Welcome to Roadrunner Law Firm’s blog, where we’re passionate about advocating for pedestrian and cyclist safety in New Mexico. Our beautiful state is known for its breathtaking landscapes and outdoor activities, but unfortunately, pedestrian and cyclist accidents continue to be a pressing concern. In this blog post, we will explore the rights and responsibilities of both pedestrians and cyclists, provide a brief overview of accidents in New Mexico, and discuss our role in helping accident victims get the justice and compensation they deserve.
A Brief Overview of Pedestrian and Cyclist Accidents in New Mexico
New Mexico has seen a rise in pedestrian and cyclist accidents over the past few years, with many resulting in serious injuries or fatalities. A study conducted by the New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT) found that pedestrian and cyclist accidents have increased by approximately 12% since 2015. This alarming trend highlights the need for increased awareness and education on road safety for all users.
The Importance of Understanding the Rights and Responsibilities of Both Parties
It’s essential for pedestrians and cyclists to understand their rights and responsibilities to ensure a safer environment for all road users. By knowing the laws and adhering to safe practices, we can reduce the likelihood of accidents and create a more harmonious coexistence between motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians.
The Role of Roadrunner Law Firm in Helping Accident Victims
At Roadrunner Law Firm, our compassionate and experienced team of attorneys is dedicated to helping accident victims navigate the complex legal process. We firmly stand by the side of the plaintiff, advocating for their rights and working tirelessly to secure the compensation they deserve. Our commitment extends beyond the courtroom, as we also engage in community education initiatives and advocate for safer streets and infrastructure in New Mexico.
An Overview of Pedestrian and Cyclist Laws in New Mexico
Understanding the pedestrian and cyclist laws in New Mexico is crucial for ensuring the safety of everyone on the road. This section will detail the rights and responsibilities of both pedestrians and cyclists.
Rights and Responsibilities of Pedestrians
Pedestrians have specific rights and responsibilities while navigating the streets of New Mexico. Adhering to these rules helps to minimize accidents and promote a safe environment for all road users.
Pedestrians should always use marked crosswalks or intersections when crossing the street. Motorists are required by law to yield to pedestrians within crosswalks. However, pedestrians must also exercise caution and not suddenly leave the curb, creating an immediate hazard for oncoming traffic.
Obeying Traffic Signals
Pedestrians must obey traffic signals, such as “Walk” and “Don’t Walk” signs. Crossing the street against a “Don’t Walk” sign is not only dangerous but also unlawful.
Walking on Sidewalks or Shoulders
Whenever possible, pedestrians should walk on sidewalks. If a sidewalk is not available, pedestrians should walk on the left side of the road, facing traffic. This helps to increase visibility and allows pedestrians to react more effectively to oncoming traffic.
Rights and Responsibilities of Cyclists
Cyclists, like pedestrians, have specific rights and responsibilities while navigating New Mexico’s roads. Understanding these rules is essential for maintaining a safe and harmonious environment for all road users.
Traffic Laws Apply to Cyclists
Cyclists must follow the same traffic laws as motorists. This includes stopping at stop signs and red lights, signaling turns, and yielding to pedestrians in crosswalks. By adhering to these laws, cyclists can reduce the risk of accidents and create a safer environment for themselves and others.
Bicycle Equipment Requirements
New Mexico law requires bicycles to be equipped with certain safety features, including a white front light visible from at least 500 feet away and a red rear reflector visible from 50 to 300 feet away when used at night. Additionally, bicycles should have properly functioning brakes and, if ridden by a person under 18 years of age, riders must have a securely fitted helmet.
Proper Lane Usage and Signaling
Cyclists should ride as close to the right side of the road as practicable, except when turning left, passing another vehicle, or avoiding hazards. They should also use appropriate hand signals to indicate turns and lane changes to help communicate their intentions to other road users.
Common Causes of Pedestrian and Cyclist Accidents
Understanding the common causes of pedestrian and cyclist accidents can help raise awareness and guide preventive measures. Both driver negligence and pedestrian or cyclist negligence contribute to these accidents. It’s essential for all parties to be aware of potential hazards and exercise caution to ensure safety on the roads.
Car Driver Negligence
Driver negligence is a leading cause of pedestrian and cyclist accidents. Motorists have a responsibility to share the road safely with all users. Common examples of driver negligence include:
Distracted driving, such as texting or using a cell phone, takes a driver’s attention away from the road, increasing the risk of accidents. It is crucial for drivers to remain focused and avoid distractions to ensure the safety of pedestrians and cyclists.
Excessive speed is another significant cause of accidents involving pedestrians and cyclists. Speeding reduces a driver’s reaction time and increases the severity of injuries in case of a collision. Motorists should always adhere to posted speed limits and adjust their speed according to traffic, weather, and road conditions.
Failure to Yield
Drivers are legally required to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks and to cyclists when they have the right-of-way. Failure to yield can lead to severe accidents and injuries. It is vital for drivers to be aware of their surroundings and prioritize the safety of pedestrians and cyclists.
