Bicyle-car collision

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waterlooguy
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Bicyle-car collision

Unread post by waterlooguy »

Hi there,

I'm a university of waterloo student and luckily I've come across this thread. Here's what happened:

Around 2 months ago, as I was pulling through my driveway, a bicycle hit me. It was raining heavily and after signaling left and looking carefully (hence no negligence), I turned left. There was no way I would have seen the cyclist. Again, I state that I looked carefully before turning. However, I heard a loud THUD and the bike went on my windshield and the cyclist went on the grass. I got out of the car immediately and asked if he was alright and invited him in to check for any damages. He was shaking but didn't seem to suffer any damages except for a bleeding thumb. We exchanged information (address, phone number, driver's license number) and we agreed not to go through insurance since I'm a student - there's no way I would have afforded the costs. At that time, I thought he was at fault for the following reasons:
- It was both dark at night AND raining - and he had no lights on his bike.
- He wasn't wearing a helmet.
- He was driving on the sidewalk.

However, he called me the next day and it happened his brother was a lawyer (I don't know if this information is true) and told him I was the one at fault and had to pay for both his damages and mine. Through mutual agreement we decided not to bring the matter to the police and i would cover for the costs of his wheels, since they got flattened from the impact. I also went to fix my car (windshield, cornering lights, fender) up to the costs of $500. So far I absorbed the costs.

But today he left a message on my voicemail, after 2 months, saying the damages to his bike come up to $1200 and it was totally wrecked! Now what am I supposed to do? Was it legally my fault that I didn't see him although I looked carefully? Please get back to me asap. Thanks.


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Radar Identified
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Unread post by Radar Identified »

Not sure you have too much to go on here. You already agreed to cover his costs. While he may be acting in "bad faith," 2 months after the fact, to demand $1200, it puts you in a real bind. Might be something for small claims court, which might be the best option for stopping this, but a couple of other regular posters here will have more info than I do.

As far as fault goes, I don't know about Waterloo's regulations regarding riding on a sidewalk (might be allowed in some cases), but if his tires were greater than 24" diameter, he wasn't permitted to ride on the sidewalk anywhere in Ontario. Toronto, for example, allows people to ride on the sidewalk if the tires are 24" diameter or less. He probably would've been ticketed if police had been called, based on your description. That said, failing to report the collision to the police is not a good idea. Actually you could be charged for that. Also, you have to report the collision to your insurance company, even if you don't file a claim.


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ticketcombat
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Unread post by ticketcombat »

You may wish to check out this discussion: http://www.ontariohighwaytrafficact.com/topic497.html

The members here have agreed to disagree on who was at fault. The issues center around municipal by-laws on whether you can ride on the side walk, wheel diameter, who has right of way, and civil remedies vs. insurance payments.

I'm assuming that the
through mutual agreement we decided not to bring the matter to the police and i would cover for the costs of his wheels
did not produce any written agreement where both parties agreed not to seek further remedies or compensation. Otherwise they wouldn't be coming back again for more.

It also sounds like the $500 you paid is a deductible and you went through your insurance. Check your policy for third party property damage. Your insurance may have to get involved to deal with and put an end to this.
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waterlooguy
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Unread post by waterlooguy »

There was no written agreement. I didn't go through my insurance since I thought it would have bumped up my fees. Do I have to speak with them on this matter? Since my car isn't worth that much, I put my insurance under tourist... What do I need to do from here on?


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ticketcombat
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Unread post by ticketcombat »

Check out the thread above for some ideas. If you can handle it, you might want to try the aggressive approach: "I've found out that you were riding on the sidewalk against the municipal by-law and you are at fault, not me. You can let this go, otherwise I'm going after the full amount of my damages from you!"

If you're not up to playing chicken, you can always tell them you want documentation before you pay a single dime.

The thread also has some links to case law. It's typical in this type of collision that both parties end up paying a portion of the costs. You are not 100% at fault and he'll end getting a reduced amount at best.
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Bookm
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Unread post by Bookm »

My immediate reaction to your story was... THE GUY HAD NO LIGHT!!! He's 100% at fault!!

