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Old 04-03-07, 07:51 AM   #1
supertj
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Liability in crashes - Who pays?

I'm starting to see crash threads popping up as more group rides increase across the country.

What happens exactly in a crash and who is responsible to pay for my bike if it gets seriously banged up? Insurance? Would that be auto insurance covering it or some other insurance the person must have or typically cash is given out .. I'm worry that I might cause a crash and wouldn't know what to do myself and would probalby not have the money if I caused multiple bike damages. Do most people in a crash brush it off if the damage isn't serious enough and just suck up the cost themselves rather having the person causing the crash pay?

What are the rules and ettiquettes of handling liabilities when it comes to a crash from MINOR to SERIOUS crashes?
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Old 04-03-07, 07:53 AM   #2
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From my experience, unless you're hit by a car, you pay. Crashes happen, it's part of our sport. Of course, in cases of extreme negligence or stupidity, one may have grounds for civil action against the offending party. But, in most situations, crashes are accidents and you're left with your own bill.
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Old 04-03-07, 07:54 AM   #3
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yep.. its the risk you take. ride smart
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Old 04-03-07, 08:14 AM   #4
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this was the fine print of the waiver I signed to join the club I ride with. Pretty much says you fix yours and I'll fix mine....


Fully understand that a) bicycling activities involve risks and dangers of serious bodily injury, including paralysis and death ("Risks"); (b) these risks may be by my own actions, or inactions, or the negligence of the HBC and League of American Bicyclists (LAB), their directors, officers, agents, volunteers, advertisers, sponsors, and if applicable, owners and lessors of premises which the bicycling activity takes place, (each considered one of the "Releases" herein); (c)there may be other risks and losses not readily foreseeable at this time; and I fully accept and assume all such Risks and all responsibility for losses, costs, and; Hereby release, and hold harmless, the Releases from all liability, claims, demands, losses or damages that may happen to me or my heirs caused by the negligence of the Releases. I further agree that if I, or anyone on my behalf, makes a claim against any of the Releases, I will pay any litigation expenses, attorney fees, or any cost which may occur as a result of such claim. I have read and fully understand this agreement, and I understand that I have given up substantial rights by signing it, and intend it to be a complete and unconditional release of all liability to the greatest extent allowed by law.
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Old 04-03-07, 08:20 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by supertj
I'm starting to see crash threads popping up as more group rides increase across the country.

What happens exactly in a crash and who is responsible to pay for my bike if it gets seriously banged up? Insurance? Would that be auto insurance covering it or some other insurance the person must have or typically cash is given out .. I'm worry that I might cause a crash and wouldn't know what to do myself and would probalby not have the money if I caused multiple bike damages. Do most people in a crash brush it off if the damage isn't serious enough and just suck up the cost themselves rather having the person causing the crash pay?

What are the rules and ettiquettes of handling liabilities when it comes to a crash from MINOR to SERIOUS crashes?
These are all questions for your insurance agent.

If you want your bike covered, I recommend an all-perils endorsement to your homeowner policy. It's broader cov. than scheduled personal property.
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Old 04-03-07, 09:25 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by veloGeezer
this was the fine print of the waiver I signed to join the club I ride with. Pretty much says you fix yours and I'll fix mine....


Fully understand that a) bicycling activities involve risks and dangers of serious bodily injury, including paralysis and death ("Risks"); (b) these risks may be by my own actions, or inactions, or the negligence of the HBC and League of American Bicyclists (LAB), their directors, officers, agents, volunteers, advertisers, sponsors, and if applicable, owners and lessors of premises which the bicycling activity takes place, (each considered one of the "Releases" herein); (c)there may be other risks and losses not readily foreseeable at this time; and I fully accept and assume all such Risks and all responsibility for losses, costs, and; Hereby release, and hold harmless, the Releases from all liability, claims, demands, losses or damages that may happen to me or my heirs caused by the negligence of the Releases. I further agree that if I, or anyone on my behalf, makes a claim against any of the Releases, I will pay any litigation expenses, attorney fees, or any cost which may occur as a result of such claim. I have read and fully understand this agreement, and I understand that I have given up substantial rights by signing it, and intend it to be a complete and unconditional release of all liability to the greatest extent allowed by law.
So interesting, by choosing to ride in a club ride, you're responsible for your own bike damages and nobody elses. I better check my local clubs. Better to know my rights now before an accident does happen.
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Old 04-03-07, 11:15 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by supertj
So interesting, by choosing to ride in a club ride, you're responsible for your own bike damages and nobody elses. I better check my local clubs. Better to know my rights now before an accident does happen.

