A Pedestrian Is Involved in a Bicycle Accident: Can a Pedestrian Be at Fault?

can a pedestrian be at fault

Pedestrian accidents can be devastating, leading to serious injuries, medical bills, and legal complications. These accidents can occur in a variety of situations like a pedestrian car accident, but what happens when a pedestrian is involved in a bicycle accident? Can a pedestrian be at fault in such cases?

In this article, we will explore the legal aspects of pedestrian-bicycle accidents, the potential liability of pedestrians, and the role of traffic laws. If you or a loved one has been involved in such an accident, it’s crucial to understand your rights and legal options.

What to Do After a Bicycle-Pedestrian Accident

If you’re involved in a bicycle-pedestrian accident, it’s essential to take specific steps to protect your health, legal rights, and well-being. Here’s a comprehensive guide on what to do after a pedestrian-bicycle accident:

  1. Ensure Safety:

    Your immediate safety should be the top priority. If you are seriously injured, seek medical attention immediately. Call 911 or ask a bystander to do so. Do not attempt to move if you suspect a serious injury, as this can worsen the damage.

  2. Move to a Safe Location:

    If you’re able to do so without risking further injury, move to the sidewalk, shoulder of the road, or any other safe area away from traffic.

  3. Exchange Information:

    If you are not too injured to communicate, exchange information with the bicyclist involved. Obtain their name, contact information, and insurance details. It’s crucial to have this information for potential legal or insurance purposes.

  4. Contact Law Enforcement:

    Call the police to report the accident. Having an official record of the incident can be essential for insurance claims and legal proceedings. Cooperate fully with the responding officers and provide an accurate account of what happened.

  5. Document the Scene:

    If you have a smartphone or camera, take pictures of the accident scene. Capture any damages to the bicycle or vehicle, the location of the accident, traffic signals, crosswalks, and any other relevant details where the accident occurred. Visual evidence can be valuable for insurance claims or legal cases.

  6. Gather Witness Information:

    Speak to any witnesses who saw the accident and collect their contact information. Their statements can provide independent testimony and help in determining who is at fault.

  7. Seek Medical Attention:

    Even if you believe your injuries are minor, it’s essential to seek medical attention. Some injuries may not manifest immediately, and a medical evaluation can identify hidden injuries. Request a complete medical examination, including X-rays, if necessary.

  8. Keep Records:

    Maintain detailed records of your medical treatment, including doctor’s visits, prescriptions, and any recommended follow-up care. This documentation will be crucial for insurance claims and legal proceedings.

  9. Report to Your Insurance Company:

    If you have insurance coverage that may apply to the accident (such as health insurance or auto insurance with medical coverage), report the accident to your insurance company. Be honest and accurate in your description of the incident.

  10. Consult an Attorney:

    Consider consulting a personal injury attorney, particularly if the accident resulted in significant injuries or if you believe you were not at fault. An experienced attorney can help you navigate the legal process, assess the strength of your case, and represent your interests.

Who Is Liable for the Pedestrian-Bicycle Accident?

Liability for a pedestrian accident case can vary depending on the specific circumstances of the accident. It’s essential to establish who was at fault to determine liability. Here are some common scenarios:

Bicyclist at Fault:

If the bicyclist was negligent or reckless and their actions directly contributed to the accident, they may be liable for the accident. For example, if the bicyclist was riding on the sidewalk in violation of local laws, failed to yield to the pedestrian’s right of way, or was engaged in distracted riding (e.g., using a phone or not paying attention), they could be held responsible for the accident.

Pedestrian at Fault:

If an accident occurs due to a pedestrian’s negligence then they may be found partially or entirely liable. This could include jaywalking, crossing against a red light, or failing to exercise reasonable care for their safety when crossing the road.

Shared Fault:

In many cases, liability for a pedestrian-bicycle accident may be shared between both the bicyclist and the pedestrian. This is particularly common when both parties involved in the accident played a part in causing the collision. In shared fault situations, liability is determined by the percentage of fault attributed to each party. Nevada follows a comparative negligence system, allowing individuals to seek compensation even if they are partially responsible, with their compensation reduced based on their share of fault.

Other Factors:

Other factors, such as road conditions, visibility, and the presence of traffic signals, can also influence liability. For instance, if a pedestrian was crossing the road legally with the right of way, and a bicyclist failed to yield, the bicyclist may be found at fault. Additionally, if the road was poorly maintained, leading to the accident, liability could shift to the entity responsible for road maintenance.

