Taking a bike to work or out for a day of shopping is a healthy alternative to driving that's good for the environment, as well as a great recreational option for families when people are increasingly staying away from indoor activities. While most people arrive at their destination without a scratch, there are serious dangers inherent to navigating New Orleans streets on a bicycle, especially when drivers don't obey the rules of the road.
Common Types of Bicycle Accident Injuries in Louisiana
If a negligent driver doesn't uphold their basic legal duty of care, it becomes all too easy for a bicyclist to sustain major injuries. A variety of unlawful behaviors can result in collisions with bike riders and leave the driver liable for costly damages.
Those behaviors have even greater potential to cause an accident during less-than-ideal driving conditions, such as a rain storm when there could be reduced visibility or longer time needed to stop safely. Collisions between a bicyclist and a car, truck, or SUV are often specifically brought about by:
- Backing up from a parking spot without checking the rearview mirror
- Driving under the influence of alcohol, prescription drugs, or illegal narcotics
- Distracted driving (fiddling with knobs, using a cell phone, arguing with passengers in the back seat, etc.)
- Failing to yield, particularly during left turns
- Not checking blind spots when changing lanes or turning right at an intersection
- Running red lights or stop signs
Because you don't have the physical protection of a vehicle's frame to shield you from harm, it is devastatingly easy for a bicycle accident to cause catastrophic injuries or even death. Helmets can mitigate some of the worst of the damage, but they don't always prevent brain trauma when a vehicle weighing several thousand pounds collides with a victim at high speed.
Due to their smaller size and developing bodies, children in particular are susceptible to serious and potentially even permanent wounds from a serious bicycle accident. Either adults or kids struck by a vehicle while riding a bike may experience:
- Broken bones
- Bruises and cuts
- Closed or penetrating traumatic brain injuries
- Chronic pain
- Dental injuries
- Eye or vision damage
- Herniated discs, fractured vertebrae, pinched nerves, and other spinal cord issues
- Internal damage to organs such as the spleen, pancreas, bowels, etc.
- Mobility problems
- Soft tissue damage
- Strains and sprains
Important Steps to Take After a Bicycle Accident Injury
While impalement through the handlebars or skin-penetrating bone fractures are immediately obvious after a crash, other injuries aren't always apparent. The adrenaline from the accident often prevents victims from realizing just how badly they are actually hurt at the scene. Broken bones, internal bleeding, spinal cord trauma, and traumatic brain injuries can be completely invisible to the naked eye after a collision, but still pose an extreme danger.
That's why it is critical to visit the emergency room and see a medical professional after any accident, especially when you are directly struck by a vehicle while riding a bike. Besides finding hidden injuries, getting checked out by a doctor strengthens your legal claim and provides your attorney with the important evidence needed to successfully argue your case in court.
Documenting your specific physical injuries, establishing a paper trail on your medical costs, and carefully following your doctor's orders are all crucial to recovering damages. You also need to enlist the aid of an attorney to investigate the crash and determine who is legally responsible. You may need to pursue a personal injury lawsuit against the reckless driver, the manufacturer of a faulty part, or a commercial trucking company whose negligent hiring practices caused your injury.
Protect Your Legal Rights After a Bike Accident
Don't go through this legally complex and emotionally exhausting process alone. Talk to the Scott Vicknair law firm about your accident as soon as possible. We want to find out if our experienced team is the right fit to help you hold the negligent party responsible for your suffering while recovering the full and fair compensation you deserve.