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Accident,, need some advice

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by bnc04, Mar 22, 2004.

  1. bnc04

    bnc04 Guest

    Hi all,
    Yesterday, my new wife bumped a boy as he was in a crosswalk and she was going to turn right on a redlight. We have never had this type of injury accident before and are looking for some advice as to what steps to take this morning. My wife is very upset and worried about the boy and we will be trying to find out the extent of his injuries etc this morning.
    My wife was stopped at a red light behind the cross walk and nobody was on the right sidewalk at the time. She inched forward and into the cross walk to better when traffic coming from her left would clear. As the last car cleared, she started forward and heard a thump. There was a kid on a bike that had crossed in front of her at the time and she knocked him off the bike. According to the paramedics, there did not seem to be any serious injuries ( mostly scrapes) but they did take him to the hospital. We are going to get the police report this morning and see what happened to the boy. My wife was cited and will have to appear in court.
    There was no damage to the truck at all, I can’t even see where the dirt was smudged anywhere. I did not see the bike and was not a witness. We are not looking to beat the ticket but I am curious about the boy riding the bike, ( supposed to walk through an intersection) and where he may have come from, I am guessing he came from behind her on the sidewalk and turned left into the crosswalk and that why she never saw him. Typically, she is a very cautious driver and very aware of things especially kids around her. In this sue happy world, I’m concerned. Anybody with some experience in the area?
    Should I start looking for a lawyer? Let insurance handle it? Wait until the court date?
    Thanks,
    Brett
     
  2. blazin topless 75

    blazin topless 75 Registered Member

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    Did the crosswalk have a "walk/Don't walk" indicator for the pedestrians? This sounds like it may be hard to beat because of the right of way thing (I'm certainly no lawyer), but every little thing can help.
     
  3. 4xcrazy

    4xcrazy 3/4 ton status

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    Not sure what the laws are like where he is at, but here, bicycles have to follow the same rules and laws that auto do. What was the citation for, what did it read on the ticket?
     
  4. blazin topless 75

    blazin topless 75 Registered Member

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    Same here-if the bicyclist was supposed to walk the bike across according to the law, he should have been issued a citation for his actions
     
  5. bnc04

    bnc04 Guest

    The ticket reads" failed to yeild the right of way to a ped in a crosswalk" I'm really not all that concerned with beating the ticket, though it would be nice but I'm more concerened about getting sued etc.
     
  6. BlazerGuy

    BlazerGuy 3/4 ton status

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    First, wrong forum. /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif Second, I don't know what the laws are in CO but here peds & bikes have the right of way no matter what. Granted your should use your common sense when on a bike or walking, but according to the law, you don't have to. /forums/images/graemlins/doah.gif Also, here you do not have to walk your bike through an intersection, hell you don't even have to obey any of the traffic laws except not riding on the sidewalk. I ride my bike about 16 miles/day and I usually have a close encounter with a car a least once a week. Most of the time the driver is not paying attention.

    I would talk to a lawyer, but I wouldn't expect much. Especially since she hit a kid. Just because they took him to the hospital doesn't mean he's hurt beyond the scrapes. It's just a precaution...it happens to me all the time... /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif Good Luck...
     
  7. 4xcrazy

    4xcrazy 3/4 ton status

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    Well thats my point, you were cited for failing to yield the right of way to pedestrian, but legally he wasn't a pedestrian if was riding on the bike, you said she knocked him off the bike. If he was ON the bike while trying to cross the crosswalk, it would seem that he was in the wrong to begin with. Thats why they are called crossWALKS.

    Not sure what else to say really, thats what the insurance is for, let them deal with it if it comes down to sueing.
    I'm sure they know more about the legality of the situation than most of will. And if they find it to be a bogus lawsuit, they will fight it strong.
     
  8. blazin topless 75

    blazin topless 75 Registered Member

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    Where the faults lies so, generally, does the liability.
     
  9. 4xcrazy

    4xcrazy 3/4 ton status

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    Kinda need to find out what exactly the bicycle laws are in your area, as mentioned by another, it seems that the laws are different by each city.
     
  10. bnc04

    bnc04 Guest

    Damn, soeet about the forum I thought I was in the lounge!.

    Thanks for the advice though, I;ll be getting more info this morn and talking with insurance,,
    BTW,, here is a paste of what I found regarding colorado bike laws
    What are you supposed to do if you are riding your bicycle on the sidewalk and you come to a crosswalk? Here's the law as written in the Colorado Revised Statutes, 42-4-106.5:(10)

    (c) A person riding or walking a bicycle upon and along a sidewalk or across a roadway upon and along a crosswalk shall have all the rights and duties applicable to a pedestrian under the same circumstances.

    (d) A person riding a bicycle upon and along a sidewalk shall dismount before entering any roadway and, when crossing any such roadway, shall observe all the rules and regulations applicable to pedestrians.

    Can you legally ride your bicycle through a crosswalk? 42-4-106.5(10)(c) seems to say you can, while the very next paragraph seems to say you can't. You tell us. We wouldn't bother you with this if we didn't know someone who thought she was obeying the law (even stopped and dismounted before entering the crosswalk, but then hopped back on her bike to ride through the crosswalk), was hit by a car turning right on red, and was given a ticket for crossing the road improperly.
     
