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WE REPRESENT LOUISIANA CYCLISTS


HAD A BICYCLE CRASH IN LOUISIANA?


Contact Ben Dodge to see if the bicycle crash lawyers at Bike Accident Attorneys (BAA) can help. Unlike other lawyers who attempt to represent cyclists, our BAA lawyers actually ride and race their bicycles as well as appear and win in court. Most attorneys are just pencil pushers. We are court room litigators who are passionate about riding our bikes and we have associated local counsel in other states to allow us to help you in your state. Based on our expertise and experience we have also been admitted in other states to appear in court for our bicycle crash clients on a case by case basis. We can help you directly or ensure that you get the quality help you need in your state. Contact Ben Dodge now to see how we can protect your rights.

3 Tips on Choosing the Best Bicycle Crash Lawyer and Avoid Being Scammed

So how do you know if you have the best lawyer? There are 3 things to investigate when hiring a bicycle lawyer that can help you avoid a scammer. Some of that depends on what you think the “best” really means. To me, it is simple. The “best” lawyer will get you to the most advantageous position possible with as little cost as possible. That’s it. Nothing else to it. I have seen too many lawyers give up or miss out on incredible opportunities for their clients because of their own egos arguing the irrelevant issues or pushing too hard in a direction that only generates their own fees as opposed to the results the client would rather have.

The most advantageous position is sometimes not even what the client comes in asking for. I can’t tell you how many times I probably talked myself out of a job in an initial consult because what the client wanted actually puts them in a worse position and I wasn’t afraid to tell them so. It would have been so much easier to just tell them what they desperately wanted to hear, help them feel heard and let them vent a little. All just tell them we better hurry up and rush to court so they can be vindicated. When in reality, that won’t help them at all. So that is what many lawyers do- they try to figure out what the client wants emotionally and then sell them a legal service that matches that emotional need and of course charge them for it based on whatever they think the client is able to pay.

Obviously not all attorneys are this cold-hearted. Many of us actually care. Many of us strive to do right by the client as opposed to just trying to do right by the pocket book.

Here are some general things to watch out for when looking for an attorney, especially a bicycle accident lawyer (I don’t like the word accident, I prefer “crash” – but most of the world uses the term accident and I understand why, so I sue it too). Here are the issues to watch out for:

1) Specific Knowledge

Do they have the specific knowledge required to handle your case? Just because they graduated from law school doesn’t mean they know anything about cycling! In fact, in my opinion, most of the country doesn’t know anything about cycling. It is crazy that all sorts of professionals from police offices charged with enforcing cycling safety to insurance adjusters responsible for finding fault don’t know anything about cycling laws. This is especially true with local rules, ordinances, and even more so with knowledge of local customs and implied expectations of cycling culture and more. Now fast forward to the moment when you are looking for an attorney to help you with your crash (your bicycle accident case) and you see a billboard on the side of the freeway, or a TV commercial, or even a Google search where the words cycling lawyer were used… How much specific knowledge of bicycle cases do you think they really have? Ask them how often they ride? Ask them what their favorite route is? Ask them if they could buy any bike on the planet what would it be and why? These questions will help you quickly identify if they are even remotely plugged into the cycling community and whether or not they have specific knowledge relating to cycling. Why is this important? SIMPLE- as a cyclist you already know that most people (drivers) hate that we are out on the roads. You already have an uphill court battle of public opinion. Being right on some traffic issue isn’t enough for us. Your lawyer must know this intimately in order to successfully navigate the complex negotiations of your case with the insurance company and opposing attorneys and then ultimately in a court room where you can bet no one on the jury will be a cyclist.

Also on the topic of specific knowledge. How many cases like this issue have they handled? What were the outcomes? How confident do you feel with their answers to these questions? Specific case knowledge is helpful. Do they have experience with the opposing insurance company? With that specific police department? With your judge? And on and on.

Specific knowledge is very helpful and you can’t buy it with expensive marketing on billboards, commercials, etc. It is earned with blood, sweat, and sometimes tears through years of experience.

2) Desk or Courtroom

The next thing to investigate is whether or not the attorney you’re thinking about hiring is a desk lawyer (I fondly refer to these lawyers as pencil pushers) or a courtroom lawyer. There is a need for all sorts of lawyers. But unless you are planning on having your bicycle accident attorney draft a will or some contract for you, then you want a courtroom lawyer not a pencil pusher.

I know this is a guess, but in my experience it seems like 95% of lawyers, especially the ones who end up on billboards and commercials, are just pencil pushers. Once their cases get to tough they refer them out to a real lawyer to finish the courtroom stuff for them. Most attorneys talk a big talk in their consult with potential clients about how good they are, but when push comes to shove and they have to actually prove it to you in a courtroom with you watching, their peers (opposing lawyers on the other side of your case) and in front of a judge and jury- they simply freak out and completely drop the ball or settle for less than you should ever take just to avoid the scary courtroom.

