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#1 2008-08-04 16:23:40

stillintucson
Member
Registered: 2008-08-04
Posts: 3

What if motorist who hits you isn't cited?

So I'm new here and would appreciate some guidance.  My son lives in Austin and was hit by a company owned vehicle on Guadalupe on July 1.  He has signed statements by witnesses.  When he finally got the police report, the driver was not cited.  My son is looking for the damage to his bike to be paid, but he company manager says the driver was not cited so it isn't his responsibility.  Many calls to Austin Police have gone un-returned. 

Is it the norm for motorists who hit bicycles to not be cited in Austin?  I'm in Tucson, just looking to assist my son in getting his bike fixed.

Thanks!

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#2 2008-08-05 00:00:30

Adriel
Member
Registered: 2008-05-27
Posts: 91

Re: What if motorist who hits you isn't cited?

I am sure there is more info, but you can start here:

http://bicycleaustin.info/justice/whattodo.html

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#3 2008-08-05 01:53:51

dougmc
Administrator
Registered: 2008-06-01
Posts: 595

Re: What if motorist who hits you isn't cited?

Is it the norm for motorists who hit bicycles to not be cited in Austin?

Seems to be, yes.  Even when the cyclists are killed, and the motorists are clearly at fault.  (Unless the motorist is drunk/on drugs, in which case they get probation.)

In any event, if all you want is the bike fixed, send them a demand letter for the damages, then if they don't respond, file the paperwork to sue them for small claims court.  They'll probably settle rather than try to fight you in court.  If there's several witnesses that say their driver was at fault, they're getting off cheap just fixing the bike, and their lawyer will tell them this.

Of course, you might want to consult a lawyer first (and I am not one!), but small claims court usually doesn't permit one to represent you there -- but they can still help you decide what you want to do and send letters and such.

In any event, the link given by Adriel appears to cover the issue very well.

Last edited by dougmc (2008-08-05 01:55:28)

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#4 2008-08-05 09:25:34

damicoaustin
Member
From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-27
Posts: 143
Website

Re: What if motorist who hits you isn't cited?

I would say the key point is #10 on bicyclaustin.info .... go straight to their insurance company. Don't even bother with the company itself. If you don't have their insurance information and APD won't help, let me know and we'll get it. We also have a list of attorneys in addition to bicycleaustin.info.

Rob D'Amico
damico@lobv.org

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#5 2008-08-05 11:08:55

stillintucson
Member
Registered: 2008-08-04
Posts: 3

Re: What if motorist who hits you isn't cited?

Hi guys! Thanks for the input.  Yes, he did contact the insurance company, albeit almost a month later and is apparently waiting for an adjustor to contact him.  He's waited for about 10-12 days now.  I'm wondering if the business manager of the company that owns the truck can put the brakes on the insurance people.  I have a cousin-in-law in San Antonio who was formerly with large firm in Houston who has been brought in for some instructive steps to resolve the problem.

Now, I have another question.  The little research I have done in the last few days seemingly reveals a bias against bicyclists by local agencies.  I asked my son why I'm not seeing a presence of a council member who represents the biking community.  I own a condo in Austin, so I am not a totally disinterested person.  Just seems like, in this time of seeking alternative commuting options, it might also be time to go to the next level and find a candidate.  I'd be willing to spend some hours in the research area.  It has been my experience (and I'll be 55 this year) that finding friends in high places and then finding an electable voice for your cause can be a daunting, but satisfactory mission.  However, I'm not naive enough to believe that organizing a group of folks to go to that next level is any easier than herding cats.

Forgive any presumptive questions, I tend to be direct and cut to the chase.  Thanks for your help.  I'd be most interested in exploring some ways to further bike safety in Austin.  I'm wondering if local Libertarians might take up the cause. They usually don't want more laws, but in this case might be interested in upholding the current code.  I noticed there do seem to be a good number of local attornies who specialize in bike/motorcycle/pedestrian injuries, which indicates to me that safety concerns are pervasive.


Thanks again for ideas in pursuing costs to repair the bike.  Glad your forum is around.

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#6 2008-08-05 12:53:53

stillintucson
Member
Registered: 2008-08-04
Posts: 3

Re: What if motorist who hits you isn't cited?

Hi.  I just discovered that my post to RoadRash BLOG on austin360.com was published today.

http://www.austin360.com/blogs/content/ … _love.html

Am I wrong to think it can't hurt to get publicity in this area? 

Thanks!

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