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Old 01-03-08, 10:50 PM   #1
JoeyMac
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Mesa boy, 7, gets bill in bike-van crash

Just came across this article, it's annoying.

"Jessica Brovitch was relieved when her 7-year-old son was only scraped and bruised after a van collided with his bicycle on Nov. 9. But she was shocked when the child later received a bill for $650."

Mesa boy, 7, gets bill in bike-van crash
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Old 01-04-08, 12:01 AM   #2
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Looks like someone at the insurance co. finally worked out that getting a collections agency on to a 7 year old kid will result in a lot more than $650 worth of bad PR

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22483551/
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Old 01-04-08, 12:08 AM   #3
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If the kid was riding the wrong way on the street, then how did he run into the BACK of the van?
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Old 01-04-08, 01:25 AM   #4
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If the kid was riding the wrong way on the street, then how did he run into the BACK of the van?
Since the van suffered a flat tire, I'm going to assume the kid ran into the side of the van, and the van ran over the bike, getting a flat.
I guess they're going to have to get into contact with the kid's bicycle insurance company...
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Old 01-04-08, 09:07 AM   #5
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SUMMARY: Helmetless kid traveling against traffic on a 1-way street on a bike with no brakes collides with a vehicle & causes damage.

I love how the van owner's insurance co. is painted to be a bad actor for trying to recoup their money. When I was a kid, parents were held responsible for their children's actions. Instead of pissing & moaning about the EEE-vil, heartless ins.co. sending a bill addressed to their kid, these parents should've just paid the bill & STFU in gratitude that the cost of the incident didn't include their child's LIFE.

And then maybe, umm, buy their precious darling a HELMET

And a BIKE WITH FUNCTIONING BRAKES.

And TEACH HIM NOT TO RIDE AGAINST TRAFFIC and other good stuff.

Geez!
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Old 01-04-08, 10:00 AM   #6
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This is why I say everyone should insure their bicycles. Add you bike to your existing auto or homeowners policy. Let the insurance agents talk to each other. Let your insurance company pay the bill.
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Old 01-04-08, 10:15 AM   #7
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Oh, yeah, let's turn this into a helmet thing. Because it would have made all the difference in the world in this instance.
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Old 01-04-08, 11:24 AM   #8
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Observing the absence of a legally-mandated safety device on a child that age is just stating a fact, not turning it into a "helmet thing" (whatever that is). And it was just one among several errors of omission/commission on the cyclist's part.

I refuse to overlook the obvious slant against the innocent parties (vehicle driver & their ins. co) simply because the offending party was a kid, and I'm not gonna knee-jerk in his favor just because he's a cyclist and the other party is a "cager". So the bill would've been better addressed with the prefix "Parents of..." Big whoop. Why should the ins.co. eat the cost of the property damage caused by the kid? Are parents no longer responsible for their children's negligence (regardless of whether they calculate they can skip out on it via generating negative PR)? Is there any better answer than simple sentimentality over the kid's age?
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Old 01-04-08, 11:35 AM   #9
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My reaction would have been "Fine. Sue us. See you in court." Actually, by taking this to the media, the kid's parents played this well.
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Old 01-04-08, 11:41 AM   #10
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Most homeowner policies would cover stuff like this.

Couple years ago my wifes brand new (1 week) car got hit by a baseball. The fathers policy covered it without issue even though the kids were playing in a park.
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Old 01-04-08, 11:53 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ferd_miller View Post
Observing the absence of a legally-mandated safety device on a child that age is just stating a fact
This is not a fact.

Mesa, AZ doe not have a mandatory cycle helmet law for under a certain age. The only AZ city with mandatory helmet law for 18 and under is Tucson I believe.

http://www.cityofmesa.org/clerk/Code...T10/T10Ch1.doc

Anyway, stating facts that are irrelevant as to the outcome of the situation is pointless. If you want to do such perhaps you should have speculated, with assured high confidence, that the bicycle the boy was riding was not registered with the city.

Al

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Old 01-04-08, 01:46 PM   #12
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Ya'll are missing the point with the helmet. The real issue here is that the witness to the accident is the one remarking in the second article that the kids weren't wearing helmets. Which means that this person is the one commenting on the lack of helmet on the part of the kids, also assigning blame on them for running into the van. You gonna fault the reporter for including a quote from an eyewitness? If anything, fault coverage of bike accidents in general and note that helmet use is now something witnesses are looking for. If you want to make a point about unfair reportage that way, find a story where the reporter, not an eyewitness, comments on the bicyclist regarding their use or non use of a helmet, without also reporting on seatbelt use/non-use by the driver involved. I know such stories are out there, I know it's an issue, just that with this particular story helmet reportage as part of a legitimate quote from an eyewitness is a weak example of press bias. Maybe a more telling example of general bias against bicyclists as fostered by other stories where helmet use is pointed out, but not a good example of press bias itself.
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Old 01-04-08, 02:03 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by ferd_miller View Post
I love how the van owner's insurance co. is painted to be a bad actor for trying to recoup their money. When I was a kid, parents were held responsible for their children's actions. Instead of pissing & moaning about the EEE-vil, heartless ins.co. sending a bill addressed to their kid, these parents should've just paid the bill & STFU in gratitude that the cost of the incident didn't include their child's LIFE.
+1

Their kid, a minor, through his own fault damaged the property of someone else. Pony up and get out the wallet. Sounds like a bunch of whiners who don't realize how lucky they are to still have a kid.
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Old 01-05-08, 02:57 PM   #14
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I refuse to overlook the obvious slant against the innocent parties (vehicle driver & their ins. co) simply because the offending party was a kid...
Because children are stupid and do stupid things. It's the same reason we don't try children as adults, or give them the death penalty.

