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Old 09-11-05, 03:10 PM   #1
1rideon1
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Car meets Bike

Car meets bike,... I was on my way down the most awesome decline came around a turn to find a car in my lane turning left into a sidestreet. I felt I couldn't go behind it, because of other traffic, and a dropoff,... or stop... so I tried to cut in front, and hit the car infront of the front wheel, went onto the hood, and rolled off. YOW..that hurts...but I'm OK, my bike sucks ...definately a wake up call. Does anyone know how to decide who's fault this is?

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Old 09-11-05, 03:13 PM   #2
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Was the car in an improper lane?

Is the car was doing something wrong, it may be the car driver's fault. However, if you were coming from behind, it is your responsibility to overtake safely.

You don't give enough details to determine fault.
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Old 09-11-05, 03:30 PM   #3
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I was coming down the hill in the right hand lane, he was coming up in his proper right hand lane, which coming from my direction would be the left lane. He made a left turn (from his direction)across my lane into a side street. Hopefully you're not more confused than before I explained that, I think I am.
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Old 09-11-05, 04:43 PM   #4
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That certainly clears it up. We refer to that as a "left hook" around here. Question is, were you exceeding the speed limit coming down the hill? He has the responsibility to make sure that it's safe for him to cross the oncoming lane to make his turn, but if you were exceeding the speed limit, that sort of trumps his responsibility.
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Old 09-11-05, 04:59 PM   #5
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Weelll...I don't have a speedometer, and maybe I was kinda flyin for the bend in the road, limit there is 25mph, he said he stopped and looked before making the turn and saw nothing til I was on the hood.
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Old 09-11-05, 05:06 PM   #6
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If it was a "most awesome decline", there's a good chance that you were faster than the 25MPH speed limit, which means he really didn't have the chance to see you coming around the corner. I don't know what you were riding or how fast you go, but I can maintain close to 25 on flat gound. Of course that would be hard to prove one way or the other, so I'd chalk it up to a lesson learned and be happy you weren't hurt any worse than you were. Don't tell the guy you were probably wrong or anything, but I don't think that if you pursue it you'll come out ahead.
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Old 09-11-05, 05:33 PM   #7
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BS, pursue it. At least file an accident report with the state police, and talk with a personal injury lawyer if you feel the driver was at fault.
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Old 09-11-05, 06:16 PM   #8
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Ignoring who was legally at fault, was there anything reasonable that you, the cyclist could/should have done (or not done) that might have prevented this accident?

In other words, is there anything you will do differently the next time you ride down that same hill?
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Old 09-11-05, 06:34 PM   #9
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This sounds like my one "encounter" with a motor vehicle, 29 years ago, although I probably was NOT exceeding the 25mph speed limit, and I was NOT coming around a blind curve.

The motorist apparently did violate your right-of-way, BUT:
1) What were the weather conditions (dark, dusk, fog, clear, etc.)?
2) Did you position yourself for maximum visibility?
3) Do you wear bright-coloured clothing while cycling?
4) Do you know what a "quick turn" is, and how to execute one safely?
5) How are your brakes and your skill at using the front one as effectively as possible?
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Old 09-11-05, 09:01 PM   #10
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Face it dude,

You were haul-arsing down the hill at least 10 mph over the limit with a limited sight distance. Consider yourself lucky that you are not in the hospital.
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Old 09-11-05, 09:21 PM   #11
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Get a copy of the police report. Take pictures of your bike. Take pictures of your wounds. Go to a hospital and get a formal examination. Estimate your lost wages. Document everything that you remember to the best of your memory, then hire a personal injury attourney. Yes, I know they're evil wheel-chair chasers, but in this case, they can protect you from the motorist's insurance when they threaten you with lawsuit if you don't pay for the damages you caused to the vehicle.

When I ate the hood of a BMW Z3 in the rain (shoving the front fork of my road bike almost to the downtube), I was certain I wasn't at fault, so I thought nothing of it. 2 months later, I got a bill for $3,000 plus a threatening letter from the insurance lawyer for damages I caused to the BMW's hood. I took my case to a personal injury attourney, and 3 months later, walked away with a nice $2,000 check.

Protect yourself, even if you're unsure who's fault it is. General rule is when MV vs. Bike, bike is most often not-at-fault.
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Old 09-11-05, 11:09 PM   #12
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Only way the car could be at fault is if he saw you before he started turning, and turned anyway. If he couldn't see you before starting the turn, then there's no reason why he shouldn't have had the right to turn.
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Old 09-12-05, 07:00 AM   #13
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In Quebec a left turn over a continuous yellow centre line is illegal.
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Old 09-12-05, 07:36 AM   #14
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If the driver was already exectuting the left turn when you first saw each other, and you were unable to stop in time, then you were traveling too fast for conditions, regardless of the posted speed limit.

If, on the other hand, you could see him clearly on the other side of the road, well before he began his turn across your lane, and you were obeying the speed limit, then the other driver is at fault.
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Old 09-12-05, 08:00 AM   #15
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Again, what a bunch of speculative BS-

all sorts of "what ifs" about this situation make liability unclear on an online forum but don't suggest just letting it drop because the accident was the bicyclist's fault.

