What to do if I was riding my bike and the woman in front of me came to a rather quick stop and I didn’t hit her directly but my bicycle did scratch up the rear passenger side of her car?

There was no damage to my bike and no injuries to me but the woman wants me to cover the damages to her car. Am I responsible for these damages?

Asked on October 3, 2015 under Accident Law, Pennsylvania


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you would most likely be liable or financially responsible for the damage you did the scratches, and if she were to sue you, she'd most likely win.
1 The rear vehicle and a bike is a vehicle is held resonsible to maintain a safe following distance, so you can stop or swerve in time to avoid an accident. There is a presumption that the rear vehicle was at fault.
2 A bike, being much lighter, can stop faster than a car so if she slammed on brakes, you should hae been able to stop behind her without hitting her. Factually, if you could not come to a full stop in time, you were almost certainly either too close or were not being sufficiently attentive and reaching as quickly as you ought.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.