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Knocked off my bike

(38 Posts)
springyduffy Tue 17-Sep-13 14:24:23

Yesterday I jumped some lights and a car hit me side-on. He said he was blinded by the sun. He took a while to get out of the car, I was on my feet and with the help of concerned bystanders had got to the island in the middle of the road with my bike by the time he got out, wearing sunglasses. I didn't get a good look at him because of the sunglasses. It is a troubled, druggy area near the centre of the city - riots not too long ago - but also a grungy/arty area. There is extensive cctv at that junction.

yy I shouldn't have jumped the lights - it is a busy junction and I am always nervous about pulling out with the traffic bearing down on me, so pulled out at the 'green man' for the walkers (though not for cyclists). It was essentially my fault.

In the 'peace, man' spirit of the area, I asked him to pay for my wheel, he very reluctantly agreed - twice. I had an appt to get to and didn't hang around, just took his number. I was fine, just bruised (almost went under the car). A community policewoman got involved and I left. She asked my surname and I gave it to her.

He has apparently filed it with the police and is harassing me today with repeated texts to give me his address to send insurance claim, saying his car is extensively damaged (I saw it up close from the ground in front of it and I certainly didn't see evidence of extensive damage). I have replied that I am not insured - not many cyclists are. I have also said he is wasting his time as he will be deemed culpable for not driving with due care. He is quoting me chapter and verse that I've got that wrong.

I'd like him to just bugger off.

should I go to the police to log the accident? Or ignore his texts?

springyduffy Tue 17-Sep-13 14:26:10

repeated texts to give him my address that should be.

mistlethrush Tue 17-Sep-13 14:28:36

'Green man for walkers' - should any vehicular traffic have been using the crossing? It sounds as though the light would have gone red for vehicles and turned green for pedestrians - and you were not the only one that jumped the lights - which is exactly what he did?

If he's still hassling you I would go to the police and explain that you were not going to follow it up but he's now hassling you and you would like him warned off for harrasment if it is getting too much.

Methe Tue 17-Sep-13 14:31:20

You need to exchange details. You damaged his car and whether your insured or not you ought to pay for the damage as my your own admission you caused it. Some household insurance policies or bank accounts have public liability insurance as part of the deal.

I hope you feel better soon and learn from this that traffic lights are not only for people in cars! You could have been killed and if you had who would have been to blame? You, that's who.

Greengagesummer Tue 17-Sep-13 14:31:54

Bump

mistlethrush Tue 17-Sep-13 14:31:54

Methe - if he wasn't meant to be there either, surely it was as much his fault as hers?

Methe Tue 17-Sep-13 14:34:01

Where does it say he wasn't supposed to be there?

mistlethrush Tue 17-Sep-13 14:36:29

I was questioning that one Methe if you look - but if pedestrians had a green light...

springyduffy Tue 17-Sep-13 14:36:38

I should have thought it wouldn't matter to me who was at fault if I was dead.

I was an idiot.

I have since been informed that these cases always go with the cyclist as, regardless whether the cyclist was at fault, the motorist needs to be driving 'with due care'.

Should I got the police and log my account? Or hope the whole thing goes away? ie if I log it with the police, does it give the thing legs. eg he doesn't know my address (though I assume the police can find it with my phone number??)

Greengagesummer Tue 17-Sep-13 14:40:41

Springy when you report it can you get the CCTV preserved to see quite how much at fault you each were, as well as sort out what the legalities are. It may also be helpful to see from your pov as to how drivers alongside behave when cyclists are next to them at traffic lights though there's all sorts, I know. I try to let cyclists pull through first but appreciate that different drivers/circumstances. Hope I'm not interfering and that you recover well.

Methe Tue 17-Sep-13 14:41:15

Oh I though the pedestrians had the green light where the traffic was stationary.. Like a Crossroads at the driver came from a different direction. Maybe I'm imagining it wrong.

spring if wouldn't matter to you of you were dead now but I imagine your family would care, and I know if I ran over and killed a cyclist who decided the Green Cross Code didn't apply to them it'd pretty much ruin my life too.

Log it with the police and look and see if you have any insurance policies.

I

ArgyMargy Tue 17-Sep-13 14:43:39

You jumped the lights, why on earth did you think he would pay for your wheel? No wonder cyclists get a bad name.

Were the traffic lights green for this motorist, springyduffy? It is not clear from your OP.

I have to say that my sympathies are mainly with the driver here, as a driver, and as the parent of boys who cycle. In my opinion, it is reasonable to expect that all road traffic should stop at a red light, and if I have a green light, and other roads have a red light, I do not expect traffic to jump those lights and come across in front of me.

I am sorry you were knocked off and hurt, but if you had wanted to get across that junction without having to pull away with the rest of the traffic from your road, you should have dismounted and pushed your bike across the pedestrian crossing.

You performed an illegal manoeuvre - how is that the driver's fault?

springyduffy Tue 17-Sep-13 14:44:15

It was my fault, and I said so at the time. As I said, I was an idiot. I think he was perfectly in the right to be turning right at that point, though he had plenty of time to see me but he says he was 'blinded by sunlight' which was, indeed, very bright and low-ish at 5pm. The first thing I asked him was 'why didn't you stop?!' I expected him to stop and probably to give me an earful, which I deserved.

Nb - all my later comments are predicated on the assumption that the driver did have a green light and therefore had right of way across the junction. If he jumped a red light then he, too, is culpable.

If it is all your fault, why on earth did you ask him to pay for the wheel?

If a cyclist caused damage to my car when performing an illegal maneouvre I would expect them to pay!

