Bicycle Accidents

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Baton Rouge Bicycle Accident Lawyer

These days, many Louisiana residents are choosing bicycles for their transportation needs. With concerns over gas prices, heavy traffic, and the impact of traditional motor vehicles on the environment, many have decided to change the way they travel to save themselves the trouble. However, while more people are opting to use bicycles for their commute, many drivers may not look out for bicyclists on the road, leading to dangerous collisions. If you or a loved one have been the victim of a bicycle accident, you want an experienced bicycle injury attorney on your side.

At The Law Offices of Ossie Brown, we are dedicated to helping you receive the legal compensation you deserve. Our law firm can provide the legal representation you need to get maximum compensation for your injuries. We offer free initial consultations, so there’s no financial risk to you. Call us today at 225-343-1111 to get a team of qualified bike accident attorneys working on your case.

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How Many Bicycle Accidents Happen in the U.S. Every Year?

Nearly 1,000 bike riders are killed in motor vehicle crashes every year, and over 130,000 are injured. With only a helmet to protect them, many bike riders are vulnerable road users. Bicycle rides account for only 1% of trips in the U.S., but cyclists account for 2% of motor vehicle deaths every year. This disproportionate statistic shows the danger that negligent drivers pose to cyclists.

Although many drivers in Baton Rouge know how to share the road with cyclists, not every driver is so careful. If you or someone you love sustained injuries in a bicycle crash, you have legal options available. A bicycle lawyer from the Law Offices of Ossie Brown can help you recover compensation for your injuries. We have helped many injured cyclists get the resources they need to heal from their serious injuries. With Louisiana being on the list of most dangerous states for bicyclists, cyclists in our state need premier legal representation.

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Bicyclists Face Higher Risks in Louisiana

Everyone would like to believe in a world where drivers operate by the rules of the road and pay close attention to their surroundings. Sadly, this is not the case. Many Louisiana drivers fail to look out for cyclists on the road. And, some may even be hostile towards cyclists, believing that they shouldn’t have to share the road. This results in motor vehicle crashes that have drastic consequences.

Because cars are much larger and heavier than bicycles, collisions involving the two can often be catastrophic. While motorists are protected by a cage of metal, cyclists are far more vulnerable in an accident, even when they are wearing the proper safety equipment. Louisiana has the third highest death rate of cyclists per capita. In 2021, 35 bicycle fatalities and 541 injuries were recorded in our state. Nationwide, cyclist fatalities have quadrupled for riders over the age of 20 since 1975.

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Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents

Bicycle riders face a huge disadvantage in an accident with a motor vehicle. Motor vehicles are bigger, faster, and significantly heavier than bicycles. Motor vehicles also have blind spots that cyclists can get lost in. When you mix these factors with distracted, inattentive, or aggressive drivers, the consequences can be severe.

No matter what caused your bike accident, you can trust the team at The Law Offices of Ossie Brown to help you recover compensation for your injuries. A personal injury lawyer can keep your best interests in mind and help you get the resources you need to recover. Below, we list some of the common causes of bike accidents in Louisiana.

Distracted driving causes hundreds of thousands of accidents every year. It’s hard enough for drivers to notice another car, but they often overlook cyclists completely. Distracted driving includes texting, talking to other passengers, talking on the phone, messing with the radio, applying makeup, and eating while driving. Anything that takes the driver’s attention off the road can lead to a serious accident. Even while the car isn’t moving, inattentive drivers can open the door in front of a bicyclist and cause serious injuries.

Some Louisiana motorists act aggressively towards cyclists. Many people don’t want to share the road with bicyclists or don’t believe they have to share. Aggressive drivers often try to force cyclists off the road or onto sidewalks. Aggressive driving includes driving too closely, not giving the cyclist the proper clearance, yelling, honking, or throwing objects at the cyclist. Aggressive driving can quickly spiral into road rage. The injuries caused by this can result in severe harm to the bicyclist.

Most bicycle crashes occur between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m., which is often during dusk. Low visibility can cause other drivers to overlook bicyclists, especially if the drivers are looking out for headlights and brake lights instead of cyclists. Weather conditions can also decrease visibility for drivers and cyclists. If unmaintained roads caused your accident, government agencies can be held responsible for your injuries.

Common Types of Bicycle Accidents

While some areas of Baton Rouge have dedicated bike lanes, some areas aren’t as clearly marked. At The Law Offices of Ossie Brown, we know that bike accidents can happen in many different ways and have many different causes. Our attorneys perform a thorough investigation to determine the cause of your bike accident. Some of the more common types of bicycle accidents we investigate are listed below. 

Car dooring accidents happen when drivers and passengers exit the vehicle before checking to see if the area is clear. This type of accident is more common in downtown Baton Rouge and New Orleans where there is an abundance of street parking.

Hook accidents can be left-hook accidents or right-hook accidents. These collisions happen when the driver turns into the path of an oncoming cyclist. Right hook collisions occur when a vehicle on the same side of the street as the cyclist turns right without checking for cyclists. In this scenario, the vehicle can hit the cyclist directly or make the cyclist run into the side of the vehicle. A left hook accident is also called a left cross accident.

