Memphis has a strong bicycling culture, with more than 400 miles of bicycle paths, trails, and dedicated lanes along some of the city’s major thoroughfares. Bicyclists ride for pleasure through Central Gardens or commute to work in Downtown Memphis.
As the Bluff City experiences a significant upsurge in the number of cyclists, the number of bicycle riders struck by motor vehicles has also increased. Thus, the need for a dedicated Memphis bicycle accident lawyer has never been more pronounced.
At Wright Gray Law Firm, we are committed to representing and protecting the rights of bicyclists in our city, ensuring that they receive the justice and compensation they deserve after a bicycle accident.
Memphis Bicycle Accident Guide
- Why Choose Wright Gray Law Firm for Your Bicycle Accident Claim
- How Common Are Bicycle Accidents in Memphis?
- Memphis, Tennessee, Bicycle Laws
- Do I Have a Bicycle Accident Case?
- Who May Be Held Responsible for My Bicycle Accident Injuries?
- Who Pays for Bicycle Accident Injuries?
- What Compensation Can Bicycle Accident Victims Recover?
- How Can a Lawyer Help With My Bicycle Accident Claim?
- Contact the Memphis Bicycle Accident Lawyers From Wright Gray Law Firm Today
Why Choose Wright Gray Law Firm for Your Bicycle Accident Claim
At Wright Gray Law Firm, we believe in standing up for the rights of those who were injured or lost a loved one in an accident.
We are not just your legal advocates but also your compassionate partners during this challenging time. We offer personalized service and take the time needed to investigate all aspects of your case and fight for justice and full compensation on your behalf.
Through the years, we have recovered tens of millions in compensation for our clients injured due to the negligence of another person or party. Contact us today, and let’s discuss how we can assist you with your claim.
How Common Are Bicycle Accidents in Memphis?
Last year, motorists injured 41,615 bicyclists on U.S. roads, and 966 died, accounting for 2.2 percent of all traffic fatalities that year, according to the latest data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Almost all (85 percent) occurred in urban areas like Memphis.
While Tennessee has one of the lowest bicycle fatality rates in the nation at 0.5 percent, motor vehicles cut seven bicyclists’ lives short on Tennessee roads. Of the 102 traffic fatalities in Memphis last year, three involved bicyclists, earning the city the title of one of the most dangerous cities for cyclists in the country by 24/7 Wall St.
Memphis, Tennessee, Bicycle Laws
Tennessee law generally grants bicyclists the same rights and duties as drivers of motor vehicles. Bicycles are vehicles and thus operators must follow applicable rules of the road. Tennessee law also affords them rights as roadway users.
Memphis has added dedicated bicycle lanes to many major streets. However, local ordinances do not require cyclists to use them except when turning or avoiding hazards. Motor vehicles may not travel or park in designated bike lanes.
When sharing the road with motor vehicles, cyclists must stop at all stop signs and red traffic lights. Left-turning cyclists have the right of way over a driver intending to proceed straight at an intersection.
Bicycle riders may pass motor vehicles on the right if reasonably safe. Motor vehicles can pass a cyclist, but they must maintain a safe distance of at least three feet until they safely pass the bicycle.
Bicyclists also must ride as close as practical and safe to the right side of the road except when overtaking or passing another vehicle, preparing to turn left, when necessary to avoid a fixed or slow-moving object, or when riding in a substandard-width lane.
Substandard Width Lanes
National standards set lanes at 14 feet wide to allow for a motor vehicle and bicycle to travel safely side-by-side. Bicycles can take the entire right lane of a substandard-width road. Most roads in Tennessee have substandard widths, so cyclists may lawfully use the entire right lane on these roads.
Memphis generally allows bicycling on sidewalks but prohibits it in some areas. When riding on sidewalks, cyclists must yield the right of way to pedestrians and give audible signals before passing pedestrians.
Areas where the city bans sidewalk cycling should have visible signs that make the prohibition clear.
Memphis Bicycle Helmet Laws
Adults do not need to wear helmets while riding a bicycle in Tennessee. However, children under 16 must wear a helmet while riding in public. Memphis incorporates this requirement in its local ordinances.
Tennessee Dooring Laws
Certain states have enacted Dooring Laws, which typically prevent drivers from opening vehicle doors on the side facing moving traffic unless they can do so safely, without putting other road users at risk.
Tennessee does not have a specific Dooring Law, but the so-called Due Care law appears to address this issue. This regulation explicitly prohibits parking or stopping a motor vehicle in bicycle lanes unless signs grant permission for them to do so.
