I was involved in an accident in which I was rear-ended by a bicyle and I was charged with "change lane not in safety". The trial is tomorrow but I still have not received the disclosure I requested.
The accident happened when I was trying to pull into a parking spot (lots of space so head first) and had to cross the bike lane on my right. After I signalled my intent, I spotted a bicyle in the bike lane on my right near the blind spot going at a fairly fast pace. I decided to slow to a stop to let it pass. At this time the right side of my car had to be on or inside the line of the bike lane. As I was slowing down, there was another bicycle behind me crashed into the back of my car. When I felt the impact I first thought I was rear-ended by a car so the bicycle had to be going at a fairly high speed. The rear windshield of my car was completely shattered by the body of the cyclist who either was thrown by the impact onto the windshield or threw himself at the windshield (when I turned around I saw him bounced off the windshield). Obviously he was injured in the crash. The cyclist that was on my right called the police. The injured cyclist was wearing a pair of stereo headset while riding and not a helmet - I saw him threw the broken headset to the ground after he got up.
One unwise thing I did before the police arrived was I moved the car inside the bike lane out of the traffic. I believe the police assumed that it was the position of my car when the crash happened. I was charged in the accident but the injured cyclist was not. When I checked the damage to my car afterwards, I saw that all the marks and scratches were on the left (driver) side of the car (I took pictures of this). What this means is that the bicyle crashed into the left side of my car so it had to be outside the bike lane and in the car lane when this happened. So I never understood why I was charged and not the cyclist. My problem is that I don't have a witness to corroborate my story. The cyclist who called the police speaks against me and I don't know why. He says my car was in the bike lane but this cannot be true because I would have hit him if I was. He was on my right and I was letting him pass when I was hit from behind.
They'll need at least one of the cyclists to show up to testify in order to secure a conviction. Did you take any photographs of your vehicle? I hope so!
Just put together a bunch of photographs, including the damage to your vehicle, the size of the bike lane, how your vehicle would be, etc. Then what you can do is, when you get your trial date, file for disclosure of the officer's notes and the collision report.
When the cyclists (if they show up) come to the trial, have them both excluded from the courtroom during testimony. You can then ask them questions about where your vehicle was when the impact occurred, etc. The cyclist ahead likely will tell one story to the court when he's being examined by the Prosecutor, and then will probably change it (and thus be discredited) when you present the photos of the damage, etc. Chances are, their memories will not be very good and both will not present very well at trial.
After that, you can testify about what happened, and the photographs will corroborate your story.
Sounds easy, but it will require quite a bit of preparation on your part...
http://www.OntarioTicket.com OR http://www.OHTA.ca
Thank you for the response and advice. Sorry that I haven't checked back here since my origin post. Because I did not receive the disclosure before the trial, I requested the trial to be adjourned and the new trial date is now in April.
The crash took place behind me and it involved at least two bicycles so I really did not have the complete picture of what actually happened at the time. Now that I have received and read the disclosure, I can piece the story together. I originally thought that the bicycle on my right was the one I was trying to avoid and the bike that hit me was trailing behind the first bike and going too fast. Well what really happened was the bike that hit me was actually the one I was trying to avoid. In his statement, the cyclist said he decided to go to the left to go around me but he heard someone behind yelling and he crashed into my rear windshield as I was stopping. This explains why the crash was on the left side of my car and not the right side. What's more interesting is that he was wearing a pair of large headphones while riding. The bike that was on my right after I stopped was actually the second bike.
A third rider who trailed behind all this also gave a statement. He said he saw the injured cyclist "leaped off his bike" when he crashed into me. This explains why the windshield that is more than a foot higher than the bike was shattered.
The cop who wrote me the ticket said he had to charge somebody because there was an injury in the crash. So the question remains who is at fault here. Of course if I had not tried to park, nothing would have happened. But if the injured cyclist had not tried to go around me or was not distracted by the yelling (and whatever was playing on his headphones), could there have been no crash (the 2nd cyclist was in my right blind spot when I stopped so if the injured cyclist had stayed on the bike lane, he would have been in front of the 1st cyclist to my right)? Did the cyclist deliberately dive into my windshield out of frustration or was it the result of the impact that threw him out of his bike? When I saw him bounced off my windshield, it must have been one or two seconds after the initial impact. He slammed his headphones down after he picked himself up from the ground. His injury was of course the result of hitting my windshield. Another thing is that because he crashed into the left side of my car, it had to have happened in the car lane and not the bike lane. Would this have made any difference in the charge?
With the trial about a month away, I am starting to prepare for it now.
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