Consult a pedestrian accident lawyer this summer before bicycling on the road.
With summer rapidly approaching, you might be itching to hit the road for the season’s first bike trip. While cycling is an excellent form of exercise and a great way to experience nature’s beauty, a certain level of responsibility comes with it too. Even if bicycling isn’t a passion of yours, you must exercise caution when sharing the road with people on bikes. Bicycles present an interesting legal dilemma because they can be considered either a vehicle or a pedestrian, depending on the circumstances. Here’s some clarification on the issue from a pedestrian accident lawyer.
Insight From a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
As is all too common in the legal field, laws concerning bicycles vary from state to state and even town to town. In general, though, bikes are treated as vehicles when in the street and as pedestrians while on a sidewalk. Like pedestrians, bicycles have the right of way when in a crosswalk. For purposes of liability, a bicyclist is almost always considered a pedestrian when hit by an automobile, as a pedestrian accident lawyer will be well aware of.
As a bicyclist, you are still obligated to obey traffic laws just as you would when operating a motor vehicle. You may not technically have a license to operate your bike, but that doesn’t mean you are allowed to ride under the influence of alcohol or any other intoxicating substance. As your pedestrian accident lawyer will advise, you have to prove that liability rests squarely on the shoulders of the automobile driver in the event of a collision. Behaving recklessly yourself will only hinder your case.
Rules of a Shared Road From a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
Drivers, let bicyclists pass through the crosswalk just as you would for a pedestrian. Remain focused on the road at all times. Remember, if you hit someone on a bike, you will likely have to fight an uphill battle with a dogged pedestrian accident lawyer to prove it wasn’t your fault.
Bicyclists, you also must take personal responsibility for your safety. Although it might not be required by law, wear the appropriate helmet and protective gear. When you ride at night, wear reflective clothing so you are visible to drivers. If a bike lane is available, consider using it. Finally, extend a common courtesy to fellow pedestrians when riding on the sidewalk and let them know when you’re coming up to pass them.
The personal injury lawyers of Tolbert Beadle are highly experienced in cases involving pedestrians and motor vehicles. These cases can be complex, and the laws pertaining to them are not always consistent from one community to the next. Don’t hesitate to contact one of our pedestrian accident lawyers to set up your free consultation.