you figure an organized group has to have a waiver of responsibility for its participants. I sign a waiver for every event I ride, too. I don't ever read it, but I sure sign it. If it wasn't that way and God forbid someone got hurt in some freak accident, the club or event organizers would be legally liable and that could be the end of it.

Even out on the road with no organizing authority, if we get tangled up and go down that's the breaks. That's cycling. Its an activity where the participants assume some risk. I mean, do you carry insurance for bike collisions to cover the damage you will do to me? Of course not.

So when you're out on an expensive carbon framed bike, try and keep the rubber side down. you're the one responsible for any damages to your equipment. that's how its always been.
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Old 04-03-07, 11:28 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by supertj
So interesting, by choosing to ride in a club ride, you're responsible for your own bike damages and nobody elses. I better check my local clubs. Better to know my rights now before an accident does happen.
It basically means you can't sue the club if you fall down. The negligence clause may not hold up in court in all cases, as noted in the rest of the paragraph.
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Old 04-03-07, 12:33 PM   #9
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I do know a bit about car/bike accidents. Of course, liability in car/bike collisions is handled by the vehicular laws. I was struck by an SUV (it was his fault, he wanted his side of the road and my side also).

The interesting thing was that

1) Get the uninsured driver rider on your auto insurance. If you get hit by a hit and run your auto insurance will probably pay (it would in FL). A hit and run driver is "uninsured" by definition.

2) I had an additional rider on medical damages on my auto insurance and even though the other guy was at fault, my insurance covered that. Go figure.

3) The driver got off on a technicality and managed to beat his ticket. But that was immaterial as far as paying for the damages to my bike and person went. It was abundantly clear to all concerned that he was wrong and the sole dispute was how much money his insurance company would pay up. Before this happened, I thought that getting nailed for a traffic infraction was important in assigning liability but apparently it is not.


The thing about those extra riders is they add very little to the cost of the insurance but they can enhance the coverage to a very high degree.

As for road riding in a group of cyclists, I could not say. I would think that strictly speaking pelotons are illegal (tail gating) so insurance would not come into play. I wonder if liability would come into play because it would seem that all of the participants would assume risk here. I mean think about it. What happens if you blow your knee out in recreational basketball game? The injury might have been caused by contact but it is part of the risk of the game which you accepted (or so I would think).

It is an interesting topic and I wonder if there is case law on this.
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Old 04-03-07, 11:08 PM   #10
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I crashed hard last year on an organized group ride put on by a bike club that I wasn't a member of. I hit some sunken pavement, not marked, going around a fast corner and went off the road. The road was on federal land.

My job related medical insurance ended up paying for it all, $7K. The ambulance company forced me to file a claim with my auto insurance but since there wasn't any other vehicle involved and it was on federal land the auto insurance didn't have to pay anything. The bike club had some insurance that would have paid up to 80% with a cap (don't remember the amount) if there wasn't any other insurance available.

So I think most organized rides and/or bike clubs have some form of medical insurance.

I was lucky to walk out of the hospital that night. I healed up and got back on the bike a month later.

I think most people expect if you are smashed up and need help you have to use whatever resources that are available to you. We tend to dislike people who sue when they get hurt but most people looking at being crippled for life and/or facing 6-7 figure medical bills would probably hire a lawyer.
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