Vehicles Failing to Yield to Bicycles
Bicycles have the legal status of cars in Tennessee, which means that riders have both rights and responsibilities while on the road. Like drivers, they need to obey traffic signals and signs and ride on the right side of the road, moving in the same direction as traffic. They also need to put front white lights and red rear reflectors or lamps on their bicycles, both of which should be visible from 500 feet. However, even when a bicyclist in East Tennessee uses the utmost caution, they still may be hurt by a driver who fails to yield the right of way. Maryville bicycle accident lawyer Mark Hartsoe is dedicated to asserting the rights of injured bicyclists against careless drivers.Injuries Caused by Vehicles Failing to Yield to Bicycles
Drivers of vehicles who fail to yield to bicycles may do a lot of harm. Bicyclists may be wearing a helmet, but it may not fully protect them from the force of a vehicle hitting them or their heads hitting concrete. Moreover, helmets do not provide any shield to other parts of a bicyclist's body, such as the back, limbs, or chest. Drivers must treat bicyclists as they would treat other drivers of cars, driving with care to avoid causing injuries to the bicyclist. Unfortunately, many drivers are not expecting to see a bicyclist on the road, and therefore they may ignore a bicyclist or drive aggressively.
Under Tennessee Code 55-8-197, a driver who fails to yield the right of way, such as by failing to drive on the right half of the road, failing to safely overtake and pass a bicycle, or violating certain other right-of-way rules, may be guilty of a misdemeanor. For example, under section 55-8-128, the driver of a vehicle approaching an intersection is supposed to yield the right of way to a bicycle entering the intersection from a different highway. If they arrive at the same time at the intersection, the driver on the left is supposed to yield to the vehicle on the right.
A Class B misdemeanor may be charged when an accident based on a failure to yield results in a serious bodily injury. This includes serious disfigurement, substantial risk of death, or protracted impairment of function of any bodily member or faculty. In addition to a fine of $250, a driver may be found negligent per se in a personal injury lawsuit brought by a bicyclist who has suffered injuries.
Negligence per se is a rule that applies when the defendant has violated a safety statute or regulation, the violation is the cause of the plaintiff's injuries, and the injuries caused by the violation are the sort that the law was designed to avoid. Even if negligent per se may not apply, evidence related to a failure to yield may be used to substantiate a claim that a driver breached their duty to use reasonable care while driving. It may be critical to call the police and have them cite a driver for a failure to yield so that the citation and an accident report may be used as evidence to support your claim.
After a bicycle accident, it is likely that the insurer for an at-fault driver will try to get you to admit fault or look for evidence of your fault in order to reduce liability. For example, the adjustor may try to get you to admit that the situation was more ambiguous than it was. It is crucial to consult Mark Hartsoe before you speak to an insurer for an at-fault party about the accident.Retain Maryville Lawyer Mark Hartsoe Following a Bicycle Accident
We can provide knowledgeable legal representation to victims of drivers who failed to yield to bicycles. Maryville bicycle accident attorney Mark Hartsoe can help you seek damages if you were injured by a negligent or reckless driver. Call the Hartsoe Law Firm at (865) 524-5657 or contact us via our online form to set up a free appointment. Mark Hartsoe advocates for victims who need a motor vehicle collision lawyer throughout East Tennessee, including in Blount, Knox, Monroe, Loudon, Jefferson, Grainger, Cocke, Campbell, Hamblen, Greene, Anderson, Cumberland, and Fentress Counties.