While a pedestrian versus car accident is all too common, a bike vs. pedestrian accident can be just as devastating. A car driver can cause a pedestrian serious, even deadly injuries, but so can a bicyclist. Even in a crash where the bike is only traveling at a speed of 10 miles per hour, a pedestrian can suffer significant injuries.
What To Do Right After The Accident
If you have been injured as a pedestrian, it’s important to know what to do after the accident. First off, stay calm and try not to be too upset. Seek emergency medical care, even if you do not think you are very injured. Some internal injuries may not be immediately evident. Insist that the police are called and a report is taken. Make sure that you get the name and address of the bicyclist and their insurance provider’s information.
Do not talk too much with the others involved or their friends or family members. You should also avoid speaking directly to the bike rider’s attorney or auto insurance company. It is important to have your own personal injury attorney deal with the auto insurance company or the others involved.
Who Is At Fault
When a bicyclist or car driver hits a pedestrian, one of the first questions asked is regarding who is at fault. Generally speaking, a person who fails to use a reasonable amount of care under the circumstances may be considered “negligent.” It is possible for both parties to be somewhat at fault. For instance, if the pedestrian was crossing the street illegally, or dashed out unsafely, some fault may be found to lie with him or her. Also, if the cyclist is traveling too fast, over the posted speed limit he or she may have some liability as well.
The police report will include statements from those involved: the pedestrian, the bicyclist, and any witnesses. This will help to establish who was at fault. It may be immediately clear, or it may be necessary to conduct a detailed investigation into the accident to determine fault. Just because a police report assigns fault, this is not the final decision.
Dealing With Insurance
Insurance companies may dispute the at-fault conclusion. It is common for an insurance company to send an adjuster to review the scene of the accident or examine the damage suffered as soon after the accident as possible.
Most injured pedestrians are covered under their health and disability insurance policies, but what if you don’t have coverage? If you were injured by a bicycle while you were a pedestrian, it may be possible to file a claim against the liability insurance policy of the other party. If you missed work due to your injuries, you may be able to recover your lost wages in addition to the medical bills for your pedestrian accident injuries.
A bike vs pedestrian accident can be very tricky. Do not settle your case without first consulting a pedestrian accident lawyer. You may be entitled to a much larger settlement than you realize.