With the recent addition of the multi-million dollar Lafitte Greenway (not to mention the miles and miles of previously created bike lanes), New Orleans continues to become a more bike friendly city. In fact, Forbes ranked New Orleans as one of the top 20 most bike friendly cities in the United States, which is quite an accomplishment.
However, even with the advances in cyclist safety, bike accidents still happen far too often. Just yesterday a cyclist lost her life in a fatal hit and run bicycle accident on Leon C. Simon Drive in New Orleans. She was hit from behind by a SUV and then flipped over the vehicle.
This tragedy shows the dangers that bike riders face every single day when they get on the road. And, it begs the question: what can cyclists do to protect themselves?
Protecting Against Hit and Run Bicycle Accidents
The most important thing that cyclists can do to protect themselves is to know and understand Louisiana’s bicycle laws. The laws exist to protect the safety of bike riders, and if obeyed, can reduce the chances of a hit and run accident.
Making sure that you have the right insurance is also of critical importance. If you are able to identify the driver of the vehicle that hit you, you will be able to bring a claim against their liability insurer. This is really no different than any other auto accident case.
However, with a hit and run bicycle accident, you may not be able to identify the driver. If that happens, there will no other policy that will compensate you for your injuries unless you have uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM) coverage. A UM policy will typically provide coverage for injuries that a cyclist suffers from a hit and run driver, no different from if you got in an auto accident with an uninsured driver. UM coverage is usually not very expensive but is worth every penny if you ride your bike on city streets.