Traffic Laws and Pedestrian Rights

In Nevada, as in most other states, there are specific traffic laws in place to protect pedestrians. Pedestrians generally have the right of way at crosswalks and intersections, and drivers are legally required to yield to pedestrians in these situations. However, the law is not as black and white when it comes to shared spaces, such as sidewalks and bike lanes.

It’s important to note that pedestrians are also subject to traffic laws. For example, pedestrians must obey traffic signals and not cross the road against a red light. Additionally, pedestrians should exercise reasonable care for their own safety while walking, which means they shouldn’t suddenly dart in front of oncoming traffic or engage in risky behaviors that can lead to accidents.

Seeking Compensation

If you’re involved in a bicycle-pedestrian accident or car-pedestrian accident, it’s crucial to understand that you may still be entitled to compensation, even if you are deemed partially at fault. The percentage of fault attributed to you will impact the amount of compensation you can recover.

Nevada follows the principle of pure comparative negligence, which means that you can still seek compensation even if you are primarily responsible for the accident. However, your compensation will be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to you. For instance, if the court determines that you are 30% at fault and your total damages amount to $10,000, you will be able to recover $7,000, reflecting the reduction for your share of fault.

To recover compensation, you may need to pursue a personal injury claim against the responsible party. This can be a complex process, and having an experienced attorney by your side is crucial. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you navigate the legal system, gather evidence, negotiate with insurance companies, and fight for your right to fair compensation.

Role of Attorney in Bicycle Pedestrian Accident

A pedestrian accident lawyer plays a crucial role in a pedestrian-bicycle accident case, helping you navigate the legal complexities and advocate for your rights and interests. Here are some of the key roles and responsibilities of an attorney in such cases:

The attorney will assess the circumstances of the pedestrian bicycle accident to determine the strength of your case. They will evaluate factors such as liability, the extent of injuries, potential damages, and available evidence to advise you on the best course of action.

Your attorney will provide you with legal advice and explain your rights and options. They will help you understand the relevant laws and regulations, as well as the potential outcomes of pursuing a personal injury claim.


Attorneys will conduct a thorough investigation into the accident. This may involve gathering evidence, speaking to witnesses, obtaining accident reports, and documenting the scene. The goal is to build a compelling case to establish liability and damages.


Attorneys are skilled negotiators who can communicate with insurance companies and the other party’s representatives. They will work to secure a fair settlement on your behalf, covering your medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages. This negotiation may also involve establishing shared fault in accordance with comparative negligence laws.

Filing Claims:

If a fair settlement cannot be reached through negotiation, your attorney will help you file a personal injury claim or lawsuit. They will prepare the necessary legal documents, ensure all deadlines are met, and represent you in court if necessary.

Evidence Preservation:

Attorneys will assist in preserving evidence relevant to your case. This includes medical records, accident reports, witness statements, and any other documentation that supports your claim.

Medical Experts:

If your injuries are significant, your attorney may collaborate with medical experts to evaluate your condition and estimate future medical expenses. Their testimony can strengthen your case and support your claim for damages.

Your attorney will develop a legal strategy tailored to your specific case. This includes determining the best approach to proving liability and seeking fair compensation.

Attorneys are well-versed in the applicable laws and regulations, which can vary by jurisdiction. They understand how these laws apply to your case and will work to protect your rights from a legal standpoint.

Advocacy in Court:

If a fair settlement cannot be reached, your attorney will represent you in court, presenting your case before a judge and jury. They will argue on your behalf and work to secure the compensation you deserve.

can a pedestrian be at fault

Consult With Experienced Catastrophic Injury Lawyers at BLG

Pedestrian accidents involving bicycles can be complex, and determining fault can be challenging. While pedestrians often have the right of way in crosswalks and intersections, they are also subject to traffic laws and should exercise reasonable care.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a pedestrian bicycle accident, it’s crucial to consult with an experienced pedestrian accident attorney who can help you navigate the legal process, establish liability, and seek fair compensation. Remember that even if you are partially at fault, you may still be entitled to compensation, thanks to Nevada’s comparative negligence system.

If you’re a cyclist who was hit by a pedestrian and want legal assistance from an experienced bicycle accident attorney, contact Bourassa Law Group. We are a leading personal injury law firm in Nevada with a skilled team of personal injury attorneys experienced in dealing with bicycle accidents.

Call 800-870-8910 or click here to contact us now.

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