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New Orleans Bicycle Accident Attorney

Riding a bicycle is a fantastic way to get around New Orleans. It’s a great source of exercise, it’s energy-efficient, and it’s just good clean fun. Unfortunately, it can also leave riders in a vulnerable position on roads and highways. New Orleans bicycle accidents very often lead to serious injuries since they have little protection and they travel close to fast-moving cars and trucks.

If you have been injured in a bicycle accident, you need an experienced New Orleans bicycle accident lawyer to fight for you. You need someone on your side who will work to win you fair compensation to recover from your injuries. Don’t hesitate to reach out to the experienced New Orleans personal injury attorneys at the Lavis Law Firm for a free case consultation. We can help. Call 866-289-2802.

New Orleans Bike Lane - Man Riding Bike In Bicycle Lane New Orleans

What To Do After You Have Been Injured In A New Orleans Bicycle Accident

If you have been involved in a New Orleans bicycle accident, you could be dealing with very serious injuries and medical expenses, the possibility of being unable to work, and even the inability to do day-to-day activities and tasks. If this is the case, it is important to reach out to an experienced New Orleans personal injury lawyer near you to help you fight for the compensation you deserve to cover these costs. The first thing to do right after the accident is to follow the steps listed below.

1. Seek Medical Attention Right Away

It’s important to speak with a doctor as soon as possible after a bicycle accident. Although some injuries like road rash will be visible right away there could be other more serious injuries not initially visible or felt that can quickly develop and lead to long-term health issues. Give your doctor as much detail as possible as to how the bicycle accident happened and what your symptoms are so they can give you the best diagnosis and treatment for your injuries. And make sure to follow through with whatever instructions the doctor gives you. 

2. Record Information About The Accident

This could be difficult to do immediately following the bicycle accident if you are injured severely but if possible take pictures of your surroundings and of your bicycle and any other vehicles involved. Once you are able to, make sure to write down every detail you can remember; time of day, weather conditions, traffic conditions, other pertinent factors, etc.  

3. Avoid Talking About the Accident

It can be tempting to try to make sure people understand your point of view when an accident occurs but it is best to stay silent and only discuss it with your close loved ones and a bicycle accident attorney. Don’t post about it on social media, don’t share details with your friends, and most importantly don’t discuss it with the at-fault driver’s insurance company.

4. Hire An Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer Near You

If you have been injured by a vehicle it is best to speak with a bicycle injuries attorney right away. They will be able to answer any questions you might have and explain what you need to do to protect your rights and get the maximum compensation you need. 

Common Types of New Orleans Bicycle Injuries

There are a number of ways that a person could be injured while on their bicycle. People opening their car doors into a cyclist’s path and ‘dooring’ them is very common. It also happens all too often that cars will turn into the path of a cyclist at an intersection or that they will sideswipe them along the shoulder of a road. The Colan Goodier Protection Act was actually enacted to make it law for vehicles to keep at least three feet away from cyclists to help protect them on the road. Any of these types of accidents can cause serious injuries. Some of the most common include:

Concussions or Traumatic Brain Injuries

Brain bruising or blood clots on the brain can quickly occur when there is a blow to the skull, as can a concussion, which is when the brain smashes against the inside of your skull. Helmets can help lessen the effects of these injuries but depending on the severity of the accident, not mitigate them completely. 

Road Rash or Abrasions

Being forced off your bicycle in an accident very often leads to sliding along the hard rough asphalt or gravel of the road which can easily lead to major scrapes of the soft tissue of the skin. 

Fractures

The impact of many New Orleans bicycle accidents makes it easy for bones to snap or break. In particular wrists, ankles, elbows, and knees are all prone to injury during a bicycle accident and broken bones can take months to heal, possibly longer in serious injuries like a compound fracture where the broken bone pierces through the skin. 

Spinal Cord Injuries

In severe bicycle accidents, the impact of being hit by a vehicle or colliding with the road can lead to injuries of the spinal cord. If bruised, crushed, or severed it could lead to temporary, partial or even total paralysis below the injury site. Spinal cord injuries are typically very serious and can take years of rehabilitation to recover from if the effects are non-permanent. 

