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My mom hit a kid the other day on a bicycle...

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My mom hit a kid the other day on a bicycle...

Old 11-19-12, 09:43 PM
  #51  
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Originally Posted by squirtdad View Post
Where do you get this from???? The majority of state/cities require that bikes have a red rear reflector and a white front light when operating at night. Doesnt matter whether the bike was sold with reflectors or not. I know the police in san jose ticket on this issue.

I have never heard of the "bike meets definition of vehicle" any place.......
Most states have a definition of a bicycle that excludes cycles of a certain wheel size or seat height. If the kid is on a BMX bike that does not meet the bicycle definition as a vehicle, then the bike is considered a toy and does not have to meet the reflector or light law. Interestingly enough, some adult recumbents and folders are outside the bicycle/vehicle definitions. Some states have some catching up to do with their laws, but the law at the time of the collision is what counts and not what people think it should be.
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Old 11-19-12, 09:45 PM
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Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
Please do show me your state law requiring pedestrians to wear reflectors and lights.
Google "hit pedestrian in dark" You will find news stories about how drivers were not charged because the victim was not visible.
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Old 11-19-12, 09:48 PM
  #53  
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Originally Posted by Commodus View Post
Was he going the wrong way? I don't see that.
The OP posted that in the 23rd post on the first page:

Originally Posted by Speedwagon98 View Post
There are no sidewalks in the subdivision. He was on the right side of the road, traveling towards(head on) my mother. Insurance wasn't called at the time, because the deductible is more than the damage to the car.
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Old 11-19-12, 09:59 PM
  #54  
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Originally Posted by KonAaron Snake View Post
Depending on the kid's age, he might have been permitted to ride on the sidewalk, and sidewalk rules vary regardless. The truth is that there isn't enough information here to really tell you how an insurance company is going to view it, how a judge/jury is likely to view it, etc. Most of this kind of thing, where there aren't high damages, are settled out by insurance companies. Fault and negligence are mostly out the window in both directions because it doesn't sound like either one has any witnesses and no one got a police report. I had a friend who had an incident, mostly his fault, and they still settled with him despite an unfavorable police report. This is more about the process for that state and that insurance company than it is about the law or negligence. Generally speaking, if you hit a pedestrian or cyclist, your insurance will pay out.

As far as your mom's exposure, if the kid's family sues her and gets a judgement exceeding her insurance rate, she could lose some assets (depending on the state). The reality is that almost all of this stuff gets settled out for insurance money because of how difficult judgments are to collect on, and how much they cost to secure. If I'm your mom, I try to find out how big of a deal we're talking about. If we're talking a bruise and a busted bike, I'd buy them a bike if they're willing to accept that as settlement and be done with it. Your insurance company likely will pay out, and the rates may go up - so buying a cheap-o bike might be a cheap, easy way out. If they did file an insurance claim, I'd probably file suit over the car damage.
Aaron,

The OP has said:

Originally Posted by Speedwagon98 View Post
There are no sidewalks in the subdivision. He was on the right side of the road, traveling towards(head on) my mother. Insurance wasn't called at the time, because the deductible is more than the damage to the car.
Apparently there are no sidewalks in this subdivision, and the kid was riding towards the OP's mother. That last fact should change things at least a little bit, shouldn't it?
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Old 11-19-12, 10:14 PM
  #55  
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Originally Posted by cplager View Post
Google "hit pedestrian in dark" You will find news stories about how drivers were not charged because the victim was not visible.
Please do show me your state law requiring pedestrians to wear reflectors and lights.
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Old 11-20-12, 12:15 AM
  #56  
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Originally Posted by Digital_Cowboy View Post
The OP has said:



Apparently there are no sidewalks in this subdivision, and the kid was riding towards the OP's mother. That last fact should change things at least a little bit, shouldn't it?
With the mother turning left into her driveway, that means the kid was on the correct side of the road and had right of way doesn't it?
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Old 11-20-12, 12:24 AM
  #57  
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what I would like to know, is why the parents of this kid, didnt make sure he had a basic set of reflectors on the bike, since he was out riding in the dark. a simple front reflector might have prevented this
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Old 11-20-12, 07:09 AM
  #58  
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Originally Posted by cplager View Post
Apparently you believe that no matter what the situation, any time a driver hits a bicycle or pedestrian, it is always the drivers fault. I don't believe that, and neither does the the law.
This is not what I wrote.

