Recently hit...what to do...

Discussion in 'Activism / Safety' started by emmyj, Sep 10, 2010.

  1. emmyj

    emmyj New Member

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    I was recently hit by a car after heading home from work.
    It was night, the street I commute on is pretty well trafficked but I wasn't wearing any lights or reflective gear.
    The car came to a flashing red light which states to proceed after stop.
    He didn't stop....just slowed and then turned to the right...never stopping.
    I watched him the whole time assuming (stupidly so) that since I'm riding in the right hand lane, underneath street lights, and less than 5 feet away, that he would see me and let me pass.
    NOPE.
    Long story short...he hit me, my bike is messed up, he apologized and said he didn't see me, I'm fine, but my bike needs fixing, we exchange phone numbers, and we talk to each other later.

    Basically, he had my bike for a week, returned it, still broken. I don't have his address, only his phone number, and he is not returning my texts. I even called the bike shop he said he took it to and they have no record of my bike or the person ever entering that shop from a months worth of records.

    So, what I would like to know is can I still take legal action, would it be worth it? Am I S.O.L?

    ANy information would be helpful.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Engyo

    Engyo Bent Newbie - old rider

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    You are lucky he returned the bike at all. Without a police report, all you can do is go to small claims court, where its your word against his.

    I was hit twice in broad daylight (right hooked both times), dry and sunny, while wearing reflective clothing.

    Don't know about MD, but here you are required by law to run a front and back light after dark on a bicycle.

    Good luck with whatever you decide to do.
     

  3. retromike3

    retromike3 retromike3

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    no light no case.

    The main problem is that you were in the wrong. You have to have a light. I was hit by a car before the sun went down and it put me in the hospital for three days. The cops rifled my bags and took my drivers license. When I picked up my license I was given a ticket for not having a light, so I had to pay for the hospital bill. Doesn't matter if he saw you or not you have to have a light. I carry one in my bag where ever I go just in case I get caught on the road when the sun goes down. I also have a flasher on my messenger bag so they can see me and that is on all the time I ride I also wear a yellow jacket and the bozos still don't see me.

    The laws of physics are not in your favor. might as well at least obey the laws of the state.
     
  4. Industry_Hack

    Industry_Hack Total noob (& forum admin) Admin Staff Tavern Member

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    If you were injured, then by law you are required to file a police report. On the bright side, most insurance companies are eager to settle claims with cyclists and pedestrians, as any time they end up in court, juries are sympathetic to the non-motor vehicle party. They may attempt to reduce the amount of damages based on comparative negligence, because you did not take the required steps to make yourself visible.
     
  5. SUX VR40 Rider

    SUX VR40 Rider New Member

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    In most states the law says you have to have a front head light visable from a certain distance between sunset and sun rise, but the law varies on rear lights or reflectors.

    Based on the information here are the mistakes made with this situation:
    1. Both were in the wrong in terms of violating a traffic law. the OP by not haveing a light and the driver by running a stop.
    2. No one called the poloce to file a report, at the very least for an insurance claim.
    3. The OP let the driver take his bike with him, trusting that the driver would take the bike to a shop, have it repaired and return it.
    4. The OP did not get the driver's insurance information, just a phone number.

    emmyj, did you get the drivers name and liscense number? How about make, model and year of his vehicle? You might be screwed in this situation because a police report was not filed and a claim was not made on his insurance.
     
  6. retromike3

    retromike3 retromike3

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    court?

    I may be off but when is the last time you saw a jury in traffic court?

    there was me and the judge and I had to pay a fine also. Was not a lot but it was the point of the mater that irritated me.

    mike
     
  7. emmyj

    emmyj New Member

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    Thanks for the replies.

    I figured I was in the wrong as well since I wasn't properly lit. Be it either naivety or being too nice, I didn't see a reason to call the cops. He was really nice about it and I wasn't seriously injured, just minor damage to my bicycle and my favorite pair of jeans. Was trying to settle things outside of court or any legal methods seeing as it may be more hassle and more money than to just go get it fixed myself and deal with it.

    Just wanted to get separate opinions from my own.

    I will be sure to stay properly lit from now on.

    Thank you
     
  8. Industry_Hack

    Industry_Hack Total noob (& forum admin) Admin Staff Tavern Member

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    No one said anything about traffic court. If two people involved in a motor vehicle accident can't agree on a settlement, they can take it to court. And there will be a jury.

    If the driver has insurance, there shouldn't be any expense in getting the bike repaired, (or probably replaced, as most insurance companies don't want the liability of bike repairs too) and compensation for your damaged clothing. Can't hurt to ask. And don't feel bad about this affecting his insurance either. If he's running stop lights, he deserves to pay more.
     
  9. SUX VR40 Rider

    SUX VR40 Rider New Member

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    If you were hit before sunset, you were not legally required to have a light, at least you should not have been required to have one. If it was before sunset you could/should have fought the ticket and won.

    That said, is there anything you're not telling us about this? Like even thought it was before sunset it was a dark overcast day where lights were required to be used by roadway vehicles? If this is the case, you were in the wrong.
     
  10. retromike3

    retromike3 retromike3

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    Actually the interesting thing was that the ambulance showed up first and they waited for the police to show up about twenty minutes after the accident happened,

    By then it was starting to get dark. I had a bike with a very good light set up but I was just going to the store about six blocks away so I took my fixed gear. I thought that I would be home by the time it got dark and if I would have made it to the store I would have gotten home in plenty of time. Just my luck(sigh)

    mike
     
  11. SUX VR40 Rider

    SUX VR40 Rider New Member

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    If you had someone to verify, the EMT's who responded, that the collision occured before sunset, why didn't you fight the ticket? Sorry, but I find it irritating when a cyclist lays down and accepts the consequences when he or she should stand up and defend their rights and fight against a citation. It makes things more difficult for the rest of us the next time a citation is issued unfairly. It sets a precendent for law enforcement to abuse their power and authority.
     
  12. retromike3

    retromike3 retromike3

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    question of timing

    I did not lay down (except when I was flat on the road with my arm broken in seven places) I went to the police office to get my drivers license and the court date was the next day. I still had my arm in a traction cast. I might have hired a lawyer but I was a bit under the weather and did not have the cash or the resources to come up with a defense overnight.

    I pleaded my case to the judge and was promptly fined fifty dollars. I felt like I had been railroaded. I did however go to court and plead my case, I did not just send them a check. looking back on this I could have changed the way I did things but if I would have left ten seconds earlier the hosehead would not have hit me.

    mike
     
  13. photosbymark

    photosbymark New Member

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    well the main thing is you are here to complain about a bike being torn up. You learned a couple of valuable lessons, the main one is assume nothing. It will make an *#@ out of U and ME every time. Somehow I bet you will remember and if so that will be worth the price of the bike, even a very expensive one. Hard to complain from 6 feet under.