Don’t mistakenly hire a pencil pusher. Hire a bicycle accident lawyer who thrives in the courtroom. One simple question to help catch them off guard is ask them when is the last time they were in court? What was it about? What kind of hearing was it? What was the argument they proposed and made to the judge? How did it turn out? These simple questions will help you find out if they are pencil pushers or not. Their hesitation or odd answers are a dead give away that they are likely misleading you on their courtroom abilities and experience.

We are courtroom lawyers, sometimes even going multiple times per week to court. We file lawsuits, we don’t just write a few meaningless settlement letters and sell our clients on how good the settlement is- we prove it to our clients.

3) Do You Recognize Them from a Billboard or Commercial?

Yes I said that right, do you actually recognize them from a billboard or a TV commercial? Why is this even a thing? Well, it sounds harsh but those lawyers out there spending hundreds of thousands of dollars per year (for some they spend that per month) just to recruit new clients may be struggling to get their current and past clients to even refer to them… Yep, what if your lawyer was so good and you were so impressed that you happily sent business to him/or her? See how powerful that is? I’m not saying that everyone who advertises in our line of work is a horrible lawyer. What I am saying is that it is a bit suspect since advertising is NOT cheap and it begs the question as to why they have to advertise in the first place? Is their reputation with their own clients so bad that they have to find an alternative source to finding clients? Possibly. I’m one of those guys who avoids, in fact runs away from any professional I see on a billboard. I’d much rather consult a trusted friend and get their opinion as to whom I should see or NOT see based on their experience.

Not all lawyers who advertise are bad. But like I said, I personally run away from any professional on a billboard or TV commercial. A good old fashioned referral has always proved to be much better much more often. Just sayin’.

These are just 3 of the many things to look out for when you hire a bicycle accident lawyer. Call my office up and we can chat over the phone sometime about all the other million things to look out for like attorney billable hour quotas, bonus structures, professional reputation among peers, and so much more!

We are here for you. We got your back. We protect our own like you’re a member of our tribe. Good luck. Be safe out there and keep the rubber side down.

Contact Ben Dodge and let the lawyers in the Bike Accident Attorneys National Network help you. We will assist you in your case and/or find someone for you in your state that we can trust and recommend. We have your back. We are here for you.

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LOUISIANA BICYCLE ACCIDENT STATISTICS


Resident
Population

4,682,000

Total Traffic
Fatalities

757

Pedalcyclist
Fatalities

22

Percentage of Total Traffic Fatalities

2.9%

Pedalcyclist Fatalities per Million Population

4.7

LOUISIANA BICYCLE STATUTES


RS 32:197

§197.  Riding on roadways and bicycle paths

A.  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 under any of the following circumstances:

(1)  When overtaking and passing another bicycle or vehicle proceeding in the same direction.

(2)  When preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway.

(3)  When reasonably necessary to avoid fixed or moving objects, vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians, animals, surface hazards, or substandard width lane or any other conditions that make it unsafe to continue along the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway.  For purposes of this Paragraph, a "substandard width lane" is a lane that is too narrow for a bicycle and a vehicle to travel safely side by side within the lane.

(4)  When approaching a place where a right turn is authorized.

B.  Repealed by Acts 2011, No. 244, §3.

C.  Persons riding bicycles upon a roadway shall not ride more than two abreast except on paths or parts of roadways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles.

D.  Persons riding bicycles shall be allowed to operate on the shoulder of a roadway.

E.  Any person operating a bicycle upon a roadway or a highway, where there are two or more marked traffic lanes and traffic travels in only one direction, may ride as near the left-hand curb or shoulder of that roadway as practicable when preparing for a left turn.

Acts 1962, No. 310, §1; Acts 2010, No. 618, §§2, 4; Acts 2010, No. 813, §1; Acts 2011, No. 244, §3.

RS 32:203

§203.  Motor vehicles operating in bicycle lanes

A.  No person shall operate a motor vehicle in a bicycle lane except as follows:

(1)  To prepare for a turn within a distance of two hundred feet from the intersection.

(2)  To enter or leave the roadway onto an alley, private road, or driveway.

(3)  To enter or leave a parking space when parking is permitted adjacent to the bicycle lane.

B.  Any person operating a motor vehicle upon a bicycle lane in accordance with Subsection A of this Section shall yield the right-of-way to all bicycles and electric mobility aids within the bicycle lane.

