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ClassAction

This group is collecting and discussing information regarding negligence related to cycling by commercial and government organizations. Perhaps a class action lawsuit or other ideas could help make cycling safer and better.

Members: 5
Latest Activity: Jul 6, 2011

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Comment by Simon on July 1, 2011 at 10:16am

I have spoken to a number of cyclists who have been involved in incidents/crashes/collisions with cars/buses/trucks.  The general pattern seems to be that after the incident, the driver denies any responsibility and often tries to tell the cyclist that they were in the wrong. 

Also, cyclists often do not take appropriate steps; they do not seek professional medical treatment (/ambulance/etc.) and they drag their mangled cycle home by themselves (no tow-truck).

As well as seeking compensation for negligence, we should also try to educate cyclists to seek medical help (ambulance) and tow-truck and police assistance if they are ever hit by a car/bus/truck (if they are still alive).  Other cyclists passing the scene should also be educated to offer this advice – often a cyclist who has just been hit by a car is in shock and may not be thinking the best (I know I was in shock when I was recently rammed by an irate car driver).

Unless a cyclist is a doctor and is a pathologically super-rational being, they should not attempt to self-diagnose injuries after being hit by a car, etc.  Get a professional.

Unless a cyclist is a qualified bicycle mechanic, they should not attempt to ride their bike or move it – it might cause more injury to the rider or the rider might damage it more by moving it.  Get a professional.

If you break my bike – you bought it.

 

 

 

 

Comment by Ben Carr on July 1, 2011 at 10:49am
True I did the same thing when I got hit. A 4wd tboned me while I was going through a roundabout. He didn't expect me since I was coming from the direction of a one way st. Dragging the bike home and really sore I took the day off. got a few quotes from some bike repair places. then rang the guy who told me to contact nrma who told me to get a quote from a place far out west... At this point I gave up. Good advice for next time Simon.
Comment by Simon on July 1, 2011 at 9:32pm

Ben,

Can I ask a favour? Please steel yourself and think back to immediately after the collision and see if you can recall what you were thinking (if anything) or how you felt. Did you feel lucky to be alive, shocked, in shock, stunned,angry, sad, etc.?

Then think how you would have advised a friend or a family member to act under the same circumstances (e.g. your child had just been hit by a 4WD).

Why did you just give up?  That is quite interesting and may point to why cyclists are such 'push overs' (so to speak).

Comment by Ben Carr on July 2, 2011 at 1:01pm

It happened 2 years ago, memory is a bit hazy. Initially I was stoked to not be seriously hurt (could walk and move without severe pain), then worried about my newish carbon racer (front wheel looked like it had exploded but the frame was ok). I was pissed of initially, but changed to feeling bad for the driver who was shocked and really concerned. Following up on the details was turning into a big hassle, I wasting a lot of time for what was probably just a front wheel replacement so I gave up. Was pissed of that the drivers NRMA insurance made it so difficult to get compensation. I had a lot of support in the end from friends, work and family (got given a set of wheels from a manager at work). So overall I was glad to come out fine from what could have been worse.

I changed my bike and riding style to an upright steel frame and now with my hands on the brakes watch drivers faces at intersections to confirm they have seen me, going by the cars body language is clearly not enough as the 4wd drive which hit me slowed almost to a stop b4 accelerating into me, (that feeling 'shit I'm not going to make it') that was the worst part of the crash. 

I think when you see the car for what it is :-2 tonnes of unnecessarily deadly steel, threatening blunt trauma while spewing toxins into the air you breathe, you hate it. but when you realise that there is a normal non aggressive human being inside who is largely unaware of what they are inflicting on people around them you feel a lot less angry. 

We really need drivers to be educated so they realise how harmful cars are to the immediate community they are used in. In retrospect I wish I had of asked for an ambulance at the scene of the accident so at least a report of another 1 person monstrosity stupidly hitting an unprotected human being was on the records. I would not recommend any family member child or otherwise to stop riding on the roads, It is the larger more damaging vehicles responsibility to clean up after themselves and pay the costs for the damage they cause, not the victims. I will keep riding, blogging and petitioning till our laws reflect this common sense justice.

Comment by Simon on July 2, 2011 at 11:10pm

Thanks Ben.

One of the common problems I see in many cycling collisions (including yours and mine) is that the cyclist often does not have insurance.  They end up personally battling a large corporation.  Perhaps if cyclists had insurance, their insurer would get the bike repairs and medical repairs paid for.

Maybe this is another avenue that should be investigated.

    "... but changed to feeling bad for the driver ..."

Many cyclists are pretty decent people.  As very vulnerable road users, cyclists can't afford to be stupid, unaware, careless, aggressive, arrogant, etc. but I think drivers are taking advantage of that - they're getting away with murder.

About the friend or family member involved in bicycle/vehicle collision; I mean would you advise them to ignore their injuries, forgive the driver and drag their bike home and fix it themselves or would you advise them to get immediate medical treatment (ambulance) and make the driver take care of the bike and return it in original condition?  Why did you ignore your injuries, etc.? Shock? Something else? Cyclist's guilt perhaps?

Think about the craziness of your incident; You were obeying the law when a careless driver, in a vehicle easily capable of killing you, didn't look where they were going and hit you, causing injury and damage - and you end up feeling bad for the driver.  I'm not knocking you ... it's strange but I think this might be a common experience - why?


Comment by Simon on July 5, 2011 at 8:56am
Does anyone have a friend who is a lawyer (a big ask? :-) who might be able to offer some free (informal) advice as to what legal avenues we might be able to pursue and/or which law firms have experience with class actions regarding negligence/injury/etc.?
Comment by Simon on July 6, 2011 at 12:32am

"Four cyclists died in road collisions with motorists in one week alone in May" (Australian Cyclist, July-August, p15)

"... drivers were at fault in 87 per cent of incidents with cyclists, and were unaware that they had behaved in a reckless, unsafe or illegal manner" (p15)

"More than half the people who cycle on the streets of Chicago, Illinois, have been doored ... police have issued no tickets for this offence since 2008" [60 reported doorings in 2009, 76 in 2010] [3500 crashes involving cyclists, 3300 cyclists injured annually] (p.15).

 

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