Summertime means a rise in bicycling in Memphis. Unfortunately, it also means a rise in bike accidents. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), more bicycle collisions happen from May to September than at any other time of year, with children ages 10-15 at the greatest risk. As a bicycle accident lawyer Memphis trusts, I know sometimes, even when all precautions are taken, serious bike accidents still happen. Injuries can range in severity. too. These can include anything from bruises to serious head injuries, and unfortunately even death.
Below are some common types of negligence that can lead to a bicycle accident. Being aware of these can help keep you and your family safe while cycling this summer.
Common causes of bicycle accidents
Motor vehicles are required to maintain a safe distance while riding next to or passing bicyclists, obey the right of way laws, and share the road responsibly with all types of vehicles. However, not all drivers follow the safety rules. And when cars hit bicycles, the results can be disastrous.
Common driver negligence includes:
- a car driving too close to a cyclist
- a motorist swerving into a bike lane
- opening a car door into a biker’s path
- turning in front of a biker
- running a cyclist off of the road
- leaving the scene after a bicyclist hit and run crash
Since bicycles don’t offer the same safety features cars have, the physical and financial costs of a bike crash can be significant. That’s why many folks decide to file a personal injury claim after they’ve been in a bicycle accident.
But bikers have to carefully examine the circumstances of an accident to determine who is liable for the cost of the damages. If your bike accident involves a car, truck, or other passenger vehicle, you will most likely have to go up against the driver’s insurance company to recover compensation, too. This process can quickly get frustrating without an experienced bike accident lawyer on your side. But that’s where we come in.
Pedestrians are the main cause of many bike accidents, some of which result in severe injuries. Bicycles are required to stop for pedestrians. But if a pedestrian steps off the curb and into a bicycle’s path without warning, the cyclist may not have time to slow down and avoid a crash. However, if this is the case, the cyclist must prove the pedestrian’s negligence was the main cause of the collision.
There are also circumstances under which an accident is the cyclist’s fault. Under Tennessee’s comparative negligence laws, if a victim is mostly liable (51% or more) for a crash, they are not entitled to recover any damages. This means, if you were in a cycling accident while performing an unsafe action, you may have a hard time collecting compensation from another at-fault party. Common cycling negligence includes:
- Bicycling against the flow of traffic
- Riding in the road instead of in a dedicated bike lane
- Making an illegal maneuver
Always obey traffic laws and exercise extra caution when you are riding a bike.
Dangerous Road Conditions
Just as cars are entitled to safe roadways, cyclists are entitled to safe riding paths. Potholes, construction, fallen rocks, debris, leaf piles, and sudden changes in the road surface are all potential hazards. Municipalities should address these dangers before they cause serious accidents. That being said, in some instances, obstacles cannot be avoided. These can include things like railroad tracks or a curve in the road. In these cases, municipalities are required to post clear signage warning of potential hazards.
Faulty or Unsafe Bike Equipment
Ensuring your bike and bike equipment are safe before you go out for a ride is your best defense against a serious crash. Defective brakes, bike frames, tires, and chains all increase your risk of an accident. At the same time, defective or ill-fitting helmets and safety gear can make bicycle injuries much more severe.
Contact a bicycle accident lawyer Memphis trusts for FREE
Bicycle accidents are a serious matter. If you or someone you love has suffered a bike crash injury contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation. Call (901) 327-2100 or contact us online to speak to an experienced and compassionate bicycle accident lawyer Memphis trusts.
We are here to help you get the compensation you deserve so you can focus on healing and getting back to summer fun with your family and friends.