"Ryan Cousineau" <[email protected]
> wrote in message
> Well, cosmetic damage is damage. it lowers resale, and in the case of clothing, almost certainly
> reduces the usable life of the garment. The point is there are real financial losses being
> suffered, or to put it another way, an outside factor in the control of another person caused
> damage to his person and property.
In a literal sense, I see your point. But we have no indication as to the condition of the damaged
parts prior to the crash to determine their value. Regardless, since they were in a used condition,
their value would not be the same as brand new. If I have an accident in my car, whether it is my
fault or someone else's, the insurance company will make repairs up to the value of the car,
irrespective of what I paid for the car. I do not get a new car. I do not get compensation for the
davaluation of having a repaired car. And if I have a loan on the car that exceeds the value of the
car, I end up with no car and a debt to the loan company.
That said, personally I view a bicycle as a tool that incurs wear and tear as part of it's function.
OTOH, I bought a Corima road bike about 7 years ago primarily for its aesthetics, so I do recognize
and appreciate that there are people who view a bicycle as a form of art. However, my overriding (no
pun intended) opinion is that by the very nature of the activity of bicycle riding, scratches and
scrapes are an inevitability, dogs or no dogs.
> It's implicit in using the road. That is, by using a road, you assume responsibility for using it
> properly. The nature of roads is that, by acts of God, they covered with rain and even snow. You
> have to, as a person using the road, decide whether it's safe to use it on your chosen vehicles.
> There are times when it is not safe to take most vehicles out on the roads.
> > > $750 is the opening offer.
> > Meaning what?
> Meaning that that's the amount it would cost to make things right, or to get him back to where he
> was before someone neglected to tie up their dog. If the dog owner wants to settle things simply,
> a lesser amount might suffice. But the complete damages probably do amount to something like that
> amount, strictly speaking.
I disagree, as my point above explained.
> > > Racing is an explicitly no-fault activity. By signing the waiver and lining up beside the
> > > other racers, you are consenting to the agreement that accidents are just that. Even so, if
> > > someone in the race did something deliberate or flagrantly negligent (say, shoved their pump
> > > your spokes or pushed you bodily off the course), you probably would have the possibility of a
> > > civil claim if not criminal charges. A few years ago an NHL hockey player got charged with
> > > assault in Vancouver after he deliberately swung his stick at the head of another player on
> > > the ice.
Like Capirossi and Harada? Or Senna/Prost, Schumacher/Hill? This is definitely getting off on a
tangent, but in those circumstances, I don't recall any civil or criminal actions, just possibly
some sanctions by the FIM/FIA.
> > Something like that could mean the end of the sport as we know it. I'm
> > you could imagine that the plaintiff's attorney would name not only the 'attacking' rider, but
> > also the race organizer, officials, and race
> > as defendants. It's all in the name of obtaining a larger award.
> No, because the normal activities of a bike race (or a hockey game, or a boxing match) are not
> covered. If two boxers engage in a sanctioned boxing match, and one badly injures the other, well,
> that's a normal part of the event. In bicycle racing, if someone crashes, and they take you down,
> and your wheel bends (as happened to another rider in my Thursday night beer-league mountain bike
> race) well, that's racing. But hey, he got the crash prize. And in hockey, if one player drills
> another player with a hard but clean bodycheck, and the other player staggers off the ice,
> injured, that's part of the game.
Again off on a tangent (seemingly requisite for rbr), but which is it? Deliberate or flagrantly
negligent possibly warranting civil/criminal action or part of the game?
> But these are all sporting events. Riding on the road in normal circumstances is not a sporting
> event, and even if it was, being attacked by the neighbour's dog is not part of normal driving
The OP didn't say he was attacked. He said he hit the dog. Regardless, even though there is a leash
law in his town, no matter where you are or what you are doing it is in your best interests to be
aware of your surroundings. That should be part of normal driving conditions just as much as it is
implicit in using the road with any vehicle, as you stated above. You said that "by using a road,
you assume responsibility for using it properly" and to me that includes expecting the unexpected.
However that statement is in no way intended to imply that there is legal fault on the part of the
OP. I do not dispute that the dog should not have been loose and it's owner responsible.
> > And tort cases are known for frivolity and excessive claims, thus there
> > many states in the US who are enacting tort reform for that reason.
> I am not sure why you think this is either frivolous or excessive, except that you seem to think
> that the damage wasn't real because the parts were not damaged beyond operability. I am curious as
> to whether you take the same attitude when someone hits your car. I tend to ask them to repair the
> body panels as well as the mechanical damage.
