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Today, while riding, my bike threw up a rock that hit the car next to me in the door. It was a brand new car and may have caused a chip or small dent. The owner looked angrily at me and kept going. If they had pulled over and damage was caused, who's fault is it, from a legal standpoint? I guess it would be like a rock getting thrown up by another cars wheel and breaking your windshield. I think in that circumstance, the problem lies with the vehicle with the broken windshield. What do you think?
 

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"vehicle not responsible for objects coming from road" ;)

Sucks to be them, but that's the risk you take driving a pretty new car; it's not going to stay pretty and new forever.
 

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I am not a lawyer, but when one is driving a car, and a rock from the vehicle in front of you cracks your windshield, it's not on them, is it?
 

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Weird case because an accident is an accident, but this was a different accident. It wasn't a "direct" accident. You didn't crash into the car with the arguable case that you could've taken better precautionary measures. A rock was kicked up. You can only be so attentive about every damn rock in the road, and it's just something that exists in nature. When turbulent air around a moving car upsets nearby people and cars, no legal action takes place. Eh...probably not the best analogy.

I always worry of a time where a kicked up branch on the trail finally nails an unfortunate someone. That being said, you involuntarily kicked up an item that hit a car. Driver and passengers are lucky the rock didn't nail them, and it's not your rock as if it were a pet. That's where I'd leave it.
 

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Argentius said:
I am not a lawyer, but when one is driving a car, and a rock from the vehicle in front of you cracks your windshield, it's not on them, is it?
No, it's not on anyone. Windshieds are 'no fault' insurance claims by law.
 

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classiquesklassieker
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vontress said:
Today, while riding, my bike threw up a rock that hit the car next to me in the door. It was a brand new car and may have caused a chip or small dent. The owner looked angrily at me and kept going. If they had pulled over and damage was caused, who's fault is it, from a legal standpoint? I guess it would be like a rock getting thrown up by another cars wheel and breaking your windshield. I think in that circumstance, the problem lies with the vehicle with the broken windshield. What do you think?
The right approach is to think of it as the city's fault for not maintaining the roadways sufficiently, thus there was that rock that ended up being kicked up to damage the (new) car.

The owner of the car should try to file a claim with the city the road is in.
 

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orange_julius said:
The right approach is to think of it as the city's fault for not maintaining the roadways sufficiently, thus there was that rock that ended up being kicked up to damage the (new) car.

The owner of the car should try to file a claim with the city the road is in.
With absolutely zero legal training, this would be my opinion as well. I have often considered this type of scenario when I hear pebbles shoot out from my tires and hit trees, medians, etc., and wondered what would happen if that median had been a car.
 

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I think the angry look from the owner was proper and your punishment, other than that, no fault.
 

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I've blasted rocks at cars before. I feel bad about it, but like everyone is saying, it's like getting one in the windshield when you're driving. Sure it's not pleasant to get a ding in your car, but is absolutely out of everyone's control. I actually hit myself in the foot with a small stone yesterday morning!
 

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orange_julius said:
The right approach is to think of it as the city's fault for not maintaining the roadways sufficiently, thus there was that rock that ended up being kicked up to damage the (new) car.

The owner of the car should try to file a claim with the city the road is in.
While there isn't sufficient information in the OP's post to really make an opinion as to whether or not the City properly maintained the roadway (though that theory does take quite a stretch), good luck with suing the city -- even if you succeed that is going to be dam* expensive windshield.

Can't wait to see the taxes in that locality when the city has to have maintenance people posted every 10 feet 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 52 weeks a year so they can stop traffic and run out and pick up every pebble as soon as it hits the road way/shoulder.

We could get into every 1st year law student's favorite topic of "The Hand Formula," but suffice it to say that not every injury has a liable person/entity (contrary to what special interest groups would like the public to believe).

Just because there was an injury, does not mean there was negligence.
 

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orange_julius said:
The right approach is to think of it as the city's fault for not maintaining the roadways sufficiently, thus there was that rock that ended up being kicked up to damage the (new) car.

The owner of the car should try to file a claim with the city the road is in.
Sorry, that's just stupid, IMHO. It is not reasonable to expect roads to be constantly swept clean of all loose stones. To demand that would be a foolish waste of resources. It's a street, not a dance floor.

There are some hazards that are not avoidable at reasonable cost, so we all bear the risk of them. The car could just have easily kicked up a stone that injured the cyclist. No fault there, too. I'm all for making people pay for injuries they cause by behaving negligently, but some sh*t just happens.
 

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I use to handle insurance claims, so I do have a little back ground on this sort of stuff. Whenever a person is legally liable to someone else, either for bodily injury or personal damage, you would have to be negligent in some way. In other words, you have to owe some duty to someone and you have to have broken it.

By simply riding your bike and a rock was kicked up does not mean you are negligent. What did you do wrong? Nothing. Now, let’s look at this like the Myth Busters, what would you have had to do to be negligent. Say every morning you ride real close to the dude’s parked car. And every day, the owner of the car tell you, hey, you really ride very close to my car, and I really wish you would not because some day you’re going to hit it, or kick a rock up or something. Well, at that point you are put on notice, you are now aware of the situation. So, you say, screw it, I'm riding the way I always have, and now you damage the car as you where riding real close, now you might be liable.

So getting back to his case, if the owner of the car made a person liability claim against you, I (we) would have denied payment on your behave to the owner of the car. (Your Homeowners insurance policy provides personal liability coverage) And we would have defended you, if need be, as you did nothing that a reasonable and prudent person would have done in the same situation.
 

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all cars driven on the road will get nicked eventually... tell them to get over it
 

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OP,
You are not at fault because you had no intension of doing it.

Now, if you did a drift in a bunch of gravel right in front of the car and sprayed it, that's different. That's avoidable.
 

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dougclaysmith said:
......Say every morning you ride real close to the dude’s parked car. And every day, the owner of the car tell you, hey, you really ride very close to my car, and I really wish you would not because some day you’re going to hit it, or kick a rock up or something. Well, at that point you are put on notice, you are now aware of the situation. ..............
So if your reply is "dude, I ride by here every day and if you keep parking here, your car may get a rock chip" does that put him on notice?

Maybe he should sweep the area next to his car. :D

I really think that it's a no fault scenario. Unlike car door dings which are pure carelessness/negligence.
 

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The fault clearly lies with the guy driving the gravel truck who forgot to sweep off the stray gravel from his truck bed/frame after he filled his truck and then headed off down the highway and littered that gravel all over the highway.
 

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MerlinAma said:
So if your reply is "dude, I ride by here every day and if you keep parking here, your car may get a rock chip" does that put him on notice?

Maybe he should sweep the area next to his car. :D

I really think that it's a no fault scenario. Unlike car door dings which are pure carelessness/negligence.

Yep, thats why we have judge and jury. You can be sued for anything.
 
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