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Making city pay for crash

Old 10-11-22, 09:59 PM
  #1  
LarrySellerz
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Making city pay for crash

This was posted on facebook recently

"TLDR: Make Woodside pay for your flats, broken wheels, and medical costs for unmarked road grinds.
Longer ver: Friday 5- Aug the road at the intersection of Woodside Rd. and Tripp Rd. was being resurfaced and the grind/cut edges were not properly marked. As the group rode northbound over the edges many of us flatted (me, Jamie, Danny x2, others) or crashed (LarrySellerz, badly in fact). I filed a claim against the Town of Woodside out of principle and as a test case. I just received a check in the mail for $11.68 for a new Conti Race Lite tube.
I’m sharing this news in case any of you would like Woodside to pay for your flat(s), damaged carbon wheels, and/or costs for seeking medical treatment for crash-related injuries. Reply, DM me, or catch me on a ride and I’d be more than happy to share how I filled out and submitted the claim form.
$11 isn’t much, but it feels good making them pay me for once after enduring years of off-duty cops hired by the town to aggressively ticket, and lack of concern when riders get buzzed and/or threatened by motorists in the town, etc."

Have any of you tried getting compensation from a city when their negligence contributed to a crash? I lost a weeks worth of wages and caused hundreds of dollars of damage to my bike. I have gnarly pictures (I would post them but I dont wanna get banned.) but I rode home without seeking medical attention and didn't file a police report which might end of screwing me.
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Old 10-11-22, 10:23 PM
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A lot of cities are self insured. In other words they have an amount of money set aside to cover lawsuits and claims. If your claim is $10 then they might just pay it out to make the citizen feel good.

In your case you are talking a chunk of change due to lost work and several hundreds in damage. That would get scrutinized closely I assume. If you lost wages from work then I assume you have medical bills as well.

Best bet is contact an attorney. Most will give an initial consultation for free where they'll discuss your options. They'll probably tell you that you'll need to gather evidence of what caused the accident, proof of medical bills were caused by the incident, proof that the accident caused the lost wages, and damage estimates.

My bet is you'll have a tough go of it. You'd need photos of the area that clearly show how the cities negligence contributed to the accident and yes I assume they'll want a police report of some sort..

Good luck..
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Old 10-11-22, 10:25 PM
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Polaris OBark
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Realistically, the only way you will win is if your insurance company goes after them.
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Old 10-11-22, 10:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Polaris OBark View Post
Realistically, the only way you will win is if your insurance company goes after them.
You could file a claim, have them deny it then sue.. Cities settle lawsuits all the time and not because they think they'll lose the case but because in many cases it's cheaper to settle than it is to litigate.. A case such as this would be minor in the big scheme of things and sending one city attorney to argue on behalf of the city would be cheap since he/she is already on the payroll. My guess is they would not settle a claim such as this but you never know..

I hit a pothole in my car many years ago and it damaged the wheel and tire. Filed a claim against the city and was promptly denied... You have to show negligence on the cities part to even have a small chance of winning such cases.

I'm not an attorney so I still think it's best that the OP speak with one about options.
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Old 10-11-22, 10:49 PM
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LarrySellerz
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Originally Posted by raqball View Post
If you lost wages from work then I assume you have medical bills as well.
Context: I never sought medical attention (no insurance) but had bad enough road rash that I was unable to work for atleast 7 days and my boss/timesheet can attest, im lucky it happened on a friday. Don't have pics of the road or a police report . Just screenshots of people talking about how bad the lip on the road was.

The road was messed up and fixed within 48 hours, and im sure there were multiple incidents because it was really bad and I saw like 8 flats.

Last edited by LarrySellerz; 10-11-22 at 11:08 PM.
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Old 10-11-22, 10:58 PM
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Originally Posted by LarrySellerz View Post
I never sought medical attention but had bad enough road rash that I was unable to work for atleast 7 days, im lucky it happened on a friday.
That certainly sucks but unfortunately in order to win such a case against the City you'd need a TON of evidence and proof.
  • Photos of the area that show how the city was negligent.
  • Documentation showing the city was previously made aware of the danger (maybe make a social media post asking if others had issues and / or reported it to the city)
  • Police report
  • Medical bills and statements stating the injuries were caused by the accident
  • Doctors orders / note putting you on light duty, restricted duty or no work
  • Etc...
Maybe even more than what I listed... I know you don't want to hear this but based on what you've said I'd guess you have little to no chance of winning. But again, I'd suggest you talk to an attorney. Most will offer the initial consultation for free..
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Old 10-11-22, 11:00 PM
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I am very surprised that the city paid for the tube. I would be even more surprised if along with the check there wasn’t a statement somewhere declaring that the payment is not an admission of any negligence on the part of the Town of Woodside.

If not, only an attorney can tell you if you can connect the dots. Woodside admitted to causing the flat. The flat caused the crash that caused the injuries that caused the loss of work.

John
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Old 10-12-22, 03:32 AM
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Will they be able to claim rider negligence is a factor? From memory I know you've made a thing about riding shirtless, without a helmet, with unsuitable footwear and on a bike that's at least 2 sizes too small, whilst treating everything is a race.

Without being too harsh, this is more or less what everyone has been expecting to happen for a long time, so can you honestly say the fault lies entirely with the city?

Were the cut edges somehow hard to see? Was the work ongoing? Any cones or barriers? Were you riding in the dark?

I think you may have a case if you can prove the road was left in a dangerous state and you were unable to see or avoid the hazards, but it sounds like they've cut away some of the road surface to do a repair and your group has somehow gone over the roadworks and taken damage.
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Old 10-12-22, 04:43 AM
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Define "unmarked" and where you have found a "standard" or "specification" for what is "properly marking" of a milled pavement edge.

