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Accident in Vancouver. Opinions?

Old 08-25-04, 04:00 PM
  #1  
leftnotracks
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Accident in Vancouver. Opinions?

I was in a little fender bender earlier this month, and want to know who has had similar accidents, and how FICBC (That's ICBC with an F at the beginning) handled it.

Details:
I was southbound on Fir, approaching 11th. I was on the right (west) side of the road, to the right of traffic. The road is uphill, so I was probably going no faster that 20 kph.

As I approached 11th I saw the car to my left veering towards me. I was unable to avoid the collision, but I did manage to unclip and avoid any serious injury.

The driver claims I was going very fast, and that he turned ahead of me. He claims to have signalled. He also claims I was riding very fast, but the statement read to me does not state a speed.

I do not know what witnesses have said (I provided names and numbers for two).

My opinion is that the right of way was mine. This is not affected by his signalling, or my seeing his signal (which I did not, as I was next to him for at least 20 m).

Has anyone here experienced a similar accident in BC, and what was the final score? What sort of compensation can I expect for out of pocket expenses (including a Tensor bandage and bus fare while bike was out of commission), repairs, inconvenience, and injury?
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Old 08-25-04, 04:29 PM
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Your speed is irrelevant. He made an improper lane change and failed to yield (to you).

Dave
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Old 08-25-04, 04:39 PM
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Imagine this same situation with two cars. Car on your left merges into your car, its totally their fault, no question, they did not yield. It does not matter you are a bike as you have same rights as vehicle. This assumes that the side of the car hit you. If car merges in front of you then you accelerate and hit their rear it could be your fault. (this could happen in a road rage situation where someone does not like being passed/cut off and rams car that did it) It does not sound like you accerated to hit them.

It does not matter if they had signaled. That is just plain stupid if someone thinks that because they signal it mean they can merge into another vehicle.

I hope you are OK.

Al
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Old 08-25-04, 04:43 PM
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I hope you are OK.
Just a sore ankle and hot head. Rear rim took the worst of it.
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Old 08-25-04, 09:08 PM
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Similar thing happened to me - but on a downhill, at a traffic light. A person in a car waiting at the traffic light told my auto insurance what happened. My insurance collected money for a pedal and wheel from the driver who hit me, I didnt have any injury. Its simple - you dont make a right turn while passing someone. It wouldnt have been so easy if there hadnt been a witness, but I suppose damage to the side of the car would indicate that they were not in front of you.
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Old 08-25-04, 09:20 PM
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One way to avoid this (if indeed it was an accident, which I find harder to believe with every one of these incidents that occurs) is to spin a lower gear and higher cadence. Believe it or not, drivers will assume you're going faster than if you spin the pedals in a higher gear and lower cadence (even if this is not the case). Another thing you should be doing is riding far enough into the lane to give yourself some space to back off should this situation occur. I recommend at least three feet.
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Old 08-25-04, 09:25 PM
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Let's add it up:

1 Ace Bandage - $5.00
1 Rear Wheel - $75.00 (A guess since you didn't state how much the wheel was worth)
1 week bus fare - $20.00 (Generous, assuming the wheel has to be ordered)

Total losses: $100

Better hire a lawyer.
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Old 08-26-04, 12:18 PM
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Cutting someone off is the same if it's a bike or a car. A driver wouldn't intentionally try to speed ahead of another car to turn right in front of him, cutting him off. No one would do that. The car would slow down and then let the car to the right go ahead, then turn right. It applies to bikes the same way.

Being cut off is being cut off. No matter what "speed" you're going, he still didn't yield for you.
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Old 08-26-04, 03:59 PM
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Originally Posted by supcom
1 Ace Bandage - $5.00
1 Rear Wheel - $75.00 (A guess since you didn't state how much the wheel was worth)
1 week bus fare - $20.00 (Generous, assuming the wheel has to be ordered)

Total losses: $100
More like $10, $100 (plus assorted other costs) and $90 ($30/week x 3 weeks because it takes a long time to collect the estimates and get answers from F**king insurance Co.). All in Cadian funds.

And lets not forget inconvenience and pain. They can't pay me pack with convenience and comfort, so I'll take bucks.

Last edited by leftnotracks; 08-26-04 at 05:36 PM.
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Old 08-27-04, 04:40 PM
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Mother****ers at ICBC said it was 50/50 because the driver and one witness said I passed on the right after he signalled, while I and one witness say I was even with the car. So I only get half of my expenses. Nobody seems to notice that a car turning right generally slows down, and if his speed drops below mine, that's not the same as passing.

Furthermore, there's very little consideration for bikes in BC's motor vehicle act. For one thing, bicycles are required to keep to the right, unless turning left. No mention is made of passing. No allowance is made for right turn lanes, yet vehicles in right turn lanes must turn right. Those are invariable the lane furthest to the right, where bicycles are required to ride.

Man do I HATE insurance companies.

