Jump to content

Liability in group ride crashes


Recommended Posts

I have a friend that was riding in a group known people but not really close mates. He hit a pothole on a morning ride and came off, the rider next to him also came off. Both bike cracked and essentially a write off, but apart from bark no major injuries. My friend had insurance that covered the bike and has been sorted (less the excess). The other rider has made a claim against my friend for damages as he didn't have any insurance ($4-$5k claim). My friend has contacted TriAus as he has membership to seek claim under the public liability. Their position seems to be that the other rider has a known risk and therefore legally has no grounds for claim. 

His informal legal advice has been not to offer to pay anything as it is an admission of fault. However, this is somewhat of a small town and he feels bad about not paying something towards the cost (they do cross paths when not riding). He had already factored in he would be likely liable for the excess for the other rider if this was an insurance claim for him. 

1. Does TriAus position seem correct. I can only assume that it is. 

2.  What is the consensus of costs when 2 riders fall in a group ride?

My personal feelings are that some offer should be made as this feels like the right thing to do. But I also feel that it is each riders responsibility to ensure that they can cover any damages or have insurance. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

It's a tough one, as I'd feel the same way.  But where could it end?  Face it, no insurance company is gonna pay anything, so any money is gonna come out of his pocket!  And once the ball is rolling, where could it end?

Actually, I'd only feel bad if it was my lack of skills that caused a crash.  It it was something unavoidable, then I wouldn't.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

In this particular incident, it sounds like it was no-one's fault.  Your friend has no need to pay anything (or offer to pay anything).  Its not your friend's fault that he's not insured...

With regard to your particular questions:

1. Yep, agree with TriAus.  If the other rider wants to take this up - arrange a claim number for him and let him deal directly with the TA insurer and then stay out of it.

2.  Entirely dependent on the particular incident.  Can't make a general comment.  Its like asking who's normally at fault in a two car accident, without providing any details... 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd be going after the council for the poor state of the road that caused the crash.  It would different if the first ride had directly caused the incident - I saw one the other day with a pair of riders, one riding hands free and they had a coming together.  No question there about liability.

Link to post
Share on other sites

This is exactly why my bunch is a closed group. If you’re in the team u can ride with us. If not piss off. 
 

Esp twats who try to jump in the bunch mid ride. Sure sit on the back & enjoy the tow, after awhile we are happy for u to roll a turn but its not often this happens.

Link to post
Share on other sites
48 minutes ago, truck said:

one riding hands free

Oh don't get me started!!!  Was riding home from work the other day on the bike path and there was a guy (beard, longish hair) on (I think) a fixie.  Sitting up.  Earphones in.  I rang my bell a few times, yelled, "On your right, on your right", I started passing and he wobbled and started going all over the place so I yelped.  He then had the nerve to yell at me, that I could see what he was doing and that I gave cyclists a bad name?!?!?  wft?

Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, BogFrog said:

Oh don't get me started!!!  Was riding home from work the other day on the bike path and there was a guy (beard, longish hair) on (I think) a fixie.  Sitting up.  Earphones in.  I rang my bell a few times, yelled, "On your right, on your right", I started passing and he wobbled and started going all over the place so I yelped.  He then had the nerve to yell at me, that I could see what he was doing and that I gave cyclists a bad name?!?!?  wft?

What a knob....

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, truck said:

I'd be going after the council for the poor state of the road that caused the crash.  It would different if the first ride had directly caused the incident - I saw one the other day with a pair of riders, one riding hands free and they had a coming together.  No question there about liability.

I’d be doing this too...

Link to post
Share on other sites

Your friend caused the accident.  If your friend hadn't fallen off, the other guy would be still riding merrily along.

The insurance company is simply trying their luck at getting out of a claim as $5k can quickly become $500k.

The sad part is that the uninsured rider is going against an insurance company without any company or financial backup and he will probably run out of money before they do.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, truck said:

I'd be going after the council for the poor state of the road that caused the crash.  It would different if the first ride had directly caused the incident - I saw one the other day with a pair of riders, one riding hands free and they had a coming together.  No question there about liability.

