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Posted in Car Accidents on November 4, 2022
Pedestrians and bicyclists share roads, sidewalks, and many other pathways. However, who has the right-of-way may be questionable. Depending on the circumstances, a bicyclist or a pedestrian can be found negligent in an accident.
Most stories about bicyclists and pedestrians involve motor vehicle collisions. However, the number of bike riders has increased over the last decade.
Major cities have lagged behind in law and infrastructure to make bicyclists and pedestrians safer from motorists. For example, Seattle’s old laws encourage cyclists on sidewalks. In addition, electric bikes have been widely introduced to the public. Sidewalks have become the new bike paths for much of the city.
While rare, accidents between pedestrians and bicyclists can happen. In some cases, injuries can be life-threatening.
In a recent article, a 34-year-old woman was jogging through New York’s Central Park. A bike rider struck her from behind, causing severe injuries.
The bicyclist was a 50-year-old man. He only suffered minor bruising to a knee. However, the young woman suffered a life-threatening head injury. Currently, she is listed in critical condition. The investigation is pending.
In Chicago, a 6-year-old girl lies in critical condition after being struck by a bike rider on the sidewalk. The bicyclist was a young teen riding an electric bike. The little girl was running toward her father’s arms when the boy collided with her. She was then dragged all the way to the bus stop.
The 6-year-old suffered severe lacerations and abrasions to her body. She was taken to Community First Hospital, where she was listed in fair condition. However, after the young girl was transferred to Lurie Children’s Hospital, it became apparent her injuries were much worse. The 6-year-old suffered internal bleeding and remains in critical condition.
After striking the young girl, the bike rider did not stop. The girl’s father stated that the boy looked back at the girl on the sidewalk and kept going. A police officer caught the teenager a few blocks away.
It is unusual for bicyclists to hurt pedestrians in an accident. However, some cities are seeing an increase in serious crashes with deadly consequences.
For example, in New York City, seven pedestrians have been killed in collisions involving bike riders in recent years. According to the article:
In the last reporting year, pedestrian injuries by bicyclists have increased by 12% in the metropolis.
Washington, DC, has also seen a spike in pedestrian injuries by cyclists. While bicyclists frequently argue for safer roads from motorists, pedestrians are taking issue with negligent bicyclists.
The article revolves around a controversial tweet that takes issue with cyclists running red lights and stop signs.
According to an article:
As more people convert to cycling as their main form of transportation, pedestrian injuries have continued to rise.
Most states require bicyclists to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians. Bike riders are usually required to follow the same rules of the road as motor vehicles for the sake of traffic laws.
For instance, bicyclists must:
Bike riders and pedestrians often share the same pathways, leading to opportunities for collisions. Both have a duty of care. When breached, either the cyclists or pedestrians can be held liable.
Bicyclists owe pedestrians the same duty of care as motorists. If they demonstrate a reckless disregard for the laws that apply to them, they are liable for the damage they cause.
Some examples of negligent behavior from bicyclists include ignoring stop signs and traffic lights, failing to wear the appropriate safety gear, riding while drunk or high, or being distracted by a cell phone. Disregarding the law and failure to behave appropriately can cause devastating injuries to pedestrians.
Pedestrians have a duty of care to those around them, including bike riders and motorists. For example, pedestrians must adhere to all traffic rules and regulations. If a pedestrian fails to utilize a crosswalk and causes a bicycle accident, they may be held liable for the bike rider’s injuries.
Some common reasons for pedestrian negligence may include the following:
Pedestrians are responsible for remaining aware of their surroundings. Being distracted by a phone call or mobile app can be considered negligent in the same manner as a motorist.
In the event of a collision between a bicyclist and a pedestrian, everyone’s safety should be the chief concern. It is important to call the proper authorities immediately.
Similar to automobile collisions, adrenaline can mask pain and the severity of injuries. Those involved in the accident should always seek medical attention. Some injuries can be delayed, presenting symptoms hours or days after an incident. For example, soft tissue injuries may take several hours to present with bruising and pain.
If involved in a pedestrian-cycling accident, it is crucial to exchange information. Some bike riders carry liability insurance. If so, take pictures of the insurance card and ID information.
It is also a good idea to take pictures of the scene. Be sure to record relevant signage, debris from property damage, injuries, and other damage. There can never be enough documentation in an accident that must establish fault.
Contacting an experienced pedestrian accident or bicycle accident attorney can help determine liability. Contact the firm today at (504) 500-5000 or at our website to schedule an appointment.