I am challenging your wacky claim that pedestrians have a requirement to wear reflective clothing, reflectors and/or lights. Both you and Digital Cowboy infer that pedestrians and bicyclists who don't comply with your fabricated requirements lose their legal rights to travel unmolested.
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Old 11-20-12, 07:19 AM
  #59  
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Originally Posted by lostforawhile View Post
what I would like to know, is why the parents of this kid, didnt make sure he had a basic set of reflectors on the bike, since he was out riding in the dark. a simple front reflector might have prevented this
How do you know the bike was not equipped with reflectors? Because the OP's mom told her son she didn't see anything? Do you think she conducted an investigation of the condition of the bicycle after the accident?

Maybe she didn't have her headlights on but forgot to tell her son that part of the story.

None of us know anything about this incident but one third hand side of the story. Good for gossip, speculation and ridiculous concepts of lighting "requirements" for pedestrians.

Last edited by I-Like-To-Bike; 11-20-12 at 07:25 AM.
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Old 11-20-12, 07:31 AM
  #60  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
This is not what I wrote.

I am challenging your wacky claim that pedestrians have a requirement to wear reflective clothing, reflectors and/or lights. Both you and Digital Cowboy infer that pedestrians and bicyclists who don't comply with your fabricated requirements lose their legal rights to travel unmolested.
Google "Contributory negligence." This happens all of the time.

Here's an article about somebody who was awarded $1.9 million. He would have gotten $2.3 million, but he was ruled 18% at fault. For what, you ask? Because he wasn't wearing a helmet (and as far as I know, Florida has no adult helmet law for bicycles).

It's my (weak) understanding that if you are ruled to be at more than 50% at fault, then you can not seek restitution (for example, this link for whatever its worth). If you are on the streets at night without taking proper steps to make sure you are reasonably visible, then I think it is reasonable to expect that you will be assigned a high percent of the negligence which will affect your ability to seek financial restitution.

Basically: If you are on the roadways, as a car, bicycle, or pedestrian, you must exercise due diligence protecting both your personal safety, others personal and property safety. If you do not, this affects the liability of any accidents.

Again, IANAL. But seriously, read up on this if you still have questions. This is how it works in Iowa and the other 49 states. There are many, many, many examples out there of this happening.

Charles
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Old 11-20-12, 07:38 AM
  #61  
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Originally Posted by cplager View Post
Google "Contributory negligence." This happens all of the time.

Here's an article about somebody who was awarded $1.9 million. He would have gotten $2.3 million, but he was ruled 18% at fault. For what, you ask? Because he wasn't wearing a helmet (and as far as I know, Florida has no adult helmet law for bicycles).

It's my (weak) understanding that if you are ruled to be at more than 50% at fault, then you can not seek restitution (for example, this link for whatever its worth). If you are on the streets at night without taking proper steps to make sure you are reasonably visible, then I think it is reasonable to expect that you will be assigned a high percent of the negligence which will affect your ability to seek financial restitution.

Basically: If you are on the roadways, as a car, bicycle, or pedestrian, you must exercise due diligence protecting both your personal safety, others personal and property safety. If you do not, this affects the liability of any accidents.

Again, IANAL. But seriously, read up on this if you still have questions. This is how it works in Iowa and the other 49 states. There are many, many, many examples out there of this happening.

Charles
I presume this news snippet bit also provides an "understanding" for you that pedestrians have a responsibility to wear helmets.
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Old 11-20-12, 08:31 AM
  #62  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
I presume this news snippet bit also provides an "understanding" for you that pedestrians have a responsibility to wear helmets.
That isn't my take on it, but you never know what a jury will decide next...
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Old 11-20-12, 09:30 AM
  #63  
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
With the mother turning left into her driveway, that means the kid was on the correct side of the road and had right of way doesn't it?
yea that's how I'm reading it.
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Old 11-20-12, 09:44 AM
  #64  
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Originally Posted by cplager View Post
Google "Contributory negligence." This happens all of the time.

Here's an article about somebody who was awarded $1.9 million. He would have gotten $2.3 million, but he was ruled 18% at fault. For what, you ask? Because he wasn't wearing a helmet (and as far as I know, Florida has no adult helmet law for bicycles).

It's my (weak) understanding that if you are ruled to be at more than 50% at fault, then you can not seek restitution (for example, this link for whatever its worth). If you are on the streets at night without taking proper steps to make sure you are reasonably visible, then I think it is reasonable to expect that you will be assigned a high percent of the negligence which will affect your ability to seek financial restitution.

Basically: If you are on the roadways, as a car, bicycle, or pedestrian, you must exercise due diligence protecting both your personal safety, others personal and property safety. If you do not, this affects the liability of any accidents.

