Collisions Involving Pedestrians and Cyclists
Physical fitness is frequent in today’s news, but it has been a strong concern of this nation since the days of President Kennedy. In the early 1960s, President Kennedy took many initiatives to have his administration focus on the physical health of Americans. Ever since then, many Americans do not take their health for granted and are finding ways to become healthier including cycling and walking for a healthier mind and body. This has also played into the more eco-friendly minded society of today where many people have begun to walk or bicycle to work.
Cycling and walking are great for your health, but you are in a very vulnerable place if you are hit by a vehicle. There are many reasons why an accident occurs involving a cyclist and a car including when a motorist may be distracted, the driver makes a wrong turn when it is the time for the cyclist to go, or when a driver does not look both ways. All of these and many more situations lead to collisions between a cyclist and motor vehicles. It is important for a cyclist to wear the necessary helmet protection when riding, but this in many instances will not be enough to protect from injuries. Louisiana law requires a bicycle operator or passenger under the age of twelve years to wear a helmet when riding a bicycle. It also requires a passenger who weighs less than forty pounds or is less than forty inches in height to be properly seated in and adequately secured in a restraining seat. LA R.S.§32:197 also mandates that every person operating a bicycle upon a roadway shall ride as near to the right side of the roadway as practicable, exercising due care when passing a standing vehicle or one proceeding in the same direction, except under any of the following circumstances: (1) When overtaking and passing another bicycle or vehicle proceeding in the same direction, (2) When preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway, (3) When reasonably necessary to avoid fixed or moving objects, vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians, animals, surface hazards, or substandard width lane or any other conditions that make it unsafe to continue along the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway, or (4) When approaching a place where a right turn is authorized. Also, for a cyclist, it is important to keep in the designated bike lanes, to check the brakes on a daily basis, and have the proper lights on the bicycle. The judge or jury will look to these factors when assessing who is at fault for the collision. Injuries sustained from a vehicle while on a bicycle are never good and may cause life altering consequences. It is necessary to have a skilled New Orleans attorney on your side to show the driver is at fault.
As a pedestrian there is little you can do if you are in the way of a moving vehicle. There are many causes of these accidents including when a driver fails to follow basic traffic laws, when the driver does not look both ways, when the driver backs up in a parking lot, or if the driver is unnecessarily speeding. If people paid attention to the simple things while on the road it would lead to safer walking conditions for pedestrians. There are also certain rules of the road that pedestrians should be aware of as well. Louisiana law states that where sidewalks are provided, it shall be unlawful for any pedestrian to walk along and upon an adjacent highway. Where sidewalks are not provided, any pedestrian walking along and upon a highway shall, when practicable, walk only on the left side of the highway or its shoulder, facing traffic which may approach from the opposite direction. It is also against Louisiana law for any pedestrian to cross an interstate highway, except in the case of an emergency. It is important to have a skilled New Orleans attorney on your side that knows the ins and outs of the law to represent your case and get the best possible outcome.
Since there is no way for pedestrians to protect themselves, many of these accidents are serious and can even be fatal. Whenever there has been an accident between a pedestrian or cyclist with a car the very first thing to do is to immediately receive the medical attention needed for the injuries. Even if there are no outward signs of injury, it is still important to seek a doctor because there is always a chance of internal injuries. Always be careful with injuries from these types of accidents and to immediately seek the needed medical help. Keep relevant medical documents from the cause of the accident, and try to get documentation from the scene of the accident such as statements from witnesses or pictures from a phone or camera. These documents can be evidence in proving the driver is at fault. Victims in these types of accidents may be able to seek damages for injuries, future medical bills, loss of income, physical and mental pain and suffering, and permanent disability depending on the nature of the accident.
Because a pedestrian or bicycle accident can create multiple issues and significant losses, an injured party should hire an experienced New Orleans attorney whose firm concentrates on such accidents, but also has the resources necessary for an injured person’s medical needs as well as the hiring of experts from a variety of fields in order to increase the value of the case. Cliff Cardone has practiced law nearly 40 years and has primarily handled personal-injury matters. If you have been injured in a pedestrian or bicycle accident, Phone Cardone at 1-504-522-3333 for a free in person consultation. He is direct, insightful, proactive, and passionate about his client’s cases.