, was the driver on their phone, eating, drunk? etc, as well as legally liscensed, etc....and regardless, in some states, there is medical coverage $$ available regardless of who's at fault.

for all the posters who are telling the OP to "suck it up" and deal with it are SOO far off the mark for what to do in case of a bicycle accident. I strongly recommend filing an accident report, and talking with a personal injury attorney if you feel you've been injured or your bikes been messed with. Also, like James Swift points out, perhaps the driver is going to try to collect damages from the cyclist (it's happened to me too)

CYA.
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Old 09-12-05, 08:11 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sggoodri
If the driver was already exectuting the left turn when you first saw each other, and you were unable to stop in time, then you were traveling too fast for conditions, regardless of the posted speed limit.

If, on the other hand, you could see him clearly on the other side of the road, well before he began his turn across your lane, and you were obeying the speed limit, then the other driver is at fault.
That is a load of hooey. ANY vehicle turning left must yield to oncoming vehicles (unless they have a green arrow in a controlled intersection). It is THAT simple.

Too fast for conditions? Too fast because someone turned into him is more like it... it is like if a car pulls out (making a right turn into your lane) just in front of you, and you rear end him, is it YOUR fault?
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Old 09-12-05, 08:12 AM   #17
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You, most likely were in the wrong, never the less, never admit that you were in the wrong and pursue it with all available legal power to try to make sure that all medical bills and bike replacement is paid for.
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Old 09-12-05, 09:21 AM   #18
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You, most likely were in the wrong, never the less, never admit that you were in the wrong and pursue it with all available legal power to try to make sure that all medical bills and bike replacement is paid for.
IF he was wrong (unknown at this time), why the hell should anybody else pay his bills for him? Would a decent person have a problem accepting responsibility for his mistake? If I am wrong, all I can say is, "I'm sorry, I was wrong. What would be the fair way for me to make it up to you?"
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Old 09-12-05, 10:38 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1rideon1
I was on my way down the most awesome decline came around a turn to find a car in my lane turning left into a sidestreet.
The way you describe this is that you encounted the car already in your lane as/after you came around the turn, which very much sounds like the car driver started the turn before you saw them, which means before they could have a chance to see you. This means you were going to fast around a blind corner.

How sharp a turn was this? What about sightlines, could you if an object was in your lane before turning?

Al
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Old 09-12-05, 12:12 PM   #20
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Note to people in this thread: If you honestly have no idea how basic traffic laws work, perhaps you should get back on the bike paths and sidewalks.

Failure to yield. It doesn't matter if he was speeding, swerving, talking on a cell phone, a blind corner, whatever. Everyone always says "They came out of nowehere". Too bad. Sorry Charlie. There could maaaaybe be a chance for reckless driving against the biker but it sounds like there would be little proof for that (skid marks, drunk, etc) You can't cross a lane of traffic and assume anything but risk.
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Old 09-12-05, 02:59 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Cornbread
Note to people in this thread: If you honestly have no idea how basic traffic laws work, perhaps you should get back on the bike paths and sidewalks.

Failure to yield. It doesn't matter if he was speeding, swerving, talking on a cell phone, a blind corner, whatever. Everyone always says "They came out of nowehere". Too bad. Sorry Charlie. There could maaaaybe be a chance for reckless driving against the biker but it sounds like there would be little proof for that (skid marks, drunk, etc) You can't cross a lane of traffic and assume anything but risk
.
"Basic traffic laws" and tort law or liability are two very different areas of knowledge. Every roadway user should know the former, only attorneys need to know the latter. Your post was not very clearly written so I doubt that you are an attorney!
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Old 09-12-05, 04:49 PM   #22
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I haven't read this whole thread and I need to leave right away, but I just wanted to echo that a "most awesome decline" (MAD) could well bring you above 25 MPH. I had a special route for 3 days in July which featured one "MAD" in which I regularly achieved 37 MPH! Yes, it was very awesome indeed! Fortunately for me, unlike your situation, it was also a straightaway, so I could see anyone coming the other way and did not have to deal with a hidden intersection immediately afterwards.
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Old 09-12-05, 09:05 PM   #23
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Would you take a blind turn at high speed in a car? Especially on a two lane road? More than once I've been surprised by something parked off to the side or a dear grazing near the side of the road while driving around a blind curve.

You should get an accident report anyways just to protect yourself against a lawsuit later.
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Old 09-13-05, 06:50 AM   #24
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...so I doubt that you are an attorney!
That's the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me!
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Old 09-13-05, 07:14 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Cornbread
Note to people in this thread: If you honestly have no idea how basic traffic laws work, perhaps you should get back on the bike paths and sidewalks.

Failure to yield. It doesn't matter if he was speeding, swerving, talking on a cell phone, a blind corner, whatever. Everyone always says "They came out of nowehere". Too bad. Sorry Charlie. There could maaaaybe be a chance for reckless driving against the biker but it sounds like there would be little proof for that (skid marks, drunk, etc) You can't cross a lane of traffic and assume anything but risk.
It absolutely does matter if the OP was speeding. One of the "basic traffic laws" is when you are over the speed limit (or in violation of any other traffic law), you lose the right of way.
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