A New York City bicyclist involved in a recent bicycle accident received large gashes in his elbows after a car swiped him as he rode to work one morning. The bill the bicyclist later received may have been worse than his injuries, however.
The Ford Taurus that hit the bicyclist was an unmarked police car. The two officers who got out of the car and called an ambulance were friendly, the bicyclist told a news outlet. But later, the police department sent him a $1,263 bill for damage to the police car as a result of the bicycle accident.
The bicyclist was not ticketed for the accident. It happened when he left the bicycle lane to turn left. It appeared clear to turn. The bicyclist signaled his turn, but before he could do so the police car hit his left side, knocking him off the bike.
The city has since dropped its demand for money. The man’s attorney says that police should have sent an apology instead of a bill. The case is at least the third time that the city has billed pedestrians or bicyclists who were hit by police cars.
This bicyclist was lucky not to receive serious injuries in the accident. Even when they wear helmets, , bicyclists have less protection that occupants of cars and trucks. As a result, they are more likely to suffer severe accidents such as broken bones, head and neck injuries, back injuries, and other serious injuries. Although people may assume that an accident is a bicyclist’s fault, accidents are often caused by careless or distracted drivers. These drivers can be held accountable for bicyclists’ accidents.
Source: New York Post, “City bills cyclist $1,200 for damage to police car that struck him,” Dan Mangan, April 8, 2013