Who Pays When a Pedestrian is Hit by a Cyclist?

If you have been hit by a cyclist as a pedestrian, you could be entitled to sue the cyclist for damages. Their home insurance policy will cover the cost of your compensation award.

What happens when a cyclist collides with a pedestrian?

It’s well-known that when a car accident occurs, the innocent party is allowed to sue the driver at-fault. This involves making a claim against the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia. ICBC will then cover the cost of the victim’s physical, emotional and financial damages. The same rule applies if a vehicle hits a cyclist or a pedestrian. Drivers in British Columbia are legally obliged to have ICBC insurance, and this policy will pay for any award that is due.

But what happens if a cyclist hits a pedestrian? The cyclist is not obliged to have insurance in the same way that drivers are. So, does that mean that the pedestrian has little choice but to deal with their injuries, without any kind of redress? Or is there a way to claim compensation when a cyclist hits a pedestrian?

Does the cyclist have a home insurance policy?

The answer is that it all depends on whether or not the cyclist has home insurance. If the cyclist does have home insurance, then the injured pedestrian can make a claim against the policy. If it’s established that the cyclist was responsible for the accident, then an award will be paid out. A cyclist might be deemed at-fault if he/she:

  • Was riding a poorly maintained bike, increasing the braking distance
  • Ran a stop sign or a red light
  • Was cycling while intoxicated
  • Was cycling while distracted, such as talking on their phone
  • Did not yield the right of way
  • Did not obey the rules of the road
  • Failed to use proper lights while riding in the dark
  • Was travelling at excessive speeds

If the cyclist does not have home insurance, then it may be difficult to claim compensation.

The next question is: how do you know if a cyclist is covered by home insurance? We can check this for you, but we’ll need the cyclist’s name and contact details. It is therefore vital to get this information at the time of the incident. If you didn’t obtain these details – perhaps because you needed urgent medical attention – then we can try to locate the cyclist in other ways. Witnesses may be able to confirm their identity, or the police might even have attended the scene and written a report.

Could the pedestrian be to blame?

According to the Motor Vehicle Act, a person ‘operating a cycle on a highway has the same rights and duties as a driver of a vehicle.’ However, pedestrians also have a duty of care. This means obeying the rules of the road, both to ensure their own safety and that of others.

When a cyclist and a pedestrian collide, there will be an investigation to determine who is to blame. It all depends on the circumstances of the accident. If the pedestrian suddenly ran into a bike lane, the cyclist may be absolved of blame. Yet if the cyclist failed to stop at a crosswalk and ploughed straight into the pedestrian, then the cyclist may be held accountable. Sometimes liability will be shared between the parties.

If you have been hit by a cyclist, we can say who is responsible for the accident, advising whether you have grounds for a claim.

Claiming on home insurance

If a cyclist is to blame for your accident and is covered by home insurance, you will be able to pursue a claim for damages. This is not the only time in which you might claim against a home insurance policy. Take skiing accidents, for instance. If an out-of-control skier or snowboarder hurts you while you’re on the ski hill, you could make a claim against their home insurance policy.
Injuries sustained in cyclist/pedestrian collisions – and indeed in skier/snowboarder collisions – can be extremely damaging. This is particularly true where high-speed collisions occur, something which is becoming increasingly prevalent with the rise of faster, heavier e-bikes. Common injuries include fractures, broken teeth, torn ligaments, concussion and serious head injuries.

Legal advice

Have you been knocked over by a cyclist? Contact us now to talk about the options open to you. We’ll listen to the details of your accident and explore the options available to you. We’ll confirm whether the cyclist is at fault for your injuries, and whether you are able to make a claim against their home insurance policy. If so, we’ll help you claim the compensation you deserve.

Either fill in the free online enquiry form or call us on 604 684 0040.

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