In a city with heavy vehicle traffic, drivers don’t always anticipate sharing the road with cyclists. This is one reason why cyclists need to be on high alert when riding in the city. However, if you were injured while riding, a Baton Rouge bicycle accident lawyer can be a valuable advocate to have on your side.
A dedicated personal injury attorney can help you hold the negligent driver responsible and seek financial compensation. You shouldn’t have to pay for someone else’s negligence, so let a legal advisor handle your case while you focus on healing.
The Risks Cyclists Face in Baton Rouge
Although the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Council has taken cycling into greater consideration in recent years, bike riders still face the risk of collision even on remote roads like River Road. Drivers who fail to yield, speed, drive while distracted, or merge too quickly are all at risk of hitting individuals on bikes.
Long-Term Damage from Bicycle Accidents
Depending on the severity of a bike wreck, the resulting injuries may have lasting effects, including:
- Internal bleeding
- Organ punctures
- Brain damage
While some cyclists have walked away from accidents with minor cuts and bruises, negligent driving poses a huge risk with serious physical consequences.
Bicycle accidents can result in long-term damage and lasting consequences for the individuals involved. The specific long-term effects can vary depending on the severity and nature of the accident, but several common types of long-term damage can occur.
Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs) are a significant concern in bicycle accidents, especially if the rider was not wearing a helmet or the impact was severe. TBIs can lead to long-term cognitive impairments, memory problems, difficulty concentrating, mood changes, and even permanent disability.
Spinal cord injuries can also have long-lasting effects. Depending on the location and severity of the injury, a cyclist may experience partial or complete paralysis, loss of sensation, muscle weakness, or other physical limitations. These injuries can significantly impact a person’s mobility and overall quality of life.
Orthopedic injuries, such as fractures, dislocations, or joint injuries, can result in chronic pain, reduced range of motion, and the potential need for long-term medical treatment or rehabilitation. Joint injuries, such as those affecting the knees, hips, or shoulders, can lead to arthritis or ongoing joint problems.
Soft tissue injuries, such as ligament tears, sprains, or strains, can cause chronic pain, reduced flexibility, and instability in the affected area. These injuries may require ongoing physical therapy or even surgical intervention to alleviate symptoms.
Psychological effects are also common after a bicycle accident, particularly if it was traumatic or resulted in severe injuries. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues can persist long after the physical injuries have healed.
In addition to the physical and psychological consequences, long-term damage from bicycle accidents can also have significant financial implications. Medical expenses, ongoing rehabilitation, loss of income due to inability to work, and the need for assistive devices or modifications to living spaces can create a substantial financial burden for the injured individual.
It is crucial for individuals who have experienced a bicycle accident and are facing long-term damage to seek comprehensive medical care, rehabilitation, and support services. Consulting with a bike accident attorney can help in understanding potential avenues for compensation or insurance claims to assist in managing the long-term consequences of the accident.
Information Cyclists Should Know
Some key areas a dedicated bike accident lawyer in Baton Rouge can help you navigate are cyclist rights, at-fault liability, and damages that could be recovered after the bicycle accident.
Bike Laws in Baton Rouge
State bicycle laws requires bicyclists to ride in groups of no more than 10 and stay in a single-file riding line. Bikers under the age of 12 must wear helmets, and all riders should wear high-visibility gear. If riding on the road, you are permitted to ride in any lane you choose, but you are required to remain as close to the right-hand side of the lane as possible. Exceptions to this rule include if you are avoiding obstacles, passing other vehicles, or turning left.
State law mandates that drivers maintain a distance of at least three feet from cyclists at all times. Motorists must check for approaching bicycles before opening the doors of their vehicles to avoid obstructing a cyclist’s path or accidentally hitting them. Harassment or taunting of cyclists is also prohibited. Anyone who violates these regulations may be subject to fines or, in some cases, jail time.
Bike Accident Liability
Bike accident liability refers to the legal responsibility of individuals involved in a bicycle accident. Determining liability in a bike accident can be complex, as it often involves examining various factors and applicable laws. In general, liability may be attributed to different parties, including cyclists, motorists, pedestrians, or even governmental entities responsible for maintaining roads and infrastructure.