C.  This Section shall not prohibit the use of a motorized bicycle in a bicycle lane when the operator travels at no speed greater than what is reasonable or prudent, has due regard for visibility, traffic conditions, and the condition of the roadway surface of the bicycle lane and in a manner which does not endanger the safety of bicyclists.

D.  In case of an emergency, the driver of a motor vehicle may lawfully operate the vehicle in a bicycle lane in accordance with the normal standards of prudent conduct to protect himself and others from harm.  When the emergency ends, the motor vehicle shall not be operated in the bicycle lane.

Acts 2010, No. 618, §2.

RS 32:76.1

§76.1.  Limitations on passing bicycles

A.  This Section shall be known as the Colin Goodier Protection Act.

B.  The operator of a motor vehicle, when overtaking and passing a bicycle proceeding in the same direction on the roadway, shall exercise due care while the motor vehicle is passing the bicycle and shall leave a safe distance between the motor vehicle and the bicycle of not less than three feet and shall maintain such clearance until safely past the overtaken bicycle.  An operator of a motor vehicle may pass a bicycle traveling in the same direction in a no-passing zone only when it is safe to do so.

C.  The Department of Public Safety and Corrections, office of motor vehicles, is directed to include a summary of this Section in any instructional publication for drivers.

D.  The Department of Transportation and Development is directed to place signs in areas frequently used by bicyclists in an effort to make motorists aware of the need to share the road with bicyclists.

E.  The Louisiana Highway Safety  Commission is directed to engage in a public awareness campaign to notify motorists and bicyclists of the provisions of this Section.

F.  Any person who violates this Section shall be fined not more than two hundred fifty dollars.

Acts 2009, No. 147, §1; Acts 2010, No. 618, §1.

New Orleans

Sec. 154-1415. - Riding on roadways and bicycle paths.

Every person operating a bicycle upon a roadway shall ride as near to the right-hand side of the roadway as practicable, exercising due care when passing a standing vehicle or one proceeding in the same direction.

(Code 1956, § 38-204)

State Law reference— Similar provisions, R.S. 32:197.

Shreveport

Sec. 90-428. - Riding on roadway prohibited when bicycle paths provided.

Whenever a usable path for bicycles has been provided adjacent to a roadway, bicycle riders shall use such path and shall not use the roadway.

(Code 1971, § 35-182)

State Law reference— Similar provisions, R.S. 32:197.

Sec. 90-427. - To be ridden on right side of roadway.

Every person operating a bicycle upon a roadway shall ride as near to the righthand side of the roadway as practicable, exercising due care when passing a standing vehicle or one proceeding in the same direction.

(Code 1971, § 35-181)

State Law reference— Similar provisions, R.S. 32:197.

Baton Rouge

Sec. 11:224. - Riding on roadways and bicycle paths.

(a)

Every person operating a bicycle upon a roadway shall ride as near to the right-hand side of the roadway as practicable, exercising due care when passing a standing vehicle or one proceeding in the same direction.

(b)

Persons riding bicycles upon a roadway shall not ride more than two (2) abreast except on paths or parts of roadways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles.

(c)

Whenever a usable path for bicycles has been provided adjacent to a roadway, bicycle riders shall use such path and shall not use the roadway.

(City Code 1951, Title 11, § 224)

State Law reference— Similar provisions, R.S. 32:197.

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OUR TESTIMONIALS


  • Unfortunately 1 year ago I was in a very bad bicycle accident and also took out some of my fellow riders. Fortunately though Ben from Bike Accident Attorneys was on that same bike ride and what a blessing that was for me and those that were also involved. Him and his staff were amazing and so helpful with everything. He was a tremendous help and the greatest thing was not only was I represented professionally, but I gained a close friend and riding teammate. Thank you Ben and to your wonderful staff!

    Kristi R. Avatar
    Kristi R.

    Bike Accident Attorneys is a fantastic law firm dedicated to cyclists! Ben Dodge will go above and beyond to make sure everything you need is taken care of. He is one of the kindest and most honest people I've ever had the honor of knowing. In addition he is a cyclist just like us and knows our mindset and needs. I highly recommend contacting Ben before you do anything else if you are in the unfortunate circumstance of needing help if something happens to you on a ride.

    Charles B. Avatar
    Charles B.

    I was referred to Ben and his firm when I was hit by a car. Before I hired him as my attorney, Ben spent an enormous amount of time with me both answering my questions, as well as making sure I was comfortable with the process, timelines, and possible outcomes. Throughout the case I was given timely status reports and updates on the discussions from both sides. Not only was the service provided top notch, but Ben himself is a pleasure to work with. If this is ever something you find yourself in need of, there is no better place to go than BAA.

    Brian S. Avatar
    Brian S.

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