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Am I liable for causing a bicyclist to crash his bike if he wore all black and riding his bike at night with no reflectors?

Denver, CO |

In my vehicle I was waiting at a stop sign to make a legal left turn, it was night, I pulled up, saw the remaining cars ready to pass so I pulled up a little more since there is a L blind spot after looking both ways and out of no where a guy on a bicycle is coming towards me he finally notices close to the car pumps his breaks and wobbles a little and does not hit my car just crashes on the pavement and his bike flips and hits my car which there was no damage seen. He was wearing all black and had no reflectors on his bike. I ask him if i should call anyone he denies, I give him a ride home, no police report was made, he verbally said as long as my arm is not broken I dont care about this, he took my insurance info though, am i liable? Would ins even open him a claim w no pol. report? Thx

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Attorney answers 3


Attorneys have a tendency to disagree. That is why we have lawsuits. However, I will give you my impression. I do not think that your actions were negligent in any way or that you are liable for any injuries that he sustained. Even if the bicyclist argued that you were somehow negligent, his comparative negligence in biking at night, wearing all black, not having reflectors, and not yielding to traffic in the road would exceed any negligence, if any, of your own. You even gave the bicyclist a die home and gave him your insurance information. No police report was taken. Definitely document everything that you remember about the accident. However, I personally would argue that you were not negligent and thus not liable for any injuries. Obviously, some attorneys would take the opposite viewpoint.

The information provided in this answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. If you are interested in his legal services, feel free to call Chris at (303) 409-7635 at his law office in the Denver Tech Center. All initial consultations are free of charge.



Thank you for your answer/information sir.


I generally agree with Mr. Leroi on just about everything he says on this AVVO website and this is no different. You have a great argument, but it is not a slam dunk.

About 12 years ago, I defended a person who was in a parked car and opened her door into the street to exit her vehicle. She did not see a bicyclist dressed in all black, with black hair and no helmet, riding next to cars as she opened the door. The cyclist smashed into her door and broke ribs, punctured a lung and flipped over the door -- when she suffered a closed head injury. I successfully argued that my client was no more than 50% at fault and that the cyclist had to shoulder at least 50% of the blame. I say successfully because the jury came back at 50/50 -- which in COloraod means the cyclist did not recover.

I tell you that story to let you know even if you end up facing a lawsuit (which if you do, your auto insurance carrier will provide a defense attorney for you at their cost), you have a great shot at prevailing.

Best of luck to you!

In no way am I offering you legal advice, and in no way has my comment created an attorney-client relationship. You are not to rely upon my note above in any way, but insted need to sit down with counsel and share all relevant facts before receiving fully-informed legal advice. If you want to be completely sure of your rights, you must sit down with an experienced criminal defense attorney to be fully aware of your rights.


The rider may be contributory negligence. However if you had last chance to avoid accident you had duty to do so or if you were going to fast for conditions you can be held liable . notify your insurance company they will provide a lawyer

Contact local consel

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