I've already given my viewpoint on this above , but as far as if this is frivolous to me depends on
whether or not the damages parts were in showroom condition before the crash. If they were new and
shiny, I would tend to give him a little consideration, but not much due to my feelings about normal
wear and tear. If they were already scratched, then I do not think he should pursue compensation for
> > Not to mention determining the value (depreciation) of the original
> > damage notwithstanding. Considering the relationship between bikes and
> > a jury might not award much at all. We can only speculate, given the information at hand. We
> > don't even know if the dog was regularly loose
> > was an expected hazard or if the rider was taunting the dog (not that it makes it right, but it
> > wouldn't make a jury very sympathetic to the
> Okay, if the dog was regularly loose, that may make it worse, especially if the owner had been
> warned before.
Speculation on both our parts
> > As I said before, I agree with you. But remember, we're talking about
> > that were scraped up as a result of the accident, derailer, skewer, pedals, seat, tape, jersy
> > and shorts". How many of us
> > bikes where the derailleur, skewers, and pedals are free of scrapes?
> The rear derailleur has only the tiniest of scrape marks on it. The fder is pristine except for
> road grime and chain oil. The skewers have no scratches worth noting. The pedals are scraped to
> hell, but they were used when I bought them and I beat up my previous pedals very badly indeed,
> thanks to my lazy cornering.
I think a lot of this is subjective. What may be tiny to one person may be huge to another and
totally insignificant to yet another. This may sound like nitpicking, but if we are discussing
cosmetic value, did you look in the inside of the derailleur cages, both front & rear? I'm sure that
your front has scratches due to the way it functions.
> Now, as to the question of whether or not the cyclist should sue. First, the question of
> responsibility must be settled. If you get distracted and run over a sleeping dog, well, that
> might be legally the owner's fault, but I doubt many of us could muster the gumption to sue in
> such a case. But I think none of us would have a problem with suing the owner if the dog chased
> and attacked the cyclist (a situation I once experienced on a motorcycle). If nothing else, one
> feels a certain need, as the French phrase would have it, to "encourage the others." That is, the
> threat and example of a dog owner being sued for letting their dog run free is a useful corrective
> for other owners who might otherwise be lazy about letting their dog run free. A fine is one
> thing, but a civil suit is quite another.
I agree, but I doubt that many people could go an entire month without creating the potential for a
civil suit, even if it were for something as trivial as not pointing out a pothole or broken glass
on a group ride which causes someone else to get a flat or dent a rim. [Disclaimer] This example is
not a comparasion, because no laws were broken by the riders relative to the example, but the dog
was running loose illegally.
> But ultimately, is this cyclist wrong to sue? Well, you might argue that he's suing over
> trivialities, and with respect to damage he could have avoided. The fact is, the accident
> happened, despite the efforts of both dog owner and cyclist, neither of whom has much interest in
> causing such a situation. Given that reality, both are involved, and assessment of responsibility
> for the damage is a reasonable act.
Legally, I'm with you. I just fell that given the extent of the damages, he should let bygones
> As for the triviality of the damage, I disagree. As I said above, damaged clothing wears faster
> and is less useful, and similarly for scraped components.
Clothing, possibly yes depending on the damage (although I still wear on occasion a jersey from 10
years ago at worlds when I got rammed from behind by a Scandinavian kilo rider and slid on my back
when I was rolling around on the apron of the track. The jersey had the sublimating rubbed off and
it pills up in the area, but still wears well).
Unless bearing surfaces were scraped, I can't see anything less than deep gouges causing a part to
wear faster. Think of the deep scratches that are put into handlebars by nonround brake clamps, yet
I've never heard of a handlebar failure due to the stress risers created by the scratches. If it's
bent, then it's bent and it needs to be replaced, but the OP didn't even say the derailleur hanger
> None of this even considers possible resale or the simple aesthetic concern that before this
> accident, the equipment was probably not damaged.
Information which would certainly help in determining the merit of efforts to recover for damages.
> This is not a case of hurt feelings, or obvious negligence by the cyclist. If you get run into by
> an owned dog, that means that someone was irresponsibly letting the dog run free. The OP isn't
> even suggesting a "pain and suffering" claim, which would be well within his legal rights, but in
> this case furthe suggests he isn't claiming for anything even remotely like frivolous damage.
Once again, legally you are correct as far as I know. But once again, I think that if every
potential civil suit was filed, few people could manage to escape being hit with a dozen per year.
To a point, I think it is part of decent society to realize that there are times when you've got
to roll with the punches and you shouldn't feel the need to make a beeline to the courthouse every
time an injustice has been done to you. Yes, I realize that is a moral issue, but what are our
laws based on?