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Old 06-12-11, 08:46 PM   #1
michaelrule4
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Irony

-snip-

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Old 06-12-11, 09:22 PM   #2
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Sunday, June 5th was probably the "funnest" day of my life. I experience irony in its best form.

Ever since I've started high school I've started biking daily to and from school, I've also managed to notice the stupidity that surrounds me on the roads. Nearly everyone in my school j-walks across a moderately trafficed road just because they cannot wait for a 1 minute light, and I've also seen a numerous amount of cyclists throw safety out the window by not following some basic principles like not stopping at red lights/stop signs, not maintaining a predictable position on the road, and also the absence of any reflexes. I've always said something along the lines of, "Oh, I guess they'll have to learn the hard way". But sadly I'm the one who receives a punishment for my strive to safety.

Here is a copy of the witness statement I had to send to the police for an incident that occurred on Sunday:



The thing is, I would be fine if this was a total freak accident, but this guy has had his license taken away before. He's done stupid stuff like this before and did it again to me. We have a court date set with him so we can be compensated for our losses but we have been told by the police that he's had a history of not showing up to criminal charges he's had before and there is doubt that he will show up for a civil trial either.

Long story short,
A motorcyclist's neglect for safety has caused the harm of both himself and someone else who has strived to stay as safe as possible.
It is not uncommon for a cyclist to be blamed, even when the motorist clearly is at fault.

I was hit in 2007. When I tried get witnesses to tell me what they saw, they refused. The driver that hit me, even lied to the cops in full view of me. The cops bought the driver's excuse hook, line, and sinker.

It was the classic excuse of 'I didn't see them'.

Society is terribly auto-centric. If a person doesn't drive to get somewhere, they are treated like a second-class citizen.

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Old 06-12-11, 10:37 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by michaelrule4 View Post
Sunday, June 5th was probably the "funnest" day of my life. I experience irony in its best form.

Ever since I've started high school I've started biking daily to and from school, I've also managed to notice the stupidity that surrounds me on the roads. Nearly everyone in my school j-walks across a moderately trafficed road just because they cannot wait for a 1 minute light, and I've also seen a numerous amount of cyclists throw safety out the window by not following some basic principles like not stopping at red lights/stop signs, not maintaining a predictable position on the road, and also the absence of any reflexes. I've always said something along the lines of, "Oh, I guess they'll have to learn the hard way". But sadly I'm the one who recieves a punishment for my strive to safety.

Here is a copy of the witness statement I had to send to the police for an incident that occured on Sunday:



The thing is, I would be fine if this was a total freak accident, but this guy has had his license taken away before. He's done stupid stuff like this before and did it again to me. We have a court date set with him so we can be compensated for our losses but we have been told by the police that he's had a history of not showing up to criminal charges he's had before and there is doubt that he will show up for a civil trial either.

Long story short,
A motorcyclist's neglect for safety has caused the harm of both himself and someone else who has strived to stay as safe as possible.
Do you know what the motorcyclist was doing or attempting to do? When he crashed almost killing you? I presume that if you hadn't been more alert to what was happening he could have struck and ended up killing you.

Also, given that he is known by the local police for engaging in such activities why does he still have a license? And if he is known to your local police for failing to appear for court dates, why isn't he in a nice warm jail cell somewhere?

I mean here we have an individual who is clearly not only a menace to themselves on the streets but is a menace to everyone else on the streets. Are they waiting for him to kill someone before they take action?

On the one hand it would be nice if police could also be sued for malpractice. I mean other professionals are able to be sued for malpractice when they screw up, so why not the police? And before someone says, that if the police were able to be sued for malpractice that we'd never be able to find anyone willing to become police. Let me point out that we have no shortage of people "signing up" to be doctors, and lawyers, etc.

Of course, I guess the "real question" would be who would one file against?
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Old 06-12-11, 10:56 PM   #4
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It is not uncommon for a cyclist to be blamed, even when the motorist clearly is at fault.
I saw nothing in his post that said he was blamed in any way for the incident.

