Four Take-Aways from the Natchez Trace Bike Accident

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By now you have probably seen the video of the driver of a Volvo (Mr. Neely) hitting a bicyclist (Tyler Noe) on the Natchez Trace Parkway.  If you have not, just Google “bicycle accident and Natchez trace” and you will find lots of sites with video of the accident.  In short, Mr. Noe was hit by a black Volvo hits that simply keeps going after the very scary impact.  Mr. Neely, the driver of the black Volvo, has since been charged with felony reckless endangerment, leaving the scene of an accident, failure to immediately notify of an accident and failure to render aid.  As a firm that has handled a lot of accidents involving bicyclists, cars, trucks, motorcycles, etc., this case helps demonstrate 4 important points about injury accidents.

  1. In today’s world with Go Pro cameras, cameras on cell phones, dashboard cameras and the like, drivers of any type of vehicle should conduct themselves with the expectation that their actions are being captured on video.  If you are engaging in road rage, aggressive driving or just negligent driving like accidentally running a red light, there is a good chance it is being recorded. This takes me to my next point.
  2. Noe was lucky in that his friend who was bicycling beside him had a Go Pro camera on his helmet and captured the entire incident and preserved it for police and others. However, after some accidents, the critical video or other evidence is not in the possession of a friend.  Instead, the person who caused the accident or a bystander may be in possession of it.  Or, it could be a traffic camera owned by local government or a private security video camera as was the case with Venus Williams’ recent car crash. So often, you need an experienced injury lawyer to help you locate and preserve critical evidence following an accident. Some evidence can be lost quickly so time is of the essence after an accident.
  3. Telling the truth is vital. Media outlets are reporting that Mr. Neely (the driver of the black Volvo) told police that the bicyclist threw the bike at him. Folks are going to weigh Mr. Neely’s statement about how the accident occurred with the video footage and decide whether he is telling the truth.  And once people doubt your honesty on one point, they will doubt it on all others too.
  4. If you have not already, I encourage you to read some of the comments that people have posted about the video. A large number think the bicyclist was at least partially to blame for riding two abreast.  If this case proceeds to trial, a judge or jury will be asked to decide whether the bicyclist did anything wrong that caused the accident. In the law, this is known as comparative fault.  An experienced trial lawyer will help assess the amount of comparative fault on the settlement value of your case and/or will work to minimize the issue at trial. Even if the bicyclist was not comparatively at fault, the same people who are writing comments about the accident are likely going to be in the jury pool and you need an experienced lawyer to help expose and address these biases.

If you have been involved in an accident and would like to discuss it with one of our award-winning injury lawyers, give us a call at 615-742-4880 (Nashville) or 615-867-9900 (Murfreesboro) or 866-812-8787 (toll-free).  We offer a free consultation.  If we think we can help and you decide to hire us, we handle all accident cases on a contingency basis.