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Sharing the Road with Pedestrians and Bicyclists

Steer clear of collisions with pedestrians and cyclists with these tips from Sid Gilreath and his team of Tennessee accident attorneys

When you get behind the wheel, it can be easy to forget that there are others using the same roadways that are not protected by metal or fiberglass frames. Thousands of pedestrians and bicyclists get hit by vehicles each year in this country. These run-ins can be fatal to the non-motored, and also cause those behind the wheel to veer into oncoming traffic.

Below are some key points to keep in mind if you want to avoid being on either end of a pedestrian or bicycle accident.

Pedestrian accidents

Ideally, all of our roadways would be equipped with safe, well-kept sidewalks and convenient crosswalks. This, however, is a fantasy. Pedestrians are often forced to walk on deteriorating sidewalks (or in the street where sidewalks are not offered). Moreover, some pedestrians do not follow traffic laws and ignore crosswalks altogether.

Like vehicle accidents involving one or more cars, investigators must discern (and then prove) who was the negligent party. Pedestrians are bound by law to obey traffic signals just as drivers; therefore, jaywalking, crossing against the flow of traffic and/or crossing a highway marked "no pedestrians" would put the pedestrian at fault for the accident.

Conversely, drivers who hit pedestrians who were obeying all rules are deemed at fault.

Since pedestrians do not have anything to protect them in the event of a collision with a vehicle, they often get more seriously injured and require extensive medical care afterwards, resulting in high hospital bills. As a result, pedestrian accidents involving vehicles often require the experience and knowledge of an expert attorney who can help prove who was at fault and fight for just compensation.

Bicycle accidents

Like pedestrians, bicyclists are more likely to be injured when involved in a collision with a motor vehicle.

One way bicyclists can be involved in accidents with vehicles is when they try to pass cars that are stopped at a red light or intersection. The level of danger is raised even more if the cyclist fails to wear a helmet, which is not required by persons over 16 years old under Tennessee state law. Because helmet use is not mandatory, many bicyclists do not wear them and are more susceptible to a head injury.

Typically, accidents involving vehicles and bicycles occur at intersections where either the driver or cyclist fails to follow the right of way rule. In these instances, the fault falls on whichever person disobeyed the law.

When should you contact an attorney?

Determining fault for accident involving bicyclists or pedestrians can be very difficult. For this reason, it is often helpful to contact an attorney promptly to help you recoup the costs of property damage or medical bills. Attorneys are also important when it comes to dealing with your insurance company, especially since these types of accident are not the norm.

With the help of an experiencedTennessee car accident attorney, youcan get help with the complex legalities that are involved with collisions between vehicles and bicyclists and/or pedestrians.

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Tennessee Personal Injury Lawyers at Gilreath & Associates offer free and personal consultation to help you evaluate your legal options.
Our attorneys are dedicated to helping you recover financially from an injury stemming from someone else's negligence.