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Bicyclist v. Pedestrian: Who Wins the Game of Life or Death?

By Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. on May 18, 2017

The drivers of motor vehicles are always being told to watch out for pedestrians and bicyclists, and pedestrians and cyclists are always being told to keep an eye out for cars and trucks. So, why isn’t anyone telling bicyclists to look out for pedestrians, and vice versa? While a bicycle weighs nowhere near as much as a car, the weight of its rider combined with its velocity can deliver enough force to seriously injure or kill an unsuspecting pedestrian. Kill a pedestrian? Yes, that’s happened more than once in New York’s Central Park, as well as in downtown Washington, D.C., and overseas in such places as Australia and the United Kingdom. Even if the pedestrian isn’t killed, he or she can suffer serious injuries, including life-altering head injuries. While there is no available data for the Pacific Northwest, there are recent numbers for New York State and California. Between 2004 and 2011, 7,904 pedestrians in New York received treatment for injuries caused by being struck by a bicycle. During a similar period in California, 2005 to 2011, the number was 6,177. As you can see, such accidents do occur one-thousand-times-a-year-regularly, even though you rarely hear about them.

While bicycles may not be as dangerous as motor vehicles, sharing the road with them comes with other problems. Cyclists don’t need a license to ride a bike, so there’s no way to gauge the riding skills of the guy peddling his Schwinn toward you while he’s talking on his phone. Maybe he doesn’t belong on the bike path. Also, bike riders aren’t required to carry liability insurance like automobile drivers. If you are injured by a cyclist, you may have a difficult time getting compensation for medical bills, lost wages, etc.

Just because a bike rider isn’t insured doesn’t mean you can’t get compensation for your injuries with the help of a seasoned Seattle pedestrian accident attorney. To find out more, call the Seattle offices of Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S., for a free consultation. Dial (888) 228-3860 today.

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