Individuals ride their bicycles for a variety of reasons, including recreation and transportation. One commonality for all cyclists, however, is their vulnerability to personal injuries at the hands of negligent motorists.
Any bicycle collision has the potential to be disastrous. Bikes are not built to sustain the impacts from cars, trucks, and motorcycles, nor are they designed to protect the rider against serious personal injury in the event of a collision.
After a collision, bikers often need the support of a seasoned personal injury attorney to review the details of their case. An Opelousas bicycle accident lawyer might be able to help victims prove their compliance with Louisiana’s bike laws and demonstrate negligence on the part of other motorists.
According to Louisiana Revised Statutes § 32:203, there are a handful of times when a car has legal cause to be in a bicycle lane. Generally, these situations involve motorists in the process of entering or exiting a road. The law requires that drivers occupy the bike lane for no more than 200 feet before an upcoming turn.
With conditions, mopeds and other motorized bicycles are permitted in the bike lane in Opelousas. One caveat is the speed that mopeds can travel. The law requires moped drivers to travel at a speed that does not endanger cyclists.
Cars, trucks, and motorcycles may also be allowed to enter bike lanes when emergency vehicles and first responders require clear passageways on the road.
Each of these situations demands discretion on the part of the driver entering the bike lane. When individuals fail to consider bikers’ safety, they may be liable for any resulting damages. A bicycle accident lawyer in Opelousas could investigate a driver’s conduct and collect evidence to demonstrate negligence.
Per La. R.S. § 32:195, each bicycle is designed to carry a certain number of people at one time. Typically, that number corresponds to the number of seats mounted on the bike. When bicyclists carry more passengers than the number of available seats, the jury may determine the bikers to be at fault for the accident.
This statute also requires bicycles to have one or more hands-on the handlebars of their bikes at all times. If a cyclist rides without control of the bike, the jury may reduce potential damages or throw out the case.
Sometimes, defendants in a bicycle accident case may allege wrongdoing on the part of the cyclist. In these situations, the victim’s total damages award may be reduced. An Opelousas bike accident lawyer could help refute these allegations in pursuit of maximum compensation.
La. R.S. § 32:194 requires bikers to follow the same rules of the road as other motorists. Also, this law grants cyclists the same rights as drivers. Motorists must yield to bicycles just like other automobiles. If they violate the right of way or break another traffic law, the driver may be at fault for the resulting injuries.
Traffic accidents often have many contributing factors and even multiple causes. In these situations, a seasoned lawyer might help victims to demonstrate unlawful driving on the part of motorists.
While bicyclists are required to follow the rules of the road just like motorists, they are also entitled to the same protection from harm. If you suffered injuries at the hands of a negligent driver, you may have tremendous medical bills to pay. If you are unable to work, lost wages may also take a toll on your finances. An Opelousas bicycle accident could help you recover these losses through civil lawsuits or out-of-court settlements.