picture of yellow bike and helmet turned on its side in the middle of a street and in the background a black car with its driver kneeling down beside the car with his head in his hands

If you’re involved in an accident with a car or truck while riding your bike, your chances of walking away unharmed are low. If you’ve been injured in a bicycle accident caused by someone else, you may be able to file a lawsuit for damages against the driver who struck you or another party who caused the accident.

At Morris, King & Hodge, P.C., our Fayetteville bicycle accident lawyers fight hard to secure maximum compensation for injured cyclists. We offer a free consultation to help you learn more about your rights under Tennessee personal injury law. Contact us now to discuss your legal options.

Common Causes and Types of Bicycle Accidents in Fayetteville, TN

As a bicyclist, you have the same legal status as operators of other vehicles on the road, according to the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT). That means you may use the right traffic lane and follow the traffic flow like other vehicles or use paved bike paths and sidewalks unless expressly prohibited.

However, riding on the road carries significant dangers. Common causes of bicycle accidents include:

  • A motorist failing to share the road with cyclists
  • Drivers making left turns into the path of oncoming bicycles
  • Drivers making right turns and cutting off a cyclist riding alongside
  • Motorists failing to yield the right-of-way to bicycles
  • A vehicle occupant opening a parked car’s door into the path of a cyclist
  • Uneven pavement or roadway that causes a hazard for cyclists, like a broken sidewalk or pothole
  • Another cyclist or pedestrian colliding with a bicycle

Injuries and Other Consequences of Bicycle Accidents

Bicyclists lack the protective metal shell and airbags that a car or truck has. In an accident, all the impact force is transferred directly to cyclists’ bodies. As a result, injuries are often catastrophic, and many cyclists are left permanently disabled.

Injuries cyclists frequently suffer in collisions with motor vehicles include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
  • Broken bones
  • Internal bleeding and internal organ damage
  • Crushing injuries
  • Amputation
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Paralysis
  • Back and neck injuries
  • Joint damage

Bike Laws in Fayetteville, Tennessee

Bike laws in Fayetteville are intended to keep everyone safe, so understanding what’s expected of cyclists can help you reduce your chances of an injurious crash.

  • Follow all traffic signs and signals at controlled intersections.
  • Use the crosswalk to cross a street where available.
  • Travel on the right-hand side of the road, with the traffic flow.
  • Use hand signals to indicate stopping or turning left or right.
  • Bikes used at night must also have a front white light and a rear red reflector or tail light, each of which must be visible from at least 500 feet away.

Bike riders under the age of 16 must also comply with the Tennessee Child Bicycle Safety Act, which requires:

  • All riders under 16 must wear a helmet, no matter where they ride a bike.
  • Any passenger under 40 inches tall or under 40 pounds must ride in a child-restraining seat or a bike trailer.

Who Could Be at Fault for a Fayetteville Bike Crash?

The liable party in a Fayetteville bike accident lawsuit depends on the circumstances of the accident. Examples of potentially responsible parties include:

  • A distracted driver who didn’t see the slim profile of a cyclist
  • A drunk driver who had a delayed reaction time and was unable to avoid a cyclist
  • The municipality responsible for maintaining the roads
  • The employer of a commercial semi-truck driver who was inadequately trained
  • A rideshare passenger exiting a vehicle
  • The bike manufacturer or the repair service used to fix the bike

Does Auto Insurance Cover Bike Accidents?

Maybe. Some auto insurance policies cover all auto-related accidents, so if you’re riding your bike and are hit by a car, your auto policy might kick in to cover your medical expenses. Each insurance carrier has different coverage stipulations, though.

If the at-fault fled the scene or if they have no insurance or insufficient coverage to pay your losses, you could file a claim with your auto insurance’s uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage if your auto insurance policy includes the coverage. An auto policy’s UM/UIM coverage often extends to anyone who resides in the household, meaning an injured child cyclist could be covered under the parents’ auto policy.

Potential Compensation for Bike Accident Injuries

Economic compensation includes money for your losses with specific values attached, like:

  • Current and projected medical treatment, including medication, surgeries, rehabilitation, and more
  • Modifications for your home or primary vehicle, if you become disabled
  • Unearned wages from time missed at work
  • Loss of earning potential, if your disability precludes you from working
  • Property damage, to repair or replace your bike

You may also obtain compensation for intangible or non-economic losses, such as:

  • Pain and suffering from your injuries
  • Emotional trauma
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of companionship, consortium, and guidance for your family

Why You Need Our Fayetteville Bike Accident Lawyers

The bicycle accident attorneys at Morris, King & Hodge, P.C. have the resources to conduct an independent investigation into the cause of the accident and the skill and experience to build strong cases for our clients. We have the deep knowledge of Tennessee bicycle laws and personal injury statutes necessary to pursue even the most complicated Fayetteville bicycle accident injury cases.

Steps to Take After a Bicycle Accident

Take these steps in the days following a bike accident to improve your chances of a positive outcome in your case:

  • Save all medical records.
  • Keep a log of your daily pain and how your injuries affect your life.
  • Don’t talk to the other party’s insurance company.
  • Follow all medical directives.
  • Talk to our lawyers about your case as soon as possible.

Contact Our Fayetteville Cycling Accident Attorneys Today

Have you been hit by a car while riding your bike in Fayetteville, Tennessee? You may have a legal right to file a lawsuit for compensation. Find out more in a free consultation with a Fayetteville bicycle accident attorney from Morris, King & Hodge, P.C. Contact us today to learn more about your legal options.