Internal Injuries

Not always visible right away, internal injuries are incredibly serious and need immediate medical attention. Your heart, lungs, liver, or other organs could all be negatively affected by the impact of a serious bicycle accident. 

Contact An Experienced New Orleans Bicycle Accident Lawyer Near You Today

If you or a loved one have been the victim of a bicycle accident in New Orleans, you may be entitled to substantial financial compensation. You should contact a personal injury attorney in New Orleans right away to learn more about how you can file a claim or lawsuit. Contact Lavis Law today for assistance with your case by booking a free confidential case evaluation by calling our firm toll-free at 866-289-2802 or submitting your online form.

We can also assist with car accidents, truck accidents, dog bites, slip and fall, and more.

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Interactive Graph Showing Fatal Bike Accidents & Reported Bicycle Injuries by Parish

3 Feet Rule for Bicycles in New Orleans

bike accident lawyer in New Orleans, Louisiana

 

The Colin Goodier Protection Act was created in honor of Dr. Colin Goodier who was killed on June 9, 2008, when a truck passing Colin, who was riding on his bike, entered into the bicycle training route. Shortly after this accident Colin’s family, as well as others affected by similar tragic incidents, began pushing Louisiana to follow in the footsteps of 12 other states in passing this law. Nationally, two percent of traffic fatalities involve bicycles, a statistic that has pushed states into providing more safety provisions for bicyclists. The law is designed to protect bicyclists on the road by requiring passing vehicles to maintain a three-foot distance between themselves and the rider. Violations of this law can result in a fine of up to $250.00. We are often called to assist with New Orleans bicycle accident cases.

LA R.S. 32:76.1. Limitations on passing bicycles

A three foot distance must be present between the passing automobile and slower traveling bicyclists.
3 Foot Distance Must Be Present Between Passing Car & Bike

A.  This Section shall be known as the Colin Goodier Protection Act.

B.  The operator of a motor vehicle, when overtaking and passing a bicycle proceeding in the same direction on the roadway, shall exercise due care while the motor vehicle is passing the bicycle and shall leave a safe distance between the motor vehicle and the bicycle of not less than three feet and shall maintain such clearance until safely past the overtaken bicycle.  An operator of a motor vehicle may pass a bicycle traveling in the same direction in a no-passing zone only when it is safe to do so.

C.  The Department of Public Safety and Corrections, office of motor vehicles, is directed to include a summary of this Section in any instructional publication for drivers.

D.  The Department of Transportation and Development is directed to place signs in areas frequently used by bicyclists in an effort to make motorists aware of the need to share the road with bicyclists.

E.  The Louisiana Highway Safety Commission is directed to engage in a public awareness campaign to notify motorists and bicyclists of the provisions of this Section.

F.  Any person who violates this Section shall be fined not more than two hundred fifty dollars.

Acts 2009, No. 147, §1; Acts 2010, No. 618, §1.

The City of New Orleans passed a similar ordinance in 2017

Sec. 154-406. – Limitations on passing bicycles.

The operator of a motor vehicle, when overtaking and passing a bicycle proceeding in the same direction on the roadway, shall exercise due care while the motor vehicle is passing the bicycle and shall leave a safe distance between the motor vehicle and the bicycle of not less than three feet and shall maintain such clearance until safely past the overtaken bicycle. An operator of a motor vehicle may pass a bicycle traveling in the same direction in a no-passing zone only when it is safe to do so.

(M.C.S., Ord. No. 27363, § 1, 4-20-17)

Contact an Experienced New Orleans Bicycle Accident Lawyer

If you need help with your Louisiana bicycle accident or car accident, call Lavis Law Firm toll-free at 866-558-9151 or submit your online form. Please keep in mind that you may be facing important legal deadlines.

dooring

Preventing Common Biking Accidents

How to Avoid Becoming a Victim of a Biking Accident in New Orleans

You have heard it said that the best defense is a good offense. Usually, this phrase is used when talking about sports, but it is also true in driving, especially when riding a bike. A cyclist is the best defensive driver when riding offensively. This means that cyclists should stay aware of everything happening around them.

Know what you are doing

When riding a bicycle in New Orleans, do not just ride it – operate it. What’s the difference?
Since going on offense means taking responsibility and being proactive, you must anticipate what might happen all around you to keep you safe and alive.

