Pedestrian versus cyclist accidents are surprisingly common, especially in urban areas where many people regularly walk or bike. While most cyclists follow the rules of the road, many injure pedestrians each year. And while most pedestrians are considerate of the vehicles they encounter on the street, some are careless and cause accidents that hurt both pedestrians and cyclists.
Bicycles are considered vehicles and are expected to follow the same traffic rules as cars. This means that they have to stop at red lights and stop signs, drive the correct way on one-way streets and yield to pedestrians in crosswalks.
With cities moving toward more bike-centric infrastructures, like installing bike lanes and encouraging cycling, incidents between cyclists and pedestrians continue to rise. Several factors contribute to these accidents, and being more aware can make the roads friendlier for everyone.
One of the most common factors that contribute to bike/pedestrian accidents is speed. Some cyclists just love speed racing on their bikes, and the most significant casualty is often pedestrians who are just trying to navigate traffic.
A pedestrian/bike accident may lead to serious injury at low speeds, so a biker who is racing on city streets can do far more damage to unsuspecting pedestrians.
Pedestrians can be overly comfortable when it comes to navigating city streets. While they are expecting to have to avoid cars on the road, they are often not expecting bicycles. They may walk out suddenly from between parked cars, wander into the roadway while texting, or cross the street when the light is red for pedestrians. This can send a cyclist flying from his bike and cause the pedestrian some nasty bruises.
Bikers can also be guilty of being distracted while riding. They may be riding while using a cell phone, not paying attention to the roadway, or being intoxicated.
How Insurance Companies and Courts Determine Fault
Neither the cyclist nor the pedestrian is considered “superior” when finding fault in pedestrian/cyclist accidents. The courts will determine which party breached their “duty of care” when acting with precaution on the roads.
If the pedestrian crossed against the light and collided with the bike, the insurance company and the courts might find that the pedestrian was at fault. If the biker ran a stoplight and hit a pedestrian who was lawfully in the crosswalk, the bicyclist can be held liable for the damages caused by the accident.
The Cyclist’s Duty of Care
Cyclists have a duty to take reasonable steps to keep themselves and other vehicles and pedestrians safe like:
- Riding a well-maintained bike
- Obeying traffic signals
- Paying attention to the road (not talking on a cellphone)
- Having proper lights while night riding
- Yielding the right of way
- Riding at safe speeds
- Staying off of sidewalks.
If they breach this duty, they can be held liable for accidents.
After an Accident, Get Help!
If you have been hurt in an accident with a cyclist, you might be affected by more than just physical injuries. You might have to deal with mounting medical debt, lost wages, and physical therapy costs. Also, you may have mental trauma related to the accident. Getting the help and compensation you deserve is vital.
We are a team of personal injury attorneys who are experienced in working with people who cyclists have injured. We can get you the pedestrian accident compensation you deserve. If you are unsure of who was at fault in the accident, we can help you sort through all the technicalities your case entails. Check out the link for a free consultation today!