Like hook accidents, cross accidents can be left or right, depending on the circumstances of the collision. A left cross (also called a left hook) happens when an oncoming vehicle makes a left turn, passing through the cyclist’s lane. This accident can happen when a car in the same lane as the cyclist blocks the oncoming car’s view of the cyclist. A right cross accident happens most often when cars are pulling out of driveways or side streets.

Many accidents can happen when motor vehicles drivers fail to give cyclists proper right of way on the road. Many drivers only check for other vehicles instead of being aware of cyclists. Cyclists have the same rights as motorists, but many drivers think that cyclists always have to yield.

biking accident

Common Bicycle Accident Injuries

A bike crash can cause several serious injuries, some of which can be life-threatening or lead to lasting consequences. Because of the large size discrepancy, bicyclists often end up with catastrophic injuries. Catastrophic injuries are injuries that have lasting physical or cognitive damage, like traumatic brain injuries or spinal cord damage. Common bicycle accident injuries include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Broke bones
  • Spinal cord damage
  • Lacerations and bruises
  • Road rash
  • Internal organ damage
  • Amputation

Who is At Fault in a Bicycle Accident?

Unfortunately, because bike accidents can be so severe, many drivers and insurance companies may be quick to blame the injured bicyclist. Insurance companies may also try to settle these claims with a lowball figure that may not even cover your damages, or they might not offer a settlement at all. If you are a victim of a cycling accident, you don’t want to be left to handle it by yourself. This is why you need a trusted bicycle crash attorney working for you. Liable parties we pursue in bicycle accident claims include:

  • Negligent drivers
  • Government entities
  • Other cyclists
  • Manufacturers

Louisiana Comparative Fault Laws

Even if you are found partially responsible, you could still be entitled to compensation. The bicycle crash attorney at The Law Offices of Ossie Brown understands the complexities of Louisiana bike laws, and they are ready to use that knowledge to help you with your case. This can include developing a sound strategy and using a detail-oriented approach to gather the evidence needed to strengthen your legal claim. Louisiana follows a pure comparative fault doctrine, which means you can recover compensation for your injuries unless you were 99% or more at fault for the accident. A jury determines the percentage of fault in accident cases and your compensation award is lessened by the percentage you are found at fault. If a jury determines that you are 5% responsible for your injuries, your compensation award is lessened by 5%.

Louisiana Bicycle Law

Many motorists who are unfamiliar with Louisiana bike laws may wrongfully believe that bike riders have to use the sidewalk. Louisiana state law leaves sidewalk ordinances up to individual cities. In Baton Rouge, cyclists cannot use the sidewalk in business districts and certain posted areas. Bike riders have as much right to the road as motorists do. Louisiana bike law states that children under 12 have to wear a helmet when riding a bicycle, but adults and teenagers can make their own decision regarding bicycle safety equipment. This means that you can still recover compensation from your injuries, even if you weren’t wearing a helmet.

Bicycle Accident Damages

Bicycle accidents can cause serious injuries, which often results in expensive medical treatment. Many people simply don’t have the financial resources to handle sudden and expensive medical bills. The negligent driver’s insurance company may blame you for the accident or try to offer a bare-minimum settlement. This is when working with an experienced bicycle crash attorney can help. It may be tempting to accept their offer to get some immediate financial relief, but it’s often impossible to know the full extent of your injuries until some time has passed. Don’t accept a check before you’ve talked to us. Our bike lawyers can fight for fair compensation for your injuries. At The Law Offices of Ossie Brown, our bike attorneys seek compensation for:

  • Medical expenses
  • Property damage
  • Lost wages and future earnings
  • Permanent disability
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment in life
  • Loss of consortium
  • Funeral and burial expenses, if the accident resulted in wrongful death

Our attorneys can even help you obtain compensation for non-economic damages like pain and suffering and mental anguish as well. Non-economic damages are harder to quantify than economic damages like medical bills. Working with the experienced attorneys at The Law Offices of Ossie Brown can ensure that you get the maximum compensation for your injuries. Working with our dedicated team also ensures that you meet all the legal deadlines for your bicycle accident claim.

Louisiana Statute of Limitations for Bicycle Accidents

Louisiana has a statute of limitation of one year for personal injury cases. This means that injured bicyclists only have one year to pursue a personal injury lawsuit to recover compensation for their injuries. The legal system sets this deadline for personal injury claims to preserve evidence and prevent frivolous lawsuits. Unfortunately, this time can pass by before you know it, especially if you are recovering from an extensive injury. Working with the independent bicycle accident attorneys at The Law Offices of Ossie Brown can help you meet all the legal deadlines in your case. We have plenty of experience with bicycle accident claims, so we are familiar with all aspects of the law.

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Call a Baton Rouge Bicycle Injury Attorney at the Law Offices of Ossie Brown

When it comes to making your case, contacting the bike lawyers at our law firm as soon as possible could give you the advantage. Our personal injury lawyers have an excellent track record of representing Louisiana bicyclists who have been injured in traffic accidents, and we are ready to fight for you. Let the right bicycle accident attorney help you find legal relief. Call us at 225-343-1111 or contact us online for a free case evaluation.

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