According to the American Community Survey, more than 5,600 people commute to work by bicycle each day in the New Orleans metro area. The Big Easy is generally considered to be a fairly bike-friendly city, with over 100 miles of designated bike lanes.
Unfortunately, in spite of the state’s efforts to make cycling safer for residents, those who ride their bike in Louisiana may still be at risk of being involved in a bicycle accident with other cyclists or motorists. Statewide, 895 bicyclists were involved in bike crashes last year, resulting in nearly 700 injuries and 19 deaths.
Those injured in a bike accident through no fault of their own may be entitled to compensation. Contact a Louisiana bicycle accident attorney for more information regarding bike accident cases.
What Causes Bike Accidents in Louisiana?
In populous cities like New Orleans and Baton Rouge, bicyclists have to contend with traffic congestion regularly, including drivers who may violate bike laws. Although bike accidents are sometimes caused by cyclist error, in many cases the fault lies with the motorist.
Here are some of the most common causes of bicycle accidents in Louisiana:
- Distracted or reckless driving
- Driving too closely
- Excessive speeding
- Opening car doors
- Merging errors
What Are Common Bike Accident Injuries?
Bicycle accidents can result in anything from scrapes and bruises to life-changing traumatic brain injuries, even while wearing protective gear such as a helmet. In severe cases, bike accident injuries can lead to wrongful death. Some of the most common bike accident injuries in Louisiana include:
- Head trauma
- Road rash
- Facial fractures and contusions
- Broken and dislocated bones
- Rib fractures and lung injury
- Internal bleeding
- Pelvic fractures
Who Can Be Held Liable for a Bike Accident?
Several major factors come into focus when determining who is liable for a bike accident. Sometimes this may include the driver, the bicyclist, or the city (if the accident occurred due to poorly maintained roads, for example).
Reconstructing the scene of a bike accident and the series of contributing events can be a difficult process, but liability often boils down to three major points:
- Bicycle Laws: In Louisiana, bicycles are treated the same as any other motor vehicle. This means bicyclists must obey all applicable traffic laws. It also means that bicyclists are legally permitted to drive in any traffic lane, even those outside of a bike lane. (However, it is important to note that cyclists are required to ride as close as possible to the right-hand side of the traffic lane or bike lane unless they are passing another bike or vehicles, turning left, or avoiding obstacles in their path)
- Appropriate Passing Space: Motor vehicles are required to give bicyclists at least three feet of space at all times. Bicyclists are not required to slow down or stop for vehicles behind them. It is the driver’s responsibility to stop or slow down until it is safe to pass a cyclist.
- Right-of-Way: Many bike accidents occur at intersections when a vehicle is turning right while a bicyclist is going straight through the intersection. Right-of-way becomes an important issue in these types of accident claims. Motorists are almost always held liable for right turn accidents.
Do I Need An Louisiana Bicycle Accident Attorney?
By enlisting a Louisiana bicycle accident attorney as soon as possible after an accident, you can ensure that your lawyer is able to gather all the necessary details to accurately reconstruct the accident and prove the driver’s liability in court.
If you have been seriously injured, you may not be up to the task of gathering important documents related to your accident claim, including medical bills, accident reports, and witness statements.
At Mike Brandner Injury Attorneys, we can do all of this on your behalf in order to expedite the resolution of your case. Our legal team can also help you obtain compensation beyond just hospital bills, including pain and suffering, lost wages, loss of consortium, and more.
Contact a Louisiana bicycle accident attorney today by calling one of the numbers below:
You can also visit us at our Metairie office during regular business hours or by appointment in Hammond, Shreveport, or Baton Rouge. Live agents are standing by if you’d like to chat with us online, or you can submit your case details through our secure contact form.