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Court Case Help Needed

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' at netrider.net.au started by Kaer, May 17, 2005.

  1. Hello all,

    Need a little help with a Court Case.

    The story.

    This happened in August last year.

    I share a secure carpark area with 6 other car spaces in my apartment building. Both the car and bike fit into the same spot.

    Rough Diagram


    A & C are other cars.
    B is my fiancee's car.
    D is my bike. It's facing towards car C, so leaning over towards Car B.

    On the Left of Car A is a concrete Wall.
    On the Right of Car C is a concrete Wall.

    We moved in in February, and for 6 months no problems. When parking my bike I strapped my helmet to the right footrest for the night.

    On August 30th, Car C backed up, and ran into my bike, knocking it over. There was a witness which I found out about later.

    The driver of Car C did not leave a note. They picked the bike up, and tried to put everything back as it was.

    When I came out in the morning, as soon as I saw the bike I knew it had been knocked over. Examing my helmet, there was a nasty big scratch taking out of it.

    I left a note on both the cars, and the Car C driver owned up to knocking over my bike. They claim they are not at fault because of the way I parked.

    Wasn't interested in claiming damages for the bike (I really couldn't justify it to myself as I had done a low speed drop on the same side the previous week in the wet), but was interested in getting compensation for the helmet.

    Sent a letter of demand for damages, she responded by saying because of the way car B and the bike were parked, we were negligent, so she'd only pay a third.

    She has a witness who was directing her on how to drive out of the car space at the time.

    Why she didn't walk all of 5 metres and knock on my door to ask me to move the bike, if the driving out of her carspace was beyond her abilities, is beyond me. She did do this on another occasion when the car was blocking her.

    We were moving out soon, so I waited until we did before I went to small claims court to do the claim. (I really didn't want anyone vindictive parking next to the bike).

    Had the preliminary hearing last tuesday. The registrar said for me to win, I need to do 2 things, which is where the help comes in.

    a) I need to prove the damage to the helmet renders it useless. That is a 150 kg bike falling onto a helmet and pushing it into a concrete surface destroys any safety value in it.
    b) That a reasonable person would not run into a parked vehicle that they have seen while getting into their vehicle, no matter how it was parked.

    For her to win, she has to prove that a reasonable person would run into a parked vehcile.

    If I prove part B, I win. I need to prove part A to get the full amount ($300 for the helmet + $107 for court costs). Otherwise the assessor can assign a portion of the amount. So I need to prove any hard blow trashes the helmet.

    Anyhow if there are any helmet manufactures, rider trainers, long term riders, who could provide me a short letter stating that such an incident would render a helmet pretty much useless, it would help me a lot. I do have the manufacturers information + rta website info that a sharp blow on a hard surface does damage a helmet, but any additional evidence can't hurt.

    Also if anyone else wants to state what they would do as Driver of Car C in the same circumstances, that will help as well.

    I need full name/address and phone number on the letter. You won't be called up, as it is only written evidence that can be presented in Court.

    If so can you e-mail over to ozlegend@gmail.com, be much appreciated.

    The next steps are I need to document everything up (I'll upload it to get feedback), then send both to her and the court. Court date is set for June 17th.

    Yes I know it's a fairly small amount, and a lot of work to do to get it, but it's the entire principle that annoys me.

    Thank you kindly for reading this long post and helping out if you can.

  2. If I was the driver of Car C then it should have been easy to reverse out and then move so that the car missed your bike. This is of course will work only if your bike is fully within the parking bay. If it was then they have used your car park as a turning bay. What if for instance if your bike was in front of your fiancee's car would they have then hit their car instead. If you have to walk past the entrance of the car parks to get to the car then you cannot have missed the bike being parked there.

    I have forwarded this to your email account as well.
  3. contact Guy Stanford at
    motorcycle council of NSW
    they will be able to direct you to the right people.
  4. Crazy, in NZ she would be done for reversing while not taking undue care. end of story.
  5. Cops said easiest option (since at the time I didn't have insurance on the bike), was to do letter of demand, then small claims court.
  6. Any of the helmet manufacturers should be able to help. They probably have a standard letter (very much like baby car seat manufacturers do) stating that in the event of an accident (even dropping) the helmet it is rendered unsafe to use.

    Helmets are designed to absorb an impact once. I had an off at about 50kmph and by the time the helmet hit the ground at 30kmph it had scraping on the visor and front at the chin. When putting the helmet on you can tell that it's had an impact, it feels much tighter to wear than it did previously. This is a result of the impact, I can't quite remember the physics but this is how they are designed to operate.
  7. Any helmet that has hit the ground should be thrown out (cut the chin strap off to prevent someone grabbing it from the bin).

