Lafayette, LA Bicycle Accident Attorney

Bicyclists are at a significant deficit in terms of safety in a collision with a car. That is why many bicycle crash victims suffer devastating injuries that may affect them for quite a long time.

If you are suffering from an injury due to a Lafayette bicycle accident, finding an experienced lawyer can be an important step in your recovery. An attorney can manage the legal process, advocating for your best interests and seeking the compensation that you need to recover from injuries.

For over 25 years, the legal team at Galloway Jefcoat has guided many injured victims through the legal process. Our firm has a proven track record in recovering fair and full compensation. Founding member and partner Rusty Galloway has personally handled thousands of injury cases.

Contact a Lafayette bicycle accident lawyer at Galloway Jefcoat today. We offer a free initial consultation to discuss your potential legal options. We only get paid after we have helped you receive compensation.

Schedule a free case review today: 337-984-8020. Galloway Jefcoat: Turning Wrong Into Right.

How Do I Know If I Have a Case After a Bicycle Accident?

If you were injured by the negligence of another, you may have a case. Many bicycle accidents are caused by negligent drivers. For example, these accidents often occur at intersections because a driver failed to yield the right way. There are also dooring crashes, which occur when a driver fails to check for bicyclists before opening his or her door.

Other forms of driver negligence that may result in a bicycle accident include:

  • Unsafe lane changes
  • Distracted driving
  • Speeding
  • Running red lights and stop signs
  • Not leaving enough space when passing a bicyclist
  • Failing to check blind spots

Drivers are not used to checking for bicyclists, and it may be harder to see them at night or in inclement weather. However, drivers owe a duty of care to bicyclists, as drivers are required to share the road with cyclists, provided those cyclists are obeying the rules of the road. This means staying out of bicycle lanes and giving cyclists enough space when passing.

What Should I Do After a Bicycle Crash?

It is important to have documentation of the accident, such as a police report. The report not only helps prove there was an accident, but also that you suffered injuries. The report might also include statements from witnesses. You also need to seek medical attention immediately, as this helps connect your injuries to the accident.

After your injuries have been stabilized, you should consider contacting an experienced law firm like Galloway Jefcoat. We can review your situation to determine if there may be a case and the compensation that may be available. Proceeding without an attorney can make things more complicated than they need to be, especially while you are managing an injury.

An attorney can handle the insurance company and the other aspects of the process on your behalf, like:

  • Negotiating for a favorable settlement
  • Reviewing all your expenses to determine how much compensation you need
  • Preparing to go to court, if necessary

Our Lafayette bicycle accident attorneys are also available to answer clients’ questions and update them on what is happening with their case. We know this is a difficult time and regular communication with clients can help provide some peace of mind.

Crash victims who hire lawyers often recover more compensation than those who do not. When attempting to handle it by yourself, the insurance company is likely to try to settle for less than you need. They may delay your claim by doing an unnecessarily lengthy investigation and trying to have you fill out excessive paperwork. This is meant to make you anxious and more likely to agree to a low settlement offer.

Unsure if you have a case? Call Galloway Jefcoat:

What if I Was Not Wearing a Helmet During the Crash?

You should still be able to seek compensation if you were not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.

Louisiana does not require anyone over the age of 12 to wear a helmet while riding a bicycle, either as the operator or a passenger. If the police cite someone for failing to wear a helmet, the citation cannot be used as evidence of negligence.

The liable insurance company may say your failure to wear a helmet should reduce the value of your claim because you were more likely to suffer a severe injury. However, insurance companies must take injury victims as they find them. Even if you were more likely to get hurt, they are eligible to seek compensation.

Compensation for Lafayette Bicycle Crash Victims

If you have a valid case, you may be able to seek compensation from the at-fault driver’s liability insurance. Victims can seek compensation for a variety of damages, such as:

  • Medical costs, including future medical costs
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost enjoyment of life
  • And more

Galloway Jefcoat’s Lafayette bicycle accident lawyers are committed to securing full compensation for your damages and there are no upfront costs.

Louisiana State Laws for Bicyclists and Drivers

Louisiana has several laws to make the road safer for bicyclists:

  • Safe passing: An operator of a motor vehicle must maintain a safe distance of at least three feet when passing a bicyclist. Drivers also need to exercise caution until all their vehicle is past the bicyclist.
  • Harassing or taunting of riders: It is illegal to harass, taunt, or maliciously throw objects at or in the direction of any person riding a bicycle.
  • Treating bicyclists like drivers: Louisiana considers bicycles to be vehicles. That means a person riding a bicycle has all the rights and duties of the driver of a vehicle.
  • Dooring: It is against the law to open the door of a motor vehicle if it could endanger other people or vehicles. This includes bicycles.

If drivers breach a duty of care they owe to a bicyclist, they could be held liable for the resulting damages.

Bicyclists also have legal obligations under Louisiana law. For instance, our state requires bicyclists to ride as close to the right-hand edge of the road as is practical, except in these circumstances:

  • When passing another vehicle traveling in the same direction
  • When preparing for a left turn at an intersection or going into a private road or driveway
  • When a bicyclist needs to avoid unsafe conditions and going along the right-hand curb is seen as a danger
  • A cyclist can ride near the left curb or shoulder when preparing to make a left turn on a single-direction road with two lanes

If a rider is partially at fault because he or she broke a traffic law, he or she can still seek compensation for damages. However, the rider’s compensation may be reduced in proportion to the rider’s degree of fault.

That said, insurers like to assign too much fault to victims. That is why victims should consider hiring an experienced lawyer to manage their case.

What Injuries Frequently Occur During Bicycle Accidents?

Unlike drivers, bicyclists do not have the advantage of riding in a vehicle with a seat belt, air bag and construction that helps shield occupants from the force of impact. Therefore, they are more likely to suffer severe injuries that can have devastating consequences. SUVs and large trucks create an even higher risk of catastrophic injury when they collide with cyclists.

Some of these severe injuries include:

  • Head injuries
  • Road rash
  • Fractures
  • Soft-tissue injuries
  • Cuts and lacerations
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Internal injuries
  • Facial injuries
  • Nerve damage
  • Emotional trauma

While anyone can suffer a severe injury in a bicycle crash, children and the elderly may be at much higher risk. They tend to be more frail and injuries can cause more serious consequences.

After a bicycle accident, it is important to seek medical attention to assist with your recovery. No matter how minor an injury may seem, you should still see your doctor or visit a nearby emergency room. You may have a severe underlying injury that will get much worse in the hours and days that follow.

Safety Measures Bicyclist Should Take

Bicyclists should employ a variety of safety measures to reduce their risk of a crash or the risk of serious injuries in a crash, including:

  • Wearing a helmet
  • Following traffic rules
  • Using lights and reflectors
  • Checking your bike
  • Using hand signals
  • Riding in the same direction as traffic
  • Being aware of blind spots
  • Avoiding distractions
  • Being cautious at intersections
  • Using bike lanes

Contact Our Lafayette Bicycle Accident Lawyers

Managing a legal case on your own while recovering from a bicycle injury can quickly become daunting. Many victims can greatly benefit from hiring a licensed bicycle accident attorney who knows Louisiana law. At Galloway Jefcoat, we have been helping victims turn wrong into right for more than two decades, obtaining compensation for medical costs and other damages.

We know that dealing with insurance companies can get complicated as they often try to stall, devalue and deny claims. If you have any questions to determine if you have a potential case, reach out to our firm for a free and confidential consultation. There are no upfront costs. We only receive payment for our services after successfully obtaining a settlement.

Call to discuss your potential options: 337-984-8020.