Bicycle use has increased tremendously in this country during the past decades. Once primarily used by children, adolescents, and a relatively small number of adults for recreation, bicycles are now in widespread general use, on city streets as well as on country roads. There are several reasons for this. Not only is bicycling now recognized as a pleasurable way to maintain health and fitness, but it is considered a means of commuting inexpensively, minimizing pollution, and avoiding urban traffic jams.
Unfortunately, with increased bicycle use, there is a rise in the number of bicycle accidents and injuries. If you have been seriously injured while riding a bicycle, it is important that, in addition to getting immediate medical attention, you seek legal counsel from a knowledgeable attorney who is experienced in bicycle accident claims. Cummings Law, located in Nashville, has a well-earned reputation for being compassionate as well as effective. The practice also has a history of obtaining highly successful settlements for its clients throughout Middle Tennessee including Nashville and the Vanderbilt hospital area.
Why A Bicycle Accident Causes Serious Injury
Because other vehicles on the road are far larger, heavier, and faster than bicycles, and because bicycles offer almost no physical protection to their riders, the cyclist’s risk of suffering a serious, even fatal, injury, in a collision is much greater than a motorist’s. If you have suffered a severe injury, or lost someone you love, in a bicycle accident that was the fault of someone else, you may be entitled to major compensation.
Whatever type of injury you have suffered in a bicycle accident — a concussion, a spinal cord injury, a broken leg, a torn ligament or a traumatic brain injury — Brain Cummings will dedicate himself to getting you the damages you deserve. If you have tragically lost your child or another loved one in a bicycle accident that was caused by the negligence of another, he will fight tirelessly to get you substantial compensation to provide you with a modicum of comfort and renewed sense of justice.
Determining Liability in a Collision between a Car and a Bicycle
Both bicyclists and motorists are expected to obey traffic regulations. This means that cyclists should:
- Be riding with, not against, traffic
- Obeying all traffic signs, signals, and traffic regulations
- Be wearing reflective clothing
- Have both front and rear lights on their bicycles
By the same token, motorists are expected to be alert while driving, not distracted by texting or other electronic interaction, eating, reading, or engaging in other actions that render them inattentive. Drivers are also required to check their rear and side mirrors frequently to make sure they are aware of any bicycles in the vicinity. While bicyclists may make the dangerous mistake of failing to come to a complete stop in order to keep their balance, drivers are well-known for speeding, drifting into other lanes or onto the shoulder, or driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs.
Compensation for Bicycle Accident Injuries
There are several types of legal compensation you can receive if someone else has caused you serious injuries in a bicycle accident in Nashville, Tennessee. Compensatory damages come in two categories: economic and non-economic.
- Economic damages reimburse you for all out-of-pocket expenses related to your injuries. These damages will differ according to your age and the nature of your injury and may include: medical and rehabilitative costs, lost income, loss of future earning power, property damage, and cost of long-term care.
- Non-economic damages, on the other hand, are designed to compensate you for things that are not as easy to assign monetary value, such as pain and suffering, disfigurement or impairment, loss of companionship or consortium, or loss of enjoyment of life.
Punitive damages are only awarded in cases in which the court finds the party who harmed you acted with extreme recklessness or with malicious or fraudulent intent.
Contact Our Bicycle Accident Attorney
Fault in a bicycle accident is determined differently in different states. This is why it is crucial to have an attorney who has a comprehensive knowledge of Tennessee bicycle accident law working on your case. Tennessee, like the majority of states, uses a law known as Modified Comparative Fault which allows the court to determine the percentage of fault attributable to each party. While in some cases, one party is completely responsible for the bicycle accident, in many situations both parties may be found to be partially at fault.
With Modified Comparative Fault, as long as you are found to be less than 50 percent responsible for the crash, you are entitled to receive some compensation for your injuries. For example, if you are found to bear 10 percent of the responsibility for the accident and the court awards you $1,000,000 in damages, you will receive $900,000 (the awarded damages minus 10 percent). The difficult part of Modified Comparative Fault is that if you are found to be more than 50 percent at fault (even just 51 percent) you will receive no compensation at all.
Since if you are in Tennessee you are working with this complicated system of compensation, it is all the more important to have a talented litigator, like Brian Cummings on your team. He knows precisely which approach to use to win your case and obtain the highest possible compensation for your injury. Remember, at Cummings Law, we work on a contingency basis, so you will owe us nothing unless we win damages for you. Once we determine during our initial consultation that you have a viable case, you can rest easy and recover from the physical and emotional trauma you have endured while we take care of all the tricky negotiations. You can easily contact us by phone or by filling out a form on our website.