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group ride accident ?(29 posts)

group ride accident ?pa rider
Jul 29, 2002 8:32 AM
I had a friends girlfriend wreck two weeks ago on one of our saturday rides. I didn't witness the accident, because of a intersection I got hung up with the slow group.

seems some confussion happen to the group about which direction to turn at an intersection, so someone hit my friends girlfriend. She had some bruise, but unfortunely broke her helmet. Looked like me when I land on my head MTB (concussion).

she got home ok, but discovered her $2000+ bike headtube bent. She put a claim into her insurance and they asked her about the other party who hit her. Now that party said they were sorry after the accident, but now say it's not there fault for the insurance company.

My question is if I ride with people and you hit me because of my neglect to say I'm stopping in time or I hit you because I didn't see you swerve out to my left. Does that mean I have to go through my insurance to pay for your bike even when it's your responsibilty as well?

I hit a car two years ago, who parked in the whole road, and the insurance said we were both at fault. I know every accident is different, but if you scratched your bike because you don't communicate with the group your at fault the way I look at it.

Now I may not paceline with these guys and there highend bikes. They sound like some of my MTB riders I ride with who would sue you if they got hurt.

My point is that everybody rides these paceline like there in some kind of training or race and if someone wrecks the group they want to blame someone to fix there bike for free.

Who do the CAT racers blame in a race when the group crashes?

Sorry about the rant, just curious how other clubs handle the situation.

Blame? Yourself,TJeanloz
Jul 29, 2002 8:47 AM
Group rides, races, etc. are all taken on with the knowledge that they are dangerous, and undertaking participation may cause damage to you or your equipment.

Any damage incurred is your own responsibility.

You knew the danger was there, accepted it, and must take responsibility for it.
Blame? Yourself,pa rider
Jul 29, 2002 9:16 AM
that's how I feel TJeanloz. I try to ride like I drive a car. Your have to use defensive riding to not have accidents. We told my friends GF the guy who hit her is a squirrely rider. I don't ride behind him, but if I wrecked in a group ride I know the possibility existed.

No need to blame someone and have them pay for the repairs. I know some people who would want their bike painted if you knocked it over by mistake.

Thanks for the feedback.

bad luck but no reason to sue hereColnagoFE
Jul 29, 2002 8:50 AM
I mean do we want to be suing everyone? I think she just had a bad break and should just chalk up this accident to bad luck unless the other rider intentionally caused the crash or there was great bodily injury involved. I'm not a lawyer however so a lawyer's advice might be different. Did she try a homeowners/renters policy or was she trying her auto insurance? Homeowners often pays for stuff like this.
bad luck but no reason to sue herepa rider
Jul 29, 2002 9:10 AM
She was using her home owner insurance, but they are her auto insurance as well. some insurance, like Erie, won't push claims on other insurance party. They look out for each other company.

I think it's because her bike costed over 2k and they are looking for some help by his home owner insurance. Three of my friends were told by her not to talk about it because her insurance may call them for detail about the accident.

That's why I'm glad I wasn't there.

Was it Terri?look271
Jul 29, 2002 9:57 AM
If it was, that girl must have a sign on her head saying "hit me". =) Glad I missed the ride. How many crashes has she had in the past year?
Was it Terri?pa rider
Jul 29, 2002 10:06 AM
Yes it was Teri. This is her second major accident in one year. The seagull last year was her first accident. Rabbit said that he's trying to coach her into not quit biking because of these accidents.

She lost 30 pounds since she start and is riding better than last year. Now she has to wait about two weeks to be able to ride again. She getting a steel bike now because that CIOCI aluminon didn't hold up too well.

Food for Thoughtgrzy
Jul 29, 2002 9:56 AM
Many Homeowners policies have gone to a "named risk" type due to all the fraud in recent years. That is you're covered for specific named risks like fire, flood, theft, land sharks, etc. of your possessions but crashing on your bike isn't usually one of them. This varies by company, state, and policy so you really have to read the fine print. In fact it's one of the reasons why so many frame manufacturers offer a "crash replacement" policy - they'll give you a significant discount on a new unit if you trash yours in a wreck since they know it's unlikely that insurance will cover it.

Riding in a group is always a risky proposition and it's very hard to objectively determine everyone's skill level and exactly what went wrong. If you knew enough to know that some one is a crappy pack rider then you'd probably know enough to give them extra room and have the skills to expect them to do something unexpected and avoid them. Kind of a Catch 22. Experienced and skilled riders aren't usually the ones that go down unless it's a true racing situation. That she was specifically warned should have been enough to keep her out of trouble - would it have made a difference if the warning was in writing?

In addition to chocking it up to bad luck she should also learn something from the situation. It's too easy to dismiss the whole thing as being entirely someone else's fault. To automatically want to sue is something that is so uniquely American. I'm not saying that there aren't times when it isn't appropriate, but it seems to be the cure all.
I've been involved in several group ride . . .morrison
Jul 29, 2002 8:51 AM
accidents, and I have never even heard of someone asking another rider to pay for damage to his bike.

