Cyclists are among the most vulnerable users of our streets. At Huber Thomas & Marcelle, we’re avid commuter and recreational cyclists ourselves, so we know the struggle to share the road firsthand. From car doors to careless drivers, and even poor road conditions, cyclists face unique threats. Unfortunately, pedestrians are also at risk, even in clearly marked cross walks. At Huber Thomas & Marcelle, we don’t take any accidents that happen to pedestrians or cyclists lightly. Our accident attorneys have experience with both bicycle accidents and pedestrian accidents. We are also the law firm selected by Bike Law USA to represent injured bicyclists and advocate for better legal protections under the law. We can advise you on your rights and help you get the support you need.
Protecting Your Rights On The Road
When a cyclist or pedestrian is injured due to a negligent or reckless driver, they may be entitled to compensation. This can help cover the harm the accident caused, so you can recover fully.
No two accidents are the same, but every person on the road has to exercise reasonable care. As a cyclist or pedestrian, you must pay attention to traffic signals and who has the right of way. However, drivers in their vehicles have significant responsibilities as well.
The most common causes of accidents where drivers are to blame include:
- Distracted driving due to cell phone use
- Failing to look before changing lanes
- Refusing to give the right of way to cyclists or pedestrians
- Opening the door of a parked car without looking
- Tailgating or cutting off cyclists
In fact, laws are in place to protect cyclists and pedestrians on the road. For example, Louisiana state law provides guidance for overtaking and passing a bicycle proceeding in the same direction on the roadway. It states that a driver must exercise due care and maintain a safe distance of at least three feet. Louisiana’s lawsprotect both drivers and cyclists from bicycle accidents.
Unfortunately, these types of accidents can still become a game of he said/she said. Bicycle accidents often involve disputed liability, hinging on which party caused the accident.
This is why we take special care with these cases at Huber Thomas & Marcelle. We use investigators, accident reconstruction experts, and three-dimensional modelers to recreate the accident circumstances based on forensic evidence. This method allows jurors to see what happened firsthand.
Understanding The Facts
Even when you’re acting within your rights and following the law, accidents still happen. Due to the nature of collisions involving cyclists and pedestrians, the results can be catastrophic. From severe injuries to fatalities, the numbers are disheartening.
For bicycle accidents, the second-highest fatality rate per million population was right here in Louisiana in 2018. When it comes to pedestrian accidents, Louisiana ranked third in fatality rates that same year (per 100,000 population).
When we analyze national data, we see certain trends concerning these types of accidents. Regardless of the season, bicyclist deaths occur most often between 6:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. They’re also 75% more likely to occur in urban areas than rural ones.
What Should I Do After An Accident?
Things tend to move in slow motion after an accident, especially if it’s serious. There are certain steps you should take after any type of car accident, and these steps generally apply to bicycle and pedestrian accidents as well. These are the best ways to minimize legal and financial consequences while keeping everyone safe.
Move to a safe area and call 911
It’s always important to remain on scene after an accident if it's safe to do so. Leaving the area can lead to serious legal consequences. If you are blocking the flow of traffic, creating an even more dangerous situation, move to an adjacent parking lot or to the shoulder. Drivers should turn on their hazard lights to increase visibility or use emergency flares.
Next, call for help. If you or anyone else is hurt, it’s important to call 911 as soon as possible. Emergency medical help is an immediate need, especially when traumatic brain or head injuries are suspected.
Even if everyone is safe, you should still call the police department. An official report will be an important piece of evidence for insurance companies, as well as accident attorneys.
Gather important information
Even when damage seems minimal, it’s best to exchange information with everyone involved. You will need names, the license plate number, contact details, and insurance information.
If there are any witnesses nearby, try to get their contact information as well. Whether it’s someone who pulled over to help or a passerby on the sidewalk, their point of view may be important. If possible, connect them with the officer on scene to give a statement.
Further, take photos of the scene from multiple angles, including close-ups of any damage. A video may also help to provide context and a better view of the entire area. Take photos of any evidence like debris or skid marks in the road.
Keep records of any medical treatment
From X-rays to surgeries and hospital stays, medical bills add up quickly. Keep a record of every medical appointment you have after the accident. Create a file for safekeeping and consider creating digital copies for easy emailing.
What About Cyclist And Pedestrian Accidents Specifically?
While the tips above apply to every type of accident, there are unique complexities about accidents involving both cyclists and pedestrians. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about this type of situation.
Do cyclists owe a duty of care to pedestrians?
Everyone using the road has a responsibility, including cyclists. If a cyclist is negligent or reckless, they aren’t upholding their duty of care. Some of these situations may include:
- Failing to stop at a red light or stop sign
- Riding a bicycle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Not obeying traffic laws or signs
In addition, to avoid bicycle accidents, cyclists should always wear appropriate gear, including lights during the evening or early morning hours. That said, pedestrians are also expected to use marked crosswalks and follow basic traffic rules to avoid pedestrian accidents.
What to do if a cyclist hits you
If a cyclist hits you as a pedestrian, you should still follow the steps we previously shared. Unfortunately, these situations are rarely clear cut. Everyone has their own side to tell, but the evidence will speak to who is responsible.
The best thing you can do is gather as much evidence as possible and contact an attorney. Accident attorneys can help you take the next steps if you deserve compensation.
We Can Help At Huber Thomas & Marcelle
Many people don’t realize that most cases settle outside of court. Due to the expensive and time-consuming nature of lawsuits, this is the best way to handle most cases. While we’re familiar with this reality, our accident attorneys still prepare for every case as if it will go in front of a judge or jury. The team at Huber Thomas & Marcelle will research every aspect of your accident. This includes gathering feedback from expert witnesses, as well as using technology to recreate accident conditions.
We firmly believe that this approach gives us an upper hand at the negotiating table. The other party is more likely to propose a fair settlement when it’s clear that we’re willing to go to court. Plus, in the event of a court date, we already have the knowledge and confidence necessary to win a trial.
When you work with Huber Thomas & Marcelle, you also benefit from multiple areas of expertise. You will have a specific lawyer assigned to your case, but our entire team of accident attorneys will weigh in to give your case an edge. We believe this collaborative approach sets us apart from other legal teams in our field.
Our case victories
Preparation is key when it comes to bicycle accidents and pedestrian accidents. Our legal team has proven success in several critical areas of the law, including these types of accidents. Whether you’re up against a reckless driver or a negligent city maintenance department, our accident attorneys take your case seriously. By working together, our team brings extensive experience to the negotiating table, as well as the courtroom.
We are proud to say we’ve helped our clients recover more than $122 million dollars after disastrous accidents. These cases include:
- $1.2 million settlement for a pedestrian injured when he was struck by a car while crossing the street
- 1 million for a bicyclist struck from behind by a suspected distracted driver
- $2.3 million awarded to a woman who was injured when an airport shuttle van moved while she was still boarding
- A $1.6 million jury verdict for a client who underwent back surgery after a serious car accident
- A $4 million settlement before trial for a man who suffered life-altering injuries while working aboard a deepwater drilling rig
Pedestrian and bicycle accidents can result in devastating outcomes. If you or someone you love is coping with medical issues and mounting bills after an accident, we can help. At Huber Thomas & Marcelle, we provide trustworthy assistance as you navigate the days ahead. Our goal is to put your needs first so you can get the compensation you deserve to heal fully.
If you’d like to discuss your case or learn about our approach to handling bicycle accidents and pedestrian accidents, please get in touch. Beyond Louisiana, we also represent clients in Texas, Mississippi, and Washington, D.C. Schedule a free and confidential consultation with our accident attorneys today.