Bicycle Accident Lawyer in Alexandria Louisiana
Although cycling has become a more and more popular way of getting around across the United States, public awareness in places like Alexandria is still not as high as in larger metropolitan cities like New York City or Chicago. Cyclists have the same rights on streets as the operators of motor vehicles, but they can also ride on sidewalks on streets without bike lanes. Despite the clear laws put in place to protect Louisiana cyclists, there are serious risks they encounter on a daily basis.
Motor vehicles are by far the biggest danger to cyclists. Drivers often become frustrated with slower-moving bicycles that cannot keep the same speed as larger vehicles on busy streets. Drivers may maneuver dangerously, accelerating to swerve around a cyclist or cutting off bicycle lanes, where they are in place. Even larger vehicles may be completely oblivious to bicycles sharing the road due to blind spots.
Dangers to cyclists are dramatically increased under adverse weather conditions. Drivers who already exercise insufficient care in keeping a lookout for cyclists are even less likely to expect bicycles to be used in the rain — and that is before the decreased visibility. Slick roads reduce the ability of motor vehicles to stop and can decrease traction for slender bicycle wheels, meaning that accidents are considerably more likely. Even when all parties believe they are doing their best to avoid accidents, failing to adjust for adverse conditions can make accidents unavoidable.
Even though there are typically far fewer cyclists in rainy or icy conditions, drivers must still exercise care and take reasonable precautions to avoid accidents. When a heavy vehicle collides with an unprotected cyclist, the injuries can be catastrophic. In Louisiana, a cyclist may recover monetary damages for a portion of his or her injuries even if the court finds both sides were equally at fault. This standard, called comparative negligence, offers greater opportunity for recovery but also requires the skill of an experienced Louisiana bicycle accident attorney.
In order to avoid accidents, cyclists should maintain extra awareness of their surroundings, especially in heavy traffic or inclement weather. Complexities caused by pedestrians must also be accounted for, since a person suddenly stepping into a bike lane could easily precipitate a swerve and a serious accident.
If you’re injured while riding a bicycle in Alexandria, Louisiana, keep a few things in mind. Always get contact information and insurance policies for anyone else involved, and make sure you can stay in touch with any witnesses who might have seen what happened. Because of Louisiana’s comparative negligence standard, having a witness who places the blame fully on the careless driver can mean receiving full compensation for your injuries. You should always seek medical attention for any injury, even ones which initially appear to be minor. Next, when the insurance company contacts you and asks you to settle, tell them you need to speak to an attorney first. Chris J. Roy Jr. has helped many injured cyclists receive compensation and will be able to tell you whether the settlement offer is fair. Don’t let the insurance company deny you the opportunity to get what you deserve.