  11. blazin topless 75

    blazin topless 75 Registered Member

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    I hate when who is at fault is at the whim of the responding officer, regardless of what the law actually is...people like yourselves can get hurt in the legal liability "gray area".
     
  12. Desert Rat

    Desert Rat Fetch the comfy chair

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    I highly doubt the citation was written on a "whim". The officer will be required to justify the citation later in Traffic Court at a minimum. If a civil trial ensues, the officer will be again required to justify the citation in even greater detail. If the elements of a violation exist, the officer is going to write a cite when the result of the violation is an injury accident.
     
  13. bigyellowjimmy

    bigyellowjimmy 1/2 ton status

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    Make sure you take many DATED photos of the front of the truck, detailing no damage. Its a good thing the boy went to the hospital because if indeed he was not injured this should be documented after examination. Ask your wife to write down exactly what happened so she has a written account and doesnt have to go off of memory. Remember, many times the law is irrelevant and emotion takes over, someone hitting a kid on a bike with a truck is automatically on the defensive, she will have to prove her innocence regardless if it comes to suit. Good luck, sounds like no one was seriously hurt and hopefully the insurance company can settle without issues. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  14. gravdigr

    gravdigr 1/2 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    (c) A person riding or walking a bicycle upon and along a sidewalk or across a roadway upon and along a crosswalk shall have all the rights and duties applicable to a pedestrian under the same circumstances.

    (d) A person riding a bicycle upon and along a sidewalk shall dismount before entering any roadway and, when crossing any such roadway, shall observe all the rules and regulations applicable to pedestrians.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Basically this says that a person riding a bicycle along or on a sidewalk or walking their bike across a crosswalk has the same rights as a pedestrian. The person on the bicycle is required by this law to dismount and walk the bike across the road. From what I can tell of this law the accident was the fault of the biker. I would consult a lawyer and take this to court especially if the kids family decides to file a suit. Get a copy of the police report and see if it clearly states that the kid was knocked off the bike. If so I think you have a very good chance of beating an unfair ticket and absolving yourself of liability.

    Courts can and will overturn an unfair ticket. I had a speeding ticket which came about from an accident I was in overturned. The officer that issued the ticket was not a trained accident reconstruction expert and his ticket stated that I took a 13 year old 4cyl dodge omni through a twisty, hilly back road at 81MPH....my father promptly informed the officer that car wouldn't do 81MPH down a mineshaft. He further imformed the officer that he (the officer) will be eating that speeding ticket in court. I love my pops /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  15. az-k5

    az-k5 1/2 ton status

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    What direction was the bike going? In phoenix you can legally ride a bike in the right lane (if no bike lane) then merge into the left hand turn lane and use it just the same as a car to change streets if need be. Bikes are allowed on all surface streets (no freeways). If the bike came from the right of your wife and she was turning right the bike was on the wrong side of the road. This can be a PITA to convince in court however. Then again AZ is wierd to most, you can ride a bike into the left turn lane, with a pistol on your hip and nobody will get into trouble. /forums/images/graemlins/dunno.gif
     
  16. 6.2Blazer

    6.2Blazer 1/2 ton status

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    Your insurance should take care of settling any claims made by the accident "victem". Once they settle with the insurance company I don't think they can come back and sue you personally. In any case, talk with your insurance rep and they should be able to fill you in on the details.
     
  17. tecton

    tecton 1/2 ton status

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    id talk to the family
    if the boy wasnt hurt, an appology and mabye examination bills would be fine

    i know if i got hit by a car when i was a kid, my dad would have smacked me for riding in the road to begin with, then appologized to the person for me being there.

    mabye the family is reasonable and not sue happy, but appologizing and all that couldnt hurt
     
  18. jakeslim

    jakeslim 1/2 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    id talk to the family
    if the boy wasnt hurt, an appology and mabye examination bills would be fine

    [/ QUOTE ]

    uhh..that would be the last thing you should do unless you want to admit to fault. Offering to pay medical bills is a guilty plea. Just wait and see what happens. If they are going to seek action, they will do it regardless. If they want you to pay the medical bills, let them ask, then you should pay "just to be nice, but admitting no guilt"
     
  19. bigyellowjimmy

    bigyellowjimmy 1/2 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Once they settle with the insurance company I don't think they can come back and sue you personally.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Yes they can sue you personally. Thats what they will do if they sue you, the insurance company wasnt driving nor do they own the vehicle involved. Your liability portion of your policy will cover up to a certain amount and you have to fork over the rest if there is a judgement against you. DO NOT go talk to the family involved and tell them you are sorry, only talk to your insurance agent and if you feel he/she isnt representing you very well get a lawyer. Its sad but if you go to the people and tell them "Im so sorry I hit your son" then you have admitted guilt and if you are sued you will be asked, under oath, if you admitted guilt personally to the family.
     
  20. Skigirl

    Skigirl 1/2 ton status

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    Brett, no one is going to assign any blame to the kid, even if he wasn't in a crosswalk, or went against the light.

    Your insurance company will settle with the family for injury to the kid. If the kid is not seriously injured and you have sufficient liability coverage (which you probably do, but should check), then insurance will cover the costs.

    As your wife must go to court (as you mentioned) , get a criminal attorney now to handle that end, and don't wait.
     

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