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Old 08-22-05, 08:25 PM   #1
chagoosh
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Greetings,

I am new here and am hoping that someone can give me some advice. I was struck by a car last month and the Driver has filed a claim with his insurance company for damages I did to his car with my bicycle. I was not hurt. He broadsided me. I have my defence and story at my blog
http://chagoosh.blogspot.com/2005/08...rash-burn.html

I have photo that I hope a small claims court will allow to submit.

If anyone was ever in this situation. Can you please help?

*UPDATE* Ok I was on the sidewalk. yes true. Just because someone is jaywalking and u see them ahead does not mean you can run them over or disregard the obstacle.

Ponytail in ToonTown

Last edited by chagoosh; 08-23-05 at 01:50 AM. Reason: Update
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Old 08-22-05, 09:05 PM   #2
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This is a tough one. According to the city of Saskatoon website, it's illegal to ride on the sidewalk. Your argument that you think it's safer won't go anywhere in court -- the judge can't condone people making their own laws, chaos would result.

Your only hope is to show that the motorist was also breaking the law, and that his law-breaking or negligence did more to cause the accident than yours did. That's an uphill struggle, because you don't have any physical evidence, so it's just your word against his -- whereas you both agree that you were riding illegally, and you've already said so in a police report.

I think you're going to have a tough time of this.
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Old 08-22-05, 09:09 PM   #3
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It's your fault...You were going AGAINST traffic on a sidewalk...good lord son, what'd you think was going to happen? He may have looked at you and thought you were a pedestrian, someone that should be on the sidewalk, who would not near his car near as fast as you did on a bike. You were wrong to begin with. You said he fully stopped...sounds like it was you NOT stopping
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Old 08-22-05, 09:44 PM   #4
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Too dangerous for me. I'll ride on safely on the sidewalk.
(from the blog)

Well, I think your experience just disproves your own statement.

This is a good illustration of why it is dangerous to ride on the sidewalk. If you had been going fast you might have been killed.
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Old 08-22-05, 11:02 PM   #5
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You may have been on the sidewalk before the accident, but were you on the sidewalk when he hit you? no? you were on the street in front of his car, while he was stopped at a stop sign, he then proceeded forward while you were directly in front of his car. If he was looking forward when he moved forward and hit you then it's reasonable to assume that he had to have seen you and therefore hit you on purpose, which I doubt. If he didn't see you then was he looking forward in the direction that he started moving? if not then there may be some contributory negligence through carelessness or recklessness...

Either way, get a decent lawyer. You have a tough fight on your hands.
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Old 08-23-05, 12:50 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Cyclaholic
You may have been on the sidewalk before the accident, but were you on the sidewalk when he hit you? no? you were on the street in front of his car, while he was stopped at a stop sign, he then proceeded forward while you were directly in front of his car. If he was looking forward when he moved forward and hit you then it's reasonable to assume that he had to have seen you and therefore hit you on purpose, which I doubt. If he didn't see you then was he looking forward in the direction that he started moving? if not then there may be some contributory negligence through carelessness or recklessness...

Either way, get a decent lawyer. You have a tough fight on your hands.

Thank you! This is my point! He had negligence and carelessness that contributed to the accident. There was no way I would jump in front of a moving vehicle. I was already moving at a very slow pace. He was at a full stop. Why would he start to move without checking to his right once again? Because nhe was negligent. If a kid was on a bike or a person in a motorized wheelchair...I am certain they would have been hit as well. He was at a full stop and I was 5 - 10 feet from the intersection.
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Old 08-23-05, 01:15 AM   #7
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Nope,
Here's how the scenerio usually goes.
He pulls up looks right, your too far away and out of his immediate field of vision. He looks left while you gain, he keeps looking left to merge and whereas a ped would not have had time to cross in front, it only takes you on a bike a second to cross 15-20 feet from out of field of vision to right in front. He's still looking left top time the merge and watching for the angle at which traffic usually intersects the lane he is entering... and your crunched.
Right cross.
Classic sidewalk crunch.

Drivers have to judge traffic patterns, vehicle positions and speed with just a glance. Outside a frame of reference they have a hard time seeing impending threats. Thats why were safer riding in traffic than not.
Good luck anyway...

My question is. If you cause an accident while riding. Does your drivers insurance cover damages?
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Old 08-23-05, 02:10 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by biodiesel
Nope,
Here's how the scenerio usually goes.
He pulls up looks right, your too far away and out of his immediate field of vision. He looks left while you gain, he keeps looking left to merge and whereas a ped would not have had time to cross in front, it only takes you on a bike a second to cross 15-20 feet from out of field of vision to right in front. He's still looking left top time the merge and watching for the angle at which traffic usually intersects the lane he is entering... and your crunched.
Right cross.
Classic sidewalk crunch.

Drivers have to judge traffic patterns, vehicle positions and speed with just a glance. Outside a frame of reference they have a hard time seeing impending threats. Thats why were safer riding in traffic than not.
Good luck anyway...

My question is. If you cause an accident while riding. Does your drivers insurance cover damages?

