Bicycle Accident Attorneys in Shreveport, LA
Each year, hundreds of bicycle riders in Louisiana suffer injuries in motor vehicle accidents, and dozens die from their injuries. Bicyclists riding for pleasure or commuting to and from work often have to share the road with vehicles. But Shreveport only has a few designated bicycle lanes, putting cyclists at risk of being in an accident.
If you suffered injuries or lost a loved one in a bike accident in Shreveport, you need a Shreveport bicycle accident lawyer who will fight for your right to compensation. Contact Wright Gray Law Firm today for your free case consultation.
Why Choose Wright Gray Law Firm for Your Shreveport Bike Accident Claim?
Daryl A. Gray and Eric A. Wright — two experienced Louisiana personal injury lawyers — founded Wright Gray Law Firm to provide Louisianians injured in accidents with powerful legal representation. Through the years, they have recovered tens of millions of dollars for their clients through judgments, verdicts, and settlements.
If you suffered injuries or lost a loved one in a bicycle accident, you may recover compensation for your medical bills and other losses. Contact the Shreveport bicycle accident lawyers at Wright Gray Law Firm today to discuss your case and hear your legal options.
Shreveport and Louisiana Bicycle Laws
Thirty-five people died in bicycling accidents in Louisiana last year, and another 504 people were injured, according to the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission.
Shreveport is particularly risky for cyclists. The city has a Bike Score of 37 out of 100 for having just a few designated bike lanes to protect cyclists from motorists.
However, Louisiana does have laws to prevent collisions between cyclists and motorists. Bicycle riders may not ride in the street if there is a usable path for bicycles adjacent to the road.
Motor vehicles may not drive in designated bike lanes except in the following situations:
- The motorist is preparing for a turn within 200 feet of an intersection.
- The motorist is entering or leaving the roadway onto an alley, private road, or driveway.
- The motorist is entering or leaving a parking space where parking is permitted adjacent to a bike lane.
- In the event of an emergency.
Those operating a motor vehicle in a bike lane for any of the above reasons must yield the right of way to all bicycles and electric mobility products traveling within the bike lane.
Louisiana Laws Regarding Road Sharing
Louisiana recognizes occasions when bicycles, cars, trucks, and commercial vehicles must share the road, and requires bicycle riders to ride as close to the right side of the roadway as possible. Cyclists also must not ride more than two abreast.
Louisiana also requires operators of motor vehicles, when passing a bicycle on the road, to leave a safe distance of at least three feet between the vehicle and the bicycle. Anyone found violating this law, known as the Colin Goodier Protection Act, faces a fine of up to $250.
The Colin Goodier Protect Act also requires the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development to place signs reminding motorists to share the road in areas frequently used by cyclists, and the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission to engage in a public awareness campaign to inform bicycle and motorcycle riders of this law.
Louisiana Dooring Law
“Dooring” refers to a collision that occurs when the door of a parked car suddenly opens into the path of a cyclist. This type of accident typically happens when a motorist inside a parked vehicle opens their car door without checking for oncoming cyclists or other traffic. The cyclist, riding in a bike lane or near parked cars, can collide with the door, leading to injuries or even fatalities.
Louisiana law specifically prohibits anyone inside a motor vehicle from opening the vehicle door while on a highway without taking precautions to ensure that doing so won’t interfere with traffic or endanger a pedestrian, bicyclist, or vehicle. The law also prohibits people from leaving the door of a motor vehicle open while on the highway for longer than necessary to load or unload passengers.
Louisiana Helmet Laws
Louisiana law requires any person under 12 to wear a helmet when riding a bicycle, whether they are an operator or passenger. Riders 12 and older need not wear a helmet in Louisiana.
Who May Be Responsible for My Bike Accident Injuries?
Liability in a bicycle accident may involve multiple parties. A bicycle accident lawyer from Wright Gray Law Firm can review your accident to determine what parties you can hold at fault and, thus, from whom you may seek compensation.
Some liable parties in a bike accident include:
Negligent Drivers: If a motorist’s negligence led to the accident, you may hold them responsible for your injuries. Negligent acts may include speeding, running a red light, or failing to yield the right of way.
Property Owners: If a hazardous road condition, such as a pothole, debris, or inadequate signage, caused your accident, you may hold the entity responsible for maintaining the road (often a government agency) liable.
Manufacturers: If a defective bike or bike component caused or contributed to the accident (such as faulty brakes or a defective helmet), you may hold the manufacturer responsible through a product liability claim.
Employers: If the at-fault driver operated a vehicle as part of their job, you may hold their employer liable under the legal doctrine of respondeat superior.
Bicycle Rental Companies: If you used a rented bicycle and a maintenance issue or defect that the rental company knew about but didn’t address caused the accident, you may hold the bike rental company liable.
Other Third Parties: In some cases, other third parties, such as pedestrians, other cyclists, or even bystanders, might contribute to the accident.
