Bicycling: Car Door Accidents

Bicycle Crash Lawyer Serving Maryville and East Tennessee

When you are bicycling in East Tennessee, it may be alarming to suddenly have a car door thrown open in front of you. There may not be time to swerve, and even if there is time, there may not be room for you to swerve away from the open door without getting hit by a car or truck that is moving in the same direction as you. Many drivers open their doors carelessly without glancing behind to see if a bicyclist would be affected. If you are injured in this type of collision, Maryville bicycle accident attorney Mark Hartsoe is ready to help you seek damages.

Car Door Accidents While Bicycling

In some states, there are laws that require people opening doors on the side of the car next to moving traffic to avoid opening the door except when it is possible to do so safely and not interfere with traffic. However, there is no such law in Tennessee.

Instead, drivers must use reasonable care under Tennessee Code section 55-8-136. This statute requires drivers to use due care to avoid collisions with pedestrians, provide warnings by sounding their horns when appropriate, and take proper precautions if there is a child or incapacitated person on the road. They are also supposed to use due care to avoid collisions with other vehicles, including bicycles, by keeping an attentive lookout. Moreover, certain city ordinances regulate the behavior of people in motor vehicles parked on the side of the road.

Under Tennessee law, bicycles are treated like other vehicles, and they are not required to use a path other than the normal traffic lane for vehicles. If a bicyclist is hit by a car door, the jury will likely look at whether the person opening the door used reasonable care. If you can establish that a driver or passenger failed to use reasonable care when the situation warranted it and that this failure was the cause of your injuries, you may be able to recover compensation as a victim of a car door accident.

In some cases, a driver or passenger will assert that a bicyclist was also negligent. For example, if a bicyclist failed to install the appropriate white light on the front of the bicycle and a red light to the rear of the bicycle, it may be hard for drivers to see them after dark. Someone who throws open a car door and does not see a bicyclist because they had no light installed may be able to argue that they were partially or fully to blame for a car door accident. In that case, their damages will be reduced by their degree of fault. Bicycle accident attorney Mark Hartsoe is familiar with all of the situations that may arise with regard to these collisions and can craft a strategy to protect a victim’s rights as thoroughly as possible.

Bicycling injuries may be catastrophic. If you establish liability, you may be able to recover both economic and noneconomic losses, such as medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life.

Consult Maryville Attorney Mark Hartsoe After a Bicycle Accident

Our firm can provide knowledgeable legal representation to victims of car door collisions. Call Maryville bicycle accident lawyer Mark Hartsoe at (865) 524-5657 or use our online form to set up a free consultation. Mark Hartsoe represents people who need a motor vehicle collision attorney throughout East Tennessee, including in Blount, Knox, Monroe, Loudon, Jefferson, Grainger, Cocke, Campbell, Hamblen, Greene, Anderson, Cumberland, and Fentress Counties.

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We appreciate the great job that you did on our case. You watched out for our interest even before you took our case. Mark Hartsoe did a wonderful job. He showed great expertise as he went up against a multi-national corporation with multiple lawyers. He had a thorough understanding of the many details and events that occurred. We were especially impressed with his skill during mediation. Mark’s PowerPoint presentation was excellent, overwhelming the opposition. It was refreshing to work with someone who does what he says he will and truly had our best interest in mind. Thank you for everything. Dennis and Julie Greene
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