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  1. #1
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    Hit by a car in crosswalk

    I was riding in a crosswalk going across the street in front of a SUV that was waiting at the stop sign. The traffic was going in the opposite direction that I was going and the driver was looking left. As I crossed in front of the vehicle it moved forward, hitting me and I went down and broke my knee. As a result I have a several thousand dollar medical bill. My lawyer said that it is a very difficult case and at best the driverís insurance would pay half and may not pay at all. I am not rich so it would be very hard for me to pay my bill and I am not eligible for medical.
    I learned that riding in the crosswalk on a bike is actually illegal and I know that many of you would say I should not have been on the sidewalk in the first place. I know what my failings were and at this time I donít need to be reprimanded. What I want to know is why the driver should not have a portion of the responsibility because she FAILED to look right to make sure the crosswalk was clear before moving into it. If I had no bike I would have been considered a pedestrian and they would say it was her fault entirely, but because I was on a bike I had no rights. I was not riding fast and crazy like some do. To me there is something wrong with the traffic laws. I feel like a third class citizen. Not only did I go through a lot of pain and suffering and inconvenience, I must now bear the burden of paying hospital bills while the driver goes scott free?

  2. #2
    ES&D t4mv's Avatar
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    Danger, Will Robinson! Here come the A&S police! Run, run, save yourselves!!!

  3. #3
    one good leg jinws's Avatar
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    get a new lawyer.

  4. #4
    Hey guyz? Guyz? Wait up!! Siu Blue Wind's Avatar
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    You were in the crosswalk and were hit. Period. I don't understand why being ON the bike would make a difference?? How about if you were walking your bike and had a child on a trail-a-bike and the child got hit. Would that be the same? I'd call and ask other lawyers. Perhaps a cycling lawyer?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Siu Blue Wind
    You were in the crosswalk and were hit. Period. I don't understand why being ON the bike would make a difference?? How about if you were walking your bike and had a child on a trail-a-bike and the child got hit. Would that be the same? I'd call and ask other lawyers. Perhaps a cycling lawyer?
    If you are riding in the crosswalk at typical pedestrian speeds (2mph) and you stopped at the corner before proceeding into the crosswalk and you are riding in the same direction as traffic (on the right side of the street), then the cops will probably let you go.

    If you blast through the stop sign on the wrong side of the street at 15mph in the crosswalk, then the SUV has a good reason for not seeing you.

  6. #6
    It's MY mountain DiabloScott's Avatar
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    Do you have a police report? If not you'll have a difficult time... otherwise:

    Lawyers take cases that they can make money on. Your lawyer probably decided there's not enough money in this case for HIM to bother with. His story about not being a difficult case is his way of saying he doesn't want it.

    You can file your own personal injury claim and you can win. There are lots of net resources to do this, check some out.
    http://diabloscott.blogspot.com/

  7. #7
    1 MILE TO TOP qpliu's Avatar
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    As a pedestrian, I have noticed that motorists pulling out of side streets and driveways often have their heads cranked to the left when they start moving, sometimes without having looked to the right in the last half minute or longer. Since I believe that that behavior should be discouraged, I hope that the SUV driver will have to pay at least half the medical expenses.

  8. #8
    Pedal pusher... alicestrong's Avatar
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    I just saw this exact scenario played out right in front of me a couple of months ago..(although the bicyclist wasn't injured...just a tacoed wheel).

    Apparently it's a very common accident involving wrong direction sidewalk riding cyclists.

    I'm just not sure about your legal rights since you were not legally supposed to be coming down off the sidewalk. That is probably why a lawyer wasn't interested. There's no case if you were at fault.

    You may have just learned a hard lesson.

    Perhaps you could consult your DMV and a legal-aid service?

    It's not that I've never done this myself on my bike...but I believe that it's akin to jaywalking.

  9. #9
    It's MY mountain DiabloScott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alicestrong
    I just saw this exact scenario played out right in front of me a couple of months ago..(although the bicyclist wasn't injured...just a tacoed wheel).

    Apparently it's a very common accident involving wrong direction sidewalk riding cyclists.

    I'm just not sure about your legal rights since you were not legally supposed to be coming down off the sidewalk. That is probably why a lawyer wasn't interested. There's no case if you were at fault.

