Need Advice on Bicycle-Car Collision

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brokenbike
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Need Advice on Bicycle-Car Collision

by: brokenbike on
Fri Aug 05, 2011 3:03 am

Hello,

First, I want to thank anyone who can help me. I greatly appreciate it!!

A few days ago I was involved in a collision with a car while riding a bicycle.
The first time I wrote this post it came out way too long. So I made it more brief, and can elaborate on any details that may help.

The biggest problem right now is that the driver of the car has an expectation for me to pay for the cars damage. So, I need advice on how to handle this.
The driver considers me to be 100% at fault. The tentative estimate of the damage is $1000. (There's no way I can pay this as I'm a student.)
I'm worried sick to my stomach about this. My bike has about $200 damage (it's my only form of transport)

I have many questions and rather than squeezing them all in the first post, I'll just ask the most important and immediate one.
I'll explain the details of the collision, and about determining fault later... I just need to stop worrying about this one issue, it's killing me.

How should a collision like this be handled?
Is this normal and acceptable practice for one party in a collision to demand money from the other? (I cannot afford this, so we need a better resolution)
Should I tell the driver to claim the costs with the insurance company? and if so... Would the insurance company then come after me to pay them back?

I see 3 options for this:
- I pay the driver cash. (Can't be done)
- Driver files Insurance Claim.
- Driver sues in Small Claims court.

What is the best way to handle this?

Thank you very, very much!!


Stanton
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by: Stanton on
Fri Aug 05, 2011 12:07 pm

I would suggest reporting the matter to the police. By law, any accident with over $1,000 damage MUST be reported and failure to do so can result in a charge.

If you truly were at fault in the accident, then yes, you probably would be responsible for the cost of repairs. However I would never blindly accept one person's claim of expense. I'd want to see a few proper estimates to ensure they're not attempting to defraud you. If you're unable to pay, the other driver may need to go through his insurance company. The insurance company would likely expect you to repay them if you're deemed at fault. If contacted by the insurance company, I would explain your financial situation and request time to pay. Hopefully if you make regular partial payments they would be satisfied with that (but that's just a guess). If worst case you are taken to small claims court, you can explain to the Judge your financial situation and they can determine how repayment is best handled.

When you have a chance, try to provide us with a synopsis of the accident. Determining if you're truly at fault under the HTA or insurance rules is pretty important.


brokenbike
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by: brokenbike on
Sat Aug 06, 2011 12:21 am

Hi Stanton, an Officer attended the scene.

It happened at the entrance/exit to a commercial parking lot. The driveway has a curved entrance, that allows a higher speed entry.
The weather condition was scattered clouds and sunny. Good visibility. Late afternoon.

It happened as in the attached diagram.
The second diagram, shows (IMO) the area of responsibility for a driver making a turn, exciting the roadway.
There could have just as easily been someone running; riding an electric scooter; or electric wheelchair there.

Impact was to the front left corner. Driver completely uninjured.
I went over the hood into the windshield. Was bleeding from several lacerations one of them deep.
Did not go to hospital immediately. Had a doctor look at it later, so it is documented.

A single Officer attended the scene. Called by a passer-by.
The driver gave statement to police. Said didn't see me, and that their vehicle was stopped at the time of impact.
I withheld statement to protect myself. (So, the Officer never heard my side of the story)

I was charged with a Metro-Toronto By-Law offense (Section 7.3 32/92). For Bicycle - Fail to exercise due care when pass.
The Officer hurriedly gave our papers back as he received an urgent call to assist other Officers. So, it's possible he intended to write the driver a ticket, but didn't.

Thank you
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Stanton
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by: Stanton on
Sat Aug 06, 2011 11:13 am

The driver of a motor vehicle does have a duty to yield to pedestrians and traffic when leaving the roadway like that, but the fact that you were riding a bicycle on the sidewalk against traffic complicates matters. I've seen a similar case where the driver was charged, but the Courts found him not guilty. The Courts felt the driver still executed due diligence in checking for traffic, but wouldn't reasonably expect a cyclist to be on the sidewalk and would have a harder time seeing him due to the greater closing speed. I don't know if there is any proper case law supporting this or not.

Regardless, this in itself doesn't necessarily determine fault for damage. Insurance fault rules aren't always the same as highway traffic laws. His insurance may find him fully or partially responsible for damages.


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hwybear
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by: hwybear on
Sat Aug 06, 2011 11:41 am

Stanton wrote:The Courts felt the driver still executed due diligence in checking for traffic, but wouldn't reasonably expect a cyclist to be on the sidewalk and would have a harder time seeing him due to the greater closing speed. .
nor would a driver expect a bicycle travelling against the traffic
Above is merely a suggestion/thought and in no way constitutes legal advice or views of my employer. www.OHTA.ca


brokenbike
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by: brokenbike on
Fri Aug 12, 2011 4:21 am

Ok, thank you!

I have to decide whether or not to go to trial for the By-Law offence.
Would paying the fine (pleading guilty) be considered admitting fault?

It's not an H.T.A. offence. I don't think it would be a factor in Insurance fault determination.
But, would a by-law offence be a factor in small claims court?

I'm not sure what my options for court would be. The set fine is $3.75 + surcharge and costs.
I don't think there's anything lower to plea down to? Is there?
Would you recommend I go to trial, or just pay the fine?

I've been searching, but have been unable to find the legal definition of that By-Law.
Do you know where I could find it? It's Metro-Toronto by-law. Section 7.3. 32/92.


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by: orillia3 on
Sat Aug 13, 2011 9:51 pm

Laws since 1998 amalagamtion are available online. The others I do not know, I think you would have to call City Hall to find out, however I suspect they would be available at any Toronto library. What you are looking for is Toronto bylaw 1992-0032 which is how they have been renamed YYYY-####. See the link here for title and other info you need in your search. Of course you have to find the correct section amongst the 333 pages of the document entitled UNIFORM TRAFFIC BY-LAW.

http://app.toronto.ca/BLSRWEB_Public/By ... awId=13755

I have not read the full version of the law, but it would appear to me you were illegally riding on the sidewalk, not passing another vehicle. I have only watched Judge Judy, but on her show if you pleaded guilty to a charge relating to an accident, it would not help your case. Just my opinion.


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