A cyclist who gets hit by an automobile or commercial truck is likely to suffer serious and possibly fatal injuries because of the minimal protection a bicycle offers. Medical expenses alone can be astronomically high, and the victim may be unable to resume work for a long time.
A Lafayette bicycle accident lawyer can assist you in seeking a fair settlement if you have been a victim of this type of accident. At Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers, our Lafayette personal injury lawyer can help you assess fault and determine the right amount of compensation for your injuries during a free consultation.
Bicycle Accident Injuries in Lafayette
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 130,000 bicyclists are injured in crashes in the U.S. each year. Many of these accidents occur when a motor vehicle hits a bicyclist.
When motor vehicles strike bicyclists, injuries can be devastating. You do not need to suffer a life-threatening injury to be entitled to financial compensation. However, your injuries must have considerably affected your life financially, physically, emotionally, psychologically, or in another significant way.
Some of the possible injuries you may suffer in a bicycle accident include:
- Broken bones
- Road rash
- Neck injuries
- Back injuries
- Herniated discs
- Traumatic brain injuries, including concussions
- Spinal cord injuries
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
If you suffered another type of injury in a bicycle accident not listed above, you could still have grounds for a claim. If you would like to analyze your legal options for financial recovery further, you can seek help from a bicycle accident attorney in Lafayette.
Laborde Earles injury was great for me they took care of me very fast and professional. If for any reason I need legal help they will be who I use.Client
Seeking and Claiming Damages for a Lafayette Bike Wreck
Before you can seek compensation in your case, you will have to know what your case is worth to learn how much you can ask for when you file your insurance claim or lawsuit. These damages usually fall into two categories: economic (monetary) and non-economic (non-monetary). Economic damages are losses you can prove with a receipt or invoice, while non-economic damages are subjective.
Common economic damages in bicycle cases are:
- Medical expenses for emergency and ongoing care
- Lost wages or reduced income
- Property damages
- Other accident-related expenses
Common non-economic damages include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
- Loss of life enjoyment
An attorney from Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers who handles bicycle accident cases in Lafayette can review and collect evidence to document your damages and calculate them accurately so you will know the value of your case. We understand that victims can experience very different damages from one case to another, so we take the time to account for each when building a compensation claim.
I thank God for Digger & David. I don’t know what we would have done if it hadn’t have been for them.Rick Smith | Client
We Will Handle the Insurance Company for You
The compensation award for a bicycle accident will usually come from the insurance company of the motorist who hit the bicyclist, as Louisiana is a fault state for car insurance. However, this does not simplify matters. To protect their interests, insurers may try to shift fault onto the victims and offer meager settlements.
It’s critical not to accept a settlement that does not accurately account for your damages. Once your case closes, you can’t seek further compensation from the liable party, even for damages you become aware of in the future. If you take the first offer presented, you will have to pay any future damages out of pocket.
A Lafayette bicycle accident lawyer can prevent this by building a strong case and directly negotiating with the insurer for a settlement for you. If there is clear evidence to support the bicyclist’s claim, there may be a substantial out-of-court settlement offer. Still, many such cases are settled through several rounds of negotiations. If negotiating doesn’t work, we can move forward with a bicycle accident lawsuit.
The reassurance from Digger and his staff gave me that renewed hope that it’s going to be okay down the road.Client
When Should You Contact a Lawyer After a Bicycle Accident?
You should contact a Lafayette bicycle accident attorney as soon as possible after your accident. If you aren’t too seriously injured, it’s best to call us before you speak to anyone else. This is important because it is advantageous if we do the talking for you during the settlement process. Otherwise, the other party’s insurers may try to trick you into making statements that can hurt your claim.
In addition, there is a deadline to sue for bicycle accident injuries in Louisiana. While each state has its own timeline for personal injury lawsuits, Louisiana has one of the shortest: one year, per Louisiana Civil Code § 3492. This means you only have 365 days from the date of your bike crash to initiate a lawsuit.
