My bicycle is my main form of transportation. I’m always very careful and I wear a helmet and obey all traffic laws when I’m riding my bike around New Orleans. I was recently hit by a car that ran a red light, and I suffered multiple injuries. What should I do next? Do I need to look for accident lawyers?
It sounds like you are doing everything you can to protect yourself by wearing a helmet and obeying all traffic laws. But did you know that motorized vehicle laws and bicycle road laws are the same? The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) advises that “bicycles on the roadway are, by law, vehicles with the same rights, and responsibilities as motorized vehicles.”
This means you must follow all applicable laws, and drivers must treat you as an equal with equal rights to the road. When everyone follows the rules, most accidents can be avoided. However, you only have control of your own actions. Motorists may still be careless or reckless, putting you in danger.
What Happens If a Driver does Not Follow the Law?
Unfortunately, as you learned the hard way, you can’t rely on all motorists to follow the rules of the road. What’s worse is that, as a cyclist, you are at a much greater risk of sustaining a serious injury or being killed in an accident than you would if you were traveling in an enclosed vehicle. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that, in 2015, bicycle accidents in the United States accounted for an estimated 467,000 emergency department visits and over 1,000 bicyclist deaths.
So, even though riding a bicycle is an efficient and economical way to get around New Orleans, it may be worth it to weigh the risks against the benefits and consider other options. Check out the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority’s public transportation system, with its ever-expanding network of routes designed to better connect the city’s neighborhoods and commercial areas.
If you still want to ride for recreation, exercise, or commuting, you can consider alternate routes that keep you away from high-traffic or high-speed areas, utilizing bike lanes, protected paths, or any other safer options for cyclists.
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Now That the Worst Has Happened to You, the Most Important Thing Is that You Take Care of You
First, following an accident, check for injuries, and make sure you get the medical attention you need. It is also a good idea to report the accident to the police. An officer will respond to the scene and complete a report that will document your account of the accident, identify the parties involved, and include any witness statements.
It could take hours or even days before signs of injuries appear. This may be true even when injuries are severe. Internal injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and whiplash are all known for having delayed symptoms in some victims. For this reason, and because injuries are likely when a cyclist is struck by a car, you should consider being evaluated by first responders, going to the local emergency department, or seeing your doctor.
When there is any injury, your doctor should prescribe a treatment plan for you. This could include testing, medication, surgery, physical therapy, or other interventions. You may have follow-up appointments. You should ensure you follow the plan and attend all scheduled appointments or treatments. This could be vital to your legal case as well as help you heal from your injuries.
The Next Step Is to Let Us Take Care of You
You asked whether you need to hire a personal injury attorney, and the answer is definitely yes, but not just any personal injury attorney will do! With one call, you can get one of the largest and most experienced personal injury law firms in the country in your corner. Why is this important? Bargaining power! The insurance company does not have your best interests at heart, but we do. We know that protecting your rights, recovering your losses, and compensating you for your pain and suffering is priority No. 1, and we will demand that the insurance company sees it the same way.
From the moment you decide to work with our firm, your attorney will take charge of your case so that you can focus on the healing process. You won’t need to endure the nuisance and aggravation of dealing with the insurance company because your Morris Bart attorney will do that for you. At the same time, though, your attorney will keep you posted on the status of your case every step of the way. We really do see the attorney-client relationship as a partnership designed to help you achieve your goals. Getting the results you deserve is why we’re here. So, don’t delay in making that call and letting us know how we can help.
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What Are My Legal Rights As an Injured Cyclist?
Bicyclists hurt in car accidents also have the same rights as other victims of traffic crashes. Louisiana law allows them to pursue compensation for the injuries, emotional damages, and financial losses they experienced at the hands of a negligent driver. They can file an insurance claim or lawsuit to get the money damages they need to pay their related bills.
Recoverable damages could include medical bills, lost wages, bike repairs, pain and suffering, and more. You can also recover money for future expenses related to your treatment and care. This may be necessary if you suffered catastrophic injuries or have lasting impairments.
You also have the right to hire a law firm and get representation from an attorney who is familiar with these cases. Your lawyer will be able to investigate what happened, prove the motorist acted negligently and caused your crash, and take action to hold them legally responsible.
Morris Bart, LLC Offers Free Consultations for Bicycle Accident Victims
You can speak with a bicycle accident lawyer from the Morris Bart law firm. We discuss these collisions with injured cyclists for free regularly. We will assess your legal options for you. We can help you determine what you want to do next and how we can provide the services you need. We work based on contingency fees. You do not need to pay us anything upfront.
Call us today to talk to our attorneys about your crash case.
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