If you were hurt in a collision caused by a negligent driver, a New Orleans bicycle accident lawyer from the Morris Bart law firm can help you seek compensation and justice based on the facts of your case. We represent accident victims in Orleans Parish and other areas in and around the city.
Our team provides complimentary case assessments. You can learn more about your rights as an accident victim, how to hold the at-fault driver accountable, and how our team will help by contacting us today.
We Seek Damages for Our Clients Hurt in NOLA Bicycle Accidents
The compensation we pursue for our clients hurt in a bicycle versus motor vehicle collision depends on the damages they suffered. We gather evidence of their physical, emotional, and financial harm and demand the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier compensate them accordingly.
Examples of recoverable damages in these cases include:
- Medical care and all related costs
- Future treatment and care needs from accident injuries
- Lost income from work hours missed
- Reduced earning capacity if they cannot return to their previous job
- Property damages, including bike repair or replacement
- Pain and suffering and other non-economic damages
We also represent families in wrongful death claims in New Orleans. Under La. Civ. Code Art. 2315.2, certain immediate family members of fatal crash victims can recover compensation for their losses. We build a case and demand a just payout for these families. We may be able to recover:
- Medical expenses
- Funeral and burial costs
- Loss of income
- Loss of services
- Non-economic damages, such as loss of companionship and loss of support
We also provide complimentary claim evaluations for families who lost a loved one in this type of collision. We can review your legal options and help you understand the complexities of this type of claim.
For a free legal consultation with a Bicycle Accident lawyer serving New Orleans, call (504) 613-4771
Our Team Fights for Justice After New Orleans Bicycle Accidents
At the Morris Bart law office in New Orleans, our team believes that Orleans Parish can be a safe and enjoyable place to cycle. This is true for recreational riders, bicycle commuters, and those who use their bicycle for work. However, careless and reckless drivers pose a risk to everyone they share the road with.
This is why our team accepts traffic accident cases based on contingency and pursues justice for the victims. While we have 15 locations across the Gulf South–Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Arkansas, our New Orleans office is:
Pan American Life Center
601 Poydras Street, 24th Floor
New Orleans, LA 70130, United States
From this location, our team of New Orleans personal injury attorneys serves Orelans Parish including many outlying areas, including:
- Belle Chasse
- Saint Bernard
As our case results show, our attorneys know how to navigate the claims process and secure compensation for our clients after crash injuries. If you hire us to represent you, you can expect:
- A free case review
- A clear, easy-to-understand explanation of our fee structure
- Protection of your legal rights as an accident victim
- A legal team that manages all communication with the insurance companies
- Regular case updates
- Someone who can answer your questions 24/7
- A full investigation into your collision
- A strong claim supported by evidence
- A demand for a fair and just settlement
- Aggressive negotiations if the insurer will not agree to our settlement offers
- A lawsuit, if necessary, to get justice in your case
- Representation at trial, which is rarely needed but available
Understanding How Bicycle Accident Claims Work in New Orleans
Like other types of traffic accident cases, bicycle versus car collision claims depend on proving fault. Imagine you suffered injuries in a collision in New Orleans East. You were riding your bike to The Village de L’Est when a driver ran a stop sign and hit you.
Our team can build a case to prove what happened, file a claim based on the driver’s auto liability insurance policy, and pursue fair compensation from the insurance company. This is a very straightforward example, and many cases are not so simple. However, our attorneys know how to prove negligence and liability in any collision.
In most cases, the negligent party is also liable. Negligence occurs when:
- One party has a duty to obey a certain traffic rule or act in a specific way to keep others safe.
- They fail to act appropriately, violating the law or putting others in danger.
- Their actions caused an accident or incident, in this case, a collision.
- The victim suffered harm, including physical, emotional, and financial losses.
All four of these elements must be in place before saying a driver is at fault in a crash. Only with this evidence to support our claim or lawsuit can we successfully recover compensation for our client.
We also know how to navigate circumstances where the at-fault driver might not be the only liable party. This could include commercial vehicle accidents, mass transportation collisions, and crashes caused by problems with the road or a defective car part.
Proving Negligence in a New Orleans Bicycle Accident Case
In Louisiana, the fault law requires an injured bicyclist to prove that a driver was negligent to recover compensation from his or her car insurance provider. The fault of the policyholder must be established with clear and convincing evidence. Your New Orleans bike accident lawyer must show that the driver was more likely to be at fault for your bicycle accident than not at fault, known as a “preponderance of the evidence.” The elements of negligence, as mentioned above, are a duty of care, breach of duty, causation and damages.
Proving negligence in a bicycle accident case may require:
- Revisiting the scene of the bike accident to search for and collect evidence.
- Obtaining surveillance, traffic, and dashcam or GoPro footage of the crash.
- Analyzing the driver’s cellphone records for signs of distracted driving.
- Interviewing eyewitnesses and obtaining their signed statements.
- Hiring experts, such as crash reconstructionists and medical experts, to testify.
- Requesting copies of police accident reports and medical records.
- Working with your doctor to obtain proof of your injuries and pain and suffering.
