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Monday, August 18, 2008

My day in court

In June of 2007, I was hit by a truck while riding my bike. I was going straight, he was turning left, and turned across my path... I had nowhere to go and plowed into the side of his truck.

Pictures... warning, kind of gross

The guy who hit me was charged with nothing more than a traffic ticket for making a "Turn while unsafe". $85 and a few demerits, a very lowly charge considering he could have killed me!

Yet he still challenged it... sigh! And I was subpoenaed to be a witness in the case.

So today I took a few hours off of work and headed down to the courtroom. He showed up, and made his case... I overheard him speaking with the prosecutors, and it was quite laughable. Basically he said he started turning, then someone was backing out on the road he was turning onto, so he stopped in the intersection and I hit him.

The prosecutor basically ripped him, saying "sir, you were turning left, you didn't have the right of way!". He finally got that, and when he came back to court he entered a guilty plea, "with explanation". He blathered on with his explanation, including the fact that I made a 6 foot skidmark and the cop said I was going 25km/h... umm... yeah... guess what, most vehicles go a lot faster than that!!!

And his actual story is not even accurate, the moment he started turning I knew I was going to hit him... there was just no way to avoid it, and I don't remember him stopping in the intersection.

The court reduced his fine to a pathetic $40.

Justice served? Not even close. My fingers are permanently bent and I was almost killed!!! He's out $40. Oh and the cop said I left a huge dent in his truck... so that made me feel better too.

There's nothing I can do at this point, other than hope he got the message that when you're turning left you have to make sure it's clear! I assume he knew that already and was just careless, though.

Done, over with, now I'll never think about it again!


Anonymous said...

yeah, that's our law system at work

Anonymous said...

Could you not have sued him? E.g., time off work; pain and suffering; nightmares; etc.; etc.

Did he still lose dermit points? Sounds like he totally got off. Parking ticket is $30; hitting a person is $40? Hmm...

We have innocent people convicted of crimes they never committed. Where is the justice??

jonovision_man said...

Yup... it's brutal.

I pursued a lawsuit, briefly. Spoke to a lawyer who is also a cycling advocate. He said with my relatively minor permanent injuries (bent pinkie fingers) there was no hope of overcoming the $20,000 deductible on any reward that we have in this province. Ontario laws are skewed towards the insurance companies, victims do not get compensated.

I have no choice but to suck it up, walk it off. And despite justice not being served, I at least got to see the guy plead "guilty" in court... that's something.