Baton Rouge Bicycle Accident Attorneys
Bicycle Accident Lawsuit Representation
Motorists have an obligation to share the road with bicyclists. In fact, bicycles are considered “vehicles” under Louisiana law, and cyclists are afforded all the same legal protections and responsibilities as drivers of traditional motor vehicles. Unfortunately, many drivers are nevertheless hostile to cyclists, leading to the type of carelessness and negligence that can cause disastrous collisions.
If you were injured by a negligent driver while riding your bicycle, our team at Chris Corzo Injury Attorneys is ready to fight to put you back on top. Our firm’s track record speaks for itself: We have recovered billions of dollars for thousands of clients and are ready to put our experience to work for you. Our Baton Rouge bicycle accident lawyers will be available to you 24/7 and frequently take these cases on a contingency basis, meaning you pay nothing unless we win. Driven by our Christian values, we genuinely care about each of our clients and will fight to protect your interests in and out of the courtroom.
Common Causes of Bicycling Accidents in Louisiana
Bicyclists must share the road with drivers who do not always exercise the best judgment. It does not help that Louisiana has not historically invested in bicycling infrastructure, meaning there are generally fewer bike lanes and other safety-improving measures than other states. This forces cyclists to ride on roads that are not necessarily designed to accommodate multiple simultaneous modes of transportation.
Bicycle accidents in Louisiana are often caused by:
- Drivers failing to keep a safe distance. Motorists must maintain at least three feet of space from bicycles. If they veer too close, drivers and bicyclists do not have enough time to respond to each other to avoid a crash.
- Drivers traveling too fast. Drivers who are not obeying the speed limit will have less time to respond to bicyclists who may enter their path.
- Drivers failing to signal or follow traffic rules. Motorists are obligated to follow the rules of the road, meaning they must signal before changing lanes and halt their vehicles at stops signs and lights. Failing to honor these rules can result in collisions with all types of vehicles, including bicycles.
- Drivers opening their car doors without looking. Many bicyclists stay to the right of the road to allow traffic behind them to more easily pass. Inevitably, this places bicyclists near parked cars. A dangerous collision can occur when a motorist opens their car’s door without checking to see if a bicycle is approaching.
- Distracted driving. Drivers should keep their attention on the road when they are behind the wheel. Texting while driving or engaging in other distracting activities can lead to motorists failing to notice nearby bicyclists, especially at night.
- Intoxicated driving. A motorist operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is behaving negligently by default and is more likely to cause a crash.
Bicyclists can limit the possibility of a collision by installing lights on their bicycle, wearing bright and reflective clothing, and using hand signals when turning or stopping. If you suffered injuries in a crash despite taking these precautions, our Baton Rouge bicycle accident attorneys can help you explore your legal options.
Common Injuries Caused by Bicycling Accidents in Louisiana
Bicyclists are inherently more prone to injury in an accident, especially if they are struck by a larger vehicle. Wearing a helmet can reduce the likelihood of catastrophic injuries, particularly brain injuries. However, it is not against the law to ride a bicycle without a helmet in Louisiana so long as you are at least 12 years old. Not wearing a helmet at the time of an accident will not prevent you from recovering damages.
Bicycle accident victims can suffer many types of serious injuries, including:
- Back injuries
- Bodily trauma
- Facial injuries
- Head injuries
- Spinal injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Wrongful death
Damages You Can Recover in a Louisiana Bicycle Accident Lawsuit
You should get legal advice as soon as you can after suffering injuries in a bicycling crash, as you only have one year from the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit in Louisiana. You will be barred from recovering damages if you do not bring a claim by this deadline. If someone dies in a bicycling accident, qualifying family members can file a wrongful death lawsuit within one year of the victim’s passing.
A bicycle accident lawsuit may not necessarily require a trial if a fair settlement can be reached. We will make every effort to negotiate a monetary settlement that covers your losses, especially if it means avoiding a costly and drawn-out court battle. If the defendant refuses to make an acceptable offer, however, our team at Chris Corzo Injury Attorneys is more than ready to fight for you in court.
Our Baton Rouge bicycle accident lawyers will work to secure compensation for all applicable losses, including:
- Medical bills
- Lost income
- Reduced earning capacity
- Property damage
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
- Pain and suffering
Frequently Asked Questions about Bicycle Accidents in Louisiana
Where Do Bicycle Accidents Frequently Happen?
Some bicycle accidents will occur at intersections when a driver fails to signal before turning, fails to notice a cyclist, or runs a traffic light. Many collisions occur elsewhere, however.
Much of Louisiana’s roadways are not equipped with bicycle lanes, especially outside city centers. The bicycle lanes that do exist are not well-organized and often require cyclists to cross busy roadways and intersections without a dedicated, marked path. As a result, many bicycle accidents occur in areas without bicycling infrastructure, as drivers tend to sideswipe or hit cyclists when they share the road with them.
Bicycling accidents can also occur in more seemingly mundane areas, including parking lots. Drivers may not be checking behind them as they back out of parking spots, leading to low-speed (but still dangerous) collisions.
Many accidents occur in areas where bicyclists must ride alongside parked cars. If a driver inside a parked car does not realize a bicycle is approaching behind them, they may open their door into the biker’s path and cause a collision.
How Do You Prove Liability in a Bicycle Accident Lawsuit?
In Louisiana, bicycles are considered “vehicles” and are treated legally like cars or trucks. This distinction makes proving liability for an accident more straightforward. Bicyclists have the same rights and obligations as other drivers, and motorists owe them a duty of care whenever they share the road.
To prove liability, you will need to prove that the defendant owed you a duty of care, they breached that duty of care, the breach caused the bicycle accident, and the accident resulted in your sustaining injuries. If you and the defendant were both on the road, the driver owed you a duty of care by default under state law. They might breach the duty of care by driving recklessly, driving while intoxicated, or texted while driving. A lawyer can help you investigate and get the evidence you need to establish the breach and that it led to the accident.
What Happens If a Driver Flees after Hitting a Bicyclist?
If a driver collides with you and then speeds away without stopping, do everything you can to get the vehicle’s license plate. You should also try to remember the vehicle’s color, make, model, and any distinguishing features. Then, call the police. Report the hit-and-run and give them all of the information you have. Keep an eye out for any witnesses who may be able to help.
If you were able to catch the license plate, locating the offending driver should be a fairly uncomplicated process. If the police have limited information, they will likely look for the vehicle but may not be able to find it. Ask for updates regularly, but if the search does not yield any actionable results, you may have to rely on your own insurance coverage to partially absorb medical expenses and other losses. Unfortunately, you cannot bring a bicycle accident lawsuit if you are not certain of the hit-and-run driver’s identity.
Our Baton Rouge bicycle accident attorneys can help you become the victor, not the victim. Call (225) 230-3110 or contact us online to discuss your case with us today.
Rear-end: Chris’ client suffered head, neck, elbow, arm, wrist, rib, back, and leg injuries in a truck wreck in Pointe Coupee Parish.
Side-Swiped: Chris’ client suffered head, neck, and back injuries in a car wreck in East Baton Rouge Parish.
Rear-end: Chris’ client suffered headaches, neck, back, and various soft-tissue injuries in a truck wreck in Pointe Coupee Parish.