Tennessee Laws Regarding E-Bikes
The Tennessee law now includes requirements for electric-assisted bicycles, defined as a device with two or three wheels, fully operable pedals for human propulsion, and an electric motor with a power rating of less than 750 watts.
Tennessee categorizes e-bikes into three distinct classes, each with its specific attributes.
- Class 1 and Class 3 e-bikes are pedal-assisted, which relies on human pedaling for propulsion.
- Class 2 electric bicycles can rune exclusively on motors.
- Additionally, Class 1 and 2 electric bikes provide motor assistance up to 20 miles per hour, while Class 3 electric bikes offer assistance up to 28 miles per hour.
Riders of Class 1 and 2 e-bikes may use them much like traditional bicycles, except for sidewalk riding, which Tennessee prohibits unless expressly authorized by local ordinances.
Class 3 e-bike riders may not use paths or trails designated for regular bicycles except where these paths are adjacent to or form part of streets or highways or where local ordinances permit their use.
Additionally, riders of Class 3 e-bikes must wear helmets, and children under 14 may not ride them.
Do I Have a Bicycle Accident Case?
A successful bike accident case must prove that the driver’s negligence contributed to your accident.
To establish negligence, you generally need to prove four key elements:
- Duty of Care: The first element establishes that the defendant (the person you’re claiming was negligent) owed a duty of care to you, the injured party. In a bicycle accident case, this typically means showing that the defendant had a legal duty to act reasonably and prudently to avoid causing harm to others on the road, including bicyclists. Traffic laws and regulations typically establish this duty of care.
- Breach of Duty: To succeed in a negligence claim, you must demonstrate that the defendant breached their duty of care. You must show that the defendant’s actions or omissions fell below the standard of care that a reasonable person would have exercised under similar circumstances. In a bicycle accident case, this could involve proving that the defendant failed to follow traffic laws, drove recklessly, or engaged in other negligent behavior that directly led to the accident.
- Causation: You must establish a direct link between the defendant’s breach of duty and the injuries or damages you suffered. In other words, you need to show that the defendant’s negligence caused the bicycle accident and your resulting injuries. If not for the defendant’s actions or omissions, the accident and injuries would not have occurred.
- Damages: Finally, a valid negligence claim requires you to demonstrate that you suffered actual harm or damages in the accident. This can include medical expenses, pain, suffering, property damage, lost income, or other losses.
Who May Be Held Responsible for My Bicycle Accident Injuries?
In a bicycle accident case, you can hold various parties responsible for your injuries, depending on the circumstances surrounding the accident.
Parties who you can hold liable for your bicycle accident injuries include:
- Motor Vehicle Drivers: The most common party held responsible for bicycle accidents is motor vehicle drivers. If a driver’s negligence leads to a collision with a cyclist, you can hold the driver liable for your injuries and damages.
- Other Cyclists: In some cases, another cyclist’s negligent actions, such as reckless riding or failure to obey traffic laws, can lead to a bicycle accident. If another cyclist’s negligence causes your injuries, you can hold them responsible.
- Pedestrians: Pedestrians can also contribute to bicycle accidents if they suddenly step into a cyclist’s path without warning or cross a street inappropriately. If a pedestrian’s actions lead to a collision, you can hold them liable for your injuries.
- Property Owners: You can hold property owners, including businesses or homeowners, responsible if hazardous conditions on their property, such as uneven pavement, debris, or poor signage, cause a bicycle accident. This is more common in cases where the accident occurs due to dangerous conditions on a private road or path.
- Government Entities: In some cases, you can hold government entities responsible if poorly maintained or designed roads, bike lanes, or intersections contribute to a bicycle accident. Claims against government entities often involve complex legal procedures and shorter deadlines, so consult an attorney experienced in these cases.
- Bicycle Manufacturers or Repair Shops: If a defect in the bicycle itself or negligent maintenance by a repair shop led to the accident, you might have a product liability claim against the bicycle manufacturer or the repair shop.
Who Pays for Bicycle Accident Injuries?
Tennessee is a fault state when it comes to auto insurance, which means that the at-fault driver must cover the damages that result from the accident, such as medical bills, property damage, and other losses. So, when a motor vehicle strikes a bicyclist in Tennessee, the injured cyclist can seek compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance policy. But they also may have the option to file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver.
