Unlike vehicle drivers and passengers, bicyclists have virtually no protection from external impacts. Unfortunately, this means that bicycle accidents—especially those involving motor vehicles—tend to have devastating outcomes for bicyclists, often resulting in broken bones, deep cuts and bruises, and potentially life-altering brain or spine damage.
Even if your injuries were not quite that severe, a dedicated personal injury attorney could still help you file suit if another person’s negligence caused you to suffer harm that required medical attention. In addition to working on your behalf to collect evidence of negligence and the losses you subsequently suffered, a seasoned Murfreesboro bicycle accident lawyer could help you navigate the various pitfalls and legal roadblocks that could keep you from recovering the compensation you deserve.
Filing Suit Against a Negligent Party After a Bike Crash
Civil claims based around bicycle collisions require a claimant to establish defendant negligence to recover compensation. In order to prove a civil defendant was legally negligent and hold them liable for damages, an injured plaintiff must prove the existence of a duty of care, a subsequent violation of that duty by the defendant, proximate cause of an accident through that breach of duty, and the existence of compensable losses as a result of that accident.
Since every licensed driver assumes a duty of care to drive responsibly once they get behind the wheel, most bike crash cases succeed or fail based on how well the plaintiff can prove causation between the defendant’s actions and their own losses. An attorney in Murfreesboro could gather police reports, medical documentation, testimony from eyewitnesses and accident reconstructionists, and photos and videos from the bike accident scene to use as evidence of a defendant’s liability.
What Could Hinder Recovery in a Bike Wreck Case?
It is rare for a civil defendant to simply accept fault without a fight, and one of the most common techniques that defendants use to avoid liability for an accident is trying to shift blame onto the injured claimant. Unfortunately, if a court agrees with this kind of allegation from a defendant, it has the authority to reduce a plaintiff’s final damage award by the percentage of fault they are deemed to bear. If that percentage exceeds 50 percent, the court may bar them from recovery altogether.
Another common complication in bike wreck cases in Murfreesboro—especially those in which plaintiffs fail to seek help from a qualified injury attorney—is failing to abide by the statute of limitations for their case. Under Tennessee Code §28-3-104, people wishing to file a civil claim have only one year after their accident occurs to file suit, or their case may be time-barred and they may be unable to pursue recovery for their related losses. However, if the driver who struck the biker was issued a traffic ticket at the time of the collision, this deadline may be extended to two years.
Learn More by Talking to a Murfreesboro Bicycle Accident Attorney
A bicycle can be a cost-effective and environmentally friendly way to commute, but an accident could potentially change your life forever. However, if you were hurt because someone else acted negligently, you may have grounds to file suit against them and recover enough compensation to cover every injury and loss you sustained.
Before pursuing any kind of civil litigation on your own, you should speak with a Murfreesboro bicycle accident lawyer who has successfully handled similar cases before. Call today to learn more about how a seasoned attorney could help you.