Our Skilled FL Personal Injury Lawyers Explain a Pedestrian’s Rights After Being Hit by a Bicyclist

Most pedestrians walking near roadways know that they need to pay attention and keep a distance from motor vehicles. But cars aren’t the only source of concern when it comes to pedestrian safety. Bicyclists create another potential for pedestrian accidentsWhen you're injured in a Florida pedestrian-bike accident

If you’ve been hit by someone riding a bike, you may be eligible for compensation for your injuries. Our personal injury attorneys at Spetsas Buist can help you navigate the legal process of accident cases involving pedestrians and bicycles. Here, we explain how fault is determined and your right to file a claim for damages. 

Bicycle Accidents Involving Pedestrians

Some bicyclists are guilty of not paying close enough attention to where they’re riding or pedestrians sharing the road or walkway with them. They may run into pedestrians for many of the same reasons as a car or truck driver, including:

  • Distraction. Although it’s difficult to use phones while riding a bike, some bicyclists do. Like many drivers, they may also be distracted by objects around them.
  • Obstructed view. If a pedestrian is blocked from view by objects in or near the road or by poor visibility, a bicyclist may not see a pedestrian until they are already in the road.
  • Failure to follow the rules of the road. Bicyclists are required to follow all rules of the road, including stopping at stop signs and traffic lights and yielding to pedestrians. If someone riding a bike ignores these rules, pedestrians are at a higher risk of being hit.  
  • Sidewalk travel. In Florida, except for certain municipalities, bicyclists are allowed to ride on the sidewalk. With limited sidewalk space, a bicyclist moving too quickly or unable to maneuver to avoid a pedestrian risks causing an accident.

Determining Fault in Pedestrian-Bike Accidents

With bike accidents involving pedestrians, police and insurance companies must determine who is at fault for the accident. They will carefully consider the facts of the case, use photos or videos of the scene, and investigate whether either party was under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Insurance companies will also try to determine if the pedestrian breached their duty of care by ignoring traffic signals or avoiding designated walking areas.

What’s important to know is that in 2023, Florida approved a new modified comparative negligence principle for personal injury cases. So, if a pedestrian is found to be partially at fault for the personal injury accident, their damages will be reduced by their percentage of fault. For example, if the pedestrian was found to be 40% at fault for the crash, their damages will be reduced by 40%. However, if they are found to be over 50% responsible for the crash, they can’t obtain compensation for any damages.

That’s why you need to obtain legal counsel for a pedestrian-bike accident right away, especially if you believe you might share some responsibility for the crash. Our personal injury attorneys will help determine if your fault is less than 50%. If so, you could be awarded compensation for economic damages or non-economic damages.

Your Right to Compensation if You’ve Been Hit by a Bicyclist

Being hit by a bicyclist may cause expensive injuries, emotional pain, and financial stress. If you’ve suffered an injury in a pedestrian-bike accident, you may be eligible for economic and non-economic compensation for damages.

Economic Damages

Economic damages are the injuries and losses that have a specific financial value, including:

  • Medical bills
  • Loss of wages
  • Loss of future earnings
  • Property damage

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages are mental and emotional injuries and losses. Proving these losses can be more complex, but an experienced attorney knows how to calculate these types of damages. Non-economic damages can include:

Steps to Take if You’re a Pedestrian Hit by a Bicyclist

At the scene of an accident, it’s important you take all precautions both to care for your health and prepare for a possible personal injury claim. Be sure to:

  • Call 911, and seek immediate medical attention.
  • Exchange insurance and contact information with the bicyclist and any witnesses who remained at the scene.
  • Document the scene of the accident with photos or videos.
  • Contact an experienced personal injury attorney and avoid speaking to insurance companies without their counsel.
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