All bicyclists and drivers are required to use due care to avoid collisions with others. This means they must operate at a safe speed, keep their vehicles under control, and pay attention. Most of the rules that apply to cars also apply to bicyclists. Like other drivers, bicyclists must follow traffic signals, obey the speed limit, and yield the right of way as appropriate.
However, bicyclists are also granted the same rights as motor vehicles. For example, a bicyclist who appropriately signals a left turn at an intersection where he has the right of way by extending his left arm in a horizontal position for 50 feet before the turn is entitled to make the left turn. A driver who ignores this left turn signal and drives through, hitting the bicyclist, may be found negligent and would then be liable for the cyclist's damages.
In general, bicyclists are required to ride as close as possible to the edge of the roadway if they are driving under the normal speed of traffic, not passing another bike or vehicle driving the same direction, making a left-hand turn, or avoiding certain conditions such as parked vehicles or animals.
Two bicyclists can ride alongside each other except on exclusive bicycle paths, as long as they are not impeding the normal movement of traffic. However, two bicyclists who do impede traffic can still potentially recover damages if a driver negligently hits them, to the extent they are not found comparatively negligent for the collision.
If you are hurt in a bicycle accident, you should take photographs of your bicycle and injuries and take down any witness contact information. Like others in accidents, you would likely have to prove the other driver's negligence. Specifically, you would need to show the other driver's duty, a breach of duty, causation, and damages. In some bicycle crash cases, the witnesses and even the jurors may be biased against a bicyclist. It may be crucial to present evidence from an accident reconstruction specialist who can testify as to what happened, based not only on witness testimony but also on the damage that was done to the vehicle, debris, and other evidence.
An injured bicyclist usually can seek to recover economic and noneconomic damages. However, it is very common for an at-fault driver's insurer to try to shift blame onto the bicyclist. A victim may be barred from recovery only if he or she was 50% or more at fault, however. If you were 49% or less at fault, your recovery would be reduced according to your percentage of fault. You also have a limited time within which to bring your claim. Therefore, it is crucial to secure the advice and representation of an experienced attorney as soon as possible.Consult a Knoxville Lawyer to Hold a Negligent Driver Accountable
Tenaciously advocating for injured individuals in Knoxville and the surrounding area, car accident attorney Mark Hartsoe is skilled in seeking compensation for victims of the negligence of others. For a free initial consultation, call (865) 524-5657 or contact us via our online form.