What To Do If You Are A Bicyclist Hit By A Car
Roadways in Tennessee and across the United States are becoming more congested by the year, which causes people to waste more time in stuck in traffic. Gas prices continue to rise, and an increasing number of people are becoming concerned with their health. These and other factors resulted in more people opting for bicycles as a healthier, cheaper, and more effective alternative to driving a car or using public transit. However, riding a bicycle presents a unique set of safety risks and challenges. Bicyclists are considered some of the most vulnerable road users because they tend to suffer catastrophic injuries when involved in accidents with other vehicles. But what should you do if you are a bicyclist hit by car in Tennessee? Those involved in a bicycle accident may want to consider speaking with our attorneys at Labrum Law to discuss whether you may be entitled to compensation. Call (615) 338-9500.
Steps to Take if You Are a Bicyclist Hit By Car
Each year, there are about 370 bicycle accidents across Tennessee, according to the official website of the Tennessee State Government. Even though accidents involving bicyclists are not uncommon, many riders do not know what steps to take at the scene of the crash. Those involved in a bicycle accident as the cyclist should take the following steps to preserve any compensation that may be available:
- Call 911. The first thing a bicyclist should do after being involved in a collision with a car is to call 911. Under Tennessee Code Annotated § 55-10-106, you must report your motor vehicle accident to authorities if your car or bicycle accident involves injuries, deaths, or property damage in excess of $50.
- Receive medical care. As a bicyclist hit by car, you are likely to sustain serious injuries, even if they are not apparent immediately at the scene of the accident. Some injuries have delayed symptoms, which is why it is essential to seek medical attention to diagnose and document any injuries. Waiting too long to receive medical care could jeopardize your personal injury claim.
- Collect evidence at the scene. Pieces of evidence to gather at the scene include the driver's contact information, witness statements, photos of the accident scene, including bicycle and car damage, skid marks, and other relevant details.
- Notify your insurance company. Those with insurance coverage should report the accident to their insurance company. Since Tennessee is an at-fault insurance state, injured parties can pursue compensation by filing a claim with their own insurance company, the at-fault driver's insurer, or through a third party. If your insurance company pays you for your losses and damages, the insurer will be reimbursed for the costs if you later successfully win a claim against the at-fault party's insurance company.
- Do not give a recorded statement to the insurance company. Victims may receive a phone call from their insurance company or the at-fault driver's insurer within the first hours or days following a bicycle accident. The person on the other end of the line will ask for details about the injuries and the accident. They may also ask you to provide a recorded statement. However, victims are under no obligation to agree to give a recorded statement. In fact, refusing to provide a recorded statement until you talk to an attorney may be beneficial because insurers use recorded statements in an attempt to diminish the value of the claimant's accident injury claim.
- Follow the prescribed treatment and recommendations. Following a doctor's orders and undergoing the prescribed treatment is essential for a victim's health and the outcome of their case. Those who fail to follow up with their doctor or do not follow doctor's orders could be subject to the insurance company arguing that they failed to mitigate the damages or that their injuries were not as severe as they claimed. As a result, the insurer may deny the claim or pay less than the full amount.
- Contact an attorney. Following a bicycle accident, victims may struggle with seeking compensation for their injuries and handling the legal aspects of the claim. For this reason, you might want to consider contacting a knowledgeable attorney to help get the case moving forward, allowing you to focus on your health and family. Those who were injured as a bicyclist hit by car may want to consider contacting the attorneys at Labrum Law to discuss your unique case. Our experienced attorneys are prepared to investigate your case and guide you through the legal process.
Under TCA § 55-8-172, bicyclists must follow the same traffic rules that apply to drivers of motor vehicles. However, there are also specific traffic rules that apply only to bicyclists in Tennessee. For this reason, determining liability for a bicycle accident can be tricky. That is why you might need the assistance of a skilled attorney to review the applicable laws and help you establish fault in your particular case.
What Damages Can You Receive As an Injured Bicyclist Hit By a Car?
In Tennessee, victims of motor vehicle accidents, including injured bicyclists, are entitled to compensation for their losses and damages. Recoverable damages in bicycle accident cases are divided into economic (tangible), non-economic (intangible), and punitive damages.
- Economic damages refer to any tangible losses and actual expenses such as medical bills, lost wages, the cost of repairing damaged property, and others.
- Non-economic damages are subjective and non-monetary losses that include emotional distress, inconvenience, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and many others.
- Punitive damages are awarded to the victim to punish the defendant for intentional, malicious, fraudulent, or reckless conduct (TCA § 29-39-104).
If you are a bicyclist hit by car in Tennessee, consider speaking with a skilled attorney before settling your personal injury claim. Your attorney will help you understand the real value of your case to ensure that you receive the compensation to which you are entitled.
Contact the Tennessee Car Accident Attorneys at Labrum Law
Bicyclists involved in car accidents are likely to suffer severe and disabling injuries. If you are a bicyclist hit by car, you might want to obtain the assistance of a knowledgeable attorney at Labrum Law to guide you through the legal process and help you fight for the compensation you need to get back on your feet. Call (615) 338-9500 for a free consultation today.