Party bikes are popular with tourists in Nashville, and why shouldn’t they be? It’s a mode of transportation and exercise that’s fun because there’s drinks and friends and sights to see all at the same time. We don’t want to scare away our visitors, as we want everyone to see the beauty and charm of our city, but party bikes are not without their faults. Just as with any vehicle or bicycle, a party bike is exposed to the elements of the weather, road, and people around them. Combining that with drinking patrons whose judgment is affected by alcohol, then you have a recipe for an accident. It is important to know what risks you put yourself at when you get on one of these party bikes, what you can do to avoid becoming injured, and what you can do should you be in an accident on one of these vehicles.
What are party bikes?
Party bikes, also known as pedal bars, pedal taverns, beercycles, and pedal pubs, have the appearance of a trolley car or tractor ride, but seat eight to fifteen people around the mobile bar, with most of the passengers pedaling in order to power the vehicle. They are usually allowed to drink alcohol on these vehicles, so long as the driver (the person who has control of the steering and braking) is not drinking.
These party bikes have been a part of our city since 2010 when Nashville Pedal Tavern gave us our first party bike. Since then, three other pedal bar businesses have started up in Nashville: Sip N’ Cycle, Sprocket Rocket, Country Music Crawler. (It seems like there are more every day!)
What kind of accidents can you get into on a Nashville pedal bar?
News articles from several different states including Tennessee have reported accidents with these vehicles, including attacks from pedestrians, drunk patrons falling off, patrons being hit or clipped by other cars, and so forth. These party bikes are often subject to the same sort of accidents that regular bicyclists are at risk for, too.
In our very own city in 2016, a woman’s foot had slipped off the pedal and she was dragged against the pavement. She and the other patrons called out and screamed for the driver to stop the pedal bar, but he could not hear them over the loud music. He did eventually bring the vehicle to a stop, but the woman had been badly injured, suffering from “serious, disabling, painful and permanent bodily injuries.”
Just in 2021, a man on a party bike in Michigan drunkenly stumbled off the paused party bus, and tripped and fell into traffic, slamming his face off the side of a passing vehicle.
These bikes have also been known to tip over, be accosted by pedestrians (usually people who are annoyed by the party bikes or just troublemakers), and to be rear-ended or side-swiped by cars that are behind them or trying to pass them.
Clearly, a risk to these pedal bars is exposing drunk passengers to the busy roads they are driving around on.
What kind of injuries can I suffer from a party bike accident in Nashville?
There are myriad injuries that you can suffer depending on the type of accident. Some of the most serious injuries that you may suffer include:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Broken bones
- Road rash
- Crushing injuries
- Facial and jaw injuries
- Spinal injuries
- Organ damage
Injuries like these may take weeks to months to heal, and some will affect you for the rest of your life with disfiguring scars or long lasting complications or symptoms. You may lose the ability to perform your job, leaving you lost wages and hospital bills to pay. This is why you need a Nashville personal injury lawyer. You deserve compensation for your pain and suffering.
Does it matter if I signed a waiver for my Nashville pedal tavern ride?
When you schedule a ride on a party bike, you will be made to sign a waiver. The purpose of these waivers is to prevent the company from being sued by those who find themselves in an accident while patronizing the business, as the waiver is also to “provide evidence of the entity’s warning of risks of the activity being performed, which triggers common-law assumption of risk (AOR) defense using tort law.”
While these waivers often prevent people from suing the company, there are situation that can arise wherein you may still be able to file a claim against them:
- Gross negligence: When the company caused injuries to the victim through recklessness
- Defective products: If products or equipment issued to you from the company prove defective and cause you injury, you can file a claim against the manufacturer of the product.
- Misrepresentation: If the company misrepresents the services they provide, and you end up being injured, you may be able to file a fraud claim against the company.
What do I do if I’m injured outside my home state?
While you may have a preferred lawyer in your home state, it is usually a better idea to find a lawyer in the state you were injured in, as they will know the state laws better than those from a completely different state.
However, first you must determine which state has jurisdiction over your claim. This depends on where the defendant lives and where the accident occurred.
To give an example, if you live in Georgia, but the defendant lives in Tennessee, then Tennessee has jurisdiction over that defendant, and so that is the state you will need to file your personal injury claim (or products liability claim) through.
That is where we come in. Our experienced and knowledgeable Nashville attorneys know the laws and regulations of Tennessee, and if you are visiting our state and are injured in it, we want you to know that you are not alone here, even if you are far from home. We want our state to be welcoming and friendly, even if we cannot prevent every injury that may happen. At Rocky McElhaney Law Firm, we have your back. If you have been injured on a party bike, call our Nashville personal injury attorneys at 615-425-2500 or you can fill out our contact form. We can set up a free consultation with you at one of our offices in Nashville, Hendersonville, or Clarksville.