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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 22:30:00

OP's accidental but sincere text has had no response. Maybe the man is thinking aha! evidence! or maybe the man is assuaged. OP is hoping it will be the latter especially as she accidentally proclaimed her (true) contrition, so she wasn't angling for A Result. OP suspects there was no, or little, damage to the man's car; that the man was so incensed by OP's request for a new wheel that he thought he would Teach OP A Lesson. OP has learnt that Valuable Lesson. But OP could be wrong about the damage to the man's car and she could get a shock in the post. Or a knock at the door. She is worried about this. It was OP's birthday on the day she was knocked off her bike and she is fed up that it happened, especially on that day, and that she was silly, and distracted with thoughts of her own birthday. So she hopes that is the end of the sorry affair for all concerned.

OP also ate her body weight in cake on that day. But it was birthday cake, so she's allowed. She is not sure she has any space left for cupcakes and it is no longer her birthday so she would have no good excuse. OP says go ahead and eat the cupcakes, don't wait for her. She also says Paisley is a bit far off but she is grateful for the invitation and if there is another opportunity to let her know. smile

canyou Tue 17-Sep-13 20:59:11

Glad you are OK, but plse do not believe that the law would side with you. DP had an accident were a cyclists went through a red light and hit DP's car causing £2000 damage (2 new doors and respray) they had to pay up. Also my Cousin is a triathlon competitor and hit a white van last month, wrote off his bike and collar bone and it will be my cousins insurance who will be paying out. Insurance for a bike is pennies compared to a car and I would advise if you are a regular cyclist it might be worth investing in.
Will your house is insurance help advise you? Get a number of quotes if you are paying as DP was given wildly varying quotes and one place thought he should write off the car.

AuntieMaggie Tue 17-Sep-13 17:58:32

Well judging by what it cost me for a car I scratched in a car park recently it could be a lot more than the excess to repair his car. And as a PCSO was present I assume the accident may have already now been logged with the police so you should probably talk to them and then pay for his damage.

She'd be welcome to drop in for coffee and a cupcake, if she is ever in the Paisley area! She should hurry, though, because the cupcakes are going fast because this poster is capable of eating her own, not inconsiderable, body weight in sponge and buttercream. grin

ShowOfHands Tue 17-Sep-13 17:48:15

Is OP sure OP doesn't need to be checked out for head injuries? grin

Well done OP btw for being contrite. You are a Good Person who made a Wrong Decision. That was my best Mum Voice. Did you like it?

springyduffy Tue 17-Sep-13 17:37:42

She is fab, you should meet her, you'd like her and her sensibleness (usually) smile

springyduffy Tue 17-Sep-13 17:34:57

OP thanks all for the very sensible advice to be sensible and cycle sensibly in future. OP usually does cycle sensibly, in fact could win an award for sensible cycling. But on that day, OP was not sensible and made a silly mistake. OP knows this. OP knows she is lucky to be alive. OP is battling visions of the car radiator bearing down on her and I think OP has got the message. OP is contrite.

OP seems like a pretty reasonable person. smile

ShowOfHands Tue 17-Sep-13 17:28:01

There are as many bad cyclists as there are bad car drivers. It's not the vehicle, it's the person propelling it. It amazes me that a cyclist can make such silly decisions though. You're so vulnerable on a bike. Jumping a red light is ridiculous.

You are within your rights to ask the driver to obtain three independent quotes for repair and if I were you, I'd pay for it if, as it seems, he was driving through a green light. You are at fault and you damaged his property. You are extremely lucky not to be hurt more seriously.

I'd advise cycling more sensibly and getting cycle insurance too.

springyduffy Tue 17-Sep-13 17:24:06

I think OP knows she was an idiot - I'll ask her to confirm the next time I see her.

OP doesn't know if he was already motoring when the lights turned green or if he was at a standstill at the red light, and took off when the light when green. His speed would suggest he was motoring.

OP has sent him an apologetic text didn't mean to but sent when she was editing so has accepted providence . OP knows she was in the wrong on many counts. She is currently eating humble pie and hopes the whole thing won't be too expensive and drawn out.

lljkk Tue 17-Sep-13 15:41:05

I'm not sure what OP is asking for. How to get out of paying for the guy's repair bills? Yes I would probably log my version of what happened with police to protect my interests. But I'd probably offer to settle out of court, too. If motorist ran a light (he must have?) then he has little chance of a successful claim.

We are CTC members so of course we're insured cyclists. Not that difficult to ensure.

Idespair Tue 17-Sep-13 15:20:17

Scratches and dents may not look much on a car but can be expensive to repair.

I can't believe you jumped a light and then asked the driver to pay for your wheel. If I was that driver, I would have reported this whole incident to the police and the insurance company.

springyduffy Tue 17-Sep-13 15:20:10

Good post SDTG. That about sums it up.

Possibly I live in a city that fights to be recognised as the top cycling city in the country. I have heard repeated anecdotes since the accident that so-and-so's grandmother's brother's son's nephew had an accident on his bike and the motorist was deemed culpable for not 'driving with due care'.

cyclist-bashing, let's leave that out eh. I am a motorist and a cyclist and ime of cycling, motorists can be extremely dangerous around cyclists.

Which doesn't apply to this situ. I was an idiot.

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.

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.

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:

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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?

fedupwithdeployment Tue 17-Sep-13 14:49:48

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.

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.

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.

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