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What if a bicyclist caused your car crash?

On Behalf of | Feb 14, 2024 | Car Accidents

As New Orleans moves from Mardi Gras towards spring, drivers will be sharing the road with even more bicyclists. Responsible drivers are careful to give cyclists plenty of room because they know a car/bicycle crash could be catastrophic for the cyclist.

Not all of these crashes, however, are the driver’s fault. Cyclists can be negligent, reckless, distracted and even under the influence, just like drivers can. Sometimes when they’re in a group, like a bike club, they can get a little more brazen than they’d be on their own and move out of the bike lane into traffic or (if they have no choice but to ride in the same lanes as vehicles), make sudden moves like coming to a stop.

Drivers and their passengers can be seriously injured when a cyclist makes an unsafe (and maybe illegal) move. They may swerve into another lane to avoid hitting the cyclist and crash into another car or something alongside the road like a tree or post. They may even end up in oncoming traffic.

Bicyclists have their own “rules of the road”

Bicyclists, like drivers, have to abide by the law. That includes state laws as well as additional regulations in some localities

Under Louisiana law, for example, whether there’s a dedicated bike lane or not, “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 in specific circumstances, such as passing, turning and avoiding hitting an object or animal. State law also prohibits more than two cyclists from riding side-by-side “except on paths or parts of roadways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles.” 

What should you do if a cyclist caused your crash?

If you have suffered injuries in a crash caused by a bicyclist, you shouldn’t be assumed to be the one at fault. With evidence, including possibly any camera the cyclist had on their helmet and/or bike, you can show what really happened. 

Further, don’t assume that the cyclist doesn’t have insurance coverage. Their liability may be covered under their auto, homeowners’ or umbrella policy. Your best initial step in seeking compensation should be to get experienced legal guidance.