Pedestrian Accidents Caused by Cyclists in Chicago
Now that the weather is finally warmer, people will emerge from their winter seclusion to enjoy the spring in Chicago. The warmer weather brings out many people who like to walk or job in the city, especially along the waterfront. Bicycle riders also emerge at this time. Bike riders occupy some of the same spaces that pedestrians occupy. Thus, collisions between pedestrians and bicycle riders are inevitable.
Crashes involving bicycles and pedestrians can be serious. Both pedestrians and bike riders can sustain severely, and sometimes fatal, injuries in these types of collisions. Bikes on bike paths can reach high speeds, especially considering the threat of a collision with a motor vehicle is greatly reduced. Experienced bike riders on surfaces in good repair can reach 25 miles per hour or more. Thus, any contact between a bicycle rider going 25 miles per hour and a person walking is likely to cause significant injuries.
The necessary question that follows is: who is to blame for the injuries caused by the crash? The answer, of course, is: it depends. Pedestrians and bike riders owe each other a duty to act safely. Thus, if a person stepped in front of a cyclist and the cyclist crashed causing serious injuries, the pedestrian could be liable. Conversely, the cyclist who carelessly rides on a bike path into a group of walkers and causes them injuries will be responsible under Illinois’ law of negligence.
In nearly every respect, there is a great similarity between an accident in which a pedestrian is hit by a car and a crash when the pedestrian was hit by a bike. The lone exception is the lack of insurance to cover the accident. Since no cars are involved, there is no auto insurance to fall back on. However, if the party responsible for the collision owns a home, other real property, or has other assets, then the accident victim could satisfy a judgment by attaching and forcing the sale of the property owned by the responsible party in limited circumstances.
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