Biking on city streets is hazardous, and in New Orleans it can be deadly. New Orleans had nearly four bicyclist deaths per 100,000 people from 2007 to 2016, making it the second most dangerous city for bikers.

Still, biking is here to stay, and if you are going to join the thousands of bikers nationwide, you must develop a good offense. Here are some tips on how to do that.

Know the laws that pertain to bicycles

The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development publishes the laws pertaining to bicycles on its website. Knowing these laws will empower you to be the most defensive biker you can be. They include:
  • Safe passing laws
  • Helmet laws
  • The dooring law
  • The non-harassment law
  • Application of traffic laws to bicyclists
  • Where to ride
In addition to these specific laws, some “common sense” rules also apply, such as:
  • Riding on sidewalks
  • The “Idaho Stop” law
  • Proper lanes to use
Knowing what operators of motor vehicles are “supposed” to do is as important as knowing what you as a cyclist must do. Some of the following laws are specifically directed to operators of motor vehicles when they encounter a cyclist on the road.
When a motor vehicle is approaching a cyclist on a roadway from behind, the driver must exercise due care and must maintain a distance of at least 3 feet until safely past the bike.
Cyclists need to realize that a motor vehicle may pass in a “no-passing” zone but only when it is safe to do so.
A child under the age of 12 must wear a helmet when operating a bicycle or as a passenger on a bicycle. People who are at or above that age are not required to do so.
The law also requires that a child under 40 pounds or less than 40 inches tall may only be a passenger if properly seated and secured in a restraining seat.

Operators of motor vehicles are prohibited from opening or leaving open any door without ensuring that they are not endangering another vehicle or person. Of course, cyclists need to always be vigilant when traveling on any street or roadway so they can watch out for doors on parked cars suddenly opening ahead of them. More about dooring.

People have the right to not be harassed or have objects thrown at them while on a bicycle. The defensive bicyclist will anticipate and actively avoid such a situation.
Bicyclists have all the rights and duties that apply to any operator of a vehicle. They need to be especially aware that they do not have any special privileges, however.
This is especially important for cyclists to know. Cyclists need to always stay as close to the right of the roadway as safely as possible, except when passing another bicycle or vehicle going in the same direction. Of course, the “stay to the right” rule is waived when a cyclist is preparing to turn left or needs to avoid objects in the roadway. Cyclists should never ride more than two abreast except on paths or where roadways are reserved especially for bicycles.

Rules of thumb

Louisiana has no laws allowing or prohibiting riding on sidewalks. Cyclists should apply their defensive driving skills in these situations. If you cause injury to a pedestrian, you could be held responsible.
“Idaho stops” are when bicyclists can treat stop signs as yield signs and stop lights as stop signs. Louisiana does not treat bicyclists any different than motor vehicle operators when it comes to making a complete stop at a stop sign or a red light.

Avoiding crashes

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, two main types of crashes are falls and collisions with cars. Collisions with cars are by far the most serious, but cyclists can reduce the risk of all crashes.

Some basic facts

  • Most cyclist deaths happen between 6:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.
  • Three-fourths of deadly bicycle crashes occur in urban areas.
  • Males are eight times more likely than females to be killed in a bicycle crash.
  • Alcohol played a part in almost 40% of deadly bicycle crashes in 2017.
While these facts can be a bit scary, there are precautions you can take:
  • Keep your bike in good working order, especially the brakes.
  • Wear proper gear, like a helmet and a bright-colored shirt, and keep shoelaces tied and secure pant legs so they don’t get caught in the chain.
  • If you ride at night, have a headlight and good reflectors on the rear.

Drive defensively and predictably

You can never really anticipate what drivers are going to do, and you should never assume they see you or know what you are going to do. Motor vehicle drivers can be unpredictable.

However, that doesn’t mean you should be unpredictable as well. Be obvious in your actions and signal your intentions. By doing this, you lower your chances of being in an accident with a car. If you are injured, there is a biking accidents attorney in New Orleans you can call.

For bike accident legal help in Louisiana, get in touch with the the Lavis Law Firm. You can contact us online, or call us (866) 558-9151 to schedule a consultation.

