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Assumption Parish Bicycle Accident Lawyer

Riding a bicycle can be refreshing and fuel-efficient, and is often a great alternative to driving when possible. However, even the best bicyclists can find themselves in a traffic accident with reckless or impatient drivers.

Distracted driving and road rage have become common hazards for drivers and bicyclists alike in Assumption Parish. In fact, the state of Louisiana has the second highest rate of fatalities from bicycle accidents at 7.3 fatalities per million residents compared to the national rate of 2.5, according to a report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

If you suffer injuries in a bicycle accident, you may want to call a knowledgeable lawyer. An Assumption Parish bicycle accident lawyer could help protect your rights and work to recover damages on your behalf.

Negligence Law in Louisiana

The law of negligence applies to bicycle accident cases in Assumption Parish. This means that the plaintiff has the burden to prove that the driver of the vehicle who collided with their bicycle was negligent and that their negligence directly caused the filing plaintiff’s injuries. If all these elements hold true, the defendant could be held liable for damages.

Additionally, courts in Assumption Parish apply the comparative fault rule to bicycle accidents, which means that injured parties may recover damages for their injuries even they are partially at fault. However, the amount that they can recover would be reduced by their degree of fault in the accident. A qualified Assumption Parish bicycle accident lawyer could help you determine what degree of fault, if any, a bicycle accident victim may be liable for.

Legislation Related to Bicycling

Louisiana laws governing bicycle riding establish several requirements and legal duties which factor into assessing liability. Bicycle riders have all the same rights and duties of the driver of a vehicle on highways in Louisiana, with limited exceptions as noted in Louisiana Code RS 32:194.

  • While passing a bicyclist, drivers must leave at least three feet of distance between their car and the cyclist, according to Louisiana Revised Statutes §32:76.1. They must also make sure it is safe to pass a bicyclist in a no passing zone when traveling in the same direction.
  • A person under the age of 12 who is riding a bicycle either as an operator or a passenger must wear a helmet. However, if a citation is issued for not wearing a helmet, that citation shall not be prima facie of negligence, as enumerated in Louisiana Revised Statutes §32:199.  The comparative negligence statutes of Louisiana shall apply in these cases as in all other cases of negligence.
  • Finally, Louisiana Revised Statutes §32:283 states that no one may open a door of a motor vehicle located on a highway without first ensuring that opening the door will not endanger any other person or vehicle. Furthermore, it is illegal to taunt, harass, or maliciously throw objects in the direction of someone riding a bicycle, according to Louisiana Revised Statutes §32:201.

Obligations of Bicycle Riders

There are also certain things that bicyclists may not do under Louisiana Revised Statutes §32:197. If these laws are violated, that could weigh against their recovery in a lawsuit for damages, which may hamper the ability of an Assumption Parish bicycle accident lawyer to help a person.

For example, bicyclists should ride close to the right edge of the roadway unless preparing to turn left. Also, people riding bicycles on a roadway should not ride more than two abreast, unless they are traveling on roads or pathways designated specifically for bicycles.

Contact an Assumption Parish Bicycle Accident Attorney Today

Louisiana imposes a one-year statute of limitations for filing bicycle accident lawsuits. If you are injured when operating a bicycle in Assumption Parish, be sure to protect your rights and contact an attorney as soon as possible before time runs out.

An experienced Assumption Parish bicycle accident lawyer could examine the evidence to support your claim and negotiate with insurance companies and defendants on your behalf.  Call today to schedule a consultation.