accident liability...Help!

I’ve just spoken with the woman who knocked me off my coker on Sunday(see thread:3 cheers for Kris Holm and Bell helmets). She wants me to pay for the damage to her car. She’s had a quote for £50 for her windshield and around £350 for damage to the body work. She said she didn’t want to do it through her insurance company as she would lose her no claims bonus. Which is understandable.

I suggested that I could pay half and she pay the other half which I think is more than fair since it was me who came out with the injuries. And having looked again today at where it happened and at the sort of speeds people were doing there in their cars compared to the speed she was going. I don’t think I was to blame for the accident.

I have no experience in these matters an am not insured in any way for what happened. and am currently rather skinty poo having lost my job last week and am only working part time at the moment. I certainly can’t afford to pay £400 for an accident I don’t believe was my fault.

If I dispute that I have to pay the full amount what would happen next? Should I talk to the police and find out what she said to them? She said she’d spoken to the police and that it hasn’t been recorded as an incident and wouldn’t be if we were able to sort it out between ourselves.

I think what’s happened is she’s spoken to her husband who’s assumed tha because I was on a unicycle I wouldn’t have been in control, or that roads aren’t the place for unicycles and that I was liable for the accident.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!



i think it’s up to you to determine whose fault it was
if you were in control and following all the laws, then it would be good to bring it to the police
otherwise, it would be good to settle it between yourselves
I think a unicyclist counts as a pedestrian, so it could be all her fault
it would be best to talk w/ a lawyer

If it’s not your fault, you’re not liable for any of the cost.
Proving it’s not your fault is the trick. But don’t let her bully you; she’s the one with the insurance company and the damage to repair, so if it never gets taken to any authorities, she’s the one who’s put out, not you. The fact that she doesn’t want to file an insurance claim doesn’t make you responsible for paying for her repairs.

It might be worth making an offer for half of the cost, if you’re worried that she would take you to court and if you don’t think you’d win. But if she tries to extract the full amount from you, you should take her to court; she doesn’t want the authorities involved, so she’ll probably not press the point.

As you know from reading your accurate tabloids, all disputes of this manner are handled with short-range firearms in the streets in the US. I would suggest that you push for looser firearms laws in the highly restrictive UK.

I offered to pay half when she started talking money. but she insisted that I had to pay the full amount. It just seems ridiculous that if I hadn’t been wearing a helmet she’d be on a charge of death by dangerous driving but because I was she’s trying to get me to pay for damage to her car.

Perhaps there is something to be learned from our cousins across the pond after all…

Based on the relatively sketchy details of the accident scene that we have, it sounds like you both believe you were relatively equally at fault for allowing yourselves to come into contact with each other.

If this is the case, my suggestion is to give her half of what she asked, and call yourselves both lucky. Lucky you, as you are not injured. Lucky her, as you are not injured.

Additional info:
Don’t let yourself be discriminated against for being a unicyclist. If you’re not a bike, you’re a pedestrian. But the thing is, somehow you allowed yourself to ride in front of a car so I believe you do own some of the fault in this incident.

If there is indeed no police report, this can work in your favor. It is her word against yours, and nothing more, that you are the cause to the damage of her car. But morally, I wouldn’t want to go that way.

If she demands more than half from you, I’d tell her it’s time to file an insurance claim. I don’t think either of you wants to bring lawyers into this, as then you both lose (they win).

It depends on your local law, but i’m pretty sure that a unicycle will be considered a bicycle.

Unless you were doing something obviously illegal, then she is liable for both her expenses and your expenses. It would be smart of you to take pictures of your helmet, your unicycle, your own physical damages, and her car.

As you’ve explained, the car hit you; you didn’t hit the car! So, unless you are super-sneaky, were wearing some great urban camouflage, or were doing something irrefutably illegal, then she owes you money. Of course, this is assuming that things over there are like they are over here.

I’m pretty sure that because she hit a “bicyclist”, that it is her burden to prove that you were absolutely in the wrong. If she can’t, then it is her fault, even if you are equally responsible (i think). If you know that you weren’t in the wrong, then you should tell her to screw off.

This is from New York State laws, but I’m sure it’s the same in most places. 1st of all, Pedestrians have the right of way.

"Is a motorist required to treat bicyclists any differently than a motorist?

The motorist must always remember that cyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as drivers of motor vehicles, and motorists are required to exercise “due care” to avoid colliding with bicyclists (Sec. 1146). As a safety measure, motorists should make scanning for bicyclists second nature, give cyclists plenty of clearance when passing them, and give them the right-of-way when appropriate."

You should be considered in between a pedestrian and a bicyclist.

Personally I would tell her that you want it sorted out properly and officially, i.e. through her insurance. For that sort of money and given the circumstances the insurance company will probably not take it any further with you as it sounds as though, legally, she is probably to blame and she’ll either have to claim or pay for it herself.

