Bicycle Accident Lawyer
Cyclists are at greater risk of suffering serious injury or death when involved in auto accidents. Bicycles and the equipment worn by riders simply can’t withstand impacts from vehicles. Serious injuries are highly likely following any collision with a car.
Last year, in Louisiana, 703 people were injured and 21 died in bicycle/motor vehicle accidents. According to Governing magazine, Louisiana had the second highest bicycle deaths per capita in recent years. In 2015, 45,000 cyclists were injured and 818 were killed in the United States due to bicycle/motor vehicle accidents.
Every year more people are using bicycles to commute, especially in cities. New Orleans ranks as the 5th highest city for bike commuters in the United States. Ironically, urban roadways are the most dangerous for cyclists. 70% of bicycle fatalities occur in cities, with 35% occurring at intersections.
DECREASING YOUR RISKS
A head injury causes the highest risk of death and disability to cyclists. Wearing a properly fitted helmet can help protect you when riding. Bicycle helmet laws have been shown to effectively reduce crash-related injuries and deaths, especially among children.
Other effective interventions that have shown to reduce injuries are active lighting and rider visibility. Florescent and retro-reflective clothing can make bicyclists more visible from further away. Active lighting can include front white lights, rear red lights, or other lights on the bicycle or cyclist.
All States require bicyclists to follow the same rules as motorists. Drive defensively and stay focused and alert. Assume other drivers don’t see you. Anticipate what others may do before they do it. Drive with the flow and in the same direction as traffic. Always obey street signs, signals, and road markings.
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BICYCLE ACCIDENTS CAN CAUSE SERIOUS INJURIES.Call The Law Offices of L. Clayton Burgess Today!
COMMON BICYCLE/MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENTS
The two most common types of bicycle/motor vehicle accidents are:
- Left-hand turns: A vehicle turns left directly into a cyclist’s path. Motorists usually don’t see the cyclist until it’s too late to avoid an accident.
- Right-hand turns: When a vehicle and bicyclist are traveling parallel to each other and the vehicle makes a right turn into the cyclist.
- Dooring: A vehicle’s door is opened into the path of a cyclist. Louisiana has specific laws concerning vehicle doors. Drivers must ensure that opening their door does not interfere with the movement of traffic. Opening a car door can not endanger any other person or vehicle. Doors of a motor vehicle must only be open long enough to load or unload passengers.
- Riding on sidewalks: Drivers often don’t see cyclists when they are traveling on a sidewalk. Vehicles pulling into or out of drive ways or parking lots can collide with bicyclists.
- Cyclists can operate on sidewalks unless prohibited by official traffic-control devices.
- Bicyclists have the same rights as pedestrians on sidewalks, but must yield to pedestrians. It is important to note that statics show it is more dangerous for bicyclists to ride on sidewalks than on roadways.
- A motor vehicle overtaking a bicycle cannot pass with less than 3 feet of clearance.
- Motor vehicle operators should exercise due care and leave a safe distance of 3 feet. They must maintain such clearance until safely past the bicycle.
- Use signals just as you would if driving a vehicle.
- Pedestrians have the right of way.
- Obey all traffic laws, signs, and lights.
- Always ride with traffic as near to the right side of the road as possible. Stay on the right unless preparing for a left turn or avoiding a hazard.
- Cyclists may ride no more than 2 abreast.
- It is unlawful to harass, taunt, or maliciously throw objects at or in the direction of bicycle riders.
- No motor vehicles should operate in a bicycle lane. Although, exceptions for this rule can include when exiting and entering driveways, preparing for right turns, or emergencies.
- Bicycles must be equipped with a front white light and rear red light when operated between sunset and sunrise.
COMPENSATION FOR DAMAGE
If you have been involved in a bicycle/motor vehicle accident there are steps you should take to ensure you are compensated for any damage. No matter how mild you may think the accident is, call the police. Don’t admit any fault or apologize. Take as many pictures as possible. Get the names and information of any witnesses. Make sure the police get your statement. See a doctor even if you don’t think you have injuries. Adrenaline can often mask any injuries after an accident. Keep documentation of any expenses and time off of work or school.
Contact a personal injury attorney. The attorneys and staff at The Law Offices of L. Clayton Burgess will file a claim with the driver’s insurance company and help you to receive compensation for your losses and injuries.
If you were the victim of an accident, Call The Law Offices of L. Clayton Burgess Today!
Sources: BikeLaw.com; BikeLafayette.org