An accident with a skateboarder or rollerblader can be scary. And while the laws surrounding liability for accidents involving two vehicles, a bicycle, or a pedestrian are very straightforward, you may not know who is at fault for an accident involving a skater. Here is a review of what you need to know if you have been in an accident in Texas.
What does the law say about skateboard and rollerblader use of sidewalks and roadways?
Skateboarders and rollerbladers, just like all other pedestrians, bicyclists, or vehicles in the state, must adhere to sidewalk and roadway use laws. Each municipality may have different laws governing this. For example, this City of Dallas ordinance (Code 1941, Article 140-11, Ordinances 11003; 16691) reads that, “No person shall skate on roller skates or otherwise” upon any open road or area of the street unless crossing at a designated crossing area. The law continues on to read that when using the sidewalk, a person skating on a sidewalk must yield the right of way to any pedestrian using such sidewalk.
The person who is at fault, then, for an accident involving a skateboarder or rollerblader will likely be the person who was in violation of a law or ordinance at the time of the accident.
How can I prove fault of the other party?
If you believe that you were not at fault for your accident, you will have to prove the fault of the other party. The best way to do this is to gather evidence—witness testimony, police reports, or video footage—illustrating that the other person was violating a law leading to your accident.
For example, what happens if a car hit you within a crosswalk? If you were crossing a street on a skateboard at an authorized pedestrian crossing at a time when the crossing signal indicated that you had the right of way, then the driver of the car will likely be held liable. If you did not have the right of way, then you may be held liable. The same is true for an accident involving a bicycle.
The same logic can be applied to a pedestrian accident involving a skater that occurs on a sidewalk. In the majority of cases, the skater will be held liable as a pedestrian has the right of way on a sidewalk.
What should I do next?
If you have been in an accident with a skateboarder or rollerblader, or if you were the skateboarder or rollerblader injured, you should contact a personal injury attorney in Texas. A personal injury attorney can help you understand laws and ordinances governing right-of-way, find out who is liable, and help you to file a claim for damages if you have been injured. To learn more, contact the Law Office of Julie Johnson, PLLC to schedule a consultation today at 214-290-8001.