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Why should the ins.co. eat the cost of the property damage caused by the kid?
Because they're an insurance company, and that's why insurance companies exist.
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Old 01-05-08, 03:39 PM   #15
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Some places the parents of a minor are only responsible for the "willful misconduct" of their child. If the kid did not 'deliberately' run into the van . . . the parents are not responsible. [morally perhaps, but not legally]. This may or may not apply where they live.

A kid playing baseball in the street with friends hits a baseball through a neighbor's window . . . the parents are not responsible unless it was deliberate/intentional [again in certain places].

Not saying it is right . . . just the way it is legally in some jurisdictions.

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Old 01-05-08, 06:15 PM   #16
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Because children are stupid and do stupid things. It's the same reason we don't try children as adults, or give them the death penalty.
Being a kid isn't a free ticket to be stupid and do stupid things without someone having to face consequences as a result either.
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Old 01-05-08, 08:35 PM   #17
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Being a kid isn't a free ticket to be stupid and do stupid things without someone having to face consequences as a result either.
It's not, but children simply can't and shouldn't be held to the same standards adults. This is why 7 year olds don't get to drive cars, drink, buy tobacco, or vote.
Honestly, at age seven did you know you're not supposed to ride against traffic? There seem to be countless people who are over 40 and they still don't know that...
Most people under 18 lack the experience, intelligence, and education to make well informed logical choices. Truth is, most children are so illogical by adult standards, that psychologists will not diagnose them with many mental disorders until they're 18 - because really - kids brains just don't work properly until they're older.
It's just naive to want to hold a second grader to adult standards. Even the insurance company knew that, which is why they withdrew their demands for payments when they learned they were trying to bill a 7 year old.

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Old 01-05-08, 10:44 PM   #18
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It's not, but children simply can't and shouldn't be held to the same standards adults. This is why 7 year olds don't get to drive cars, drink, buy tobacco, or vote.
Honestly, at age seven did you know you're not supposed to ride against traffic? There seem to be countless people who are over 40 and they still don't know that...
Me, personally? I learned to ride correctly, and at age seven, I certainly knew not to ride on the wrong side of the street. Do I think most kids know not to? Probably not. And if they don't, they probably shouldn't be using the roads unsupervised. I don't think that's entirely unreasonable. You yourself said children are stupid; why should "stupid" kids be allowed to play without supervision on public roads?

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It's just naive to want to hold a second grader to adult standards.
I never said that the kid should be held responsible. I said the parent should be held responsible for what their child does.

I mean, seriously, would you be okay with absorbing the damages to your bike if a kid hit you? I doubt it. But obviously you're not going to go after the kid; it's the parents who you would try to get to pay.
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Old 01-06-08, 07:11 PM   #19
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Simple enough:
Someone needs to pay for it, to say "kids will be kids" is dumb. If a kid is playing ball and knocks out a window, their parents pay for it, you don't just tell the guy who now can't drive his car "oh well, looks like you're out $400, because you know... my kid is a kid...".

Of course the parent should be held responsible, and should end up paying. Parent also needs to teach the kid proper riding techniques but thats neither here nor there on the paying up aspect of this. A kid breaks something of someone else's the parent needs to replace it, or pay current value for it.


I find sending the kid a bill a little weird, however it could be the insurance company didn't have a clue to the age of the kid possibly, being as I would figure they'd bill the adult instead. Of course the kid can't be held personally responsible, but the parents are responsible for their kids actions, they can and should pay up.

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Originally Posted by ferd_miller View Post
SUMMARY: Helmetless kid traveling against traffic on a 1-way street on a bike with no brakes collides with a vehicle & causes damage.

I love how the van owner's insurance co. is painted to be a bad actor for trying to recoup their money. When I was a kid, parents were held responsible for their children's actions. Instead of pissing & moaning about the EEE-vil, heartless ins.co. sending a bill addressed to their kid, these parents should've just paid the bill & STFU in gratitude that the cost of the incident didn't include their child's LIFE.
An extremely good point.
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Old 01-07-08, 10:42 AM   #20
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Someone has to pay for the damage to the van in question. The parents of the child should get out the cheque book and take responsibility for their child's actions.

My car was broadsided by a 15 year old, stop sign running, high school student on a bicycle. He didn't have a scratch on him but my car suffered thousands of dollars in damage. My insurance company paid my claim less my $1000 deductible. I recovered the $1000 from the parents of the 15 year old. Dad was a tad embarrassed at his sons behaviour. He heads the traffic engineering department in my area and is responsible for the installation and maintenace of all traffic signalling devices and signs.
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Old 01-09-08, 03:26 PM   #21
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It's not, but children simply can't and shouldn't be held to the same standards adults.
That's the point of nailing the parents, whose responsibility it is to make sure their little darlings aren't playing chicken with a van on a bike with no brakes.

Obviously one can't file a civil suit against a child. But the absentee parents are another matter.
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Old 01-10-08, 06:21 AM   #22
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Can't file a civil suit against a child? Is this true for all US jurisdictions?

Here this seems a straightforward negligence per se suit.

Getting money out of a child is a different matter.

And the parents didn't do the deed, so are they really responsible in a civil action where no willful misconduct was involved, only ignorance?

aj677 - If the parents accepted responsibility for your $1000 outlay, then they accepted responsibility period and should reimburse your insurance company.
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Old 01-10-08, 09:43 AM   #23
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aj677 - If the parents accepted responsibility for your $1000 outlay, then they accepted responsibility period and should reimburse your insurance company.
You're right. Whether they did reimburse the insurance company, I don't know. I can't see them writing off $2800 when the other party has clearly accepted responsibility.
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