Who is in the wrong? Shared Paths

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Who is in the wrong? Shared Paths

Postby Eust » Thu Oct 31, 2013 6:46 pm

Hi everyone,

I am new to this forum and I think I'm posting in the right section :)

I was involved in an accident this morning which totaled my carbon fork.
I'm wondering who would be responsible for the accident overall (to pay for the repair/replacement).

Here is the situation: http://imgur.com/LudGzcl

It occurred on a split path for cyclists and pedestrians. The two pedestrians were on the far right while I was on the far left of the bike lane.
The other cyclist, hidden behind the pedestrians, veered into my path and struck me almost head on snapping my fork.

I am alleging it is the responsibility of the oncoming cyclist for reimbursement due to overtaking when NOT safe to do so (I was the oncoming cyclist).
The other party says the collision is the fault of the pedestrians who were on the cycling path and it is them I should be charging; even though he attempted to overtake and physically caused the collision.

They are now saying it is my fault I didn't warn the pedestrians they were on the wrong side of the lane and I am to blame for the collision.

Who is ultimately responsible for the damages?
It's starting to dawn on me that I might get reimbursed when just hours ago they admitted fault :(
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by BNA » Thu Oct 31, 2013 10:04 pm

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Re: Who is in the wrong? Shared Paths

Postby AUbicycles » Thu Oct 31, 2013 10:04 pm

While the pedestrians were probably best not to be there - as a shared path it can be suggested that you need to ride safely.

Based on the information - if the other cyclist was overtaking then it sounds reasonable that they are at fault and if they wish to lay blame elsewhere then this is not (in my view) your issue with regard to who you need to follow up with.

If the pedestrians admitted fault, it is important that this is protocolled - but as your collision was with the cyclist - they are still your first point of call and you can provide supporting evidence if the other cyclist feels that they are not at fault.

However - if it goes further with no-one admitting responsibility, then it may be a stalemate and potentially some liability may be allocated to you which would be a worst case. Document everything - and good luck.


Perhaps there will be other information from members more familiar with the legalities regarding these paths.
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Re: Who is in the wrong? Shared Paths

Postby il padrone » Thu Oct 31, 2013 10:05 pm

Other cyclist is an a#%$-hole who is trying (desperately) to avoid the cost of his liability.

He made the decision to move right of the centre-line when the path was not clear. He has no argument.

If he could not see past, or knew the path was blocked, his choice should have been to stop/slow and wait. Did you get the pedestrians' details? They are not at fault - they are your witnesses.
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Re: Who is in the wrong? Shared Paths

Postby casual_cyclist » Thu Oct 31, 2013 10:56 pm

il padrone wrote:Other cyclist is an a#%$-hole who is trying (desperately) to avoid the cost of his liability.

He made the decision to move right of the centre-line when the path was not clear. He has no argument.

If he could not see past, or knew the path was blocked, his choice should have been to stop/slow and wait. Did you get the pedestrians' details? They are not at fault - they are your witnesses.

This is rare but I agree with il padrone this time. I ride on a shared path that is very congested at times with cyclists riding in both directions and pedestrians walking in both directions on both sides of the path! :shock: We all manage to get along by slowing down, which may mean slowing down to a walking pace or stopping and only overtaking when safe.

At the end of the day the other cyclist was travelling on a shared path on the wrong side of the path and this caused a collision. Seems like the other cyclist is at fault to me.
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Re: Who is in the wrong? Shared Paths

Postby citywomble » Fri Nov 01, 2013 12:15 am

Hi,

The comments above are correct in their conclusion that you are not at fault but.....

On the facts provided this was a segregated path not a shared path. The pedestrians were on the bike only section and should not have been there, however, that means that they were then obstructions.

In that context the two bikes were then legitimate users of the bike only section of the path. As vehicles they were both obliged to drive (ride) on their left side. The opposing cyclist was then overtaking the pedestrians (obstruction) and, in passing onto the opposite side, is required (as an overtaking vehicle) to keep clear of (avoid) oncoming vehicles (you).

