Liability for a bicycle/pedestrian accident works the same as any other type of accident in Washington state. Pure comparative negligence rules mean that each party involved in an accident between a bicyclist and a pedestrian will have their degree of fault assessed and their right to recovery reduced accordingly.
In an accident where a bicyclist hits a pedestrian, each party is potentially liable for the crash. Therefore, each party must present evidence to prove the other party was more at fault for causing the collision than the other.
Proving Liability if You are a Pedestrian Who Was Hit By a Bicyclist
Pedestrians are required to use sidewalks when available and must obey all traffic signals. Bicycle accident statistics show that if you were lawfully on a sidewalk or in a crosswalk when the bicycle hit you, you might be able to claim that the bicyclist negligently entered the area where you were lawfully walking.
Proving liability for a bicyclist's negligence is a matter of showing that his or her reckless behavior caused the accident. For example, if you could prove the bicyclist was distracted from the path in front of them because he or she was engaged in texting on a cell phone, you could claim that he or she neglected to watch where they in the road and struck you as a result.
Proving Liability if You Are a Bicyclist Who Was Hit by a Pedestrian
While it may seem unlikely, pedestrians can do severe damage to bicyclists as well. If a pedestrian steps out abruptly into the path of a cyclist, there's often little time for that cyclist to slow down and avoid a collision. In a case such as this, the bicyclist would have to prove that there was no way s/he could have stopped in time to prevent the pedestrian and that the pedestrian's negligence of watching where s/he was walking caused the accident.
Again, distractions such as cell phones are often the cause of pedestrians causing bicyclists to crash. Therefore, it is important for both bicyclists and pedestrians to remain alert and focused on the path (and potential hazards) in front of them at all times.
A Washington, Personal Injury Attorney Can Help You Prove Liability
Proving liability in a bicycle/pedestrian accident is all about gathering enough evidence to prove your claim.
A Kirkland pedestrian and bicycle accident lawyer can gather this evidence.
- Photos of the accident scene
- Photos of your injuries
- Witness statements
- Police reports
Just because there was no car involved doesn't mean you can't sustain severe injuries in this type of transit accident. Before you talk to the insurance company, or if you don't have insurance to cover your damages, talk to an attorney about your options for recovery. Contact Max Meyers Law to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation regarding your potential claim: 425-242-5595.