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Old 05-24-02, 02:39 AM   #1
bentrox!
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Velo Club Served With Lawsuit

I'm not a member of our local velo club but know several of their riders, from one of whom I'd heard of this recent lawsuit.
I don't have many details, however, it seems that several months ago on a regular club ride one of the cyclists accidently plowed into a runner who was participating in an organized event sponsored by a local private school. Both cyclist and runner were seriously injured - the latter perhaps more so. Now the school, the cyclist and the velo club have been served with a summons by the injured runner or his/her insurance company.
I was curious if any of you have heard of this kind of episode? How well can cyclists expect to withstand a shark atttack?
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Old 05-24-02, 05:40 AM   #2
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Let's see. A cyclist plows into a runner, injuring him evidently quite seriously - perhaps imparing him for life - and you are surprised there is a lawsuit?

Those injuries may be devastating to the runner financially, he may have lost a lot of work time, and what else is not known unless you get more information.

And you call this a shark attack?

I've been through that - with my son paralyzed from the neck down due to the carelessness of others. You bet there was a lawsuit. It devaststed our family financially.

One of the viewpoints about carrying the proper insurance is to protect OTHERS from your own carelessness. That is, if I carelessly ruin someone elses life, I have a responsibility to be able to provide for and in a way correct my carelessness by being able to provide financially for the person whom I injure, and one of those ways is to carry a proper amount of insurance.

As to the degree of responsibility of the Velo club and school, that will be determined in court. For example, if it is found that the velo club had poorly or non-trained ride leaders who chose a route without due consideration of the safety of others, who provided no basic safety instructions to the riders, then they may indeed be liable. Why were a running event and a cycling event in the same space? They don't mix well together. Why didn't the bike leader detour when he found himself in the midst of a running activity? The liability of the school and velo club will be specific to the facts surrounding the injury - and will be properly determined in a court of law.

So don't be so quick to condemn. Our American society provides little or no safety net for those injured by someone else's carelessness. Currently, the only way to address those grievances and needs is through the court system.

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Old 05-24-02, 07:06 AM   #3
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Originally posted by DnvrFox
Let's see. A cyclist plows into a runner, injuring him evidently quite seriously - perhaps imparing him for life - and you are surprised there is a lawsuit?
You make some valid points, but to be fair, it wasn't entirely clear who was culpable, or whether both bear some responsibility in causing this collision.

Whatever any legal advice is worth on this forum, it loses even that without a clear idea of the details, which are definitely lacking in this case.

However, based on what was presented, here's my considered, non-professional legal opinion of the case: It can only end in tears. (I'm not saying whose)
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Old 05-24-02, 07:12 AM   #4
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DnvrFox,
I hope your family has weathered the storm and your son is doing better.

You raise a very valid point and that is regarding insurance. Yes, I have liability insurance for my business, home, and automobile. Liability insurance for cycling? No, not at all.

If there is a member of the insurance world out there perhaps you could enlighten me/us as to what might be available regarding liability insurance for cycling.
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Old 05-24-02, 08:51 AM   #5
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Whenever I have participated in these kinds of organized events I must sign a waiver relieving the organizers, sponsers, and other participants of any responsibility in case of accident, etc.

Did this runner sign an agreement like this? If he did it seems to me that he can only sue the cyclist.

Just curious, didn't the runner see the cyclist and visa versa?
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Old 05-24-02, 10:15 AM   #6
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Originally posted by martin
DnvrFox,

If there is a member of the insurance world out there perhaps you could enlighten me/us as to what might be available regarding liability insurance for cycling.
I'm not a member of the insurance world, but at least in the UK most insurance companies that provide insurance cover for theft also provide third party liability insurance. The CTC provides it as part of their membership. I would have thought something similar was available in most countries, certainly worth checking with your household insurers or life assurance providers.

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Old 05-24-02, 10:22 AM   #7
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Details? As I said, I don't have many. I don't know the degree of impairment to either party resulting from the accident. I don't know the circumstances either. I was only inquiring if other clubs had experienced a lawsuit.

Surprised? No, and I didn't say I was. How could I be? We are by far the most litigation-prone country in the world.

Condemning? I was neither condemning nor defending, but rather inquiring. The shark characterization was not directed at nor meant to demean the runner or his/her suffering.

I should add the reason for my inquiry is that some of the velo club members are concerned personally with the potential fallout. Lawsuits have been known to mushroom, indicting dozens of parties with even the most tenuous connection to the parties involved. It all gets sorted out in court, of course, among the attorney pack. So, I ask directly this time, has anyone here heard of clubs or its members served with a lawsuit? If so, how did it affect the club?
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Old 05-24-02, 11:44 AM   #8
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Originally posted by martin

You raise a very valid point and that is regarding insurance. Yes, I have liability insurance for my business, home, and automobile. Liability insurance for cycling? No, not at all.

If there is a member of the insurance world out there perhaps you could enlighten me/us as to what might be available regarding liability insurance for cycling.
Martin
I received an ad in the mail the other day for umbrella coverage. It covered everything that the other specific policies didn't cover. It was from Geico, but others may have it too.
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Old 05-24-02, 12:36 PM   #9
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joeprim,
Thanks for the memory jog. I was going through my insurance coverages after DF's post and I have an umbrella liability coverage with the homeowner's policy. I remembered increasing my personal liability coverage on the auto, but, forgot about the home.
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Old 05-24-02, 03:23 PM   #10
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If you want to get an umbrella liability policy, you normally have to ensure your house (if you have one) and at least one of your cars (if you have any) with the same company.
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Old 05-24-02, 04:39 PM   #11
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Condemning? I was neither condemning nor defending, but rather inquiring. The shark characterization was not directed at nor meant to demean the runner or his/her suffering.
That "shark" - lawyer - is most likely one of the most important persons in that injured person's life.

Incidentally, my son, who is paralyzed from the neck down, is now a very prominent nationally known attorney in his field.
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Old 05-24-02, 04:40 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by martin
DnvrFox,
I hope your family has weathered the storm and your son is doing better.

You raise a very valid point and that is regarding insurance. Yes, I have liability insurance for my business, home, and automobile. Liability insurance for cycling? No, not at all.

If there is a member of the insurance world out there perhaps you could enlighten me/us as to what might be available regarding liability insurance for cycling.
Most homeowners policies include personal liability. I do not know about renter's policies??
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Old 06-14-02, 03:38 PM   #13
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I carry a large Umbrella Policy just in case Had it with my home, now that I'm renting I still keep it. Too easy to hurt myself or others on the bike, skis, car, golf course, duck blind whatever... The insurance policy isn't an substitute for common sense, but protects others on the rare occasion I have a brain fart....

edit - just noticed by tagline. That's unfortunate....
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Old 06-20-02, 10:17 AM   #14
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well, i'm not an insurance expert... but i had this kind of coverage in the US and now in Germany too.

it's usually called personal liabilty or umbrella insurance and just for rough costs i whink you usually get something like 1 million to 2 million coverage for about $100 a year. of course you can buy more and if you have a high net worth you should (but then if you have enough money to have an accountant i should think it's part of his financial plan). maybe it's cheaper as an add-on to auto or homeowners, but i have always done mine separately (i think state farm in the US).

in law-suit crazy America i think anyone with any real assets (house or stocks or professional degree) who is a candiate to be sued should carry something - people look to sue the person and the company with the deepest pockets... (that's why they want to sue Velo b/c they probably have insurance that would pay more than just the cyclist involved) and i think the standard auto policies are not too high when you think about the possible costs of maybe paralyzing someone so that they can no longer do their current job and paying medical and lost wages for their entire lifetime...
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