While cycling is a great way to enjoy the outdoors, it is not without risk. When a bicyclist collides with a motor vehicle, outcomes can be catastrophic and even fatal.
When you or a loved one are struck while riding a bike, contacting a local personal injury attorney should be a top priority. The dedicated Prairieville bicycle accident lawyers at Tomeny | Best could help you secure the compensation you need and deserve.
Frequent Causes of Bicycle Accidents
Drivers and cyclists must co-exist on the roads, and drivers are not always as aware of bicycles as they should be. Bikes can be easy to overlook when a driver is not paying attention. Accidents can happen when a motorist passes too closely, cuts off a bike while turning, or opens their door into an oncoming bicycle. A negligent driver who causes a bike accident is liable for the damages a cyclist endures.
Sometimes road conditions cause bicycle accidents. Potholes or damaged roads, obstructed sightlines, malfunctioning traffic signals, intersections without stop signs, and poorly designed roads could pose a hazard to someone riding a bicycle. In such cases, the local government responsible for maintaining the road where the wreck occurred could have premises liability for a bike accident.
Defects in a bicycle or one of its components can also lead to accidents. When a defective bicycle part contributes to an accident, a Prairieville attorney could pursue compensation from the manufacturer, distributor, or retailer.
Laws Governing Bicycling in Prairieville
Sharing the roads with motor vehicles can be risky, but cyclists can minimize risk by complying with local laws pertaining to bike riding. Louisiana Revised Statute §32:197 directs cyclists on roads without designated bike lanes to stay as far to the right as possible unless turning left. Riders may join the traffic lane if necessary to avoid obstructions, road hazards, animals, or pedestrians. Cyclists may not ride more than two side by side unless they are on a path or lane designated for bicycles. Cars and trucks passing bicycles traveling in the same direction must leave ample clearance between the vehicle and the bicycle. Under Louisiana Revised Statute §76.1, three feet should be the minimum safe distance when a vehicle passes a bicycle.
State law also requires bicycle helmets only for children 12 and under. Adults are legally free to ride without a helmet, but doing so is unwise, as helmets reduce the risk of catastrophic head and facial injuries. A cyclist who does not wear a helmet could be partially liable if they suffer injuries in a crash that a helmet might have prevented. A knowledgeable local lawyer could further explain local bike accident laws in more detail and help an injured biker determine their legal rights.
Pure Comparative Negligence Protects Careless Riders
Although drivers are usually responsible for striking bikers, bicyclists also sometimes take unnecessary risks or fail to follow traffic laws. When a negligent cyclist suffers injuries in an accident, state law still allows them to collect damages from other negligent parties.
Louisiana follows the doctrine of pure comparative negligence, meaning each party to an accident is responsible for the results of their conduct. For example, a cyclist who was 10 percent responsible for a crash could collect 90 percent of the maximum available damages.
Insurance companies often use comparative negligence principles to minimize the amount they must pay to settle an accident claim. A tenacious Prairieville lawyer could fight to ensure that an insurance company does not assign excessive fault for an accident to the cyclist.
Schedule a Free Consultation With A Prairieville Bicycle Accident Attorney
Cycling crashes usually result from someone else’s negligence. If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a bike wreck, you should be able to hold the negligent parties liable for your losses.
Our dedicated Prairieville bicycle accident lawyers are familiar with how these cases play out and could provide diligent advocacy until you receive the compensation you deserve. Contact our team at Tomeny | Best Injury Lawyers to get started on your case.