Bicyclists as Pedestrians

Question

Rachel asked: I was involved in an accident that happened when a bicyclist decided to enter the roadway, attempting to cross horizontally across the road into vertically traveling traffic. This was on a busy road, during the day and he claimed he did not see our vehicle. He got a ticket for not staying to the right. He came off the sidewalk into the road, although there was crosswalk at the intersection. According to the car insurance company involved he still can sue because it doesn’t matter who is at fault. I just found out that I have a bulging disc in my neck from this accident. Is there anything I can do to fight him if he decides to sue?? Is what he did illegal? I thought by law bicyclists and pedestrians had to use crosswalks when available. I just don’t think it is fair that his negligence should make me suffer both physically and mentally. This accident was and still is a very traumatic experience. How it happened is so unbelievable, that it would only make sense that he did it on purpose. The car I was in was just cruising along at the posted speed of 40 mph and he came directly in the path of the car, hitting on the passenger side front corner of the car, and rear back tire on the bike sending him slamming into the windshield which shattered inward as did part of the top of the car where I think his head hit then he landed back down on the road. The impact was really hard. To make matters worse he was a work release inmate, due to get out two weeks after this accident happened. I have asked the insurance company and the FHP whether or not the state would then be responsible for his medical bills or mine since he was still an inmate at the time, but no one can seem to find an answer to that question.

Answer

A bicyclist on the sidewalk has the responsibilities of a pedestrian.

s. 316.2065 – Bicycle Regulations

(9) A person propelling a vehicle by human power upon and along a sidewalk, or across a roadway upon and along a crosswalk, has all the rights and duties applicable to a pedestrian under the same circumstances.

A pedestrian (bicyclist on the sidewalk) is required to use a crosswalk rather than crossing a roadway if between signalized intersections.

s. 316.130 – Pedestrians; Traffic Regulations

(11) Between adjacent intersections at which traffic control signals are in operation, pedestrians shall not cross at any place except in a marked crosswalk.

In other locations, just as pedestrians, they may cross mid-block. However, pedestrians (bicyclists on the sidewalk) cannot leave a place of safety and move into the path of a vehicle.

s. 316.130 – Pedestrians; Traffic Regulations

(8) No pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close that it is impossible for the driver to yield.

The other part of your question is not one of the applicable statutes, but is asking for legal advice. On this site, we try to explain the laws, but we do not give legal advice. Concerning the responsibility and any potential compensation, I recommend that you retain legal counsel.

Posted in Ask Geo, Sidewalks & Crosswalks Tagged with: , ,

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