Whether at an intersection, sidewalk, or even park path, pedestrians run the risk of being hit by negligent cyclists. Sometimes the victims end up with severe injuries and may consider filing a personal injury claim to help pay for damages. The rules of liability, however, may not be well known since these accidents are so rare. Here are a few factors that can determine who is liable when a cyclist hits a pedestrian.
Duty of Care
In personal injury cases, liability will be dependent on whether either party acted in a negligent manner. In negligence cases, the existence of duty of care must also be established. Cyclists and pedestrians are expected to act in a legal, reasonable manner when utilizing the roadways and sidewalks. To act recklessly, such as speeding in severe weather or not utilizing crossing walks correctly, means that the cyclist or pedestrian are not upholding their duty of care. By breaching the duty of care, the careless party could be found liable for any injuries or damages that occurred because of their reckless actions. Once the breach of duty of care has been established, the injured party must also prove that the reckless behavior caused the accident and led to their injuries.
Cyclists and pedestrians can be found at fault for several reasons. Say a cyclist speeds through a foggy street and is not cautious of their surroundings. Should their actions cause them to hit a pedestrian and injure them, the cyclist could be found liable because he breached his duty of care and acted in a negligent manner. Pedestrians can be found liable for acting in a similar manner. If a pedestrian, for example, rushes to cross an intersection and does not have the light, but insists on crossing incoming traffic, the pedestrian is breaching their duty of care. Should a cyclist legally cross the intersection, swerve, and then fall to avoid the pedestrian crossing unlawfully, the injuries they sustained in their fall could lead to a personal injury case. Due to the pedestrian acting in a negligent manner, they could be found liable for the cyclist’s injuries.
If you’re filing a personal injury lawsuit against a negligent cyclist and are having trouble proving liability, contact an experienced attorney. Personal injury lawyer James W. Sutton, III has been protecting the rights of injury victims in Pennsylvania and New Jersey for over 17 years. Give us a call today.