After handling hundreds of cases, we have learned that a bike crash is rarely a “bike accident.” As a Tennessee bike crash attorney, Amy knows the difference. Amy has represented cyclists in Chattanooga, Knoxville, Memphis, Nashville, and from all across the state.
Representation in Tennessee Bicycle Crash Cases
Amy Benner Johnson
Bike accident attorney Amy Benner has been riding a bike as a triathlete and a commuter since 2005. After experiencing cyclist infrastructure elsewhere, Amy made it her goal to see these same options available in Tennessee. Along the way, Amy realized she is in a position to fight for cyclists and their family members who have been injured or lost loved ones as a result of unsafe road conditions or negligent and hostile drivers. Amy lives, works and plays in Knoxville, but can be found practicing law throughout the state of Tennessee. In March of 2014, Amy attended the League of American Cyclists’ National Bike Summit in Washington, D.C., where she met Peter Wilborn and was inspired by the Bike Law mission of client and cause advocacy.
Amy is affiliated with Bike Walk Tennessee and speaks at Bike Walk Tennessee’s annual summit, which rotates throughout the state each year. She is headquartered in Knoxville and represents bicyclists in Memphis, Nashville, Chattanooga, and everywhere in between.
Read Amy’s analysis of the rights and duties of cyclists in Tennessee: Tennessee Bicycle Laws.
Tennessee Bicycle Laws
This article serves as an overview of some of the laws which apply to cyclists while riding in Tennessee. Bicycles are defined as vehicles and are lawfully allowed on many roadways in Tennessee, subject to certain provisions which are designed with cyclist safety in mind.
Determining fault is a requirement in any lawsuit, and an award of damages to a cyclist in a collision case hinges on whether or not a plaintiff can prove this key element. Tennessee law requires a plaintiff to prove that a defendant was negligent (had a duty to exercise reasonable care (or more) in a given situation, breached that duty, causing damages to the plaintiff as a natural foreseeable result of the breach of duty), and that the combined negligence of all persons responsible for the plaintiff’s injuries, other than the plaintiff themselves, amounts to 51% or greater. In a Tennessee Supreme Court opinion issued in 1992, Tennessee adopted a modified comparative fault to be used in assessing damages in personal injury cases. Defendants can raise the issue of contributory negligence of a plaintiff, but so long as a plaintiff remains less at fault than the defendant, and the plaintiff’s fault is less than half the total fault, a plaintiff will recover. So long as a plaintiff is determined to be 49% at fault or less, they can recover for their damages, with the amount of recovery reduced proportionately by the amount which they are determined to be at fault. It is important to remember that the persons whose job it is to determine fault in a bicycle collision case, are the jury; not the judge, not the attorneys, and not the insurance adjustors. A jury has the job of determining the fault, if any, of each person against whom fault is asserted. The fault of multiple defendants, including those unnamed or immune from suit, may be combined to reach the 51% threshold.
Amy employs a private investigator, an accident reconstructionist who specializes in bicycle accidents, and a bilingual receptionist to meet the needs of her clients. Additionally, Amy has developed a positive working relationship with law enforcement officials, whom she can reach out to when a new incident occurs. If you or a family member have been injured in a cycling accident, and you wish to discuss your legal options with Amy, email her at [email protected] or call her at 865-633-0290.
Tennessee Bike Law Speakers
If you would like Bike Law to come speak to your club or at your shop, please contact us.
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