Also, what kind of insurance policy was covering damage to her bike in the first place?
I've been involved in several group ride . . .pa rider
Jul 29, 2002 9:33 AM
your home owner or renter insurance covers your bicycles. If it's stolen or involved in an accident you can claim the bike. You have to pay the deductable ($250) for the whole case.

I paid the deductable when I hit this old lady illegally parked in the road two years ago. My insurance handle me quickly (2 days) and then decided not to file a claim against her insurance. Her insurance paid for the damage I did to the hood of her car.

My homeowner insurance never went up, so I don't see what the big deal with my friends GF. It's handle differently than a auto accident, as long as you don't have a policeman filing a report.

Thank's Morrison,

Somewhat similar situation happened to me this yearAztec
Jul 29, 2002 9:23 AM
A good friend of mine and I were MTBing on our local loop this spring. To make a long story short we got tangled up at a creek crossing and I took him out. My brake lever broke off in his thigh and opened a nasty wound. 911 call (always bring the cell phone), ambulance ride, emergency room, many big stiches, etc.

Accident was totally my fault and my friend had a $2,500 deductible on his health insurance policy. I contacted my homeowners insurance company and filed a claim. After a brief interview of both parties they accepted the claim under my personnel liability portion of the policy and paid his medical bills. there was no damage to his bike but had there been they would have paid this also (subject to the limits of my policy).

So, to answer you questions. Yes, you can get sued and if you are a homeowner your HO insurance should come to your defense if you choose to file a claim. Most HO policy's have a personal liability limit. If you are playing golf and hit someone with a club or ball (accidentally) you HO policy will pay as well.

That said, there is certainly some risk involved in any bike riding but if you are "negligent" and someone decides to come after you for their damages you can be held liable to a certain extent. Every situation is different and every state has their own laws.

You don't have to file a claim with your insurance if you want to pay it yourself. I just didn't want to come up with $2,500 for my friends med bills and felt really bad about what had happened.
p.s. Anyone want to ride with me?????Aztec
Jul 29, 2002 9:25 AM
Somewhat similar situation happened to me this yearpa rider
Jul 29, 2002 9:38 AM
thanks Aztec. That's why I don't like taking newbies MTB riding. I took one 16 year old riding once and was curious if I should have got his parents consent seeing how he liked to ride on the edge.

Actually, if you hit someone with a golf ball on a coursebill
Jul 29, 2002 9:50 AM
accidentally, you almost certainly should not be liable. Errant balls happen, and anyone who has any business on a golf course should know that. The issue is not so much one of negligence of the player (even if it were, I can't believe that errant balls qualify as negligent -- wouldn't we all be in the dock then?) but the assumption of risk by the injured person.
You use the word "negligence" in quotes, as if you need to separate the word ironically from the discussion. You can't. This is a mistake that lots of people make and are then shocked by the knowledge that you actually need negligence to have liability. Negligence is the failure to act as a reasonable person would act. Even a reasonable person has trouble hitting a golf ball straight every time. The other side, however, is the more telling issue -- reasonable people also understand that walking on a golf course entails the risk of errant balls, and reasonable bike riders understand that you can't rely on others to, for example, maintain complete control of their bikes in a pack or signal every move and ever hazard. You take those risks.
thanks counselorAztec
Jul 29, 2002 10:01 AM
if you do hit someone with a golf ball and they sue you your HO policy should defend you. They can determine if you are liable.

that was my point.
Homeowners liability policies cover a wide range of risks, and,bill
Jul 29, 2002 10:14 AM
the policy's duty to defend being broader than the duty to indemnify, the insurance company will pay for defending almost anything that arguably involves negligence. Even intentional wrongs sometimes are framed as negligent wrongs to invoke coverage.
Doesn't mean, though, that they'll pay the injured person, which is, to be fair to moi, what you said. I wasn't trying to get nitpick about it, just trying to share a little knowledge about stuff I'm supposed to know.
that sums it up perfectly. Thanks(nm)pa rider
Jul 29, 2002 10:10 AM
SOL vs Legalityjose_Tex_mex
Jul 29, 2002 9:31 AM
This is a good question and it is best the lady talk to a lawyer. In the realm of close packed cycling this is normally a SOL case - get over it.

However, legally, where I live, you must be able to control your vehicle at all times. Our licenses are not "drivers" but "operators" which is why you can get points on you license for cycling like an idiot. When someone rear-ends you it is nearly always 100% their fault. My bet is that the insurance companies will figure it out.

