My Car and the Bike Collision

Updated on August 22, 2013
M.M. asks from Amherst, OH
20 answers

Hi mamas
I need to vent and also seek advice. So today after picking the kids from class I was coming out from the parking lot towards the street which was one way. There's stop sign where I stopped few seconds and moved forward slowly to make a right turn looking to my left for traffic. As i was proceeding to turn right a bike collided on my right side of the car,my right side of car was dent and the right side windshield had huge crack.i saw the man on floor and realized I collided into the path of a wrong-way bicyclist approaching from the right ( he was on the sidewalk).... I called police ,the man had few scratches and was taken by paramedics ,on asking who's fault the police told me the insurance will decide....I am so freaking out ...was it my mistake? Though we have insurance I donno how they ll deal with this....I am located in CA and this is my first accident so I am absolutely new to all this.
Any advice ?

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answers from St. Louis on

In most states bikes are required to obey all traffic laws as well so it should be his fault. Should being the operative word.

5 moms found this helpful

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answers from Chattanooga on

Technically, cyclists are supposed to follow the rules of the road. Since it was a one-way street, and he approached from the wrong direction, I would *think* he would be considered at fault...

You may want to look up cyclist/pedestrian laws in your area... But I think that you are in the clear.

IF he is found responsible for the damages to your vehicle, (my vehicle only has liability, so if this happened to me my insurance wouldn't cover it...) you will have to hope he is willing to pay, or take him to court over it.

SMH. I hate how many cyclists think they have their own special set of rules, or are exempt from certain laws. It just makes life harder for the ones who actually ride responsibly.

10 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Talk to your insurance company - they are there to protect you against unreasonable claims by others. In most states (maybe all?), bicycles are vehicles and are supposed to follow traffic rules. Sometimes there are special bike lanes on the roads but even so, the cyclist is supposed to be going in the same direction as the traffic, signal for turns, stop at lights, and so on. If a cyclist is walking his bike, say in a crosswalk, then he's a pedestrian and has the right of way over you.

I suppose they could say you should have looked to the right to see if there were any pedestrians who wanted to cross in front of you, even if it was a one-way street. However, the bike was moving faster than a pedestrian would have been, and so it's reasonable to assume he "came out of nowhere." The dent in the car could occur from an accident at pretty much any speed, but if the windshield cracked with the impact, then he must have been going awfully fast. I wouldn't be surprised if the insurance investigation determined that.

It's so very upsetting to be involved in any kind of accident, and even more so when a person gets hurt. Perhaps you could have looked in both directions just as a matter of principle, and I'm sure you will in the future. But that's really precautionary in case someone is coming from the wrong (illegal) direction. My guess is that you will be found less than 50% at fault, and maybe not at fault at all. If you are less than 50% at fault, in most states (again, maybe all), your rates should not go up. Even if this cyclist files a claim against you, try not to worry and let your insurance company handle it.

I'm sure you have filled out a report but if not, you must do it asap while the details are fresh in your mind. Do not second guess yourself or write down that maybe you were wrong - just write down the facts.

Good luck, and I'm sure it will work out.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I despise cyclists who don't follow the rules of the road.
If he was on the sidewalk and going the wrong way, he is at fault. Call your insurance company ASAP.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

Your insurance company is on your side. This sounds like it's not a clear cut situation. Just remember that your insurace company is going to defend you. Also, it's likely that the bicyclist does' nt have insurance. The insurance company will pay your bills and go after the bicyclist. This happened to my daughter and son-in-law. Very similar situation.

Don't worry. It will work out OK. Even if it's decided you're at fault it won't affect your rates because it's your first accident. Talk with the company tomorrow.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

Here in Austin, the cyclist would be at fault. Riding the wrong direction and on the sidewalk.. There s a turf war going on here with cars vs cyclist. They are really being held to the traffic laws, since they want the cars to respect them.

Still is scary as heck..
Glad you are all going to be ok.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I'm surprised the officer didn't issue the cyclist a ticket. My husband is an officer and says cyclist are required to follow the same rules as cars.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Appleton on

A few ago I was involved in an accident with a scooter or moped. I was making a left turn but had stopped part way through my turn to double check if there was anyone coming. The lane opposite me was a left turn only lane and all of the cars in that lane were either vans or SUVs and I couldn't see clearly. All of a sudden this scooter comes through the intersection, the driver saw me, panicked, over-corrected, hit my car, lost control, over corrected and hit me again, then wobbeled and hit the curb. The woman driving flew over the handle bars and landed on the sidewalk. She filed a lawsuit for injuries and damages after my deposition the suit was dismissed. I clearly stated I was at a dead stop and did not hit her she hit me. I was not responsibile for the accident.

I know this is scary for you but your insurance company will hire an attorney to fight on your behalf. The most important thing is to stay clam and tell your story as it happened. Write it all down while it is fresh in your mind.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Miami on

I would think that the cyclist would be at fault, but right now you can't worry about this. Your insurance is actually on your side about this and they will make the decision within the law. If you are at fault, it will cost you higher premiums.

