At Michael J. Redenburg, Esq. P.C., we are committed to providing you with valuable insights on personal injury matters. In this blog post, we will discuss the complexities of fault and liability in bicycle-pedestrian collisions. As an experienced personal injury law firm, we understand the challenges faced by both parties involved in such accidents. Let’s explore the factors that determine fault and liability and how they impact personal injury claims.
Understanding Bicycle-Pedestrian Collisions:
Bicycle-pedestrian collisions can occur in various settings, such as crosswalks, sidewalks, or shared pathways. When a bicycle and a pedestrian collide, determining fault and liability can be more intricate compared to vehicle-to-vehicle accidents.
Factors Influencing Fault and Liability:
Traffic Laws: Both bicyclists and pedestrians are subject to specific traffic laws, and adherence to these laws plays a crucial role in establishing fault. For instance, pedestrians typically have the right-of-way in crosswalks, and bicyclists must yield to pedestrians when riding on sidewalks.
Negligence: Negligence refers to the failure to exercise reasonable care, resulting in harm to others. Determining whether a party acted negligently involves assessing their actions leading up to the collision. For example, did the cyclist ignore a stop sign or did the pedestrian unexpectedly step into the path of the bike?
Contributory Negligence: Some states follow the legal principle of contributory negligence, which means if both parties were partially at fault, neither can recover compensation.
Others follow comparative negligence, which allows parties to recover compensation based on their degree of fault.
Investigating the Accident:
Thorough investigation is vital in bicycle-pedestrian collision cases to gather evidence and determine fault accurately. The process may involve:
- Eyewitness Accounts: Statements from witnesses who saw the collision can provide valuable insights into the sequence of events.
- Surveillance Footage: If available, surveillance footage from nearby businesses or traffic cameras can help reconstruct the accident.
- Accident Reconstruction Experts: In complex cases, accident reconstruction experts can recreate the collision to analyze the contributing factors.
The party found at fault in a bicycle-pedestrian collision may be liable for the injured party’s damages. Damages may include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. Prevention and Safety Tips:
Preventing bicycle-pedestrian collisions is essential for the safety of all road users. Here are some safety tips:
- Pedestrians: Always use designated crosswalks and look both ways before crossing. Avoid distractions like using your phone while walking near traffic.
- Bicyclists: Ride cautiously and yield to pedestrians. When riding on sidewalks, give pedestrians ample space to pass safely.
- Visibility: Both pedestrians and cyclists should wear brightly colored or reflective clothing, especially during low-light conditions.
Consult an Experienced Attorney:
If you’ve been involved in a bicycle-pedestrian collision, seeking legal representation is crucial. An experienced personal injury attorney can assess the circumstances of the accident, gather evidence, and protect your rights during the claims process.
Bicycle-pedestrian collisions can result in serious injuries and complex legal matters. At Michael J. Redenburg, Esq. P.C., we are dedicated to helping accident victims understand their rights and seek fair compensation. If you have been injured in a bicycle-pedestrian collision, don’t hesitate to contact us. Our skilled attorneys are ready to provide you with compassionate and experienced legal representation.