If this idiot can't hold his line, perhaps, he needs a wake up call.
You've got two issues here. One is, do you really want to dobill
Jul 29, 2002 9:34 AM
that? You will never be able to ride with this group again, for pretty sure, and there is the more abstract point about letting bygones be bygones for (relatively) minimal loss. I mean, no one got seriously hurt.
Second, there is the issue of legal responsibility. You've said nothing to show that anyone was legally at fault.
With sports injuries, there is a body of law (which differs from state to state, assuming your state has ANY sports injury caselaw) which suggests that a participant in a sport assumes the normal risks associated with the sport, and the normal risk includes routine breaches of rules. For example, a football player may be able to recover for a vicious facemasking after the whistle but not for a split-second late hit.
What happened, exactly? You said something about not signalling -- not signalling is a bit inconsiderate, but I don't believe that it qualifies as the bald, nobody should expect THAT sort of thing for which there maybe could be liability.
You've got two issues here. One is, do you really want to dopa rider
Jul 29, 2002 10:01 AM
from what I was told, from my friend, was that it was a cluster Fu$k event. One half of the group said they were going straight and one half said to make a left turn.

Some of our rides we get three or more groups ahead of the leader. We was 5 miles from the end of the ride and some riders wanted to get back earily. Sometimes there are too many leaders. The guy who was leading the ride was back with me in the slow group (we got caught up by crossing an intersection).

That's why I hate it when a group rides ahead of leader and does circles in the intersection. once you get there they about run into you as your making a turn.

What I meant by not signaling was the guy never told the group he was going left not straight. My friend was going straight.

I felt bad for my friend's GF because she was tooken out last year at the sea gull ride. A guy jumped on there paceline but never knew how to give signals. He ran into her and she crashed in a sand bank (this is at the shore remember), which bared her bike axle height in the sand.

The guy broke his sit bone and collar bone. They had to take him out on an ambulance and he had surgery that night. She had theropy for her back over the winter to recover from the accident. The guy lived in Minnasota and nobody knew him.

Seems like she having some bad luck with riding (she just started last year).

Assume the Risk or Ride Alone...jtolleson
Jul 29, 2002 11:51 AM
Unlike auto accidents, which virtually always result from human error, the pack can go down without negligence. Gravel, etc.

NO ONE should have to pay for damage to someone else's bike in a group crash unless they've done something really outrageous. Man, this really irks me!

So, if I'm in the back of the paceline am I at legal risk because I'm the one most likely to plow the paceline in an emergency? I'm pretty skilled and may be riding a perfectly attentive line, but s*@t happens.

Assume the Risk or Ride rider
Jul 29, 2002 12:55 PM
My friend Teri wasn't pushing the issue, until her insurance company said to get the guys insurance number and they will go after his insurance.

That's why I posted the question. I never knew road riding was this cut throat when people wrecked. Now it makes me fill that riding alone isn't a bad idea.

Thanks jtolleson,

There, Their, They'reDrPete
Jul 29, 2002 12:31 PM
OK, so you were unlucky enough to catch me on a bad day. I apologize in advance.

There = That place over there

Their = Belonging to them

They're = They are

3 different words.
There, Their, They'repa rider
Jul 29, 2002 12:49 PM
Sorry dr pete. I posted reply in a hurry, since it was ten minutes before I left for day. Like my old boss said, "proof read your documents". That's why it takes me a few times to get my assessments to my users.

No prob....DrPete
Jul 29, 2002 1:36 PM
It's all good... I had just gotten done reading over a series of documents that had tons of typos like that, so I channeled it to the wrong place.

That aside, I think that crashes on group rides, etc. are just one of the inherent risks of cycling, and unless there was outright negligence or malicious intent it would be unfortunate for there to be a lawsuit. Back when I rode mountain bikes, I never even thought of it as a possibility that I could sue another rider or the trail owners if I broke myself. I think if the peloton gets lawsuit-happy it could ruin the whole spirit of a group ride. That's just me, though...

Q: What's Black and tan and looks good on a lawyer?

A: A Doberman. :)
There, Their, They're0_Kewl
Jul 29, 2002 2:23 PM
Yo Doc, you forgot the back water/hillbilly arkansas lingo.

"thar" as in, What ya doin oar thar?

No rider
Jul 30, 2002 2:35 AM
That's a good one. That's how I view lawyers. They are the Doberman.

Thanks DrPete,

birds of a featherfiltersweep
Jul 29, 2002 2:13 PM
I wouldn't ride with a group of bozos, or with a shakey leader. Period.

I don't know if personal liability insurance covers anything other than personal injury.

Also- if only the frame is damaged, even on a $2000 bike, it arguably won't cost much more than a typical deductible.

I'm struggling with blowing some serious cash on a new bike next season. While I still keep my $2000 bike in my apartment (dining room), I'm comfortable knowing that if anything happens to it, I can deal. I don't know how I'd feel about a higher-end bike- and the point is to ride- not to worry about "property." Kinda like the good old days of driving a beater car. I didn't care where I parked it... ever!
birds of a featherpa rider
Jul 30, 2002 2:41 AM
I think that's why I didn't buy a merlin yet. My cannondale is doing me fine and I only paid $250 for it (insurance claim with car two years ago). If I trashed it I won't feel so bad.

Now with a $3500 bike I may get weird. I paid $1700 for a jekyll mtb bike this year. That's a little high for me to swallow, but I know it will put a smile on my face every time I ride.

Thanks filtersweep,