If you were a pedestrian who was hit by a bicyclist and injured, you may be able to file a personal-injury claim to recover money for your medical expenses. However, if you have never been in this situation before, you may have many questions. Getting answers to these questions will help you to better understand what to expect if you find yourself in this situation.
Is the Bicyclist Automatically at Fault if They Hit a Pedestrian?
You may think that if a bicyclist hits you, a pedestrian, they are automatically at fault. However, this is not always the case. Both bicyclists and pedestrians have to exercise a duty of care while walking and biking. This means that it is their responsibility to be aware of their surroundings and to act properly based on the surroundings. For example, a bicyclist is not supposed to be riding on a sidewalk. If you were a pedestrian who was hit by a bicyclist riding on the sidewalk, the bicyclist is at fault for not exercising their duty of care. However, if you darted out in front of a bicyclist because you didn't look before crossing the road outside of a crosswalk, you could be responsible because you didn't exercise your duty of care.
If There Were No Witnesses, How Is Fault Determined?
If you were involved in an accident, it is always important to obtain contact information for any witnesses who may have seen the accident happen. This can help corroborate your story. However, if the accident occurred, yet there were no witnesses, you may find yourself wondering how fault is determined.
Fault is determined in a very similar manner in these cases as it is when car accidents occur. If any businesses or houses have surveillance cameras near where you were hit, you may be able to obtain that information to show what happened. If that can't be done, both your statement and the bicyclist's statement can be used to determine fault. A police officer, judge, or jury may listen to both sides and determine what they believe happened based on the photos of the scene and the injuries sustained. Lastly, if the injuries are severe, expert witnesses may be called upon who can recreate what happened and determine fault.
How Do You Recover Money for Your Injuries?
If you are a pedestrian who was hit by a bicyclist, you may find yourself wondering how you can recover money for your injuries. Filing a personal-injury claim is the first step to seeking money. You can file a claim and seek money for your medical expenses, wages lost due to the accident, and even pain and suffering. This may leave you wondering where this money will come from.
Many homeowners and renters insurance policies will cover compensatory damages caused while participating in a covered occurrence, and sporting activities, such as biking, are often covered occurrences. This means you can file a claim with the bicyclists' homeowners or renters insurance company to recover this money. If the bicyclist does not have coverage or bicycling is not a covered occurrence under their policy, you will have to seek the money directly from the bicyclist if a judgement is awarded. This may include having to garnish their wages or seize their assets.
If you were injured by a bicyclist while walking, you may be able to file a personal-injury claim to help you recover money for your injuries. Getting answers to the questions you have will help you determine what to expect from the process. If you are in this situation, consult with a personal-injury attorney to determine if you have a case and how to proceed.