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Old 08-07-02, 01:15 AM   #1
fptpaul
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hit by car- advice?

on my vacation in tampa,fl last week, i was hit on the sidewalk by a car exiting a parking lot (after two 40-mile days, and with three days left...aggghhh). the front fork of my cannondale r600 was trashed; i don't know about the frame yet, although both wheels actually look okay- i haven't gotten to my LBS yet, since i just got home (and my left leg is still kind of sore)...
anyway- i have an accident report from the police, so should i call the driver's insurance co. about repair or replacement of my bike? should i call my auto insurance co? should i call my homeowners iinsurance co? what do i do to get my bike back???
help!
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Old 08-07-02, 01:30 AM   #2
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You should get some written estimates from Cannondale dealerships for the repair or replacement of the bike. I'm not encouraging you to get greedy, but anything that applies enough force to damage the fork would make me worry about the frame. For instance, it might stretch the metal where the headset cups are pressed into the frame, or simply stressed it enough to reduce its fatigue resistance and safety. You should also have gotten yourself checked out by a doctor, if possible.

I'm glad to hear the person had insurance, at least. After getting your repair estimates and doctor bills together, I'd call the person's insurance company and get the ball rolling on a claim.

In my case, I gave the insurance-claim person a detailed written rundown of my ruined bike (probably too detailed ), got a replacement estimate from a shop, got my doctor bills totalled, corresponded with the insurance-claim handler by mail and email a little, called and gave a taped statement of what happened, and was issued a settlement check that covered my damages and some extra. Hope that helps give some idea what the process might be like...
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Old 08-07-02, 04:29 AM   #3
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Your homeowner's insurance sounds like the best bet. Unfortunately, since you were riding on the sidewalk it's very possible that you may be deemed to be in the wrong regarding the accident. Good luck.
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Old 08-07-02, 07:25 PM   #4
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Even though you were on the sidewalk and therefore somewhat in the wrong, you still may be able to collect something from the motorist's liability insurance policy, because a motorist's prime directive is to avoid a collision.

I strongly recommend against telling your own homeowner's or auto insurance company, because they will simply raise your rate or move you to a less-preferred category. My personal rule on insurance: carry the largest deductible you can afford and never file a small claim.
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Old 08-09-02, 07:08 AM   #5
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Does the police report indicate who was at fault in the accident? If so and if it shows the driver at fault (was he/she issued a summons?), you should submit the claim to the driver's insurance company. I was hit by a car in April and when I called the driver's insurance company 2 weeks later to find out where to submit the claim for damages to my bike, I learned that the driver had never even reported the accident to her insurance company!

I know it's illegal in NJ to ride a bicycle on the sidewalk, but I don't know what the laws are in Florida. Regardless, it depends on how the police/accident report was written up.

Sue
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Old 08-09-02, 07:17 AM   #6
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Another point: The PIP insurance on my auto policy mandated that I submit all medical claims to MY auto insurance company. That's how it works in NJ. Secondary would be my medical insurance (Blue Cross), with the driver's auto insurance covering anything over and above what my two insurances covered--FWIW, my auto insurance covered everything and my rates did NOT go up since I wasn't in my car or at fault.

Don't know what the requirements are in your state. Usually, the receptionist at your doctor's office will know how to proceed if you don't want to call your insurance company to ask. If you don't actually file a claim with your insurance company, though, you shouldn't have a problem just calling to ask them.

Definitely get the bike checked out. Your LBS should go over it with a fine-tooth comb to ensure the bike is safe to ride. You don't want a catastrophic frame or component failure while you're descending a steep hill or at any other inopportune time!

And get checked over by your physician, too. Soft-tissue injuries can take up to a week or more to surface.

Sue
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Old 08-10-02, 10:31 PM   #7
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I agree totally with Sue, above. What she has described is exactly how it occurred with me a few years ago. I had a Trek 1420, with a glued aluminum frame. The frame did well, and had withstood the crash. But both wheels and the fork were replaced/rebuilt. I strongly recommend that the rim be replaced for the front wheel. If the impact was hard enough to damage the fork, it is probable that the rim/spokes took a lot of force. This might not show up soon, as it may be metal fatigue that breaks spokes, or leads the rim to go out of true, later. Ask the LBS to make these recommendations in writing to the insurance company.

Good luck,

John
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Old 08-11-02, 03:11 PM   #8
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Thanks all for the help- it is much appreciated! I owe you guys one !

Here's what's happened- first of all, it is legal to ride on the sidewalk here in FL. According to state statute, unless amended by local statute, a bicyclist on the sidewalk has "the same rights and duties as a pedestrian." So legally I was a pedestrian. As long as I wasn't cited (which I wasn't), I can make a claim against the driver's insurance. I should be hearing back from Allstate tomorrow.

I took my bike to my LBS and they checked it out: the fork was obviously history (it was in 3 pieces), the front wheel had a little wobble to it- they could prob'ly get it 'almost perfect', but I figure why bother if insurance will replace it- and everything else still looked good. They said the fork snapping helped save the frame. Total repairs about $600- not too bad, all things considered.

I did call my doctor- he couldn't see me for two weeks so I just went to the emergency room and got some x-rays. I fought it as long as I could, but between my wife and pretty much everyone I've talked to for the last week telling me I should go, I just couldn't hold out any longer. Besides, it was a week after the accident and my foot still hurt. Anyway, they couldn't find anything broken- they gave me a splint and crutches and told me to stay off it for a week. Which could be a blessing in disguise, since my wife has to do things for me now- I mean, hey, I'm on crutches!

Once more, thanks for all the help!
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Old 08-11-02, 03:15 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by fptpaul

I took my bike to my LBS and they checked it out: the fork was obviously history (it was in 3 pieces), the front wheel had a little wobble to it... They said the fork snapping helped save the frame. Total repairs about $600- not too bad, all things considered.
Hehe, a "breakaway front-wheel hanger" has been created!

Glad to hear you have the process in motion, and I'm sure the insurance company will be eager to settle with you. Glad to hear you're on the mend!
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Old 08-11-02, 03:59 PM   #10
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MechBgon.. Thanks for your advice on last Saturday's little scrap I had in a parking lot. I did nothing because the guy who hit me got away. Maybe there were video tapes at the mall? Too late. Do not live near by so let it go.
Anyway- the message- as Mech said; do not let it go by: like I did.. Maybe nothing is wrong. Got up ok, so that gives you optimism. Was mostly worried about my bike. Getr their license plate ASAP, no matter what.. Some of us are stunned, so we do not think clearly...
Not sure what is going to evolve- however I do have an ache in my wrist about an inch below my right thumb.. Hope it does not develope into like Carple Syndrome? Hopefully just brused bone. Seems odd it developed about a week after the incident in a Carlsbad strip mall.
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Old 08-11-02, 08:39 PM   #11
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Cyclezealot,

Your ache is most likely not carpal tunnel syndrome. The symptoms of CTS are numbness in the fingers, especially at night while you sleep.

You probably have the residual pain from direct trauma to the specific area. It should be checked if it gets any worse, or the pain spreads. It's probably too late to ice it, but after a week heat packs sometimes helps. Look to see whether there is any tissue discoloration--this would point to the direct trauma I mentioned above, and sometimes takes time to "surface."

Good luck,

John

PS--I'm not a physician, but have experience as a USAF pararescueman years ago, and have taught first aid/CPR as an American Red Cross Instructor for about 25 years. I've also worked in professional safety for over 20 years, and have seen a lot of information on CTS. Cumulative trauma, of which CTS is a part, is an important part of the field of ergonomics, which I've made a study of for many years.
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Old 08-12-02, 03:36 PM   #12
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Interesting points made here. I haven't had a negative encounter with a vehicle yet but hadn't even given a thought as to a person's car insurance coming into play when or if such should happen. Glad I read this thread.
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Old 08-12-02, 06:28 PM   #13
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Me too, Webist. I'm beginning to think that it's not a question of if but when I'm going to be hit. I'm filing away all this good advice. Thanks for the good responses, folks.
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