Bicycle Accidents

Baton Rouge Bicycle Accident Attorneys

Call Now If You Were in a Bicycle Accident

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 motor vehicles. When a driver fails to safely share the road with a bicyclist and causes a bicycle accident, the injured cyclist has and should use the right to file an injury claim in pursuit of justice and compensation.

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 to fight for your maximized recovery, too. Our Baton Rouge bicycle accident lawyers are available 24/7 and frequently take these cases on a contingency basis, meaning you pay nothing unless we win. Driven by our Christian values and compassion, we genuinely care about each of our clients and will fight to protect your interests in and out of the courtroom.

Do not wait to schedule a free initial consultation if you were injured in a cycling accident. Call (225) 230-3110 or contact us online. We have offices in Baton Rouge and Gonzalez.

Common Causes of Bicycling Accidents in Louisiana

Louisiana has notoriously disorganized bicycling infrastructure, meaning there are generally fewer bike lanes and other safety-improving measures than other states. This situation forces cyclists to ride on roads that are not necessarily designed to accommodate them, which puts them in the direct path of larger vehicles. The result can be a disastrous bicycle accident if a motorist is not paying enough attention to the road and traffic around them.

Bicycle accidents in Louisiana are often caused by drivers who:

  • Fail 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.
  • Speed: Drivers who do not obey the speed limit have less time to respond to bicyclists or may stray out of their lanes when turning or following a curved road.
  • Fail to use signals: Motorists are obligated to follow the rules of the road, meaning they must signal before changing lanes and halt their vehicles at stop signs and lights. Failing to honor these rules can result in collisions with all types of vehicles, including bicycles. 
  • Open a car door without looking: Many bicyclists stay to the right of the road to allow traffic behind them to pass more easily. This maneuver places bicyclists near parked cars. An accident can occur when a motorist opens the car door without checking to see if a bicycle is approaching. 
  • Drive while distracted: 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. 
  • Drive while intoxicated: A motorist operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is likely to cause a crash and less likely to see a bicyclist sharing the road with them due to the small size of their vehicle. 

Bicyclists can reduce the risk of a collision by installing lights on their bicycles, 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 Bicycle Accident Injuries

Bicyclists are at a high risk of serious injuries if they are struck by a vehicle. Wearing a helmet can reduce the likelihood of catastrophic injuries, particularly brain injuries, but they can only do so much, especially when considering the likelihood of serious non-head injuries.

Bicycle accident victims can suffer many types of serious injuries, including:

At Chris Corzo Injury Attorneys, our Baton Rouge bicycle accident lawyers can help if you have lost a loved one in a fatal bicycle accident. We bring our extensive experience, true compassion, and Christian values to every case we take. With our help, you can seek justice for your loved one and pursue your financial security, all while also allowing yourself the time to grieve because we are handling the case.

Who is At Fault in a Bicycle Accident?

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 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 texting while driving.

Evidence that our attorneys might be able to use to prove liability in your case includes:

  • Police reports: The official report from a police officer responding to the accident can provide crucial information about what happened, including details about the involved parties, the location and time of the accident, and any citations issued at the scene.
  • Witness statements: Testimonies from people who witnessed the accident can provide an objective account of what happened, which can be instrumental in establishing fault.
  • Photographs or videos: Visual evidence from the scene of the accident, including damage to the bicycle and other vehicles involved, skid marks, road conditions, and traffic signs, can provide critical insight into what the driver did wrong.
  • Medical records: Documentation from healthcare providers can establish a link between the accident and the injuries sustained. Everything from emergency room records and doctor's notes to rehabilitation treatment plans can be useful.
  • Accident reconstruction expert testimony: Accident reconstruction specialists can recreate the accident using physical evidence and witness testimonies to show how the accident occurred and who is at fault. Their expert opinion can carry significant weight in a legal case.

Louisiana Bicycle Laws

In Louisiana, bicycles must be equipped with durable brakes, a lamp that can illuminate up to 500 feet, lights on the back to increase visibility, and red reflectors placed around the bike. Bicyclists are legally required to use various handle signals when turning, slowing down, or pulling away from the curb, too. By following these basic bicycle laws, you can help protect your health and potentially limit your liability if a bicycle accident occurs.

Where Do Bicycle Accidents Frequently Happen?

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, especially at busy intersections. Parking lots and residential areas also see a proportionally high rate of bicycle accidents in some regions of Louisiana, so bicyclists and motorists alike need to always be careful and responsible when on the road.

What Happens If a Driver Flees After Hitting a Bicyclist?