Interesting take.  The onus is on anyone operating a vehicle to do so safely in the prevailing conditions.  Choosing to ride in a bunch (unnecessarily close to other "vehicles" both in front and adjacent) doesn't override this.  

I have ridden in a zillion bunches and you take your chances.  You are voluntarily giving up reaction time, vision and space.   There is a fair bit of contributory negligence I think they call it.  Insurance companies reduce payments for this for things like having earphones in amongst other things.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Diamonds said:

Interesting take.  The onus is on anyone operating a vehicle to do so safely in the prevailing conditions.  Choosing to ride in a bunch (unnecessarily close to other "vehicles" both in front and adjacent) doesn't override this.  

I have ridden in a zillion bunches and you take your chances.  You are voluntarily giving up reaction time, vision and space.   There is a fair bit of contributory negligence I think they call it.  Insurance companies reduce payments for this for things like having earphones in amongst other things.

agree with this. By riding in a bunch we are riding closer than we need to and it brings an element of risk.

Rider rides alone hits pot hole, falls over. Rider in bunch hits same pot hole, rider next to him, most likely closer than one meter goes down.

First of all the person seeking damages is not helping anyone. Rider A is not negligent because they hit a pot hole and then lost control. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, ComfortablyNumb said:

I'd be going after no-one.

Farkin litigious shit.  Cycling in a bunch is a risk.  People make mistakes.  Unexpected stuff pops up on the road.  Live with it.

If you can't, don't ride in a bunch.

I'm with you ComfortablyNumb. Riding in a bunch there is a higher risk of something going wrong. If you are not willing to accept the risk ride solo!

Same with racing. Guy in front of me racing on the velodrome Tuesday night racing a number of years ago has a brain fade and crashed himself directly in front of me at 56 km/hr. Over the bars, bike totalled, collarbone needing plating and 26 physio sessions for the subsequent frozen shoulder... Pissed that the guy crashed himself taking me down, out of pocket as Cycling Australia's insurance is pitiful and needed to buy a new frame.  Not once did I consider tracking the guy down for compensation!

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Typical lawyer Ambulance chaser - comment from the article.

Dimi Ioannou from Maurice Blackburn believes so, saying that’s what the insurance is there for.

“If you went to visit a friend, and you’re in their backyard to have a barbecue and you tripped over uneven concrete that was in the backyard, you could sue them under their home and contents insurance,” she said. “It’s the same thing.”

 

  • Sad 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, dazaau said:

Each case is different and suppose that's what courts are for. Two mates and one mate fails to pay attention to a piece of wood big enough to cause a crash, yes he is negligent, well the court says so and I agree.

Not sure why he didn't counter sue the ACT government for it's negligence by not maintaining the cycle way safely.

In the bunch ride situation, early morning, low light, pot hole, would be interesting to see how any reasonable person could prove negligence. In the bunch situation going at pretty high speeds, "choosing" to ride in close proximity, both lateral and vertical;

The only person with a primary duty of care for spotting and calling the pot holes are the lead riders. Everyone else's duty of care is to not overlap a wheel and pay attention to the calls and act responsibly.

The Canberra case was an odd one in that it is understood the person who suffered damage and his mate agreed to make the claim, so it was not a surprise.

Interested in other people's experience of test cases, especially as it pertains to bunches. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Dalai said:

Typical lawyer Ambulance chaser - comment from the article.

Dimi Ioannou from Maurice Blackburn believes so, saying that’s what the insurance is there for.

“If you went to visit a friend, and you’re in their backyard to have a barbecue and you tripped over uneven concrete that was in the backyard, you could sue them under their home and contents insurance,” she said. “It’s the same thing.”

 

That’s not the same thing at all. 
The riders aren’t at one another’s place they are on a public road. 
 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
×
×
  • Create New...