When you’re in a bicycle accident, it can feel like the odds are stacked against you. Insurance companies might not always have your best interests at heart. Our experienced attorneys are well-versed in the intricacies of bicycle accident claims, and we will tirelessly fight for your rights.
What Compensation Can Bicycle Accident Victims Recover?
Bicycle accident victims in Memphis may recover compensation, depending on the specific circumstances of their case and the damages they suffered.
Compensation typically includes:
- Medical Expenses: You can seek compensation for all reasonable and necessary medical expenses related to your injuries, such as hospital bills, surgeries, doctor’s visits, prescription medications, physical therapy, and any future medical treatments required for your recovery.
- Lost Earnings: If your injuries cause you to miss work or result in a reduced earning capacity, you can claim compensation for your lost wages, including past and future income.
- Pain and Suffering: Bicycle accident victims may be eligible to receive compensation for the physical and emotional pain and suffering they have experienced due to their injuries. This can include both the physical discomfort and the mental distress resulting from the accident.
- Property Damage: If your bicycle or other personal property was damaged in the accident, you may recover the cost of repairs or replacement.
- Loss of Consortium: In some cases, the spouse or family members of the injured person may claim compensation for the loss of companionship, services, and support resulting from the injuries.
- Wrongful Death Damages: If a bicycle accident results in a fatality, the surviving family members may recover compensation for funeral and burial expenses, as well as damages for the loss of the deceased person’s financial support, companionship, and more.
The availability and limits of compensation can vary depending on insurance coverage, the severity of your injuries, and the circumstances of the accident.
Our bicycle accident lawyers can assess your case, gather evidence, negotiate with insurance companies, and, if necessary, pursue a lawsuit to secure the compensation you deserve.
How Can a Lawyer Help With My Bicycle Accident Claim?
Our lawyers can pursue your bicycle accident claim.
An experienced bicycle accident attorney with Wright Gray Law Firm can provide several valuable services to help you with your claim:
- Our lawyers understand the relevant laws and regulations governing bicycle accidents, personal injury claims, and insurance matters. They can navigate the legal complexities of your case, following the correct procedures and meeting all deadlines.
- Our attorneys have the resources and experience to thoroughly investigate your bicycle accident. They can gather evidence, interview witnesses, review police reports, and work with accident reconstruction experts to establish liability and prove your case.
- Your lawyer will work to identify the parties responsible for the accident, whether it’s a negligent driver, a property owner, a government entity, or another party. They will build a strong case by demonstrating the defendant’s breach of duty and causation.
- Insurance companies often try to minimize payouts, and their adjusters may not have your best interests in mind. Your attorney can handle negotiations with insurance companies on your behalf to recover fair compensation for your injuries and damages.
- We know how to determine the full extent of your damages, including medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and property damage. Our lawyers have experience in assessing the value of your claim to ensure you seek appropriate compensation.
- Your attorney will handle all the necessary paperwork, including filing a lawsuit if negotiations with the responsible parties or their insurance companies do not succeed.
- If your case proceeds to court, your attorney will represent you at trial, presenting your case before a judge and jury.
- Our personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. This means you don’t have to pay attorney’s fees upfront. Instead, your attorney will only collect a percentage of the compensation you receive. If you don’t win your case, you don’t owe attorney’s fees.
- Your attorney’s goal is to help you obtain the maximum compensation possible for your injuries and losses. They will use their legal expertise and negotiation skills to achieve the best outcome for your case.
A personal injury attorney can significantly improve your chances of a successful outcome and protect your throughout the legal process.
Contact the Memphis Bicycle Accident Lawyers From Wright Gray Law Firm Today
Our Memphis personal injury attorneys at Wright Gray Law Firm, understand that life can take unexpected turns, and sometimes those turns lead to bicycle accidents. These incidents not only hurt physically but also cause emotional and financial distress.
Our dedicated team of Memphis bicycle accident lawyers is here to extend a compassionate hand to help you navigate these challenging times. Contact us today at (901) 519-3443 or through our online form for your free consultation.
“My experience with this law firm was outstanding! Rosalyn Dobbins is an exceptional Attorney who puts her clients first. This is a top notch personal injury law firm, and the entire team is spectacular. I would recommend this law firm to any of my friends, family, or associates because I am 100% sure they will be well taken care of.” Colleen C. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Wright Gray Trial Lawyers – Memphis Office
5050 Poplar Ave Suite 1925
Memphis, TN 38157
P: (901) 519-3443