I still do not see that. I was going at jogger's pace. Like one pedal rotation and cruise forward slowly.I saw him look at me while at a full stop then look to his left. look at exhibit 3-4 and judge distance. there was no need for him to hurry or merge because there was no on coming traffic to merge with. Otherwise i would have been hit by the oncoming traffic. I landed on the street in the oncoming lane.
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Old 08-23-05, 03:06 AM   #9
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Personnly I'd pay him the $500. It will cost you that in legal procedures and the court will most likely be against you.
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Old 08-23-05, 04:24 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chagoosh
Like one pedal rotation and cruise forward slowly.I saw him look at me while at a full stop then look to his left. look at exhibit 3-4 and judge distance.
What it sounds like is he may have assumed by your slow speed that you were coming to a stop, and when he proceeded, he didn't expect you to be there.
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Old 08-23-05, 04:26 AM   #11
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Here's the bottom line.

1. Your risk in going to court is $1,251. That's the difference between the $500 that he's willing to settle for now and the $1751 you are going to have to pay if you lose.

2. The only reason for going to court is because two parties both think that they can win.

3. One of the parties is going to lose.
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Old 08-23-05, 10:37 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biodiesel
Nope,
Here's how the scenerio usually goes.
He pulls up looks right, your too far away and out of his immediate field of vision. He looks left while you gain, he keeps looking left to merge and whereas a ped would not have had time to cross in front, it only takes you on a bike a second to cross 15-20 feet from out of field of vision to right in front. He's still looking left top time the merge and watching for the angle at which traffic usually intersects the lane he is entering... and your crunched.
Right cross.
Classic sidewalk crunch.

Drivers have to judge traffic patterns, vehicle positions and speed with just a glance. Outside a frame of reference they have a hard time seeing impending threats. Thats why were safer riding in traffic than not.
Good luck anyway...

My question is. If you cause an accident while riding. Does your drivers insurance cover damages?
If I had to call it, I would guess that this is most likely how the court will see it also, considering that the guy making the call will have and understand this experience, but is unlikely to have the same understanding of what it looks like from the cyclist's perspective.

Bottom like, I think you're best off to pay it, unless you just want to 'fight the fight' regardless of the downside... your call.
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Old 08-24-05, 12:52 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chagoosh
Greetings,

I am new here and am hoping that someone can give me some advice. I was struck by a car last month and the Driver has filed a claim with his insurance company for damages I did to his car with my bicycle. I was not hurt. He broadsided me. I have my defence and story at my blog
http://chagoosh.blogspot.com/2005/08...rash-burn.html

I have photo that I hope a small claims court will allow to submit.

If anyone was ever in this situation. Can you please help?

*UPDATE* Ok I was on the sidewalk. yes true. Just because someone is jaywalking and u see them ahead does not mean you can run them over or disregard the obstacle.

Ponytail in ToonTown
Well, if the jaywalker tried to sue, she might very well lose (e.g., some Illinois courts have held that pedestrians must be in a crosswalk). It's very much a fact-dependent analysis.

Your blog requests free legal advice. Nothing is probably about as much as free would be worth to you, and my advice is not to rely on free legal advice (especially from non-lawyers who aren't familiar with your local laws).

One thing that people who blog and post online need to realize: you are probably creating a record of public admissions that are easy to locate (e.g., Google) and can be used against you. Stop talking about what happened, and certainly stop trying to justify it.

Apologies (or failure to deny an accusation) at the scene can be helpful.
You should have identified witnesses who might back you up, if they're not listed on the police accident report (though police reports usually aren't conclusive as to the facts, but they may contain admissions of guilt by a party) so you can ask them to testify (or perhaps require them to appear in court, don't know your local procedure). In a swearing match, testimony by independent bystanders usually determines the outcome.

From both of your entries, there is no clear description leading up to the collision of where both were, directions of travel (it's left as an exercise for the reader to determine), use of signals and/or warnings, placement of traffic control devices/signs, lane markings, etc. The photo doesn't establish point of contacts of bike or car, or position of bike/car on the roadway; what do you think it proves?

FYI, usually it's the other person's insurance company that prosecutes (or controls) their property damage claim, and can file suit. If the insurer wins, the deductible is usually repaid to the insured from the settlement or judgment. Even if you settle directly with the driver, you might still have a claim made by the insurance company against you for the balance of repairs, so be wary of any "deals" directly with the driver.

Local ordinances may affect the outcome, along with other laws.

How well a person makes an appearance during testimony (convincing v. tentative; rational v. emotional; tone; avoiding eye contact; changing details; uncomfortable throat clearing; poor communication skills--too many "you know"s and "like"; etc.) can also be decisive in a swearing match.

I agree it sounds like you would spend more money hiring a lawyer, but perhaps your jurisdiction would award attorneys fees if you are successful? Or your own insurer might undertake your defense (not necessarily auto insurance; you might have coverage for example under an umbrella policy through your homeowners or renters policy, or perhaps auto club membership).

Almost all of these factors suggest you need to consult with knowledgeable local lawyers and/or do some further investigation.
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Old 08-25-05, 12:15 AM   #14
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Well. I'm now taking the blog posting down and want to thank everyone for giving me the feedback. From what I have learned by further contacting the insurance company is that since nobody was charged with a traffic violation and the police report notes my wrongdoing on the sidewalk, I am going to pay for his deductable. Also the insurance company will be more leniant with me in terms of payment terms. The court would garnish my wages more harshly if so requested by the driver.

I also do not want to pay for court costs and the drivers lod of work claims if it does go to work. Riding on the sidewalk is against the law. Live and learn and am more thankful that I wasn't seriously hurt.

Live and learn. What an expensive lunch break i had that july.
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