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Your Customer Sales Rep
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A pedestrian who was hit by a cyclist in Victoria, BC has been awarded $130,000 in damages in court. Thats about $115,000 in American money. (Yeah, this is Canada. In the US, the lower bar for personal injury awards seems to be set at $150 billion - or roughly the cost of the Apollo Space Program in 2005 dollars).

Your thoughts? Maybe that will make some reckless riders a little more considerate.

http://www.cbc.ca/story/canada/national/2005/04/12/bicycle-judgment050412.html
 

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Old man on a bike
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I'm shocked, but about the 130000 CAD now being 115000 USD, thought it was more like 105000....damn dollar losing ground everywhere.

I think the cyclist made a bad decision and paid for it...
 

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I don't know...

I agree the rider made a bad decision and should be punished but how did they come up with 130K worth of damages? They gave her something like 25K for her "decreased earning ability"?! Geezus, she's a book keeper not a brick layer. How does a broken colar bone hinder her ability to "sit in front of a computer all day"?!?!?
 

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dir-T said:
I agree the rider made a bad decision and should be punished but how did they come up with 130K worth of damages? They gave her something like 25K for her "decreased earning ability"?! Geezus, she's a book keeper not a brick layer. How does a broken colar bone hinder her ability to "sit in front of a computer all day"?!?!?
Being knocked unconscious sounds like concussion. Headaches, etc. can affect earning ability.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ray_from_SA said:
Don't pedestrians look before they cross the road?
What if it had been a car instead of a cyclist?

(just playing devil's advocate)
Ray, you devil you.

In British Columbia (BC), any pederstrian crossing at an intersection has the right of way (even if there is *no* pedestrian crossing). Of course this is within reason, for example, if someone dashed out with no warning, it would likely be ruled an unavoidable accident (probably what the cyclist was trying to argue).

If you are in a car, you are required to be insured (no such luck for a cyclist, unless you have some kind of funky liability clause in your home insurance). Generally in Canada (and I assume many western/developed countries), auto insurers would pay the damages. Of course, you could get charged with anything from refusing to yield (a ticket or loss of points) or dangerous operation of a motor vehicle (a criminal offence). If you are driving without insurance, you are in even bigger trouble. Here in BC, the auto insurer is the Provincial Government. We have what is called "no-fault" insurance, in which the insurer (ie the government), not you, is liable for all financial damages. Basically, the government insurer (based on some table) decides how much the injured party recieves. There is no avenue for lawsuits. The guilty driver's minimum punishment is higher insurance premiums. It is fine in a lot of cases, but could be a bummer if you are more seriously injured that the insurer believes or you think that the other driver got off lighty. If you have read this far, you have remarkable powers of concentration. D.
 

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Duncan! said:
Ray, you devil you.

In British Columbia (BC), any pederstrian crossing at an intersection has the right of way (even if there is *no* pedestrian crossing). Of course this is within reason, for example, if someone dashed out with no warning, it would likely be ruled an unavoidable accident.
That's not just in BC, that's pretty much everywhere to some extent.

The other side is that cyclists that blow through red lights make the rest(that don't) of us look bad.
 

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PITY THE FOOL!
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Sounds fair to me. You can't go running over people who are in a cross walk with the green light in their favor.
 

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Expensive Collar Bone

Seems a bit steep for a collar bone.
Truama counseling?

Kind of on the subject-- The other night I was watching the news and they said that cyclists are the second most common emergency room visits at Marin General Hospital, second only to senior citizens. I would guess it is mostly road accidents?

I used to ride on the road alot until I got in a nasty accident that completely destroyed my bike. Only dirt for me now. I don't like being an eggshell amoungst the road angst.

But what does that have to do with hitting pedestrians?
 

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-arschloch-
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anecdote time

Something kinda similar ALMOST happened to me. That there was a winner of a sentence, huh?. I was riding my road bike on the road approaching a pedestrian crossing, which did not have a stop sign, going about 15 or 20 km/h. As I got closer I put my hands on the brakes and checked to the right, to the left, to the right again and was satisfied I could roll through the cross walk without braking. I then glanced ahead to check out on-coming traffic, because I wanted to make a left after the cross walk. During that glance a biker shot out from my right and barreled across the crosswalk. I hadn't seen her coming for two reasons: 1)she was actually going faster than I was and 2) to my right was building obstructing my view far worse than I had estimated.

I actually locked both wheels, slid left, let off the brakes, locked the brakes, slid to the right and watched my front wheel miss her back wheel by less than a cm. She never saw me. Never hollered at me. Never even hit the brakes.

