Visitor Question

Hit by car while riding my bike on the sidewalk…

Submitted By: Darlene (Buffalo, New York)

I was riding my bike on the side walk when a car was driving out of the driveway – not backing out but driving out.

There was a set of bushes at the end of her driveway BEFORE the sidewalk and she just continued going and hit me on the sidewalk.

I flew up on the hood of her car.

Hit the windshield and landed in the street.

I tore my ACL and now require surgery.

I am not able to work and this could not have happened at a worse time.

I will just be at this job for 1 year in October.

I was up for promotion and my company was sending me to school which was part of my promotion.

What are my options as far as a lawsuit? Does it matter that I was on the sidewalk when I was hit (does this affect liability)? Can I get compensation for losing the promotion and/or compensation for school? Thank you.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Darlene,

Section 479-19(1) of the Buffalo City Traffic Code states:

“No riding on sidewalk except children under 14 years. No person in the city shall ride any motorcycle, bicycle or other vehicle propelled by the hand or foot of the rider, along or upon any sidewalk or footpath intended for the use of pedestrians. This subdivision shall not apply to children under fourteen years of age and to persons who cannot walk by reason of being invalid or cripples.”

New York State is a “comparative negligence” state. This means in an injury accident the victim and at-fault party may share liability. In such a case, the victim’s compensation for their injury will be reduced by the percentage of the victim’s own comparative negligence.

Here’s an example…

A car runs a red light and collides with a person who was “jaywalking.” In most cases, the driver would seem to be entirely at fault. However, because the jaywalker was in violation of the city traffic code, the jaywalker will share some liability.

For instance, the driver might be held 70% liable and the jaywalker 30%. So if the jaywalker’s medical bills and other expenses were $10,000.00, the insurance company or a jury might only award the jaywalker $7,000.00 – representing the jaywalker’s 30% fault for the accident.

Learn more about pure comparative fault here.

Your set of facts is a perfect illustration of comparative negligence. You were in violation of Section 479-19(1). The driver, while not in violation of a City of Buffalo traffic law, appears to have been negligent in failing to slow down to see if anyone was approaching.

While you should be entitled to a percentage of compensation for your medical and therapy bills, medications, lost wages, and pain and suffering, it’s doubtful you would be awarded compensation for your apparent loss of a promotion, and for your time lost at school.

File a claim with the driver’s insurance company. If the police or paramedics were dispatched to the scene, secure a copy of the police report. Doing so can be string supporting evidence of your injury claim.

For more information about the City of Buffalo Zoning Code, go here.

Learn more here: Building a Bicycle Car Accident Claim

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney.

Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call 888-972-0892.

We wish you the best with your claim,

Published:

One comment on “Hit by car while riding my bike on the sidewalk…

  1. dave says:

    For what it’s worth, I don’t know all the details of the person riding a bike down a sidewalk and was hit by a car pulling out of a driveway because of bushes blocking the view. In neighborhoods, you can have all the laws you want prohibiting bikes from riding on a sidewalk. Aint no way I’m riding a bike in a street full of crazy drivers. Most who don’t know the bike laws anyway. I ride on the sidewalk, and I stop/yield for pedestrians. I value my life more than I value the law.
    #2- I noticed something no one mentioned in the story. A set of bushes at the end of a driveway. If any kind of bushes/trees/ plants etc are blocking the view of peds, oncoming motorists, bike riders on street, why didn’t the HOA, street, neighborhood, city, mention anything about having bushes at the end of a driveway, so close to the street?

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