    It's not that I've never done this myself on my bike...but I believe that it's akin to jaywalking.
    Nonsense, this is nothing like jaywalking. The driver was making a right turn across a crosswalk, it was his/her obligation to make sure he/she wouldn't be running over anybody!

    Urania's lesson should be to get eye contact from drivers in this kind of scenario for safety's sake - riding or walking. But the driver is clearly at fault and should pay all the medical bills, property damage, and lost wages.

    The lawyer wasn't interested because it's just not enough money.
    http://diabloscott.blogspot.com/

  10. #10
    Senior Member BigSean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Siu Blue Wind
    You were in the crosswalk and were hit. Period. I don't understand why being ON the bike would make a difference?? How about if you were walking your bike and had a child on a trail-a-bike and the child got hit. Would that be the same? I'd call and ask other lawyers. Perhaps a cycling lawyer?
    Because when riding a bicycle you are a a vehicle.

    However, Id still try another lawyer, or try and settle it with the insurance company. It may not be enough money for the laweys interest.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiabloScott
    Nonsense, this is nothing like jaywalking. The driver was making a right turn across a crosswalk, it was his/her obligation to make sure he/she wouldn't be running over anybody!
    From the original description, the car was turning right and the bicycle was approaching from the opposite direction. Depending on what speed the bicycle was moving at, it is very possible that the crosswalk was clear when the car started to make the turn. This is the reason why bicyclists should avoid riding in crosswalks (or on sidewalks) at speeds faster than typical pedestrian speeds. If, for some reason, you must ride faster than that, then it is your responsibility to identify and yield to everyone in your path.

  12. #12
    Pedal pusher... alicestrong's Avatar
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    oK...i discussed this with a couple of my advocate friends who are more well-versed in bike law and this is sort of what they agreed. I'm not sure about the bike laws where you live since they are different everywhere so I can only compare situations generally.

    Where I live ( a so cal suburb) it is also illegal to ride your bike in a crosswalk. It is illegal here to ride your bike against traffic or on the sidewalk.

    Funny in our vehicle code only cars, trucks etc. are vehicles a bike is considered a "device".

    Your injury is considered a major injury, but getting compensated will be complex because you were not in the crosswalk legally. But you may still be able to get compensated depending. A friend sited an example where a cyclist was hit from behind at night with no lights on his bike (illegal here) yet his mother was still awarded compensation after his death.

    It is suggested that you call only lawyers who specialize in bicycle related injury.

    The insurance company may settle with your attorney but be prepared to go to court.

  13. #13
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    This is Urania again
    Actually, the SUV was going straight ahead. Not turning right.
    I was riding as fast as a person who is walking faster than normal, but not running.
    Where would I find net resources to file my own injury claim?

  14. #14
    Senior Member BigSean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Urania
    This is Urania again
    Actually, the SUV was going straight ahead. Not turning right.
    I was riding as fast as a person who is walking faster than normal, but not running.
    Where would I find net resources to file my own injury claim?
    Depends on the amount you are sueing for. My wife does that kind of stuff so if ya email me the info or pm it I can have her take a look. Is the drivers insurance denying the claim? If its as you described the driver is at fault and she can help you. A police report will be required. But she did say that the driver is negligent since you were in a crosswalk.

  15. #15
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    Doesn't really matter that it was an SUV. It seems like you are trying to bolster your case, but it would be no different legally than if you got hit by a Prius. It is funny too that many here are quick to judge one way or another without all the facts, and based on assumptions.
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  16. #16
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    It's sad that the driver doesn't want to take responsibility (is my naivete showing?).

    I was a pedestrian hit by a car while I was in the crosswalk and he drove illegally around a car that was turning left. I went sailing on to the hood and landed on the street. He claimed that he couldn't see me because the sun was in his eyes. My thought was, "then why did you choose to drive across parking slots. Didn't see them either?" In mediation I received compensation for medical bills and loss of work but little else. I will never live a day without some pain but being alive is better than not. The driver was probably in his early 20s and had rich parents. I hope it sobered him.

    Find an attorney in whom you feel confident. Mine was a friend's dad and in retrospect I should have interviewed several before choosing one. Live and learn.

