if a car strikes (or is struck) a bicyclist as it (the car) exits a parking lot, who is responsible? In this case the driver failed to stop at the sidewalk and drove over and damaged my bike.
Wrongful Death Attorney
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We practice law only in California. In California, the driver of an automobile is responsible for his or her negligent or wrongful conduct. This includes negligently operating a vehicle causing injury and damages to other drivers, pedestrians, motorcyclists and bicyclists. In California, because the operator of a motor vehicle has a greater propensity to cause injury and harm to third parties, he or she is normally held to a higher standard of due care. You should consult a local attorney right away for legal advice in your city and state.
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Jon Mitchell "Mitch" Jackson
Jackson & Wilson, Inc.
Car / Auto Accident Lawyer
I am not licensed in your jurisdiction, so I cannot give you a definite answer. However, in general, a car exiting a parking lot must make certain the path is clear before proceeding. This includes checking the street and the sidewalk.
One potential problem for you may be whether there is a state law or city ordinance against riding a bicycle on the sidewalk. There could also be a law regarding the direction of travel (with or against street traffic).
You need to talk with a local lawyer to get the answers to these questions. Good luck!
I am a Michigan attorney. In Michigan, we have a no fault law for auto accidents claims. Under the no fault law, you are entitled to recover the value of your damaged property from the auto insurance company for the vehicle involved in the wreck. It does not matter whether you, or the driver of the auto, were at fault for the crash. Either way, the auto ins on the car pays the property damage.
You should get a copy of the police report. It will identify the name of the insurance company for the auto. You can then submit your claim to that company. You only have a one year statute of limitations to make the property damage claim. If you do not get reimbursed for the costs of the damage within one year, then you must file suit against the insurance company (not the driver/owner of the car) or your property damage claim is barred.
From your question, I assume you did not suffer any physical injury in the crash. If you did, the rules are significantly different for your recovery of medical expense, wage loss, pain, suffering, etc.
Insurance Law Lawyer
Liability in automobile/bicycle accidents is a matter of determining who is negligent. In Michigan, bicycle riders are required to follow the Michigan Motor Vehicle Code with respect to obeying traffic laws, signs, etc., if they are operating their bicycles on the road or a designated path. Your question implies that you were riding on the sidewalk at the time of the incident. The driver of the car is required to stop before entering a roadway from a driveway and it appears he or she did not do so. I have no information that would permit me to evaluate whether or not any comparative negligence can be assigned to you, so based upon the facts provided and if my assumptions are correct, the driver of the vehicle was negligent and liability can be assessed against him or her. You should contact the driver and ask for insurance information and then contact the insurance company to discuss compensation for the damage to your bicycle and if you were injured, you should seek medical attention, or should have already, and then consult an attorney.
If your bicycle was left in the middle of the driveway, unattended, however, damage to it would be your responsibility.