Although the police and prosecuting lawyers find this hard to deal with, under the relevant road code for your state, the law does apply as for any other road accident involving vehicles. For the purposes of the law the bike path is a 'road' and the cyclists are the (permitted class of) vehicle for that type of 'road' (segregated bike path). You should pursue full damages from the other cyclist.

Although the pedestrians should not have been there again this was, by law, the same as if they had been walking in the (normal) road. Any vehicle under those circumstances must avoid a collision with them (as obstructions) and, in so doing, overtake safely by keeping clear of oncoming vehicles even if this required stopping. Liability for accident by not doing so 100%.

Are the pedestrians liable? No, not for the accident. Are they at fault? Yes, but only for not observing the law and only subject to the appropriate penalty for that breach, which is unlikely to be understood or enforced by the police.

I hope that this helps to clarify your situation.
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Re: Who is in the wrong? Shared Paths

Postby g-boaf » Fri Nov 01, 2013 6:25 am

Other cyclists fault, and the pedestrians should not have been on the path. They deserve some blame and cost too if only to serve an example to other pedestrians to not walk on bicycle only sections of paths.

You didn't mention your speed.
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Re: Who is in the wrong? Shared Paths

Postby Percrime » Fri Nov 01, 2013 8:33 am

Other cyclists fault completely. Sue him
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Re: Who is in the wrong? Shared Paths

Postby Summernight » Fri Nov 01, 2013 8:42 am

If the other cyclist wants to blame the pedestrians, fine, HE can sue them after YOU'VE sued him. The peds aren't your issue. The overtaking cyclist needs to take responsibility for his stupidity.

I hope you got all their details and good luck.
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Re: Who is in the wrong? Shared Paths

Postby im_no_pro » Fri Nov 01, 2013 9:12 am

Other cyclists fault. As g-boaf mentioned, your speed (and other actions) are possibly relevant, but I would have though highly unlikely it would do more then reduce his liability a portion, rather than eliminate it in the event you were doing something wrong. IANAL of course (and chances are neither is anyonwe else in this thread. Qualified advice beats internet advice all day every day).
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Re: Who is in the wrong? Shared Paths

Postby g-boaf » Fri Nov 01, 2013 9:48 am

Whenever I see two pedestrians walking together I always slow down and warn them I'm passing. And I don't go past them until they have acknowledged that they know I'm there. Call it too cautious, but I find it prevents accidents.

The other cyclist in this incident should have been doing likewise and then the accident wouldn't have been too serious, or might even have been avoidable.
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Re: Who is in the wrong? Shared Paths

Postby sogood » Fri Nov 01, 2013 9:59 am

Have I missed something? In which direction were the pedestrians walking? If it's in the same direction as our OP, then they are clearly in the wrong and have significantly contributed to the accident. Yet again, the word out there is that it's safest to walk on the side that faces traffic. Irrespective, the rider from the other side need and must give way to OP, for he was the active party in moving into the expected riding line of another. He needs to take the brunt of the responsibility.

Similar are seen all the time on the shared path b/n King St and Pyrmont Bridge. Some cyclists are just way too aggressive and pushes into the other side and unwilling to give way. Quite pathetic and leading to displeasure from both fellow cyclists and pedestrians.
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Re: Who is in the wrong? Shared Paths

Postby Mulger bill » Fri Nov 01, 2013 11:02 am

I would have had a big go at the meanderthals for being rude enough to be a large portion of the problem but they didn't cause the prang. Clownshoes on the other bike did. Nail him.
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Re: Who is in the wrong? Shared Paths

Postby nezumi » Fri Nov 01, 2013 1:07 pm

Pedestrians are a precipitating factor, but not at fault.

Blame lies with the other cyclist for passing them in an unsafe manner.

Consider the motor vehicle equivalent - car with hazard lights on. Cars approaching in the same lane as the obstruction are required to exercise due care before passing the obstruction. Other cyclist should have been able to brake and go around the peds safely, chose not to.
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Re: Who is in the wrong? Shared Paths

Postby Eust » Fri Nov 01, 2013 1:53 pm

Hi everyone and thanks for all the replies! It's nice to know I am heading in the right track :)
The other party apparently has some "teachers and friends that ride quite regularly" ... "and searching the etiquette they have told (him) that it is not (his) responsibility to cover the cost of repairs".

