New Orleans Bicycle Accident Attorneys Who Will Fight For You
Bloom Legal helps those who have been injured in a bicycle accident seek compensation for their injuries. Our full service personal injury law firm will handle the entirety of your injury claim. From gathering evidence and building a case, to negotiating a settlement, taking on the insurance companies, and, if necessary, fighting for you in court–your New Orleans bicycle accident attorneys will be there for you every step of the way.
Louisiana Bicycle Accident Statistics
Louisiana routinely ranks among the most dangerous places for bicyclists in the US. In 2015, Louisiana had the second-most bicycle accident deaths in the country, behind Florida. New Orleans specifically ranked in the top ten most dangerous biking cities.
Cities like New Orleans, where biking is popular and many streets have bike lanes, are particularly prone to bicycle accidents and injuries. Bicyclists should implement safety and protective gear and obey traffic laws whenever riding. Additionally, drivers of cars and trucks should remain aware of bicyclists, and defer the right of way to them whenever possible.
Check out some more bike accident statistics below:
- Bike accidents most often occur between 6 and 9 PM
- Men are more often the victim of bike accidents than women
- Approximately 70% of fatal bicycle accidents happen in major cities
- According to data, more people bike now as a primary or secondary mode of transportation than in the past
- 2018 was the most deadly year for bicycle fatalities in almost 30 years, with 857 reported deaths
- On the whole, bike accidents are trending down around the country, likely due to the spread of safety awareness and integration of bike-friendly urban infrastructure
- Though bike accidents on the whole are trending down, the fatality rate of bicycle accidents is up
- Almost 75% of fatal bicycle crashes involve a head injury
- 97% of people killed while riding a bicycle were not wearing a helmet
Louisiana Laws for Bicyclists
According to Louisiana law, all cyclists must adhere to the following:
- Cyclists must obey all traffic controls and signals.
- Cyclists must use a fixed, regular seat for riding.
- No bicycle may be used to carry more persons at one time than the number for which it is designed or equipped.
- At least one hand must be kept on the handlebars when riding.
- Parents and guardians are prohibited from allowing any children to violate any provisions of this section.
- Every bicycle must be equipped with a brake or brakes which allow the rider to stop within 25 feet from a speed of 10 miles per hour on dry, level, clean pavement.
Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents in New Orleans
Dooring accidents occur when a driver in a parked car opens their door into the path of an oncoming bicycle. The cyclist must swerve into traffic to avoid hitting the driver, or the driver knocks the cyclist over and into the traffic lane. While there may be no damage to the car or injury to the driver, cyclists are at risk of suffering severe injuries due to dooring accidents.
Because they are smaller and often less visible, drivers don’t often “see” cyclists until it’s too late. As a result, cyclists are at risk for rear-end collisions when stopped at intersections. Because cyclists are moving slower in traffic than cars, inattentive drivers can also strike moving cyclings from the rear simply because they aren’t paying attention. Rear-end collisions cause the cyclist to be violently thrown to the ground and often into the path of other moving vehicles.
Sideswipe accidents occur when drivers change lanes without looking for cyclists. The side of the vehicle collides with the cyclist and throws them to the ground.
Right-hook accidents are some of the most common bicycle accidents. Right hook accidents happen when a driver safely passes a cyclist and then makes a right turn across the cyclist’s direction of travel, and the cyclist cannot stop in time. This could be because the driver misjudged the cyclist’s speed or simply was unaware that they were there. The cyclist can suffer serious injuries as a result of colliding with the car.
These are somewhat similar to right-hook accidents in that the driver either misjudges the cyclist’s speed or is unaware of their presence. In these cases, the driver makes a left turn across the path of an oncoming cyclist.
Under Louisiana law, motorists are required to provide at least three feet of space when passing cyclists. When they fail to do so, cyclists can be forced off the road, leading to serious injury.
How Our New Orleans Bicycle Accident Attorneys Will Show Fault
Determining liability depends on who was at fault in the bike accident. In a legal sense, we say that the person who caused the accident committed negligence.
If the biker was obeying the rules of the road and another person caused an accident, then liability will be straightforward. The bicyclist will be able to file an injury claim against the other driver or party for compensation for the damages from the accident.
