Freak accident

(THIS IS A FICTIONAL STORY, though partially based on true facts)

A friend was riding his motorcyle.
The guy, who was riding in front of him, was smoking a cigarette.
He taps his sigarette and the ashes fly into my friend’s eyes.

A mother and her son were riding behind my friend.
My friend reduces speed, because hjs eyes couldn’t see clearly anymore.
The mother tries to avoid him, but bumps into the car, next to her.

Some of the cars in Taiwan, have this kind of protectors on the bumpers, which look a little bit like a spear (especially handy while parking your car)
The son, sitting at the back of this motorcyle, accidentally falls onto one of them. This “protector” partially went into the little boy’s throat.

Everybody, with the exception of the cigarette smoking rider, stopped.
They called the police and an ambulance.
The police tries to understand my friend’s broken Chinese,
but ends up at the police station, where they keep him for a few hours.
He says he only remembers three or 4 number of the number plate of the cigarette smoking guy in front of him.
The boy was listed in the hospital to be in critical condition.

Now, the mother threatens to sue him for unvoluntary causing an accident and a compensation of around 2 million NT dollars.
He says he is willing to pay the hospital expenses and revalidation expenses for the boy, but he is not willing to cough up any other money.

If it were you, would you pay anything?

The police does not seem to be able to find this cigarette smoking rider.

Do you have any other suggestions for him?

He’ll have to go to court, I’m guessing. Get over to the vroom vroom forum, where there’s a lot of very good info on this kind of thing, especially from Mordeth. First off, DO NOT believe the police. They have NO RIGHT to effect a settlement, although they’ll try to make you think so. Any kind of settlement offered by the cops can (and probably should) be refused point blank. Remember, the police CANNOT assign blame in an accident if one of the parties objects, whatever bullshit the cops try to tell you.
It’s tragic for the little boy of course, but it was the mother who ran into the back of you, not the other way around. She was following too close to the vehicle in front and failed to control her vehicle.

It’s the mother’s fault, not yours. She should have stopped or avoided you without crashing. If she couldn’t, she was following too closely.

As far as the cigarette flicker goes, you could lay a lawsuit against him if you knew who he was. Don’t know what you’d get for getting an ash in your eye though.

It’s the womans fault, clearly she wasn’t following at a safe distance. You are allowed to slow down for safety reasons. I’m guessing the kid probably wasn’t wearing a helmet either so reckless endangerment. The woman is just looking to aportion blame or generate funds. How it would pan out in the courtroom however I don’t really know.

Most definately go to the vroom forum and ask Mordeath, he has the low down on cars, cops traffic laws and the ilk.
Again the police CANNOT lay blame it is up to the courts.
good luck

Thanks for the suggsestion.
I copied the thread and posted it in the VROOM VROOM forum.

I don’t think your friend has to be afraid of anything. Either the mother with her son was too fast on the scooter and/or did not keep the required safety distance (police are handing out tickets for that) or the brakes of her scooter did not work as supposed to be. There is nothing your friend did wrong. Nonetheless, he should take a good lawyer - in the end the mother will have to pay for it.

The only reason others say I know so much about these things is because I suck at riding and crash so darn much… :blush: :help:

Other people have already said the main things that I would say. All that I can add is:

The situation sounds serious. You might want to contact your embassy (trade office) and see if they’ll help give you legal representation incase it goes to court. Contacting the Foreign affairs police might also be in your best interest.

Dangermouse had an accident where he was clearly not at fault…nonetheless he was ordered to pay around 2 million in compensation. BUT that happened a while ago and the traffic rules here are constantly becoming more americanized (in a good way). So while I don’t think you would be found at fault in a court…it might be nice to get some extra protection for yourself in the way of legal representation.

Legally she is clearly to blame. If a dog runs out of onto the street in front of me, I should be able to jam on my brakes without anyone crashing into me from behind…that is why “by law” people are required to ride at a safe following distance from the vehicles in front. Umm, that’s called an-chew-N-jew-lee <—which means safe distance…or something.

Realistically she should be paying for any damages to your bike…but the Taiwanese courts wouldn’t take kindly to you sueing a woman with an injured son. Even though you’re legally entitled to do so.

Maybe someone here with the motorcycle test questions book can photocopy the page that shows what distance people have to legally be from the person ahead. You could give her a copy of that next time you see her.