Louisiana Bicycle Accident Lawyers for Injured Cyclists

Louisiana Bicycle Accident Lawyer

Riding a bicycle is fun, improves mental and physical well-being, is convenient for getting around town, and is environmentally friendly. There are innumerable reasons why riding a bike is good for you and good for Louisiana. The estimated costs of traffic congestion are over $5 billion per year. More bikes and fewer cars on the road can reduce congestion and associated costs.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported nine-hundred-and-sixty-six bicycle-related fatalities throughout the U.S. in 2021. The Louisiana Highway Safety Commission said that in 2021, there were thirty-five bicycle-related fatalities and five hundred-and-four injuries in the Pelican State. Alcohol contributed to nearly seventeen percent of accidents involving bicycles.

When a car or truck strikes a bicycle, the bicyclist can suffer catastrophic or even fatal injuries while the driver of the car or truck often escapes unhurt. With hardly any protection for the bicycle rider, a devastating impact on another car, truck, or pavement can cause a wide range of debilitating, catastrophic injuries.

Catastrophic injuries are common in serious bicycle crashes. Common long-term injuries include brain or head injury, spinal cord damage, amputations, physical scars, and paralysis. Bicyclists may also suffer emotionally and psychologically from the trauma of a bike crash. 

A Louisiana bicycle accident attorney can assist injured parties with insurance claims and personal injury lawsuits after life-changing bicycle accidents. 

Laws For Bicyclists In Louisiana

Bicycles Are Treated As Vehicles In Louisiana

 In Louisiana, bicycles are considered vehicles according to the statute that defines vehicles. A bicyclist has all of the rights and duties of the driver of a vehicle as provided in Title 32 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes, except as to those provisions which by their nature can have no application. 

Vulnerable Road User Laws

 Louisiana does not define who is a “vulnerable road user.” Still, it protects bicyclists by providing that it is unlawful to harass, taunt, or maliciously throw objects at or in the direction of any person riding a bicycle. 

Safe Passing Laws

 Motorists in Louisiana, when overtaking and passing a bicycle proceeding in the same direction on the roadway, shall exercise due care while the motor vehicle is passing the bicycle and shall leave a safe distance between the motor vehicle and the bicycle of not less than three feet and shall maintain such clearance until safely past the overtaken bicycle. An operator of a motor vehicle may pass a bicycle traveling in the same direction in a no-passing zone only when it is safe to do so. 

Helmet Laws In Louisiana 

 Louisiana law requires that any person under the age of 12 riding a bicycle, as an operator or passenger, must wear a protective bicycle helmet. The issuance of a citation for failure to wear a required helmet shall not be prima facie evidence of negligence. The comparative negligence statutes of Louisiana shall apply in these cases as in all other cases of negligence.

Sidewalk Riding

 Louisiana does not have a statute that specifically authorizes or prohibits the operation of a bicycle on a sidewalk.

Dooring law

 Louisiana requires that no person open any door of a motor vehicle located on a highway without first taking precautions to ensure that this action does not interfere with the movement of traffic or endanger any other person or vehicle. In addition, no person shall leave open any door of a motor vehicle located on a highway for a while longer than necessary to load or unload passengers. 

Mandatory Use of Separated Facilities

 Louisiana does not require that bicyclists use any lane or path other than a normal vehicular traffic lane.

Where to Ride A Bicycle In Louisiana

 Louisiana requires that bicyclists ride as close as practicable to the right-hand edge of the roadway except under any of the following circumstances: 

· When overtaking and passing another bicycle or vehicle proceeding in the same direction;

· When preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway;

· When reasonably necessary to avoid conditions that make it unsafe to continue along the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway, including a lane that is too narrow for a bicycle and a vehicle to travel safely side by side within the lane;

· When approaching a place where a right turn is authorized and

· When operating upon a roadway or a highway, where there are two or more marked traffic lanes and traffic travels in only one direction, in which case a bicyclist may ride as near the left-hand curb or shoulder of that roadway as practicable when preparing for a left turn. 

Louisiana Is A Fault State

Louisiana operates under an at-fault system, which means individuals responsible for an accident are held accountable for the damages and injuries resulting from an accident. If a bicyclist is involved in a collision with a car or truck, and it is determined that the motorist is responsible for the accident, the driver’s insurance should cover the costs of the cyclist’s damages. The bicyclist’s policy can be used if they have personal injury protection as a part of their insurance. Typically, your insurance company will initially cover your damages and then seek reimbursement from the at-fault party’s insurer.

Comparative Negligence In Louisiana 

Comparative negligence is followed in the state of Louisiana. This means you can file a claim, but the amount of compensation you are to receive will be reduced based on the degree of fault attributed to you. For example, the judge determined that you bear ten percent (10%) of the blame for the injuries you suffered in the bicycle accident. If the jury were to award $500,000, the amount would be reduced by 10%, resulting in an actual award of $450,000.

Louisiana’s statute of limitations stipulates that an accident victim only has one year to file a personal injury lawsuit.

Bart Bernard Injury Lawyers: Upholding Legal Rights Of Vulnerable Road Users In Louisiana 

Proving liability is key in a bicycle accident lawsuit in Louisiana. The party that caused your accident and injuries will be financially responsible for your losses. Determining the liable party may take an investigation of your collision from a skilled bicycle accident lawyer in Louisiana. Proving negligence may include gathering evidence from the bicycle accident scene, interviewing witnesses, and hiring accident reconstruction experts. Other factors contributing to a crash include poor road conditions, inclement weather, or a bicycle defect.

At Bart Bernard Injury Lawyers, our Louisiana personal injury law firm, we have the experience, skill, and resources to help you build the most robust case against one or more defendants.

Trial-tested lawyers who confidently take a case to trial, whether before a judge or jury, enter into settlement negotiations with a significant advantage. If your lawsuit goes to trial, you want to avoid ending up in court with lawyers who can negotiate well but are lost when they have to present a case to a jury. 

Louisiana insurance companies know trial lawyers like attorney Bart Bernard eat, sleep, breathe, and live to go to trial. The only way to avoid crossing paths with them in court is to pay top dollar to resolve the case before trial.

If you or a loved one have suffered severe injuries and property damage in a bicycle accident in Louisiana, the personal injury attorneys at our law firm can protect you during insurance negotiations and demand fair compensation for your losses.

Contact us today to schedule a free consultation. 

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