Bicycle Accidents

Bicycle Accident Lawyers, New Orleans, Louisiana

Unfortunately, bicycle accidents occur in New Orleans far more frequently than in other parts of the country. We are a walking and riding city, and with more pedestrians and cyclists on the road, there are more opportunities for accidents to occur. Moreover, most traffic laws were written for safe automobile travel, not bike traffic. There are often misunderstandings by both drivers and cyclists as to how cyclists are supposed to comply with the rules of the road. Does a cyclist need to obey a red light or stop sign just like drivers? If there is no bike lane, can a cyclist travel in the middle of the road like other vehicles, or must he always travel along the side of the road?

If you have been injured in a bicycle accident, you should seek advice from a bike accident lawyer. Our New Orleans bicycle accident attorneys will do everything we can to make sure that you are protected going forward. We will help you seek financial compensation for medical expenses, lost wages if you are unable to work, and the cost of repairing your bicycle. Generally, if you were hurt while riding a bike, and the accident was due to another driver’s fault, then you can recover from that driver’s automobile insurance company. In addition, we can help you determine whether your own auto accident insurance may actually provide additional insurance coverage even though you were injured on a bike, rather than in a car.

  1. Why should I contact a New Orleans bicycle lawyer today?
  2. How much insurance does the other driver have in my bicycle accident?
  3. What if the driver who hit me while I was biking does not have insurance?
  4. What if neither the owner nor the driver of the vehicle has insurance for my bike accident?
  5. What if I was partially at fault in my bicycle accident?
  6. What bike safety improvements have been made in New Orleans?
  7. What are the most dangerous streets to bike in New Orleans?
  8. How often do bicycle accidents in New Orleans occur?

Why should I contact a New Orleans bicycle lawyer today?

Unfortunately, cyclists often face undue prejudice when it comes to evaluating who was at fault when an accident happens. Many motorists assume that cyclists are supposed to travel on the sidewalks rather than the road, and have little sympathy for cyclists even when a serious accident occurs.

Moreover, many police officers are not well versed in the rules of the road when it comes to cyclists. As a result, the officer who arrives at the scene of your accident may not correctly interpret who is at fault. You may end up with a traffic citation even though the motorist who hit you was at fault.

Also, unlike car accidents where the location of the damage on the automobile can provide important evidence in determining how an accident occurred, bikes are often so mangled or destroyed after a serious accident that no helpful evidence is available. A bike accident lawyer can help you with these issues and make sure that you are protected, but you should contact a bike accident attorney as soon as possible because the longer you wait, the more potential damage can be done to your case.

How much insurance does the other driver have in my bicycle accident?

While Louisiana law requires minimum liability coverage of $15,000.00 per person and $30,000.00 per accident, there are many other insurance options available to drivers on the road. Common liability amounts are $25,000.00, $50,000.00, $100,000.00, $250,000.00, $500,000.00 and even $1,000,000.00.

Most insurance carriers have a company-wide policy where their auto accident claims adjusters are instructed not to disclose the amount of liability coverage available to the injured person. This practice is employed to keep the injured person in the dark as to how much they may potentially recover for their injuries. A bike accident attorney, however, can help you determine how much liability coverage may be available to you.

What if the driver who hit me while I was biking does not have insurance?

Under Louisiana law, you may be able to recover for your bicycle accident injuries even if the other driver that struck you while cycling has no insurance. If the owner of the vehicle that hit you has insurance, and the owner gave permission to another person to operate the vehicle, and that other person causes an accident, then you can recover from the vehicle owner’s insurance company. In this situation, the person that caused the auto accident while driving someone else’s vehicle is called a “permissive driver.” Louisiana law strongly favors insurance coverage for permissive drivers in order to protect injured victims of vehicle accidents, including bicycle accidents.

What if neither the owner nor the driver of the vehicle has insurance for my bike accident?

You may still be able to recover financial compensation for your bicycle accident if you have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (“UM Coverage”) on your own auto insurance policy. UM coverage is designed to provide you with an extra layer of coverage protection in a car accident where the other driver that caused the accident has no insurance, or does not have enough insurance to pay for all your injuries.

For example, if the driver who caused the accident has only $15,000.00 in liability coverage, but your medical bills are $25,000.00, then the other driver’s auto insurance company would pay for the first $15,000.00 in bills, and your car insurance company would pay for the remaining $10,000.00 in bills, so long as you have UM coverage.

What if I was partially at fault in my bicycle accident?

Even if you were somewhat at fault in causing your bicycle accident, you can still recover financial compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Louisiana bicycle law dictates that the level of fault of every person must be evaluated in bicycle accidents. If one person is partially at fault for causing the bicycle crash, they can still recover from the other driver or cyclist who was also at fault.

What bike safety improvements have been made in New Orleans?

In recent years, however, New Orleans has invested significant funds for proper bike lanes to be marked on busy roads throughout the city. New Orleans has also painted numerous “sharrows” on the roadways to instruct other drivers to share the road with cyclists. A sharrow is pictures of a bicycle with arrows pointing towards a nearby bike lane. The first sharrows in New Orleans were placed around City Park, but have since been marked near other bike lanes throughout New Orleans.

What are the most dangerous streets to bike in New Orleans?

The 2009-2010 New Orleans Regional Pedestrian and Bicycle Crash Report indicated that certain streets throughout the city are particularly dangerous for cyclists:

Top 10 Bicycle Crash Corridors, Orleans Parish
Rank Corridor Number of Crashes, 2009-2010
1 Clairborne Ave. 29
2 Canal St. 26
3 St. Charles Ave. 21
4 St. Claude Ave. 15
5 Burgundy St. 11
6 Franklin Ave. 11
7 Elysian Fields Ave. 10
8 N. Rampart St. 10
9 Esplanade Ave. 10
10 Louisiana Ave. 9

How often do bicycle accidents in New Orleans occur?

The New Orleans Regional Pedestrian and Bicycle Crash Report of 2009-2010 released the following figures regarding the frequency of New Orleans bike accidents:

Bicycle Crashes Per Year, 2006-2010
Year Number Of Crashes
2006 214
2007 233
2008 285
2009 311
2010 317

Clearly there has been a consistent rise in bicycle accidents over the years.