What he seemed to instead say that it's unlikely that he'll be compensated for his injuries, that the person has a history of not showing up to court dates. Which might be inconvenient for the OP, but it doesn't mean it's over -- if it's a criminal court, a warrant will go out for the guy and the police will ever go find him or just wait for him to get stopped by the police and arrested, and if it's a civil court the judge can file a default judgment against the guy. (Of course, then collecting on said judgment may be difficult, but it's not like it would be easier if he had shown up.)
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Old 06-12-11, 11:15 PM   #5
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Wow. I hope the motorcyclist gets the death penalty.

EDIT: but yeah... seriously...
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Old 06-12-11, 11:18 PM   #6
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Oh and I'm glad you're at least alive. Whether driving a car, riding a bike or walking on a sidewalk you can't be sure of anything.
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Old 06-13-11, 06:09 AM   #7
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Glad your injuries weren't worse. Sounds like you will have an uphill battle with this jerk.
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Old 06-13-11, 07:03 AM   #8
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I'm sorry you were hit, good job on managing to get at least some out of the way.

I don't think you have to worry about being blamed. There seems to be a more toxic culture against cyclists where some of the other posters are living than we have here. This guy didn't even have a license. But it would be a shame if he weren't brought to justice.

If you do encounter some difficulty- if the police aren't doing their job, if you are held responsible, there are ways to enlist help. The city has a cycling union and the Toronto Star is a great paper if you need backing up.

I hope you are compensated, but still it doesn't make up fully for suffering this kind of injury. I wish you the best in your recovery and I hope you're back on the bike before too long.
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Old 06-13-11, 10:43 AM   #9
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Sorry to hear about your misfortune. But it sounds like you have a solid future in cyclo-cross.

There are deadbeats out there. This won't be the first time I've heard a story about somebody running into someone with their vehicle and never paying damages. Usually the vehicle hit is a parked car though.
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Old 06-13-11, 11:37 AM   #10
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I saw nothing in his post that said he was blamed in any way for the incident.

What he seemed to instead say that it's unlikely that he'll be compensated for his injuries, that the person has a history of not showing up to court dates. Which might be inconvenient for the OP, but it doesn't mean it's over -- if it's a criminal court, a warrant will go out for the guy and the police will ever go find him or just wait for him to get stopped by the police and arrested, and if it's a civil court the judge can file a default judgment against the guy. (Of course, then collecting on said judgment may be difficult, but it's not like it would be easier if he had shown up.)
In the direct sense, no he did not say that.

But by the inaction of the police, they are invariably blaming him for being on the road in the first place. If he had been driving a car, the police MAY have been more responsive to the situation, even though they didn't get the motorcyclist the first time. But since the OP was riding a bike, he is automatically deemed to be at fault, regardless of whether it is obvious he was not.
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Old 06-13-11, 11:56 AM   #11
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If he had been driving a car, the police MAY have been more responsive to the situation
I've been rear-ended in my car, exchanged information, let them go -- and it turned out the information they gave me was bogus. (I did write down their real license place, however.) Police did nothing. My insurance at least looked up the plates and sent them a strongly worded letter -- but decided it wasn't worth pursuing legally.

I'm pretty sure the police often doing just the bare minimum has little to do with your choice of vehicle and far more to do with the police themselves.

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But since the OP was riding a bike, he is automatically deemed to be at fault, regardless of whether it is obvious he was not.
Um, no.

(Actually, I'll bet being 15 was a bigger "strike" against him than being on a bike. Not that I have any personal experience with the police in Canada, but I've dealt with more than a few police (in general) over the years, and have certainly seen how they treat people improves greatly as the people get older. Though things didn't seem too bad from his description.)
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Old 06-13-11, 12:47 PM   #12
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The police had a report of him saying he was cut off by a grey vehicle. To be honest I'm not aware of what the motorcyclist was trying to do as this was all happening behind me, but I did manage to react to the skid and other signs. He had his license suspended during that period and was driving with fake ID, license, and insurance. As for the jail thing, I don't know why he is still allowed on the streets without paying his time in jail, all I know is that for this case he has been given bail and it has been said that he'll most likely run away by a cop "off record". The police have to follow their procedure of arrest and it sucks that bail was so small and that he probably will run away. I don't know the actual $ figure for his bail but I'm sure it was small enough he could consider tossing out the window.
I'm sorry to hear that. As I said before based on what you said it sounds like he will likely run for it. With his history whatever his bail is it should have been higher.

