So You Hit A Car / A Car Hit You | What You Need To Know

Who's At Fault?

Whenever a cyclist gets involved in an accident involving an automobile, finding out who’s liable is often the most hardest part.

Atty. Raymund Fortun of the facebook group Pinoy Road Bikers (PRB) break down an incident and how the law sees it from their point of view.

From Atty Raymund Fortun :

I received this query via Private Message, and i have decided to share this with all of you:

“Good PM attorney, nakakahiya man po pero gusto ko lang po sana humingi ng advise sa inyo, wala po kasi kaming alam dito eh. Yung friend ko po, nasangkot sya sa aksidente, 6am po nung monday, nasa inner lane po sila tas may taxi po sa right side nila, tas bigla pong lumiko yung taxi pakaliwa, tas ang nangyari po, bumunggo po yung friend ko sa left side ng taxi, tas nabali po yung fork at nasira din po yung front wheel ng friend ko. Wala naman po syang gaanong injury maliban po sa concussion. Ngayon po, ayaw po sagutin nung driver ang kahit anong gastusin po mapa medical expense po kasi po nagpa CTscan po sya at ayaw din pong bayaran yung sira sa bike. Ano po ba dapat naming gawin? Sana po mapansin nyo attorney, salamat po.”

The answer that i gave was: “Seriously hijo, mali yung friend nyo. Hindi sya dapat nasa inner lane which is reserved for vehicles. Dapat doble and pag-ingat nya. Pwede sya magreklamo, pero hindi ako confident na mananalo sya.”

Ladies and gentlemen, the Philippines has NO LAW governing the rights of bicycles on public streets. In simple terms, except for designated bicycle lanes where bicycles putatively have a right to stay in, there is NO PROTECTION if a cyclist gets into an accident while traversing a public road. Although there are no specific cases brought before the Supreme Court that i am aware of, a motorist CAN claim that bicycles, not being a registered mode of conveyance, should not be used on public streets.

Sorry po, but if you think that paying income tax entitles you to use public streets to ride your bikes , you are wrong. Vehicle owners pay a Road User’s Tax; bicycle riders dont.

In this particular case, the rider was in the inner lane — a lane that is reserved for fast-moving vehicles. He had no business being there. I know that it is a big hassle to be in the outermost lane, but when one is in the inner lane, one has to be DOUBLY conscious of vehicles who could swerve into or cutting across the lane. If an accident occurs, it is easy for the driver to say, “eh baket ka nandyan?”

I know this is a controversial issue. I just wish to raise everyone’s awareness about what rights cyclists have in an accident (NONE, unless the motorist is clearly negligent), and the need for GREATER VIGILANCE AND CARE if we do decide to use the inner lanes. Di ko po sinasabi na huwag nyo gawin ha. Mag-ingat lang po lagi, especially when we are in harm’s way.

Ride safe, everybody.

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A triathlete making a comeback and a true blue Scorpio. That sums it up quite nicely :)

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