Again, IANAL. But seriously, read up on this if you still have questions. This is how it works in Iowa and the other 49 states. There are many, many, many examples out there of this happening.

Charles
Once again, in the real world negligence and fault is rarely in play - this stuff is usually handled and settled by insurance companies and many states have limited tort or no fault to control insurance costs.
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Old 11-20-12, 09:44 AM
  #65  
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Originally Posted by cplager View Post
Google "Contributory negligence." This happens all of the time.

Here's an article about somebody who was awarded $1.9 million. He would have gotten $2.3 million, but he was ruled 18% at fault. For what, you ask? Because he wasn't wearing a helmet (and as far as I know, Florida has no adult helmet law for bicycles).

It's my (weak) understanding that if you are ruled to be at more than 50% at fault, then you can not seek restitution (for example, this link for whatever its worth). If you are on the streets at night without taking proper steps to make sure you are reasonably visible, then I think it is reasonable to expect that you will be assigned a high percent of the negligence which will affect your ability to seek financial restitution.

Basically: If you are on the roadways, as a car, bicycle, or pedestrian, you must exercise due diligence protecting both your personal safety, others personal and property safety. If you do not, this affects the liability of any accidents.

Again, IANAL. But seriously, read up on this if you still have questions. This is how it works in Iowa and the other 49 states. There are many, many, many examples out there of this happening.

Charles
Well that's a thoroughly sickening development. Some idiot in a car nearly kills you, and you're found partially at fault for failing to comply with...what? A law that isn't?
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Old 11-20-12, 11:49 AM
  #66  
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Originally Posted by cplager View Post
It's my (weak) understanding that if you are ruled to be at more than 50% at fault, then you can not seek restitution (for example, this link for whatever its worth). If you are on the streets at night without taking proper steps to make sure you are reasonably visible, then I think it is reasonable to expect that you will be assigned a high percent of the negligence which will affect your ability to seek financial restitution.
I believe your understanding to be correct, except that the term you've described is comparative negligence, and it's what most states use.

Contributory negligence is even worse -- in that case, if the victim is at all responsible, even 1%, then he can't seek any restitution at all. The wikipedia article says that Alabama, the District of Columbia, Maryland, North Carolina, and Virginia have laws set up that way.
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Old 11-20-12, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by dougmc View Post
I believe your understanding to be correct, except that the term you've described is comparative negligence, and it's what most states use.

Contributory negligence is even worse -- in that case, if the victim is at all responsible, even 1%, then he can't seek any restitution at all. The wikipedia article says that Alabama, the District of Columbia, Maryland, North Carolina, and Virginia have laws set up that way.
Thanks for the update/correction.
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Old 11-20-12, 01:49 PM
  #68  
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Originally Posted by Commodus View Post
Well that's a thoroughly sickening development. Some idiot in a car nearly kills you, and you're found partially at fault for failing to comply with...what? A law that isn't?
What an "understanding!" A law abiding cyclist/pedestrian failing to comply with nonexistent laws is responsible for accidents caused by others neglect. I can see this rationale as the basis for assigning responsibility to any/all cyclists taking the lane who get involved in an accident. In fact any cyclist who gets involved with a motorist anywhere can be found negligent with this "understanding" since common sense for a lot people says bikes are only for bike trails and the park.
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Old 11-20-12, 01:53 PM
  #69  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
What an "understanding!" A law abiding cyclist/pedestrian failing to comply with nonexistent laws is responsible for accidents caused by others neglect. I can see this rationale as the basis for assigning responsibility to any/all cyclists taking the lane who get involved in an accident. In fact any cyclist who gets involved with a motorist anywhere can be found negligent with this "understanding" since common sense for a lot people says bikes are only for bike trails and the park.
Exactly. This 'logic' leads one to the inevitable conclusion found in that very article's comments section:

...
He's the one who decided to ride a machine (bicycle) without any safety measures on the same road as other machines that weigh 2 tons or more. That's at his own risk. And he wasn't even wearing a helmet.

It's like swimming with sharks, then suing if you get bitten. YOU are the one assuming the risk when you ride a bicycle on the streets.
...

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Old 11-20-12, 02:51 PM
  #70  
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Just a quick $.02. Here the police will flat refuse to make a report if there were no injuries or damages. I think in the cases of minor collisions, I'm gonna go against the grain here and say it's a little silly to call the police over something like a door ding. In the digital age, it isn't at all hard to either have a camera on your person, or a cheap digital or even disposable film camera in your car, if your a Luddite. Lots of pictures can be just as good, maybe even better than a police report. Snap pics of everything, and I think your sufficiently covered. Now, in the case of OP, it might or might not be warranted... I just wanted to point out it's easy to say "call the cops always, always, always", but this isn't always really practical in the real world. Sometimes it really is a non-event, and just some pictures to cover you in case is probably sufficient without wasting everybody's time. As I said, at least here, good luck getting the cops to come out over a nothing deal. Just snap pics and be done with it.

