In the law, this is a classic question of fact. Witnesses, point of impact, location are all significant. Just turn this over to your insurance company asap. If you've delayed speak with an attorney. As an aside, no injury at the precise moment doesn't mean a whole lot. Good luck.
Personal injury cases only; I'm good at it; you be the Judge! All information provided is for informational and educational purposes only. No attorney client relationship has been formed or should be inferred. Please speak with a local and qualified attorney. I truly wish you and those close to you all the best. Jeff www.nyelderinjurylaw.com
You need to call a MA personal injury attorney. Different states have different laws. In some states bicycles are not allowed to be riden on sidewalks or in crosswalks; in other states if a person is in the crosswalk and you hit them you are automatically liable. Contact an attorney.
First, it is important that you refer this claim to your automobile insurance company. The insurance company is required to defend you in the action and will assign a claims adjuster to obtain the police report and other evidence. You will not likely be involved much unless the case goes to litigation. If you have not already, you should prepare a very detailed report for your claims adjuster so that they can be fully apprised of the incident when they respond to the claim.
The police report and the details contained within it will be important in this case. The bicyclist was required to comply with traffic laws the same as every other person. If you were not cited at the scene, and if the officer testifies as to his wrongful crossing of the street, it will put you in a good position.
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Turn this over to your auto insurer and let them deal with it that is why you pay your premiums.
DISCLAIMER: David J. McCormick is licensed to practice law in the State of Wisconsin and this answer is being provided for informational purposes only because the laws of your jurisdiction may differ. This answer based on general legal principles and is not intended for the purpose of providing specific legal advice or opinions. Under no circumstances does this answer constitute the establishment of an attorney-client relationship.
With regard to the police report, try and get a copy of the alleged police report. In Florida, parties to a motor vehicle accident can fill out what is a "late report" completed by one of the parties involved. However, a police agency does not complete it. Therefore, it would be a one side report and likely not have much weight. In addition, make sure to inform your insurance company that you never participated in the police port, you have never seen the police report, and are under the impression that a police report was never created.
Did you ever take any pictures of your car? The bicyclist? The bicycle? It will be important to forward the pictures you have, if any, to your insurer.
Like many of the other attorneys who have answered, you should forward this claim to your insurance. The reason you pay insurance is to be protected when situations as these arise. However, I urge you to look at your policy and the coverage available to you. Many times the attorneys retained by insurance companies on behalf of the insured only represent the insured up to the policy limits. You may have to retain private counsel to protect your interest past the policy limits.
Please note that if you are served with the Complaint, make sure you forward it to your insurance immediately because you only have a certain number of days to respond to the complaint and initial discovery.
DISCLAIMER - Any information provided is not legal advice. There is no attorney client relationship created in this group discussion. Do not rely on informal comminucation in this forum as legal advice. If you wish to obtain legal advice you should hire an attorney in your State.
Simply turn it over to your insurance company to resolve. It's that simple. The insurance company will get to the bottom of this.
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As others have suggested, you need to turn this case over to your insurance company as soon as possible. They will provide any defense you may need and coverage if there is a claim made against you.
I want to highlight several areas of potential concern:
1. As my esteemed colleague Mr. Adam’s mentioned, there is a question of fact. You described your version of events, but there may be other view points and information that could lead a jury or insurance company to reach a different conclusion.
2. Just because the bicyclist refused medical attention at the scene does not mean he did not suffer an injury. I have handled many cases where clients did not go immediately to the hospital only to realize they had suffered an injury and go later the same day or the next day.
3. Even if the bicyclist was wrong, that does not necessarily clear you of any obligation. A client retained me today who was hit crossing the street not at a crosswalk. I anticipate that the driver who struck her will make much of that pint, but that did not give the driver a right to hit he. All drivers have an obligation to avoid striking a pedestrian.
It may turn out that the bicyclist does not have a valid claim or his injuries are minor or you can avoid bearing any liability for this incident. In the meantime, make sure you notify your insurance company so they can defend you.
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