Who is Liable when a Bicycle Hits a Pedestrian?

We’ve previously covered the implications of a vehicle hitting a cyclist, but what about when a bicycle causes personal injury to a pedestrian? Believe it or not, it happens much more often than you may think. It’s no surprise that when a bicycle hits a pedestrian there can be serious injuries involved, given that the average bicycle travels at around 10mph when in use and fitness cyclists can even climb to the 20mph mark.

Have you been hit by a careless cyclist? Here’s what you need to do:

Document Your Injuries

First and foremost, if you’ve been hit by a cyclist, be sure to tend to and document your injuries. Bikes, while they travel slower than cars on average, can easily cause fractures, concussion, head trauma, internal injuries, and much more damage to your body than you may think. Much like car accidents, cyclist collisions will be under a lot of scrutiny. Being able to provide documentation from a doctor that the injuries you sustained are in line with your side of the story will give you a lot of extra strength in court. 

Establish Culpability 

Bicycle accidents can happen for a number of reasons, many of which may have been out of the cyclist’s control. If, however, you find that they could have done something to prevent the collision, that’s another story entirely. In California, there are a number of angles you can take to establish the other party was culpable. See below for more details:


  • If you were lawfully on a sidewalk or in a crosswalk when the bicycle hit you, the burden of proof will move over to the defendant, as you were well within your rights to be walking where you were.
  • If the cyclist was distracted due to activities like texting or talking on the phone, that also constitutes as a violation that you may be able to capitalize on during court.
  • If the cyclist was speeding above the speed limit, you may also have a case. While you likely won’t see a bike going highway speeds, it’s definitely a possibility they were speeding if you were hit in a school zone, for example. 
  • If the cyclist was riding in the wrong direction, you could make the argument that they should not have been on your side of the road when the accident happened, as this throws common traffic law etiquette out the window.

So, Who is Liable in a Bicycle Accident?

As with any accident, there isn’t going to be a perfect rule of thumb to the question, “Who is liable?” Instead, you’ll notice that court cases are won and lost on the amount of evidence that has been provided. In the event that you are hit by a cyclist, there will be many different factors at play. If you, the pedestrian, were acting irresponsibly, then there is a chance that the cyclist will be able to collect damages. 


However, if you find that the cyclist was being negligent, and you have the injuries to prove personal harm, then you very well may have a case. The key is understanding your rights and getting in touch with an attorney as fast as possible.

Contact Gokal Law

Have you been injured by a negligent cyclist? You may be entitled to a case. Contact Alison Gokal of Gokal Law Group, Inc. Our team will diligently investigate your claims, interview witnesses, and give you the support you need to win your case. The sooner you contact us, the more effective we are at getting you the justice you deserve.

Gokal Law Group is a family firm that treats our clients as if they were our own flesh and blood. We fight for our clients as we would our own children, sisters, brothers, and parents. We are our clients’ Warriors, fighting to bring them justice and right the wrongs they have endured.

Each attorney has a specific practice area for which they are tried, tested, and battle-ready. Each has vast years of experience in their practice area, providing them the knowledge, skills, and vision to fight and win. Learn more about Gokal Law Group.

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