Municipal walking trails have experienced something of a renaissance during the COVID-19 pandemic. The public’s need for socially-distanced fresh air and exercise has drawn thousands of people to parks, gravel trails, and other places for a nice long walk. But this has led to congested or overcrowded trails populated by pedestrians and cyclists, making collisions inevitable. Today we’ll be tackling the pedestrian bicycle accident, what the consequences can be, and how to legally protect yourself if you’re ever involved in one.
Despite their relatively light weight, the speed and mass of a moving bicycle can make it a deadly projectile. If a pedestrian is hit by a bike, they may suffer from a variety of injuries. These can include fractures, contusions, and even head injuries. In some cases, these injuries can be severe and even life-threatening. It is therefore important for pedestrians to be aware of the dangers of being hit by a bike, and to take precautions to avoid such an accident. Head injuries are the most common type of injury, and can often be fatal. Other possible injuries include broken bones, internal bleeding, and damage to organs. The severity of the injury will depend on the speed of the bike and the size of the person hit. Children and the elderly are most at risk of serious injury.
The majority of negligent behavior by cyclists falls under a few major categories. A responsible cyclist should take care to avoid any of the following common negligent behaviors:
In remaining aware of these common pitfalls and taking steps to avoid them, a responsible cyclist protects their own health and the health of others around them.
It should be noted that pedestrians have a duty of care as well. Contributory negligence laws in certain states can bar injured pedestrians from recovering damages if it’s determined their own actions contributed to their accident. This negligent behavior can include, but is not limited to:
What to do if you are a cyclist and you hit a pedestrian can be a tricky situation. You may be injured, and the pedestrian may be as well. Here are some things to keep in mind if you find yourself in this predicament:
First and foremost, check for injuries. If either you or the pedestrian is seriously injured, call 911 immediately. See if the pedestrian is able to walk on their own if the injuries seem minor.
If both of you are able to stand, exchange insurance information and contact numbers. It’s also a good idea to get witnesses’ information in case there is a dispute later on.
Take photos of the scene if possible, including any damage to your bicycle or the pedestrian’s clothing.
File a police report, even if the injuries seem minor. This will create a record of the accident in case there are any complications later on.
It’s also a good idea to consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer to discuss your legal options and whether you may be entitled to compensation.
If you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of hitting a pedestrian while cycling, following these steps can help ensure that both you and the pedestrian are protected.
It’s important to keep in mind that anyone can be held at fault for injuries or damages sustained in a pedestrian accident involving a bicycle. There is no immediate assumption of blame onto either the pedestrian or cyclist. Civil court proceedings around such an accident will generally revolve around determining who is at fault. Traditionally fault is only assigned to one party. Though contributory negligence laws open the door to both parties sharing fault for their accident.
If you have been involved in a pedestrian bicycle accident, contact the personal injury specialists at Malloy Law Offices, LLC today. Whether you’re the cyclist or the pedestrian you should not hesitate to take the necessary steps to secure the maximum possible compensation for your injuries, damaged property, and pain and suffering. We’ll fight for you while you focus on your recovery. Call today for your free consultation.