Pedestrian and Cyclist Negligence
While driver negligence is a significant factor in many accidents, pedestrian and cyclist negligence happens too! It is essential for pedestrians and cyclists to follow the rules of the road and exercise caution. Some common examples of pedestrian and cyclist negligence include:
Ignoring Traffic Signals
Pedestrians and cyclists must obey traffic signals, such as stop signs and traffic lights. Ignoring these signals can lead to dangerous situations and increase the risk of accidents.
Not Using Designated Lanes or Paths
Pedestrians should walk on sidewalks or shoulders, while cyclists should use designated bike lanes or ride as close to the right side of the road as practicable. Failing to use the appropriate lanes or paths can create hazardous situations and increase the likelihood of collisions.
Failure to Signal or Communicate Intentions
Both pedestrians and cyclists should signal their intentions, such as turning or crossing the street, to help other road users anticipate their movements. Failure to communicate intentions can lead to confusion and accidents.
Legal Options for Bike vs Pedestrian Accident Victims
When a pedestrian or cyclist is involved in an accident caused by another party’s negligence, they may have legal options to seek compensation for their injuries and damages. Roadrunner Law Firm is here to help accident victims understand their rights and pursue justice.
Personal Injury Claims
Personal injury claims are the most common legal recourse for accident victims. These claims can help injured parties recover compensation for their losses, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Elements of a Successful Claim
To succeed in a personal injury claim, the plaintiff must prove the following elements:
- Negligence: The defendant failed to exercise reasonable care and caused the accident.
- Causation: The defendant’s negligence directly resulted in the plaintiff’s injuries.
- Damages: The plaintiff suffered quantifiable losses as a result of the accident.
Compensation for Damages
Compensation in a personal injury claim is meant to make the plaintiff “whole” again, covering a wide range of damages such as:
- Medical expenses, including past and future treatment
- Lost wages and diminished earning capacity
- Pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life
- Property damage, if applicable
Comparative Negligence in New Mexico
New Mexico follows a “comparative negligence” rule, which means that the compensation a plaintiff can receive may be reduced if they are found to be partially responsible for the accident.
How it Affects Accident Cases
Under comparative negligence, the court will determine the percentage of fault attributed to each party involved in the accident. The plaintiff’s compensation will then be reduced by their percentage of fault. For example, if a cyclist is found to be 30% at fault for an accident, their compensation would be reduced by 30%.
Role of Shared Fault in Determining Compensation
It’s essential for accident victims to work with an experienced personal injury attorney who can effectively argue their case and minimize their percentage of fault. At Roadrunner Law Firm, we are dedicated to ensuring our clients receive the compensation they deserve, even in cases involving shared fault.
Roadrunner Law Firm’s Role in Supporting Bike and Pedestrian Accident Victims
At Roadrunner Law Firm, our mission is to help victims of pedestrian and cyclist accidents get the justice they deserve. Our experienced team of attorneys works tirelessly to ensure that our clients receive the best possible legal representation and support throughout their case. We are passionate about advocating for safer streets, infrastructure improvements, and increased community awareness.
Legal Representation and Guidance
When you choose Roadrunner Law Firm, you can expect compassionate and dedicated legal representation. Our attorneys understand the challenges accident victims face and are committed to guiding you through every step of the legal process. From gathering evidence and building a strong case to negotiating with insurance companies and representing you in court, our team will work tirelessly on your behalf to achieve the best possible outcome for your case.
Advocacy for Safer Streets and Infrastructure
Roadrunner Law Firm believes that safer streets and infrastructure are essential for preventing pedestrian and cyclist accidents. We actively advocate for improved road conditions, better signage, and increased visibility for all road users. By working with local government officials, community organizations, and other stakeholders, we aim to make our streets safer and more accessible for everyone.
Community Involvement and Education Initiatives
At Roadrunner Law Firm, we recognize the importance of community involvement and education in promoting pedestrian and cyclist safety. We regularly participate in local events, organize safety workshops, and sponsor campaigns aimed at raising awareness about the rights and responsibilities of pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers. By fostering a culture of safety and mutual respect on our roads, we can help reduce the number of accidents and make our community a safer place for all.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian or cyclist accident, don’t hesitate to reach out to Roadrunner Law Firm. Our dedicated team is ready to help you navigate the complex legal landscape and fight for the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation.
Hurt in a Pedestrian / Bicycle Collision? We may be able to help.
Pedestrian and cyclist safety is of paramount importance, and understanding the rights and responsibilities of all parties involved is crucial for preventing accidents and ensuring justice for those who have been injured. Roadrunner Law Firm is committed to providing top-notch legal representation for accident victims and advocating for a safer community.
As we have seen, pedestrian and cyclist accidents can have devastating consequences, and it is essential for all road users to prioritize safety. By following traffic laws, staying vigilant, and using safety equipment, we can work together to create a safer environment for everyone on our roads.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a pedestrian or cyclist accident, seeking legal assistance is vital. A knowledgeable and experienced attorney can help you navigate the complexities of personal injury law and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.
At Roadrunner Law Firm, our skilled attorneys are dedicated to helping accident victims protect their rights and obtain the compensation they need to rebuild their lives. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us for a consultation. Call to schedule your free, no-obligation case evaluation today. Together, we can work towards justice and safer streets for all.