- Going to trial to establish negligence before a judge and jury.
The Morris Bart law firm has the resources you need to go up against any defendant and prove negligence. We will conduct a comprehensive investigation of your bicycle accident in New Orleans, hire experts as needed to testify and use proven legal strategies to establish the necessary elements of your claim. While many NOLA bike accidents are caused by negligent drivers, we will also look into other factors that may have contributed, such as a bicycle part defect or pothole.
What If I Was Partially at Fault for a Bicycle Accident?
If you believe you might have contributed to your bicycle accident in some way, do not admit fault while you are at the scene of the accident. A confession of guilt could hurt your ability to recover full financial compensation for your losses, even if you did not cause the accident. An insurance company may allocate a percentage of fault to you without further investigation if you have admitted to playing a role in your accident or injuries.
Louisiana is a comparative negligence state, meaning it uses a doctrine that gives a proportion of fault to both parties involved in a bicycle accident. If the plaintiff or injured victim is allocated a percentage of fault, this can diminish his or her financial recovery. According to state law, the amount of financial compensation available will be reduced in proportion to the victim’s degree or percentage of fault for the injury.
For example, if you are found to be 20 percent at fault for a bicycle accident but a motor vehicle driver is given the other 80 percent of fault, your settlement or judgment award would be reduced by a matching 20 percent. In this example, a $60,000 award would be reduced by 20 percent ($12,000) to $48,000. Since Louisiana is a pure comparative negligence state, there is no percentage cap for a financial recovery. In modified comparative negligence states, on the other hand, a victim may be barred from recovery if allocated the majority share of fault.
Who Can Be Held Liable for a New Orleans Bicycle Accident?
Liability, or legal and financial responsibility, for a bicycle accident in New Orleans will often go to the party that violated a traffic law at the time of the crash. Traffic laws keep separate lanes of traffic and road users – such as bicyclists and motorists – safely apart. If someone breaks a traffic law, this can put that person in the wrong place at the wrong time, resulting in a collision. Motor vehicle drivers are responsible for paying for bike accidents that they negligently or recklessly cause in Louisiana, including those caused by texting and driving or drunk driving.
However, you may also have grounds to file a claim against a third party for a bicycle accident, in certain circumstances. If the driver who struck you was on the clock as a delivery driver, Uber or Lyft driver, or government agent, you may be able to hold the driver’s employer vicariously liable. If your bicycle had a dangerous or defective part, you may be able to bring a product liability claim against the manufacturer, distributor, wholesaler or repair shop.
Another possibility is holding a government agency liable. If a road defect or hazard caused your bicycle accident in New Orleans, you may be able to sue the city for failing to properly maintain its roads. An unsafe road condition, such as a pothole, uneven surface or dangerously designed intersection, could lead to city government liability for your bike accident. Your lawyer must show that the city knew or reasonably should have known about the dangerous condition but did nothing to remedy it prior to the accident.
Louisiana’s Laws for Sharing the Road With Bicycles
In Louisiana, motorists must respect a bicyclist’s rights to the road. They must keep a safe following and passing distance at all times, which is no less than three feet. This includes bicycle taxis operating in New Orleans. Motorists should also stay out of bicycle-only lanes. The only time a motor vehicle may pass through a bicycle lane is when making a turn.
At intersections, a motorist must stop and yield the right-of-way to bicyclists who approached first or have the green light to proceed. Motorists should always check twice for bicyclists when reversing, pulling out of a driveway, making a left-hand turn or changing lanes. If a motorist is distracted or negligent, he or she may not see a biker, which could cause a collision.
Will My Bicycle Accident Crash Go to a Jury Trial?
Not all bicycle collision claims require filing a lawsuit, and even fewer go to trial. There may be some situations when we need to sue the at-fault driver or another liable party. This usually occurs when:
- The insurer disputes a finding of fact, such as the accident cause
- The insurer believes our client is responsible for the crash
- The insurer will not offer a fair settlement
- We are approaching the deadline, and the insurance company has not agreed to a payout
In Louisiana, the statute of limitations on filing a lawsuit is very short. Under La. Civ. Code Art. 3492, you generally only have one year to sue. Circumstances of your crash could mean you have even less time.
How Much Does it Cost to Hire a New Orleans Bicycle Accident Lawyer?
At Morris Bart, we represent injured bicycle accident victims on a contingency fee basis. With this payment system, you will pay us $0 upfront. Our law firm will front all the costs of your case for you, protecting you from any financial risks connected to filing a claim. If your attorney does not succeed in obtaining financial compensation for your bicycle accident case, you won’t pay us anything for the services we rendered during your claim. That is our no-win, no-fee guarantee. If we do secure financial compensation on your behalf, you will pay our fee as a percentage of the settlement or judgment award obtained.
Speak with Our Legal Team Today to Learn More About Your Rights
As an accident victim in New Orleans, you have legal rights. The Morris Bart law firm can go over these rights, your options for justice, and more during a free consultation.
Call (504) 613-4771 today to discuss your injuries and next steps with our team.
Questions?Call (504) 613-4771
to find a Morris Bart office near you.