I am glad that you are now okay and are on the road to a full (hopefully) recovery. How badly was your bike damaged?

And as you've (and myself and others) have said this guy needs to be taken off of the streets.
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Old 06-13-11, 03:15 PM   #13
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If you don't have some insurance that's already dealing with everything, I'd go ahead with a small claims suit against him for every bit of actual damages you can come up with, but wait to file it until his criminal trial date is coming up; if he jumps bail on the criminal case, he's not going to show up for the civil suit, so you'll get a default judgment against him. You may never collect, but any time you can find him, you can make his life miserable trying to collect, filing liens against anything he owns, etc.
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Old 06-13-11, 05:10 PM   #14
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I've been rear-ended in my car, exchanged information, let them go -- and it turned out the information they gave me was bogus. (I did write down their real license place, however.) Police did nothing. My insurance at least looked up the plates and sent them a strongly worded letter -- but decided it wasn't worth pursuing legally.

I'm pretty sure the police often doing just the bare minimum has little to do with your choice of vehicle and far more to do with the police themselves.
Wishful thinking. My experience has been, that police have just as much of an auto-centric bias, as the rest of the population.

While I agree with cyclists' having to obey traffic laws, it is not the job of the police to infer that a cyclist should not ride in the road when local laws forbid riding on the sidewalk.
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Old 06-17-11, 10:36 AM   #15
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I'm sorry to hear about that, but I'm glad it didn't turn out worse. Hopefully you heal up soon.

By the way, it sounds like you've got a really good head on your shoulders for your age--it sounds like you're dealing with this really well.
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Old 06-17-11, 12:40 PM   #16
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If you don't have some insurance that's already dealing with everything, I'd go ahead with a small claims suit against him for every bit of actual damages you can come up with, but wait to file it until his criminal trial date is coming up; if he jumps bail on the criminal case, he's not going to show up for the civil suit, so you'll get a default judgment against him. You may never collect, but any time you can find him, you can make his life miserable trying to collect, filing liens against anything he owns, etc.
Good advice. If he doesn't show for your small claims court date, you win by default. You can then eventually go ahead with liens or garnishing wages if he doesn't pay the judgement (which means the guy's employer will get to hear about it).

He was cut off? If he was honestly a victim himself, your claim would have to be against the driver who caused the collision in the first place. But there's probably a good chance he was speeding, following you too closely, or something else that contributed to the collision. Can you prove he was at fault in some way that resulted in your injuries and property damage? Using fake papers didn't contribute to that, so it probably doesn't count.
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Old 06-17-11, 01:21 PM   #17
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He was cut off? If he was honestly a victim himself, your claim would have to be against the driver who caused the collision in the first place. But there's probably a good chance he was speeding, following you too closely, or something else that contributed to the collision. Can you prove he was at fault in some way that resulted in your injuries and property damage? Using fake papers didn't contribute to that, so it probably doesn't count.
Ah... surely the salient point in this whole saga and, as usual, it comes rather late in the post stream. Unfortunately it is downplayed even by yourself as somewhat in doubt. Why? If there is, in fact, a hierarchy of road worthiness and cyclists are at the bottom of said ranking, then motorcyclists are just a notch above cyclists in the amount of respect they get from the rest of society. Even if the motorcyclist had been an MBA working for a Fortune 500 and riding a BMW sport/tourer into the office we would be trashing his reputation and ignoring the fact that somewhere out there a driver is at large that knows a lot about what went down that day. IMO it is/was wrong to heap all the suspicion on the motorcyclist because if the unthinkable happens and he is in fact exonerated in court the o.p. has nothing. Until everything is over the car drivers information should be kept on file and their statements and accounts of the accident should be recorded as relevant to the case.

H
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