During this short time, there are many things to accomplish, such as:
- Seeking treatment and a prognosis for your injuries
- Choosing an attorney to represent you, if you plan to do so
- Collecting evidence of the accident and negligence
- Building a case against the liable party
- Submitting a claim to the insurer and beginning negotiations
- Filing a lawsuit if negotiations fail
That doesn’t leave you much time to recover and handle other responsibilities in your life, which is why many accident victims hire a bicycle accident attorney serving Lafayette to take care of their legal matters.
They treated us like no other people would. Whenever we needed something they were there for us. I put my trust in them and I don’t regret it.Client
How a Lafayette Bicycle Accident Lawyer Can Help With Your Compensation Claim
When we represent a bicycle accident victim, we handle every aspect of their claim or lawsuit. Some of the tasks our Lafayette bike accident lawyers can handle for you include:
- Identifying the liable party to file a claim against
- Interviewing witnesses about the incident
- Requesting the accident report and video footage of the crash
- Filing necessary legal paperwork in your case
- Communicating with all parties involved in your case, including other attorneys
- Calculating your case’s worth based on the damages you suffered
- Representing you in all meetings and hearings about your case
- Evaluating any settlement offers you receive
- Taking your case to trial, if necessary
Our Lafayette law firm will be there to support you through every step in your bike accident case, so you never have to feel lost or overwhelmed by the legal system.
Our Law Firm Has Recovered Over $600 Million for Our Injury Clients
The personal injury attorneys with Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers collectively have more than 350 years of experience and have helped clients recover more than $600 million in cash settlements and verdicts. We know the laws in Louisiana and protect our clients’ rights while fighting for the compensation they deserve. We want to do the same for you.
Previous Clients Praise Our Legal Services
Our team at Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers receives consistent feedback about the value and quality of our legal support. This is just a sample of our Google reviews from clients:
- “I have had nothing but excellent service with this firm, they keep me updated on my case, are easy to get ahold of and my paralegal Mallory Marsh goes above and beyond for myself and my mother, she’s kind caring and truly concerned about us and regularly checks in to see how we are doing.” Kori Peeters
- “I know they heard and understood what I was going through. My calls and texts were returned and everything was explained clearly to me. If I had to do it over I would do the same thing and chose them to help me.” Geo Moore
- “This law firm is amazing. I traveled about an hour and thirty minutes to their location. I was nervous because this was my first time having to acquire a lawyer. As soon as I entered I was welcomed with open arms. Very comfortable. Nice southern hospitality. During my meeting, Ms. Larke was very thorough and explained everything until I was comfortable with the information. I was very pleased with the service I received today. Ms. Larks is amazing If you’re looking for an automobile/injury lawyer Laborde Earles Injury Law firm is the place to go!!!” – Renesha Daggs
- “My experience with Laborde Earles has been awesome. They are great professional personable people who care about my well-being.” – Joe Colquette
- “They were very empathetic and informative with my situation. I would highly recommend them as a law firm.” -Mary Smith
Yes, You Can Afford to Hire a Lawyer to Take on Your Bicycle Case in Lafayette
We know many people may consider passing up hiring a Lafayette bike accident attorney to take their case because of concerns about legal fees. We understand this concern, so we work with our clients on a contingency basis.
This payment arrangement allows us to work on your injury case without charging you upfront fees. If you win your case, we will take our fee from your settlement or court award—we’ll discuss this predetermined percentage before you decide to hire us. Alternatively, if we don’t secure a financial recovery for you, you don’t have to pay us.
Our personal injury attorneys believe that anyone who suffers an injury should be able to hire representation without facing an additional financial burden.
Establishing Who’s Responsible for Your Bicycle Accident in Lafayette
One important task we help clients with is identifying liable parties in their bicycle accidents. We also must prove those parties demonstrated negligence. Liable parties in your case could include:
- The driver who hit you with their vehicle
- The company that hired the driver
- The bicycle’s manufacturer (if the bicycle is found to be faulty)
- Cities or municipalities responsible for the upkeep of their roadways
How Do I Prove Negligence in a Lafayette Bicycle Accident Claim?
