Help Accident with Pedestrian

Tamir

Speeding Up
Aug 19, 2011
56
0
26
35
Tokyo
www.facebook.com
#1
Last week I hit a pedestrian.
(Please go gently with any chastisements or criticism. I know biking on the sidewalk is illegal, and I try to keep it to an absolute minimum, but sometimes it's unavoidable. I've biked on the streets of Tokyo every day for the past 3 years with zero pedestrian-related incidents.)

I was biking on the sidewalk from my apartment up a hill, and as I turned onto a small road to get off the sidewalk, I dodged an oncoming pedestrian and went around a blind corner only to hit another pedestrian head-on.
She fell down and sustained a cut on the elbow and a bruised knee.
She stood up, I asked if she was okay and apologized. She said she was okay and took a couple steps. That's when she realized her sandal was broken. She asked me to pay for it, so I took out a 5000 yen note. She seemed offended and told me they were Prada. I asked her to show me, so she did.
We exchanged business cards and it seemed that she was going on her way, so I did too.

I later got a call from the police, saying she had filed a report and that I had technically done a hit-and-run. They said I should call the woman and apologize and work things out.

I contacted her and apologized. She later sent me hospital receipts and a quote for fixing her sandal. She also wants me to pay for her taking a half-day off work.

All of this is perfectly understandable. I was in the wrong and caused her bodily harm and property damage.

However, she is also asking for 50,000 yen for emotional distress (慰謝料). She includes my attitude towards her after the accident (taking out cash to pay for her shoe, when that was the first thing she said), and that she will not be able to wear said sandals for the 3 weeks it will take to repair them.

Unfortunately, I don't have bike insurance, so writing it all off is not an option.
While I am prepared to pay up to a point, a total of 100,000 yen seems a bit exorbitant.
Am I getting gouged? Do I have to take it?

Someone else posted about an Alternative Dispute Resolution Center (http://www.bpaj.or.jp/report/adr_shiori.pdf) a while back. Has anyone used it?

Any advice (of the constructive kind) would be welcome.
 

kiwisimon

Maximum Pace
Dec 14, 2006
2,682
495
103
Japan
#2
No experience here, so consult a legal professional. My gut reaction is you may have to suck it up and pay. She did nothing wrong, you did everything wrong.

Sometimes mentioning to her that you have had legal advice will help to make negotiations go more smoothly. How much are you prepared to pay?

What is the fine for a hit and run? Balance it all up and maybe 100,000円 isn't too unreasonable. Was she hot?Perhaps you can offer ....... nah. Good luck!

Japan legal Aid Association – Tokyo

The Bar Association charges JPY 5,000 for up to 30 minutes of consultation. After 30 minutes, the fee is an additional JPY 2,500 for each 15 minute block of time. Free counseling with English or Chinese (Mandarin) interpreters is available on Thursdays on a first-come, first-served basis from 9:30am to 3:00pm. Bring all documents to explain your case. Location: Bar Association Bldg., 1-1-3 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo. Access: Subway Kasumigaseki Station, B1-b exit TEL: 03-3580-2851
 

FarEast

Maximum Pace
May 25, 2009
5,528
538
193
Yokohama
#3
You are lucky she is not pressing charges, as a bicycle is considered a light vehicle and you basically you were involved in a "Hit and Run" she could have taken you to the cleaners for up to 3 million yen and depending on the person/police/legal advisor end up serving jail time.

So having to cough up 100,000円 is nothing in comparison.

In regards to the law regarding riding on the pavement it is legal under certain conditions:

  • Pavement (sidewalk) is over 3 meters wide
  • Road is considered dangerous and/or no cycling sign is displayed
  • Paved area is designated as cycle path (Pedestrains still have right of way)
If you do ride on the pavement then all pedestrians have right of way and you must be prepared to stop and dismount at anytime.

In regards to legal advice - to be honest I think they are going to tell you to cough up, basically she has 100% of the law and events behind her and like I said she could take you to the cleaners.
 
Jun 6, 2013
119
18
38
40
#4
And the moral of the story is, never go around a corner blind. Pull out straight far enough until you can see around the corner before turning. You wouldn't turn a corner blind in a car would you. Always ride the bike like you would drive a car and everyone will be safer.
 
Likes: jdd

jdd

Maximum Pace
Hardest Crash
Jul 26, 2008
2,519
650
133
Kanazawa
#5
Or, the moral of the story might be what Tamir should have done at the scene of the accident?

Besides calling and waiting for police (and an ambulance?) what else should have been done?

This is not shoulda/coulda/woulda, it's just in case. I'd like to learn some post-accident rules/necessities from this.

Apparently, offering money at the scene is an insulting no-no? (that you can file damages for?!?!?! o_O )

Is turning on your cellphone video worthwhile (e.g., while you're talking, with supposed minor injury as in this case)? If she agreed to something post-accident (like that the the police don't need to be called), wouldn't then filing a report be less damaging?

And so on. Any advice/suggestions would be appreciated--either directly connected to the conditions here, or in general.
 

jdd

Maximum Pace
Hardest Crash
Jul 26, 2008
2,519
650
133
Kanazawa
#6
Also, if you do cough up the ¥100,000, it might be prudent to have a paper at hand that she could then sign, absolving you of any further claims, and showing how the payment is being applied to the specific claims she has made? Or, maybe this could happen verbally in the presence of some police officers?
 

theBlob

Bokeh master
Sep 28, 2011
2,865
1,451
129
...
#7
Last week I hit a pedestrian.
Legal advice is a must. If you are in the wrong then you will have to cough up something. Sure she is gouging you a bit, but she is also playing her cards. 100000 is her best case figure.
Show up to the meeting with a nice gift (sweets) and a sob story and talk her down with politeness and tears. If she can afford prada sandals she probably doesn't really need the money. She just wants to be sure you are truly sorry, the reduction in money needs to be her idea.

Of course, if she has had any hostessing experience you are screwed and just pay and be done with it.
 

theBlob

Bokeh master
Sep 28, 2011
2,865
1,451
129
...
#8
Also, if you do cough up the ¥100,000, it might be prudent to have a paper at hand that she could then sign, absolving you of any further claims, and showing how the payment is being applied to the specific claims she has made? Or, maybe this could happen verbally in the presence of some police officers?
Usually it is done by lawyers or representatives of insurance companies. There is a formula by which they calculate damages and the negotiation is worked out based on that, and agreements are signed. In my experience no cops take part in this but they may receive copies of the documents for the files on this incident. The cops would have made a report on it that insurance companies would base their calculations on.

Seems like there are no lawyers involved at this point but still sound advice.
 

microcord

Maximum Pace
Aug 28, 2012
914
294
83
Tokyo
#9
Apparently, offering money at the scene is an insulting no-no? (that you can file damages for?!?!?! o_O )
Perhaps the perceived insult is the suggestion that the person has (to our minds) sensibly priced shoes. (Well, some people spend their disposable income on unnecessarily pricy shoes, others on -- dare I say it? -- unnecessarily pricy pushbikes.)

That would be compounded by the perceived vulgarity of visibly accepting cash. (Sometimes I'm out with the missus, and she goodhumoredly reminds me that I have forgotten to reimburse her so many thousand yen for this or that expense. As I start to pull out my wallet: "No, not here!")

Is turning on your cellphone video worthwhile (e.g., while you're talking, with supposed minor injury as in this case)?
I suspect that this would be a surefire way to annoy somebody. And unless you'd had a lot of practice at this, the resulting video would be shaky, inaudible, and generally terrible. Of course, if you just happened to have a "GoPro" or similar mounted somewhere convenient, that might help.
 

Tamir

Speeding Up
Aug 19, 2011
56
0
26
35
Tokyo
www.facebook.com
#10
She is asking me to simply wire the money to her account without any meeting.
I was considering asking her to sign something and provide me with all the originals of her receipts (I read something about that online), but I'm worried that she may take offense and escalate.
 

kiwisimon

Maximum Pace
Dec 14, 2006
2,682
495
103
Japan
#11
She is asking me to simply wire the money to her account without any meeting.
I was considering asking her to sign something and provide me with all the originals of her receipts (I read something about that online), but I'm worried that she may take offense and escalate.
You have the bank receipt but get some advice first, uneducated opinions from us may be the last thing you need.
 

FarEast

Maximum Pace
May 25, 2009
5,528
538
193
Yokohama
#12
Basically I would actually seek legal advice on this and do it through the lawyers. If it was a car v pedestrain then a legal professional would basically take over.

I would do as Kikisimon says, as I can honestly see this turning in to a scamming case.
 

jdd

Maximum Pace
Hardest Crash
Jul 26, 2008
2,519
650
133
Kanazawa
#14
She is asking me to simply wire the money to her account without any meeting.
I was considering asking her to sign something and provide me with all the originals of her receipts (I read something about that online), but I'm worried that she may take offense and escalate.
Altho I'm asking questions here about what to do (or not do), I think the other problem is that without that paperwork she'll take your hundred thousand and then escalate.
 

jdd

Maximum Pace
Hardest Crash
Jul 26, 2008
2,519
650
133
Kanazawa
#15
Also, you need to have the sandals checked--are they really Prada, or knock-offs?

You need to lawyer up for this.
 

jdd

Maximum Pace
Hardest Crash
Jul 26, 2008
2,519
650
133
Kanazawa
#16
To ramble on, maybe she would need to show/prove that the sandals are Prada, like show a receipt from an authorized retailer (instead of just pointing at the name on the sandals). If she cannot do that, then maybe they aren't. Legally speaking.
 

joewein

Maximum Pace
Oct 25, 2011
2,445
922
133
Setagaya, Tokyo
joewein.net
#19
Signing a document that the person receiving the compensation will not pursue any further claims after the payment, in court or otherwise, is standard practise in such cases in Japan, whether an insurance company is involved or not.