Also be weary that a this is the kind of thing that people say when they have no car insurance! Have you got her insurance details?

This is generally true in most places, but it only works as a starting point. Pedestrian right-of-way does not make you liable if someone jumps in front of your car from behind a wall, for example.

There was a tragic accident recently here in Sacramento where three kids ran across the street directly in the path of a car, which hit and killed one of them. No charges were filed against the driver because he did nothing wrong. I have had a similar experience with a squirrel. I had no time to react; I barely saw it run under my car!

So if this happened at a blind corner of some sort, the liability would seem to be shared. I’d still go for the 50% settlement and consider yourself lucky. Or consider it a lesson that cost some money, but was not as expensive as being hit a little harder. It should help you to be more careful in similar traffic situations in the future!

In the US, drivers are almost never held liable for killing cyclists or pedestrians; “I never saw him” is wielded as a defense, instead of seized as an admission of guilt as it should be. The only exception is in the case of DUI. The UK, where cars are not king, is likely to be more realistic in these matters.

If you weren’t violating any laws, I wouldn’t pay a dime. If she didn’t demand that a police officer show up and write an accident report, then she probably thought she was lucky that you didn’t because she was in the wrong. Not sure what the law is were you are, but no accident report, no liability.

I’ve just spoken to a solicitor friend of mine and to the 2 witnesses who’s numbers I have.

The first witness (an ex-copper) was quite blunt and said that he saw me just go straight out and get hit. It sounded as if he’d spoken to the lady already and the old unicycle bias was evident.

The other witness said he saw me approaching the turning, look each way and then speed up to make the turn. And then saw the front of my wheel get hit and flip me onto the car.

my solicitor friend advised me not to volunteer to pay anything. And that if she ended up pursuing it just to tell her I’m only working part-time and can’t pay what she wants me to. Or to tell her that I’m considering legal action against her for my injuries. and damage to the coker (I thought it was OK, but on closer inspection the rim seems knackered).

Sooo, going to have a chat with my mam, see what she has to say (for she is wise) and then get back in touch with her. If it comes to it I’m prepared to pay for half the damage (Though I’ve no idea how I’ll pay it), though obviously I’d rather not have to.

Wouldn’t you immediately retort that you wanted her to pay for damage to your Coker and put her back on the defensive?

I agree, sounds like she’s bullying. I’d make sure there was a police report on file. Without it, it seems you would have no foundation.

If all else fails, buy her a case of root beer.

Re: accident liability…Help!

MrBoogiejuice wrote:
> I’ve just spoken with the woman who knocked me off my coker on
> Sunday(see thread:3 cheers for Kris Holm and Bell helmets). She wants me
> to pay for the damage to her car.

Are you a CTC member? If you are then you will of course have access to
the CTC legal team. If not, then if you join now you /may/ still be
able get help with this:

Were you injured in the incident? If so, have you had the extent of
your injuries checked and documented by a doctor (do so ASAP)? And has
the driver informed the police of the incident, as is required by law if
an injury occurred?

Danny Colyer (the UK company has been laughed out of my reply address)
“He who dares not offend cannot be honest.” - Thomas Paine

I didn’t think the coker was damaged until after I’d spoken to her. It was Pete, who the uni belongs to, who noticed the damage.

Just spoken to the police…Basically I’m scuppered.

As I was turnng onto the road she was on, she had right of way. Despite the fact it was a blind corner. Her (correct in retrospect) argument would be that I should have dismounted to turn the corner.

All I can really hope to do is explain my skintness and see if she’ll accept me just paying her excess…Or for half the damage and see what she says.

As I see it, as long as you were allowed on the road, and on it before she was, you had the right of way.


Pardon the quick foray into Threadjackland but I find learning new cultural words very interesting.

From Hyperdictionary

Skint. Definition: [adj] lacking funds; “`skint’ is a British slang term” Synonyms: broke, bust, poor, stone-broke, stony-broke

I’ve never heard that word before.

I wasn’t on the road before her. I was turning onto the road that she was already on. Hence in the unforgiving eyes of law I was at fault.

I’m going to have to see how far humility will get me. She knows a couple of people I know, her husband teaches at the school I went to so hopefully reports of my good nature (or something like that) will soften her resolve to extract money from me.

I’m a bit worried that this’ll reflect badly on the club I’m trying to get started at the school her hubby teaches at.

Lessons learned:

  1. Always wear a helmet and other appropriate safety gear.

  2. If you’re going to get hit by a car make sure you have right of way.

  3. If you’re turning onto a road and there’s a blind corner, dismount and walk across the road.

  4. If you insist on getting hit by a car make sure you can afford it.

  5. don’t get hit by cars