver’s failure to acknowledge bicyclists.
Failure to Yield the Right of Way
Drivers must keep in mind that part of treating bicyclists as any other driver involves giving them the right of way at the appropriate time, and bicyclists must follow the same rules of the road as cars. The U.S. Department of Transportation lists common types of crashes that can take place due to a car or bicycle’s failure to yield, such as when:
- A motorist pulls out of a driveway or parking lot in front of a bicyclist, or a bicyclist pulls out in front of a car
- A motorist or bicyclist runs a red light or stop sign
- A motorist or bicyclist begins to drive when the light turns green despite the fact that a bicyclist or car has yet to finish crossing the street
- A motorist turns left or right into a bicycle at an intersection, or a bicyclist swerves suddenly into traffic
Failing to yield the right of way can have deadly consequences, especially when the accident involves a bicyclist. If a negligent driver hit you or someone you love while cycling, Ben Crump Law, PLLC may be able to help you seek compensation. Contact our legal team today to get started on your case.
For a free legal consultation with a bicycle accidents lawyer serving Nashville, call 800-761-5225
A Nashville Bicycle Accident Lawyer May Be Able to Help You Establish Liability in Your Case
If a driver caused the Nashville bicycle accident that led you or your loved one to suffer serious or fatal injuries, you may have a right to pursue financial recovery from the driver for the harm they caused. A lawyer may be able to help you establish negligence, evaluate your damages, and file a claim to seek the compensation you deserve.
Establishing liability in a bicycle accident case involves proving that the driver caused the accident. An attorney may be able to help you do this by demonstrating that the actions of the driver meet the four criteria for legal negligence, which include:
- Duty of care
- Breach of duty
Essentially, the driver must have had an obligation to protect your safety, which they could have accomplished through responsible driving, and they breached their duty to you by failing to pay attention to the road and colliding with your bicycle. The accident they caused led to your injuries or the loss of your loved one, which resulted in significant damages.
Once you have proven negligence in your case, you can hold the driver accountable by filing a claim with their insurance company for compensation.
Fighting Insurance Company Tactics
Despite the fact that liability insurance exists to benefit victims of accidents that the policyholder causes, insurance companies do not like to cut into their profit for any reason. In bicycle accident cases, adjusters will often attempt to assign the blame to the cyclist or offer an upfront settlement before the victim has even had a chance to assess their damages.
It may seem convenient and even generous to the victim, especially if they already face the financial struggles that often come along with accidents. However, if they accept, they may find that the settlement amount does not cover the extent of their damages.
A Nashville bicycle accident attorney may be able to help by handling all communication with the insurance company and negotiating for the victim on their behalf. If they cannot achieve a fair settlement, they can take their case to trial to fight for adequate compensation.
Nashville Bicycle Accident Lawyer Near Me 800-761-5225
Tennessee Statutes of Limitations on Bicycle Accident Claims
The State of Tennessee has a one-year statute of limitations on both personal injury and wrongful death claims related to bicycle accidents, per TN Code § 28-3-104. This means that victims and their families have only one year from the date of the collision or their loved one’s passing to settle their claim with the liable party or file a lawsuit against them.
If you suffered injuries or lost a loved one in a bicycle accident in Nashville, an attorney may be able to help you get started on your case as soon as possible.
Contact Ben Crump Law, PLLC Today
Drivers have a legal obligation to respect your safety as a cyclist, and if their reckless or inattentive behavior led to your bicycle accident, you may have a right to pursue financial recovery for the damage they caused. A Nashville bicycle accident lawyer at Ben Crump Law, PLLC may be able to help you establish liability and seek sufficient compensation for your injuries, and we do not charge any fees unless we win awards for you. Contact us today at 800-761-5225 to discuss your free case evaluation with our legal team.