That's what we have insurance for - to cover accidents.

I'm glad you are okay, and I hope that the guy is too.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Boca Raton on

Oh gosh I feel badly for you! A very similar incident nearly happened to me one day pulling out from Whole Foods on to a busy main road where I live. A bicyclist came zooming at me from my right side, going against traffic, and I missed hitting him by milliseconds. It was scary. No matter who is at fault I'm sure it's a terrible feeling when someone collides with your car.

We have this "car v. bike" mentality where I live and bicyclists can be very rude and arrogant. And there are people in cars who get ridiculous too. I just wish bicyclists would follow the rules of the road. Of course a few bad apples can make all cyclists look badly to motorists (which is not good either).

I don't have any answers as far as the insurance goes but I would just be sure to reiterate to my insurance the circumstances of what happened.

Good luck and <<hugs>>.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Unfortunately for cyclists, motorists are very, very rarely found at fault even when they clearly are so in a case where you are were following the rules of the road and the cyclist wasn't, you will likely be found not at fault. If this goes they way these typically go, your insurance will cover the damages to your car but you will likely have to pay your deductible. You could sue the cyclist for your deductible but that's probably more hassle than it's worth. The cyclist will be responsible for his own medical bills and the damage to his own bike.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

This very same thing happened to me a few months ago. I was making a right out of my neighborhood and looking left at on coming traffic. As I started pulling out, a teen on his bike slammed into the right side of my van! He fell off his bike. After freaking out for a few seconds, I pulled over and my step son immediately got out to see if he was ok. The teen picked up his bike, flipped off my step son, and drove off. I later called police for fear I'd get in trouble for hit and run. I filed a police report but nothing ever came of it. At the time, I was driving a Ford E350 (12 passenger van) and there was no damage to it. Shook me up a bit though. It really upset me because he was also riding on the sidewalk, going the wrong way. In AZ, he would have been cited for the accident. Now every time I see a person riding the wrong way, I just want to scream at them for being stupid! I'm sorry you are going through this.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on

If you haven't already, please contact your insurance policy and let them handle it. It's what you pay them for.

Should someone call you and want to discuss the incident, do not speak to them beyond giving them your insurance company, claim number and the name and number of your adjuster. Get their name and number and give that to your insurance company.

You have received advice from all over the country. Vehicle laws, liability laws and insurance varies by state.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Bicyclists are required to follow the same rules as motorists. So that would make him at fault. I'm sure your insurance company will cover it, but it will be up to them to determine if you must pay your deductible. Your "auto" insurance company may file a claim against his "homeowner" insurance policy to get them to pay the costs, but that will be their problem not yours. If you DO have to pay a deductible, you also could ask his "homeowner" insurance company to pay it for you.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Albuquerque on

In many states, fault doesn't actually matter. What matters is who has insurance coverage for that specific accident. You certainly do, because you have auto insurance. If the man riding the bike as a homeowners policy that covers him while out and about, he may also have coverage that applies. But he might not. So your insurance company may end up paying to have your car fixed and for his medical bills. That doesn't mean you were at fault.

People always think that fault is super important, but having been married to an insurance defense attorney, I can promise you that it usually isn't. Even when fault is determined, it isn't always that person's insurance policy that pays.

Talk to your insurance company immediately so they can get your story and investigate the situation in order to defend you if there are charges filed (criminal/civil).

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

Pedestrians always have the right of way even when they're in the wrong in most places, I imagine a bicyclist is very similar since they have as little protection against vehicles as a pedestrian.

I sure hope he's okay! A car can be fixed but a person can't always.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

Oh my gosh! How scary! Well I am glad that the cyclist is ok! In some states riding your bike on the sidewalk is illegal! I would make sure to check your state's laws on bike riding. You did the right thing. You came to a complete stop at a stop sign and the cyclist blind sided you. Laws state that cyclists have to obey all the same rules at motorists do. If you have all of that in the police report you should be ok. Good luck!



answers from Phoenix on

If he hit you hard enough to leave a dent in your car and crack the windshield, I highly doubt he stopped at the stop sign. If he ran the stop sign, it's his fault. Bikes deserve leeway on the road, but they have to follow the rules.



answers from Pittsburgh on

I'm not sure how it is the bicyclist's fault if he was on the sidewalk. The road is one way, not the sidewalk. I am sure that is no consolation for you right now and I'd feel the same way if I were in your shoes.

I'm glad you and the cyclists are okay. All you can do is leave it up to the insurance company to handle. I hope everything turns out okay.



answers from San Francisco on


This exact thing happened to me 2 years ago. Sounds like the biker ran into you, right? In my case, the Insurance determined it was Bicyclist's fault, since he was on the wrong side of the road. The insurance covered damages to my car. They were going to go after the cyclist for the $250 deductible, but I told them to drop it, I was just glad he was o.k. and wanted to put it behind me. (I think he was homeless or low income anyway, and didn't want to pursue the matter.)

This is such a stressful thing, I am sure you feel awful. I hope it works out and thankfully the man just ended up with a few scratches!!


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