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Who pays for the costs in a Louisiana car-bike crash?

On Behalf of | Oct 1, 2023 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

bicycle Levee Silhouettes near New Orleans

Cycling is a hobby people of all ages can enjoy. It offers health benefits as a form of cardiovascular exercise. It can help people strengthen their bodies and can also provide very affordable local transportation. Unfortunately, cycling can be quite dangerous because those on bikes have to share the road with those in large motor vehicles. Drivers can make mistakes that put those on bicycles in perilous positions. Sometimes, they cause major collisions.

Even if a cyclist consistently prioritizes their safety on the road, they may eventually encounter a driver who doesn’t abide by the rules of the road. In a crash between a bicycle and a motor vehicle, the bicycle and its rider will always be at risk, while the likelihood of the vehicle suffering significant damage is relatively low.

Drivers who cause crashes might be liable

When one party makes a mistake in traffic and causes a crash will usually be the party responsible for covering the cost generated by a collision. Someone could be at fault for a crash because they broke traffic laws. Failing to use turn signals, not stopping at a red light or exceeding the speed limit are all traffic infractions that put increase the likelihood of a collision occurring and lead to liability for the person breaking the law.

The police officer who responds to the scene of the crash may issue a ticket to the driver who caused the wreck. If the violation is a serious one, such as impaired driving, they may choose to arrest the driver at fault for a car-bike collision. The cyclist will typically have the right to file an insurance claim.

However, given how serious injuries and such crashes can be, cyclists may need far more than what a basic insurance policy will provide, as people can drive with only $15,000 in bodily injury liability coverage in Louisiana. Depending on the scope of someone’s injuries and the insurance policy of the motorist at fault for the wreck, it could become necessary for an injured cyclist to take a driver to court to recoup their losses.

A personal injury lawsuit brought by an injured cyclist could help cover their medical expenses and reimburse the injured party for their lost wages. Although insurance coverage is subject to policy limits that determine how much compensation someone can receive, personal injury lawsuits allow for substantially more realistic claims.

A cyclist hurt in a crash caused by a driver in Louisiana may need to look carefully at their circumstances to determine if legal action might be necessary. Holding a driver accountable for the devastation of a car-bike collision can help ensure that an injured cyclist does not bear the burden of a collision alone if a driver caused their harm.