By the way, I was knocked off earlier this year, and my clothes were damaged, I was bruised and shocked. I asked the woman who was wholly at fault (3 witnesses) to pay me £100 for the damage, and she did. I did not take it any further, although I had tried to report to the police it was all too difficult.

springyduffy Tue 17-Sep-13 14:51:04

I am a cyclist and a motorist. I can see it from both sides, too. Having boys who are cyclists isn't quite the same thing - be a cyclist and you will experience what being a cyclist is actually like on the roads.

I was an idiot. It wasn't his fault, it was mine.

However I have been informed that court cases etc go with the cylist, even when the cyclist was at fault.

I keep coming back to 'driving with due care' which is what these cases hinge on, apparently.

I just want the thing to go away. My bike is pretty badly damaged, his car has a few dents. I should imagine it's a similar cost to us both. I should also imagine the cost is not that much greater than the excess you'd pay on an insurance claim.

I repeat: should I go to the police with my account OR ignore and hope he buggers off? Will I be chased by the police through my phone number?

ShowOfHands Tue 17-Sep-13 14:56:51

DH has been knocked off his bike twice. Once very seriously. First time round he was uninsured and despite it being the driver's fault entirely, her insurance company pursued us relentlessly. I assume his insurance company is doing the same. Rightly so too.

I am truly glad you're okay but please don't take such silly and illegal risks.

peggyundercrackers Tue 17-Sep-13 15:00:54

you jumped the lights and wanted him to pay for it? think i would have told you where to stick your wheel! pay for the damage on his car and stop whining. Maybe if you adhered to the rules of the road it wouldnt have happened. if you got to police and admit you went through a red light you will be charged as you need to obey the highway code too

HaPPy8 Tue 17-Sep-13 15:05:54

Where have you heard that courts will side with the cyclist regardless of the circumstances? I can't understand that.

LightTheLampNotTheRat Tue 17-Sep-13 15:05:58

And this is why so many cyclists are a menace on the roads, and a danger to other road users.

I should have said that I have been a cyclist, in inner city Manchester, so I do know what it is like to cycle in traffic (I was once run off the road by a bus - if I hadn't been lucky enough to be by a dropped kerb, I would have fallen off under the bus) - I really do appreciate that it is scary and very hazardous to cycle in busy town/city streets.

I was aware of the proposal to change the law so that drivers were automatically held responsible for any accidents involving a cyclist, but I was not aware that these proposals had actually reached the statute books - and as all the dses cycle regularly, and dh is about to start cycling to work, I think one of us would have noticed any reporting of this. I could be wrong, though.

At worst, I would say that you were both not being as careful as you should have been, but I can understand why he would assume it was safe for him to move off across the junction, given that he had a green light to do so.

Had he actually been stationary at the lights, or had he driven up to a set of lights that were green, and simply continued on? Was he driving within the speed limit? Were there any skid marks on the road? If there weren't then, given my extensive knowledge of such things (gleaned from CSI etc), I would say he hadn't braked. If the skid marks were short, it might suggest he hadn't braked soon enough, or was going too fast to react to any sudden happenings.

When I approach a junction with traffic lights and pedestrian crossings, I do take care to look and see if there are pedestrians at the crossings, and if there are, I keep an eye on them in case they come out against the red man. I also look to see if the traffic has stopped in the other roads, but if it has stopped, I would assume it would stay stopped, if you see what I mean - I wouldn't be keeping as much of an eye out, as I think that I would notice if the car at the front of the queue started to move, against their red light.

I have been in the situation of pulling out of a side road and having a cyclist come shooting out under my wheels - he said his brakes had failed and he had been unable to stop. He fell off in front of my car, but I was going slowly enough that I stopped without touching him, and neither he nor my car were damaged. It was a bloody scary thing to happen, though, which is why I am sympathetic towards the driver - unless he was not driving safely - ie. within the speed limit and according to the rules of the road.

If he genuinely had been blinded by the sunlight, this could have been very sudden and unexpected, and not something he should have been able to predict, and slow down for. And as the sun is lower in the sky at the moment, I would guess it is more of a possibility.

In fairness, I would say that you caused the accident, and he did not react fast enough to prevent it.

However, I do think you should give your version of events to the police.

MrsNellyLovett Tue 17-Sep-13 15:08:31

Who informed you that court cases go with the cyclists, Springy? I'd want to be sure that he/she definitely knew their stuff.

This case seems particularly relevant to yours:

· Mr Malasi was cycling with his head down and passed through a traffic light whilst it was red.

· Taxi coming from the left-hand entrance to the junction was driven by Mr Attmed. He was driving at 41-50 mph where there had been a speed limit of 30 mph.

· Court heard that there would have been no accident if the cyclist had:

(i) complied with the traffic signal
(ii) reduced his speed by 0.3 to 0.4 seconds
(iii) looked out for the driver

· However, if the taxi had not been “Gloriously in excess of the speed limit” there would have been no accident.

· Defendant tried to rely on Quinn v Scott [1965] 1 W.L.R. 1004, to show that travelling at a high speed was not negligent unless particular conditions precluded it from being technically correct. However, this case had been decided when there was no maximum speed limit, and Judge Seymour did not agree that it followed.

· Driver found to be 20% liable for accident.

On this blog: thecyclingsolicitor.blogspot.co.uk/p/cycling-law-update-and-practice-points.html

Collaborate Tue 17-Sep-13 15:09:40

Don't know where you get the idea from that the car driver always has to pay even when the cyclist is at fault. Simply not true.

unadulterateddad Tue 17-Sep-13 15:14:28

I'd Echo Collaborate, cyclists can be held negligent just as much as other road users.
OP I'd check with your household insurance - likely to be some sort of third party liability cover there.

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