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Old 18.05.2017, 13:27
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Bike vs Car in Zurich and Pressing Charges

Hello All

I was involved in an accident in Zurich recently. I was commuting to work on a bicycle using one of the many awful Zurich cycle paths. At one point there is a very main road to cross with 2 lanes of cars each way and of course two tram lines in the middle.

I stopped at the crossing with pedestrians and waited for cars to stop. I then cycled very slowly at walking pace across road and was hit by a car that had not stopped on the last row of cars. The car finally stopped 5 meters or so past the crossing. A pedestrian was about 2 meters behind me who saw it all happen.

Police attended and I was taken to Hospital in an Ambulance and have a fractured spine. Not a scratch on me and my bike actually looks OK as well. The car only seemed to be missing wing mirror but I don't actually remember much about it.

I was told police would leave a business card with me in Ambulance and visit me in Hospital of which neither happened. Finally managed to track down the correct police station a week or so later to give a statement and my version is the same as what witnesses said. I didn't sign anything in the police station. I was told that I broke the law by riding across the crossing and the case would be sent to a judge who would decide the outcome of who was guilty (no court appearance). The policeman seemed to indicate that we would probably both be fined. I was not given a police reference number or anything.

A week or so later the policeman called and said I should have signed a document which more or less says that I will not press charges against the driver. (Verzicht auf Strafantrag). He said this is normal procedure and everybody does this.

I have TCS insurance, Liability Insurance, obviously accident insurance and also since I'm a contractor I have sickness insurance which after two stand down days I get paid for not being able to work. I do not have Legal insurance

So I quite a few questions.


  • Will all costs expanses etc get picked up by my accident insurance company? (Including the two days of not being paid)
  • Will it also cover flights for example that I can no longer use?
  • The drivers insurance and my Accident insurance (and I guess my sickness insurance) will argue amongst themselves who has to pay the bill once a judgement is made by the Judge?
  • I guess I should only deal with my Accident Insurance and Sickness insurance company?
  • If I'm at fault this is where my liability insurance should cover the damage to the driver’s car?
  • Why would the police want me to sign a form saying I won't prosecute? Why would I want to prosecute the driver?
  • Can anybody recommend a lawyer in Zug that might be able to help?

Thanks
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Old 18.05.2017, 14:36
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Re: Bike vs Car in Zurich and Pressing Charges

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I stopped at the crossing with pedestrians and waited for cars to stop. I then cycled very slowly at walking pace across road and was hit by a car that had not stopped on the last row of cars
what part of pedestrian crossing did you not understand????

sorry but this is one huge bugbear of mine
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Old 18.05.2017, 14:44
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Re: Bike vs Car in Zurich and Pressing Charges

100% agree, hopefully no insurance will cover the damages and you learn a lesson
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Old 18.05.2017, 14:52
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Re: Bike vs Car in Zurich and Pressing Charges

As a cyclist, I agree with bigblue that you should dismount to use a pedestrian crossing, unless it serves as a dual purpose pedestrian/cycle crossing (there are several round me like this). However, if you were crossing at the same time as some pedestrians, then surely the driver should have stopped for the pedestrians and should be deserving of a hefty penalty?
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Old 18.05.2017, 14:53
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Re: Bike vs Car in Zurich and Pressing Charges

You might actually want to tell us which junction you were crossing and whether there was any light indicating you could/should cross.
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Old 18.05.2017, 15:00
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Re: Bike vs Car in Zurich and Pressing Charges

Guys, I agree with you. Trust me, a fractured vertebrae is enough of a lesson. I'm still in huge pain and wondering if/when I'll actually have a normal life again. I'm not malicious and don't wish the driver any further emotional harm.

We all make mistakes in life and this is what insurance is for. Unplanned life changing events.

The crossing is between two parts of a cycle path that follow the Sihl cycle path and I was crossing Bederstrasse. The police informed me that I should have been 1 meter to the left of the pedestrian crossing as this where the cycle path goes. Of course it's unmarked and you could never cross a six lane road like this in rush hour.