(AT) il padrone - unfortunately I was lying on the ground for quite some time and the couple continued on their ways.
(AT) g-boaf - I was going around 20km/h on the boardwalk which does not have a speed limit until much further ahead where it gets congested at peak times (confirmed by the council). Other cyclists easily pass me at much higher speeds.
(AT) sogood - the pedestrians were walking in the same direction as the oncoming cyclist.

I've been bouncing around on the phone between councils, police and nearby buildings all morning for this particular area.
Unfortunately no video surveillance footage but one building may have captured it. Catch is, Police involvement is required for access.

One of the police officers, who is unable to give official advice given their position, thinks an accident report will need to be filled out at the station followed by a police investigation into the incident. I will be receiving a call-back from another officer at some point for more informed advice.
However apparently this process would not be worth it for what I'm expecting; just the replacement fork for $350 from a Cervelo retailer.
I could easily increase this amount for touch up paintwork, bike inspection/maintenance and medical.

Still no reply from the other cyclist since last night when he attempted to share the blame.
Their last message reads, 'you were still quite close to the pedestrians (who were on the bike path to my right), I saw you and knew we were going to collide front on so I counteracted to avoid a more dramatic scene, it was still your responsibility to ask for the details from the pedestrians' ... 'It was a blind situation for both of us.'

As a member of Bicycle Queensland I'm using the free initial consultation service so hopefully I can understand how to proceed when they call me back this afternoon.

Again thanks for all the replies, I really appreciate the information, perspectives and support :D
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Re: Who is in the wrong? Shared Paths

Postby sogood » Fri Nov 01, 2013 2:18 pm

Clearly the other cyclist is one of those people who has no ethics in owning up to one's responsibilities in a society. As such, not surprised he is not answering. The only way to get these people is through the police and typically the courts. Do you want to take it that far? Some people can't be bothered and let those people get away with it while others are willing to take them to the cleaners just for the ethics of it all. Your call.
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Re: Who is in the wrong? Shared Paths

Postby g-boaf » Fri Nov 01, 2013 3:17 pm

20km/h is quite reasonable - east enough to stop at that speed. Good luck with it.
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Re: Who is in the wrong? Shared Paths

Postby zero » Fri Nov 01, 2013 4:05 pm

Eust wrote:Hi everyone,

I am new to this forum and I think I'm posting in the right section :)

I was involved in an accident this morning which totaled my carbon fork.
I'm wondering who would be responsible for the accident overall (to pay for the repair/replacement).

Here is the situation: http://imgur.com/LudGzcl

It occurred on a split path for cyclists and pedestrians. The two pedestrians were on the far right while I was on the far left of the bike lane.
The other cyclist, hidden behind the pedestrians, veered into my path and struck me almost head on snapping my fork.

I am alleging it is the responsibility of the oncoming cyclist for reimbursement due to overtaking when NOT safe to do so (I was the oncoming cyclist).
The other party says the collision is the fault of the pedestrians who were on the cycling path and it is them I should be charging; even though he attempted to overtake and physically caused the collision.

They are now saying it is my fault I didn't warn the pedestrians they were on the wrong side of the lane and I am to blame for the collision.


You cannot compel a pedestrian to do anything, and they are not required to walk on any particular side of a path if they so happen to be on it. ie councils may mark paths with direction and lane indicators, but legally pedestrians are not compelled to adhere to them.


Who is ultimately responsible for the damages?
It's starting to dawn on me that I might get reimbursed when just hours ago they admitted fault :(


if your statement of facts is accurate, the other cyclist has failed both in their requirement to "overtake only when safe", and the particular path law requirement for bicycles to pass to the left of other vehicles.
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Re: Who is in the wrong? Shared Paths

Postby gorilla monsoon » Fri Nov 01, 2013 4:44 pm

Lawyer-up and nail the sucker! :twisted:
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Re: Who is in the wrong? Shared Paths

Postby kx315 » Fri Nov 01, 2013 5:03 pm

He initially must have seen himself at fault or why would he have provided you his details? Good luck with it he is just listening to the advise of others to weasel out of it IMHO.
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Re: Who is in the wrong? Shared Paths

Postby il padrone » Fri Nov 01, 2013 5:22 pm

Eust wrote:(AT) il padrone - unfortunately I was lying on the ground for quite some time and the couple continued on their ways.

