I Hit A Bicyclist With My Car in Tennessee, What Should I Do?

Post By Corey Heit

Car accidents can vary in the number of causes and types of individuals involved. Accidents can involve only drivers, pedestrians, and even cyclists. For drivers wondering about what happens if they hit a cyclist with their car, you may have any number of questions following the accident such as what to do afterward, how the at-fault party will be determined, and what next steps to take.

You may have a good idea of what to do following a car accident that involves a collision between two motor vehicles but handling an accident with a bicyclist may have you wondering how to approach the situation.

Below, we take a look at what you should do and what steps to take if you have hit a bicyclist in Tennessee.

Disclaimer: The following is not legal advice. It is general information meant to inform.

What Happens if You Hit a Cyclist with Your Car?

If you hit a cyclist with your car, the aftermath will be very similar to any other kind of motor vehicle accident – especially considering that in Tennessee, a bicycle’s legal status is that of a car according to the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT).

You will want to take steps like seeking medical attention and documenting the scene of the accident.

It’s important to note that Tennessee is an at-fault state, meaning that the party who is found to be responsible for the accident will be held accountable for any injuries or losses sustained. In some cases, the driver or the cyclist may be found liable for the accident. In some instances, even a pedestrian may be the at-fault party.

Proving liability may be different compared to other states since Tennessee operates on a legal standard known as comparative negligence. This means that a particular amount of blame will be placed on each involved party depending on how much their own negligent actions added to the accident.

Any party who is found to be at fault for 50% or more of the accident will be unable to pursue a personal injury lawsuit.

What Steps Should I Take If I Hit a Bicyclist?

Accidents that involve bicyclists in Tennessee have been fairly consistent between 2010 to 2020, according to the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security. But bicycles have become an even more popular form of transportation during that time as well, even with a surge in demand in 2021 prompting a bicycle shortage.

So, with bicyclists sharing the road alongside motor vehicles, what steps should take if you hit a bicyclist?

There are a few steps you will want to take if you hit a bicyclist that is very similar to what you would do following any other accident. Those steps include:

  1. Be sure to call 911. Anyone who was involved in the accident should seek medical attention, even if they do not look injured.
  2. Be sure to take photos and videos of the scene of the accident and the vehicles involved. This will help give your Nashville car accident lawyer a clear idea of what happened as they look over your case.
  3. Collect the insurance information from anyone involved, including the cyclist that was hit.
  4. Contact a Nashville car accident lawyer. They will be able to provide you with legal advice and determine if you have grounds for a personal injury claim.

How Do You Deal with a Bike Hitting Your Car?

As mentioned above, you will want to take steps to document the scene of the accident and collect contact information to help build your case. From there, the process of pursuing compensation for any injuries or losses you sustained due to a bicyclist who may be found at fault for the accident is very similar to that of a standard car accident.

You will need to be able to prove that the bicyclist was at fault for the accident. Bicycles are legally considered a car in Tennessee and there are certain traffic laws that bicyclists must follow. Some of these laws include:

  • Riding on the right-hand side of the road in the same direction as the traffic
  • Using hand signals to communicate their intended movements
  • Following all posted traffic signs and signals

Other laws indicate that bicyclists on a “roadway shall not ride more than two (2) abreast except on paths or parts of roadways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles.”

When a bicycle is involved in a car accident, there are a number of complexities and laws that will be considered in your personal injury claim. The individual circumstances of each case will be looked over, including the evidence you manage to collect right after the accident occurs, medical records, and any police reports,

Connect with a Nashville Car Accident Lawyer

If you have been involved in a car accident, it can be especially important to speak with an experienced Nashville car accident lawyer. We can help ease the process of filing your claims following a car accident that involved a bicyclist and help ensure that you understand the legal process as we move forward, especially since it can be a complex one.

Connect with Heit Law, LLC today to schedule a free and confidential consultation at 615-962-3000 or through our online contact form.

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