The grounds for a bicycle accident claim are often difficult to understand. Many bike accident victims believe their injuries must be life-threatening for a lawsuit or insurance claim to be warranted. However, this is not the case. You may be eligible for compensation if someone else’s negligence caused the accident.
To prove negligence caused the accident, your Lafayette bicycle accident attorney must establish the four elements of negligence, which are:
Duty of Care
The defendant must have owed you a duty of care. All drivers on the road owe bicyclists a duty of care to protect them from harm.
Breach of Duty
The motorist must have breached their duty of care in some way, such as through distracted or reckless driving.
The defendant’s breach of duty of care must have caused the bicycle accident.
The bicycle accident victim must have suffered damages to be entitled to financial compensation.
If you are still unsure whether you have grounds for a claim, consider whether someone else is or could be responsible for your injuries. If this is true, and if the accident has significantly affected your life, you could have grounds for a bicycle accident insurance or civil claim.
Causes of Lafayette Bicycle Accidents That You Can Sue For
Investigating the accident and identifying all liable parties is the first step your lawyer will take while claiming compensation for a bicycle accident in Lafayette. In many bike wrecks, the fault may be glaringly evident – driver error is frequently cited as the cause of traffic collisions. However, there may be other factors, including other parties involved who also may be accountable.
It is also vital to remember that not wearing a helmet or any other risky behavior may raise the biker’s level of negligence, but it does not mean they will be prevented from seeking compensation, per CC 2323.
Bike Lane Crashes
Quite often, motorists do not respect bike lanes and can cause accidents. Whenever a driver fails to notice a bike lane and drifts across the lines, they put bikers at risk. However, debris left on the road after road work or an 18-wheeler not noticing someone on a bike can also cause an accident.
A common reason for bike accidents in a crosswalk or intersection is distracted or drunk driving. However, there are instances where a construction crew or a government agency is responsible for causing such an accident due to a poorly designed intersection or a malfunctioning traffic light.
It is a clear case of negligence if a car owner opens their door into the path of a biker, known as “dooring.” However, it is also possible that the driver was distracted by a passenger, or a property owner left an obstruction that hindered the driver’s view, resulting in a dooring incident.
What Is the Average Bicycle Accident Settlement?
Every bicycle accident claim has different circumstances that will affect the value of a settlement, so there is no “average” amount of compensation you can expect. Online claims calculators are not accurate. The best way to find out how much your case may be worth is to contact us for a free consultation.
How Do Bicycle Accident Insurance Settlements Work?
Dealing with the insurance company is a necessary part of bicycle accident claims. You need to be aware of a few key details as you navigate the insurance claims process. These include negotiating with the insurance company and what to expect from your insurance payout.
Negotiating With the Insurer
Negotiating with the insurance company may be more difficult than you thought. Some insurance companies care about their financial interests above anything else.
The insurance company may challenge your claim in the hopes of reducing their financial loss. Your attorney can ensure the insurance company does not lowball you or pressure you into accepting less than you deserve.
Your Insurance Payout
Insurance payouts are based on the amount of coverage purchased by the policyholder. If your damages exceed the amount of coverage purchased by the policyholder, you may only recover your remaining damages via other means.
You may need to file a lawsuit in addition to filing an insurance claim so you can recover fair compensation for your damages.
Consult With a Lafayette Bicycle Accident Lawyer Today
A cyclist has a difficult road to recovery after an accident with an automobile. A bike accident will have an impact not just on your mental and physical well-being, but also on your financial condition.
A Lafayette bike accident attorney from Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers can fight on your behalf to help you seek fair compensation. We serve clients in Lafayette from our office at 1901 Kaliste Saloom Road. Call today or complete a free case evaluation form to learn more about how we can help you.