If a driver hits you and 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 to report the hit-and-run and give them all the information you have. With some luck, the police will be able to make an arrest so you can file an injury and/or insurance claim against the right party. If they are never identified, you can talk to our attorneys about possibly filing a first-party insurance claim with your own insurance provider.

What Should I Do After a Bicycle Accident?

If you’re ever in a bicycle accident, you should follow these steps:

  1. Ensure your safety: Move to a safe location away from traffic and check on others if it is safe to do so.
  2. Call for help: Dial 911 immediately. Even if injuries seem minor, it's important to have a medical evaluation as some injuries may not be immediately apparent.
  3. Report the accident: When the police arrive, give them a detailed account of what happened. Be sure to get a copy of the police report.
  4. Document the scene: Take photos or videos of the accident scene if you can, including your injuries, damage to your bicycle, the vehicle involved, and any relevant road conditions or traffic signs.
  5. Gather information: Get the contact and insurance information from the driver involved in the accident and contact details of any witnesses.
  6. Seek medical attention: Visit a healthcare professional for a thorough check-up following the accident, even if you feel fine. This step will ensure any injuries are treated and documented.
  7. Contact a bicycle accident lawyer: Reach out to our firm as soon as you can. We can guide you through the process of creating a claim and seeking compensation.
  8. Do not discuss the accident: Avoid discussing the accident details with anyone other than your lawyer because anything you say could be used against you later.
  9. Keep a record: Maintain a record of any expenses related to the accident, including medical bills, repair costs for your bike, and any lost wages due to time off work.

Process of Filing a Bicycle Accident Claim in Louisiana

At Chris Corzo Injury Attorneys, we’re committed to making your bicycle accident claim as stress-free as possible. Let us handle every step of the claims process, so you can stay focused on yourself, your family, and your recovery.

Five basic but important steps of a bicycle accident claim in Louisiana are:

  1. Investigation: The first step is usually a thorough investigation into the accident, which will include gathering all relevant evidence such as photos from the scene, medical records, and witness statements. Our attorneys can help conduct this investigation, ensuring no critical details are overlooked.
  2. Writing and sending a demand letter: We can calculate your damages and write a demand letter to send to the liable party. This demand letter gives the liable party a chance to provide the compensation before any legal steps become necessary.
  3. Filing a claim: If the demand letter is not accepted by the liable party, we can file a claim with the correct court. This step initiates official legal action and must be done before Louisiana’s one-year statute of limitations expires.
  4. Attempting to negotiate: If possible, we will attempt to negotiate a settlement with the defendant. When this step is successful, the plaintiff and defendant both benefit from not needing to go to trial.
  5. Litigating: For some cases, litigation is necessary. Our attorneys can represent you in court, and we always prepare each case with the details and deliberateness as if it is headed to trial, even if we think a settlement negotiation could be successful.

Compensation Available for Bicycle Accident Claims

Our Baton Rouge bicycle accident lawyers 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 is more than ready to fight for you in court. It’s all part of how Chris Corzo Injury Attorneys prioritizes your satisfaction as our client. Our Christian values mean we see you as a friend and neighbor in need, not just a case number.

Losses that might be compensable in your bicycle accident claim could include:

  • Economic: You can be compensated for your medical expenses, lost wages, out-of-pocket expenses for miscellaneous losses, and even the cost to repair or replace your bicycle.
  • Non-economic: You can demand compensation for intangible harm, such as your pain, suffering, traumatization, loss of independence, etc.

Statute of Limitations for Bicycle Accidents in Louisiana

You only have one year from the date of an accident to file a personal injury lawsuit in Louisiana, which applies to bicycle accident claims. 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.

Ready to Start a Case? Call Now

At Chris Corzo Injury Attorneys, we believe in the power of compassion and integrity in our practice. Rooted in Christian values, we genuinely care for all people from all walks of life, and we are committed to providing you with the utmost respect and attention in your time of need. Our experienced Baton Rouge bicycle accident attorneys understand the complexities of injury claims in Louisiana and can tirelessly fight for your rights. We strongly advise reaching out to us as early as possible in your case because doing so allows us to gather crucial evidence, navigate legal deadlines, and build a compelling claim on your behalf more easily. Let us stand by your side today in this important pursuit of justice.

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.

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  • Truck Wreck

    Rear-end: Chris’ client suffered head, neck, elbow, arm, wrist, rib, back, and leg injuries in a truck wreck in Pointe Coupee Parish.

  • Car Wreck

    Side-Swiped: Chris’ client suffered head, neck, and back injuries in a car wreck in East Baton Rouge Parish.

  • Truck Wreck

    Rear-end: Chris’ client suffered headaches, neck, back, and various soft-tissue injuries in a truck wreck in Pointe Coupee Parish.