Richard Bernstein files lawsuit against bicyclist who hit walker in Ann Arbor park
Updated On: Apr 04 2013 05:57:06 PM EDT
Richard Bernstein is taking his fight for safer parks in Michigan to court.
The lawyer from the Sam Bernstein Law Firm filed a lawsuit Thursday on behalf of client Joanne Hahn, after she was struck by a cyclist in Ann Arbor's Gallup Park.
Bernstein says Hahn was hit so hard, she was thrown headfirst from the trail and suffered brain and nerve damage.
"The reason that this case is so incredibly significant is the only thing we're fighting for is we really want to make things safer and better for other people," said Bernstein. "People have to realize the dangers bikes can pose to pedestrian. And we're not saying we are anti bike. I'm an Iron Man so I'm an avid cyclist. But, what I think needs to happen is that bicycles and pedestrian need to co-exist together, they need to be able to share the parks, share the cities, share the trails."
Bernstein says this incident reminds him of his own severe injuries suffered from a cyclist in New York City's Central Park.
Bernstein, who is blind, was struck from behind by a bicyclist as he walked in the park's pedestrian lane last August.
"I didn't know what happened, but the bicyclist hit me and he was going about 35 miles an hour," Bernstein previously said about the accident.
He suffered a broken left hip, facial cuts and severe injuries to his mouth that required extensive dental work.
Bernstein says he still battles pain every day and feels this case magnifies the need for public parks to ensure the safety of pedestrians who share the trails with cyclists, especially as more and more people hit the trails when temperatures rise.
"It is time for cities like Ann Arbor to take notice, it is time for mayors and city councils to start taking notice, it is time for park departments to start taking notice. The fixes here are incredibly simple," said Bernstein.