Anonymous
Anonymous asked in SportsCycling · 1 month ago

If a pedestrian is on a bike lane, who is at fault for a bike accident?

A cyclist is riding his or her bike on a designated bike lane and a pedestrian is behind a wall or some other object that cannot be seen through and suddenly steps onto a bike lane without looking and gets hit. Who is at fault for the accident? Even if the cyclist is being really careful not hit anyone. Especially if the pedestrian is jaywalking or standing in the middle of the bike lane and the cyclist tries everything to avoid hitting the pedestrian. 

6 Answers

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  • 1 month ago

    I'm a bike rider myself. I often ride my bike approaching a wall creating a blind spot. Can't see a person standing behind it. I would slow down to a point if a person steps out I would be able to stop.

  • D50
    Lv 6
    1 month ago

    It could be up to a jury to decide if the cyclist or the pedestrian was more negligent. Since you don't provide all the details that a jury would consider, there's no way to say who would be "at fault".

  • 1 month ago

    The cyclist usually.

  • David
    Lv 6
    1 month ago

    To quote the Mayor of a Dutch town that made the shopping district a lot more pedestrian/bicycle-friendly:”Right-of-way does not mean right to act like a moron”.

    Yes, a cyclist is expected to ride no faster than being able to stop for any foreseeable obstacle. But cyclists are not required to be psychic. Someone stepping out from a truly unexpected place may well be held responsible.

    Or take kids as an example. Let’s say you’re riding through a park. Hitting a kid just outside a play area, the cyclist will just about always be found responsible. Hitting a kid who was hiding in the bushes next to the path in a randomly chosen spot can be more forgivable.

    But hitting someone already in your path, that responsibility is hard to dodge.

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  • 1 month ago

    The liability could change state to state and even city to city, depending on how the laws are written.  But...as the old saying goes, "

    I have a very responsible job.  If anything goes wrong, I'm responsible."  Most laws that I've seen say the cyclist should yield to pedestrians at all times, no matter who legally has the "right of way".  

    It drives me nuts too.  Unlike a car, a bicycle is damn near quiet as a church mouse going down the street.  And too many pedestrians only listen for approaching vehicles before looking.  They'll step off the curb into a bike lane & then act shocked as the cyclist buzzes past or hits them.  

    If you want to know the law in your precise location, you'll need to investigate further on your own.  Use Google, contact an attorney who specializes in injury cases or maybe even ask a cop.  Sadly though...most cops don't know bike laws.    

  • If a pedestrian steps out into the path of a bike that is being ridden legally, the pedestrian is at fault.  The pedestrian is liable for any damage or injuries caused.

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