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Who is Liable in a Pedestrian Bike Accident?

Posted on 11/10/22

Bicycle accidents are largely preventable, but only if everyone follows the rules of the road. This includes bicyclists, pedestrians, and other drivers. Bicycle accidents happen in a variety of ways, often due to the negligence of one or more parties. Here, we want to delve into liability issues that commonly arise after a bicycle crash occurs. This is important because any bicyclist who sustains an injury caused by the actions of another deserves compensation.

Multiple Possible Liable Parties After a Pedestrian Versus Bicycle Crash

In the event there is an accident involving a bicyclist and pedestrian, which is something that is not uncommon in New York (state or city), there are situations where the bicyclist and the pedestrian could be at fault, and they could even share fault for the incident.

After these incidents occur, each party will need to present evidence to show that the other party was more at fault for causing the incident than the other. Additionally, if there are any external factors responsible for causing the incident, such as roadway defects, debris, defective traffic lights or signs, and more, then there could be a third party at fault. These third parties can include construction companies, government entities, or even private business owners.

How is Liability Determined in These Cases?

After an accident between a bicyclist and a pedestrian occurs, there will likely need to be an investigation to gather evidence. There are various types of evidence that could be used to help determine exactly what happened. This includes evidence that can be gathered at the scene by the parties involved, such as photographs of injuries, property damage, and the surrounding conditions.

Additionally, other types of evidence may be available to those involved. This could include surveillance footage from cameras on nearby businesses or homes, accident reports, and statements from eyewitnesses.

The reality is that both pedestrians and bicyclists have responsibilities that they owe one another when they are on or around the roadway. For all intents and purposes, bicycles are considered regular vehicles that must follow applicable traffic laws. Pedestrians must also ensure that they follow the laws related to crosswalks and sidewalk use.

Types of Compensation Available

There is certainly a likelihood that both a pedestrian and a bicyclist will sustain an injury in the event a collision between the two occurs. The victim in the case may be able to recover various types of compensation related to the incident, including coverage of all medical bills related to the collision, lost wages if the victim is unable to work, property damage expenses, and various types of physical and emotional pain and suffering damages.

There could certainly be a situation where both parties share fault, and New York has a pure comparative negligence system in place to handle these situations. In New York, individuals can still recover compensation even if they are up to 99% responsible for causing their own injury, but they will receive reduced compensation depending on their percentage of fault.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a pedestrian versus bicycle accident, we encourage you to speak to an attorney who can examine the facts of your case. A lawyer will help investigate the incident and move towards an insurance settlement or take the case to a personal injury trial to recover the compensation you need.