Municipalities: If the accident occurred due to poorly designed or maintained roads, you might have a claim against the city or local government responsible for the road infrastructure.
What if I was Partly Responsible for the Accident?
Louisiana follows the pure comparative negligence standard when determining liability and compensation in personal injury cases, including bicycle accidents. Pure comparative negligence allows for the allocation of fault and damages based on the degree of negligence of each party involved in the accident.
In a bicycle accident case, the court will consider the actions and behavior of all parties involved, including the cyclist, the motorist, and any other relevant parties. The goal is to determine the degree of negligence of each party.
After a thorough evaluation, the court assigns a percentage of fault to each party based on their negligent actions or omissions. This percentage reflects how responsible each party is for the accident.
Louisiana’s pure comparative negligence standard allows injured parties to recover damages even if they were partially at fault for the accident. However, the amount of compensation they receive will decrease by their percentage of fault.
Under the pure comparative negligence standard, you can still seek compensation for your injuries even if you were primarily at fault. However, the court will significantly reduce your recovery to account for your degree of fault.
What Damages Are Available in a Bike Accident Case?
After a bicycle accident, you may recover damages to compensate you for the losses and injuries you suffered. Your lawyer can assess what damages you may claim.
The types of damages you can recover in a bicycle accident include:
- Medical expenses include all past and future medical expenses related to your injuries, including hospital bills, doctor’s visits, surgery, medication, physical therapy, and rehabilitation.
- Pain and suffering to compensate you for the physical and emotional distress caused by the accident and your injuries.
- Lost Income and benefits, both current and future, if your injuries resulted in time away from work or a reduced ability to earn a living.
- Repair or replacement of property if the accident damaged or destroyed your bicycle or personal property.
- Loss of consortium for the spouse or family members of the injured party if the injuries resulted in a loss of the injured person’s companionship, support, and services.
- Wrongful death damages, if the bicycle accident resulted in the death of a loved one, could be claimed by surviving family members to cover compensation for funeral expenses and loss of financial support.
- Disfigurement and scarring damages for the physical and emotional impact of permanent disfigurement or scarring on the victim.
Who Pays for My Bike Accident Injuries?
To seek compensation for medical bills and property damages, you will typically need to file a personal injury claim against the at-fault party’s auto liability insurance company, or, if necessary, pursue a lawsuit.
The specific damages you can claim and the amount of compensation you may receive will depend on various factors, including the extent of your injuries. A bike accident lawyer with Wright Gray Law Firm can guide you through the claims process and help you recover the compensation you deserve.
How Can a Lawyer Help With My Shreveport Bicycle Accident Claim?
A Wright Gray Law Firm lawyer in Shreveport can help you with your bicycle accident claim in several ways to ensure you receive fair compensation for your injuries and damages. Here are some ways in which we can assist you:
Legal Advice and Consultation
Initially, we will provide you with legal advice during a consultation. This is an opportunity for you to discuss the details of your case, ask questions, and for us to determine if you have a valid claim.
Our lawyers can investigate the accident by gathering evidence such as witness statements, police reports, accident scene photographs, and medical records. You need this evidence to establish liability and the extent of your damages.
Your lawyer will work to determine who is at fault for the accident. This might involve identifying negligent parties, such as a careless driver or a property owner who failed to maintain safe conditions.
Our lawyers can help you assess the full extent of your damages, including medical bills, lost income, property damage, pain and suffering, and any future expenses related to your injuries.
Negotiating with Insurance Companies
Your attorney will handle all communications and negotiations with insurance companies on your behalf. They will work to secure a fair settlement that adequately compensates you for your losses.
Filing a Lawsuit
If negotiations with the insurance company fail to result in a fair settlement, your lawyer can file a lawsuit on your behalf and represent you in court.
Throughout the legal process, your lawyer will provide you with representation, protecting your rights and effectively presenting your case.
If necessary, your attorney can consult medical experts, accident reconstruction specialists, and other professionals who can provide expert testimony to strengthen your case.
Statute of Limitations Compliance
Our lawyers are knowledgeable about the relevant deadlines for personal injury cases, filing your claim within the required timeframe.
If your case goes to trial, your attorney will represent your interests in court, presenting evidence and arguments to persuade a judge and jury to rule in your favor.
Contact the Shreveport Bicycle Accident Lawyers at Wright Gray Law Firm Today
Working with an experienced bicycle accident lawyer can significantly improve your chances of obtaining a favorable outcome and fair compensation for your injuries and losses.
When you hire an attorney from Wright Gray Law Firm, you will receive personalized and compassionate service. We will guide you through the legal process, advocate for your rights, and help you navigate the complexities of your claim.
Contact a Shreveport bicycle accident attorney at Wright Gray Law Firm today at (318) 524-7122 or through our online form to discuss your case.