Who Is Liable for a Cycling Accident—Pedestrian or Cyclist?

While cyclists are often the victims in accidents, it is crucial to state that they are not the only potential victims in a cycling crash. Pedestrians are also liable to injuries, especially when a cyclist strikes them. They justifiably demand compensation when you injure a pedestrian in a cycling accident. 

We must answer the two heart-probing questions: Who is liable in a crash where a cyclist hits a pedestrian? Can the pedestrian claim compensation in this context? We will shed light on these questions.

What Transpires When a Cyclist Collides With a Pedestrian

Let us use a car accident to explain this scenario. A victim can claim compensation against a motorist after a car crash. They will hire an attorney to gather evidence against the defendant to make a fair claim for their client. First, the lawyer will explore an out-of-court option with the defendant’s insurer, but they will file a lawsuit if they cannot agree on the settlement amount. 

Victims often ask the at-fault party’s insurers to cover their physical, financial, and emotional damages. 

However, the context somewhat differs when a cyclist hits a pedestrian. Unlike a motorist, a cyclist does not have insurance for this scenario. 

Does it mean a pedestrian cannot obtain compensation in this scenario? No, the pedestrian still has the right to claim compensation against the cyclist. 

How to Prove Liability as a Pedestrian

The law does not change; a pedestrian must prove liability before they can recover damages. They must also prove that they were not guilty of the accident. 

“Pedestrians should always use sidewalks and obey all traffic signals. While some roads have special bike lanes, others do not, forcing bicyclists to use the sidewalk. Accidents will likely happen when bicyclists share the sidewalk with pedestrians,” says injury attorney Jan Dils

A pedestrian may have a claim if they can prove that the cyclist was guilty of negligently veering into the area while they were walking lawfully on the sidewalk or crosswalk. However, remember that you need solid evidence to show that the bicyclist was negligent. 

When a Cyclist Is at Fault for a Pedestrian Accident

Some bicyclists have home insurance policies. It means that an injured pedestrian can claim damages against it. You can quickly recover some money if you establish that the cyclist was responsible for the mishap. 

A cyclist may be liable under the following conditions:

  • Was speeding when riding the bicycle
  • Ran a stop sign or a red light
  • Violated the road rules
  • Had a faulty bike, which increased the braking distance
  • Rode in the dark without adequate lights
  • Was under the influence of drugs or alcohol while cycling 
  • Failed to yield the right of way
  • Was distracted by my phone or something else while cycling 

It may be challenging to claim compensation from a cyclist without insurance. Fortunately, a law firm can quickly check if a bicyclist has insurance. You only need the cyclist’s name and contact details for this check, which you should collect at the accident scene. 

However, if you cannot get these details due to the severe nature of your injuries, your lawyer will use other strategies to get them. 

When the Pedestrian Is to Blame

There is still a chance that a pedestrian is guilty, even if they sustain injuries in a cycling accident. Hence, an investigation will commence after an accident to determine the party to blame. The cyclist might be innocent if you suddenly ran into the bike lane. So, the situation surrounding the accident will determine guilt. 


If you sustain injuries in a bicycle mishap, you can claim compensation if you are innocent. However, an outstanding bicycle accident lawyer can help prove your case beyond any reasonable doubt.