Alternatively, if both parties were partially responsible for the accident, the cyclist can file a claim for partial recompense. This is known as comparative negligence. Let’s say that both parties were equally responsible for the accident, or split the fault 50/50. They would then be due compensation for 50% of their damages, and would have to cover the other 50% themselves.
Determining fault after an accident relies on proving negligence occurred. Building an effective injury claim includes collecting evidence, witness testimonies, and documentation to construct an argument for negligence. Thus, picked experienced New Orleans bicycle accident attorneys is more important than you realize.
Our New Orleans Bicycle Accident Attorneys Answer Your Frequently Asked Questions
I think I may have been partially at fault in the bicycle accident. Will New Orleans bicycle accident attorneys still be able to help me?
Under Louisiana law, you can still pursue a claim for a bicycle accident even if you are partially at fault for causing the accident. Louisiana follows the “comparative negligence” rule, which means any compensation you are awarded will be reduced by the amount your negligence contributed to the accident.
I was injured in a hit-and-run bicycle accident. What are my options?
Hit-and-run accidents are very challenging, especially when there is little hope of identifying the at-fault driver. However, you may still be able to pursue a claim through your auto insurance or health insurance policies. Experienced New Orleans bicycle accident attorneys can help you navigate the claim process.
What damages can I seek?
If you have been injured in a bicycle accident, you are, of course, entitled to seek compensation for your medical bills. In addition, you may be entitled to compensation for the following:
- The cost to repair or replace your bicycle and other cycling equipment such as your helmet
- Any lost wages that have been caused by your accident
- Your pain and suffering
Does Louisiana Auto Insurance Cover Bicycle Accidents
Louisiana is an at-fault state, meaning that the person or persons who were responsible for the accident are responsible for paying for damages and injuries that stemmed from it.
If a bicyclist was hit by a car or truck, and the driver is found at fault, their insurance should pay for the biker’s damages. If the biker is carrying personal injury insurance as part of their car insurance, their own plan may cover them as well.
Health insurance can also come into play for physical and bodily injuries. Oftentimes, your health insurance may initially cover your damages and seek recompense from the responsible party’s insurance company at a later time.
What To Do If You’re in a Bicycle Accident in Louisiana
Immediately following the accident:
- If you or someone else has been seriously injured, call 911 immediately
- If you are able, get to safety. Move your bike and other vehicles from the road way
- Call the police
- Exchange insurance and contact information with the other parties involved in the accident
- Get the contact info of any potential witnesses
- When the police arrive, give your explanation of what happened to the best of your ability
In the days after the accident:
- Even if you are not visibly or immediately injured, it is still advisable to visit a doctor and get checked out. Some injuries, such as whiplash, may be internal and can take some time to manifest.
- Be sure to get a copy of your doctor’s prognosis. This can be valuable evidence if you decide to pursue an injury claim later.
- Contact a personal injury attorney. Find a firm that offers free case evaluations, like Bloom Legal. You should speak to an attorney to learn about your options and whether you are eligible to compensation for your injuries.
- Do not discuss the case with any insurance company before speaking with a bicycle accident lawyer.
Bicycle Safety Suggestions from Our New Orleans Bicycle Accident Attorneys
Your mom was right: always wear a helmet when you ride! Make sure as well that your bike is equipped with lights. You should have a headlamp facing the front and a rear-facing light as well.
It may go without saying, but make sure your bike is in working order before you ride. Check that your brakes and lights are functioning, and check your tire pressure. It’s advisable to always carry a spare tube and the necessary tools for changing a tire whenever you ride. Just in case!
When riding, always adhere to normal traffic laws, as if you were driving a motor vehicle. Ride defensively and never ride on the wrong side or the wrong direction on a one-way.
One of the most common bicycle accidents is when a parked car opens their door and it collides with a passing biker. In New Orleans, many bike lanes run perpendicular to street parking spaces. Always remain alert when riding alongside parked cars, and look out for opening doors and drivers pulling into or out of a parking spot.
Our New Orleans Bicycle Accident Law Firm is Here for You
Don’t let a bicycle injury derail your life and well-being. Take matters into your own hands, and get the compensation you deserve. Call the New Orleans bicycle accident attorneys at Bloom Legal. We offer free case evaluations
For more information on the Louisiana Laws Related to Bicycling visit brgove.com. We can all work together to make a safe environment for bicyclists and cut down on bicyclist accidents.
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Posted By: Zachary Klos