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Who Is At Fault When It Comes to "Dooring"?

Representing Victims of Dooring in New Orleans

New Orleans has one of the highest bicycle accident rates in the nation. This means that laws and codes have been put into place to create order between motor vehicle drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians as they maneuver around the city. If you or someone you know has been the victim of New Orleans bicycle accident, keep reading to find out what you should do to handle the situation properly with the help of a dooring attorney in New Orleans.

Negligently Left Open Car Door Blocking Bike Path- Dooring Accident
Negligently Left Open Car Door Blocking Bike Path, New Orleans 2020

What Louisiana laws say about dooring

Louisiana laws were constructed in favor of preventing these common bicycle accidents from happening. This was done by giving motor vehicle drivers the responsibility of making sure that the area is safe before they open their door. The law also provides that no one inside of the motor vehicle should leave the car door open for longer than necessary.

§283. Improper opening or leaving open of vehicle doors
A. No person shall open any door of a motor vehicle located on a highway without first taking due precaution to ensure that his act shall not interfere with the movement of traffic or endanger any other person or vehicle.
B. No person shall leave open any door of a motor vehicle located on a highway for a period of time longer than necessary to load or unload passengers.

Different types of dooring accidents

These accidents usually consist of drivers or passengers of a motor vehicle opening a door just in time for a bicyclist to crash into it. These types of accidents can happen on both sides of the car. They can also happen if the car is still moving.

Facts that could affect your case

Most drivers and passengers of the motor vehicle will be held responsible and found at fault for causing the incident. However, there are facts that could affect the amount of responsibility that the person at fault ends up bearing.

Safety

If there are certain laws pertaining to cyclists within a designated area, they must be followed. If an accident happens, cyclists may be held responsible if they did not. This could happen if cyclists did not wear proper safety gear during certain times of the day. This could also happen if they didn’t follow applicable traffic rules.

Alcohol

Bicyclists who are proven to be riding under the influence may be found to be at fault for the accident. In 2017, 48% of bicyclist fatalities were due to alcohol.

Distraction

Bicyclists who are distracted while they are riding are more likely to be involved in a dooring accident. This is a fact that could make the bicyclist at least partially responsible for their losses.

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What to do when you are a victim of dooring

  • Convince the driver to stay at the scene. This is one of the most important steps. You must try to keep the driver there so that he or she can be identified and questioned when the police arrive at the scene. You may also want to gather their license and insurance information.On some occasions, the driver might try to flee from the scene. This is hindering part of the case that could leave you empty-handed with no help. You should be sure to get the license plate number of the vehicle and other forms of identification that might help the police identify the driver once they have arrived at the scene.
  • Call 911 so that a police officer can arrive to help you. Calling 911 will allow the appropriate help to arrive at the scene so that you can be treated respectfully according to the law. Failing to do so within a reasonable amount of time could allow the driver to leave the scene without proper identification from the police. This could cause your claim to fail.
  • As soon as you talk to the police, request an incident report and a formal citation for the person that hit you. This is information that will allow you to document the incident so that your accident can be given a fair trial. These documents can also be reliable sources for the insurance company.
  • Identify and communicate with all of your witnesses. Try to get them to stay at the scene. Witnesses are a critical component to these types of accidents. They will be able to add extra details that might help the police and other authorities decide on the fate of your case. This is why you and the police should document the witnesses’ names and information so that they can be used as critical evidence for your case. A lawyer from Lavis Law can use this gathered information to help your case.
  • Go to the hospital as soon as possible. Lots of accidents induce the release of adrenaline throughout the body. This prevents the victim from feeling any pain. The pain from the accident could show up later during the day. That is why you should go to the hospital immediately after the accident happens. Your body could be undergoing traumatic amounts of stress because of the accident without you even feeling it.

Contact a New Orleans attorney who can help

No matter how simple your case may seem to be, it is always smart to consult with a dooring lawyer in Louisiana. The law is designed to work in favor of the cyclist. However, there are contributing factors that can cause you to receive less than you actually deserve.

You should contact Lavis Law by phone or online as soon as possible so that you can request a consultation. This could help you get dooring legal help in Louisiana so that your case gets resolved in a favorable manner.

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