A head-on collision occurs between two cycists right next to you, one is left lying on the ground, and you just continue walking along, not stopping to assist, check on injuries nor exchange details as a witness :shock: :? :x :( :!: :!: :!: :!: :!: :!:

Wha the !!!!

A damning tale of the collapse of social responsibility :roll: :x
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Re: Who is in the wrong? Shared Paths

Postby sogood » Fri Nov 01, 2013 5:36 pm

il padrone wrote:Wha the !!!!
A damning tale of the collapse of social responsibility :roll: :x

Pete, have you only just noticed? :roll:
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Re: Who is in the wrong? Shared Paths

Postby g-boaf » Fri Nov 01, 2013 5:49 pm

zero wrote:
Eust wrote:Hi everyone,

I am new to this forum and I think I'm posting in the right section :)

I was involved in an accident this morning which totaled my carbon fork.
I'm wondering who would be responsible for the accident overall (to pay for the repair/replacement).

Here is the situation: http://imgur.com/LudGzcl

It occurred on a split path for cyclists and pedestrians. The two pedestrians were on the far right while I was on the far left of the bike lane.
The other cyclist, hidden behind the pedestrians, veered into my path and struck me almost head on snapping my fork.

I am alleging it is the responsibility of the oncoming cyclist for reimbursement due to overtaking when NOT safe to do so (I was the oncoming cyclist).
The other party says the collision is the fault of the pedestrians who were on the cycling path and it is them I should be charging; even though he attempted to overtake and physically caused the collision.

They are now saying it is my fault I didn't warn the pedestrians they were on the wrong side of the lane and I am to blame for the collision.


You cannot compel a pedestrian to do anything, and they are not required to walk on any particular side of a path if they so happen to be on it. ie councils may mark paths with direction and lane indicators, but legally pedestrians are not compelled to adhere to them.


Who is ultimately responsible for the damages?
It's starting to dawn on me that I might get reimbursed when just hours ago they admitted fault :(


if your statement of facts is accurate, the other cyclist has failed both in their requirement to "overtake only when safe", and the particular path law requirement for bicycles to pass to the left of other vehicles.


You could be a bit more supportive in damning the pedestrians for doing the wrong thing. Legally, they didn't do anything wrong, but what they were doing otherwise was irresponsible.
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Re: Who is in the wrong? Shared Paths

Postby il padrone » Fri Nov 01, 2013 6:41 pm

zero wrote:You cannot compel a pedestrian to do anything, and they are not required to walk on any particular side of a path if they so happen to be on it. ie councils may mark paths with direction and lane indicators, but legally pedestrians are not compelled to adhere to them.



Hmm.....

Victorian Road Rules wrote:239 Pedestrians on a bicycle path or separated footpath
(1) A pedestrian must not be on a bicycle path, or a part of a separated footpath designated for the use of bicycles, unless the pedestrian—
(a) is crossing the bicycle path or separated footpath by the shortest safe route; and
(b) does not stay on the bicycle path or separated footpath for longer than necessary to cross the bicycle path or separated footpath safely.

I do believe this is an enforcable law, in Victoria..... maybe a similar law in other states too.
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Re: Who is in the wrong? Shared Paths

Postby Mulger bill » Fri Nov 01, 2013 7:02 pm

g-boaf wrote:Legally, they didn't do anything wrong, but what they were doing otherwise was reprehensible.


Edit for clarity :(

Wonder if any of his friends are lawyers?
And when did ANY form of so-called cycling etiquette say "up yours Fred" so loudly? I must have missed that email... :?
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Who is in the wrong? Shared Paths

Postby RonK » Fri Nov 01, 2013 7:05 pm

The reality is you'll just have to suck it up.

If the other guy won't pay it'll cost you more than it is worth to take legal action.

Claim it on your insurance (you do have insurance, don't you?) and let them pursue him.
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