I know cyclists are to commended for being "green" and all that *EDIT*, but SHEEZ, they still have to obey laws! Cyclists are NOT pedestrians and have to obey the same laws as motorists. Who do you think would have been at fault if a CAR without lights had been coming down the sidewalk at night? ;)

You might have a problem now with failing to report the accident. You could argue that there seamed to be only slight damage and both agreed that there was no injuries (no medical treatment was sought). I would sue him for YOUR damages in small claims court.

I would recommend telling your story to a lawyer. Pay for a 1/2 consultation. He'll get you sorted out.


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Unread post by Radar Identified »

The guy's brother may or may not be a lawyer. Check and see what the by-laws are regarding riding on the sidewalk in Waterloo, that's a big thing. Also, would you say that the bicyclist was in compliance with the following:
When on a highway at any time from one-half hour before sunset to one-half hour after sunrise and at any other time when, due to insufficient light or unfavourable atmospheric conditions, persons and vehicles on the highway are not clearly discernible at a distance of 150 metres or less, every motor assisted bicycle, bicycle or tricycle shall carry on the front thereof a lighted lamp displaying a white or amber light and on the rear thereof a lighted lamp displaying a red light or a reflector approved by the Ministry, and in addition there shall be placed on the front forks thereof white reflective material, and on the rear thereof red reflective material covering a surface of not less than 250 millimetres in length and 25 millimetres in width.
That can be found at http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/html/statut ... .htm#BK116

Now he wasn't "on a highway" because he was on a sidewalk. But it could be argued that not only was he (possibly) illegally riding on the sidewalk (depending on the municipal by-laws), but he made himself virtually invisible to you by failing to put appropriate lights/reflectors on his bike. That's a double-strike against him. Gather your evidence, cite the appropriate laws and, if you're up to doing what TC suggests, he'll probably never bother you again. Or Bookm's idea seems pretty rock-solid.

As for your insurance company, I'm not an insurance advisor, but the requirement is that under section 258.1 of the Insurance Act of Ontario, collisions involving your vehicle have to be reported within 7 days of the crash... kinda pointless now if it hasn't been. Also section 199 of the Highway Traffic Act requires reporting if the damage is over a certain amount or "personal injury" has occurred.


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Bookm
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Unread post by Bookm »

My understanding is that "highway" is property line to property line, not just the paved portion. I think all HTA applies to the full road allowance (limit to limit) including sidewalks.

“highway” includes a common and public highway, street, avenue, parkway, driveway, square, place, bridge, viaduct or trestle, any part of which is intended for or used by the general public for the passage of vehicles and includes the area between the lateral property lines thereof; (“voie publique”)


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Unread post by Radar Identified »

Oops... yeah, I'm pretty sure you're right, Bookm. So not only was the guy illegally riding on the sidewalk, but he definitely was violating the HTA, not properly equipping the bike. The cyclist shouldn't get a single penny. Just out of curiosity, I looked up the Waterloo by-laws. In order to ride on the sidewalk, the bicycle must have tires of LESS THAN 50 centimetres in diameter. I highly doubt that an adult would be riding a bike with tires that small. Here's the by-law:

http://www.region.waterloo.on.ca/web/re ... penelement

Hope it helps.


waterlooguy
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Unread post by waterlooguy »

Thanks guys, I really appreciate it. I was dumbfounded when he said his bike costed $1200. As a student paying big money in tuition, i could have paid for the damages to his wheels, those probably wouldn't cost more than $50. But what he asked is simply unacceptable.


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hwybear
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Unread post by hwybear »

Bookm wrote:My immediate reaction to your story was... THE GUY HAD NO LIGHT!!! He's 100% at fault!!.
Not too mention that each of the front forks also require 25cm by 2.5cm refelctive material in addition to a light :shock: , plus can't forget the ole horn, bell!
Above is merely a suggestion/thought and in no way constitutes legal advice or views of my employer. www.OHTA.ca


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