Metairie Bicycle Accident Lawyer
Even in a car-focused society like ours, many people still enjoy riding bicycles for recreation or as an alternative form of commuting. Many Louisiana cities have even installed special bicycle lanes to facilitate people who wish to enjoy their bikes in relative safety. And even where there are no special bike lanes, bicyclists still have the same rights and responsibilities as any other person using the roadways.
But as we all know–and may have experienced personally–many drivers ignore their duty to share the road. This often leads to accidents, which places the bicyclist at high risk of serious injury or even death. A qualified Metairie bicycle accident lawyer can help you recover compensation from a negligent driver in such cases. Palazzo Law Firm has represented many clients in negotiating with the insurance companies of reckless drivers, and when necessary has gone to court to recover appropriate legal damages.
What Should You Do Following a Bicycle Accident?
Everyone who operates a vehicle owes a legal duty of care to follow the traffic laws and act in a responsible and safe manner. Louisiana law expressly requires the operator of any motor vehicle to “exercise due care” when passing a bicycle. This means leaving a “safe distance” of at least three feet between their vehicle and the bicycle while passing–and maintaining that separation until the pass is safely completed. Motor vehicles must also stay out of designated bicycle lanes.
If a motorist ignores these rules and strikes you while you are riding your bicycle, however, it is important not to panic. You should always remain at the accident scene and contact the police, assuming you are physically capable of doing so. Even if you do think you sustained a serious injury, it is still important to file an official police report to create a record of the accident for insurance purposes. Do not talk to the negligent driver beyond asking for insurance information. And if there were any neutral witnesses who saw what happened, take down their name and contact information.
Of course, you should also seek medical attention. Again, even if you were able to get up and “walk away” from a bicycle accident, you may have still sustained a traumatic brain injury or other internal damage that does not immediately manifest itself. It is always a good idea to get checked out by a doctor.
Contact The Palazzo Law Firm Today
When a driver’s negligence causes a bicycle accident, their insurance company will generally be on the hook for negotiating a settlement. Insurance company adjusters will often try to deny the extent of an injured bicyclist’s injuries or even claim the bicyclist was somehow responsible for the accident. These are common tactics clearly designed to protect the insurer’s own bottom line.
But by working with an experienced Metairie bicycle accident lawyer, you can help level the playing field and make sure the insurer takes your claim seriously. So if you have been hurt in a bicycle crash and need legal advice on what steps to take next, contact Palazzo Law Firm today to schedule a free consultation.