Chattanooga Bicycle Accident Lawyer

Cycling is a great way to explore Chattanooga and the surrounding areas. More and more local residents have taken up cycling for fun, for exercise, and for their main mode of transportation. The city has even added bicycle lanes on Broad Street and other places for bicycles in downtown Chattanooga.  As the number of bicycles on the road increases so too does the number of bike accidents. Most of these accidents involve a motor vehicle striking a cyclist.

Bicycle accident victims often suffer grave injuries given the nature of the accident. Injuries can lead to expensive medical care, lost wages due to missing work, and damage to the rider’s bicycle.
When a negligent driver fails to obey the rules of the road, and that failure causes a bicycle accident, the injured victim can sue for financial compensation. If you recently suffered an injury in a bike crash in Chattanooga, contact a Chattanooga bicycle accident lawyer today. An experienced injury attorney can help to determine what damages may be available to you, and file an injury claim on your behalf.

How Do Bicycle Accidents Most Commonly Occur?

Motor vehicle drivers’ negligence is one of the most common causes of bicycle accidents. Many drivers are still unfamiliar with sharing the road with cyclists, and fail to do so safely.  A common misconception is that major intersections pose the greatest risk to riders.

However, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, most bicycle accident fatalities actually occur in urban areas and non-intersection locations.
Whether a driver is violating the rules of the road or carelessly opens their car door without first checking for a cyclist, motorists pose serious risks to cyclists. Some common causes of accidents that a bicycle accident attorney in Chattanooga may be able to help with include:

  • Driver failing to stop
  • Distracted driving
  • Speeding
  • Driver failing to yield to cyclist
  • Aggressive driving/tailgating a cyclist
  • Impaired or intoxicated driving

What If the Cyclist Was At-Fault?

Tennessee Code Section 55-8-172 states that every cyclist is “granted all of the rights and is subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle.” This means that cyclists must obey traffic rules just like every other driver. At the same time, the bicycle has the same right to the roadway as any other vehicle.

Many people wonder whether a cyclist who violates traffic laws, and gets into an accident, can still sue the other driver for compensation. In some cases, the injured cyclist can sue if the other driver was also at fault for the accident, so long as the cyclist was less than 50% responsible for the crash.  In Tennessee, both the cyclist’s and the driver’s level of negligence is compared to the other’s. Any compensation an at-fault rider is awarded will be reduced by the percentage to which they were at fault.

For example, if the cyclist was found to be 40 percent at fault, and they receive a $100,000 compensation award, the court would reduce that award by 40 percent to $60,000. The amount of compensation a cyclist may be entitled to vary based on their level of fault, their specific damages, and other facts in their case. Any injured cyclist should contact a Chattanooga bike accident lawyer as soon as possible after their accident.

Consult a Chattanooga Bike Accident Attorney

In most bicycle accident cases, the injured victim has just one year from the date of the accident to file their lawsuit.

The statute of limitation for a bicycle accident lawsuit in Tennessee is one year. The courts strictly enforce this law, known as the statute of limitations. A rider will lose out on their day in court if they fail to file their claim within that one-year period.

If you were recently hurt in a bike crash, contact a Chattanooga bicycle accident lawyer now. Do not hesitate; call a skilled attorney today.