ASRA - Australian Skateboard Racing Association

Car / skateboard crash - driver claiming damages (NSW)

Hi!
There seems to be a decent knowledge base on the forums about skateboarding and the law, so I thought Id ask a question that is worrying me.

I was riding my longboard to work one day and had an accident with a car. I was coming down a hill, towards a roundabout. I left space to run it out if needed, nothing was coming on the right, and the cars on the left were slowing. It looked like they were going to give way (as they should do for a vehicle or rider in my position) so I kept heading through. Turns out the guy hadnt even seen me til I was in the process of denting his bonnet. I was mildly injured but my employer insisted workcover would cover my injury treatment since I was on the way to work. So I kind of forgot about it until I get a claim against me in the mail 2 months later, for damages to his car.

If I was considered a vehicle or a rider, then I would have had right of way in the situation and the guy who hit me would be in trouble. However if I was a pedestrian, he would also be in trouble supposedly because you have to give way to pedestrians if there is risk of collision. The senior constable at the local copshop didnt know whether I was liable on a skateboard, he could only tell me with certainty that it is illegal to skate on the road. And yes unfortunately the road did have a dividing line (50km/hr speed limit).

Can anyone tell me thei thoughts on liability in this situation. My car is insured and I have business insurance (Public Liability) however both appear to have clauses that seem to exclude this situation (ie car insurance only covers liability by my vehicle or 'a substitute motor vehicle' which obviously doesnt include a skateboard. And the business insurance suggests liability is not covered when participating in sports.) I am seeking legal aid, and feeling pretty worried.

Any help would be appreciated!

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get him to chill out and go cruising with you ;D
Man thats a tough one and by the sounds of it could be a case that sets precedents. Good luck!
were you paid compensation for your injury?
No, all I received was free physio from the work cover claim.
that sucks !
unfortunately you are liable for the damage due to the centre lines on the road
First off, don't admit any liability. Tell Legal Aid you want to contest it. If you get a friendly magistrate on your side they will see the obvious - this guy pulled out in front, ie. he was driving dangerously and has no one to blame but himself. If you were on a bike you would be covered by this. If you were on foot he would be to blame. Why is it any different that you were on a skateboard. Sure, it's illegal to be on a public road with lines, but 99% of people have never heard of this law. The fact that you were on a skateboard really has no bearing in this case. The guy pulled out without looking and that is a cardinal no no.

This is about his insurance company not wanting to foot the bill. They heard you were on a skateboard and think "cool, let's send him a bill". If you were on a bike they would pay up straight away. You need to get in front of a magistrate and explain why you are no different from a bike. You wear a helmet, you ride safely and can brake quickly, just like a bike. Ie. for the purposes of explaining the cause of and attributing blame to this accident, the fact that you are on a skateboard is incidental. It's an "after-the-fact" factor. At the end of the day it is the driver's fault entirely and his insurance company should pay.

Keep us posted on how it goes.
I have already contacted the other party's insurance company. The operator suggested I state my case in an email and that he would check up on road rules and speak to the police. I really cant afford to pay damages. The guy was a car freak, even had personalised plates. Does it help that he admitted at the scene in front of witnesses that he didnt see me?
yes it does. he didn't see you he admitted he was at fault.
J-mo said:
I have already contacted the other party's insurance company. The operator suggested I state my case in an email and that he would check up on road rules and speak to the police. I really cant afford to pay damages. The guy was a car freak, even had personalised plates. Does it help that he admitted at the scene in front of witnesses that he didnt see me?
I think the angle that he didnt look is my best bet. skateboards are clearly classed as 'wheeled toys' and lumped in with pedestrians, not vehicles. I have been researching the road rules.
Either way he is in the wrong. If you are pedestrian or a vehicle he was still in the wrong. Write an email and state this. Do not say anything about the road rules. Do not admit any fault. State what happened and that he admitted he didn't look.
unfortunately your in the wrong mate i have had many a long chat road traffic police (the only cops who know that skating on a road is illegal.

its illegal for a few reasons.
1. The road had a dividing line on it.
2. Your wheels are to small to be on the road.
3. your not aloud to go over 50kmh.
4. Any painted lines on the road e.g. (giveway, stop, zebra lines).

But then he still should have givenway to you so i reckon if go with what Haggy said you might be right or end up with a fine of $56
If you have household insurance then you might be covered by the Public Liability side of that (I know I am as I checked with my insurer). I think he was in the wrong, but if you can get your insurer verses his insurer, you won't have to stress.

My 2 cents

Ado

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