    Hope you are fully recovered soon!
    Last edited by 1bentspoke; 07-11-07 at 04:03 PM.

  17. #17
    cycling for women! velogirls's Avatar
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    A Good Lawyer

    I would recommend contacting Gary Brustin. He only accepts bicycle personal injury cases. Consultation is free. He can determine if you have a case.

    http://www.bicyclelawyer.com

  18. #18
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    http://www.bicycleexpertwitness.com/testimonials.asp
    Peter Winkler is an attorney in Tiburon, CA (Marin County) who is a cyclist himself and represents bicycle accident victims.
    http://www.localattorneydir.com/atto...iburon/ca.html
    hth

  19. #19
    Senior Member gpelpel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiabloScott
    The lawyer wasn't interested because it's just not enough money.
    +1. Nothing more than that.
    Get a new lawyer and I mean one that cares about the law more than his wallet. I know that's hard to find but some honest ones still exist.
    The driver is supposed to be in full control of his/her vehicle. A crosswalk is supposed to be a safe area where anybody, pedestrian or otherwise should have right of way. The fact that you were riding a bike doesn't make any difference from a person riding a wheelchair. The only thing that could prevent you from winning the case is if you just popped out of nowhere, leaving no chance for the driver to react.

  20. #20
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    The insurance company so far has not denied the claim.
    The police officer said that because I did not make eye contact with the driver and because bikes are not allowed in the crosswalk that it was my fault.

  21. #21
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    I realise that it doesn't matter that it was a SUV or other. And of course it doesn't bolster my argument.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1bentspoke
    It's sad that the driver doesn't want to take responsibility (is my naivete showing?).

    I was a pedestrian hit by a car while I was in the crosswalk and he drove illegally around a car that was turning left. I went sailing on to the hood and landed on the street. He claimed that he couldn't see me because the sun was in his eyes. My thought was, "then why did you choose to drive across parking slots. Didn't see them either?" In mediation I received compensation for medical bills and loss of work but little else. I will never live a day without some pain but being alive is better than not. The driver was probably in his early 20s and had rich parents. I hope it sobered him.

    Find an attorney in whom you feel confident. Mine was a friend's dad and in retrospect I should have interviewed several before choosing one. Live and learn.

    Hope you are fully recovered soon!
    Surprisingly, I was told by the police officer that even a pedestrian in the crosswalk could be at fault if hit by a car if there was no eye contact. I always assumed that the pedestrian was right if within the lines of the crosswalk. Most pedestrians must think this too because they are always going into the crosswalk without looking.

  23. #23
    Senior Member 7rider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Urania
    Surprisingly, I was told by the police officer that even a pedestrian in the crosswalk could be at fault if hit by a car if there was no eye contact. I always assumed that the pedestrian was right if within the lines of the crosswalk. Most pedestrians must think this too because they are always going into the crosswalk without looking.
    How about if a blind person's crossing the street? This doesn't sound right. I've always been under impression that once someone's in the crosswalk, it's the responsibility of the driver to make the stop.
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  24. #24
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    I live in Virginia, but I had a similar thing happen to me on Tuesday. I was on a sidewalk (that is also a designated bike route) and I crossed a street near the entrance to Chain Bridge near D.C. The car made a right on red and plowed into me in the crosswalk. The person who hit me was a nurse and tried to fix up the bruises, and that was the extent of injuries. I can see why it happened because the visibility is near zero at that intersection. I am going to ask Arlington County to put a no right on red sign there.

  25. #25
    Happiest on 2 Wheels fzrdave's Avatar
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    This thread has kind of gone down the legal path, but as a long time jogger who typically runs against traffic, I have to say that I find cars that are about to make right hand turns into oncoming traffic to be very dangerous. Drivers NEVER look to right and all cyclist, pedestrians, and joggers should realize this. I'm not in any way whatsoever implying that Urania was wrong in this case, but I will say that I never ever enter a crosswalk without first making eye contact with the driver. If in doubt, I'll either wait until the car makes its right hand turn or even walk/run behind the car rather than stepping in front of it. I have found cars behind the lead car typically do look forward, so this is much more safer, but you should still get eye contact first. This is a case where an ounce of prevention is worth more than a ton of cure.

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