Nashville Bicycle Accident Lawyer
The last thing you would imagine when embarking on a quiet refreshing ride across the city’s bike lane is to become the victim of a bicycle accident. Not only is getting hit by a car jarring, but flying off your bike on to hard pavement can be very dangerous. In Tennessee, helmets are not required for cyclists over the age of sixteen. If a cyclist is not wearing a helmet, the outcome can be much more serious. At Steinger, Green, & Feiner, we have assisted many bicycle accident victims with the utmost respect and care. You are not just a client to us, you are a person that has suffered greatly due to the negligence of another person. We are here to advocate on your behalf because representing the victim of an avoidable accident and reaching a fair settlement is the very definition of justice. We are here to provide guidance, assistance, representation, support, and professional services that will get you the medical care and monetary award you deserve for having to ensure the pain of a bicycle accident. Please contact us for a free consultation with one of our skilled attorneys experienced in the area of bicycle accidents and the law and procedures related to them. You can call our bicycle accident lawyers at (615) 590-3106. It is our pleasure to assist you in choosing the best approach for your case.
My case couldn't have been handled better. It was handled in a timely manner - it wasn't rushed. If something ever happened again and I needed an attorney, Steinger, Greene & Feiner would be the first place I would go.
Common Injuries After a Bicycle Accident in Nashville
When cycling in highly populated cities, there is always a chance for an auto vs. bicycle accident. That doesn’t make the negligent actions of the driver acceptable though. The National Center for Statistics and Analysis in Washington D.C. released data that states 45,000 cyclists are injured or killed every year due to cyclists being hit by a vehicle. The most common injury in bicycle vs. vehicle accidents is head trauma. The American Academy of Family Physicians states up to forty-seven percent of victims of bicycle accidents suffer a head injury. Head injuries result in sixty percent of bicycle-vehicle accidental deaths or victims that now have a permanent disability. In addition to major head injuries, the face is also a major body part that sustains injury including:
- Tooth fractures
- Bone fractures/breaks
- Soft tissue damage
- Dislocated jaw
- Road rash
- Foreign objects entering the eye
- Facial injuries including, but not limited to, the following breaking: eye socket, nose, skull, as well as contusions and possible black eyes.
Much more rare, injuries to the abdomen and pelvic bone can occur, however if the cyclist is thrown into the handlebars, hits a car door, or is run over by a car, trauma to the groin or organs can occur.
Types of Compensation You May Recover After Your Accident
There are two types of compensation, also known as damages, that you are entitled to claim and present to the liable party during negotiations. The first category is called “special damages”. Special damages are amounts that can be easily calculated, such as wage loss, medical bills, and gas traveling to and from medical appointments. These all have a dollar amount, evidenced by receipts, doctor’s reports, and bank statements. Other examples include in home care provider, child care, canceled vacation fees due to injury, retrofitting the home to accommodate the injury, and anything else paid out of pocket or monetary loss because of the injury. The second type of compensation your Nashville bicycle accident lawyer will advocate for on your behalf is called “general damages”. These types of damages are those that can’t easily be given a value, such as duration of pain suffering due to the accident, change in your marriage or loss of affection, and mental anguish suffered as a result of the injury. Putting a price on your mental health or losing the affection of a partner is difficult to accomplish. Depending on the severity of the injury, duration of the pain and suffering, permanence of the pain and suffering, medical intervention needed to ease the pain and suffering, medications needed, and pre-existing conditions are all element a jury or insurance company will consider when determining the amount that should be awarded for the injured parties pain and suffering.
Steps to Take After Your Bicycle Accident
First, make sure you are safe and not in the road or a dangerous position. If you are able to reach your phone, call the local police department to dispatch an officer to take a report and possibly call an ambulance. Most emergency calls are taped, so make sure to indicate that you were in an accident and hit by a vehicle while riding your bicycle. If the driver did not stay at the scene, try to relay the make and model of the vehicle and any part of the license plate you can remember. If the at fault driver does stay at the scene, exchange information. The primary information you want to obtain is the driver’s full name, address, phone number, and insurance information. If you have a smartphone, it is a great idea to take a picture of the driver’s license and car insurance card/documentation. The car insurance information should include the insurance company, policy holder’s name, and the policy number. Write down or photograph the make, model, and color of the vehicle that hit you as well as the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) and license plate. Don’t forget to observe any witnesses to the accident. If they are not able to wait for a police officer to record their statement, take down their information so your Nashville bicycle accident lawyer can contact them at a later time. Pictures of the scene are one of the most important pieces of evidence that can accurately reflect what occurred the day of the accident. Pictures, along with the police report, will assist your Nashville bicycle accident lawyer in reviewing an unbiased explanation of what occurred. Take as many pictures as possible from different vantage points to give your attorney, the insurance company, the judge, and possible jury a complete view of the scene. Photographs also document time of day, weather conditions, road conditions, vehicle and bicycle positions, obstructions, and traffic signs posted. Refrain from discussing the accident at the scene. Comments can be taken out of context, and phrases like “I’m okay” or “I’m sorry” can drastically undermine your case. Factually articulating the events of the accident to the police officer is appropriate. While not all these steps are not reasonable to accomplish if you are severely injured or your injury becomes worse, the most important steps are as follows in order:
- Call emergency services and request an ambulance and police officer. Notify them that you have be hit by a vehicle.