    In racing it only takes a small scratch to have a helmet written off for racing.
  8. She can't reduce your claim for the way car B was parked because its not your car (I understand its your fiancee's). Your claim can only be reduced according to your contribution not anyone elses regardless of the relationship between you.

    If it costs you to get a report on the helmet, remember to claim it as part of the overall claim.

    Good to see someone standing up for their rights. Because you took the time to do it she just might see the next parked bike and be careful to avoid it. Who knows, it could be one of ours! :D
  9. I think that you are wasting your time, if it it was as you say then she could not have knocked over your bike.
    But alternatively if you did not leave reasonable room for the car parked in C to move then you should not have left your bike there in the first place, the fact that you got away with it for some time is no excuse.
    Also I think it would be reasonable to assume that anyone who leaves their helmet hanging from the footpeg doesn't have the best interest of the helmet in mind anyway, and it is just as likely that the helmet was already damaged prior to the incident that you are upset about.

    to go to all this trouble and expect others to go to even more trouble over a cheap $300 helmet that you were not looking after correctly in the first place is laughable, and to take it to a small claims court AND actually expect to ever see any money is even more laughable.
    For all you know she might counter claim that your bike made her late for work on many occasions or some such thing.
    By the way none of this is personal, I am just giving you a couple of alternative viewpoints, there will be many more, probably the easisest thing to do is to move on, learn by it and use the time that you will waste in court to pay for several helmets.
  10. Bike was within my car park lines. It's irrelevent if it's illegally parked anyway. The registrar in the court said this. You don't get the right to damage a parked vehicle. She hit the bike as when she spun out of her area, she spun too far.

    Locked private garage with 5 other residences? You're not going to leave your helmet on your bike? Golf Clubs & paintings were also stored in this garage by other residents.

    $300 is $300. If you have $300 to throw around, feel free to toss it my way.

    The main reason I'm totally pissed is this woman put my safety at risk. She didn't inform me of knocking my bike over/trashing my helmet. If I wasn't alert enough to notice, I'd be riding around with a useless helmet.

    She tried to put everything back as it was and pretend nothing happened. Never apologised. And before going to court, she got the standard letter of demand.

    And Small Claims court is there for exactly this, small claims.
  11. Oh, and since I'm self employed(Senior IT Contractor), my hourly rate get charged to her if she loses, so I'm actually losing no work time.

    Only works out to about 2 hours of court time though. It is a fairly fast system.
  12. Yeah, I've got the manufacturers note from the manual that came with the helmet + information from the rta. I'll also stick a picture in (as it's a nasty big scratch). Just looking for extra ammo, as more can't hurt.
  13. I have won a couple of cases in the small claims court, which should have resulted in fairly reasonable rewards, the reality is that not a cent has ever been received.
  14. Funny that she will prolly end up being liable for soooo much more simply cos she didn't want to accept responsibility for her actions.

    You should include repair of the scratches on the bike too. :D

  15. Because you have admitted this, can't she reasonably claim that this is likely to have caused the scratch, prior to her causing the bike to fall over.
  16. Mate of mine won one where the guy claimed he had no money. Bloke transferred all his possessions/cash to gf. He showed in the court one of his bank statements with no money.

    My mate then got the court to order the bank to transfer any money ever deposited into that account to him. It took 2 goes for all the money to transfer in.

    My mate said his greatest victory in that was the thought of this guy going to the ATM, trying to withdraw money and getting the insufficient funds message.

    Not too fussed, she owns a nice a car. If I do win and she refuses to pay, sending the sheriffs around to confisicate it, sell it and give me my money would be sweet :)
  17. I didn't fall over, bike did. She could if I was claiming damages to the bike, which I'm not. Was why I didn't pursue any of that, as I couldn't justify it to myself since I didn't know which accident caused it.
  18. Go for it Kaer. Too many people get their stuff taken/trashed and dont fight for their rights. $300 is $300 plus as someone has said maybe next time she'll be more careful of other peoples stuff.
  19. this is what really shits me about people, no taking responsibility for their own actions.

    i have cleaned up a couple of mirrors lane splitting on the push bike but at least i turned around, gave the drivers my details and got the bill a few weeks later. they were pissed but glad i stopped.

    those 2 mirrors cost me $400 and rightly so since i broke them :(

    send her to the cleaners :evil: