Visitor Question

Liability for falling off a bike?

Submitted By: Elliott (Sacramento, California)

This incident happened in California. The individual got a minor concussion, when I held his bike and he fell off. It was an accident. He said he got a minor concussion and I said sorry to him. I went back to school, and he kept saying he was going to sue me, so I am scared, because I didn’t even mean to pull him off.

He was wearing a helmet when it happened. I have been on many websites, but when I did, some said yes I’m liable, and some said no. I am unsure if he is serious or not, but then I found this website. What do you think? Thanks.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Elliott,

There is really no reason to worry. Unless the bike rider sought immediate medical care, or was taken by ambulance to a local hospital, it is likely his threat to sue you was hollow. Moreover, from the facts you present, there is no indication you were negligent. To be liable for someone’s injuries and resulting medical bills requires them to prove you were negligent. Apparently all you did was hold the bike. That is certainly not a negligent action.

There is nothing to be scared of. What happened has nothing to do with a crime. It is simply a matter of one person saying he is going to sue you. That has to do with money, known as a “civil” action, not a criminal action.

Moreover, it is highly unlikely an attorney would agree to accept a case like this.  Absent substantial medical bills and related costs, there really is no case. At most, the bike rider might file a small claims lawsuit. Even then, he will have to prove you were negligent, and your negligence was the exclusive cause of his injuries. That is unlikely.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: October 19, 2017

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