So now I'm working on appealing the decision.
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Old 08-27-04, 05:37 PM
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If you are right beside him, how can you see his turn signal? How long did he have his turn signal on? One block, two? I think you need a good lawyer. Good luck.
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Old 08-27-04, 06:04 PM
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Driver says half a block. Driver and one witness say I was back about five metres. Of course, driver also says he didn't see me, so how'd he know I was five metres back? Maybe he's the pinball wizard.

BC law in respect to bicycles is crap. BC Motor Vehicle Act, section 183, subsection 2:
A person operating a cycle
a) must not ride on a sidewalk unless authorized by a bylaw made under section 124 or unless otherwise directed by a sign,

b) must not, for the purpose of crossing a highway, ride on a crosswalk unless authorized to do so by a bylaw made under section 124 or unless otherwise directed by a sign,

c) must, subject to paragraph (a), ride as near as practicable to the right side of the highway,

d) must not ride abreast of another person operating a cycle on the roadway,

e) must keep at least one hand on the handlebars,

f) must not ride other than on or astride a regular seat of the cycle,

g) must not use the cycle to carry more persons at one time than the number for which it is designed and equipped, and

h) must not ride a cycle on a highway where signs prohibit their use.
Implicit in that is that bicycles cannot pass, as passing on the right, is illegal.

The only allowance for a bicycle to be anywhere else is when making a left turn. In fact, that section only applies when there are more than one left turn lanes. Secion 183, 4:
Despite section 165, a person operating a cycle who intends to turn it to the left at an intersection where there is more than one lane from which left turns are permitted must
a) cause the cycle to approach the intersection in the lane closest to the right side of the highway from which a left turn is permitted,

b) keep the cycle to the right of the line that divides the lane referred to in paragraph (a) from the lane immediately to the left of that lane,

c) after entering the intersection, turn the cycle to the left so that it will leave the intersection to the right of the line referred to in paragraph (b), and

d) when practicable, turn the cycle in the portion of the intersection to the left of the centre of the intersection
Actually, looking at 183, 4, c, I can only respond with, "Huh?" I get that I'm to the right on the lane marker to my left. I suppose that's what is meant by being in a lane. Then I enter the intersection, turn my wheel to the left, and I'm now pointing in...the same direction. As Dr. Evil would say, "R-i-i-i-i-ght."

And look at sections 15 and 16:
15) If a person is convicted of an offence under this Act in respect of his or her riding or operating a cycle, the court may, in addition to or in place of any penalty otherwise prescribed, order the cycle seized, and on the expiry of that period the person entitled to it may again have possession of the cycle.

16) For the purpose of seizing and impounding a cycle under an order made under subsection (15), a peace officer may enter any place or building in which the cycle is located.
There is no such provision for automobiles. Compare: would the general population accept a law that permits the police to enter your property without warrant and sieze your car? Not for unpaid parking tickets, but in addition to parking tickets.

For those of you in BC, please, from now on, refer to the state run insurance company by its proper acronymn: FICBC.
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Old 08-28-04, 12:28 AM
  #13  
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If there was room for you to pass on the right, he was too far to the left to be making a right turn. This is, in effect, a right hook. You are through traffic, he is turning traffic. Turning traffic yields to through traffic. If, as he claims, he came from behind you, passed and then turned, he should either have moved in front of you (which he obviously didn't, since it sounds like a side-on collision), or slowed and turned behind you.

Wow, I confess I know nothing about what Canada has that would be equivalent to our Constitution, but subsections 15 and 16 would never hold up this side of the 49th, on Constitutional grounds.
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Old 08-28-04, 02:14 AM
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You were on a 30lb bike and he was in a 3000lb car. Sounds like assault with a deadly weapon to me.
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Old 08-28-04, 11:40 AM
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hey, my dad's a lawyer-in BC-do you want me to ask him?
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Old 08-28-04, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by leftnotracks
Mother****ers at ICBC said it was 50/50 because the driver and one witness said I passed on the right after he signalled, while I and one witness say I was even with the car. So I only get half of my expenses. Nobody seems to notice that a car turning right generally slows down, and if his speed drops below mine, that's not the same as passing.

Furthermore, there's very little consideration for bikes in BC's motor vehicle act. For one thing, bicycles are required to keep to the right, unless turning left. No mention is made of passing. No allowance is made for right turn lanes, yet vehicles in right turn lanes must turn right. Those are invariable the lane furthest to the right, where bicycles are required to ride.

Man do I HATE insurance companies.

So now I'm working on appealing the decision.
sounds to me like the insurance company is just trying to pull the wool- there is no point really even speaking to them without a lawyer as they will just try it on
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Old 08-29-04, 10:47 AM
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The local group Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition had a disscussion about this topic recently.

One member was wanting to re-write about this topic in the pamphet "Bike Sense" so things would be better understood.

One of the first things is it is illegal for anyone (car or bike) to pass on the right exept under a couple of specific circumstances. When peole give me a hard time about passing on the right on my bike, I always say cars do it all the time too. Why am I more wrong than them?