In the end nothing really happened. I actually slammed the brakes so hard I managed to wrench my back and flat spot my tires. I also scared the living bejeezuz outta myself. I have played that scene over in my head thousands of times. If I had been a split second too late, I would have been so fucked. Prolly would've made a mess out of the young lady too. At least I have general liability insurance (umbrella policy / litigation insurance). :rolleyes:

The worst part was that it was another biker. Unfortunately, I had assumed the position of vehicle by riding in the road and she would have had the legal upper hand having assumed the position of pedestrian.

Needless to say when I approach that intersection now I ride dead center in the middle of the road to get the best view around the corner of that building and I roll through at a snails pace.

The point of all that? Nada, I just wanted to share that anecdote.
 

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why?

chuffer said:
and she would have had the legal upper hand having assumed the position of pedestrian.
.
She was breaking the law by riding her vehicle through the crosswalk. Bikes are supposed to follow all traffic laws. Wouldn't you have had the upper-hand?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
skiahh said:
Wonder if it was a cyclist hit by a car? Would there have been a judgement then? Seems like cyclist vs car the cyclist gets blamed usually....
No matter whose fault it is, the cyclist would probably get the worst of it (unless perhaps it was one of those "Smart Cars" and a big travel DH bike). If its the drivers fault, driver's insurance would cover costs and awards. If its the cyclist's or nobody's fault, probably the same (except probably no awards for the cyclist), since no-fault auto insurance would pay to fix your car if you hit a pedestrian or any other object. D.
 

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Derailleurless
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I did have a similar incident happen to me, but thankfully things never got litigious and only resulted in out-of-pocket expenses something over 1G. But I feel like I "saw the light."

My wife and I now cover ourselves with a relatively inexpensive "umbrella" policy through our auto insurance provider (Liberty Mutual -- other carriers offer identical policies) that protects us against claims such as this when we bike, ski, or whatever.

It's not a license to ride recklessly, but it does offer some financial peace of mind for that one-in-a-thousand chance things get insanely ugly.
 

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I was recently in a similar situation where I nearly hit a cyclist at a intersection with very obstructed views. The guy was going about 15 mph, on the sidewalk, through an intersection with enough room to see pedestrians approaching but no way to see someone moving as fast as he was going (no helmet of course). I felt like a piece of crap for nearly taking out a bike, but I' also fairly sure that he was in the wrong for riding on the sidewalk. If he had been in the street going agains traffic he still would be breaking the law but I would have seen him. If he had been riding where he was supposed to be, it wouldn't have been an issue at all.

Not that it would matter who was "right" if he had bounced off my car and under someone elses.
 

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-arschloch-
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bold said:
she should have atleast used some common sense by checking before crossing the street. a crosswalk signal tells you when you can cross not that the road is safe.
well that is the funny thing. this was an honor-system type of cross-walk, thus no signal. here in germany if there is cross walk in the road, the pedestrian has the right-of-way no matter what. no signals or stop signs needed. as a NY-er it took a while to get used to that. luckily i managed to acclimatize before killing anyone. :rolleyes:
 

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dir-T said:
She was breaking the law by riding her vehicle through the crosswalk. Bikes are supposed to follow all traffic laws. Wouldn't you have had the upper-hand?
actually, that particular situation is a bit of a grey area of the law, but the law is definitely not in my favor. Quite often bike paths and pedestrian sidewalks use the same cross walk. This was the case here. Cars are required to stop for bikes and pedestrians in the cross walk. I was in the street riding with the cars. Thus, having assumed the same position as an automobile, I was required to stop for bikes and pedestrians. clear as mud?
 

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Been there, done that

On my road bike a number of years ago I was rolling down a steep, narrow road when a kid stepped out from behind a parked car right in front of me. There was a car coming up the road at me so I couldn't swerve. I grabbed all the brake I could but still plowed right into the kid. I still remember flying through the air thinking that the kid was under me and trying to twist so I wouldn't land on top of him and drive him into the pavement. The kid's dad called for an ambulance and I got to spend 10 minutes listening to this little guy saying, "It hurts Dad, make it stop." Turns out his spleen was ruptured by the impact. Fortunately the docs were able to take care of the kid and he was fine plus his dad saw the whole thing and realized that his son shouldn't have stepped out without looking both ways.
We tend to think of the bike rider as the one who's in danger but sometimes we can be the ones doing the damage.
 
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