Legal Rights of Pedestrians and Cyclists Involved in Car Accidents

The legal rights of pedestrians and cyclists can quickly come to the forefront when those parties are injured by automobiles. Legal action can make sure those rights are recognized. An experienced car accident attorney like those at the Reasonover Law Firm can help. Here are some legal rights of pedestrians and cyclists involved in car accidents:

Pedestrian Rights

The sidewalk is designed for pedestrians. No special legal protection should be needed in cases where a car may hit you while walking in that space. When a roadway does not have a sidewalk, you should keep to the outermost left. This helps you to stay as far away as you can from any approaching vehicles.

It’s recommended to yield to any vehicle when attempting to cross the road outside a crosswalk and vehicles must yield the right-of-way for pedestrians. Crosswalks can be marked or unmarked (intersections may not have a marked crosswalk, yet the implication exists that pedestrians may cross there). Drivers should also yield to you at designated mid-block crosswalks.

Cyclist Rights

In many states, there can be no distinction between bikes and cars on the road. Both are granted equal access to the roadway. This gives you the same rights and responsibilities while riding a bike that you would have when driving a car. Motorists must recognize those rights and give you enough space to operate your bike safely while on the road.

Correctly yielding the right-of-way to other vehicles on the road will help protect you by law. If a vehicle and bike arrive at an intersection at the same time, it’s suggested that the right-of-way goes to the car on the left. Right-of-way rules at an intersection where a traffic light is not functioning properly are the same as they would be at a four-way stop.

Comparative Negligence

The Tennessee Board of Law Examiners reports that the state follows the legal principle of comparative negligence in civil cases. This means that you may be entitled to damages following an accident if it’s determined that you were less than 50% at fault. The amount of available damages is equal to the percentage of fault of all other parties involved in the accident.

Here’s how this determination works: If you (as a pedestrian or cyclist) are involved in a car accident with two other parties, a court may rule that each of you shoulders 33% of the blame. You could then collect up to 66% of the damages your car accident attorney helps earn in a ruling (which could include coverage for medical expenses and compensation for your pain and suffering).

Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney

Understanding your rights following an auto-pedestrian or auto-cyclist accident is one of many steps to secure compensation. Insurance companies can be adept at challenging when specific laws apply. Using a car accident attorney helps prepare you to answer any questions that may arise. We at the Reasonover Law Firm can bring our experience and expertise to your case. Contact us today to schedule a legal consultation.