A cyclist who gets hit by an automobile or a commercial truck is likely to suffer serious and possibly fatal injuries because of the minimal protection that a bicycle offers. The medical expenses involved can be astronomically high, and it is possible that the victim will be unable to resume work for a long time.
The personal injury lawyer who represents you may also guide you in calculating the types and amounts of your recoverable damages, which may include:
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A Lafayette bicycle injury lawyer can assist you in reaching a fair settlement if you have been a victim of this type of accident. At Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers, we can help you assess fault and determine the right amount of compensation for your injuries during a free consultation.
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 so you will know 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 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.
We Will Handle the Insurance Company for You
The compensation award for a bicycle accident will usually come from the insurance of the motorist who hit the bicyclist, as Louisiana is a fault state for car insurance. However, this does not simplify matters. In an attempt to protect their interests, insurers will often 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 would have to pay any future damages that arise out of pocket.
A Lafayette bicycle accident attorney can prevent this from happening 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,a large number of such cases are settled through several rounds of negotiations. If negotiating doesn’t work, we can move forward with a bicycle accident lawsuit.
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 to your advantage if we do the talking for you during the settlement process. Otherwise, the other party’s insurers may 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. This means you only have 365 days from the date of your bike crash to initiate a lawsuit, as well as to:
- Seek treatment and a prognosis for your injuries
- Choose an attorney to represent you, if you plan to do so
- Collect evidence of the accident
- Build a strong case against the liable party
- Submit a claim to the insurer and begin negotiations
That doesn’t leave you much time to recover and handle other responsibilities in your life, which is why many accident victims hire a legal team like ours to take care of their legal matters.
How a Bicycle Accident Attorney 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 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
- Filing your injury lawsuit with the civil court within Louisiana’s statute of limitations of one year (CC Art. 3492)
- Evaluating any settlement offers you receive
- Taking your case to trial for a court award, if necessary
We will be there to support you through every step in the accident case, so you never have to feel lost or overwhelmed by the legal system.
We’ve Recovered Over $600 Million for Our Injury Clients
The attorneys with Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers collectively have more than 100 years’ worth 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 recent Google reviews from clients in Lafayette:
- “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
Yes, You Can Afford to Hire a Lawyer to Take on Your Bicycle Case
We know many people may consider passing up hiring an 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 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
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 be:
- 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
When it comes to proving that any of these parties were negligent in your accident, we must prove:
- The liable party had a duty of care to you to keep you from harm.
- They failed to carry out that duty.
- As a result of the breach, they caused your accident.
- The accident resulted in compensatory damages.
Causes of Bicycle Accidents That You Can Sue For
Investigating the accident and identifying all liable parties is the first step your lawyer will take during the process of claiming compensation for a bicycle accident that occurred 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 quite a few 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. There are several examples of accidents that may be the fault of others on the road.
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 these types of accidents.
The most 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, which is known as “dooring.” However, it is also possible that the driver was distracted by a passenger, or a property owner left some kind of 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 reach out to us for a free consultation.
Consult With a Lafayette Bicycle Accident Attorney Today
For a cyclist, it is a difficult road to recovery after an accident with an automobile. It 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 get you the rightful compensation. We serve clients in Lafayette from our office at 1901 Kaliste Saloom Road. Call today to learn more about how we can help you at (337) 282-9205 or complete a free case evaluation form.