Bicycling groups make a big deal about how bikes have a right to the road and how drivers who injure bicyclists should be punished. But what rights do pedestrians have when a bicyclist goes barreling down the sidewalk or right through a stop sign and injures them? Here's when you can sue a cyclist for personal injuries.
If They're On the Sidewalk
Sidewalk bicycling is a topic of great controversy. Cyclists want to get away from inattentive drivers while pedestrians fear bicycles barreling by. Even state laws are split on the subject with some areas banning bicycles on sidewalks and other areas encouraging riding on the sidewalk in high traffic areas.
If an accident happens in an area where sidewalk riding is banned, the legal case is simple. The cyclist will almost always be found liable because the pedestrian's injury would not have happened if the cyclist had followed the law and stayed off the sidewalk.
In areas where sidewalk riding is allowed, the answer is less clear. While cyclists generally must give the right of way to pedestrians, they aren't automatically liable.
Instead, the courts will apply a reasonableness test. If they were acting reasonably by riding at a slow speed and using their warning bell and a pedestrian suddenly turned into their path, the pedestrian will probably be held at fault. If they were riding at a high speed weaving in and out of people on a busy sidewalk, the cyclist will probably be at fault.
Stops Signs and Traffic Signals
Bicyclists must obey all stop signs and traffic signals. Even if some cyclists think it's "safer" to run them, they must follow the law.
When a cyclist blows through a traffic control device, they will almost always be responsible for an accident. The only exception might be if a pedestrian went through a no walk sign and was found to also be at fault for the collision.
On the Road
Cyclists and pedestrians may also collide on the road when pedestrians jaywalk or runners decide the asphalt bike lane is easier on their legs than the concrete sidewalk. On the road, the tables are turned.
Because pedestrians aren't supposed to be on the road, the cyclists will be given the benefit of the doubt in an accident.
To learn more about your rights to recover if you've been injured by a cyclist, contact a local personal injury lawyer today. Contact a business, such as Scherline And Associates, for more information about filing a lawsuit.Share
4 May 2016
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