- Obtain the driver’s make, model, color, and license plate number.
- Get transported to the hospital for evaluation
Being evaluated by a doctor after the accident is important for two reasons: (1) You do not know the extent of your injuries as you are not a doctor; (2) your injury records begin the date of the accident, illustrating that you take the accident seriously as well as your health. After you have been released from the hospital, contact your bicycle accident lawyer in Nashville as soon as possible so you preserve your rights, protect your case, and can begin to heal while your attorney handles your case. If you are admitted to the hospital, have a family member or friend contact your attorney and request an appointment in the hospital if necessary.
Typical Causes of Bicycle Accidents
All states have what is referred to as “side-of-the-road” rules, which means that cyclists must remain on the far side of the road or in designated bicycle lanes if they are moving slower than surrounding auto traffic. The issue with this law is that it places cyclists in certain situations that result in injury. There are four common causes of bicycle vs. auto accidents in the United States.
Right Turn Right-of-Way
When a car and cyclist are parallel to each other, the cyclist on the right side of the car, and the car wishes to turn right, but the cyclist will continue straight, this creates a dangerous scenario. The cyclist is following the side of the road law, however the vehicle driver may be looking left to check for oncoming cars or straight ahead at the light. If driver’s fail to glace to the right side of their vehicle, then they will collide with a cyclist that is ready to proceed straight.
Brushed By Passing Car or Truck
There are narrow streets, one way streets, small bridges, and an absence of bicycle lanes in many parts of the city of Nashville and the surrounding area. Your Nashville bicycle accident lawyer will remind the car insurance adjuster that cyclists have the same rights as autos when traveling on the roads. If there is an absence of a bike lane or path, a bike may proceed further into the road if needed. For hurried drivers, it is tempting to pass a cyclist that is observing traffic laws, but must ride further into the lane to stay safe. While it is permitted to pass the cyclist, it must be done in a safe manner. Unfortunately, cyclists end up getting “brushed” or literally side-swiped when a car or truck underestimates the amount of space needed to pass the cyclist. This can also happen when a cyclist is in their designated lane and a car hugs the right side of the road without realizing how close they are to the cyclist.
Opening a Vehicle Door
Because the side of the road laws require cyclists to stay on the right side of the road, it is not uncommon for a parked vehicle to suddenly open their car door as a cyclist is approaching. Many individuals do not realize that they cannot open their car door while parked on the street until it is safe to do so. This means the driver must look for oncoming traffic, including cyclists, before opening their door. If they fail to obey this safety law, they are liable for the cyclist’s injuries. There are many other causes of bicycle accident injuries, however we covered the most common ones in detail. Other causes include poor weather conditions, such as fog or rain, road construction, any kind of obstruction in the road that would distract a driver from watching cyclists around them. In general, any kind of distracted driver will fail to see or anticipate an oncoming cyclist and negligently collide with them. Cyclists riding past driveways and through parking lots are at risk for injury as well.
How Common are Bicycle Accidents in Nashville?
Bicycle accidents are more common in cites with densely populated areas, including Davidson County, which is the second highest county for cyclist injuries involving a vehicle. Even though Tennessee requires cyclists to outfit their bikes with a white light in front that must be visible from 500 feet and a red reflector or lamp, bicycle accidents continue to occur. The last time the statistics were updated, the Tennessee Traffic and Safety Commission recorded 259 cyclist injuries and four fatalities just for that year. Thankfully, Nashville is taking this issue serious and many special interest groups have come forward to bring greater awareness to bicycle accidents and safety. The group Walk Bike Nashville has several campaigns running to advocate on the behalf of cyclists. Included in their campaign are plans to expand bike lanes in the downtown area, work with the city of Nashville to expand transportation resources and traffic “calming” projects, and require that bike lanes be left open during events and construction, especially downtown. The city of Nashville has approved a large project to decrease car use in the city and increase pedestrian and bicycle travel. Sidewalks and bike lanes are scheduled to be implemented as well as the hiring of more transportation control staff. Nashville declared itself to be a pedestrian and bicycle friendly city this year and has many projects to increase safety for the pedestrians and cyclists in the city.
Why You Should Hire a Bicycle Accident Lawyer Right Away
Unlike the typical personal injury attorney portrayed in films, television shows, and the media, our firm is comprised of caring professionals who chose this line of work because they want to help those who have been wronged. Our firm is committed to advocating on behalf of our clients using the years of experience in the field. There are many reasons why hiring a bicycle accident lawyer in Nashville is important to do right away, however here are the primary ways we can help and benefit you.
- Take over your case and allow you to recuperate and heal
- We know the local procedures and courts
- We specialist not just in personal injury, but victims of bicycle accidents
- Contact medical professionals to set up appointments
- Negotiate with the insurance company
- Collect and organize discovery documents
- Successful settlement outcomes
Contact us today at (615) 590-310 for a free consultation with a caring and experienced Nashville pedestrian accident lawyer.