As to charges, I'd really doubt if any charges are going to be pressed, which it sounds like was your main concern. They may try to collect damages and are getting the police report for that. That will probably deal with your insurance. Worst case, it would probably be small claims. I'd doubt anything bigger than that. The no police report thing goes both ways.
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Old 11-20-12, 03:35 PM
  #71  
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Originally Posted by Commodus View Post
Exactly. This 'logic' leads one to the inevitable conclusion found in that very article's comments section:
The same "logic" or "understanding" would "require" bicyclists and pedestrians to wear and use every gadget from the safety nanny's toolkit: numerous super bright lights pointing in every direction, day and night, garishly bright clothing also day or night, full face maximum strength (motorcycle) helmets, flags, etc. After all wouldn't that make a cyclist safer at least in some simple minded juror's eyes? To not use these "safety devices" isn't a bicyclist just asking for trouble?

At least one poster has posted on this thread how he feels about finding fault with and blaming accidents on those who don't comply with his standard of safety "requirements." http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...1#post14964646
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Old 11-20-12, 06:49 PM
  #72  
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
With the mother turning left into her driveway, that means the kid was on the correct side of the road and had right of way doesn't it?
Correct.

Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
How do you know the bike was not equipped with reflectors? Because the OP's mom told her son she didn't see anything? Do you think she conducted an investigation of the condition of the bicycle after the accident?

Maybe she didn't have her headlights on but forgot to tell her son that part of the story.

None of us know anything about this incident but one third hand side of the story. Good for gossip, speculation and ridiculous concepts of lighting "requirements" for pedestrians.
I understand your point, but there is such an incredibly small chance that she didn't have her lights on, that's it's not a conceivable thing to happen. And I did specifically ask her, just to be sure. She is, for all intents and purposes, the model driver. It drives me nuts when I ride with her.
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Old 11-20-12, 06:55 PM
  #73  
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Originally Posted by sudo bike View Post
Just a quick $.02. Here the police will flat refuse to make a report if there were no injuries or damages. I think in the cases of minor collisions, I'm gonna go against the grain here and say it's a little silly to call the police over something like a door ding. In the digital age, it isn't at all hard to either have a camera on your person, or a cheap digital or even disposable film camera in your car, if your a Luddite. Lots of pictures can be just as good, maybe even better than a police report. Snap pics of everything, and I think your sufficiently covered. Now, in the case of OP, it might or might not be warranted... I just wanted to point out it's easy to say "call the cops always, always, always", but this isn't always really practical in the real world. Sometimes it really is a non-event, and just some pictures to cover you in case is probably sufficient without wasting everybody's time. As I said, at least here, good luck getting the cops to come out over a nothing deal. Just snap pics and be done with it.

As to charges, I'd really doubt if any charges are going to be pressed, which it sounds like was your main concern. They may try to collect damages and are getting the police report for that. That will probably deal with your insurance. Worst case, it would probably be small claims. I'd doubt anything bigger than that. The no police report thing goes both ways.
Yes, the police weren't called because it was believed there were no injuries. The kid insisted he was fine, and walked off. This is the primary reason the police were not called at the time. And the damage was rather small, all things considered. At the time, the kid(obviously according to what I heard) was sounding like he believed he was at fault, asking repeatedly if her car was ok. And being a mother, she was far more concerned with the kid being ok than her car.

Also, I appreciate all the information. It's good to get perspective on things sometimes.
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Old 11-20-12, 11:03 PM
  #74  
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
With the mother turning left into her driveway, that means the kid was on the correct side of the road and had right of way doesn't it?
I'm not sure, I would like to see a map of the area, I would also like to see photos of the road and the driveway. As others have stated it would have been in the mother's best interest to have called the police, even if the kid left the scene. That way as has been stated she would have a police report to use to support her side of things.
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Old 11-20-12, 11:04 PM
  #75  
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Originally Posted by lostforawhile View Post
what I would like to know, is why the parents of this kid, didnt make sure he had a basic set of reflectors on the bike, since he was out riding in the dark. a simple front reflector might have prevented this
That is a very good question, as well as why didn't he have a functioning let set as well.
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