I'm trying to understand the correct process to follow but can't understand why the Police want me to waive my rights. If the driver is found 100% at fault (unlikely) and I've waived my rights then where do I stand? How will all the insurance work?
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Old 18.05.2017, 15:05
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Re: Bike vs Car in Zurich and Pressing Charges

[*] Will all costs expanses etc get picked up by my accident insurance company? (Including the two days of not being paid)
The medical costs will be paid by your accident insurance. The two days are your problem.
[*] Will it also cover flights for example that I can no longer use?
Read the contract and terms and condition of sick pay insurance.
[*] The drivers insurance and my Accident insurance (and I guess my sickness insurance) will argue amongst themselves who has to pay the bill once a judgement is made by the Judge?
What bill? Medical bill is paid by accident insurance.
[*] I guess I should only deal with my Accident Insurance and Sickness insurance company?
So far yes.
[*] If I'm at fault this is where my liability insurance should cover the damage to the driver’s car?
Yes. Hopefully you have one.
[*] Why would the police want me to sign a form saying I won't prosecute?
Because you have to decide.
[*] Why would I want to prosecute the driver?
Because he may be at fault and you want press charges, specially civil charges to recover your cost. Such as anything not paid by sick pay or accident insurance.
[*] Can anybody recommend a lawyer in Zug that might be able to help?
Sorry, no. But as it happened in Zurich you may beter look for one there.
They claim to be expert for traffic law. I am sure the will bill accordingly.
https://gigerpartnerlaw.ch/legalfiel...verkehrsrecht/
(Ask first about fees and such before you start with details. As you know the joke goes; Someone asks a lawyer: Isn't 500 CHF for answering two simple question a complete rip off? Lawyer: No. What is the second question?)

Thanks[/QUOTE]

Although, it is a stupid idea to cycle over a pedestrian crossing and not according to traffic laws the other driver may be still at fault (as the policeman said, it is possible that both of you are at fault) or actually have the most blame in the accident. At this point, considering your injury, signing the Verzicht auf Strafantrag would not be an wise idea.
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Old 18.05.2017, 15:10
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Re: Bike vs Car in Zurich and Pressing Charges

So it seems that this crossing indeed also serves as a cycle crossing, albeit slightly to one side. That beggars the question, would the motorist have hit you had you been on the "cycle lane" of the crossing and not on the zebra stripes? If it is a genuine pedestrian crossing and you had a green light, then the motorist has, by default, jumped a red, which is one of the bigger no-nos in Swiss motoring.
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Old 18.05.2017, 15:24
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Re: Bike vs Car in Zurich and Pressing Charges

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I stopped at the crossing with pedestrians and waited for cars to stop. I then cycled very slowly at walking pace across road and was hit by a car
just to understand - you stopped with the pedestrians, you started cycling at walking pace with the pedestrians, then you were hit by the car. How come no pedestrians were hit?
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Old 18.05.2017, 15:25
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Re: Bike vs Car in Zurich and Pressing Charges

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So it seems that this crossing indeed also serves as a cycle crossing, albeit slightly to one side. That beggars the question, would the motorist have hit you had you been on the "cycle lane" of the crossing and not on the zebra stripes? If it is a genuine pedestrian crossing and you had a green light, then the motorist has, by default, jumped a red, which is one of the bigger no-nos in Swiss motoring.
No traffic light. https://goo.gl/maps/CYhzEuCK34p

From your description the car hitting you was driving on the on most northern lane (the lane furthest away on the picture).

As you say
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A pedestrian was about 2 meters behind me who saw it all happen.
Means the car did a clear violation of Art. 35 SVG Abs. 5 when the traffic has stop on the other lanes in the same direction.
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Fahrzeuge dürfen nicht überholt werden, wenn der Führer die Absicht anzeigt, nach links abzubiegen, oder wenn er vor einem Fussgängerstreifen anhält, um Fussgängern das Überqueren der Strasse zu ermöglichen.
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Old 18.05.2017, 15:27
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Re: Bike vs Car in Zurich and Pressing Charges

The crossing of doom - you won't be the first person who has had a run in with a car at that crossing - especially at peak time.

Only a fool would sign a document in a foreign language they didn't understand.
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Old 18.05.2017, 15:33
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Re: Bike vs Car in Zurich and Pressing Charges

I cycle every day on Bederstr. and each time I see cyclists crossing Bederstr. just like you did, on the pedestrian crossing and also cycling. It's because the cycle lanes are indeed lined up to the crossing.
If this happened to you in late afternoon, I can tell you what happened:
The car had been stuck in traffic coming from Saalsporthalle, you can be trapped in there for 20mins before passing Sihlcity. After the Sihlcity red light, there's usually an open road without traffic. There can also be a long bus stopped on the right under the bridge. Then the visibility is limited for cars but they're still tempted to speed up since, at last, the road is open.
Very often do I see cars who need to break hard to let pedestrians cross.
I think you're not to blame in this accident.
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Old 18.05.2017, 15:35
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Re: Bike vs Car in Zurich and Pressing Charges

But there is a traffic island, which means that it counts as two crossings.

