WHO IS AT FAULT IN A PEDESTRIAN BIKE LANE ACCIDENT?
IN MIAMI, THE PERAZZO LAW FIRM SHARES INSIGHT FOR UNDERSTANDING AND DETERMINING FAULT IN A PEDESTRIAN ACCIDENT THAT OCCURS IN A BIKE LANE
As if pedestrians didn’t have enough to worry about when crossing the street, as of late they’ve had to face even greater challenges to avoid falling victim to personal injury given the growing number of bike lanes and rad bike riders that use them. At first, pedestrians had to be on the look out for drunk or careless drivers. Then came smartphones, which at present keep drivers connected to apps and social media platforms while behind the wheel of their motor vehicle. As a matter of fact, texting and driving has become the second leading cause of most motor vehicle accidents. In Miami, the Perazzo Law Firm, with ample experience handling personal injury claims stemming from car accidents, understand that texting and driving is the number one reason for the increase in rear-end collision car accidents, most of which occur at red lights and stop signs. Now, bike riders join this growing trend of negligence by taking to bike lanes as if pedestrians were intruders to crosswalks running past their misconstrued right of way. At one time, only one of the parties involved in an accident could be considered liable or at fault an accident. However, the more modern conception could hold both the bicycle rider and the pedestrian at fault. The truth is that both the pedestrian and the cyclist owe a duty of care and awareness as to safeguard their own personal safety and wellbeing to prevent accidents. According the the personal injury attorneys at the Perazzo Law Firm, the common guidelines of negligence can be applied to all those that take to the streets and roadways and includes bicycle riders or cyclists. The basic principles of any example for negligence are a duty of care to the individual that has suffered injury, and a breach of that duty which has injury, losses, or damages as the end result. Since Florida is home to the most number of bicycle riders, it obviously ranks first in the nation with close to 6 million fatal bike accidents and over 100 fatal bike accidents per year. Fortunately, a very small proportion of these fatal bicycle accidents involve pedestrians. Sadly, Broward and Miami-Dade are where the largest number of fatal bike accidents take place.
But who is at fault in a bike accident that results in injury to a pedestrian?
In Miami, the Perazzo Law Firm understands that following a pedestrian accident that involves a cyclist and takes place in a bike lane, both parties must be reminded that bike lanes can be used by anyone not operating a motor vehicle, and right of way is irrelevant. Thus, all those using bike lanes to ride a bike, walk, jog, or even walk a dog, must proceed with caution because the hold equal responsibility to accidents and injuries. However, an experienced personal injury lawyer at the Perazzo Law Firm considers it vital to verify if there was negligence on behalf of the bike rider, either bike riding to fast, not paying attention to the road and any obstacles ahead, of simply riding recklessly. Many bike riders are under the false impression that they have the right of way when approaching a crosswalk at an intersection. This may be considered a misconception given that they must abide by traffic laws when approaching an intersection a allow pedestrians to cross freely at crosswalks. This would not apply to pedestrians that are struck by bike riders half way up the block. Pedestrians are asked to avoid bike lane accidents by using crosswalks and allow an oncoming cyclist to proceed. Thus, when a pedestrian is crossing a bike path or bike lane, the cyclist should, but is not legal bound, to give the right of way. Bike riders may not use sidewalks or pedestrian thoroughfares for bike riding and if an accident in which a bike rider strikes and injures a pedestrian, he/she may be found legally liable for injuries, damages, or losses (See Pedestrian Accidents Video).
What may constitute negligence on behalf of a bike rider that strikes an injures a pedestrian using a bike path?
- Reckless and careless riding
- Riding while distracted
- Riding intoxicated
- Riding without lights or reflectors at night
- Riding a bike that is in poor condition
- Intentional acts of aggression through the use of a bicycle
Types of injuries that a pedestrian may suffer when struck by a cyclist in a bike lane or bike path?
In Miami, there are a lot of bikes lanes and here are some of the most common injuries:
- Bruised ribs
- Bruised hips
- Bruised shoulders
- Bruised thighs, knees, and ankles
- Fractures and breaks
- Head injuries
- Cervical spine injuries
- Thoracic spine injuries
- Lumbar spine injuries
- Lacerations and flesh wounds
- And more…
The above mentioned injuries will almost always require a medical evaluation and the Personal Injury staff at the Perazzo Law Firm understands that no personal injury from a pedestrian accident should go unevaluated by a medical professional. Thus, after a pedestrian accident that results in one of the above, always seek professional medical care and keep all bills in the event that a personal injury accident claim is filed.
If you suffered personal injury, damages, or losses due to the negligence or wrongdoing by a bike rider, contact the Perazzo Law Firm ONLINE for a FREE initial consultation.