Here is what the suggested recomendation for printing was.

For your viewing pleasure I am now presenting the possible edit.
Sincerely,
Sara

Passing on the right

Passing vehicles on the right between intersections, especially in
congested city traffic, is a topic of debate, even in the courts.

Under appropriate circumstances, case law suggests that cyclists
should be able to legally pass slower moving traffic on the right where
the curb lane is wide, provided they are cautious.

Most often it is best to shoulder check, move into the middle of the
lane and line up with the rest of traffic. This will also prevent motorists
from making a right turn into you as you enter an intersection.

When cycling in narrow-lane traffic where many motorists attempt to
squeeze past you before each traffic light, some cycling instructors
suggest the following:

Rather than moving up to the first car, which will likely re-pass the
cyclist, it may be more strategic for the cyclist to place themselves
only as far up the line as the last cars likely to make the next green
light.

It is legal to pass on the right:
* when you are in a bike lane; or
* when the vehicle is turning left or indicating a left turn.

When NOT to pass on the right:
* when traffic is moving;
* when there is a street, driveway or parking spot
a car can turn into; or
* when there is less than 1.5 m between traffic and the curb.
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Old 08-31-04, 03:46 PM
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Closetbiker:

Do you have link for this I can research?

I've contacted the supervisor of the FICBC claims representative. My options seem to be:
  1. Accept their 50/50 ruling. I'll get back half of my costs, including (I hope) transit fares.
  2. Pay $50 for an arbitrator to review the case. If I win I get my $50 back, although I risk getting a less favourable ruling. This is unavailable if there is an injury claim.
  3. Sue the bastards.

I have requested a transcript of all statements and documentation available. I just cannot imagine how I could have been considered at fault. I suppose it just another case of the marginalization of cyclists.

You know what Bugs Bunny would say, don't you?
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Old 08-31-04, 05:06 PM
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I suppose one place to start would be the VACC's resouce page @

https://www.vacc.bc.ca/cycling/index.htm

They have links to help on laws and municipal by-laws as well a a link to a good page by a cycling lawyer David Hay @

https://www.bccc.bc.ca/Hayes_files/topten.html

about things too do and not to do after an accident. He even has a bunch of articles on Cycling and the Law as well as an email address for additional info if you wnt to ask him at the bottom of the page. I've asked him a number of questions over the years and he has explained my questions free of charge. Just keep in mind that to a lawyer time is money, so keep the questions brief and to the point.

It will also help to be honest with yourself about how much you are put out by the situation. If you are not physically hurt, you're compensation will be limited to damage to your bike. Get 3 written quotes for repair from reputable bike shops. Don't fix your bike before you get an award. If your witness doesn't say the car was 100% at fault, 50/50 might be what you get. It could be worse, the law says no passing on the right, you could get 0%. If the driver came up from your rear, and made a turn into you, despite your being in front of the car, it has to be the cars fault but you would still have to prove to ICBC that your story is the correct story.

Good luck.
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Old 02-06-05, 11:15 AM
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I was going over my local advocacy groups newsletters online https://www.vacc.bc.ca/archive/newslttr/newsindx.htm
and saw an article by David Hay in the winter 2004 newsletter that seems to be about this case.

The only thing is I don't know if the dates are right. It says the victory was on August 31 and my last post here was on the 31st as well. Otherwise it sounds exactly the same.

It's good to see the cyclist was awarded general and aggravated damages even if the case is under appeal.

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Old 02-08-05, 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by leftnotracks
Closetbiker:

I suppose it just another case of the marginalization of cyclists.
Why does every leftwinger in Vancouver love the word marginalization?
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Old 02-08-05, 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by fireguy286
Why does every leftwinger in Vancouver love the word marginalization?
Hey, I didn't play left wing but I did play right defence.

I don't know if you could say I love the word maginalization but I do think the word is applicable in many situations.

Maybe if I played leftwing, I would love the word more?
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Old 02-08-05, 12:47 PM
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I'm waiting for Serge to think of some way you could have been riding more visibly!

Go see a doctor and document the sore ankle. I don't know anything about Canadian law, but I'm sure documentation of medical injuries would not hurt you. After all, you didn't ask him to hit you. The ankle would have been fine if driver were more careful.
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Old 02-08-05, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by closetbiker
Hey, I didn't play left wing but I did play right defence.

I don't know if you could say I love the word maginalization but I do think the word is applicable in many situations.

Maybe if I played leftwing, I would love the word more?
Good answer. Anyways I'm gonna go read The Province now to see who Premier Campbell, I mean, Mayor Campbell is marginalizing today.
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Old 02-08-05, 01:00 PM
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Life in British California means polorized maginalization!

WAC Bennett, Grace McCarthy warning about the "socialist hoards at the gate", Clarke and Shiota screaming in opposition and doing no different in power, is giving me cause to consider the BC STV option in the next election.
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