So, was the pedestrian behind you on the same (second) crossing as you, or the first one?

Tom
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Old 18.05.2017, 15:38
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Re: Bike vs Car in Zurich and Pressing Charges

I think the OP's only "crime" is that he was on the stripes and not slightly to the side, hardly grounds to be seen at fault. The driver should be taken to the cleaners.
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Old 18.05.2017, 15:41
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Re: Bike vs Car in Zurich and Pressing Charges

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I think you're not to blame in this accident.
Legally he is to blame as well. He would have zero blame if he had pushed the bike.
But when you ride the bike you have to observe the shark teeth at the end of Lessingstrasse https://goo.gl/maps/8fhr1n2Xtop But there is still a good chance the car driver has more blame than the cyclist. Also because of "allgemeine Betriebsgefahr" which means car driver have to be extra carfule as they have a greater chance to inflict serious injuries. One of the reason why a cyclist not observing a red light is fined less than a car doing the same.
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Old 18.05.2017, 15:42
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Re: Bike vs Car in Zurich and Pressing Charges

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I think the OP's only "crime" is that he was on the stripes and not slightly to the side, hardly grounds to be seen at fault. The driver should be taken to the cleaners.
No, the issue is that he was cycling and thus had no priority. No priority on the stripes and no priority left of the strips.
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Old 18.05.2017, 15:49
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Re: Bike vs Car in Zurich and Pressing Charges

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I'm trying to understand the correct process to follow
While mounted on the bike you're a biker, not a pedestrian. Unmount when you use the pedestrian strip or lane and push your bike, otherwise stay on the road/Radweg. By unmounting you're a pedestrian, only then do you have right of way when on a pedestrian strip. It's quite simple.

Since only a pedestrian on the stripe has priority, one can argue that you had no business crossing the street at that time because you, being mounted, had to respect the "give way" shark teeth. The car OTOH clearly didn't adapt his driving to the situation, otherwise he could have stopped. The big question is, which of these two views is given higher weight by the court.
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but can't understand why the Police want me to waive my rights. If the driver is found 100% at fault (unlikely) and I've waived my rights then where do I stand? How will all the insurance work?
Exactly. Don't waive it, there's no reason to.

Last edited by Urs Max; 18.05.2017 at 16:06.
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Old 18.05.2017, 15:52
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Re: Bike vs Car in Zurich and Pressing Charges

Are there any tyre skid marks on the road?
Did the driver make any attempt to stop before hitting the cyclist?

Sounds like driving without undue care and attention (or whatever the equivalent is here, if there is one).
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Old 18.05.2017, 16:02
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Re: Bike vs Car in Zurich and Pressing Charges

This is what I know of crossings with no traffic lights:
  1. If you mount-off and walk with your bike on the pedestrian crossing, then you have right of way.
  2. If you don't dismount but continue to cycle, whether you cross on the pedestrian or cycle crossing, you have no right of way.
  3. I've been told this also applies to kickboards.
Since we don't have all the details, I would assume blame to be accorded to both OP and car driver.

My kids bike to school and are under strict orders to dismount on pedestrian crossings. I catch them once, and no biking for a month.
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Old 18.05.2017, 16:33
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Re: Bike vs Car in Zurich and Pressing Charges

All, Thanks for your replies.

I was traveling towards Zurich. The car was moving towards the motorway bridge in the furthermost lane. I assume the car thought traffic elsewhere was stationary because of lights on the other side of the motorway and not because of the crossing. The junction for a cyclist is extremely confusing, there is no way across the road and no lights for the crossing/cyclists. I wrongly assumed that this was a shared crossing with pedestrians and it was OK to ride as part of the cycle route. I now know that this is not the case for any crossing. There was no skid marks by car or by me. I can assume they didn't see me as much as I didn't see them. I was at walking pace and have GPS data to back that up. There were pedestrians travelling in my direction and they were 1-2 meters behind me on the crossing.

Sounds like I should not sign this form and at least keep my options open (just incase). It's in German and English by the way. I'm also surprised that so far I've signed nothing with the Police at all. Even my own statement.
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