Was it done by the municipality or under contract by a private contractor? Makes a difference on who is responsible for job site conditions and public safety
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Old 10-12-22, 06:48 AM
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It sounds to me like you were riding in a construction zone, and one should expect bad spots in the road. Seems like a group ride would have taken a detour.
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Old 10-12-22, 06:54 AM
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Were you drafting on someone's wheel? Might want to hang back next time so you can spot such hazards in the road.
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Old 10-12-22, 06:57 AM
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seypat
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You need to call Marks & Harrison or any of the other ambulance chasers out there.
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Old 10-12-22, 07:17 AM
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My understanding in Michigan is that the governing entity must have knowledge of the road defect for a work day before any claim can be made. In the case if the road work, I guess that would be presumed since they were doing it. In most cases, it means they must be notified in writing that a pot hole exists, and then after a work day if it causes damage, they're liable. I have reported pot holes in the past, and the road crews do indeed get it fixed pronto. They do not, however, make much effort to fix other unreported pot holes in the same area. You'd think they'd want to do that, if only to prevent future visits, but... <sigh> maybe job security is an issue too?
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Old 10-12-22, 07:27 AM
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big john
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A lady I know collected from the city after she stuck her front wheel in a crack on a city street. She crashed and broke her collarbone. She also quit riding after that.
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Old 10-12-22, 08:33 AM
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LarrySellerz
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Originally Posted by Herzlos View Post
Will they be able to claim rider negligence is a factor? From memory I know you've made a thing about riding shirtless, without a helmet, with unsuitable footwear and on a bike that's at least 2 sizes too small, whilst treating everything is a race.

Without being too harsh, this is more or less what everyone has been expecting to happen for a long time, so can you honestly say the fault lies entirely with the city?

Were the cut edges somehow hard to see? Was the work ongoing? Any cones or barriers? Were you riding in the dark?

I think you may have a case if you can prove the road was left in a dangerous state and you were unable to see or avoid the hazards, but it sounds like they've cut away some of the road surface to do a repair and your group has somehow gone over the roadworks and taken damage.
For the record I contend that I must have been riding with some negligence or I wouldn't have crashed, but I'm not telling woodside that. Cut the victim blaming though, I was wearing a helmet on the correct sized bike but most cycling fatalities occur when people are wearing helmets and you still get people commenting "was he wearing a helmet" and other victim blamey things. The cut was in the shade and hard to see, I didn't see it at all. I saw 8 flat tires and heard of a destroyed wheel from a seperate incident at the same spot, it was pretty bad lol.
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Old 10-12-22, 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by LarrySellerz View Post
For the record I contend that I must have been riding with some negligence or I wouldn't have crashed, but I'm not telling woodside that. Cut the victim blaming though, I was wearing a helmet on the correct sized bike but most cycling fatalities occur when people are wearing helmets and you still get people commenting "was he wearing a helmet" and other victim blamey things. The cut was in the shade and hard to see, I didn't see it at all. I saw 8 flat tires and heard of a destroyed wheel from a seperate incident at the same spot, it was pretty bad lol.
Smoke any weed on that ride?
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Old 10-12-22, 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by LarrySellerz View Post
For the record I contend that I must have been riding with some negligence or I wouldn't have crashed, but I'm not telling woodside that.
Rule # 1... Never, and I mean never discuss the details or make any statements about an incident where criminal charges and / or civil litigation may occur - especially on the internet and even more so if they are incriminating..
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Old 10-12-22, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by LarrySellerz View Post
but I'm not telling woodside that.
You just did.
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Old 10-12-22, 10:39 AM
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This is not a "pothole" situation.

Potholes occur naturally and roadways can't be continuously monitored. That is, it isn't unusual that a pothole would appear without the authority knowing about it. This is why the the authority to be notified of the pothole before they can be accused of being negligent for not fixing the problem.

A road-grind is a deliberate thing. It's planned (which means the authority knows about it). The authority is also required to that work competently and in a safe manner. It is a case if the authority creating the pothole (hazard).
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Old 10-12-22, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
This is not a "pothole" situation.
I once found a half-full bottle of vodka in a pothole.
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Old 10-12-22, 10:44 AM
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bampilot06 had a road sign sneak up on him and had discussions with the city and/or county.
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Old 10-12-22, 11:03 AM
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Sounds like a pothead situation.
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Old 10-12-22, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
This is not a "pothole" situation.

Potholes occur naturally and roadways can't be continuously monitored. That is, it isn't unusual that a pothole would appear without the authority knowing about it. This is why the the authority to be notified of the pothole before they can be accused of being negligent for not fixing the problem.

A road-grind is a deliberate thing. It's planned (which means the authority knows about it). The authority is also required to that work competently and in a safe manner. It is a case if the authority creating the pothole (hazard).
Sounds like it was an active construction zone. It's also the responsibility for users to proceed in a safe manner in active construction zones.
Traffic control signage/barricading/warning and job site safety responsibility on active contracts generally falls on the contractor not the contracting agency.
37 years in municipal construction has shown me people do not heed warnings no matter how well you might try to protect work zones.


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Old 10-12-22, 01:07 PM
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The other two are believable, but how did the second picture (below) happen? How did the driver get the front over the ditch and stop before the back fell in??

Originally Posted by dedhed View Post
37 years in municipal construction has shown me people do not heed warnings no matter how well you might try to protect work zones.

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Old 10-12-22, 02:21 PM
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I wouldn’t worry about a police report, or medical attention, or even for the record negligence.

After thinking about cashing the $11.68 check, there is probably a chance that you might have already settled with Woodside.

Depending of the language on the check, you might not have any litigation options anymore. If that is the case, I hope the tube serves you well for many miles.

John
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