Cyclists are typically required to follow traffic rules and exercise reasonable care while riding. If a cyclist fails to do so and causes an accident, they may be held liable for any resulting injuries or damages. This could include actions such as running a red light, riding against traffic, or failing to yield to pedestrians.
Motorists are also expected to adhere to traffic laws and share the road with cyclists. If a driver’s negligence, such as distracted driving, speeding, or failing to yield the right of way, leads to a bicycle accident, they may be held responsible for the injuries sustained by the injured bicycle accident victim.
Pedestrians have a duty to exercise reasonable care as well, and if a pedestrian’s actions contribute to a bicycle accident, they may be liable for the resulting injuries.
In some cases, bike accidents may be caused by a defect in the road or a hazardous condition. In such instances, the government entity responsible for maintaining the road or the property owner might bear liability.
Determining bike accident liability often requires an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the accident, gathering evidence, and assessing the negligence or fault of each party involved. It is essential for those involved in a bicycle accident to seek legal advice to understand their rights, navigate the legal process, and potentially seek compensation for their injuries and damages.
There are multiple parties that could be liable for a biking accident beyond just the motor vehicle drivers. For instance, if a faulty bike part contributed to your crash, the manufacturer could be held liable. If you are unsure of who is at fault for your cycling accident, it may be wise to consult an experienced bike injury lawyer in Baton Rouge. If a driver tries to blame you for your bicycle accident, a skilled bike accident attorney can also help contest these allegations and protect your right to recovery.
Damages in a Bike Crash Case
In a bike crash case, damages refer to the compensation that an injured party may seek from the responsible party for the losses and harm they have suffered. The specific types and amount of damages can vary depending on the circumstances of the case, jurisdiction, and applicable laws.
Here are some common categories of damages in bike crash cases:
- Medical Expenses: This includes compensation for past, current, and future medical bills related to the injuries sustained in the accident. It covers expenses such as hospital stays, surgeries, medication, rehabilitation, therapy, and assistive devices.
- Pain and Suffering: These damages aim to compensate the injured party for physical and emotional pain, distress, and suffering resulting from the accident and their injuries. It takes into account the severity and duration of the pain, impact on daily life, and loss of enjoyment of activities.
- Lost Wages: If the injuries from the bike crash prevent the injured person from working, they may be entitled to compensation for the income lost during their recovery period. Additionally, if the injuries result in a reduced earning capacity or permanent disability, future lost wages can also be considered.
- Property Damage: If the bicycle or other personal property was damaged in the accident, the injured party can seek compensation for the cost of repair or replacement.
- Loss of Consortium: This category of damages is applicable if the injuries from the bike crash have negatively impacted the injured person’s relationship with their spouse or family members, causing a loss of companionship, support, or intimacy.
- Punitive Damages: In some cases where the responsible party’s actions were particularly reckless, intentional, or egregious, punitive damages may be awarded. These damages are meant to punish the at-fault party and deter similar behavior in the future.
It’s important to note that the specific damages and their calculation can vary significantly based on the jurisdiction and the particular facts of the case. Consulting with a personal injury attorney experienced in bike crash cases is crucial to understanding the applicable laws and pursuing the appropriate compensation for the damages suffered.
If your bicycle endured minor damage, it can be repaired at the expense of the at-fault party through an insurance claim. If the bike needs to be replaced, you need to provide documentation or other proof of the bicycle’s value.
If any valuable goods are lost or damaged in a cycling accident, you may seek compensation. A hardworking attorney can negotiate this with Baton Rouge insurance adjusters or defense attorneys after your bicycle crash.
Bikers who sustain injuries that require hospitalization or other medical attention may be entitled to compensation for their expenses. By working with bicycle accident attorneys, cyclists may be able to acquire compensation for pain and suffering as well.
Statute of Limitations on Bicycle Accidents in Louisiana
Louisiana’s legal time limit for bringing a personal injury claim, like bicycle accident cases, in court is one year after the event. In most cases, it is one year following the accident date in Louisiana as outlines in Louisiana Civil Code section 3492.
Call a Baton Rouge Bicycle Accident Attorney to Stand by You
Bicycle accidents can be serious, but you don’t have to face the aftermath alone. By seeking the help of a Baton Rouge bicycle accident lawyer, you can increase your chances of successfully recovering compensation for your medical expenses, pain and suffering, and more.