Santa Monica is seeing more cyclists every year hit the roads in and around the city as people shed their cars and use alternative forms of transportation. Along with the increase in cycling comes an uptick in the number of pedestrians as well.
Santa Monica has many shared-use paths like much of the Venice/Santa Monica path or a similar one from Santa Monica to Malibu. These provide access to pedestrians, cyclists, scooter riders and skaters to travel along the beach to either destination.
Mixture not Always Best
While the idea makes sense—the two-birds one stone argument—cyclists are much faster than pedestrians, and this causes problems when they try to share the same space. Accidents happen, and the end result can be just a serious as a car accident.
Causes of Bike v. Pedestrian Accidents
Because of the speed difference, there are informal rules that govern how the two should pass. Typically, a cyclist comes up to a pedestrian from behind, and the pedestrian is passed on their left while the cyclist alerts them of their presence. It works the same if a cyclist is traveling slow and a runner approaches from behind.
However, this system isn’t used correctly many times or even just ignored, and then accidents happen. At Bay Area Bicycle Law, we’ve helped both Santa Monica pedestrians and cyclists get the compensation they deserve when they’ve been injured by another’s negligence. Some of the more common causes of accidents between cyclists and pedestrians are:
- Going too fast (usually cyclist)
- Cellphone use
- Eating/other distraction
- Faulty Equipment
- Not following passing protocols
- Pedestrian steps in front of rider
- Aggressive cycling
- Headphones by either
Bike v Pedestrian Injuries
When a cyclist runs into a pedestrian, both usually fall to the ground often resulting in serious injury. The impact of the collision is compounded by the impact with the pavement which gives a one-two punch that produces some significant injuries. Some of these that we’ve seen over the years are:
- Traumatic Brain Injuries
- Severe concussions
- facial injuries
- Shattered wrists/elbows
- Broken arms/legs
- Road rash
- Deep contusions
Who Pays in a Bicycle v. Pedestrian Accident?
The simple answer is whichever one is negligent. Just like an auto accident, the law requires that before a victim receives compensation from another driver, they must prove that the driver was negligent. So if a pedestrian steps out in front of a rider who was passing on the left and alerting the pedestrian, then the pedestrian is likely at fault.
However, unlike an auto accident, most people don’t have cycling or walking insurance to pay compensation for anyone they injure. If either has a homeowner’s policy or renter’s insurance, this might be a source of compensation for the victim.
At Bay Area Bicycle Law, we know where to look for sources of compensation to make sure that someone else’s carelessness doesn’t leave you financially strapped. If you’ve been injured in a Santa Monica bike v. pedestrian accident, come talk an attorney at our firm to start the process of getting you compensation for your injuries.
Contact a Davis Bicycle Accident Lawyer.
Bay Area Bicycle Law is the only personal injury law firm in Northern California to specialize exclusively in representing injured cyclists. Years of advocacy for bicycle victims have seasoned our attorneys with the necessary skills, knowledge base and familiarity to handle bicycle accident cases with the utmost level of professional expertise.
Contact us today for a free consultation. California cyclists who are injured by negligent drivers are entitled to a wide array of compensation. We will always offer you legal advice which is in your best interest.