You try to be a careful driver when you’re sharing the road with bicyclists. You even avoid the lane next to the bike lane if possible when there are cyclists riding there. If there’s no bike lane and they’re in front of you, you allow plenty of space between you in case they stop short.
However, sometimes, bicyclists aren’t as careful as they should be. They may get distracted or reckless and swerve out of the bike lane and into traffic. Although cyclists often take the brunt of the injuries in a car vs. bike collision, motorists can end up injured as well – often from swerving into another lane (and oncoming traffic) or into a tree or sign as they try to avoid them.
Louisiana has state and local laws for bicyclists
Bicyclists are subject to traffic laws. When they fail to abide by those laws and cause a crash, they can and should be held responsible. Louisiana, like all states, has laws that cyclists need to follow. For example, “Every person operating a bicycle upon a roadway shall ride as near to the right side of the roadway as practicable….” except in specific circumstances like to avoid hitting an object or to pass another cyclist. Some cities, including New Orleans and Baton Rouge, have local bike laws as well.
Don’t let yourself be blamed for a collision that wasn’t your fault. In fact, many cyclists have cameras on their bikes and helmets that can provide evidence of what occurred that can help support your case. That can be particularly crucial if you hit another vehicle as you were trying to avoid the cyclist.
If you were injured in a crash caused by a cyclist’s negligent, reckless or illegal actions, you have the right to seek compensation to help cover medical bills, lost income, car repair costs and more. It may be wise to seek legal guidance to protect and assert your rights.