What to Do If You're a Pedestrian
and You're Hit by a Bike
What to Do If You're a Pedestrian and You're Hit by a Bike
If you live in San Francisco, you’ve probably seen a growing number of cyclists in recent years. San Francisco is one of the most bike-friendly cities in the U.S.
With more bicycles replacing cars in the city, you might assume conditions are safer for pedestrians these days. Unfortunately, many large cities around the country are reporting higher numbers of accidents involving cyclists hitting pedestrians.
While these accidents are usually less severe than motor vehicle collisions, they can still be deadly or debilitating. And the rules of liability are not as clear-cut as those in a motor vehicle accident. Here’s what you need to know if you ever become the victim in a bicycle collision.
How Serious Is a Bicycle and Pedestrian Collision?
Luckily, accidents between pedestrians and bicycles are relatively rare. One study found that less than 1% of pedestrian injuries requiring hospital treatment in California involved a bike collision.
But we know that most incidents go unreported, and statistics are little comfort when you are one of the unlucky pedestrians who are struck by a cyclist.
While you are much less likely to die from being struck by a bike than a car, you can still suffer a severe injury or disruption to your life. Possible injuries include:
- Spinal cord damage
- Internal injuries
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
Consider the impact of any of these injuries on your daily life while you recover. You may not be able to walk or drive, care for family, go to work, or perform other responsibilities. Consider the costs, too. Hospital bills, a babysitter, lost wages, and more expenses add up.
Often, victims can sue a cyclist to cover medical expenses, tangible financial losses, pain and suffering, and, if applicable, wrongful death. To win the lawsuit, however, the victim and their lawyer will need to prove the cyclist was at fault.
Proving Fault in an Accident
To determine fault in an accident, the law first looks for evidence of negligence. This is the breach of what’s called “duty of care.”
Duty of care is the legal duty everyone has to behave reasonably in any given situation. To be found negligent in an accident between a pedestrian and a cyclist, one of the parties would have to be found to have acted recklessly or even carelessly.
Depending on the circumstances of the accident, your lawyer has multiple possible arguments to prove negligence and thus liability on the part of a cyclist:
- The cyclist was distracted while riding.
- The cyclist was speeding.
- The cyclist was violating an ordinance concerning where they are allowed to ride.
- The cyclist failed to exercise caution in hazardous weather conditions.
- The cyclist somehow failed to act “in a reasonable and prudent manner.”
Of course, a cyclist could counter sue or argue in their defense that you, the pedestrian, were the negligent one. They may say that you:
- Hurried out in front of them without paying attention.
- Ignored a hazardous surface and fell in front of them.
- Ignored traffic signals and crossed in front of them.
Sometimes a jury may find that fault is shared, and the court will have to decide how to divide the money owed.
Get the Whole Story
For your best chances of justice as an innocent pedestrian, it is vital to record the facts and work with an experienced personal injury attorney. Your legal team can:
- Record your memories of the accident.
- Work with police to identify the cyclist and obtain any police reports.
- Compile photos of the accident scene and your injuries.
- Obtain witness statements.
- Analyze local ordinances and laws
- Offer advice for pursuing compensation.
With your attorney, you can argue your case clearly to establish fault against the correct party and receive the compensation you deserve.
No pedestrian ever expects to have their life disrupted by an accident with a bicycle, but if it happens, you’ll have more peace of mind when you know that there are options for recourse.
Are you ready to start the road to recovery? As a victim of a traffic accident, you have rights and can seek compensation from individuals who have caused you injury. Contact Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers today for your free case evaluation. Our customer-focused team of pedestrian accident attorneys are experts at getting you the solid settlement you deserve.
Pedestrian Accident Client
"I never in a million years thought that I would be in a pedestrian accident, so I was completely overwhelmed when 1) it happened and 2) I had to immediately start attempting to understand the insurance process that goes along with it. Their positive attitudes definitely put me at ease for the entirety of my recovery and the insurance claim process."
Know When You Need Legal Help for Your California Pedestrian Accident Settlement
When you are wondering whether or not you need an attorney or when you might need one, you should reach out to an experienced personal injury lawyer in California to learn your rights. You can get the legal advice you need to help you navigate the process and handle the insurance companies to get you a full and fair settlement.
If you or someone you love has suffered major injuries in a pedestrian hit by a bicycle accident, get a FREE, no-risk evaluation of your case online NOW.